SBD/February 4, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

Strahan is publicly supporting the legalization of same-sex marriage
In N.Y., David Amsden profiled Fox NFL analyst and “Live With Kelly and Michael” co-host MICHAEL STRAHAN in a front-page piece for the Sunday Styles section. For Strahan, the position alongside KELLY RIPA is the “apex of what has been one of the more curious and unexpected professional journeys in recent memory.” The “combination of his two shows, each No. 1 in its time slot, means he is beamed into a larger, more demographically diverse subset of America than even RYAN SEACREST.” Strahan still appears in “Subway’s national ads.” He also is in a “celebrity-spattered campaign for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital; and there he is lending his support to same-sex marriage.” This fall, he was christened by People magazine as "one of the Sexiest Men Alive” (N.Y. TIMES, 2/3).

DEER IN HEADLIGHTS: In Baltimore, Aaron Wilson wrote Sports With Alternatives to Steroids (SWATS) Owner MITCH ROSS “refused to provide text messages or shipping labels that would confirm the allegations that he provided a deer antler velvet spray” to retiring Ravens LB RAY LEWIS. Ross, who claimed he has had death threats from Ravens fans, said, "I never saw Ray put it in his mouth. I want to apologize to any athletes that this story hurt. … I'm trying to make right the wrong with Ray Lewis” (BALTIMORESUN.com, 2/1).

STORMING THE CAPITAL: In San Jose, Peter Delevett reported three former employees of HRJ Capital, the venture capital firm founded by former NFLers HARRIS BARTON, RONNIE LOTT and JOE MONTANA, “claim they were cheated out of tens of millions of dollars when Silicon Valley Bank seized the now-defunct firm’s assets four years ago.” The case, which is “about to get under way in Santa Clara County Court,” is being “closely watched for its potential impact on the venture capital industry.” Judge JAMES KLEINBERG in November issued a preliminary ruling that could force HRJ’s investors “to pay damages to the three former employees.” Among the current and former athletes who invested in HRJ are ANDRE AGASSI, TROY AIKMAN, BARRY BONDS, OSCAR DE LA HOYA, TIM DUNCAN, JOHN ELWAY, WAYNE GRETZKY, PEYTON MANNING, DAN MARINO, RICK PITINO and JERRY RICE (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2/3).

STEPPING INTO THE SPOTLIGHT: Ravens Owner STEVE BISCIOTTI appeared on ESPN2’s “NFL32” Friday afternoon, with ESPN’s Suzy Kolber noting, “We forced him into the limelight today.” Bisciotti usually shuns interviews and the spotlight, but he said Ravens Senior VP/Public & Community Relations KEVIN BYRNE has been "making me go around and do things like this that I don’t like doing." Bisciotti joked that the team will re-sign QB JOE FLACCO, who was named Super Bowl XLVII MVP last night, “as soon as I find a minority partner to infuse some cash” (“NFL32,” ESPN2, 2/1).

NAMES: MAY MAY ALI, daughter of MUHAMMAD ALI, “knocked down rumors of her father being near death Sunday, saying he was at home watching the Super Bowl.” She said she “talked to her father Sunday morning on the phone and he was fine.” The Ali family later “posted a photo on Twitter of Ali sitting in a chair wearing a Ray Lewis T-shirt” (AP, 2/4)….Blues Owner TOM STILLMAN last week “became the first NHL owner to take part in WAYNE GRETZKY’s fantasy hockey camp.” Skating “on the opposite wing” was MLB Cardinals President BILL DEWITT III. Gretzky: “I was calling them the richest line in hockey” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 2/2)….The LSU Board of Supervisors on Friday “approved a two-year contract extension for football coach LES MILES that should keep him in Baton Rouge through 2019.” The deal “bumps Miles’ annual salary” from $3.751M to $4.3M over the seven-year term (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 2/4)….Univ. of Georgia football coach MARK RICHT on Saturday “underwent hip-replacement surgery.” Richt said that “he planned to have the surgery done sometime after national signing day and before spring practice.” Why he “decided to undergo the operation Saturday is unclear" (AJC.com, 2/3)….Golfer DAVIS LOVE III on Saturday received the Bob Jones Award during the USGA’s annual meeting in San Diego (JACKSONVILLE.com, 2/3)….The N.Y. Board of Rabbis will name Yankees P MARIANO RIVERA Man of the Year and give him a tour of Israel after the “two holy seasons” -- baseball season and the Jewish high holidays (N.Y. POST, 2/3)….Packers WR GREG JENNINGS has listed his home in suburban Green Bay for $525,000 (REALTOR.com, 1/28).

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