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Volume 24 No. 112
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Morning Buzz

Glendale City Council Approves Coyotes Arena Lease Deal
NFL Owners Convening To Discuss Status Of Labor Talks
Sources: Tulsa's Cunningham To Accept Kansas AD Position
Progressive Agrees To Be New Title Sponsor Of Gator Bowl


The Glendale City Council last night voted 5-2 to approve a $197M deal to keep the Coyotes at Arena. The deal requires the city to wire $100M to prospective Coyotes Owner Matthew Hulsizer "quickly" to "help him purchase the team from the NHL" for $170M. Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs said that the NHL "had told Glendale it would not allow the team to move … for seven years." NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly attended the meeting (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 12/15).


By Daniel Kaplan, Staff Writer, SportsBusiness Journal

NFL owners meet in Ft. Worth this afternoon to discuss the status of labor talks with the players union. While other subjects have been added to the agenda, the looming expiration of the CBA on March 3 will dominate the short, four-hour meeting. This morning, the business ventures, broadcast and investment committees are meeting, while player safety and diversity are also topics on the agenda of the full owners meeting that begins at 1:00pm CT.


Sources indicated that Tulsa AD Bubba Cunningham has been offered the job of Kansas AD and is "expected to accept the position" today. Cunningham and Notre Dame Deputy AD Bill Scholl reportedly were the two finalists. Sources said that Tulsa "tried to negotiate a new contract with Cunningham, but he declined." Former Kansas AD Lew Perkins resigned in September amid "controversies both in the athletic department and his personal life" (TULSA WORLD, 12/15).

A source said, "The last I had heard was that there would not be an announcement until after Christmas. I don't know whether that will change." Tulsa's football team faces Hawaii in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24, which "might be a factor in why Cunningham preferred to delay the announcement" (LAWRENCE JOURNAL-WORLD, 12/15).


Progressive announced a deal to be the new title sponsor of the Gator Bowl, effective with this season's game. The '11 Progressive Gator Bowl on Jan. 1 will feature Mississippi State-Michigan and will air live on ESPN2 at 1:30pm ET (Progressive Car Insurance). The deal is for one year with an option for three more that would “carry the relationship for the full term of the current TV and conference affiliation deal” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 12/15).

Konica Minolta was the title sponsor of the Gator Bowl from '07-10 (THE DAILY).


The ACC Vault archival website launched today, a result of Thought Equity Motion's (TEM) deal with Raycom Sports. The site features 100 classic men's basketball games dating to '83, with marquee games to be added from this season "based, in part, on fan voting." TEM manually logs stats and plays and embeds them into video "metadata," creating "online content that can later be searched." TEM "previously worked on the NCAA Vault, which went live in March" (DENVER POST, 12/15).


The auction of Memphis Motorsports Park took "less than six minutes" yesterday morning, but track owner Dover Motorsports as of late last night "had still not accepted a deal from a private investment firm." Florida investor Joe Lubeck had the highest bid at $1.875M, which becomes $2.06M after a 10% buyer's premium. The bid will expire at about 10:00am ET today. Dover previously had the facility listed with a real estate firm for $6M (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 12/15).


By Tripp Mickle, Staff Writer, SportsBusiness Journal

NASCAR Media Group has cut a content partnership that will see it provide race highlights to Indoor Direct Inc., a company that provides video content at more than 1,000 QSRs. The highlights are expected to reach more than 10 million viewers per month. Indoor Direct also has relationships with NFL Network, MLB Network, the PGA Tour, Tennis Channel and CBS College Sports.



IMG Sports Media has agreed to represent the World Snowboarding Championships. Per the deal, IMG will handle "all international media and sponsor agreements" for the '12 competition in Oslo (IMG).

After receiving an extension from the NFL, the Chargers have sold enough tickets to lift the local TV blackout of their home game tomorrow night against the 49ers. The game will air nationally on NFL Network (Chargers).

