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The Chiefs announced yesterday that President DENNY THUM has stepped down immediately after 36 years with the club. Chiefs Chair CLARK HUNT has assumed the title of CEO as well, and he will continue to lead the football and business operations of the franchise. Hunt said that he does not have immediate plans to fill the President position and no outside search will take place (Chiefs). In K.C., Kent Babb notes the Chiefs issued a "vague statement that stated neither the reason for Thum’s departure nor an explanation for the move’s unusual timing." Only that he was "leaving the organization -- immediately." Thum oversaw much of the recent Arrowhead Stadium renovations and "other large-scale projects, including bringing the team's training camp to the campus" of Missouri Western State Univ. Missouri Western AD Dave Williams said, “He was the go-to guy. He was the ultimate gentleman, and by the same token, he was a very tough negotiator.” Chiefs Exec VP & COO MARK DONOVAN has been "handling many of the team's day-to-day business-side operations" since joining the team last year (K.C. STAR, 9/15).
Hundreds of extras “poured” into Dodger Stadium on Monday to film scenes for “Moneyball,” the big-screen adaptation of MICHAEL LEWIS’ ’03 best-seller, according to Richard Verrier of the L.A. TIMES. About 700 extras “participated in a variety of baseball scenes, including a 1984 game between the Dodgers and the Mets.” Sony Pictures “had to get special permission” from MLB to shoot at the ballpark on Friday and Monday. The stadium has been “used as a location for 16 productions” this year, and the Dodgers charge “anywhere from $10,000 a day for use of its parking spaces to $25,000 a day for a shot inside the stadium.” Team officials view “the filming activity as an important way to market the stadium” (LATIMES.com, 9/14).
START YOUR ENGINES: The Stephen Low Company will develop an IMAX 3D motion picture project focused on the Indianapolis 500 and the evolution of motorsports. The 3D film will be directed by STEPHEN LOW and produced and distributed by The Stephen Low Company in association with RALPH HANSEN of Pegasus Marketing Group. IMS officials will consult on the content of the film and companion education outreach program, and will provide access to the track for filming. The movie will be released in October ’11 for IMAX theatres in 3D, and 2D. The movie will be filmed at IMS and related story locations, capturing 3D action and highlighting key moments in the track’s 102-year history and the 100th anniversary of the first Indianapolis 500 (IMS).
LEADING MEN: In L.A., Gideon Rubin notes Dodgers manager JOE TORRE “figures prominently in an upcoming KEN BURNS' documentary, ‘The Tenth Inning,’ which will appear Sept. 28-29 on PBS.” Co-producer LYNN NOVICK said that Torre’s role managing the Yankees “to four World Series titles in five years from 1996 to 2000 is heavily emphasized.” Novick: “He’s one of the main characters. He helps us understand Sept. 11, and he also gives ... us perspective on steroids and a lot of other things” (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 9/15)....In Miami, Greg Cote reported Dolphins consultant BILL PARCELLS “will make a guest appearance this fall on the second season of ‘Blue Mountain State,’ Spike TV’s bawdy sports/comedy series.” The season debuts Oct. 20 (MIAMIHERALD.com, 9/14). Parcells is “among a sideline full of football people” scheduled to do the show, including CBS NFL analyst BOOMER ESIASON, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's BILL ROMANOWSKI, former NFLer BRIAN BOSWORTH and NBC's DAN PATRICK (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 9/14)
THAT’S A WRAP: The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s John Paul Newport reports “production wrapped last week on an inspirational golf-mentor film" called "Seven Days in Utopia." ROBERT DUVALL stars as an “eccentric golfer-rancher who helps a down-on-his-luck Tour pro, played by LUCAS BLACK, re-find his game.” The movie is scheduled for release in ’11. Meanwhile, STEVE CARELL is slated to star in a "movie version of RICK REILLY’s comic golf novel ‘Missing Links’" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/11).
KICKIN’ IT: In Philadelphia, Kerith Gabriel notes the soccer documentary “Pelada” chronicles the “3-year travels of former college studs and self-proclaimed ‘has-beens’ LUKE BOUGHEN (Notre Dame) and GWENDOLYN OXENHAM (Duke), who journey around the world playing in pickup games.” From “dirt lots in Africa to rooftops in Japan, the film shows the influence soccer has on the lives of people.” Gabriel notes “great moments in the film are scenes that lay argument to the popular ideal that sports can always unite (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 9/15).
