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Sunday, August 3, 3:00pm ET
Weekend Rap .... Latest News .... Circling The Wagons
Former Sabres Owner Tom Golisano "is about to enter the race to buy" the Bills, as he "plans to make an offer" early this week, according to sources. He "would be the fourth bidder for the NFL franchise." Sources said that the estate of late Bills Owner Ralph Wilson Jr. "wants to create more competition and will welcome a Golisano bid even though it will arrive up to six days after the deadline" (N.Y. POST, 8/2).
Meanwhile, Jon Bon Jovi "broke his silence" about his Toronto-based group's bid, writing in a letter to fans he wanted "to clarify our intentions to the fans of the team and people of Buffalo." Bon Jovi: "I know how much the Bills mean to the people of this region. So I want you to hear this from me: I'm not risking it all to let you down" (BUFFALO NEWS, 8/3).
Yesterday's Manchester United-Real Madrid friendly at Michigan Stadium drew a crowd of 109,318, "the most ever to watch a soccer game" in the U.S. (DETROIT NEWS, 8/3). ManU D Michael Keane said, "Obviously, it is the biggest crowd I've ever played in front of, and it is for a friendly in the States. I've always heard they don't care for our football, but there were 109,000 people out there. That's pretty crazy anywhere in the world" (ESPNFC.com, 8/2).
Several other European teams played matches in the U.S. yesterday as part of the Guinness Int'l Champions Cup:
- Liverpool-AC Milan at Bank of America Stadium drew a crowd of 66,000 (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/3).
- Olympiakos-Manchester City saw a crowd of 34,047 at TCF Bank Stadium (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 8/3).
- Inter Milan-AS Roma played in front of 12,169 fans at Lincoln Financial Field (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/3).
Levi's Stadium held its first event with yesterday's Sounders-Earthquakes match, and there "are a lot of kinks that need to be worked out" before the 49ers open play at the facility. The stadium's Wi-Fi "crashed in the press box" and the TVs "went out for a long stretch." Some ticket buyers who had "tried to use the Levi's Stadium phone app to buy parking passes before the game were unsuccessful." The sound system was "muddied and roundly panned," while will-call windows and security lines "were jammed before game time." Also, fans experienced "complete and total, Candlestick-esque stopped traffic" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/3). The crowd for the MLS match "filled two-thirds of the 70,000-seat stadium" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 8/3).
Microsoft and the NFL tonight at the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, will debut new specially designed Surface tablets that will be used on the sidelines, representing a significant advancement of the league's in-game use of digital technology. The tablets will be used for play review with digital photographs, with the photos having the ability to be tagged, expanded or shrunk, or affixed with written notes using a telestrator. The devices, numbering 25 per team, will be locked out of any other functions and will not be accessible to team personnel outside of gameday.
The digital color photos expand well beyond the binders of printed black-and-white play photographs traditionally used on the sidelines. The tablets themselves will have custom protective cases and tougher screens designed to withstand outdoor elements. The digital photo effort has been under development since Microsoft and the NFL signed their broad-based technology partnership in May ’13, and will continue into the regular season.
A crowd of about 20,000 attended yesterday's Pro Football HOF induction ceremony at Canton's Fawcett Stadium, as "a sea of Bills jerseys -- roughly half the crowd" -- was on hand to see Andre Reed. One of the "biggest cheers of the night" came when HOFer Jim Kelly, battling cancer, was introduced. The crowd "gave Kelly a 60-second standing ovation," and he later "threw a pass to Reed onstage" (BUFFALO NEWS, 8/3). Also inducted were Michael Strahan, Derrick Brooks, Ray Guy, Claude Humphrey, Walter Jones and Aeneas Williams. Strahan's speech "closed the ceremony that ended just before midnight -- nearly two hours later than scheduled" (AP, 8/3).
Meanwhile, the HOF announced a "proposed change to its selection process that would take the selection of contributors out of the hands of its 46-member selection committee made up of media members and put that in the hands of a contributors committee in the future" (CANTON REPOSITORY, 8/2). This is "good news for the Hall of Fame hopes of contributors who have been voted down recently," including former 49ers Owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., late Browns and Ravens Owner Art Modell and former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 8/1).
