SBD/February 1, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

Nashville charities face uncertainty in the wake of Jeff Fisher's firing
Former Titans coach JEFF FISHER's departure "has left some uncertainty among charities and organizations that banked on his endorsement to raise funds." The Jeff Fisher & Friends Charity Softball Game "has raised more than half a million dollars in the past 10 years for local charities." The event was "scheduled again for June this year, but now that Fisher is no longer the coach, the charities that take part say they haven't heard whether it will go on as planned." Cooking Wild with Jeff Fisher and Friends is "one of four key annual fundraising events for Second Harvest Food Bank," and it "typically raises $30,000 from 60 to 65 major donors." But organizers "don't know whether they will be able to do the same this year." The Titans "have had a long-term relationship with Saint Thomas Health Services, which owns Baptist and Saint Thomas hospitals, among other facilities," but it "has been Fisher who appeared in the 'Game Day' themed commercials over the past two years." Hospital officials said that their "formal relationship is with the franchise and its owner, BUD ADAMS, and they expect it will continue in some fashion without Fisher" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 2/1).

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES: MLB.com's Hal Bodley reported MLB Commissioner BUD SELIG was "among MLB's leading executives and friends who paid tribute" to outgoing Senior VP/PR RICH LEVIN at a retirement dinner in N.Y. last night. Levin is "retiring this week" after 25-plus years in the role, and Selig "praised Levin's loyalty during remarks at the dinner." Bodley wrote Levin "contributed enormously" to the league, and he "leaves behind a legacy that will be difficult to duplicate." He was "good for baseball and became a friend to the demanding media because he never forgot the days when he was one of them as an aggressive newspaper reporter" (MLB.com, 1/31).

GIVING IS BETTER THAN RECEIVING: The PGA Tour "has donated $150,000 on behalf of the Presidents Cup and International captain GREG NORMAN to a relief appeal to help victims of the devastating floods in Australia's Queensland state." Golfer STEVE ELKINGTON, an Australian native, "pledged support to the flood relief efforts by earmarking $1,000 per birdie he made" during the Bob Hope Classic last month. Elkington "made 24 birdies for a $24,000 donation" (AP, 1/31)....Nike is "giving $400,000 to Penn State's libraries in honor" of football coach JOE PATERNO's 400th win. Penn State libraries dean BARBARA DEWEY yesterday said that the donation "will in part help pay for renovations and technological upgrades" (AP, 1/31).

NAMES: Dick's Sporting Goods "has agreed to pay up to $15 million to settle federal and state lawsuits claiming the company violated wage and labor laws affecting 190,000 current and former workers, according to the company and court documents filed yesterday." The settlement "resolves a class-action lawsuit filed in May 2005" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 2/1)....Cardinals Owner the BIDWILL family bought downtown Phoenix restaurant Tom's Tavern, which "has built a reputation as a favorite spot for the big names of government and business." The restaurant, which "had been on the brink of closing," will be "run by a new division of the company the Cardinals created to operate the food service at University of Phoenix Stadium" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/1)....In N.Y., Juliet Macur details how an anonymous donor who passed away last February bequeathed to the School Sisters of Notre Dame "his estate, worth more than $1 million, including a 100-year-old HONUS WAGNER baseball card." The man "knew his T206 series Honus Wagner card was rare." Produced from 1909-1911, "about 60 are known to exist." The nuns sold the card for $220,000 (N.Y. TIMES, 2/1)....White Sox Dir of Int'l Scouting JERRY KRAUSE on Sunday night at the 65th annual Pitch & Hit Dinner in Rosemont, Ill., received the Nick Kamzic Award "as scout of the year in baseball" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/1)....Former MLBer SHAWN GREEN has relisted his home in Irvine, Calif., at $10.9M, down 38% from the original asking price of $17.495M (OCREGISTER.com, 1/31).
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