In London, Matt Lawless reports EPL club West Ham United was "given a surprise mention" on Fox' "The Simpsons." In the seventh episode this season, Bart and Lisa Simpson "are amazed to discover a 'West Ham United' banner as they enter the Bohemian bedroom of new neighbour." The club tweeted: "West Ham United were delighted to be featured in The Simpsons episode 'The Day The Earth Stood Cool'" (London DAILY MAIL, 12/12).
ALL BUSINESS: The Int'l Franchise Association and the NFL will launch the NFL Franchising Boot Camp, an intensive four-day program starting next April at the Univ. of Michigan's Ross School of Business. The program is intended for current and former NFL players and their spouses who are interested in learning about the franchising industry. The camp's keynote speaker will be Panthers Owner JERRY RICHARDSON (NFL).
CAMPUS CONNECTIONS: Univ. of Wisconsin AD BARRY ALVAREZ will "earn $118,500 for returning to the sidelines to coach in the Rose Bowl." A win against Stanford will "mean a $50,000 bonus" (STARTRIBUNE.com, 12/11)….Univ. of Texas football coach MACK BROWN along with Texas A&M coach KEVIN SUMLIN and Univ. of Houston coach TONY LEVINE “will be featured in anti-child sex abuse public service announcements” (AP, 12/11)….The Atlanta Tipoff Club today named former Univ. of Arizona basketball coach LUTE OLSON the winner of the ’12 Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Men’s College Basketball Award (THE DAILY)....The Gonzaga-Oklahoma State men’s basketball game on New Year’s Eve is “looking like a sellout, thanks to” BP Capital Management Chair T. BOONE PICKENS. The OSU alumnus “bought up the remaining 4,000 tickets and will offer them for free to Cowboys fans” (AP, 12/11).
CHARITY STRIPE: Nike co-Founder & Chair PHIL KNIGHT and his wife, PENNY, with a $125M gift to Oregon Health & Science Univ., have made what is believed to be the largest philanthropic investment to advance cardiovascular medicine ever reported in the U.S. (OHSU)....Giants QB ELI MANNING yesterday gave "some cash" to the relief effort for people hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Manning -- a "guest of a fundraiser sponsored by Dunkin' Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation -- donated $25,000 to the cause" (Bergen RECORD, 12/12)....The Patriots yesterday "hosted 250 needy children from Salvation Army and community centers in Mass. and Rhode Island at the team's annual Children's Holiday Party at Gillette Stadium" (BOSTON HERALD, 12/12)....The Orioles yesterday held their annual OriolesREACH holiday party. Eighty students from Morrell Park Elementary-Middle attended the event (Baltimore SUN, 12/12)....Nationals Ps ROSS DETWILER and CRAIG STAMMEN will join Capitals C MATT HENDRICKS, entertainer ILIZA SHLESINGER and singer KELLIE PICKLER on the ’12 USO holiday tour (MLB.com, 12/11)....NFL Panthers LB LUKE KUECHLY yesterday "joined Bank of America staff in raising awareness of child hunger" by "packaging 2,500 backpacks with food for local needy kids as part of Second Harvest Food Bank's backpacks program" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/12)....The Jaguars yesterday had a party for 250 kids to celebrate the $1.25M in grants the team distributed to North Florida nonprofit youth programs in '12 (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 12/12)
NAMES: English FA Chair DAVID BERNSTEIN suggested that soccer player DAVID BECKHAM “could be offered a position at the FA after his playing career ends” (LONDON TIMES, 12/12)….Steelers LB LAMARR WOODLEY has become the fifth new owner in the Professional Bowlers Association, joining Clippers G CHRIS PAUL, actor/comedian KEVIN HART and former NFLers JEROME BETTIS and TERRELL OWENS (PBA)....Celtics coach DOC RIVERS sat in on the Patriots’ final offensive strategy session before the team’s “MNF” game against the Texans (BOSTON HERALD, 12/12)….Giants 3B PABLO SANDOVAL will be a judge in the Miss Universe pageant Dec. 19 in Las Vegas (CSNBAYAREA.com, 12/11)....Rams Owner STAN KROENKE filed a lawsuit against MICHAEL STAENBERG in St. Louis County Circuit Court on Friday, “seeking $20.2 million in connection with” Kroenke’s buyout of “his longtime partner’s interest in the company they built: Overland-based THF Realty” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 12/12)....K.C. City Manager TROY SCHULTE sent a letter “seeking to recoup" $15,000 from POSSE Program and OSSCO BOLTON, who had proposed bringing boxer FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR. to the Gregg Klice Community Center on Saturday for “an anti-violence, youth enrichment program.” Schulte said in the letter that the “check was cashed but the promised event didn’t take place” (K.C. STAR, 12/12).