Brand & Martínez

Brand & Martínez is a daily, two-hour program that looks at news and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Madeleine Brand & A Martínez

Sklartalk: the Dodgers make trades, Serena Williams hits and the troubles the Dallas Cowboys

by Brand & Martínez

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First baseman Adrian Gonzalez #23 of the Los Angeles Dodgers signs autographs before the game with the Miami Marlins on August 25, 2012 at Dodger Stadium. Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Madeleine talks sports with Randy and Jason Sklar, hosts of the Sklarboro Country podcast. On tap this week; the Dodgers make an enormous series of trades, Serena Williams and the US Open and the troubles the Dallas Cowboys are having with their wide receiver Dez Bryant.

The NFL regular season gets underway next week, and once again, a labor dispute will mar opening day. Negotiations between the league and its referees have stalled, and replacement officials will again be calling games, as they have been during the pre-season.

A lot of fans, and some players have been pretty unhappy with the quality of the replacement officials. "Clueless," was how Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould described the crew at last week's game with the Giants.

Officials in that game mistakenly gave the Giants an extra play at the end of the first quarter.

The players union says its biggest concern is safety. But NFL officials have expressed confidence in the replacements. Even though one referee, who mis-called a coin toss, was previously part of the officiating crew for the Lingerie Football League.

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