Names In The News
ESPN's ranking of the "25 most influential people in UFC history" is led by President DANA WHITE and former co-Owner LORENZO FERTITTA. White is to UFC "what VINCE MCMAHON is to the WWE." He is the "promoter and of the best to ever do it." At his "absolute best and when he's firing on all cylinders, White has the ability to get you emotionally invested in a fight and a card." Meanwhile, UFC "does not exist as it does today without Fertitta." From '01-16, Fertitta's "financial commitment and business influence transformed the UFC from a failing sideshow into a global brand" (ESPN.com, 11/8).
NEVER EASY: Phillies manager GABE KAPLER learned from a friend on Saturday that his property in Zuma Beach is "gone" due to the California wildfires. Kapler: "We're good. Our family is good. There are a lot of other families who are not" (THEATHLETIC.com, 11/12)....Brewers RF CHRISTIAN YELICH has survived "two scares with the deadly wildfires still ravaging much of California." Yelich said, "There's going to be a lot of people that are going to need a lot of help. A lot of homes have been destroyed" (JSONLINE.com, 11/12).
ON THE STAGE: Clippers Owner STEVE BALLMER, speaking at a Wall Street Journal tech conference yesterday, said, "You want accountability? Sports. I find the level of accountability frightfully more powerful than I did when I was (Microsoft) CEO." Ballmer said that there are "similarities between running a sports enterprise and other kinds of businesses." He added, "It's all about the product, stupid" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/13).
NAMES: MLB announced a $500,000 grant commitment, through '19, to several nonprofit organizations focused on transition services and systems navigation for military veterans and their families (MLB)....Pistons F BLAKE GRIFFIN is "one of the headliners" on the '19 Forbes "30 Under 30" list. Griffin will be "featured on one of the business magazine's covers presenting the list" (FREEP.com, 11/13)....GQ, which normally names its "Men of the Year," broke with tradition and named SERENA WILLIAMS its "Woman of the Year" alongside male honorees JONAH HILL, MICHAEL B. JORDAN and HENRY GOLDING (NYPOST.com, 11/12)….TIM TEBOW will host CBS’ new physical competition series “MILLION DOLLAR MILE.” NFL Network’s MATT SMITH and ESPN’s MARIA TAYLOR will “join Tebow and sports commentators” in the 10-episode series (DEADLINE.com, 11/12)….Patriots LB KYLE VAN NOY on Friday attended an advance screening of MARK WAHLBERG’s latest movie, “INSTANT FAMILY,” with a “group of 100 teenagers and chaperones from Massachusetts Wonderfund, a private nonprofit that supports kids” in the state’s Department of Children & Families system (BOSTONGLOBE.com, 11/13)….Rockies OFs DAVID DAHL and CHARLIE BLACKMON “both got married this past weekend.” Dahl and JACQUELYN DAVIS were married on Friday in La Jolla, Calif., while Blackmon and ASHLEY COOK were married on Saturday in Highlands, N.C. (DENVERPOST.com, 11/12).