The Patriots "held their annual in-stadium training camp practice for season ticket holders and Foxborough residents on Friday night, though the number of fans on hand swelled to over 20,000 when the decision was made to let those who had crowded onto the plaza in front of the Hall at Patriot Place for Ty Law’s induction ceremony into Gillette Stadium as well" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/2).
Several other NFL teams held open practices this weekend:
- The Redskins' Fan Appreciation Day drew "nearly 21,000 fans" to Bon Secours Training Center in Richmond yesterday (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 8/2).
- The Chargers' annual FanFest yesterday drew a "record" crowd of 18,000 to Qualcomm Stadium (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/3).
- The Falcons' seventh annual Friday Night Lights event drew 12,316 fans to Archer High School's football field (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 8/2).
USA Basketball officials said that the court at Thomas & Mack Center during an exhibition Friday "was safe and the space from the basket stanchion to the baseline was adequate," and that the injury to Pacers F Paul George was "a matter of bad luck." A USA Basketball spokesperson said, "We’ve been playing on this court since 2006 without incident. We’ve never had a serious injury before Friday" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 8/2).
Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird in a statement said, "We still support USA Basketball and believe in the NBA's goals of exposing our game, our teams and players worldwide. This is an extremely unfortunate injury that occurred on a highly-visible stage, but could also have occurred anytime, anywhere" (Pacers).
NBA Kings Managing Partner Vivek Ranadive and his partners "are in discussions to expand their footprint in the region by buying" USL Pro club Sacramento Republic FC. A source said that there "is no agreement in place yet between the Kings and the Republic, but the Kings owners are interested in the idea of investing in the franchise and elevating it" to MLS. Kings President Chris Granger this week "will travel to Portland to meet with MLS officials along with" Republic President & Founder Warren Smith. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson "is also expected to attend the meeting, scheduled for Wednesday" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 8/3).
Banned Clippers Owner Donald Sterling is profiled in a front-page piece in today's L.A. TIMES. Fenno, Christensen & Rainey write Sterling's "business savvy, intermittent charm and charitable contributions had insulated him from the consequences of his eccentric behavior" for decades. Sterling had "worked hard to create his own reality, spending millions on newspaper ads promoting his real estate empire, his charity work and himself -- even as his Clippers were perennial losers and he was accused in lawsuits of discriminating against minority tenants whose rent payments helped make him rich." Former NHL Kings Owner and longtime Sterling friend Bruce McNall said, "He created a world of his own for whatever reasons, and has lived in that world" (L.A. TIMES, 8/3).
The Women’s Sports Foundation on Friday announced the collective contribution of over $2M from NBC Sports Group, ESPN and Fox Sports. The funding will help drive the foundation’s national efforts to close the 1.4 million participation gap in athletic opportunities for high school and collegiate women, provide grants to amateur and professional athletes and sustain the foundation’s commitment to the health and future success of girls across the U.S. (WSF).
Former Braves broadcaster Pete Van Wieren died yesterday at 69 following "a long battle with cancer." Funeral arrangements have not been determined, but it will "be a private service" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 8/3).
The Indians yesterday unveiled a statue of former MLBer Jim Thome outside Heritage Park at Progressive Field. As part of the ceremony, Thome officially announced his retirement (CLEVELAND.com, 8/2).
A's P Jon Lester "sent a farewell message to Red Sox Nation through a full-page ad" today's Boston Globe after being moved at the MLB trade deadline (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/3).
"The Tour's drug policy and way of handling situations like this is a complete joke (and) the opposite of what we have in other major sports, starting with transparency" – The N.Y. Daily News' Mike Lupica, on how the PGA Tour has dealt with Dustin Johnson's leave of absence ("The Sports Reporters," ESPN, 8/3).
"The success, or lack of success, of conference networks, depending how you look at things, may lead to future expansion" – Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman, on how conference TV networks might influence future realignment (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/2).
