Quote of the Day
"I doubt we'll ever again see a sports reporter who was so admired by the people he covered"
-- Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder, on the late George Michael (WASHINGTON TIMES, 12/25).
Late Season Push
With the AFC Wild Card spots up for grabs, NBC gets Bengals-Jets for its Sunday Night flex schedule spot to close Giants Stadium, while Fox gets a marquee Eagles-Cowboys NFC East clash next week to end its regular season. Just another week in the wild NFL, where the news cycle never stops. Last night, Jerry Jones continued to sound the labor drum, telling Bob Costas revenue sharing will continue in the NFL and management “will not let economics play any role in the competitiveness between the teams of the NFL.” SI’s Peter King writes today of “the exceedingly gray pall over the labor negotiations between players and owners,” as progress “is virtually nil and the players are pessimistic that a new deal will get done in time for them to play the 2011 season.” Meanwhile, news continues in the executive ranks, as the well-regarded Rich McKay signs a five-year extension with the Falcons, and Joe Gibbs acknowledged last night that he no longer has a formal relationship with the Redskins, not as a special advisor or in a consultant role. In addition, one of the hottest coaching candidates in the market, Mike Shanahan, looks ready to re-enter the coaching ranks as he hires IMG to rep him.
Sunny Side Up
With Land Shark Lager deal expiring, Sun Life Financial reportedly close to a naming-rights agreement with Dolphins.
TMZ’s Harvey Levin bullish on launch of his sports Web site, says it will be free of league relationship conflicts.
MLS files suit against Black & Decker over ambush marketing effort aimed at Hispanic soccer fans.
Bill Sutton/Richard Irwin sales combine set to expand in 2010 with stops in N.Y., Phoenix and Orlando.
Foot In The Door
Li Ning to open first U.S. showroom next week with store in sneaker hotbed Portland.
Bruce Ratner’s long, strange trip one step closer to reality as developer closes on Atlantic Yards.
How the late George Michael changed the face of sports broadcasting.