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Volume 24 No. 160
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Names In The News

Pro Football HOFer JERRY RICE has invested in social-networking startup Vobok, "an audio version of Twitter that Rice is now promoting, one 30-second clip at a time." Rice "believes people will connect more with 30 seconds of audio than they do to Twitter's 140-character text format." Users can "download the Vobok app from iTunes or Google Play, record messages and then share a link with their social networking followers." That link "brings users back to the Vobok website, where they can listen to the message" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/21).

SNOW FORECAST: Skier LINDSEY VONN on Sunday was profiled in the Wall Street Journal's "Weekend Confidential" feature. When Vonn "retires as a professional," she will "likely focus more on Ski Girls Rock, her Vail-based ski school for girls, which she considers a 'girl-empowerment program.'" However, Vonn said that she "doesn't plan to retire soon." She said, "Skiing takes so much out of me, and when I start a family I want to do it 100%. But that's a long way off" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/21).

DOING GOOD DEEDS: NFL Jets WR DAVID NELSON was "blown away" by the story of 15-year-old orphan DAVION ONLY. The boy this past weekend was "a guest of Nelson and his organization" in N.Y., where he and a friend were able to "tour Manhattan, including trips to Rockefeller Center, FAO Schwartz and Central Park." Only also met "with Nelson and other players" yesterday before the Browns-Jets game (AP, 12/20)....The Nike Equality PAC, which aims to fund an effort to legalize gay marriage in Oregon, "reported Friday it reached its $280,000 funding goal." The company said that the PAC would "be funded by $100,000 from the company itself and another $180,000 from Nike executives." Nike co-Founder & Chair PHIL KNIGHT "kicked in $10,000" (Portland OREGONIAN, 12/21).

NAMES: Steinberg Sports & Entertainment CEO LEIGH STEINBERG "is trying to make a name for himself all over again" and is "cleared to represent football clients again." He said, "No one is ever going to represent eight players picked first in the NFL draft. It’s like against nature. That’s not what I am angling for. If I can help one player or a group of players, it will be enough" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/22)....ESPN Coordinating Producer NANCY COONEY and golf writer SUSAN FORNOFF were given the Association for Women in Sports Media's '14 Mary Garber Pioneer Award, the organization's highest honor. Cooney has been at ESPN since '07, after working for 17 years at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Fornoff was a member of USA Today's original staff and later worked 15 years at a variety of jobs with the S.F. Examiner and S.F. Chronicle (AWSM)....Former NBAers JOHN STARKS and ANTHONY MASON reportedly are opening a N.Y. location of DC-based restaurant chain Custom Fuel Pizza (N.Y. POST, 12/23)….U.S. Sen. JOHN MCCAIN (R-Ariz.) is "a big fan of the Coyotes," and "talks incessantly about his new Coyotes app" (N.Y. TIMES MAGAZINE, 12/22 issue)….Golfer CRISTIE KERR and her husband/agent, ERIK STEVENS, announced the birth of their first child, a son, on Saturday. MASON KERR STEVENS "was born via a surrogate" (, 12/22)….Heat G DWYANE WADE asked actress GABRIELLE UNION, whom he began dating in ’07, "to marry him at the team’s holiday party" on Saturday. Wade posted a picture on Instagram of "the couple’s hands with a large diamond engagement ring on Union’s finger" (MIAMI HERALD, 12/23).