'Lunch with a legend'

SANTA ANA — Leigh Steinberg's visit to Morton's The Steakhouse at the South Coast Plaza Village was billed as, "Lunch With A Legend."

Steinberg, the renowned sports agent and Daily Pilot columnist, delivered a legendary-type shot while on 710 ESPN Radio with Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley Thursday.

Kellerman served up the topic of Frank McCourt to Steinberg and the 62-year-old slam dunked it.

"He needs to go back to Boston," Steinberg said of the infamous Los Angeles Dodgers owner. "Give us our Dodgers back."

The people at the their tables applauded and cheered Steinberg. It was one of several moments Steinberg drew in the crowd and excited them with his words.

Kellerman also asked Steinberg about the NFL making its way back to L.A.

Steinberg is not shy about making predictions. During the recent NFL lockout, Steinberg spent a lot of time telling sports talk radio hosts that the game would return. He told fans not to worry and that the game would return right near the deadline.

Steinberg made another prediction to Kellerman, Wiley, Mark Willard and their listeners.

"Football is coming to Los Angeles," said Steinberg, who was the chairman of Save The Rams before Los Angeles/Anaheim lost its team in 1995.

Steinberg then explained positive reasons why pro football should return to L.A., including new jobs.

"Get ready for some football," Steinberg said.

Throughout the one-hour segment, that was dwindled to about 40 minutes because of commercial breaks, Steinberg talked about his well-known work with the movie "Jerry Maguire." Steinberg also laughed with Kellerman when the radio host reminded Steinberg that Wiley was a client of his.

"Let's talk about how you swindled a team for $16 million," Kellerman said, playfully referring to Wiley, a former NFL defensive player.

Steinberg later responded: "That's easy for you to say that here, when [Wiley] is over there on the phone."

Wiley was not at Morton's live with Kellerman and Willard.

The trio spoke highly of Steinberg during the interview. Kellerman continuously referred to Steinberg as, "super sports agent Leigh Steinberg." Kellerman said the topics and questions weren't arranged before the event, saying it was expected that they would talk about football and the Jerry Maguire movie.

"Leigh is an impressive guy," Kellerman said during a break. "He's a very experienced agent. He can talk intelligently about the building of a stadium, what goes into a facility, what condition it needs to be. And behind the scenes of what's going on. He can talk environmentally. He can talk about the negotiations of a contract. And, then he's just a sports fan. He can talk intelligently about the variety of issues that our listeners want to hear."

In his heyday, Steinberg commanded attention for landing big-money contracts for several NFL players. He had 13 of the league's 30 starting quarterbacks in 1998. He had represented athletes for 37 years. Recently he has spent time working on two books. He has also hit several radio stations, accepting many interviews.

"I took a year off," Steinberg said after the ESPN radio interview. "After 37 years it was just time … I wanted to take a look at life and work on myself. I expect by the next NFL Draft to be active. We have plans for baseball, boxing and other special things."

Steinberg said he plans to advise for sports movies again, and he's been approached to work with a couple reality shows, one being about becoming a sports agent, he said.

Steinberg received a special plaque after the interview. He invited several close friends, including former Rams Vince Ferragamo and Mike Lansford.

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