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Volume 24 No. 112

Franchises

     New England Blizzard GM Pam Batalis of the women's ABL hopes
to meet this week with Rebecca Lobo and her agent, Kenton Edelin,
about playing for the team (HARTFORD COURANT, 8/27). The ABL
Richmond Rage signed Brazilian Marta Sobral to a two-year
contract.  Sobral will most likely take the place of U.S. Women's
Basketball team member Lisa Leslie (RICHMOND TIMES DISPATCH,
8/27)....In Charlotte, columnist Ron Green notes "second-hand"
information that Hornets Owner George Shinn and Speedway
Motorsports Chair Bruton Smith had a deal for the sale of the
Hornets, but "Shinn nixed it at the 11th hour" (CHARLOTTE
OBSERVER, 8/27)....The Ottawa Rough Riders have until September 9
to raise at least C$1.6M to continue operations (TORONTO SUN,
8/27).

     As the Cardinals begin their ninth season in Phoenix, they
face a tough obstacle to overcome -- "apathy," according to the
ARIZONA REPUBLIC.  Always several "bus-lengths" behind the Suns
in popularity, the Cardinals are in danger of falling behind ASU
football and NHL hockey.  But even if there was no other team in
Phoenix, the Cards would be "facing an uphill fight for the full
attention of the fans."  Joe Gilmartin notes Phoenix is still a
"potential gold mine" for pro football, but "the richest mines
have to be worked with the proper tools" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC,
8/27).
     PURPLE PEOPLE EATERS: In Minneapolis, Patrick Reusse notes
the "theory" that fans "still care intensely about the Vikings
... appears to be losing credibility."  Reusse: "Ticket sales
remain stagnant, yes, but what is more alarming before Sunday's
opener is the lack of Purple-laced conversation" (Minneapolis
STAR TRIBUNE, 8/27).

     The Coyotes unveiled their uniforms at the Hard Rock Cafe in
Phoenix, modeled by  Mike Gartner, Kris King, Dallas Drake and
Dave Manson and rock star Alice Cooper.  The road uniforms for
the former Winnipeg Jets will be black jerseys with the
"abstract" Coyote logo in a trim of maroon, green, and off-white
with black pants which will be worn at all times.  The home
jerseys are white trimmed in black, maroon and green and will
carry the aforementioned logo.  Richard Burke, part-Owner of the
Coyotes, said "the conservative NHL wasn't quite as enthusiastic
as was management about the design."  He added, "It was a
stretch, but they like it now."  Coyotes COO Shawn Hunter said
the club has "two of the sharpest-looking uniforms in all of
sports."  The jerseys will feature a "Goal for Kids" patch on one
shoulder, which marks a continued effort to help needy children,
which began in Winnipeg.  Corporations are asked to make
contributions for each goal by a player that corporation sponsors
(Steve Weston, ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/27).