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Volume 24 No. 158

People and Pop Culture

The season debut of Comedy Central’s “South Park” last night took on the concussion issue in sports, with the broadcast beginning with the boys watching a football game on TV. During the game, a player is knocked out after returning a kickoff. Randy Marsh, Stan’s father, jumped up from the couch and said, “Did you see that hit!? Boom! That was a great hit, boys. Remember that at practice tomorrow.” NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL later appeared in the broadcast booth, and one of the announcers said, “Commissioner, a lot of hoopla about concussions this year in the NFL. How’s the league handling all that?” Goodell: “There certainly are interesting statistics coming out, Dan, and we are deeply concerned and waiting to see if there’s really any direct correlation between football and head trauma.” At this point in the game, the broadcasters noted “some of the NFL alumni are taking the field.” One former player had his pants down around his ankles as he walked onto the field, while another player was “baking an imaginary cake.”

Goodell received the South Park treatment along-
side show regular Randy Marsh 

CHANGING THE GAME: Randy later addressed the PTA council about its decision to eliminate kickoffs in the boys’ football league because of concussion concerns. Randy sarcastically said the players “should all wear bras and instead of helmets, they should wear little tinfoil hats.” After one parent asked how the bras and tinfoil hats would make the game safer, Randy said, “Oh, you’re all not getting it. While we’re at it, we’ll have a balloon instead of a ball and whoever catches the balloon tries to run while all the other players hug.” The players will “love it, a sport where safety is all that matters. How about we call it Sarcastaball?” The PTA unwittingly accepts the “proposal” and Randy becomes the coach of the town’s Sarcastaball team. After addressing Congress and helping to make Sarcastaball a nationwide sport, Goodell in a press conference said, “I am so thrilled to see our nation’s youth embrace Sarcastaball over traditional football. Oh, but why stop there. Since football is so barbaric we should change too. So let’s give a big welcome to the new coach of the Denver Broncos, Randy Marsh.” The NFL then changed its name to the “National Sarcastaball League.”

DAMAGE DONE: Randy appeared on CBS Sports Network’s “Rome” to talk about the league, and host JIM ROME said, “First off, thanks for taking a sport that we all love and turning into a sarcastic nightmare. Way to go!” Marsh: “Thanks Jim, because it’s totally what I intended. When I came up with the idea I was sure it was going to end up like this.” Sharon Marsh, Randy’s wife, finally confronted Randy about his sarcasm and said, “Are you unable to stop being sarcastic? … I think this sport is doing something to your brain.” After a brain scan, the doctor told Randy there was “permanent damage” and he was unaware of how to repair it because “there just isn’t enough research on how sarcasm affects the brain” (“South Park,” Comedy Central, 9/26).

The Magic named MICHAEL ARCIERI Dir of Basketball Administration, GEORGE RODMAN Basketball Operations Manager, HAROLD ELLIS Head of Pro Scouting, BRIAN WRIGHT Scouting/Player Development Manager, ZACH GUTHRIE Manager of Advanced Scouting, ADAM GLESSNER and MATT HILL Video Analyst/Opposition, BRAD JONES Video Analyst/Personnel and PHIL JABOUR, PROSPER KARANGWA, ANTHONY PARKER, SHAWN MCCULLION and MARTI ARTIGAS Scouts (, 9/26).

EXECS: Pirates GM NEAL HUNTINGTON and Assistant GMs KYLE STARK and GREG SMITH “will return for the 2013 season” (, 9/26)….The Black Coaches & Administrators organization named Notre Dame women’s basketball associate head coach CAROL OWENS BOD President (BCA)….MiLB named SEAN BROWN Dir of Finance & Accounting. Brown previously was lead auditor for MiLB while with St. Petersburg-based accounting firm Gregory, Sharer & Stuart (MiLB)….The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency named former Olympian EDWIN MOSES BOD Chair. Founding USADA BOD member DR. JEAN FOURCROY and former Olympian ANNETTE SALMEEN are leaving the BOD because of term limits. Joining the BOD are DR. CHERI BLAUWET, ROBERT RASKOPF and DR. KEN WRIGHT (AP, 9/26)….Cleveland Golf/Srixon CEO GREG HOPKINS “resigned his position” Tuesday, effective immediately. Hopkins was at the helm of the company since June ’97 (, 9/26)….Utah Valley Univ. promoted Assistant AD/Branding & Development JARED SUMSION to Associate AD/External Operations (UVU).

