In L.A., Chuck Schilken notes Steelers OT Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who served three tours in Afghanistan and was the lone player from his team to come out of the locker room for the national anthem on Sunday, now has one of the "bestselling" player jerseys on NFLShop.com. Under top sellers listed on the site yesterday morning, one "would find Villanueva’s No. 78 at the head of the page." The same goes for "Villanueva name and number T-shirts" (L.A. TIMES, 9/26).
TIME FOR EVERYONE: In Boston, Mark Shanahan notes Patriots QB Tom Brady after his game on Sunday headed to local Italian eatery Scampo at the Liberty Hotel, "where he had a date with a dozen or so super fans who paid a small fortune for TAG Heuer’s new Tom Brady Limited Edition Heuer 01 Chronograph." Brady answered a "few innocuous questions" posed by Tag Heuer North America CEO Kilian Muller (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/26).
BIGGER NOT BETTER? In San Antonio, W. Scott Bailey noted the potential merger between Learfield and IMG College could "drive up the cost for institutions" like UTSA who "rely heavily on the extra revenue and exposure" that corporate sponsors, media rights and licensing deals generate. While such a merger could potentially make it tougher for non-Power 5 programs to "stand out among a more crowded roster of colleges, the bigger concern" for UTSA may be a "higher cost of doing business in a narrowed field of marketers" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/22).