SBD/Issue 86/Sports Industrialists

Names In The News

In Houston, David Barron profiled Astros Owner DRAYTON MCLANE's 17-seasons with the club. McLane's tenure is the "longest of the four eras of Colt .45s/Astros ownership" and is "easily the most successful." Barron: "Whenever or however Drayton McLane relinquishes control of the Astros, he will be remembered as the longest-tenure, most consistent owner of a franchise that has had its share of controversy, chaos and calamity in 48 major league baseball seasons in Houston" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/17).

Snider (l), Clarke (c) And Parent Celebrate
Wachovia Spectrum At Party Saturday Night
OWNERS IN THE NEWS: In Chicago, Melissa Harris profiled Blackhawks Chair ROCKY WIRTZ, who "having turned the Blackhawks into a winning franchise almost overnight, is quite possibly the most popular businessman in Chicago." Wirtz has "handsomely cut brown hair, a long nose and a million-dollar smile," and his "humor is wickedly dry." Wirtz said during the tenure of his father, late Blackhawks Owner Bill Wirtz, "even the guy who ran the mailroom said 'no thank you'" to tickets (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/16)....Comcast-Spectacor Chair ED SNIDER "blew out the candles" on the Wachovia Spectrum Saturday night "with a cocktail party for several hundred people." Former Flyers G BERNIE PARENT and C BOB CLARKE, "carrying the Stanley Cup, led about 10 teammates in to greet Snider." The event also featured a performance by Earth, Wind & Fire (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 1/17)....Patriots Owner Robert Kraft called to congratulate new Seahawks coach Pete Carroll last week. Kraft was the “last man to fire” Carroll after a three-year coaching stint in New England. Kraft: "It was actually a real treat having him here and working with him for three years. In some ways, I think the experience with (Bill) Parcells made it more difficult for me to allow him to have the authority he wanted here” (, 1/16).

ENTERTAINMENT BEAT: In Miami, Michelle Kaufman reports Homer and Marge Simpson will be "representing the United States in the fictional event of mixed curling" in an episode of Fox' "The Simpsons" during the Vancouver Olympics in mid-February. The show chose to spotlight curling because "several of the show's writers are Canadian" and because they were "determined to integrate the Winter Olympics into the show." Kaufman notes the show's writers were "sensitive to the fact that competitive curlers might take offense to a couch potato like Homer Simpson being able to waltz into the Olympics" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/18)....Driver DANICA PATRICK "will make an appearance" on the February 10 episode of CBS' "CSI:NY" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 1/16).

Williams, Clijsters Likely To Meet For
First Time Since U.S. Open At MSG
NAMES: The Women's Sports Foundation will be the "designated charity" for the March 1 BNP Paribas Showdown at MSG. It is likely MSG "will be the stage for a SERENA WILLIAMS-KIM CLIJSTERS showdown -- possibly their first meeting since the controversial U.S. Open semifinal," when Williams berated a line judge (N.Y. POST, 1/17)....Boxing announcer NICK CHARLES in August was diagnosed with bladder cancer, but with the cancer "in remission and his strength returning, Charles is preparing to get back behind the microphone" for Showtime's January 29 telecast of the CHRIS AVALOS-JOSE NIEVES bout (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 1/17)....The Minnesota Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America will recognize Twins Sports Inc. President JERRY BELL with the Herb Carneal Lifetime Achievement Award at the Diamond Awards on January 28 (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/17)….Chicago condo owner Pantelis Kotsiopoulos is suing Mariners LF MILTON BRADLEY, claiming that he “walked out on” a $15,000-a-month lease he signed last year. Kotsiopoulos and Greenleaf Realty, which helped lease the condo to Bradley, are suing for $44,100 (, 1/16)….Boxer AMIR KHAN has teamed up with Golden Boy Promotions, which “could potentially lead to an all-British showdown with RICKY HATTON.” Khan parted ways with promoter FRANK WARREN after five years for GBP, which also reps Hatton (, 1/17)….The MBTA's North Station platform in Boston has been renamed the Red Auerbach Concourse in honor of the late Celtics President and coach (Celtics)....Former Alaska Gov. SARAH PALIN is scheduled to attend the February 14 Daytona 500 (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/17).

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