"For the sake of the NFL, and more importantly for the sake of those women, and all others and all of us in a country in which this is so much more than a mere sports league, it is necessary, Mr. Goodell, for you to now resign as its commissioner" – ESPN's Keith Olbermann, in response to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's defense of the two-game suspension for Ravens RB Ray Rice (“Olbermann,” ESPN2, 8/2).
"I give them disclosures, and one of them is that bronze teeth never look right" – Pro Football HOF sculptor Blair Buswell, on his advice to inductees before he creates their busts. However, he made an exception for Michael Strahan, who is known for the gap between his front teeth (NJ.com, 8/3).
"I would like to see us play whatever we and they want to play here. I think this course can hold anything on the LPGA schedule" – LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan, on his desire to hold future tour events at Caves Valley Golf Club after the success of the inaugural Int'l Crown (Baltimore SUN, 8/3).
"The A’s are primed to have significant playoff games at home. Will the toilets flush at their ballpark?" – The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo, in today's MLB column (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/3).
U.S. astronaut Barry Wilmore "had NASA arrange to provide the new SEC Network" at the Int'l Space Station for his journey into space next month. Wilmore will travel to the space station with "two Russian cosmonauts," and the crew "will return to Earth in March 2015" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 8/3).
The MIAMI HERALD's Jacob Feldman notes with fewer open dates on their schedules and the College Football Playoff system "discouraging cupcake games, major football powers are shying away from scheduling undermanned Football Championship Subdivision schools." The balance of power in college football "will follow the money," and it "might take competitive balance with it."
The BOSTON GLOBE's Mark Arsenault writes the dozen or so venues that were built for the '96 Summer Games in greater Atlanta "hold lessons for Boston -- of what worked and what can go wrong -- as the city flirts with a bid" for the '24 Summer Games. Olympic legacies "can include leftover sports venues that become white elephants once the Olympic flame is put out."
- Fox Sports' Michael Strahan "still in spotlight" amid his Pro Football HOF induction.
- Why the Broncos' Pat Bowlen "clearly has been a Hall of Fame-caliber contributor."
- Have college athletics become "distorted by the temptations of the marketplace?"
- The Field of Dreams remains "accessible to a public that has turned it into a shrine."
- Jets DL Leger Douzable has "spent the last four years preparing" for a media job.
- Catching up with the "legendary radio voice" of the Bills for 37 years, Van Miller.
- Ex-Celtics players see Boston's dubious legacy of race relations "in context of history."
Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien: "Pete will be throwing one or two back with Skip tonight. Heaven now has the best broadcast team in baseball."
Visa Senior VP/Global Sponsorship Marketing Ricardo Fort: "I've been to many, but this one is one of the best. @LevisStadium"
NFL.com's Gil Brandt: "LA looking like a solid front-runner for 2015 NFL Draft."
Baton Rouge Advocate Ross Dellenger: "Miles on new playoff: 'It's what the American people wanted.' #LSU"
Washington Post's Dan Steinberg: "Dan Snyder bought 10 'Keep the Name' t-shirts from a fan in Richmond."
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Hit The Ground Running: The Week Ahead....
THE DAILY’s Week Ahead: Aug. 4-10
• ATP/WTA Tour Rogers Cup presented by National Bank begins (Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series event) - Toronto (ATP) and Montreal (WTA)
• Season debut of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” (featuring the Falcons)
• Basketball Without Borders Africa begins - Johannesburg, South Africa
• Class A Northwest League All-Star Game - Eugene, Ore.
• Reds scheduled to unveil the '15 MLB All-Star Game logo
• Outdoor Retailer Summer Market begins - Salt Lake City
• NCAA expected to vote on a new governance structure
• PGA Championship begins - Louisville
• Web.com Tour Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper begins - Springfield, Mo.
• Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft begins - Grand Rapids, Mich.
• LeBron James’ homecoming event - Akron, Ohio
• Nevada Boxing HOF induction ceremony - Las Vegas
• NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 - Watkins Glen, N.Y.
• NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 - Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Note: Events are subject to change. Information about upcoming events can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.