Names In The News
Honorary NBA draftee ISAIAH AUSTIN, since being forced to retire due to Marfan syndrome, "hasn't sat around and moped," and is "willing to speak about his condition and help others become aware." Austin next week will "attend the Marfan Foundation’s annual conference in Baltimore." Also on the horizon are "meetings with NBA Cares, an outreach program that addresses health and wellness issues as well as educational and social problems." The exposure Austin brought to Marfan syndrome awareness has been "off the charts," as the Marfan Foundation website has been "flooded by people who want to know more about it" (WACO TRIBUNE-HERALD, 7/6).
THE TASTE OF A NEW GENERATION: CBS' Mark Phillips last night profiled ANDREW TALANSKY, the "new squeaky-clean great American hope" at the Tour de France. After LANCE ARMSTRONG "almost killed the sport's credibility," Phillips asked Talansky if he feels "any kind of an extra burden now as an American rider." Talansky: "I would say it's not so much a burden as I would say it's a responsibility to provide something that the American public can believe in" ("Evening News," CBS, 7/7).
WHAT IF I TOLD YOU...: A film crew "focusing on the remarkable and heroic story" of Northwestern State Univ. alum and late Chiefs RB JOE DELANEY, who died in '83 during an "attempt to rescue three drowning children," visited NSU yesterday working on an ESPN “30 for 30” documentary (THETOWNTALK.com, 7/8)....Actor WILL SMITH has formally signed on to portray Dr. BENNET OMALU in the film "GAME BRAIN" focusing on concussions in the NFL. The "big-budget movie" will film in Pittsburgh (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 7/8).
SLEEPING BEAUTY: ANDREW RECTOR, a fan who fell asleep in the stands during a Red Sox-Yankees game in April, has filed a $10M defamation lawsuit against ESPN announcers DAN SHULMAN and JOHN KRUK, claiming they "made fun of him on air." Rector is "accusing the announcers of subjecting him to 'an unending verbal crusade.'" His "typo-heavy lawsuit says millions of people 'all over the world' were watching" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/8). ESPN this morning issued a statement that read, “The comments attributed to ESPN and our announcers were clearly not said in our telecast. The claims presented here are wholly without merit.” The lawsuit received national attention today on all of the major network morning shows (THE DAILY).
NAMES: The Cincinnati neighborhood of South Cumminsville is the winner of the '14 Reds Community Makeover, which will be "a complete renovation of the Wayne Ballfields and significant upgrades to the Millvale Recreation Center." P&G, the Reds and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden are sponsors (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 7/8)....The boxing gloves MUHAMMAD ALI "wore in the first fight" against JOE FRAZIER in '71 "are going up for auction again as part of Heritage Auctions' July 31 auction in conjunction with the annual National Sports Collectors Convention (ESPN.com, 7/7)....A PAC "set up by Nike to support the legalization of gay marriage has returned more than $180,000 to company executives, including $10,000" to Founder & Chair PHIL KNIGHT after the state of Oregon legalized same-sex marriage in May (OREGONLIVE.com, 7/7)....Free agent F PAUL PIERCE this week is "trying his luck" at the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas (NJ.com, 7/7)....NFL Network analyst LADAINIAN TOMLINSON has listed his 13-acre home near San Diego for $3.495M (LATIMES.com, 7/7)....Entertainment network EPIX yesterday announced that the film "TO RUSSIA WITH LOVE," a documentary about two generations of Olympic LGBT athletes, will debut Oct. 22. The film features former U.S. figure skater JOHNNY WEIR, BILLIE JEAN KING and former U.S. diver GREG LOUGANIS (EPIX)....GREG NORMAN’s Great White Shark Enterprises and private equity firm Kohlberg & Co. are “buying a stake” in Arizona-based Troon Golf (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/7).