Univ. of Alabama football coach NICK SABAN at his postgame press conference after winning the BCS National Championship said that he took his team to see GEORGE LUCAS' “RED TAILS” for motivation. He added that he woud recommend the movie to anybody. Lucas in response issued a statement that read in part, "To have 'Red Tails' and its inspirational message of overcoming adversity, never giving up, self-sacrifice and ultimate teamwork so deeply touch the Alabama team is personally very gratifying." The film opens nationwide Jan. 20 (THE DAILY).
THE HONOREES ARE... The Nat'l Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association has elected NBC Sports and MLB Network's BOB COSTAS and the Washington Post's JOHN FEINSTEIN to its HOF. Costas and Feinstein will be honored at the NSSA Awards Banquet on June, 11 2012 in Salisbury, N.C. The event marks the 50th anniversary of the NSSA HOF. ESPN's DAN SHULMAN, the Nat'l Sportscaster of the Year, and SI's JOE POSNANSKI, the Nat'l Sportswriter of the Year, will also attend along with 103 State Sportscasters and Sportswriters of the Year from throughout the U.S. (Fox Sports)....Colts Owner JIM IRSAY is one of four Indianapolis business leaders set to be inducted into the Central Indiana Business HOF next month. The inductees will be honored at a dinner and awards ceremony Feb. 16 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom (IBJ.com, 1/9).
ALL-STAR SWEEPSTAKES: NASCAR fans have the opportunity to win a role as an extra in Charlotte Motor Speedway's new TV commercial for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race on May 19. Though Friday, fans who visit and "Like" the CMS Facebook page "can enter to win by explaining why they are an all-star and deserve a role in the commercial." The winning entry will join CARL EDWARDS, MARK MARTIN and JUNIOR JOHNSON on set for the shoot, which takes place Jan. 21. The winner also will receive two tickets, two pre-race pit passes and a VIP parking spot for this season's All-Star Race (THATSRACIN.com, 1/6).
NAMES: Former Penn State football coach JOE PATERNO and his wife, SUE, last month gave $100,000 to the university in a donation that was "split between a library and an undergraduate fellows program that bear the family name" (AP, 1/9)....The LOUISVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL profiles Blue Equity Chair & Managing Partner JONATHAN BLUE, who has completed 25-30 triathlons, "usually in the summer and fall." Blue "fills the rest of the year with half-marathons" (LOUISVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/6 issue)....MLB Cardinals P J.C. ROMERO has settled his nearly three-year lawsuit against the makers and distributors of a "supplement he blamed for his 2008 positive drug test." Romero was pitching for the Phillies at the time, and received a 50-game suspension. Romero said he believes "justice is served" and that the resolution "gives closure to the fans" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/10)....Former NFLer JEROME BETTIS, who suffers from asthma, is starring in a new EPA ad "touting the need for new regulations to limit pollution from power plants" (FUELFIX.com, 1/6)….Fan CHRISTOPHER MORRHOUSE, who tossed a banana at Flyers F WAYNE SIMMONDS during a preseason game in Ontario, pleaded guilty yesterday and was fined $200 (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/10)….Yankees 3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ had dinner with his girlfriend, former pro wrestler TORRIE WILSON, at Prime 112 Sunday night, the same Miami restaurant where he used to go with ex-girlfriend CAMERON DIAZ (N.Y. POST, 1/10).