ESPN Renames Studio After Berman, Jackson Hendrick, Childress Highlight NASCAR HOF Induction Packer Late To Atlanta After Flight Complications NASCAR To Announce Format Changes To Cup Series DirecTV Now Adds 200,000 Subscribers In December UT Selects Turnkey To Find Next AD Colts Fire GM Ryan Grigson, Keep Chuck Pagano Michael Goldberg Passes Away At 73 Fitz And The Tantrums Perform At PGA Event Gregg Popovich Blasts President Trump
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Late NFLer and announcer PAT SUMMERALL was remembered on Saturday as a “great and humble man” before “roughly 1,684 mourners" gathered at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, according to Clarence Hill of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. It was “no surprise that the Cowboys had a huge presence at the memorial service.” Cowboys Owner JERRY JONES said, “Pat was cherished by the Cowboys. We know what he meant to the NFL. But he meant a lot to the Cowboys. He was a great Cowboys supporter.” Summerall’s former broadcast partner JOHN MADDEN said, “I got up this morning and I thought, ‘Pat, I need you,’ I couldn’t get the tie straightened, a button buttoned. It was the same old thing.” Former execs and colleagues with CBS and Fox also were “in attendance," as were NFL Senior VP/PR GREG AIELLO, former Cowboys VP/Player Personnel GIL BRANDT, former Univ. of Arkansas AD FRANK BROYLES and former Vikings Owner RED MCCOMBS. CBS Sports Coordinating Producer LANCE BARROW said of Summerall, “He made you feel like the most important man in the room” (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/21). CBSSPORTS.com’s Matt Rybaltowski noted Madden, “in an emotional speech,” described Summerall as "the voice of the NFL for more than two decades.” Madden: “To me he wasn't a braggart. To me, he was JOHN WAYNE.” He added, “This is the third goodbye -- the toughest. Goodbye, Pat. Rest in peace. I love you” (CBSSPORTS.com, 4/20). Madden: “There were voices before Pat Summerall, and there will be voices after. But he is the voice of the NFL.” In Dallas, David Moore wrote of Summerall, “A broadcaster known for an economy of words was celebrated for his generosity of spirit" (DALLASNEWS.com, 4/20).
GREATNESS IN FRONT OF, BEHIND CAMERAS: ESPN’s John Saunders said of Summerall's legacy, “For over 40 years, his voice meant it was a big event.” Saunders added, “This week we heard a lot about what he did in front of a microphone, but his greatness involves so much more behind the scenes” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 4/21).
USSF President SUNIL GULATI on Friday “was elected” to the FIFA Exec Committee, according to Juan Zamorano of the AP. Gulati “won 18-17 in a balloting at the congress of North and Central American and Caribbean Football in Panama City.” Gulati was “elected to a four-year term” and will “take the seat of fellow American CHUCK BLAZER," who had been in the position since '97. Gulati has served in his current role with U.S. Soccer since ’06 (AP, 4/19). Meanwhile, CONCACAF Integrity Committee Head DAVID SIMMONS on Friday said that former President JACK WARNER and former General Secretary Blazer were "fraudulent in their management" of the organization's affairs (REUTERS, 4/19). REUTERS' Simon Evans noted the report detailed how Blazer had "used the organization's funds to 'finance his personal lifestyle,' including purchasing plush apartments in Miami's South Beach and attempting to do the same in the Bahamas" (REUTERS, 4/21). The AP’s Tony Fraser noted Warner “resigned as national security minister of Trinidad & Tobago some 48 hours” after the report was released (AP, 4/21).
The Orioles’ tribute on Saturday to late Baseball HOFer EARL WEAVER included testimonials from Baseball HOFers BROOKS ROBINSON and CAL RIPKEN, former Orioles C RICK DEMPSEY, Orioles manager BUCK SHOWALTER, Baseball HOF President JEFF IDELSEN and MIKE WEAVER, Earl Weaver’s son, who also threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the team's game against the Dodgers (Baltimore SUN, 4/21)....A pregame ceremony prior to yesterday's Orioles-Dodgers game “honored fallen Maryland soldiers," whose family members were recognized as part of the Orioles Military Appreciation Program. Maryland “suffered a record-breaking number of military losses” in March (Baltimore SUN, 4/22). The Orioles yesterday also “hosted their first Little League Day” of the year, with more than 8,000 local youths taking part in a pregame parade around the warning track (Baltimore SUN, 4/22).
NAMES: The Pimlico Race Course press box yesterday was renamed in honor of late horse racing journalist JOE KELLY, who covered the sport for 70 years (Baltimore SUN, 4/22)....Ravens QB JOE FLACCO on Friday "spent time" with the family of MATTHEW CHESWICK, a Glenelg, Md., student killed by a drunk driver in '12. Flacco and Dairy Queen presented a $25,000 check to the Matthew J. Cheswick Memorial Fund. Flacco earlier in the day “took orders at the drivethru window” at a Dairy Queen in Rosedale, Md. (Baltimore SUN, 4/20)….Orioles CF ADAM JONES “purchased a five-bedroom home” in Lutherville, Md., for $1.75M. The house was sold by former Ravens offensive coordinator CAM CAMERON (BALTIMORESUN.com, 4/19)….Ravens coach JOHN HARBAUGH and other Ravens staffers including Senior VP/Public & Community Relations KEVIN BYRNE “competed in a Tough Mudder race” on Thursday in Gerrardstown, West Va. (BALTIMORESUN.com, 4/21).
Fanatics hired RYAN DONOVAN from NBC Sports Group to be VP/Marketing. Donovan, who was VP/Marketing at Versus and later NBC Sports Network, is the third NBC Sports exec to move to Fanatics in the past 12 months. Former Versus President JAMIE DAVIS was named the company's President last April. In September, Davis brought over MEIER RAIVICH to head up PR. Raivich was VP/Communication at NBC Sports (John Ourand, THE DAILY).
