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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

Heat F LEBRON JAMES last week announced a “potentially groundbreaking” deal with Fenway Sports Management, and MAVERICK CARTER is the “key in making this new alliance work,” according FOX SPORTS' Jason Whitlock, who profiles the LRMR CEO under the header, "Maverick Carter Out To Silence Critics." If “things go right, the deal turns Maverick into a shark, ready to hunt in an ocean that just eight months ago we assumed would drown him.” Carter is the “undistinguished childhood friend LeBron James put in charge of his global-icon aspirations,” but “The Decision” special on ESPN is "all we really know about" him. The sports world “views him as The King's Reach, an incompetent, in-over-his-head jock-sniffer rewarded with an undeserved position of power.” The “sad, comedic caricature of Maverick Carter stands in stark contrast to the confident and smooth-talking LeBron emissary deftly maneuvering around New York” last week. Carter last Monday “huddled” with Believe Entertainment Owners DAN GOODMAN and BILL MASTERSON, discussing the launch of “The LeBrons,” a 10-episode animated cartoon on YouTube. Carter later that day “met with HARVEY SPEVAK, an owner in the Equinox Fitness Club chain.” On Tuesday, he “represented himself and LeBron in meetings with Suite 850, a New York-based group of creative entrepreneurs and brand marketers.” On Wednesday, Carter announced he and James “are going into business with the owners of the Red Sox.” Nike VP/Global Basketball Marketing LYNN MERRITT said, “The transition that Maverick made from ordinary guy in Akron to marketing professional representing LeBron is extremely difficult. There are not a lot of people who can do what Maverick has done.” N.Y.-based marketing company Translation CEO STEVE STOUTE said, “Despite the bumps in the road, what Maverick and LeBron are doing, should be looked at as showing where athletes are going in terms of how their business is handled” (, 4/8).

Under Armour said that Exec VP/Global Brand and President of Int'l MARK DOWLEY is "stepping aside," just two months after he joined the company. Dowley "will become an advisor" to Under Armour and report to Chair, President & CEO KEVIN PLANK, effective May 1 (, 4/8)....The MLS Earthquakes have signed GM of Soccer Operations JOHN DOYLE to a multiyear contract extension (Earthquakes)....Ravens Dir of Player Personnel ERIC DECOSTA has received a "new contract with financial incentives to stay on and become" GM OZZIE NEWSOME's "eventual successor" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/10)....Nicholls State Univ. has named women's basketball coach DOBEE PLAISANCE Senior Woman Administrator (Nicholls State Univ.)....The Big Ten Network has promoted QUENTIN CARTER to Senior Coordinating Producer....Premier Partnerships has named ERIN PROBER Marketing Services Coordinator and CARYN ROSOFF Marketing Services Assistant (THE DAILY).  

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Friday was the Mariners' first home game since longtime broadcaster DAVE NIEHAUS died at 75 from a heart attack, and during a 13-minute pregame tribute, “emotion blanketed” Safeco Field. Fans “stood and applauded for more than a minute” when the video board showed Niehaus’ face for the first time. Seattle rapper MACKLEMORE performed “My Oh My,” a “Niehaus tribute.” RICK RIZZS, KEVIN CREMIN, RON FAIRLY and JAY BUHNER “unveiled a sign above the press box that features a microphone” and reads “Dave Niehaus 1977-2010.” Niehaus’ widow, MARILYN, “threw out the first pitch, flanked by 11 family members” (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/9).

NOT A KODAK MOMENT: In K.C., Mark Davis reported “many of the Chiefs photos” in Arrowhead Stadium “may have to come down.” K.C.-based photographer HANK YOUNG has “sued the Chiefs and five other companies that he said never paid for or sought permission to use his many images of Chiefs games, players, cheerleaders and fans for the remodeled Arrowhead.” Young in the lawsuit contends that the Chiefs “obtained the photographs from Young’s archives ‘under false pretenses’ and unsuccessfully tried to coerce him into handing over his copyrights to the pictures before ending his generation-long gig as Chiefs game-day photographer” (K.C. STAR, 4/9).

INTERNET MANAGER: In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis profiled Marlins manager EDWIN RODRIGUEZ, who runs the website El Dirigente, which is Spanish for "The Manager." Rodriguez in February started the site “in response to numerous inquiries from his native Puerto Rico on various topics related to being a big-league manager.” The site is in Spanish, but he “plans to eventually have an English version.” Rodriguez “taught himself html code after being told it would cost $8,000 to have someone else build a site for him.” Davis noted Rodriguez at one time “had four sites running, all about baseball” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 4/9).

GRASS ROOTS: LSU football coach LES MILES said he could appear on a future episode of on Spike TV's "SOD WARS," which pits two homeowners against each other to determine who has the best yard in the neighborhood using a $10,000 budget. Miles, who infamously ate pieces of grass during the team’s upset of Alabama last season, said, “It was a brainchild of our Sports Information Director. It really started as an April Fool's joke. … What happened is the people from Spike have called and in fact, there's a deal in the works right now today to make that a reality” ("College Football Live," ESPN2, 4/8).

ON THE BIG SCREEN: Nets G JORDAN FARMAR is a "burgeoning actor." Farmar, a member of the Screen Actors Guild, "has appeared in commercials, two episodes of CBS' 'NUMB3RS' and had a memorable scene" in HBO's "ENTOURAGE." Farmar "played himself" in each, but he "wants to branch out." After the Nets' season ends Wednesday, Farmar "eventually will return to L.A.," where he "plans to see if any acting roles are available" (Bergen RECORD, 4/10)...."THE BRADY 6," produced by ESPN and NFL Films, will debut tomorrow at 8:00pm ET on ESPN. The goal of the hour-long documentary is to explain how Patriots QB TOM BRADY "was so badly misjudged" in the '00 NFL Draft, when he fell to the sixth round (BOSTON HERALD, 4/9).

NAMES: Basketball HOFer-elect ARTIS GILMORE Friday said that he plans to invite PRESIDENT OBAMA "to present him for induction in August." However, general protocol "calls for a Hall of Famer to present the new inductee" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/10)....Nets investor JAY-Z "has been fined $50,000 from the NBA for impermissible contact with collegiate players." Jay-Z entered the Univ. of Kentucky men's basketball team's locker room after the team defeated North Carolina in the Elite Eight, and "started shaking hands and snapping pictures with the team." NBA rules "prohibit any team personnel from having contact with players who are not yet entered into the draft" (, 4/9)'s Jon Heyman cited sources as indicating that MLB Exec VP/Baseball Operations JOE TORRE will earn "about $2 million annually, not his pay as manager but not bad." He will be "reporting to the commissioner's office in New York at the beginning but is expected to eventually do the job out of L.A." (, 4/8)....A private plane carrying Cardinals manager TONY LA RUSSA, four players and three other team officials "made a forced landing at Spirit of St. Louis Airport on Thursday after the plane's cabin failed to pressurize." The plane "returned to the airport after climbing no higher than 10,000 feet" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/9)....Nike's Jordan Brand "threw a private dinner on the second floor of The Lion" in N.Y. Thursday "with a handful of editors for a meet-and-greet" with Knicks F CARMELO ANTHONY (N.Y. POST, 4/10)....Colts QB PEYTON MANNING and his wife, ASHLEY, are now the parents of twins named MARSHALL WILLIAMS MANNING and MOSLEY THOMPSON MANNING. The twin boy and girl "were born March 31 in Indianapolis" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 4/9).