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(l to r) Ryan, Nantz And Gammons Receive
Wooden Bats At NSSA's Awards Banquet
CBS’ JIM NANTZ, Boston Globe columnist BOB RYAN, MLB Network’s PETER GAMMONS and Pro Football HOFer JOHN MADDEN were honored last night at the 51st National Sportscaster & Sportswriters Association’s Annual Awards Banquet in Salisbury, North Carolina. Nantz won the National Sportscaster of the Year award for the fifth time, while Ryan was honored for the third consecutive year, and fourth overall, as the National Sportswriter of the Year. Gammons and Madden were inducted into the NSSA HOF for their contributions to their professions. The four honorees were jovial in their acceptance speeches, but expressed sincere gratitude for the award. ARNOLD PALMER presented Nantz with his award, along with the original telephone from Giants Stadium that he used to receive the news that he was hired by CBS Sports in ’85. Nantz dedicated most of his acceptance speech to Palmer and recollected various memories they have shared throughout the years, including sitting with QUEEN ELIZABETH II at the state dinner in ’07. Nantz said, “To have Arnold Palmer come to Salisbury and present the award to me, was one of the highlights of my life.” Nantz said this award would likely go alongside his four others from the NSSA in a display Titleist made for him. “Titleist has been kind enough to make me a putter, and on the face it has National Sportscaster of the Year and the year,” he said. Prior to receiving his award, Nantz was given the key to the city by Salisbury Mayor SUSAN KLUTTZ.
SHIPPING UP TO BOSTON: Ryan reminisced about his early days at the Boston Globe with his good friend and colleague Gammons, who both joined the newspaper as interns on June 10, 1968. Ryan said this year’s award is more meaningful than the previous ones because of the presence of Gammons. Boston Globe sports editor JOE SULLIVAN introduced Ryan and recalled a time where both Ryan and NBA Commissioner DAVID STERN were in the same room. Someone called out, “Hey Commish,” and Ryan and Stern both replied at the same time. Ryan later in the evening presented Gammons with his award for being inducted into the HOF, calling Gammons the "best baseball writer ever." Gammons during his speech also reflected on his time working with Ryan and how the industry has evolved over the years. Meanwhile, Madden, whose aversion to air travel is well documented, did not attend the event, but he sent his thanks via a pre-taped video. CBS Sports Coordinating Producer LANCE BARROW accepted the award on Madden’s behalf and talked about his personal experiences with Madden over the years, including how Madden taught him “just to hang.” All four honorees were presented with wooden bats at the end of the banquet.
Polian Has Worked Last 12 Years In Football
Operations Leadership Positions With Colts
Colts VP/Football Operations & GM CHRIS POLIAN "has served the past 12 years in football operations leadership positions with the Colts, yet is largely unknown outside the NFL," according to a front-page piece by Phil Richards of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. The son of Colts President BILL POLIAN, Chris has "toiled diligently, energetically and anonymously," and has been courted by several teams in recent years. However, Colts Owner JIM IRSAY last November promoted Polian, "extended his and his father's contracts 'through the 2012 season and beyond,' and shut the door." Irsay also announced that when Bill Polian retires, Chris "will succeed his father." Chris promises "more of the same: the same core values, same philosophies, same systems." While Bill has devoted "more time to Irsay's projects and league matters," Chris has assumed "more day-to-day operational control." Some observers have said that Chris "shares his father's aptitude and passion." Pro Football HOFer MARV LEVY "recommended Polian as his successor" when he stepped down as Bills GM after the '07 season, and he said, "They're different personalities. Bill is more volatile. Chris is a more even-keel type of guy." Richards noted as Chris "acquired knowledge and experience, he developed convictions and a willingness to forcefully advocate for them." Bill Polian: "People probably think it's not this way, but he speaks very frankly to me, perhaps more so than anybody in the organization. He doesn't pull any punches."
GETTING OUT OF THE OFFICE: Richards notes Chris Polian "runs when he can find time, to stretch his legs and clear his mind." But he is "not a golfer, bowler or softball player," and when he is "not working, and the hours are exhaustive, he's usually home." He also is a "Chicago Cubs zealot," and "box seats 104 and 105 from the first-base line at Wrigley Field occupy floor space near his desk." Polian: "The seats were a Christmas present from my mom more than 10 years ago. When I got married, my wife told me those are leaving my living room and going to your office" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/2).
Fox Sports Marketing Group Exec VP ERIC MARKGRAF has been promoted to CMO of the Fox Sports Television Group, reporting to Chair & CEO DAVID HILL (Fox Sports)....Online sports hub Bleacher Report has named JOSH ABRAMS as VP/Sales. Abrams previously worked at CollegeHumor.com, where he oversaw account management, ad inventory, network optimization and business development, and at KYW-TV in Philadelphia (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal)....MARK RODGERS has resigned as Oklahoma City's KOCO-ABC Sports Dir to become Marketing Dir for the Lucky Star Casino. Rodgers will continue to host a talk show on WWLS-AM (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 4/30).