Universal Sports Network named Yahoo Dir of Business Operations BART LEIVO VP/Business Development. Leivo will report to COO PERKINS MILLER (Universal Sports)….Blood-Horse Publications appointed MARLA BICKEL Publisher & CEO, succeeding STACY BEARSE, who will retire from the company Nov. 1 (BLOODHORSE.com, 9/13)….LARRY CARTER was named GM of the Rusty Wallace Racing Nationwide teams. Most recently, Carter was serving as spotter for NASCAR driver ROBBY GORDON (FOXSPORTS.com, 9/13)….Billy Casper Golf promoted ANTHONY SCALA to VP & Controller, SANDRA COLARETA to Dir of Contracts & Risk Management and JOEL GOHLMANN to VP/Operations (Billy Casper Golf)….The MLS Crew named MARCO ROSA Communications Manager (THE DAILY)….The Tulsa Sports Commission named RAY HOYT Exec Dir (Tulsa Sports Commission)….The Rockets hired HERMAN GUILLORY as Marketing Associate (THE DAILY).
San Antonio-based USAA Real Estate Co. has partnered with Basketball HOFer DAVID ROBINSON’s Admiral Capital Group to form the Admiral Capital Real Estate Fund that will “invest in commercial real estate across the country and create a profit flow for charitable purposes.” USAA Real Estate will invest up to $50M “in an agreement to match what” Admiral Capital Group raises for the new fund. Admiral Capital Group is investing $6M and “is raising additional investments from third party investors,” including San Antonio businessman RED MCCOMBS and Spurs Owner PETER HOLT. USAA and Admiral Capital Group will “divert 10 percent of their profits in the coming years into Robinson’s charitable fund, the Admiral Foundation” (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 9/15).
NO MORE FREEBIES: The L.A. City Ethics Commission voted yesterday to “recommend that high-level officials be barred from receiving free entry to concerts, sports events and other cultural activities if the donor of the free ticket has business pending before the city.” The action comes three months after L.A. Mayor ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA “confirmed that he had attended dozens of events for free without reporting them as gifts” (L.A. TIMES, 9/15).
SHOW ME THE MONEY: Pittsburgh attorney JAY REISINGER in an interview with SPORTSAGENTBLOG.com said his "personal caseload is about 85%" sports law related, and sports law is "about 50%" of his firm’s total caseload. Reisinger: “The most interesting Sports Law matter that I handled was SAMMY SOSA’s testimony before Congress related to performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball. The shear number of interested parties and competing interests created an intriguing and challenging atmosphere.” Reisinger added, “I am a certified agent with the MLBPA, but I don’t represent (as an agent) any player on a 40-man roster. I represent professional and amateur athletes as an attorney. I represent athletes in disciplinary matters, grievance proceedings, eligibility matters, criminal and civil litigation, and salary arbitration” (SPORTSAGENTBLOG.com, 9/13).
NAMES: The Steelers and VA Healthcare-VISN 4 yesterday partnered to “provide a special evening of football for veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom at Heinz Field.” It is the third year the Steelers have hosted an event “that was established to show their appreciation for thousands of wounded veterans” (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 9/15)....The U.S. Soccer Federation and the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation have been named winners of the '10 Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy. The prize is awarded annually by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the professional sports organization and individual sports philanthropy that most effectively demonstrates excellence, leadership and a sustained commitment toward a mission that serves and improves the lives of others (RWJF)....The Michigan Sports HOF Monday inducted NASCAR team Owner JACK ROUSH, Red Wings and Tigers co-Owner MARIAN ILITCH, Hurricanes Owner PETER KARMANOS, Baseball HOFer EDDIE MURRAY, golfer MEG MALLON and former NFL HERMAN MOORE, among others (AP, 9/14)....Fox NFL analyst KURT WARNER will serve as the grand marshal for the Ft. McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade on Dec. 31, and he will participate in the coin toss to start the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1 (AZCENTRAL.com, 9/14).