SBD/September 5, 2013/NFL Season Preview

NFL Names In The News

NBC Sports analyst and former Chiefs GM SCOTT PIOLI in a special for THE MMQB wrote of "natural internal divide between football and business" in NFL front offices. Pioli: "I have witnessed friends deal with this dynamic that fosters internal politicking and reveals insecurities on both sides of an organization. The football side creates a constant drain on an owner's finances. We are talking expenses." People on the business side very often "have similar backgrounds to the owner." They speak "in a language much more familiar to the owner." Often the two sides are "trying to poke one another in the eye or win favor in the eyes of the owner behind closed doors." The relationship "between business and football is one of interdependence and the two sides truly need one another in today's NFL" (MMQB.SI.com, 9/4).

ANIMAL PLANET: Thirteen Panthers players, "along with a few cheerleaders and coaches, are featured in a Humane Society of Charlotte calendar" that goes on sale tomorrow. Some players "posed with their personal pets and others with shelter animals in need of adoption." The idea came from Panthers coach RON RIVERA's wife, STEPHANIE, who "pitched it to the Humane Society." She then "recruited her husband's support, and he gets credit for finding players to pose with the pets." The project is not technically an official Panthers charity effort, but a "matter of Ron and Stephanie Rivera looking to give their own time and money to help out local charities" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/5).

BITE OUT OF THE BIG APPLE: The Vince Lombardi Trophy yesterday was on display on the "Huddle Shuttle" in N.Y., which is a "specially designed truck that will feature Giants and Jets items as well as Lombardi memorabilia." The truck will make "several stops over the next five months in all five New York City boroughs as well as select spots in northern New Jersey as the league prepares" for Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. The specific stops for the shuttle "are expected to be announced next week" (NORTHJERSEY.com, 9/4). The trophy yesterday at Tiffany & Co. in Manhattan was "transferred gingerly to a 42-foot-long gooseneck trailer." For a league that has "mastered the art of the mega production, an overlarge silver helmet rested atop the cab" of the shuttle (NJ.com, 9/5).

NAMES: An SI.com survey of 12 NFL GMs showed that Patriots coach BILL BELICHICK and Ravens GM OZZIE NEWSOME are the "best head coach and best general manager" in the league. The GMs who participated "were promised anonymity and could not vote for anyone on their own teams." Belichick "received nine of the 12 votes for best coach," while Newsome "also got nine votes" (SI.com, 9/4)....In Milwaukee, Bob McGinn writes under the header, "TED THOMPSON Sticks To Blueprint In Building Packers' Roster." The Packers' GM for the seventh consecutive year "has overseen a process that resulted in about 25% turnover from a year ago" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/5)....In Baltimore, Nelson Coffin profiles Ravens VP/Stadium Operations ROY SOMMERHOF, noting he is a West Towson, Md., resident who majored in sports management “at tiny St. Thomas University in Florida after graduating from Towson High in 1975.” Ravens President DICK CASS said Sommerhof is “widely respected as one of the best stadium operators in the league” (Baltimore SUN, 9/5)....NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL yesterday visited Under Armour's Baltimore HQs (Baltimore SUN, 9/5).
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