Sunoco Debuts "Essence Of Racing" Campaign Executive Transactions Isiah Thomas Expected Backlash Over Hiring FanDuel Brings On Most Of Zynga Sports Team Georgia Approves Increased Athletic Budget Kentucky Adding Ribbon Boards At Rupp IndyCar Ponders How To Attract Fans Long Term Jeff Gordon Hired As Full-Time Analyst For Fox Danica's Sponsorship Status To Be Telling For NASCAR Classified Advertisements
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Goodell Says Players Who Have Performed
On NFL Level Should Be Compensated
Stafford's Guaranteed $41.7M Sets Record
For Most Guaranteed Money In NFL History
PLAYERS NOT THRILLED WITH DEAL: Vikings QB Sage Rosenfels said of Stafford's deal, "It just blows me away. Right or wrong, he makes twice as much money as [Patriots QB] Tom Brady. To me, it doesn't make sense." Vikings DE Jared Allen: "It's outrageous, absolutely outrageous. The guy's never taken a snap. I'm happy for him, but we got guys in this league that have played 10, 12 years that earn their wages every day and they don't see that kind of money" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/26).
AGENTS DISCUSS SYSTEM: Sportstars Inc. agent Jason Chayut noted the Draft “has proven to be an inexact science,” and a rookie cap will be “something that will certainly be up for discussion with the next CBA.” Agent Leigh Steinberg noted signing bonuses first were given to players due to “competition between leagues.” Steinberg: “It’s not like if they don’t sign with their team they have a great choice. They’re not going to go back to their campuses and develop a new theory of superconductivity.” Meanwhile, Chayut said, “Different agents have a lock on some of the higher picks and they wield a lot of clout behind the scenes with the CBA negotiations. It’s in their best interests to keep some of these top picks getting these exorbitant amounts of money” (“America’s Nightly Scoreboard,” Fox Business, 4/24).
LIONS LOSE AGAIN: In Detroit, Michael Rosenberg wrote the Lions "got absolutely schooled on this contract negotiation," and they "totally botched it." The Lions "cost themselves millions of dollars they could have spent on other players, and they once again caused people around the NFL to shake their heads." The Lions "complained that rookie bonuses are way too high, then went way higher than they ever needed to go." The Lions and President Tom Lewand "looked like amateurs here." Instead of "saying they needed to sign somebody to a reasonable deal, they said they needed to sign somebody before the draft," which "put the pressure on them" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 4/25). Also in Detroit, Drew Sharp wrote the Lions "had no choice but basically giving Stafford what he demanded in guaranteed dollars." However, the anger "should be directed at the NFL and the Players' Association for a [CBA] that unfairly and outrageously rewards unproven potential" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 4/25).
Goodell (c), Smith (r) Discuss Upcoming CBA
Talks With NFL Network's Rich Eisen
Smith Says NFLPA Needs Full
Disclosure Of League's Finances
STAYING PUT: Smith Friday also said that he has "no intention of walking away from his new job, even though he has been working without a contract and he and the union are believed to be far apart on salary and length-of-contract demands." Smith: "I'm not going anywhere. I've got a job to do" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/25).
ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN: Goodell Friday indicated that he "can envision a Super Bowl played in mid-February if the league expands its regular-season schedule to 17 or 18 games." The AP's Barry Wilner reported team owners are "expected to get a proposal, perhaps as soon as next month, that would eliminate two preseason games and add one or two to the regular schedule." Goodell noted that such a format change "could push the Super Bowl back to President's weekend." Wilner noted a Super Bowl in mid-February "could conflict with such other events as the Daytona 500, the NBA All-Star Game and, every four years, the Winter Olympics." Goodell Friday outlined a potential scenario that would see "two preseason games in August, followed by a dark week on Labor Day weekend, followed by the opening week." Each team still would have a bye during the regular season, and there would continue to be a week off between the conference championships and the Super Bowl (AP, 4/24).
