SBD/May 16, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

Lalas would study Shakespeare on flights in order to complete his requirements
ESPN soccer analyst ALEXI LALAS on Sunday will "don a black cap and red gown" and graduate from Rutgers Univ., earning a "degree in English with a minor in music, taking a ridiculous workload -- 12 classes and 36 credits -- over 10 months to get it done." Lalas would "study Shakespeare at 37,000 feet during business trips," and would "do homework for a geology or personal finance class at the ESPN studios, during breaks from his day job." Lalas "even had an online chat with his music professor -- about diatonic scales, of all things -- on location during the U.S.-Mexico match last month in Arizona." Lalas said, "It's the hardest thing I've ever done. ... Rutgers gave me so many opportunities. ... I'm proud that not only I'm graduating, but I'm graduating from Rutgers" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 5/16).

AYE AYE, CAPTAIN: Yankees Dir of Communications & Media Relations JASON ZILLO is the "point man" for opposing teams' retirement ceremonies for Yankees SS DEREK JETER during his final MLB season. Zillo had the same responsibilities last year with P MARIANO RIVERA, whose events "required extensive planning." But with Jeter, Zillo "simply informs the clubs that he prefers a more understated approach." His "one stipulation is that the ceremony end 15 minutes before the first pitch so Jeter can prepare for the game." The Mets on Thursday held a news conference before their game against the Yankees in which COO JEFF WILPON "presented Jeter with a ceramic mosaic made of subway tiles with his No. 2 in the middle" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/16).

DOING THE WAVE: In Baton Rouge, Scott Kushner profiles Tulane Univ. boosters JILL and AVIE GLAZER, writing their contribution to the school is "as diverse as it is impactful, stretching between endowed scholarships, lucrative fundraisers, beautified landscaping and even a new football stadium." Those projects are the "result of vision and determination." It is "clear the Glazers' role inside the school is invaluable." Tulane's stakeholders, from the "uppermost reaches of the administration down to the current student body, expressed words of gratitude and awe when prompted with the Glazer name" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 5/16).

AFTER REVIEW: The WALL STREET JOURNAL reviews Goodspeed Musicals' "DAMN YANKEES," and writes it "isn't a great musical, but it can be great fun when done really well." Goodspeed has "filled the bill with a snappy staging" in which STEPHEN MARK LUKAS and ANGEL REDA are "wonderfully well cast as Joe Hardy, who sells his soul in order to become a major-league ballplayer, and Lola, the demonic temptress whose job is to keep him from exercising the escape clause in his deal with the devil (DAVID BEACH)." JOE DIPIETRO has "rewritten the original GEORGE ABBOTT-DOUGLASS WALLOP book, turning the once-hapless, now-defunct Washington Senators into the Boston Red Sox, who were having a comparably tough time of it in 1952." The switch is "neatly managed, though it requires a plot twist in the finale that is less than totally convincing" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/16).

CHARITY STRIPE: Broncos QB PEYTON MANNING on Thursday was the featured speaker at the B'nai B'rith sports banquet for the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber "presented Manning with a check for almost $70,000 for his foundation for at-risk children" (AP, 5/16)....The second annual Phillies Charities' Phantastic Auction on Wednesday raised close to $160,000 for charity (Phillies)....Patriots QB TOM BRADY and Best Buddies Founder ANTHONY SHRIVER on Tuesday attended a Houston fundraiser for the organization (BOSTONGLOBE.com, 5/16)....Univ. of Minnesota football coach JERRY KILL has started a new "Chasing Dreams" fund through the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota. Kill and his wife, REBECCA, donated $100,000 and have an "initial goal of raising $500,000" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/16).

NAMES: U.S. figure skater JASON BROWN “signed a representation deal” with Proper Marketing Associates’ SHEP GOLDBERG, who also reps Olympians MICHELLE KWAN and EVAN LYSACEK (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 5/14)....MLB announced Vikings RB ADRIAN PETERSON, Wild LW ZACH PARISE, T’Wolves F KEVIN LOVE, WNBA Lynx F MAYA MOORE, actor JON HAMM and TV personalities ANDREW ZIMMERN and JAMES DENTON will participate in the Taco Bell Legends & Celebrity Softball Games during All-Star Week (MLB.com, 5/15)....Red Sox radio announcer JOE CASTIGLIONE will return to the booth Friday after “missing the past four games.” His wife, JAN, was “injured in a car accident Saturday, suffering a fractured sternum" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/16)....Pro Football HOFer JIM KELLY “went back to the hospital Thursday afternoon to deal with a case of dehydration.” Kelly is “in the middle of a course of chemotherapy and radiation treatments this month, which he’s receiving at Erie County Medical Center” (BUFFALO NEWS, 5/16)....LSU AD JOE ALLEVA was at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday “to spend some time” with Astros GM JEFF LUHNOW. Alleva’s son, JD, is a “regional crosschecker in the Astros’ scouting department” (MLB.com, 5/14).

IN MEMORY: UEFA Club Financial Control Body Chair JEAN-LUC DEHAENE, who had been “diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, died following a fall in France” on Thursday (London TELEGRAPH, 5/16).
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