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Morning Buzz

NBA Lines Up MLK Day Slate Of Nationally Televised Games
NCAA's Myles Brand Discloses That He Has Pancreatic Cancer
Tiger Woods Speaks At Pre-Inauguration Concert For Obama
Tribune Co. Expected To Announce Winning Cubs Bid This Week

NBA OFFERS SPECIAL MLK DAY LINEUP OF NATIONALLY TELEVISED GAMES

A special Martin Luther King Jr. Day slate of four NBA games will air nationally today, beginning with Nuggets-Rockets at 2:00pm ET on NBA TV. The other three games will air on TNT: Pistons-Grizzlies at 5:30pm, Suns-Celtics at 8:00pm and Cavaliers-Lakers at 10:30pm. Also today, some NBA games will be shown live during primetime in Europe, with up to12 hours of NBA programming airing today in the U.K., France, Italy, Turkey and for the first time Poland (THE DAILY).

Meanwhile, Basketball HOFers Dave Bing and Julius Erving will receive the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award in Memphis as part of the Grizzlies' MLK Day celebration (Grizzlies). 


NCAA PRESIDENT MYLES BRAND DISCLOSES THAT HE HAS PANCREATIC CANCER

NCAA President Myles Brand on Saturday disclosed that he has pancreatic cancer “with a long-term prognosis that is ‘not good.’” In a teleconference at the NCAA convention, Brand said, “I am currently undergoing chemotherapy, and I am receiving excellent care. I will know in the next several months the success of this treatment.” NCAA Exec Committee Chair Michael Adams said that “there are no plans to have Brand relinquish any duties.” There are no immediate plans to search for a successor (AP, 1/18).


TIGER WOODS SPEAKS DURING PRE-INAUGURATION CONCERT AT LINCOLN MEMORIAL

Tiger Woods made a rare foray into the world of politics yesterday, speaking at the Lincoln Memorial as part of a pre-inauguration celebration in honor of Barack Obama. Woods, whose father Earl Woods was in the Special Forces, said as part of his remarks, "I am honored that the military is such an important part, not just of my personal life, but of my professional life as well. The golf tournament we do each year in Washington is a testament to those unsung heroes" (Mult., 1/19).


TRIBUNE CO. EXPECTED TO NAME CUBS BUYERS BY THE MIDDLE OF THIS WEEK

Tribune Co. plans to name a winning bidder for the Cubs "by the middle of the coming week," according to sources involved in the bidding. Tribune has a BOD meeting scheduled for early this week, where execs handling the Cubs sale "plan to review the competing bids and recommend a winning party." Tribune then will "inform the bidders and the different entities in the bankruptcy case about the decision" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/17).


DEPUY MITEK TO SPONSOR PGA TOUR AS AN OFFICIAL HEALTH & FITNESS PROVIDER

By Jon Show, Staff Writer, SportsBusiness Journal

The PGA Tour today will announce a three-year sponsorship with DePuy Mitek, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, to operate the fleet of mobile fitness trailers that travel to every event on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour schedules. DePuy Mitek will serve as an official health and fitness provider and the official mobile health and fitness provider of both tours, filling a similar category vacated by Physiotherapy Associates at the end of ‘08.


ISLANDERS SET TO ANNOUNCE THEY WILL MOVE TRAINING CAMP TO SASKATCHEWAN

The Islanders and Credit Union Centre officials in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, today will announce the team will hold training camp at the arena on September 12-20 and play exhibition games against the Flames and Oilers on September 19 and 20. Islanders Dir of Communications Seth Sylvan: "We haven't officially announced anything yet. Let's just say it will be soon." The team has held its training camp in Moncton, New Brunswick, the past two years (Saskatoon STAR PHOENIX, 1/19).


MEDIA FERVOR SURROUNDS LANCE ARMSTRONG'S RETURN TO CYCLING

Armstrong Returns To Competitive Cycling
Lance Armstrong made his official return to competitive cycling this weekend with a preliminary street race in the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia. Armstrong "started in the front row and received a rousing introduction" from South Australia Premier Mike Rann. The Sunday event drew a crowd of 138,000, "39,000 more spectators" than in '08 (N.Y. TIMES, 1/19).

Armstrong Monday appeared at the Royal Adelaide Hospital on behalf of the Lance Armstrong Foundation and spoke via teleconference to other cancer survivors (L.A. TIMES, 1/19).


