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Volume 24 No. 132
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Names In The News

ESPN N.Y.'s Ian O'Connor noted NFL Giants VP/Player Evaluation CHRIS MARA "delayed his commute to work" yesterday to watch the announcements of the Academy Awards nominations to see if his daughter ROONEY MARA made the list for the best actress category. Rooney Mara was nominated for her role in "THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO," and Chris Mara said, "I thought she was on the bubble because the category was so tough this year. It was a very tough role for her, and a lot of hard work went into it, so this is her Super Bowl." Chris Mara "missed the Giants' stunning playoff victory in Green Bay to be with his daughter at the Golden Globes, but there's no conflict this time around" with the Super Bowl. He will be "ducking out of the scouting combine next month to get to Hollywood in time to see" if his daughter is awarded an Oscar (, 1/24).

HOOTING FOR A COMMISSIONER: In Tulsa, Dave Sittler writes the next Big 12 commissioner "should be the current CEO at Hooters." Sittler: "Suggesting the boss of Hooters was more than just an attention-getter." Hooters President & CEO TERRANCE MARKS "finished second when the Pac-12 conference hired its new commissioner in March 2009." Marks was "President of Coca-Cola's North America division when he became a finalist for the Pac-12 job that eventually went to LARRY SCOTT." Sittler writes if Marks was "good enough to finish runner-up to Scott out of a strong field of candidates, it's at least worth a phone call to see if he'd still like to lead a BCS conference" (TULSA WORLD, 1/25).

SUPER WEEKEND OF SUPER CARS: The '12 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee announced yesterday that the Super Celebration Sites, along with "key locations around the city, will be hosting Super Cars during Super Bowl weekend." The Super Cars program will "showcase 33 Indy Cars, with 32 cars representing each NFL franchise team and one car representing Super Bowl XLVI." The Super Bowl Host Committee, partnering with Indy Racing Experience, will "unveil the cars on Friday along Meridian Street just south of Monument Circle" (, 1/24).

NAMES: Angels Owner ARTE MORENO has been named the '11 Sports Exec of the Year by the L.A. Sports Council. Moreno will be presented his award during the seventh annual L.A. Sports Awards on March 15 at Club Nokia at L.A. Live. The awards show will be televised by FS West (, 1/24)....Bobcats Owner MICHAEL JORDAN and his Cornerstone Restaurant Group are "teaming up with Urbanbelly founder BILL KIM and his wife, YVONNE CADIZ KIM, for a new restaurant called Belly Q. It is set to open in the spring in Chicago (, 1/24)....AC/DC lead singer BRIAN JOHNSON is scheduled to make his Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype debut in this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona. Instead of finding sponsors for his car, Johnson and his team are “raising funds for Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Austin Hatcher Foundation by allowing fans the opportunity to help raise $1 million for families affected by pediatric cancer.” The fundraiser is called “Highway to Help” (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 1/24)....The Penguins on March 7 will unveil a bronze statue of co-Owner & Chair MARIO LEMIEUX outside Consol Energy Center. The sculptor for the statue is BRUCE WOLFE (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 1/25)....Lemieux was seen “taking in his son’s youth hockey tournament" in Foxboro, Mass., then "chowing on filet mignon with other hockey dads" at Sky Restaurant in nearby Norwood. Also, Ohio State Univ. football coach URBAN MEYER and former NFLer MIKE VRABEL dined at La Scala in Randolph, Mass. Meanwhile, Patriots President JONATHAN KRAFT joined the Combined Jewish Philanthropies in honoring real estate developer RON DRUKER at the Four Seasons (BOSTON HERALD, 1/25).