|•||Nike's Share Price Rises Ahead Of Quarterly Earnings Report|
|•||Minn. Gov.-Elect Willing To Support Publicly Funded Stadium|
|•||Usmanov Looks To Up Arsenal Stake, Blocking Any Takeover|
|•||ESPN Lines Up Special Broadcast Features For UConn Game|
Nike shares yesterday “hit a split-adjusted all-time high” of $90.87 ahead of today’s Q2 earnings report. The shares, which closed at $90.27, had set the previous high of $90.52 last week. Analysts expect Nike to report earnings of $0.88 per share on $4.81B in revenue. Both would be “sizable improvements” from Q2 '09, when the company earned $0.76 per share on $4.4B in sales. It is a “safe bet” that Nike will “match those projections, at least on earnings” (BIZJOURNALS.com, 12/20).
|Minnesota Gov.-Elect Says He Will Support New |
Vikings Stadium As Long As General Fund Not Used
Minnesota Gov.-elect Mark Dayton said that he "will support a publicly financed stadium" for the Vikings "as long as the benefits outweigh the public costs and the state's general fund dollars aren't used to build it."
Last night's Bears-Vikings game at TCF Bank Stadium drew a crowd of 40,504, "leaving about 10,000 seats empty." There were "reports of a fight and some fans slipping and falling when the gates opened," but "most people said the return to outdoor football went smoothly" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/21).
Alisher Usmanov "wants to raise his stake in Arsenal Holdings Plc" to 29.9%, which would "help him to block any takeover attempts" of the EPL club. Usmanov, who now owns 27% of the team, "made the pledge today on state television" in
(BLOOMBERG NEWS, 12/21).
ESPN ROLLING OUT BROADCAST FEATURES FOR UCONN'S CHANCE AT HISTORY
ESPN is lining up several special broadcast features for tonight's Florida State-UConn women's basketball game on ESPN2. UConn has the chance to set a new Division I record with 89 consecutive wins. Dave O'Brien and Doris Burke will call the game, with reports from Rebecca Lobo. Trey Wingo, Kara Lawson and Carolyn Peck will host an hour-long pregame show at 6:00pm ET, plus postgame segments.
ESPNU will air five consecutive hours of UConn programming leading up to the ESPN2 pregame show. ESPN.com will feature in-game blogging, chats and tweeting. ESPNW.com will have special streak-related content. ESPN Classic will feature rebroadcasts around UConn's record run (ESPN).
NBA BOARD OF GOVERNORS APPROVES LEAGUE'S PURCHASE OF HORNETS
The NBA BOG has approved the league's purchase of the Hornets, as expected. The league "will be announcing the completion of the sale shortly." Attorney and Wild Vice Chair Jac Sperling will serve as Hornets Chair and BOG representative, while team President Hugh Weber "continues to be in control of the franchise's day-to-day operations" (NOLA.com, 12/20).
Bleacher Report announced that it has completed a $10.5M Series C round of capital investment led by Crosslink Capital. Crosslink Partner Eric Chin led his firm's involvement and will join the Bleacher Report BOD (Bleacher Report).
|Pat Hughes Signs Five-Year |
Extension With WGN Radio
WGN Radio has signed Cubs announcer Pat Hughes to a "five-year extension through the 2015 season." The '11 season "will be Hughes' 16th with WGN Radio" (MLB.com, 12/20).
Talladega Superspeedway has named 30 fans from across the
The Triple-A PCL
Former CFL Commissioner and outgoing Montreal Alouettes President Larry Smith is expected to announce as early as today that he will enter the Canadian House of Commons race for the Lac-Saint-Louis district in Montreal (GLOBE & MAIL, 12/21).
“When everybody says, hey, it’s just a game. I think we all know that it’s more than a game. Eight million dollars would have come to the WAC if he makes the kick” – WAC Commissioner Karl Benson, on Boise State losing millions of dollars from its lone loss at the end of the season on a missed field goal, which knocked the team from the Rose Bowl to the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas
(N.Y. TIMES, 12/21).
“It’s really quite startling to see. Thank goodness it didn’t happen when an event was going on and no one was injured” – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, on the Metrodome roof collapsing under the weight of snow and ice (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 12/21).
"I think he was still out of it a little bit. I think he had a concussion" – Bears QB Jay Cutler, when asked about meeting Vikings QB Brett Favre on the field after the game (USATODAY.com, 12/20).
“Given the situation with the NFL at this time, we think this could provide a lot of marketing opportunities for the region” – UFL Virginia Destroyers GM Doug Williams, on the team playing its inaugural season next year amid a possible player lockout in the NFL (NEWPORT NEWS DAILY PRESS, 12/21).
“Knicks are doing well, which means somebody has to suck while the Mets are off” – CBS’ David Letterman, reading last night’s Top Ten list, which was the “Top Ten New York Giants Excuses” (“Late Show,” CBS, 12/20).
TWITTER ME THIS….
ESPN Chicago’s Michael Wright: “So...two head injuries so far tonight on this turf, that was supposed to be OK.”
Chicago Sun-Times’ Sean Jensen: “Had a chance to visit w/ NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He's bundled up, b/c he'll be watching the game from regular seats, not a suite.”
SI’s Chris Mannix: “When is a team/network going to notice that Brent Barry is a terrific analyst. His NBA TV work is outstanding.”
CSN Bay Area’s Matt Steinmetz: “Familiar face up in GM suite at Oracle ... Don Nelson in house. Sitting next to Larry Riley. Start the rumors.”
If you see a tweet we won’t want to miss, send it to us at email@example.com.
The NBA tips off the NBA Cares Season of Giving Auction on the league’s website. Limited-edition, holiday-themed autographed basketballs will be auctioned off through Dec. 28, with all proceeds benefitting NBA Cares community partners.
Minnesota Gov.-Elect Mark Dayton and Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will appear together in
THE BACK PAGES….
The Morning Buzz offers today’s back page sports covers from some of the nation’s major metropolitan tabloids:
N.Y. Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News
Last night’s “Final Jeopardy!” category was “20th Century Novelists.”
“A critic said that a character of his, ‘yearning for the moon … never saw the sixpence at his feet’; he made that into a title.”
Last night David Letterman welcomed Marv Albert to the “Late Show.” Albert discussed LeBron James joining the Heat and said he “had every right to move as players do now in all sports. … I did the game where he returned to
CBS’ David Letterman: “You folks like that football? Oh my God, how about the Giants? Did you see the Giants? Folks from
NBC’s Jay Leno: “Boy, it has been raining hard here in
Last night’s Top Ten List was “Top Ten New York Giants Excuses” (“Late Show,” CBS, 12/20).
|10) “Eagles players were pushing us.”|
|9) “I left early to beat the traffic … What happened?”|
|8) “Uh … Losing helps everyone appreciate winning, right?”|
|7) “Just one more failure of the Obama administration.”|
|6) “Huddles spent discussing last week’s episode of ‘Glee.’”|
|5) “Helmets too tight.”|
|4) “Stressed out after holiday shopping at the mall -- there’s your real scrimmage, people!”|
|3) “Isn’t this the time of year for giving?”|
|2) “That WikiLeaks dude leaked our defensive playbook.”|
|1) “Knicks are doing well, which means somebody has to suck while the Mets are off.”|
“Who was Somerset Maugham?”
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