MARK CUBAN OFFERS TO DONATE $25,000 TO CHARITY FOLLOWING FINE FROM NBA

The NBA Friday issued a $25,000 fine to Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban for "improper interactions with Denver Nuggets players" after an incident last week involving Nuggets G J.R. Smith. Cuban posted on his blog that he would "donate $25,000 to whatever charity Smith chose" (AP, 1/17).

Cuban, who has argued that he helped diffuse an altercation, Saturday wrote, "In the event I don't hear back from the Nuggets, I'm going to give the money to the Players Association Goals and Dreams Fund in the names of Todd Bertuzzi and Steve Moore … as a reminder of what could have happened and that not every retaliation attempt misses" (BLOGMAVERICK.com, 1/17).


SPEED READS….

Ravens Personnel Dir George Kokinis reportedly "will be offered the job" of Browns GM "and will accept." Kokinis today will meet Browns Owner Randy Lerner for a second interview (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 1/19).

The Jets today are expected to announce that they have hired Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan their new head coach. Ryan is then "expected to be introduced Wednesday at a news conference" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/19).

The Vancouver Board of Parks & Recreation today will consider a proposal to "allow for signs, banners, logos and advertising in city parks" during the '10 Olympics (VANCOUVER SUN, 1/16).

Brazilian officials have signed a protocol to ensure that a single entity, the Olympic Development Authority, will coordinate public services and deliver infrastructure for the 2016 Games should they be awarded to Rio De Janeiro (Rio 2016).

Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban has purchased "about 200 acres in South Dallas," and he said that the team "could soon have a practice facility in that part of town" (DALLASNEWS.com, 1/16).

The NLL Boston Blazers drew a crowd of 9,313 at TD BankNorth Garden Saturday for their inaugural home game against the N.Y. Titans (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/18).


QUICK HITS….

“I don’t think we expect a sellout, but we think that will be the biggest crowd” – Blue Jays VP/Media Relations Howard Starkman, on the U.S.-Canada game in the first round of the World Baseball Classic. Tickets for first-round WBC games go on sale today (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/16).

“Isn’t this a nice problem to have – too many fans” – ATP World Tour player Bob Bryan, on some feeling that the growing attendance at Grand Slam events is compromising the fan experience (USA TODAY, 1/19).

“It’s a billion-dollar company against me, basically. … I can’t beat a billion-dollar company so I’ve got to stand still and just wait” – Suspended Knicks G Stephon Marbury, who is making $20.8M this season, on talks to buyout his contract with the team (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/18).


THIS WEEK IN SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL….

This week’s in-depth examines All-Star Games.

  • Behind the scenes of an Amp commercial shoot with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • NBA owners vote to ease restrictions on liquor advertising.
  • NFL nearing five-year sponsorship deal with Procter & Gamble.
  • This week’s “In The Office” features Meis Architects Partner & Design Dir Dan Meis.

TODAY’S EVENTS….

The Harlem Globetrotters will induct former player Hallie Bryant  into the team’s Legends Ring during halftime of a game at Conseco Fieldhouse at 2:00pm CT.

See a full list of events in THE DAILY’s Week Ahead.


IN OTHER NEWS….

The N.Y. Times Co. BOD today will reportedly meet to approve a deal for Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim Helu, who owns 6.4% of the company, to invest an additional $250M “in the form of 10-year notes with warrants that are convertible into common shares.” An announcement of the deal could come as early as Tuesday (N.Y. TIMES, 1/19).

Venture-capital investment declined 30% from $7.9B to $5.5B in Q4, “its lowest level since 2005, as the financial crisis threatened to cut more funding for start-up companies” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/17).


THE BACK PAGES….

The Morning Buzz offers today’s back page sports covers from some of the nation’s major metropolitan tabloids:

N.Y. Post
N.Y. Daily News
Newsday
Philadelphia Daily News
Boston Herald

FINAL JEOPARDY!

Friday night’s “Final Jeopardy!” category was “Culinary History.” 

“This fruit dessert was created to celebrate Queen Victoria's decades on the British throne.”

Friday’s edition of “Jeopardy” featured the category “College Sports Team Nicknames.”

For $400: “Troy University and USC.”

For $800: “San Jose State and Michigan State.”

For $1200: “Bowling Green and Air Force.”

For $1600: “Colgate and Texas Tech.”

For $2000: “Jackson State and Missouri.”


