SBD/August 6, 2012/People and Pop Culture

NFL Names In The News: Ralph Wilson Dedicates Center In Canton

Wilson donated $2.5M to fund the Pro Football HOF's new 10,000-sq-foot facility
In Buffalo, Tim Graham noted Bills Owner RALPH WILSON "returned to the Hall of Fame on Friday morning to dedicate the Ralph Wilson Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center, a 10,000-square-foot facility he funded with a $2.5 million donation.” Wilson looked “frail, but for seven minutes in his gold Pro Football Hall of Fame blazer, he was in command.” Wilson “sometimes labored to get through his prepared speech, but he delivered a couple of sharp jokes that made the audience laugh” (BUFFALO NEWS, 8/4).

EYE ON THE PRIZE: In N.Y., Tom Pedulla noted CURTIS MARTIN, who was inducted into the Pro Football HOF this past weekend, in ’95 “began setting aside 12 to 15 percent of every paycheck to establish the Job Foundation.” The organization is “named after the man Martin views as one of the Bible’s most significant figures because of his unwavering faith.” Martin now “commits 20 to 25 percent of his income to the foundation, which initially worked to aid single mothers.” It has been “expanded to include education and housing needs, and includes an initiative to send surgeons to third-world countries to perform needed operations.” Martin during his playing career “steadily developed business contacts and interests with the ultimate goal of becoming an NFL owner.” Martin said that there were “two ownership opportunities that he was financially qualified for, but he backed away from them because he did not feel either was quite right.” Martin said, “I think I’d be one of the owners who hopefully one day can see the game from a whole new perspective. I am really interested in bringing that player’s perspective” (N.Y. TIMES, 8/4).

THE CHANGE UP: ESPN DALLAS’ Calvin Watkins cited sources as saying that Cowboys WR DEZ BRYANT has “changed agents from DREW ROSENHAUS to EUGENE PARKER.” Bryant originally hired Parker “when he came out of Oklahoma State for the 2010 NFL draft, and he negotiated a five-year $11.8 million deal.” But toward the end of the ‘11 season, Bryant “let Parker go and hired Rosenhaus” (ESPNDALLAS.com, 8/3).

SIGHTING: Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT and his girlfriend RICKI NOEL LANDER “were seen cooing on Nantucket near the Boat Basin, and hanging out at Club Car and the Cliffside Beach Club over the weekend.” The couple earlier in the week “rubbed elbows with Hollywood types at the premiere” of “The Bourne Legacy” in N.Y. (BOSTON HERALD, 8/6).
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