SBJ/August 8 - 14, 2005/Faces Places

John Genzale: Inside Out

Brian Roberts, a member of the U.S. squash team in last month’s Maccabiah Games, won a team gold medal and an individual bronze. Known as the “Israeli Olympics,” the Games drew 7,000 athletes to Ramat Gan, Israel. The Comcast chairman and CEO won squash silver in 1981, 1985 and 1997. … Philly loves its Flyers. After the NHL settlement, the city caught Flyer-orange fever. Fountains spewed orange water, the Ben Franklin Bridge and Boathouse Row were bathed in orange light. Team game operations manager Mike Wurman coined the slogan “Back where we belong,” Chairman Ed Snider unveiled it and Donald Brashear modeled T-shirts featuring it. Flyers VP/marketing Shawn Tilger said he’s swamped with calls for tickets. … Headliners often close the show, but at Comcast-Spectacor’s annual off-site in Atlantic City, David Stern spoke early so he could attend his league’s annual picnic.

At IAAM: David Orlowski, who with four other principals bolted Ellerbe Becket and took jobs at HOK, played in his new firm’s fourth annual golf tourney, the Chili Dip Invitational at Whiskey Creek, near D.C. Orlowski, ex-chief of sports architecture at EB, was named in a lawsuit with Brad Clark, Michael Clay, Stephen Hotujac and Michael Sabatini. “Through the defections and lawsuit, I knew David was now playing for the other team,” said one observer, “but it hadn’t sunk in until I saw him get on the HOK bus for the Chili Dip.” Orlowski said, “Playing in this tournament feels like getting invited to the Masters.” … Winning foursome: Ted Ferris, CEO, Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority; Rusty Lenners, sales manager, Stage-Right; Troy Hoberg, business development, Hunt Construction; and Michael Heckman, CEO, Midera Corporate Consulting. … Denver-based food service consultant Bill Caruso offered comp bottles of hot “Wild Combustible Atomic” sauce, which shares initials with William Caruso and Associates. … Conference sponsor HOK’s logo was printed on room keys. “Tell them my key didn’t work,” joked Mark Williams of rival HKS.

Guess who crashed Chicago’s National Sports Collectors Convention? O.J. Simpson. He showed up unannounced to sell autographs at a booth bought by his son, Justin, who turned 17 on Saturday and was just 5 when his mother, Nicole Brown Simpson, was stabbed to death. People flocked to the Justin Communications booth before O.J. was asked to leave. Autographs were prohibited. He resumed business at a hotel across the street.

Ron Schneier, speaking at the Sports Executive Leadership Conference at the Broadmoor, left conference bike-riders in the Colorado dust. When he’s not measuring sponsorships as SVP and GM of Nielsen Ventures, which just did a licensing deal with the NFL, he rides his bike or plays lead guitar in rock bands. He’s putting together a new band with Steve Bernstein, the publisher of the Grateful Dead and jam band magazine Relix, and he rides on weekends 10, 20, even 50 miles from his Wilton, Conn., home.

Dick Ebersol interrupted his vacation to announce the contract extension of Bob Costas. On a conference call from his Martha’s Vineyard porch: “Speaking of great journalists, I’m watching Walter Cronkite at age 88 or 89 pull

Matthews is ready to “Stand Up” for football.
away from his dock right now, piloting his sailboat into the harbor. It’s just an amazing site.” Costas said, “Now that Al [Michaels, who chose to stay with ‘MNF’ on ESPN in 2006] apparently is not coming to NBC, I suggest that you grab a canoe and paddle out to Walter and see what he’d like to do about the play by play.” Ebersol said, “You’ve given [Michael] Hiestand [of USA Today] his lead for tomorrow.” Hiestand ran with it and added later, “Man, Ebersol was excited about seeing Cronkite.”

Time Warner chairman and CEO Richard Parsons hosted Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Costacurta of AC Milan when the team was in New York for an exhibition. Time Warner is a licensing and merchandising partner. … The Dave Matthews Band will stand up for the NFL on CBS in a promo campaign featuring the title song of its latest album. “It’s a perfect fit,” said executive producer Tony Petitti. “The band has a multicultural appeal.”

Garden Party: No, not Knicks Stephon Marbury and Allan Houston at MSG but Newsday’s Shaun Powell and “Good Day New York’s” Chris Gailus. A bunch of “never were” news people took to the hardwoods of the hallowed hall for four-on-four games. Jerry Bembry, Chris Broussard and Jon Pessah from ESPN The Magazine played. So did Dave Donovan from Dan Klores, Rob Leslie from SI and Tom Van Riper from the Daily News. Knicks PR director Joe Favorito dislocated the little finger of his left hand. Buddy Brian Stuckelman, VP at the Isiah Thomas-owned Dale and Thomas Popcorn, applied first aid until Favorito called team doctor Lisa Callahan for over-the-phone treatment. … Commentator Al Trautwig’s 14-year-old son, Alex, covered the Tour de France for SI for Kids.

Sadly, original Knickerbocker Sonny Hertzberg passed away. On a brighter note, the Mighty Ducks are thrilled that SVP and CMO Bob Wagner is recovering from brain surgery. He is expected back to work in a matter of weeks. “I’ve talked to him from his home,” said assistant Lori Ortiz. “He sounds wonderful, just like the old Bob.”

Contact John Genzale at

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