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A week of celebrity- and athlete-studded Super Bowl parties has wrapped up in Indianapolis. THE DAILY takes one last look at this year's festivities.
Kraft and Menounos attend Audi's Super Bowl
party in penthouse of Conrad Hotel
SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER: DirecTV’s Sixth Annual Celebrity Beach Bowl was held at Indy’s Victory Field with SNOOP DOGG, Neil Patrick Harris, model KATE UPON, Erin Andrews, DAVID ARQUETTE, DJ PAULY D, Maria Menounos, JOE MONTANA, DEION SANDERS, DESMOND HOWARD, MATTHEW STAFFORD, Cam Newton, WARREN MOON, TERRELL OWENS and EDDIE GEORGE participating in the event. There was a “huge backstage swag lounge where they could fill their shopping bags with freebies like luggage, jewelry, hair products and even designer cupcakes” (BOSTON HERALD, 2/5). The Celebrity Beach Bowl was “transformed into a club-like atmosphere” for the evening’s DirecTV Super Saturday Night Party hosted by Mavericks Owner MARK CUBAN’s HDNet and Colts QB PEYTON MANNING. ESPN.com’s Lane & Carter wrote KATY PERRY “put on the best performance of the entire weekend” at what was “the party of the weekend hands down” (ESPN.com, 2/5). Perry "dedicated a song" to Tebow, who “her religious parents reportedly want to fix her up with” (N.Y. POST, 2/6).... The Rolling Stone & Bacardi Bash “locked down four great musical acts that didn’t disappoint: Cobra Starship, LUPE FIASCO, Gym Class Heroes and LMFAO.” The party had “cotton candy, mousse desserts and cookies.” ESPN.com's Lane & Carter wrote the event was “solid and cemented Rolling Stone and Bacardi as ... serious party contenders at Super Bowl weekend” (ESPN.com, 2/5). Guests at the party “walked through a pseudo airplane and past ‘stewardesses’ to get inside, where they partied under lots of chandeliers -- one made of old guitars” (INDYSTAR.com, 2/4)....The House of Hennessy party “was a cognac drinker’s dream.” The event was put on by the makers of Hennessy and they “served signature cocktails all night long” (ESPN.com, 2/5).....The Bud Light Concert at the Bud Light Hotel "couldn’t pull in the celebrity names" that appeared at Thursday’s Madden Bowl or Friday’s Playboy party at the same venue. But the Bud Light party “had an everyman type of feel,” as “casual was in, and the tent adjacent to the Hampton Inn saw far more attendees than it had either of the previous two nights” (INDYSTAR.com, 2/4).
FROM THE OWNER'S BOX: Giants Chair & Exec VP STEVE TISCH “brought a huge group of friends" to Playboy’s Super Bowl party. A source said, “Steve sat at a table in the corner surrounded by security detail that rivaled the president’s” (N.Y. POST, 2/6)….Patriots Owners the KRAFT family on Saturday night “hosted a party for about 200 friends at Indy’s Conrad Hotel.” Guests included Raytheon Chair & CEO WILLIAM SWANSON, Intercontinental Real Estate Group Chair & CEO PETER PALANDJIAN, former Patriots players TEDY BRUSCHI, ADAM VINATIERI and TY LAW and comedian DENNIS MILLER. STEVEN TYLER and his fiancée, ERIN BRADY, as well as RUSH LIMBAUGH, watched the game yesterday with the Krafts in their suite (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/6).
Giants President & CEO JOHN MARA and Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT were each separately featured in NBC's Super Bowl XLVI pregame show. NBC’s Bob Costas said to Mara, “Few people around the NFL have connections going back over the whole history of the league as you do.” Mara: “I remember taking a course in college about family businesses and one of the first things they tell you is that they rarely survive the third generation.” Costas replied, “So don’t screw this up.” Mara said, “That’s what I’ve been thinking for many, many years. It’s been our family business since 1925. It’s personal for us and we take a lot of pride in it.” Mara said he is “very aware” of the media and fan criticism the team receives because “they write me letters, they call, and it seems like that’s an annual occurrence” wanting coach TOM COUGHLIN to be fired. Mara: “I do respond to all those letters. I’m a little behind right now in doing so ... I appreciate the fact that people care enough and have that kind of passion that they take the time to write those letters. I just wish sometimes they’d be a little bit more patient.” Meanwhile, Kraft spoke with NBC’s Al Michaels about last summer’s CBA negotiations at the same time Kraft’s wife, MYRA, was battling cancer. Kraft: “It was one of the toughest periods of my life. I spent the last four-and-a-half months with Myra. The only thing I spent time at was this negotiation and did it with her blessing. She knew I could help and if we had missed games, I think we would have injured the NFL seriously for a long time” ("Super Bowl XLVI Pregame," NBC, 2/5).
RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE: Giants co-Owner STEVE TISCH appeared on NBC Sports Network Friday and talked about the relationship between the Tisch and Mara families in running the club. Tisch touched on the perception that the Maras control more of the Giants than the Tisches and said, “The reality is we are 50/50 partners in business, in the passion of football and running the Giants organization. It’s a new generation and I believe over time, the perception -- if it exists -- is going to start to be diluted.” Tisch added ticket sales at MetLife Stadium "have been brisk." The club has "less than 1,000” season tickets unsold "in the entire stadium.” Meanwhile, Kraft said of the experience fans have at home watching the NFL versus going to the games live, “We have to continue to strive and work and make sure that being in-stadium is a special experience. I still think that people want that communal experience, but we’re going to have to do things in-stadium for the interactive part of the game” CNBC’s Darren Rovell said, “Owners matter. While management style is always apparent to fans, how the owner treats the business and those that work for him does translate down to all the coaches and players. Robert Kraft and Steve Tisch are passionate guys who deserve their run of success” ("CNBC Sports Biz: Game On!,” NBC Sports Network, 2/3).
The Orioles promoted KEVIN CUMMINGS to Dir of Ballpark Operations (Orioles)….Jacksonville State Univ. named ED LETT Associate AD for External Affairs (JSU)….Rochester Institute of Technology named RENEE CARLINEO Assistant AD (RIT)….ANC Sports Enterprises promoted JOSH KEELER to Creative Services Manager and named JUSTIN HASSELKUS and ISHITA SHAH Motion Graphics Designers (ANC Sports)….FIFA appointed Jamaican Olympic Association VP HORACE BURRELL to its Olympic soccer tournaments organizing committee “three weeks after he completed a suspension for unethical behavior” (AP, 2/3).
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In S.F., Mark Purdy noted this year's Pro Football HOF list did not include former 49ers Owner EDDIE DEBARTOLO JR., who "won five Super Bowls and set new standards for organizational excellence." Pro Football HOFer DAN FOUTS said, "That's shocking because so much weight is put on winning Super Bowls, and Mr. DeBartolo won basically one out of every five during the 23 years of his 49er ownership" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2/5). SI.com's Jim Trotter wrote there was "virtually no chance that two non-players were going to be voted in, as evidenced" that BILL PARCELLS and DeBartolo were "debated longer than any other candidates." Parcells "took up to 57 minutes, DeBartolo 42," while the only other candidate discussed longer than 19 minutes was ANDRE REED. Eventually, Parcells "survived the first cut -- and DeBartolo did not" (SI.com, 2/4).
TAKING SHOTS IN A DIFFERENT ARENA: In Boston, Stan Grossfeld writes even with his "high-profile name, the conservative" former ESPN analyst CRAIG JAMES is a "long shot in the 10-candidate field that is seeking the seat" of retiring U.S. Sen. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON (R-Texas). James has "never sought elected office before," and he is being "hit hard again, right out of the gate." On Jan. 12, the day of his official announcement, James "admitted he received 'insignificant' amounts of money from Southern Methodist University boosters as an 18- and 19-year old." Later that evening, James was "ambushed in the primary debate." In what he "termed a 'gotcha' question, he was asked if he knew the name of the US Secretary of Defense." James said, "Looks like I jumped off the high board on the first try" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/5).
COMPILING STATS: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Reed Albergotti profiles north England native NEIL HORNSBY, who "has compiled research and analysis that the Giants and several other teams used this season to prepare for their opponents." Hornsby in '07 "launched his website, called Pro Football Focus." He said that the site now "provides customized data to five NFL teams ... as well as to sports agents seeking to bolster their players' arguments for fat paychecks." The Giants are a "nonpaying user of the site" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/5).
NAMES: Federal prosecutors on Friday said that they have “closed their investigation of LANCE ARMSTRONG without charging him, nearly two years after they began looking into allegations that he and his cycling teammates committed a variety of possible crimes by doping.” U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California ANDRE BIROTTE JR. “did not cite a reason for the decision and declined further comment” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/4)….Titans Owner BUD ADAMS JR. became the first recipient of the Salute to Service Award presented by the USAA on Saturday. The award acknowledges efforts by members of the NFL community to honor and support U.S. service members and veterans (USAA)….Agent SCOTT BORAS has stopped representing free agent MANNY RAMIREZ (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/5)….Republican presidential candidate NEWT GINGRICH yesterday appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and said that he is “a Packers fan and, along with his son-in-law, owns Packers stock” (JSONLINE.com, 2/5)….MARY CASHMAN, wife of Yankees GM BRIAN CASHMAN, on Friday “filed divorce papers, a day after prosecutors charged a woman with stalking him and extorting money over an extramarital affair” (AP, 2/4)….The Maryland Jockey Club on Friday announced that Maroon 5 and WIZ KHALIFA will perform at the Preakness InfieldFest on May 19 (MJC).
AND THE WINNER IS....: The Giants defeated the Patriots in a thrilling Super Bowl XLVI, and picking upsets turned out to be the best bet in the SBD/SBJ Super Bowl Pick 'Em, as only one of the 84 responses correctly predicted the winning team, MVP and TV ad. Former MLB VP/Baseball Operations and Administration ED BURNS came the closest to running the table, as his entry had the Giants defeating the Patriots 34-31, with QB ELI MANNING winning Super Bowl MVP and Doritos topping USA Today’s Ad Meter (THE DAILY).