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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

While reports earlier this week stated that Yankees 3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ was closing in on a deal for a tell-all book about his career, neither Random House nor HarperCollins -- the "two houses mentioned in the report -- seem to have heard of the Rodriguez book project," according to sources cited by Christian Red of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. A source said the initial report of Rodriguez getting a multimillion-dollar agreement is "totally fake." The source, "One reason he’d never get anywhere near that money is the obvious risk that as soon as the book was published, it could and probably would be discredited" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/20).

: In San Jose, Mark Purdy reports former NFLer NATE JACKSON's memoir, "SLOW GETTING UP," has been "a surprise hit." The book is "hardly comprised of hilarious jock strap anecdotes, although there are some." Instead, Jackson "basically documents his six years in the NFL from the vantage point of a lower-tier roster player who must endure buckets of pain and the cruel-crazy weirdness of pro football culture to reach his dream." Jackson "names names" in the book and he "tells stories" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 12/20).

: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Kevin Clark reportes the upcoming film "LONE SURVIVOR" has "found a secret weapon: football players." Producers of the motion picture in the last four months have "enjoyed a wave of positive word-of-mouth after employing a rare form of target-marketing" among the players. The filmmakers have "screened the film" for teams such as the Cowboys, Panthers, Browns and the Univ. of Alabama. Players who have seen the movie said that it is "essentially the perfect film to get football players talking" (, 12/20).

BOXING DAY IS NEAR: Actor SYLVESTER STALLONE appeared on NBC's "The Tonight Show" Thursday to tout the release of his new movie, "GRUDGE MATCH," and the upcoming Broadway debut of a "ROCKY" musical. Stallone said it "took 10 or 12 years" to get "Rocky" on Broadway "because no one thought 'Rocky' should go to Broadway." Stallone: "I go, 'This is becoming a familiar story. Let me start all over again.' Then finally they said, 'Okay, let's open 'Rocky' in Germany.' So we finally got financing in Hamburg, Germany. The show was a big hit over there and … it's a big-time musical." Stallone said it "turned out so good that the Americans came over and said, 'We'd like to give that a try on Broadway.'" Stallone said that the premise of "Grudge Match," in which he appears alongside ROBERT DE NIRO as two over-aged rival boxers fighting years after their careers are over, was a "terrible idea." Stallone: "I just thought I was capitalizing on 'Rocky' and it's going to be 'Raging Bull' or 'Raging Bullwinkle Against Rocky the Italian Squirrel.' I just thought it was going to be some sort of weird combination." Host Jay Leno said, "It's great nobody listens to you because it turned out great." Stallone added, "I have the worst instincts" ("The Tonight Show," NBC, 12/19).

Octagon promoted Consulting President JOHN SHEA to President of Octagon Marketing Americas, Senior VPs ARNOLD WRIGHT, LOU KOVACS and DEREK AFRAME to Exec VPs and VPs MARY LOBBESTAEL, ANDRE SCHUNK and KAMI TAYLOR to Senior VPs (Octagon)....The Canadian Soccer Association named former MLS Toronto FC Dir of Team & Player Operations EARL COCHRANE Acting Deputy General Secretary, effective Jan. 1 (CP, 12/19)....The Grand Prix RFL, the U.S.'s first pro rugby sevens league, named League Counsel FRANK GRANT Commissioner (RFL)....Search firm DHR Int'l named Korn/Ferry Senior Client Partner of Media & Entertainment SEAN SCANLON Exec VP & Global Leader of the Media & Entertainment Practice Group (DHR).

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USA TODAY's Fredreka Schouten reports watchdog group Rootstrikers, working to "reduce the role of money in politics," is urging support of a bill proposed by U.S. Sen. TOM COBURN (R-Okla.) that would "bar sports leagues with annual revenue of more than $10 million from claiming tax-exempt status." The pro sports groups "defend their status and note that the exemptions apply only to the league offices." For instance, the NFL's 32 teams "pay taxes on their revenues." However, no other senator "has signed on to co-sponsor the bill." Coburn cites the lack of support on the "industry's clout on Capitol Hill" (USA TODAY, 12/20).

GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE....: is auctioning a jersey “believed to have been worn by” CHRISTIAN LAETTNER during Duke Univ.’s game against Kentucky in the East Regional Finals of the ’92 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The website “has set the reserve price for the jersey at $100,000” (, 12/18). also is auctioning former MLBer LIVAN HERNANDEZ’ ‘97 World Series ring and MVP trophy, with the reserve on both items set at $5,000 (, 12/18).

NAMES: In N.Y., Ken Davidoff named late MLBPA Exec Dir MICHAEL WEINER his "Baseball Person of the Year." Davidoff wrote, "There's little doubt in my mind that Michael Weiner left the greatest impact on the baseball industry in 2013, and in the lives of so many around it. Now it's up to the people in and around the game to carry on his legacy into 2014 and beyond" (, 12/18)....Longtime NHL Rangers season-ticket holder EILEEN ADLER on Thursday "slapped Madison Square Garden with a lawsuit" because a security guard "rushing to break up a fight at a recent game shoved her over a row of seats." Adler, who has had season tickets for 25 years, "broke two ribs in the fall." The incident occurred during the May 23, 2012 game against the Devils (N.Y. POST 12/20)....Hockey HOFer MARK MESSIER has been named brand ambassador for the Harvard-Yale “Rivalry on Ice” game to be played on January 11, 2014 at MSG. The game will be broadcast live at 8:00pm ET on NBCSN (Leverage Agency)....Cubs SS STARLIN CASTRO reportedly had $3.6M “seized from his bank accounts Wednesday for refusing to pay 3 percent of his contract to a baseball school in the Dominican Republic” (, 12/19).