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In N.Y., Bagli & Berger profile Barclays Center developer and Nets minority Owner BRUCE RATNER, who on Friday will “find some measure of vindication as the glass-and-rusted-steel home of the rechristened Brooklyn Nets ... opens with a week of concerts by JAY-Z.” Ratner "may portray himself as a reluctant developer, but he will do what is necessary to get a deal done.” Since the inception of the Atlantic Yards project in '03, Ratner has “revised his plans and timelines so often that critics say the whole thing amounts to an enormous bait and switch.” But the project is "far from over" as plans call for "15 residential towers over the next 25 years and, possibly, an office building or hotel” (N.Y. TIMES, 9/27)

SHAKEN UP: In N.Y., Jeff Klein writes the lawsuit brought by the family of late NHLer DEREK BOOGAARD against the NHLPA "could lead to some novel and tumultuous territory for the sport.” The lawsuit contains “an array of serious charges that could be explored in the course of litigation or in lawsuits to come.” The lawsuit alleges that the Wild and Rangers, the two teams for which he "served as a designated fighter, contributed to Boogaard’s death.” It said that doctors for the two teams “repeatedly prescribed painkillers and other drugs to Boogaard, even after his addiction to those very kinds of drugs was known.” The family's lawyer could seek to take depositions from “officials from the league, the Rangers, the Wild and the substance-abuse program Boogaard was in when he died” (N.Y. TIMES, 9/27).

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Orioles Owner PETER ANGELOS has “given more than $1.2 million to Priorities USA and other super PACS” that support PRESIDENT OBAMA’s re-election campaign. Angelos said, “I’ve never met the president. What’s driving me is the need to re-elect the president and a Democratic Congress. Otherwise, politically, we’re going nowhere” (N.Y. TIMES, 9/27). Golf HOFer JACK NICKLAUS “enthusiastically endorsed” MITT ROMNEY yesterday during a campaign stop in Columbus, Ohio (, 9/26).

ENTERING THE RING:’s Dan Rafael reported six of the nine members of Team USA men's boxing team “have signed with manager AL HAYMON in recent weeks.” None of the six Olympians “has a deal yet with a promoter,” but it is “likely that most, if not all, will work with Golden Boy Promotions, which is involved with most of Haymon’s top clients.” Golden Boy and sister networks Showtime and CBS “announced a deal under which fighters from the Games would make their pro debuts on CBS on a telecast produced by Showtime in the fall.” Haymon’s newly signed Olympians “almost surely will be part of those cards” (, 9/26).

NAMES: Wake Forest announced that alum and IMG College President BEN SUTTON and his family will “make a leadership gift to the university to launch a major health and wellness initiative on campus.” The gift marks the “second largest ever received from an alumnus” and will be used for the “renovation of the historic Reynolds Gym” (, 9/24)….Rangers RF NELSON CRUZ “purchased an all-terrain apparatus that he will donate to the fire service” in his hometown of San Francisco de Macoris in the Dominican Republic (, 9/25)….The Falcons yesterday announced that they will be the presenting sponsor of the ’12 Black College Football HOF Enshrinement Ceremony (Falcons)….Pro Football HOFer DEION SANDERS “took batting practice” before yesterday’s Blue Jays-Orioles game and he “hit several balls deep into the outfield” (, 9/26)….Discovery Channel’s “MythBusters” taped an episode at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week that will air next spring (, 9/26).

Mark your calendars for the 2013 Sports Business Awards ceremony. We will be honoring excellence in sports business on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at the N.Y. Marriott Marquis at Times Square. Plan now to be among the industry’s best, brightest and elite for an evening recognizing the leaders, visionaries and day-to-day practitioners who personify excellence in the business of sport.

Information on the entry process for the 2013 Sports Business Awards will be on our website -- -- beginning Monday, Nov. 5. The deadline to submit your entry is Friday, Jan. 11. Questions on submitting an entry can be directed to Laurie Garrison at (704) 973-1331 or