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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Mara Says He Is Resigned To
An Uncapped Season In 2010
NUMBERS GAME: SI.com's Peter King wrote NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith "would never walk into a room and try to present a contract to players that called for them to take" an 18% pay cut. Before CBA talks are "even close to a conclusion, the NFL will have more money thrown into the pot -- from negotiations over how much of a contribution players should make to the new stadium construction leaguewide (if anything), from the new money coming in from two additional regular-season [games], and from the money funneled to veterans if and when a rookie salary pool is instituted, which could mean upwards of $150[M] per year put into the veteran payment pool" (SI.com, 1/19). NFLPA Assistant Exec Dir of External Affairs George Atallah wrote on his Twitter page, "The $8.5B secret: 32 factories are making $ in this economy and threatening to shut down unless employees took 18% cut. Why?"
Some NHL Owners See Players' Participation
In Olympics As High Risk With Little Reward
AHL President Says Ticket Revenue
Across The League Is "About Even"
AFFILIATE CHANGES: Andrews said that he "expects to reach the 30 team threshold if Edmonton activates its dormant franchise," the Road Runners, next season. He "expects that decision to be made by the end of January" (Wilkes-Barre CITIZENS VOICE, 1/20). The Ducks are the only NHL team without an AHL affiliate, and Andrews said, "We don't know (Anaheim's) plans, but we are working with them on their options next year and hopefully that will work itself out over the next couple of months" (PORTLAND PRESS HERALD, 1/19). Andrews said there are "five or six" expiring affiliation agreements in the AHL, and in Albany, Pete Dougherty reports the AHL Albany River Rats are "in the final year of their affiliation agreement with the Hurricanes, who have openly said they would like to get an AHL team closer to their home base in Raleigh." Charlotte "seems to be where the 'Canes would like to place a team, but they would have to acquire a franchise or convince an existing club to relocate." River Rats Owner Walter Robb has said that he is "trying to sell the Rats, but with the contingency that they stay in Albany" (Albany TIMES UNION, 1/20).
IN THE STARS: The TIMES UNION's Dougherty reported the AHL All-Star Game's "format of Canada vs. PlanetUSA will disappear" next year. Andrews said that the '11 game, which will "help celebrate the league's 75th anniversary," will adopt the "East-West format first utilized in 1942." No decision has been made on the host city, but Dougherty wrote Hershey, Pennsylvania, is the "best bet" (TIMESUNION.com, 1/19).
SI.com's Jon Wertheim wrote the impetus behind top players participating in the Hit for Haiti fundraiser Sunday at the Australian Open was simply that, "Something horrible happened on the other side of the world, we recognize that and we want to use our platform to help." There are "no Haitian players" on the ATP World Tour or Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, and there is "no event in Haiti, no Haitian sponsor, no ulterior motive." It was "just a great day for the sport, a great showing from the top players starting with" Roger Federer, who organized the event. It was a "great indication of what can [happen] when tennis cuts through the in-fighting and everyone works for a greater cause" (SI.com, 1/18). Meanwhile, THE HOCKEY NEWS' Ken Campbell wrote, "Any display of charity when it comes to the Haitian relief effort is commendable, but is there anyone else out there who thinks the NHL's contribution of just $100,000 is a joke?" The NHL is "donating no more than" 76ers C Samuel Dalembert, which is "embarrassing" (THEHOCKEYNEWS.com, 1/18).
Roddick Does Not Feel Forming Union For ATP
World Tour Players Would Be Right Move Now
STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION: ESPN.com's Rob Neyer wrote there are "three obvious ways to improve" MLB umpires, and their new five-year deal with the league "would seem to address two of them." One way is to "have the best umpires on the field during the most important games," and another way is to "increase the use of video replay." The third way is to "drop some of the dead weight, and there's still no obvious mechanism for doing that" (ESPN.com, 1/19).