Alexia Putellas & Barcelona Teammates Break Attendance Record in Women’s Football

Alexia Putellas and her Barca teammates are celebrating an impressive record.

Barcelona broke the attendance record in women’s football for the second time in a month as 91,648 supporters watched them beat Wolfsburg 5-1 at Camp Nou in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.

Alexia Putellas & BarcelonaThe previous record crowd for a women’s game had only been set by Barca in March, when 91,553 people attended their quarterfinal against Real Madrid — 95 fewer than attended Friday’s game.

Prior to that, the women’s record had stood since 1999, when 90,185 fans watched the World Cup final between the United States and China at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

“It was spectacular, both today and a month ago against Madrid,” midfielder Patri Guijarro said in a news conference after the game. “We’re speechless, really. I’m sure as the days and years pass, we will become a bit more of what we have achieved. We’re still not completely aware of the magnitude of [the attendances].”

However, some estimates suggest 110,000 people attended Denmark’s win over Mexico at the Azteca Stadium in the 1971 World Cup final, a tournament that was not officially sanctioned.

Barca usually play their home games at the 6,000-seater Estadi Johan Cruyff at the club’s training ground, but their Champions League knockout games have been moved to Camp Nou to accommodate the bigger demand for tickets.

This was just their third competitive game at the 99,000-seater stadium. They played against Espanyol behind closed doors last season due to the pandemic, and then for the first time with fans against Madrid last month.

On the pitch, they were too good for Wolfsburg, blowing them away with four first-half goals from Aitana Bonmati, Caroline Graham Hansen, Jenni Hermoso and Alexia Putellas.

Jill Roord pulled one back for the German side after the break, but Ballon d’Or winner Putellas added her second from the penalty spot to seal Barca’s 45th successive win in all competitions, a run dating back to last June.

The teams will meet again in the second leg at the Volkswagen Arena next Saturday, with the winners facing Lyon or Paris Saint-Germain in the final in Turin on May 21.

Wolfsburg coach Tommy Stroot was pessimistic about his team’s chances of turning things around in the second leg.

“Barca fans can book their tickets for the final,” he said. “They were favourites before the tie and now they’re even bigger favourites.

“Our challenge is to try and win next week without losing touch with reality. Wanting to win 5-1 is difficult, but winning is possible, although we have to change certain things.”

Steven Michael Quezada to Tape Special Stand-Up Comedy Special During Tribeca Film Festival

Steven Michael Quezada is bringin’ the funny to the Big Apple…

Tribeca and Comedy Dynamics are teaming up again for a slate of 10 stand-up comedy specials to be filmed at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs June 9-20 in New York City, including a special by the 58-year-old Latino actor/comedian.

Steven Michael Quezada

Quezada, best known for his role as DEA agent Steven Gomez in the hit series Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, will be performing on June 15 at 10:30 pm. In addition to his acting work, Steven performs stand-up comedy across the country and also performs regularly on Carnival Cruise Lines.

Tribeca and Comedy Dynamics partnered in early 2020 to produce original stand-up comedy specials that were slated to be filmed at the annual fest. But after COVID-19 restrictions took hold nationwide, they pivoted and evolved the indoor festival into an outdoor comedy drive-in set across the country at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Tribeca x Comedy Dynamics Drive-In featured hourlong comedy sets — the first set of drive-in comedy specials filmed in the midst of the pandemic.

Produced by Tribeca and Comedy Dynamics and directed by the latter’s founder and CEO, Brian Volk-Weiss, this month’s slate of specials is part of Tribeca’s expansion into new storytelling platforms and its 12-day celebration to reopen New York and bring live entertainment back to the city.

“We had a blast working with the amazing team at Tribeca for our 2020 Comedy Drive-In at the Rose Bowl, and we’re excited to be taking the show back to New York City in 2021 to give fans a bigger, better and more interactive experience,” Volk-Weiss said.

Cisco Henson serves as executive producer for the specials, which are produced by Michael Epstein and will be filmed at Spring Studios.

Here’s a rundown of the performances with times, dates and artist bios:

Bill Bellamy
June 12, 8:30 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.
Bill Bellamy is a comedian and actor who has been featured on Insecure, Self-Made, Def Comedy Jam, MTV Jamz, MTV Beach House, Last Comic Standing, Hot in Cleveland and more. Bill has several acclaimed stand-up specials under his belt, including Booty Call, Ladies Night Out and Crazy, Sexy, Dirty. Bill is also the host and EP of Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes, which has featured rising comedians in their early days, including Tiffany Haddish, Lil Rel Howery and Karlous Miller.

Cocoa Brown
June 17, 8:30 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.
Cocoa Brown is a comedian and actress who has appeared on Showtime at the Apollo, One Mic Stand and BET’s ComicView. She’s also appeared in Tyler Perry’s series, For Better or Worse and comedy films such as Ted 2 and The Single Moms Club. In addition to her comedic roles, Cocoa has showcased her acting talents on dramatic series such as Fox’s 9-1-1 and FX’s The People Vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.

