SBD/May 9, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation said that the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission "had been given 10 season tickets" to NHL Jets games in return for spending about C$250,000 "through a sponsorship arrangement with MTS Centre." However, only "four tickets were given to charity" (WINNIPEG SUN, 5/9). In Winnipeg, Tom Brodbeck notes eight of the 10 season tickets "were lower-bowl, Sec. 100 seats -- the most expensive ones in the house." The other two seats "were in the upper bowl." The "very hottest tickets this season -- the Jets home opener Oct. 9 against the Montreal Canadiens -- were scooped up entirely" by National Democratic Party board members (WINNIPEG SUN, 5/9).

ON THE PAYROLL: In Ft. Worth, Stefan Stevenson noted TCU football coach GARY PATTERSON in '10 "made more than $3.4 million" after leading the team to a victory in the Rose Bowl. The school's tax documents indicate Patterson's salary included more than $1M "in bonuses and incentive compensation." A raise one week "after the Rose Bowl victory bumped his base salary from $2,088,882 to around $2.7 million." Patterson's salary ranks fourth "among Big 12 coaches, behind Texas' MACK BROWN, who's the highest-paid football coach in the country with an annual salary of $5.2 million, Oklahoma's BOB STOOPS (third in the nation at $4.55 million) and Oklahoma State's MIKE GUNDY, who will earn $3.275 million this season" (STAR-TELEGRAM.com, 5/8).

Auction of Kobe Bryant's face mask netted
more than $67,000 for charity

BIG BREAK: ESPN L.A.'s Dave McMenamin noted Lakers G KOBE BRYANT "auctioned off the mask he wore this season after breaking his nose and suffering a concussion in the NBA All-Star Game to raise money for the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation." The auction ended yesterday with a winning bid of $67,100. The money will go toward the foundation's initiative to help end homelessness in L.A. (ESPNLA.com, 5/8).

THE DATING GAME: ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's James Hibberd noted former NFLer WARREN SAPP, former U.S. skier and NFLer JEREMY BLOOM, U.S. snowboarder SETH WESCOTT, Lions DT NDAMUKONG SUH, Patriots TE ROB GRONKOWSKI and former U.S. Olympic taekwondo athlete STEVEN LOPEZ will appear on Fox' upcoming celebrity dating show, "THE CHOICE," which premiers June 7. In each episode, four celebrities sit in "spinning chairs and listen to non-famous prospective dates pitch themselves." Over the course of three rounds, the contestant pool is "paired down until each celebrity has chosen their date for the evening" (EW.com, 5/8).

NAMES: Former Penn State assistant football coach MIKE MCQUEARY will file a whistleblower lawsuit against the university. McQueary's writ of summons indicates that he "intends to seek damages outside the normal arbitration limits." McQueary is still on Penn State's payroll (CENTRE DAILY TIMES, 5/9)....Lightning Owner JEFF VINIK has donated $10M to his alma mater, Duke Univ. The donation will be used to hire 10 new professors "dedicated to studying and addressing issues that affect quality of life" (TAMPABAY.com, 5/8)....Microsoft CEO STEVE BALLMER, Seahawks coach PETE CARROLL, T'Wolves G MARTELL WEBSTER and children from a Seattle-area Boys & Girls Club participated in a basketball shooting contest as part of a fundraiser for the A Plus Youth Program (SEATTLE TIMES, 5/9)....Former Chicago Tribune sportswriter BILL JAUSS, ESPN analyst MIKE DITKA and late Baseball HOF broadcaster JACK BRICKHOUSE will receive the '11 Ring Lardner Awards during the annual awards dinner on May 30 at the Union League Club of Chicago (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/9)....A historical marker yesterday was placed outside the house where MUHAMMAD ALI grew up in Louisville, Ky. (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 5/9)....A street leading to Halle Stadium in western Germany will now be named after tennis player ROGER FEDERER. Formerly known as Weststrasse, the street will now be called “Roger-Federer-Allee.” Federer said he is “extremely humbled and honored” by the gesture, calling it an “amazing honor” (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/8).
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