STEVENSON STEPPING DOWN: Pac-12 Enterprises on Friday announced that network President GARY STEVENSON is stepping down, with Exec VP & GM LYDIA MURPHY-STEPHANS named his successor. Stevenson: "I think this is a good time for me to move on to my next adventure. I'm very proud of what we accomplished, a real first in college sports broadcasting." Murphy-Stephans has been with the net since its inception in '12, and worked in the industry since '86 (Pac-12).
EXECS: NYRA named NTRA Senior Dir of Media Relations ERIC WING Dir of Communications & Media Relations (NYRA)....The Univ. of Minnesota named MICHAEL HALLORAN Assistant AD/Development and CORRIE SEARS Assistant AD/Marketing (UM)....Niagara Univ. named SUNY-Brockport Assistant AD/Finance JESSICA WHEELER Associate AD/Internal Operations (Niagara)....The Univ. of South Dakota named interim AD DAVID HERBSTER AD (USD).
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Warner Bros.' "42" came in second in the weekend box office results, scoring $18M to give it a total of $54.1M "after ten days." EW.com's Grady Smith noted the movie "seems likely to hit the $100 million mark," making it a "big winner for Warner Bros., which was in dire need of a box office hit" (EW.com, 4/21). MLB today announced plans "to take thousands of teenagers to see" the film. Teams will pick students from 8th-12th grade "for private screenings in their cities." MLB Commissioner BUD SELIG "will host the first showing Tuesday in Milwaukee" along with JACKIE ROBINSON's daughter SHARON (AP, 4/22). Meanwhile, actor CHADWICK BOSEMAN, who plays Robinson in the movie, is “in talks to join the cast" of KEVIN COSTNER's movie “DRAFT DAY,” which will be shot in Cleveland (CLEVELAND.com, 4/22).
PASS RUSHER GETS SACKED: Dolphins DE JARED ODRICK on Friday filed suit with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, claiming he was "one of more than 50 people swindled by" online trading company Success Trade Securities. Odrick's attorney JEFFREY EREZ said that before "deciding to invest, Odrick did his due diligence with the NFLPA." Success Trade broker JINESH BRAHMBHATT had been one of the "registered advisors listed on the union’s password-protected website, as alleged in Odrick’s lawsuit." Although FINRA records "indicate Brahmbhatt had a clean history, Success Trade did not." Erez said, "They cleared this guy. ... That's what the horrible part is. Jared's a good kid. He did exactly what he was supposed to do" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/22).
TRANSITION GAME: Former NBAer HAYWOODE WORKMAN is "one of only three NBA players to ever become a referee in the league." Former NBAer and current ref LEON WOOD said, "When you go from being a player or coach to a referee, you've gone to the dark side. You're on this island." Wood and Workman have "sought to interest current players in joining their exclusive group." But they said that it has been a "tough sell." Workman said that the players he eyes "are journeymen like himself" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/21).
JUMPING IN THE POOL: Gold Medal-winning U.S. swimmer RYAN LOCHTE appeared on NBC’s “Today” this morning to promote his new E! reality show, “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” Lochte said, When you think about Olympians, you think they eat, they train, they sleep. That's it. For me, that is not the case at all. I like doing other stuff. I like going out and having a good time. I like doing stuff that I can probably get myself hurt in, like playing basketball, skateboarding, surfing, you name it, I'm doing it.” Lochte said for the reality series, which debuted last night, the “camera is there 24/7 and I wasn't used to that.” But he added, "I had a blast doing it. The best thing about this show was I got really close with my family. I mean, I was seeing them probably once or twice every three months. This show, I saw them like once or twice every week and it just brought us a lot closer together” (“Today,” NBC, 4/22).
CHARITY STRIPE: Passes from Colts QB ANDREW LUCK on Friday were "selling for $1,000 each" at a fundraiser benefiting the Indiana Univ. Simon Cancer Center. Organizers estimate that they "netted more than" $650,000 with a "first-time event called the Chuckstrong Tailgate Gala." With donations from the event, including $24,000 from Luck’s passes, organizers said that the campaign "has netted more than $1.1 million for cancer research" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 4/21)....Phillies SS JIMMY ROLLINS and the Saint Francis Veterinary Center “officially opened the Rollins Center for Animal Rehabilitation, a state-of-the-art rehabilitation and pain management center for animals” (NJ.com, 4/20)....Former NFLer TEDY BRUSCHI on Saturday attended the opening party for the new Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown, Mass. Bruschi is a Spaulding trustee (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/22).
NAMES: Former Dodgers Owner FRANK MCCOURT and his ex-wife, JAMIE, have "returned to court to fight over their divorce settlement." Jamie McCourt is asking a California Superior Court judge to set aside the settlement that paid her $131M plus a share of the couple’s residences "in exchange for giving up her claim that she co-owned the team" (N.Y. POST, 4/21)....Former Bills equipment manager DAVE HOJNOWSKI last Thursday filed a federal lawsuit against the team, claiming that he was “fired, not retired, and that his age -- he’s 54 -- was a key factor in the Bills’ decision to let him go” (BUFFALO NEWS, 4/21)....Former MLBer GREG MADDUX last month sold his 8,404-square-foot Las Vegas mansion “for almost” $1.9M, approximately 20% below the $2.35M he paid to buy it in ’96 (VEGASINC.com, 4/20).
IN MEMORY: Hendrick Motorsports was “shaken by the news Friday that the MIT officer killed during the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was the brother of ANDREW COLLIER, a machinist in its engine shop” (AP, 4/19).