LAUGH TRACK….

THE MONOLOGUES:

CBS’ David Letterman: “The ‘Late Show’ was recently voted one of New York City's top tourist attractions. Thank you. We come right after the Staten Island landfill and the birthplace of Bernie Madoff. Now, I have some bad news for out-of-towners. Well, maybe you won't be so excited to be out-of-towners when you hear what I have to tell you. The murder rate in New York City has risen 5%. I knew we'd be back! So at some point during your stay here in New York City there's a good chance you'll be saying to a police sketch artist, 'Ah, make the eyes a little beadier.' … Do you have any idea what happened 1991 on this date? The United States attacked Iraq to start the Gulf War. I'm so glad that's all behind us, aren't you? … Happy Birthday to Michelle Obama. Her birthday is tomorrow. I thought this was great: For her birthday, Barack is getting her a new house. ... I don't know how this is going to go but Barack Obama, they're moving in, the kids and everything, into the White House. Also, the mother-in-law is moving in. I thought this was the guy who was going to do away with torture. ... Finally, some good financial news. The federal deficit will ease up now because Dick Cheney has to pay for his own health care. … Out there in Michigan, the Detroit Auto Show opened up. Automakers say they have new products, new attitude, and are starting a new chapter. Yeah, Chapter 11! It’s been a tough year for Detroit. My heart goes out to those folks in Detroit.  Thank God they've got a pretty good football team” (“Late Show,” CBS, 1/16).

NBC’s Jay Leno: “U.S. Airways has a new sign for arriving passengers: ‘One if by land, two if by sea.’ What a frightening story that was. A U.S. Airlines flight had to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River after both engines were taken out by a flock of birds that flew into them. Yet, passengers said it was still not half as terrifying as the cab ride to the airport. … Man, the last jet to go into a nose dive like that in New York was, I guess, Brett Favre, wasn't it? … I tell you though, the danger for the passengers did not end with the crash. The minute they were pulled to safety on the commuter ferry, they got attacked by Somali pirates. ... New York is having a tough time with birds this week. I mean, the planes couldn't handle the geese. The Giants couldn't handle the Eagles. … The black box was located today. Not the one in the plane. The one at the White House that may be able find out what the hell went wrong the past eight years. Did you all see President Bush's farewell address last night?  President Bush said he always did what he thought was right. Far right, but right. … President Bush said he's going to live in Dallas when he leaves the White House and, of course, the community in Dallas is welcoming him. You know, as a President who had a disappointing and horrible year, he'll be named an honorary member of the Dallas Cowboys. … The New York Knicks center, Eddy Curry, is being sued for sexual harassment by his former driver, who claims he tried to solicit gay sex from him. Now, first of all, is it really necessary to specify in the suit that it's gay sex? It's two guys, okay. What other kind of sex is it going to be? I mean, are there a lot of cases where a guy goes, ‘Hey, Bob, what do you say we get it on? But don't try pulling any of that gay sex stuff’” (“The Tonight Show,” NBC, 1/16).

LATE NIGHT LAUGHS:

Friday night’s Top Ten list was “Top Ten Signs Barack Obama is Getting Nervous” (“Late Show,” CBS, 1/16).

10) “New Slogan: ‘Yes we can…or maybe not, it’s hard to say.’”
9) “In moment of confusion, requested a $300[B] bailout from the bailout industry.”
8) “He’s up to not smoking three packs a day.”
7) “Friends say he’s looking frail, shaky and…uh no, that’s McCain.”
6) “He’s so stressed, doctors say he’s developing a Sanjay in his Gupta.”
5) “Been walking around muttering, ‘What the hell have I gotten myself into?’”
4) “Offered Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, $100,000 to buy his old Senate seat back.”
3) “Standing on White House roof screaming, ‘Save us, Superman!’”
2) “Sweating like Bill Clinton when Hillary comes home early.”
1) “He demanded a recount.”

FINAL JEOPARDY….

“What is cherries jubilee?”

For $400: “What are the Trojans?”

For $800: “What are the Spartans?”

For $1200: “What are the Falcons?”

For $1600: “What are the Red Raiders?”

For $2000: “What are the Tigers?”


If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know at:
pbounds@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

The Morning Buzz provides an early update of the news and headlines each Monday through Friday at approximately 9:00am ET. If you would like to sign up for an e-mail alert to the Morning Buzz, go to My Account and personalize your e-mail alert options.

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