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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

Marlins Owner JEFFREY LORIA is profiled in this week's issue of SI, and S.L. Price writes he is MLB's "most besieged owner." Loria was "intent on reclaiming the narrative" surrounding the Marlins when he placed a full-page, 800-word ad in four South Florida newspapers last month explaining the team's highly scrutinized offseason. Price: "Never mind the crucial task of solving the eternal puzzle of sports in South Florida. Never mind that some people inside his shaken franchise are wondering whether Miami was ever a baseball town." Few if any owners "involved themselves as intimately as Loria in their team's baseball operations." But even after "last season's debacle," he remains "cocky." Loria said, "With the players we have now? In another year or two people are going to look back and say, 'Jeffrey, you were a genius.'" Former Eagles Owner NORMAN BRAMAN has "spent the last decade fighting government-sponsored financing for the Marlins' -- and the Dolphins' -- stadium projects." Braman said, "Jeffrey was always a jock sniffer. After I sold the Eagles he said, 'How can you sell a sports team?' It means everything in the world for him to have arrived where he is today. He doesn't give a crap about anything else. It's him." While Forbes values the Marlins at $450M, those "hoping that Loria will cut and run will have to be patient." Per the terms of team's Marlins Park deal with Miami-Dade County, if Loria sells his 93% stake in the team before '15, he will "have to give the county a cut of the profit." Marlins President DAVID SAMSON said that since the completion of the deal, he has "received feelers from interested buyers 'once a week' -- and is advising Loria to sell." Samson: "I would've sold it opening night. Just walk on the field, say, 'Thank you Miami, I love you, this is your ballpark, see you later.'" But Loria said that he has "never given the idea of selling 'a moment's thought'" (SI, 3/25 issue).

Former EPL club Manchester United Dir and former BBC Chair GREG DYKE "has agreed to take on the challenge of leading" the English FA. Dyke, who was "ousted in controversial circumstances in 2004 ... will take over as FA chairman from DAVID BERNSTEIN when he steps down after two and a half years in July." Dyke's appointment was "unanimously approved by the FA board on Thursday and he will take over on 13 July, assuming it is rubber-stamped by the FA Council." He "benefits from not taking over in a time of crisis" (GUARDIAN, 3/22). In London, Henry Winter writes Dyke could "prove an inspired appointment as Football Association chairman as long as he sticks to his principles and does not yield to the pressures from clubs that habitually restrict the head governor" (London TELEGRAPH, 3/22). Also in London, Ashling O'Connor writes, "For an organisation routinely pilloried by fans and the media, the appointment of Greg Dyke should be an instant morale booster." Dyke is a "man of the people, with an earthy West London accent and few pretensions" (LONDON TIMES, 3/22).

EXECS: The 49ers promoted Dir of Football Operations & Sports Medicine JEFF FERGUSON to VP/Football Operations (49ers)....Bensussen Deutsch & Associates promoted VP/Marketing Alliances ROB MARTIN to CMO (BDA)....PGA Tour Reno-Tahoe Open Exec Dir JANA SMOLEY will resign, but remain on the tournament's BOD (Reno-Tahoe Open)....The Big Ten Network promoted KIM BEAUVAIS to VP/Human Resources & Business Operations (BTN)....MLS Chivas USA named former MLSer JUAN FRANCISCO PALENCIA Dir of Soccer for the club and Liga MX club Chivas de Guadalajara (, 3/22)....F1 team Mercedes Grand Prix CEO NICK FRY will "step down," and Exec Dir TOTO WOLFF will "take on a greater role including many of Fry's responsibilities in the day-to-day running of the team alongside team principal ROSS BRAWN" (AP, 3/22).

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Pro Football HOFer MIKE DITKA said that he "couldn't pass on the opportunity to have his wine served" at fellow HOFer DON SHULA's restaurant in Naples, Fla. Ditka: "To have it in Don's restaurant, that's special. ... It's a great opportunity to get some exposure." Shula's Steak House initially will "offer two of Ditka's wines by-the-glass." The wine is "produced in the Napa Valley region of California," and the labels "feature Ditka in stages of his career" (NAPLES NEWS, 3/22).

TURN THE PAGE: Dallas Morning News columnist TIM COWLISHAW yesterday spoke about his new book, “Drunk On Sports,” which was released last Sunday, “It’s a little bit about the Cowboys, it’s a little bit about JOSH HAMILTON, little bit about hockey. But it’s mostly about me and drinking and how I thought it helped my career for many years and how after trips to hospitals and a jail cell, it hurt” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 3/20).

NAMES: NHL Rangers President & GM GLEN SATHER is recovering from surgery he had on Thursday at Weill-Cornell Medical Center in N.Y. to treat prostate cancer, and is "expected to be off the job for a few days" (, 3/21)....The Bobcats and FS Carolinas/SportSouth have teamed for a $200,000 sponsorship of Y Achievers, a YMCA of Greater Charlotte program that operates in partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (Bobcats)....Golfer GRAEME MCDOWELL has a 40% interest in Nona Blue, a restaurant which “opened near the Orlando International Airport last week.” McDowell said that one of his “quests will be for the restaurant to serve the perfect cup of Irish coffee” (, 3/21)....DirecTV Chair, President & CEO MIKE WHITE’s compensation “roughly tripled" in '12 to $18.04M. White earned $5.94M in '11, down from $32.93M in ’10 when he received $14.7M in “long-term stock awards upon joining the company” (, 3/22).

IN MEMORY: Former Knicks player and broadcaster JOHN PALMER died of cancer on Tuesday at the age of 91. He called games on WMGM in N.Y., and worked as a TV analyst during the ’68 Mexico City Games. He also served as producer and broadcaster of “CBS Sports Spectacular” and appeared on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” (PALM BEACH POST, 3/22)....A monument of late IndyCar driver DAN WHELDON was unveiled Thursday at Turn 10 of the St. Petersburg circuit featuring "bricks from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, stones from his native England and the handprints of his wife and two sons" (AP, 3/21). The monument was created by artist RON WHITNEY and is a "concrete slab with a plaque on the front" (, 3/21).