Saturday, July 19, 2008


The ESPY's are a pretty fantastic time of year. It's a battle of the coasts. While half of the athletes and celebs head to the East Coast for the All-Star game, the other half are in Tinsel Town for the ESPY's. I was on the West Side of things. On Monday I was invited to go to the Playboy ESPY party, which I gladly accepted. I had promised my best friend that I would somehow take her to the Playboy Mansion before I left for New York and I was not about to go back on a promise.

I also promised her six months ago I would introduce her to Michael Vartan, which was randomly another promise I was able to accomplish that night.

I had met Vartan at a Blackberry event a while back with his friend who had a broken arm from a hockey injury. Vartan had been off of "Alias" for awhile and was on a new show that I loved called "Hot Shots." He told me his new show sucked and he didn't know why I liked it. So instead we ended up talking about the hockey league he is in. The whole time I kept thinking, "My best friend Katie and him would totally hit it off. They need to meet."

When I told her the next day that they needed to somehow meet so that they would fall in love, her response was something like, "Sure, Laura. Set it up. Oh, and while you're at it, would you mind introducing me to Brad Pitt and George Clooney?" Still, I insisted I would make it happen and ever since then it's been an ongoing joke with us.

Six months later at the Playboy Mansion, there was Michael Vartan with the same friend (minus the cast) standing at a table next to us.

"Katie, you're coming with me!" I said grabbing her hand.

"Michael, Laura Lane. I met you at that Blackberry party a few months ago."

"Hey! That's right. How are you?" Vartan said.

"Your arms all better," I said to his friend. "No more hockey injuries?"

And with that, the ice was broken and I made the introductions. They chatted for about 15 minutes, but unfortunately Katie felt no sparks. That is besides the point though. The point is, when you say something will happen it does. Seriously. I said I would get a job in New York within 6 months. And I start a job 6 months later. The ultimate proof of this happened a year ago. As I was walking up to a club I said to my best friend, "I wish Barry Zito here." And no joke, my favorite athlete was sitting at a table when I walked in. I ended up with a few friends at his house later that night playing guitar and listening to Beatles music. I said it and it happened.

This year, I said I would introduce my best friend to Michael Vartan. And, well, I did.

Other highlights at the Playboy Mansion were seeing my USC buddy Keith Rivers, making fun of Greg Oden's dancing skills, chatting with Kendra from the Girls Next Door (whom I pretended to be BFF's with although we've met only twice, none of which she remembers), insisting to Ray Allen that I wasn't really a Lakers fan, seeing my favorite person Sasha Vujacic who gave me a huge hug when he saw me (he even got up from his poker table!), running around like a 6 year-old when I find the empty game room at the mansion and having a 10 minute conversation with Bill Maher at the bar.

Maher went off on a shpeal about how the ESPY's are bullshit "because sports doesn't need an awards show to figure out who the best team is because they have a little thing called competition to figure that out." I strongly disagreed but had little to argue my side with. After all, who was I to try and win a debate with Bill Maher?! I immediately called my mom and dad and told them I met him. They're big fans.

With my fellow sports reporter and bestie.