Goodell Claims NFL Has Never Looked At
London, Mexico City As Super Bowl Sites
WHY EVEN CONSIDER SUCH A MOVE? BLEACHER REPORT's Angel Navedo wrote, "How can one justify taking the Super Bowl out of the country? Because 80,000 fans made it out for a regular season contest? I understand the dollars and cents. I know it's all about revenue. But the Super Bowl is an American tradition, one that many fans overseas don't understand or appreciate (BLEACHERREPORT.com, 4/24). In Tennessee, George Robinson wrote, "Pro football is at an all-time high. Why take it center stage across the pond?" (Clarksville LEAF-CHRONICLE, 4/25). Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan: "What possible sense and justification is there to take it and move it to London other than, once again, marketing geeks who have taken over the world of sport” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 4/24). In South Carolina, Scott Adamson wrote, "This is about good, old-fashioned corporate greed. If London makes a good enough offer, the NFL won't blink before signing off on the deal. ... That doesn't make it right, of course. It makes as much sense as [EPL clubs] Chelsea and Everton playing the FA Cup Final ... at Giants Stadium" (Anderson INDEPENDENT-MAIL, 4/25).
AMERICAN MADE: In Jacksonville, Hays Carlyon wrote a Super Bowl outside the U.S. "would be the single biggest disgrace in sports history." If Goodell and the NFL "ever take the Super Bowl overseas, they might as well never come back" (JACKSONVILLE.com, 4/25). Fanhouse.com's Kevin Blackistone: "This is the National Football League, not the International Football League. ... This is the biggest sporting event in the (U.S.) and it deserves to stay here" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 4/24). SportsNet N.Y.’s Brandon Tierney: "Football’s not going to be popular there. They don’t even care about the sport” (“The Wheelhouse,” SNY, 4/24). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser asked, "Is it the Worldwide Football Championship? It’s the National Football League, it’s the United States. How are Americans going to get there to watch this game?" Kornheiser: "Why don’t we have the cricket championships in Kansas City? Because it’s not our game." But ESPN's Michael Wilbon said London should host a Super Bowl because “you’ve run out of glamorous cities (in the U.S.) to have the Super Bowl in.” Wilbon, on the NFL: "They need the big stage, the glamorous cities” ("PTI," ESPN, 4/24).
Stern Says NBA On Pace To Have
Third-Highest Attendance In History
SECURITY DETAILS: YAHOO SPORTS' Adrian Wojnarowski wrote with "bad series and irrelevant franchises conspiring for a sluggish start" to the NBA playoffs, Stern needs the Bulls-Celtics series to "go the distance." But the death threats against Celtics G Tony Allen are "real and a concern." The NBA heightened security for Allen following the threats, and it "was an embarrassing episode for the Celtics and the NBA." Stern at Thursday's Celtics-Bulls game at United Center was walking around "with his security force watching the back of Allen for who-knows-why," and his teammates are "made to pay with suffocating security presence the rest of the weekend." The situation has the NBA and the Celtics a "little uneasy, and a little embarrassed" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/24).
Bettman Notes All Teams Are
Staying In Current Location
INT'L INTRIGUE: In Pittsburgh, Rob Biertempfel wrote Cuban baseball players are "some of the most talented in the world," but only a "handful have successfully defected from the communist nation and found their way" to MLB. However, that "would change if the American and Cuban governments end their five-decade cold war," and President Obama's administration already has "eased restrictions" pertaining to the country. If Cubans could become MLB-eligible free agents "without having to defect, the pool of players would be expanded." Pirates Dir of Player Development Kyle Stark said that "improved relations between the U.S. and Cuba could lead to a rush of Cuban players" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 4/26).
GLOBAL DRIVE: IRL Commercial Division President Terry Angstadt said that his "upcoming trip to China and ongoing talks with Brazil don't mean the IndyCar Series is intent on going global." Angstadt: "We're a domestic series and will continue to be. But to not explore opportunities in countries with emerging economies, we would not be doing our job." Angstadt said that a race in China is "at least two years away," but Brazil is a "likely addition to the 2010 schedule" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 4/27).
TAKING PRECAUTIONS: GOLF CHANNEL's Randall Mell reported LPGA players over the weekend "received up to three e-mails from the tour's tournament operations office outlining specifics of the swine-flu threat and precautions players should take" during the LPGA Corona Championship in Mexico. Golfer Brittany Lincicome: "They were very detailed and included what symptoms to look for, what to do if we aren't feeling well and how we should immediately see a doctor if we become sick" (THEGOLFCHANNEL.com, 4/26).
GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNING: A LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL editorial stated NASCAR's announced decision to move its year-end awards ceremony to the city "couldn't have come at a better time for the recession-buffeted Las Vegas economy, and serves as a reminder that the city still offers precisely what has made it the world's entertainment capital for decades." Las Vegas tourism officials and "all others involved in pitching Las Vegas as the best site for NASCAR to wind up its season deserve a hearty, 'Well done'" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 4/25).