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Volume 24 No. 112

People and Pop Culture

Mets VP/Media Relations JAY HORWITZ in January joined Twitter "at the urging" of COO JEFF WILPON, and after Wilpon gave him no instructions other than to be himself, the account has been "emerging as a pure distillation of his character," according to Andrew Keh of the N.Y. TIMES. Horwitz, who has been with the Mets since '80, was "offered a deal: if he could accrue 10,000 followers before midnight the first day, Wilpon would donate $10,000 to charity." Horwitz, getting "help from the Mets’ players online, reached the number, and Wilpon wrote a check to Hope Shines for Shannon, which benefits" Mets Senior Media Relations Dir SHANNON FORDE, who is battling breast cancer. Horwitz said, "I’m old school, but Jeff has been on me for a long time now to get with the program. I wasn’t quite resisting, but I’m not really mechanical. I didn’t think I could do it. I’m not adept at this type of stuff." Horwitz has "taken Wilpon's directive and run with it" despite his early hesitation. The account at its best has "become a self-referential stream of consciousness, a mixture of untold stories and recurring jokes." Other times, the account "descends into literal nonsense." Horwitz added, "I’ve never been afraid to poke fun at myself, and in my business, you can’t be. For people who know me, that’s just me" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/2).

Breeders’ Cup BOD member OLIVER TAIT has resigned from his position “because of the organization’s medication policy.” Tait’s day-to-day position is COO of horse breeding operation Darley (, 3/3)….Ohio Univ. named Coastal Carolina Univ. Assistant AD/Compliance LAUREN ASHMAN Associate AD/Compliance (OU).

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In Baltimore, Walker & Klingaman profiled JL Sports NFL agent JOE LINTA, who negotiated a reported six-year, $120.6M contract for Ravens QB JOE FLACCO, which will "make him the highest-paid player in NFL history." There are a few terms that "come up over and over from clients and associates who've known Linta for years: honest, straightforward, caring, a football lifer." JL Sports VP TOM KLEINE said that with his "mom-and-pop stable of 45 clients, he's a rare breed in an era of conglomerate agencies." Kleine said, "Joe's about as un-Ivy a guy as you could possibly find. He can sit and crunch numbers with the numbers guys. But he's equally comfortable sitting and talking football with the football guys." Recently retired NFLer and Linta client MATT BIRK said, "He's a Miller Lite kind of guy" (Baltimore SUN, 3/3).

GROWING THE GAME: The Chinese Super League has named DAVID BECKHAM its "first global football ambassador to revive the game's image which has been hit by a match-fixing scandal and an exodus of international stalwarts from the country's premier league." Beckham is expected to help bring the CSL to "the world stage and promote the game in the world's most populous country." Chinese officials "expect his popularity and influence to restore the game's credibility in the country" (London TELEGRAPH, 3/4).

LEGAL MATTERS: PAMELA SMITH filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court saying that Basketball HOFer MICHAEL JORDAN "is the father of her 16-year-old son." Manager ESTEE PORTNOY said that Jordan "has no comment" (AP, 3/2)....West Liberty Univ. AD JAMES WATSON was charged with obstructing an officer and battery of an officer at a Charleston, W. Va., hotel last night. Watson’s 28-year-old son, BRIAN, was charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and fleeing and obstructing an officer (AP, 3/4).

NAMES: Fortress Investment Group President MIKE NOVOGRATZ is “spearheading the campaign” to raise up to $3M to keep wrestling as an Olympic sport. 76ers Managing Owner JOSH HARRIS and Dodgers co-Owner TODD BOEHLY are also supporting the effort (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/3)....A new baseball field at St. Thomas Univ. on Friday was named in honor of LSU coach PAUL MAINIERI, who coached at St. Thomas from '83-88. The field will be called Paul Demie Mainieri Field at Frank R. Esposito Stadium (, 3/2)....LPGAer SHANSHAN FENG, the first golf major winner from China, has signed with IMG for management and marketing representation (IMG)....ESPN college basketball analyst JAY BILAS tomorrow will release his book “Toughness” (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 3/3)....NHL Rangers C JEFF HALPERN and friend ELLIOT SPAISMAN will open Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken on G Street in DC later this month (NEWSDAY, 3/3)….ESPN NBA analyst JALEN ROSE mentioned on his podcast that Heat G DWYANE WADE has “promised to play for a year in China after retiring from the NBA.” Wade signed “a massive contract” with Chinese sportswear company Li-Ning in the fall (GLOBAL TIMES, 3/3).