Helen Hong
June 16, 10:30 p.m.
A fan favorite on the hit NPR podcast Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Helen Hong was a recurring character on HBO’s Silicon Valley, CBS’ The Unicorn and Netflix’s Huge in France. She’s performed stand-up comedy on The Arsenio Hall Show, Last Call with Carson Daly, Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen and the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal. Helen was featured in the Coen Brothers’ film Inside Llewyn Davis, and has guest-starred on Jane the Virgin, Parks and Recreation and Pretty Little Liars.

Maija DiGiorgio
June 16, 8:30 p.m.
Maija DiGiorgio is recognized by New York’s Time Out magazine as one of “the freshest, funniest, unique voices to grace the microphone”. Maija has been featured on HBO Def Comedy Jam, Hot 97, Comics Unleashed, Sex and the City, Uncontrolled Comedy Hour and more. Maija received a standing ovation on her first television appearance on NBC’s Live from the Apollo and never stopped touring since, including several tours to serve our troops stationed overseas in Korea and Japan.

Josh Gondelman
June 13, 8:30 p.m.
Josh Gondelman is a writer and comedian who incubated inBoston before moving to New York City, where he currently lives and works as a writer and producer for Desus & Mero on Showtime. Previously, he spent five years at Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, where he earned two Peabody Awards, four Emmy awards, and three WGA Awards for his work. Josh’s debut essay collection, Nice Try, was released in fall 2019 through Harper Perennial. In the past, Josh has written for Fuse TV’s Billy on the Street. Onstage, Joshcharms audiences using his good-natured storytelling and cracks them up with his sharp, pointy wit. He takes topics from surprise parties to his experience teaching preschool and makes them all equally hilarious. In 2016, he made his late-night stand-up debut on Conan (TBS), and made his network TV debut on Late Night With Seth Meyers (NBC) in 2018. He has also appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Josh’s album Dancing on a Weeknight was released April 2019 on Blonde Medicine Records and hit No. 7on the Billboard comedy chart. His previous comedy album Physical Whisper debuted in March 2016 at No. 1 on the iTunes comedy chart (as well as No. 4 on the Billboard comedy chart) and stayed there for…well…longer than he expected, honestly.

Miz Cracker
June 13, 10:30 p.m.
Miz Cracker is a New York City drag queen, writer and comedienne. She launched her drag career in 2011 while participating in marches for marriage equality in Times Square. She went on to compete in RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10, landing a spot in the top five and becoming a fan favorite. She now tours the world with her one woman shows; delights fans on her YouTube channel; lectures on drag at top universities; cooks with Bon Appetit; writes for publications like Slate, ArtForum, Vice and GQ; and engages over a million followers on Instagram and Twitter. Cracker describes herself as a “woman’s lifestyle brand,” and is a vocal advocate for women’s rights. Her forthcoming solo show, American Woman, discusses how drag queens and gay men can become better allies to women in an age when Feminism is more important than ever.

Kellen Erskine
June 14, 8:30 p.m.
Comedian Kellen Erskine has appeared on Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live, America’s Got Talent and the Amazon Original series, Inside Jokes. He has garnered over 30 million views with his clips on Dry Bar Comedy. In 2018 he was selected to perform on the coveted “New Faces” showcase at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal. Kellen was named one of TBS’s Top Ten Comics to Watch in 2017, and he performed at the Bridgetown, Big Sky, and Boston Comedy Festivals. In February 2018, Kellen made his late night TV stand-up debut on TBS’ Conan.

Katrina Davis
June 14, 10:30 p.m.
Katrina Davis is a stand-up from Jacksonville, Florida who sprang onto the Los Angeles comedy scene with a few 60-second sets on Kill Tony. She took on enough contenders in Roast Battle at The Comedy Store to be ranked amongst the top 50 battlers in 2018 and can been seen on America’s Got Talent as well as the Seed & Spark comedy special Everything Is Fine. Katrina performs at shows regularly all-around LA and was honored to be named one of Time Out LA’s Comics to Watch for 2019. During the pandemic, Katrina has been featured on many online comedy shows and even hosts her own monthly Zoom show called Valley Girl. Most recently Katrina can be seen on Amazon Prime’s Fact Check digital series and heard as a voice of a couple characters on YouTube’s Swipeothesis.

