SBD/Issue 111/Sports Industrialists

Names In The News

Oden Enters Political Arena
With Obama Endorsement
Trail Blazers C GREG ODEN, who has voiced his support for the Presidential candidacy of U.S. Sen BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), yesterday said, "I'm not saying I'm getting into politics. I'm just saying that I did my homework and that I'm going to vote. This is my first year voting and I'm just saying this is the guy who I'm going to vote for" ("Jim Rome Is Burning," ESPN, 2/27). ESPN's TONY KORNHEISER asked co-host MICHAEL WILBON if he was "surprised that a very young kid like Oden ... would support a political candidate openly and not play it safe." Wilbon: "I am stunned and I am thrilled" ("PTI," ESPN, 2/27).

DOUBLE PLAY: Soccer star JURGEN KLINSMANN, who will begin as coach of Germany's Bundesliga club Bayern Munich in July, yesterday was the guest of A's GM BILLY BEANE at the team's spring training. Beane, who reportedly will be involved with the expansion MLS Earthquakes, is interested in "finding statistical models that can help soccer teams evaluate talent." Klinsmann: "I'm here trying to pick his brain. I've read about the approach Billy has with his team and the way they've put things together based on different information, so I'm taking the opportunity to see how he does it" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/28).

BOOKS & MOVIES: N.Y. Daily News columnist BILL MADDEN has signed a deal with HarperCollins to publish a biography of Yankees Owner GEORGE STEINBRENNER. Madden has covered Steinbrenner since he took control of the franchise in '73 (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/28)....NASCAR Media Group COO JAY ABRAHAM said that the documentary "DALE," about late NASCAR driver DALE EARNHARDT, is believed to be the highest-selling sports DVD ever, having sold more than 800,000 copies (ESPN.com, 2/27)....NEHST Studios will release this summer the documentary "RUNNING THE SAHARA," which chronicles the attempt of three ultra-marathoners to run across the Sahara Desert. The film was produced and directed by JAMES MOLL and executive produced and narrated by actor MATT DAMON (NEHST).

NAMES: The DALLAS MORNING NEWS' KEVIN SHERRINGTON today writes his first column since suffering a heart attack on February 6 (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/28)....Forest Oaks Country Club (NC) Owner TADISHI HATTORI has joined the BOD of the foundation that runs the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship, which relocated this season from Forest Oaks to Sedgefield Country Club. Forest Oaks sources said that the foundation offered him a spot as part of the relocation agreement, though Wyndham officials would not say whether Hattori had accepted the offer (Greensboro NEWS-RECORD, 2/27).

IN MEMORY: Sportswriter and novelist W.C. HEINZ died yesterday at the age of 93. Heinz was known for his '63 biography of Pro Football HOFer VINCE LOMBARDI titled "RUN TO DAYLIGHT" and his first novel, "THE PROFESSIONAL," in which he follows a middleweight prizefighter through training (L.A. TIMES, 2/28).

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