The Ft. Worth City Council last night unanimously approved a $2.26M budget agreement with the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee that will "reimburse the city for its game- and event-related costs"

A hearing today will determine when the "first large chunk" of the MLB Rangers purchase price "will be paid to first-lien lenders." Meanwhile, Ft. Worth law firm Forshey & Prostok made a deal with the U.S. Trustee's office to cut $20,000 from its $526,238 requested fee. The trustee's office had sought a $60,000 reduction (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 12/15).

MLB Network is running a full-page ad in today’s N.Y. Post promoting the 8:00pm ET telecast of “MLB Network Special Presentation: 1960 World Series Game 7.” The net has also been running similar ads in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (THE DAILY). See today's Closing Bell for more on tonight's telecast.


“To see the Phillies get Lee, and get him for less than what the Yankees offered, it’s like, touché. Take that, New York!” – Robert Reed, an exec assistant U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia, on free agent P Cliff Lee signing a five-year, $120M deal with the Phillies (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 12/15).

“I think it is absurd. It is the most childish organization and the most childish response I could imagine” – John Amaechi, the first gay NBA player to come out, on FIFA President Sepp Blatter saying gay people should refrain from sex in Qatar during the '22 World Cup
(London TELEGRAPH, 12/15).

“We will fight in Las Vegas on May 7 because we have had communications with the cable networks, and they’ve assured us a better time slot” – Michael Koncz, advisor to boxer Manny Pacquiao, on plans for his next fight to be an HBO PPV bout from Las Vegas (, 12/14).

"I think having it in the South will be much better. When we played in Atlanta last year, it was such a big success because I just think tennis does a little better in the South" – Tennis player John Isner, on the ATP World Tour moving an event from Connecticut to North Carolina



ESPN Radio 1500 Twin Cities’ Tom Pelissero: "Vikings statement indicates they've yet to finalize how they're going to handle tickets. Metrodome seats ~65,000. The Bank seats ~50,000."’s David Dusek: "As of Wednesday, golf pro shops have 16 days to stock up on big-grooved wedges B4 brands stop shipping them. I've bought 6 wedges this fall."

SI’s Richard Deitsch: "@ajcsportseditor Friend sent along a clip where one of my tweets made the AJC. Much obliged from this Northerner."

ESPN’s Scott Burnside: "Goldwater Institute staff must be wearing Winnipeg Jets jerseys at the office today. Wonder if letter to council came on Jets letterhead."

If you see a tweet we won’t want to miss, send it to us at


U.S. Reps. Mike Doyle (PA) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) will take part in a ceremonial puck drop on the East Steps of the U.S. Capitol to mark the upcoming Capitals-Penguins Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic outdoor game at Heinz Field.

Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani will hold an online chat at 11:30am PT on the San Diego Stadium Coalition’s website.


Time magazine has named Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg as its Person of the Year. Zuckerberg beat out other notable names, including WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange, the Tea Party, the Chilean miners, Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai (, 12/15).


The Morning Buzz offers today’s back page sports covers from some of the nation’s major metropolitan tabloids:

N.Y. Post
N.Y. Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News
Boston Herald


Last night's "Final Jeopardy!" category was "Olympics History."

"In 1988 this country boycotted the Summer Olympics after its demand to co-host the Games was refused."


Sirius XM's Chris "Mad Dog" Russo appeared on CBS' "Late Show" last night, with host David Letterman introducing him as "sports genius." Letterman: "Cliff Lee, the Yankees say $154 million. He says, 'No dice, I'm going to the Phillies.' What happened there?" Russo: "Very surprised by that. The Yankees usually get their man. They spend the most money." Letterman: "Let's talk a little bit about, if you don't mind, Brett Favre." Russo: "I put on ESPN right after the Ravens game and they're spending ten minutes on Brett Favre's press conference, in a game he didn't play because of some stupid streak. Nobody in America cares about 297 consecutive games." Letterman: "There's something about ESPN and Brett Favre." Russo: "It's crazy. They're married" ("Late Show," CBS, 12/14).