Jackie Fabulous
June 15, 8:30 p.m.
Comedian Jackie Fabulous captured America’s heart as a semi-finalist on the 2019 season of America’s Got Talent. She’s a hilarious and affable stand-up comedian, writer, actor, producer, motivational speaker, and headliner who uses her jokes and sparkling nature to simultaneously entertain, encourage, and empower audiences while keeping them laughing, and easily navigating the comedy gamut from family friendly to naughty. Jackie’s stand-up has been featured on The Arsenio Hall Show, Gotham Comedy Live, Fox, BET, Last Comic Standing, Kevin Harts LOL Network and more. In addition to her television appearances, Jackie Fabulous is a paid regular and headliner at several top comedy clubs such as The Comedy Cellar, The Hollywood Improv, The Laugh Factory and Funny Bone clubs.

Steven Michael Quezada
June 15, 10:30 p.m.
Steven is best known for his role as DEA agent Steven Gomez in the hit series Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, while also appearing in films such as Kites, Beerfest, First Snow and 3 From Hell over his career. In addition to his acting work, Steven performs stand-up comedy across the country and also performs regularly on Carnival Cruise Lines.

Alvarez to Coach the Wisonsin Badgers in the Outback Bowl

Barry Alvarez is heading back to the sidelines…

The 67-year-old Spanish-American former-coach-turned-athletic director for the Wisconsin Badgers will coach the team for its New Year’s Day bowl game in the wake of Gary Andersen‘s departure, the school announced Thursday.

Barry Alvarez

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that former Wisconsin assistant and current Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst will become the Badgers’ new head coach. Oregon State announced Wednesday that Andersen was leaving the Badgers to coach the Beavers.

Alvarez, the winningest coach in Badgers history (118-74-4), will coach Wisconsin against Auburn in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day.

He said Thursday that a number of seniors asked him to consider coaching the team during the bowl game.

It’s not the first time Alvarez will coach against the Tigers, as he finished out his full-time coaching career with a 24-10 victory against Auburn in the 2006 Capital One Bowl.

Alvarez also returned to the sideline to coach the Badgers in the 2013 Rose Bowl after former coach Bret Bielema announced that he was leaving to coach at Arkansas.

Alvarez, who was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010, coached Wisconsin for 16 seasons from 1990 to 2005. He also served as a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee this past season.

“There’s no problem with Barry coaching the bowl game,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock said Thusday. “It doesn’t affect his ability to select the teams next year.”

Alvarez to Coach His Former Wisconsin Team at the Rose Bowl

Barry Alvarez will be stopping to smell the roses on New Year’s Day…

The 65-year-old Latino football coach will return to the sidelines to lead the Wisconsin Badgers when they face No. 8 Stanford at the Rose Bowl on on January 1. Thursday’s announcement came two days after Bret Bielema stepped down to take over at Arkansas.

Barry Alvarez

“I’m very excited about coming back,” said Alvarez. “This will be a one-game — I’m not looking to do it any longer than one game.”

Bielema’s departure was a shock, coming just three days after Wisconsin earned a school-record third straight trip to the Rose Bowl with a 70-31 beating of then-No. 14 Nebraska in the Big Ten championship game. But speculation immediately centered on Alvarez returning as coach, at least for one game.

His return will mean little disruption for players. Even though Alvarez stepped down as head coach after the 2005 season, he’s remained an integral part of the football program as Wisconsin’s athletic director and the team is comfortable with him. They won’t have to adapt to a new coaching style.

In fact, it was the players who convinced Alvarez to come back. Following Bielema’s announcement, Alvarez received messages from senior quarterback Curt Phillips and captain Mike Taylor, who said the players had met and decided they wanted him as their Rose Bowl coach.

“I told him I would be honored to coach them,” said Alvarez. “I wanted them to understand, if I was going to coach them, we weren’t going to screw around, we were going to go out there to win.”

Alvarez’s 118-73-4 record in 16 seasons coaching the Badgers includes a 3-0 mark in the Rose Bowls — Wisconsin’s only victories in eight trips to Pasadena.

During his tenure as head coach, Alvarez turned the program into one of the Big Ten‘s top teams. Wisconsin had had five straight losing seasons before Alvarez arrived in 1990, and posted a winning record in just six of the previous 26 seasons. After losing to USC in the 1963 Rose Bowl, Wisconsin would go 19 years without a bowl appearance.

Meet Marshal Martinez…

It seems like everything’s coming up roses for Dancing with the Stars contestant J.R. Martinez… Literally!

The 28-year-old wounded-Iraq-veteran-turned-actor, who recently appeared on the cover of People magazine, has been named the grand marshal for Pasadena’s 123rd Tournament of Roses.

JR Martinez

The former “All My Children” star will lead the procession of floats on January 2, 2012, as well as toss the coin before kickoff at the 98th Rose Bowl game in honor of all wounded military personnel.

The Tournament of Roses Association says Martinez is a perfect fit for the “Just Imagine …” parade theme because of his courage and dedication to helping all Americans facing challenges.

The El Salvadoran-American Martinez says he’s grateful for the opportunity to share his message of hope and possibility.

Image courtesy of William Bichara Photography.