Names In The News
In San Diego, Kevin Acee reported an estimated crowd of 20,000 attended a public memorial service for former NFLer JUNIOR SEAU at Qualcomm Stadium Friday night. Former Chargers DAN FOUTS, LADAINIAN TOMLINSON and BILLY RAY SMITH, along with former Chargers coach BOBBY ROSS and former NFLer JOHN LYNCH, spoke at the ceremony. Bills LBs KIRK MORRISON and SHAWNE MERRIMAN, who played for the Chargers, and Broncos Exec VP/Football Operations JOHN ELWAY also attended. Following the ceremony, Chargers President DEAN SPANOS announced that Seau's No. 55 had been retired by the team "and won't ever be worn again by a Chargers player" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 5/12).
DESERVED HONOR: Late NASCAR VP/Corporate Communications JIM HUNTER will be inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame this year. Hunter served as Darlington Raceway President from '93-'01 (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/13). In Columbia, Bob Spear writes of Hunter, “He was loyal and compassionate and tough, a teacher and counselor and promoter, one of the rare who influenced so many in a positive way. ... He was Darlington.” Spear: “If Jim Hunter had not come along at the pivotal point in the raceway’s history, stock-car racing’s first super-speedway -- which staged the first Southern 500 in 1950 -- would almost certainly be gone with the wind” (Columbia STATE, 5/14).
NAMES: Former NFLer JASON TAYLOR was recognized Friday night at the Orange Bowl Impact and Excellence awards for his charitable impact in the South Florida community. His foundation’s work with "other charitable organizations, as well as his Jason Taylor Reading Room, earned him the Orange Bowl Keith Tribble Impact Award.” Taylor was one of 11 honorees (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 5/12)....Former Jaguars Owners WAYNE and DELORES WEAVER made a $500,000 donation to support St. Vincent’s HealthCare’s newest hospital. Their “challenge for other donors to contribute matching funds brought in almost $1.2 million in additional funds” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 5/12)....The NBA fined Hawks co-Owner MICHAEL GEARON JR. $35,000 “for public criticism of officials and negative comments" about Celtics F KEVIN GARNETT (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 5/13)....Thunder PA announcer JIM MILLER was arrested Thursday night "on three felony counts of lewd or indecent acts with a child under 16.” Thunder VP DAN MAHONEY sent out a statement that read in part, “Due to the allegations and criminal case against him ... Mr. Miller has been removed from his duties as Thunder PA announcer” (NEWS9.com, 5/10).…Under Armour Chair, President & CEO KEVIN PLANK bought Sagmore Farm five years ago and “on Saturday, he hopes Tiger Walk will be the first horse from his Sagamore revival to start in the Preakness” (Baltimore SUN, 5/14).…Tennis player ROGER FEDERER yesterday received a framed “MEN IN BLACK” suit from actor WILL SMITH. Smith “is in Europe doing press for his new film, ‘MEN IN BLACK 3,’" and watched the finals of the Madrid Open with his wife, JADA. After the match, Smith "spoke to the crowd in surprisingly-good Spanish, then brought out a framed costume from the movie as a gift to Federer” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/13).