U.S. speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno appeared on TBS' "Lopez Tonight" last night with host George Lopez calling him "an American hero!" Ohno said of being awarded the Gold Medal at the '02 Salt Lake Olympics due to a disqualification of a South Korean skater, "the South Koreans were not happy about it." Ohno: "They had toilet paper with my face on it. True story. … I've been trying to get a roll of this toilet paper. I want to try and market it in the U.S. 'The softest toilet paper in the world. Every third you get one of these little scratchy deals.'" Ohno stroked his soul patch to mimic the scratchy toilet paper ("Lopez Tonight," TBS, 12/14).


CBS' David Letterman: "Listen to how cold it is today in New York City. It's so cold today that a Jets coach tripped Al Roker. True story. So cold that Lady Gaga was wearing beef stew. So cold today that Brett Favre was just describing himself to women. Are you excited about the off-season baseball stuff? How about that pitcher Cliff Lee? It looked like the Yankees made him an offer of $200 million. $200 million! He turned it down. He turned it down because he said, 'Hey, when you do the math that's just not enough money to live on in New York.' That's what he said. So now Cliff Lee is going to the Phillies. This leaves the Yankees with just one option: They're going to buy the Phillies. The Yankees were tough. They said, 'Hey look, we'll throw in a plaid scarf.' Here's a story. Guess who is dating a guy? You'll never guess: Mrs. Tiger Woods. Dating a guy. Here's what I want to know. How did she find somebody? She's beautiful and wealthy. Thank you very much. No, she met her new boyfriend while skiing. She likes to ski down her mountain of cash. She's the PGA's leading money winner. … Today they announced the nominations for the Golden Globe Awards. They say that the Golden Globes predict the Academy Awards. I believe that's true: Long and boring. 'Black Swan' was nominated, also 'Burlesque' starring Cher. Cher was elated and if she could still smile she would have" ("Late Show," CBS, 12/14).

NBC's Jay Leno: "It's been brutally cold all across the country. It was so cold people in Cleveland are going, 'Okay, now we get why LeBron left for Miami. Now we get it.' It was so cold, the water froze in Miley Cyrus' bong. It was so cold, at Rockefeller Center, a New York Jets coach was tripping the ice skaters. … Looks like unemployment is up, especially if you're the guy who designed the inflatable dome where the Vikings play. Did you see that on the news? The roof of the Vikings stadium collapsed. It could have been worse. It could have been the Cowboys, their whole season collapsed. Did you watch this game in Detroit last night? How many watched that game? It was so cold, the Vikings could actually see their last breath. The streak is over for Brett Favre. I guess you know that by now. After 297 consecutive games, he didn't play in last night's game. Unfortunately, neither did most of his Vikings teammates. Did you see Brett Favre standing on the sidelines? Let me tell you something. If you're being investigated by the league for alleged sexual misconduct, don't hang around the sidelines doing this." The show aired a video from Monday night's Giants-Vikings game where Favre has his hands down his pants. More Leno: "Take your hand out of your pants. What are you doing? That's the big turkey move after thanksgiving" ("The Tonight Show," NBC, 12/14).


Last night's Top Ten List was "Top Ten Jets Coaches Excuses." Letterman: "The Jets, everybody thought, 'Oh the Jets may be something.' They got that fat coach and they thought, 'Oh yeah, we might be going someplace.' … They're playing the Miami Dolphins in the Meadowlands and there's a play, a guy for the Miami Dolphins is covering a punt return and a coach for the Jets runs on the field with a hammer and cold cocks the guy" ("Late Show," CBS, 12/14).

10) "What? I was doing Tai Chi."
9) "I know it doesn't look like it from the videotape, but he started it."
8) "Distraught after realizing it's Larry King's final week on CNN."
7) "The WikiLeaks guy made me do it."
6) "Come on, who doesn't love grabass?"
5) "I was jacked up on Four Loko, dude."
4) "Wanted to get on Marv Albert's blooper reel."
3) "Uh…restless leg syndrome?"
2) "Someone bet me 5 bucks to do it – now who's the idiot?"
1) "Hey, we won didn't we?! We didn’t? Well, never mind."


"What is North Korea?"

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