Country singer KEITH URBAN will perform a live, free concert at Baltimore's Inner Harbor on Sept. 5 as a "lead-in to the Ravens' game in Denver against the Broncos." Urban will "sing from a floating stage in the Inner Harbor in an area adjacent to the Maryland Science Center as part of NBC's 'NFL Kickoff 2013 Presented by Pepsi' pre-game show." The concert will begin at 7:30pm ET and run until the 8:30pm kickoff time (Baltimore SUN, 8/5). Meanwhile, sources said that singer LENNY KRAVITZ will "headline the opening ceremony" of the '13 U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows on Aug. 26 (N.Y. POST, 8/5).
LEAFS SEASON: In Toronto, Steve Simmons profiled Maple Leafs GM DAVE NONIS and asked, "Who is Dave Nonis, the man in charge of the largest, richest franchise in all of hockey?" Simmons: "In his own words, he is honest, with a good sense of humour, fun to be around, not necessarily outgoing. ... And in some ways, he can be bland, faceless, not outspoken, not quotable, and doesn't care if he makes headlines" (TORONTO SUN, 8/4).
BOOK SHELF: ESPN N.Y.'s Rich Cimini noted there are "no bombshells with regard to the Jets" in JERRY OPPENHEIMER's book, "CRAZY RICH: POWER, SCANDAL AND TRAGEDY INSIDE THE JOHNSON & JOHNSON DYNASTY" (ESPNNY.com, 8/4)....The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Sebastian Stockman reviewed ESPN's MATTHEW BERRY's book, "FANTASY LIFE," and wrote it "contains no insight into what might, say, cause someone to spend every Labor Day holiday -- to his wife's consternation -- in a dive bar in Keene, N.H., drafting a fantasy football team." Berry instead "recounts humorous stories about the odd and sometimes crass practices of fantasy-sports players, which he has collected from his large audience" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/4).
NAMES: Bills Owner RALPH WILSON on Friday made "a rare public appearance to be in the Hall of Fame photo and attend the prestigious Ray Nitschke Luncheon." Wilson has attended "only one Bills game the past two seasons and none last year" (BUFFALONEWS.com, 8/2)....Chicago Tribune Bears beat writer DAN POMPEI received the Dick McCann Award, "given to a reporter who has made a long and distinguished contribution to pro football" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/3)....Former MLS FC Dallas President & GM MICHAEL HITCHCOCK “appears to be working” with the NASL Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (DALLASNEWS.com, 8/3)....Patriots coach BILL BELICHICK and QB TOM BRADY on Saturday spent time with 18-year-old JOEY MULLANEY during his visit to training camp through the Make-A-Wish program. Mullaney “got a special behind-the-scenes tour of Gillette Stadium, a VIP luncheon, some personalized Patriots gear, and a few pictures” with Brady (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/5)....The HOUSTON CHRONICLE profiled women execs in sports business in the local area, including Texans VP & Chief Accounting Officer MARILAN LOGAN, Texans Exec VP, General Counsel & Chief Administrative Officer SUZIE THOMAS, Sam Houston Race Park President & COO ANDREA YOUNG and Univ. of Houston Chancellor & President RENU KHATOR (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/4).
IN MEMORY: Pro Football HOFer ART DONOVAN died yesterday at the age of 89 at Stella Maris Hospice in Maryland. A former Baltimore Colt, Donovan also worked as a commentator for Colts games, and “filmed a blitz of popular TV ads for the Maryland Lottery and ESPN” (Baltimore SUN, 8/5). Donovan also was a regular on CBS' "LATE SHOW" with DAVID LETTERMAN (Baltimore SUN, 8/5). Donovan after his playing career “made a living on the talk-show circuit, weaving yarns about the NFL’s good old days.” Donovan was “much like BOB UECKER, who also became popular on late-night talk shows through his stories about sports” (ESPN.com, 8/4).