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With Super Bowl XLVIII just three days away, THE DAILY offers a look at many of the surrounding events in N.Y. and New Jersey leading up to the big game.
MEETING OF THE MINDS: The '14 Business of Sport Forum: Football Edition will be held at Marquee NYC, with attendees including CNBC's JIM CRAMER, Pro Football HOFer and ESPN analyst STEVE YOUNG, Fox Sports President & COO ERIC SHANKS, Under Armour Founder, Chair & CEO KEVIN PLANK and Twitter Head of Sports Partnerships GEOFF REISS (THE DAILY).
PARTY ON: The seventh annual Music Meets Couture event will be held at the Maserati of Manhattan Showroom, with scheduled guests including former NFLer ANDRE REED, Colts RB AHMAD BRADSHAW, Bills QB E.J. MANUEL and Eagles WR DESEAN JACKSON (Creative Edge)....FS1's bash at Time Warner Cable Studios will feature a performance by KINGS OF LEON (TWC)....Pepsi's three-day #PepCity continues with Chiefs RB JAMAAL CHARLES serving food and Saints QB DREW BREES signing autographs (Pepsi)....Roc Nation Sports hosts its Roc Nation Sports Digital Mixer at the 40/40 Club, with the event hosted by Thunder F KEVIN DURANT and with music provided by DJ ROSS ONE (Roc Nation Sports)....The AMC Empire 25 Movie Theater on 42nd St. will show a screening of "DRAFT DAY" tonight at 5:30pm ET, admitting journalists who are credentialed for the Super Bowl (THE DAILY).
ESPN.com's Ashley Fox wrote if the Broncos win Super Bowl XLVIII, Broncos Exec VP/Football Operations JOHN ELWAY "could go down as one of the most brilliant minds in the game." Elway "did not misplace his ego but did what was in the best interest of his franchise, even if it impacted his own legacy as a player." He "picked [Ravens GM OZZIE] NEWSOME's brain after taking the Broncos job." Instead of "worrying about his past, Elway looked to the Broncos' present and future." He "set the culture and the tone" of the organization. Elway said, "I am not worried about my legacy, because I plan on being good at this, too." That is the "force of Elway" (ESPN.com, 1/29). In Orange County, Michael Lev writes, "That the Broncos are making their first appearance in the big game since Elway was their quarterback is no coincidence. He’s leading them again" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 1/30).
THAT'S THE TICKET: East Rutherford Mayor JAMES CASSELLA "may attend the Super Bowl after all" after he "received an offer Tuesday to accompany" Colts Owner JIM IRSAY in Irsay's luxury suite. Cassella "has criticized the NFL and the Super Bowl host committee on several occasions, saying the benefits of the game would be largely felt in Manhattan and not East Rutherford, the commuter town of 9,000 where the game is being held, at MetLife Stadium." He complained that the league "hadn't posted Super Bowl signs in his town" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/30).
GROUP ADDED TO LAWSUIT: A N.Y.-area beer distributorship was added to a group suing the NFL over the Super Bowl XLV seating fiasco. To date, the named plaintiffs in the two lawsuits have been individuals. But earlier this week, Phoenix Beverages, Inc., one of N.Y.'s largest beer distributors, replaced CARRE COVELL as a plaintiff. Queried about the change, plaintiff's counsel MICHAEL AVENATTI wrote in an email, “This is a non event. It is nothing more than a procedural motion to substitute the name of one plaintiff for another.” Asked about Phoenix Beverage, he responded it is one of the "many companies that bought tickets to the Super Bowl.” One of Avenatti’s Super Bowl seating cases, Simms v. NFL, was denied class certification, and is proceeding with nine individual plaintiffs. The case the N.Y. beer company was added to is Greco v. NFL, which was filed in March '13, more than two years after the Simms case (Daniel Kaplan, Staff Writer).
