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Volume 26 No. 207

People and Pop Culture

"Going Off The Grid" is a weekly survey of sports execs and personalities offering their thoughts on a handful of pressing (and trivial) issues in sports and pop culture. This week, our panelists predict this year's Super Bowl champions and tell us what book they plan on reading next.

  • One Championship Group President Hua Fung Teh
    -- He loves playing the piano, rapping and dancing.
  • World Surf League CMO Pri Shumate
    -- Won the World Handball Championship in '00.
  • 49ers EDU & Museum Dir Jesse Lovejoy
    -- Worked as a DJ during college for KCR-AM at San Diego State.
  • Musto Head of Marketing Nick Houchin
    -- He was a professional sailor until his mid-20's.
  • President Bill Pond
    -- Enjoys going for a swim and doing open-water swimming events.
Going Off The Grid
  Who wins this year's Super Bowl? Highlight of your summer? Next book you plan on reading? Number of fantasy football leagues? Embarrassing fashion trend you've been a part of?
I gotta go with my Patriots A week-long vacation with my wife and kids "Meditations," by Marcus Aurelius To be honest, probably none! Way oversized jeans back in the late '90s

Rams Moving back to Laguna Beach "Everything Is F*cked," by Mark Manson One Serena Williams' tennis dress
49ers -- Sorry, not sorry Hiking with my wife and daughter "Ask Again, Yes," by Mary Beth Keane Probably none -- sigh I mean ... all of them?
 Houchin My brother-in-law is from Boston, so I'm going to back the Patriots England winning the Cricket World Cup "The Virgin Way," by Richard Branson I have had limited success so I tend to stay clear of these The brightly-colored shell suit trend from the '90s
 Pond  I am looking for a Patriots repeat I did a 2.4-mile swim in Casco Bay "Leadership," by Doris Kearns Goodwin I play fantasy baseball. No football for me I parted my hair down the middle in high school -- '80s trend

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Former Oakland City Manager HENRY GARDNER has been tapped to be the Interim Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority CEO & Exec Dir to replace SCOTT MCKIBBEN, who "abruptly resigned Friday amid questions about a possible conflict of interest." There is "no word on how the authority plans to select a permanent replacement." Gardner "takes the helm of the 155-acre stadium and arena complex at a time of great uncertainty for the Coliseum Authority" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/14).

EXECS: The Wizards named Lakers scout and former NBAer ANTAWN JAMISON Dir of Pro Personnel (WASHINGTON POST, 8/14). Excluding in-house promotions, this "means the Wizards have made at least 10 new hires in the past month" (, 8/14)....Championship Rugby team Toronto Wolfpack named former MLSE Chief Project Development Officer BOB HUNTER Chair & interim CEO. He succeeds Majority Owner DAVID ARGYLE, who "gave up both jobs in early June." Hunter, 65, "left MLSE in January after 22 years and started his own consulting practice." He "sees the Wolfpack job as his new full-time endeavour" (CP, 8/14)....Longtime WTIC-Fox Dir of Sports RICH COPPOLA will be "leaving the station." Coppola began working for Fox in '89 (HARTFORD COURANT, 8/14).

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Jones' new casino will include 1,200 slot machines, a 200-room luxury hotel, a music venue and water park
Jones' new casino will include 1,200 slot machines, a 200-room luxury hotel, a music venue and water park
Jones' new casino will include 1,200 slot machines, a 200-room luxury hotel, a music venue and water park

Cowboys Owner JERRY JONES is a "step closer to opening one of the first full-service casinos in Arkansas." Jones' Legends Hospitality is "partnering on the project" with Cherokee Nation Businesses, with plans that "call for 1,200 slot machines, a 200-room luxury hotel, a music venue and an outdoor water park." Legends will "direct building design, culinary experience and guest experiences unrelated to gambling" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/15).

LEGAL MATTERS: The Chandler, Ariz., Police Department yesterday "released a report" detailing the "traffic stop and arrest" of NFL Cardinals Exec VP & COO ROB MINEGAR. On the night of the incident, Minegar was asked if he had been drinking, to which he said that he "had three or four drinks." Minegar appeared to "slur his words in the police body camera videos released by police" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/15).

NAMES: Tigers PA announcer JAY ALLEN has been "diagnosed with stage 4 bile duct cancer," which already has "spread to his liver and lungs" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 8/15)....The Warriors named longtime KeyArena PA announcer MATT PITMAN to the same position for the new Chase Center. Pitman replaces NICK LAINO, who spent a season as the Warriors' PA announcer after the team "parted with MATT HURWITZ, the voice of Oracle Arena for 18 seasons" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/15)....LEBRON JAMES was in Akron yesterday to "test out the new outdoor basketball court at the I Promise School" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 8/15)....Indians RF YASIEL PUIG "officially became a United States citizen" this week, as he traveled to Miami yesterday to be "sworn in" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 8/15)....PGA of America CEO SETH WAUGH will be a featured speaker at the ’19 Hawaii Golf Industry Conference on Sept. 5 at the Kahala Hotel and Resort (HONOLULU STAR-ADVISER, 8/15).

IN MEMORY: A public memorial service for late Pro Football HOFer NICK BUONICONTI is scheduled for Sept. 6 in Miami (MIAMI HERALD, 8/14).