EXECS: Coca-Cola Great Britain has eliminated its position of Marketing Dir, with President SANJAY GUHA now serving as Marketing & Olympic Dir for the European region (AROUNDTHERINGS.com, 5/2)….Reebok Regional Head of Marketing CELINE DEL GENES will relocate to the company's HQs in Canton, Massachusetts, to become Head of Go-To-Market for Reebok's women's division. Reebok Asia Pacific Regional Senior VP DAVE MISCHLER will become Head of Brand Operations for the company (MEDIA.asia, 5/3)….The Sports Network named playsportstv.com Managing Editor CRAIG HALEY FCS Exec Dir (The Sports Network)….ISP Sports named DON NOVIN Senior Account Exec for the Seminole ISP Sports Network and promoted ECU Assistant GM BURT JENKINS to Associate GM of the Pirate ISP Sports Network (ISP).
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Didier Drogba Included In
TIME Magazine's Heroes List
TIME magazine features golfer PHIL MICKELSON, India cricket player SACHIN TENDULKAR, tennis player SERENA WILLIAMS, EPL club Chelsea F DIDIER DROGBA and figure skater KIM YU-NA among its Heroes list as part of a special issue on the 100 Most Influential People in the World. Golfer JACK NICKLAUS in a contribution to the magazine writes he has "long enjoyed the engaging personality" of Mickelson and the "smile that has endeared him to many fans." Nicklaus: "Family has always been my priority, and their presence outside the ropes has underlined every win. After he won this year's Masters, I imagine that slipping into a third green jacket would not have meant nearly as much to Phil had he not first slipped into the embrace of his family." Author DEEPAK CHOPRA writes sports heroes such as Tendulkar "stand for national dignity in a way that perhaps only a postcolonial nation can understand." Int'l Tennis HOFer BILLIE JEAN KING writes Williams is "committed to making a difference in the lives of others." Her work with children in Kenya and the U.S. "stresses the importance of education" (TIME, 5/10 issue).
SCREEN PLAYS: A forthcoming documentary about the baseball career of PETE ROSE, "4,192: THE CROWNING OF THE HIT KING," will premiere July 14 at a Cincinnati movie theater. Director, Editor & Exec Producer TERRY LUKEMIRE said that the film focuses on Rose's "on-field performances and achievements which have been overshadowed by his banishment from baseball." The documentary also will be screened at the All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival in July (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 5/4)...."BALLHAWKS," a documentary narrated by actor BILL MURRAY about the "dedicated, prowling folks who chase baseballs outside Wrigley Field," will premiere May 28-30 at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago. Director & Producer MIKE DIEDRICH filmed the documentary with "no financial backing and a donated camera," and he "got Murray to do the voiceover as a favor to JOEL MURRAY," Bill's brother and the film's Exec Producer (MLB.com, 5/3)....U.S. Figure Skating Saturday announced that "RISE," a film recounting the story of the '61 U.S. Figure Skating team that perished in a plane crash on its way to the World Championships, will premiere nationwide on February 17, 2011 (U.S. Figure Skating).
NBA's Perez Lists
Snowboarding As Hobby
WIRED FOR SOUND: BROADCASTING & CABLE's David Tanklefsky profiles NBA Digital Senior VP & GM BRYAN PEREZ, who oversees the NBA's "vast digital partnership with Turner." After getting his MBA from Stanford, Perez worked at MSG as Dir of Business Development, and later worked for the Stars. He joined the NBA in '08 after serving as Live Nation Global Digital CEO. Perez said, "This position is really a culmination of all my experiences." Perez has three kids, and "enjoys snowboarding and a glass of wine" (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 5/3 issue).
NAMES: Michigan State Univ. men's basketball coach TOM IZZO Sunday delivered the commencement address at Adrian College in Michigan. He "addressed 200 graduates and a crowd of roughly 3,000 on Sunday for about 17 minutes," and he "encouraged graduates 'don't be afraid to dream big,' sharing the story of ... his own rise from a small town as inspiration" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/3)....Portland Oregonian sports columnist JOHN CANZANO yesterday won first place in the '09 Sigma Delta Chi Awards for excellence in journalism (OREGONLIVE.com, 5/3)....Golden Boy Promotions President OSCAR DE LA HOYA will be awarded Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News' annual Lifetime of Achievement in Hispanic Television Award on September 29 in N.Y. (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 5/3 issue)....Celtics Dir of Special Projects JOJO WHITE's Boston-area sports bar has "filed for bankruptcy after running up more than a half-million dollars worth of debt." JoJo's West "remains open while in the throes of Chapter 11 reorganization, which was filed on April 22" (BOSTON HERALD, 5/4).
IN MEMORY: Former USATF President PATRICIA RICO died Sunday at the age of 76 from pulmonary fibrosis. Rico served as president from '96-'00, the first female to serve in the position. She inherited more than $3M in debt when she assumed the USATF role and "spent her tenure as president imposing fiscal discipline that eventually stabilized the organization." Rico also "led the organization through a contentious transition to a new chief executive and instituted a broad restructuring" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/4).