SUPER BOWL NAMES: Packers WR RANDALL COBB and former NFLer AHMAN GREEN are among the current and former players who were "invited to make their Broadway debut" in the hit musical "ROCK OF AGES" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 1/30)....Sources said that a number of Broncos on Tuesday, reportedly facing a 1:00am ET curfew, arrived at SoHo club Greenhouse "after 11 p.m. -- but, 'it was such a madhouse ... they bolted after half an hour.'" Broncos coach JOHN FOX was "spotted at Tao Downtown" dining with family members and Fox Sports' JAY GLAZER. Seahawks Exec VP & GM JOHN SCHNEIDER and 40 of his staffers "sat nearby" (N.Y. POST, 1/30)....49ers QB COLIN KAEPERNICK yesterday "was spotted" at PH-D at the Dream Down hotel in N.Y. at 2:00am (N.Y. POST, 1/30).
The 49ers promoted Chief Sales Officer ETHAN CASSON to Chief Revenue Officer. Casson helped spearhead the team’s 20-year, $220M stadium naming-rights deal with Levi’s (49ers)....The Single-A Midwest League Bowling Green Hot Rods named BEN HEMMEN Assistant GM and ANDREW KAPPES Broadcasting & Media Relations Manager. The team also promoted ATLEE MCHEFFEY to Dir of Creative Services (Hot Rods).
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New Virginia Tech AD WHIT BABCOCK will "make $470,000 a year, plus an annual retention bonus of $140,000." He also was "paid a signing bonus of $325,000, and his contract includes performance bonuses for team successes." Virginia Tech Foundation CEO RAY SMOOT, who chaired the school's search committee, said that VT "had more than 50 candidates for the job, interviewed eight and then recommended three finalists to outgoing president CHARLES STEGER and incoming president TIMOTHY SANDS" (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 1/30). Meanwhile, former VT AD JIM WEAVER will "continue to be paid his salary for the next two years as he consults" with Sands on matters related to intercollegiate athletics. Weaver will "earn $469,529 per year, his base salary" (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 1/30).
HE'S A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW: A private party in Manhattan on Tuesday night for outgoing NBA Commissioner DAVID STERN was "attended by past and present league executives and owners who are closest" to him, including USA Basketball Chair JERRY COLANGELO, Big East Commissioner VAL ACKERMAN, NHL Commissioner GARY BETTMAN, Warriors President & COO RICK WELTS and incoming NBA Commissioner ADAM SILVER (SACBEE.com, 1/29). Meanwhile, Mavericks Owner MARK CUBAN "decided to donate $100,000" to the iBelieve Foundation, which "raises money to search for a cure for a rare condition known as Mucopolysacharridosis, MPS II or Hunter syndrome." The $100,000 figure matches the "final fine issued to him" during Stern's tenure (ESPNDALLAS.com, 1/29).
NAMES: Panthers QB CAM NEWTON and 49ers QB COLIN KAEPERNICK will host Cartoon Network’s fourth annual Hall of Game Awards on Feb. 17 (ESPN.com, 1/29)....Grizzlies CEO JASON LEVIEN on Tuesday in N.Y. “plugged Memphis International Airport” to JetBlue execs (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 1/29)....Knicks and NHL Rangers Owner JAMES DOLAN on Tuesday night "celebrated the Knicks' win over the Celtics" with actor ADRIAN GRENIER. The two were spotted at Lower East Side bar Leave Rochelle Out Of It (N.Y. POST, 1/30)....Former Dodgers President PETER O'MALLEY on Monday received the Southern California Sports Broadcasters' Gil Stratton Lifetime Achievement Award (THE DAILY)....Hockey HOFer and Lightning GM STEVE YZERMAN, retired coach CLARE DRAKE and women's ice hockey player FRANCE ST. LOUIS were named to the '14 class of Distinguished Honorees of the Order of Hockey in Canada (FREEP.com, 1/29)....The Reds will induct former MLBers KEN GRIFFEY JR., DAVE PARKER, RON OESTER and the late JAKE BECKLEY into the team’s HOF on Aug. 8-10 (Reds)....Univ. of Oklahoma AD JOE CASTIGLIONE will be honored as the '13-14 recipient of Oklahoma City Univ.'s Abe Lemons/Paul Hansen Award for Sports Excellence (NEWSOK.com, 1/29)....Int'l League Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens broadcaster JIM WEBER this week became the first broadcaster elected to the Int'l League HOF (TOLEDO BLADE, 1/28)....Pro Basketball HOFer DAVID ROBINSON has listed his 8,175 foot home in Shavano Park, Texas, for $3.695M (MYSANANTONIO.com, 1/30).