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Category Archives: Sports Diplomacy

Oct 6-18, 2012 Headlines: Athlete endorsements, VP Candidate football visits, ‘n’ NY/NJ MMA & NCAA Battles

Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush with St Louis Cardinals Andre Roberts, Jay Feely, Larry Fitzgerald, Rich Bartel, and Sam Acho

The Cardinals and the Presidents

Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush with St Louis Cardinals Andre Roberts, Jay Feely, Larry Fitzgerald, Rich Bartel, and Sam Acho

AZCardinals.com (blog)   Thurs, Oct 11 2012

Larry Fitzgerald has had a chance to be around former President George W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton before — because, you know, that’s how he rolls — but the Cardinals wide receiver and a handful of teammates got a few minutes in with both Wednesday night, an experience they weren’t going to forget. Kicker Jay Feely (who has played golf with Bush, actually), linebacker Sam Acho, wide receiver Andre Roberts and former Cards quarterback Rich Bartel all joined Fitz at the debate/speeches by the former Presidents at the Deutsche Bank Financial Summit. Before the event, for about 20 minutes, the quartet even got to sit and chat with the Presidents, talking “sports and policy,” Feely said. And also about Acho’s background. Fitzgerald went to Africa with Clinton in the offseason to help distribute hearing aids together. The subject came up and Fitzgerald pointed out to Clinton that Acho too had done charity work  in Nigeria…“It was great listening and learning from them,” said Feely, who has talked about his own desire about getting into politics when his football career is over.

Coach Dungy asks Obama, Romney to make fatherhood an issue

Washington Times (blog)   Thurs, Oct 18 2012

Super Bowl-winning football coach Tony Dungy has started an online petition urging President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to make fatherhood a top campaign issue. Mr. Dungy said he was urging both of the major candidates to “put the issue of fatherhood at the forefront of our nation’s attention as you discuss issues publicly in the final stretch of this campaign,” according to a statement on the petition’s website. “Now more than ever, American families need strong leadership. I trust and pray that you agree and will stand with us to make tackling the issue of fatherlessness a priority.”

Obama camp taps NBA, NFL stars

CNN (blog)   Mon, Oct 8 2012

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama’s campaign is tapping into some athletic star power in three new web videos meant to encourage sports fans to register to vote for the president…”It means keeping your eye on the ball and never losing sight of what’s most important,” says seven-time NBA all-star Alonso Mourning. “I believe America is still the greatest country in the world, and I am voting for President Obama.” Current and former NBA and WNBA players Dahntay Jones, Harrison Barnes, Etan Thomas, Kym Hampton, Vince Carter, and Juwan Howard are all shown wearing Obama 2012 basketball jerseys while listing off reasons why they support the president.

NFL Players Join Obama’s Team To Get Out The Vote

Huffington Post   Fri, Oct 5 2012

Three NFL players touted their support for President Barack Obama in a web video released Friday and encouraged viewers to register to vote. Matt Forte of the Chicago Bears (Obama’s team), Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Antoine Bethea of the Indianapolis Colts star in the video. “And the other side is out there, ready to tear it all down,” Jones Drew says. “So are you are going to sit down and let that happen? Or stand up and speak out?” Forte says. “Go to Gottavote.org right now,” Jones Drew says.

New York Giants’ Victor Cruz Makes Play for Obama to get Latinos to Polls

New York Giants Victor Cruz

Fox News   Mon, Oct 8 2012

Stepping away from the field, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz has a message he wants to share with the Latino community that has nothing to do with football. Instead Cruz is making a play for President Obama, campaigning for his re-election in a new video targeted towards Latino voters.

Romney counters with his own NFL star, Bengals’ legend Anthony Munoz

Washington Times (blog)   Sat, Oct 13 2012

Mr. Romney has been campaigning throughout battleground Ohio with his own NFL star, Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz, the former Cincinnati Bengal many consider the game’s all-time best offensive lineman…On Saturday afternoon at a rally in Lebanon, Ohio, Mr. Romney drew raucous cheers after acknowledging Mr. Munoz during his stump speech. Mr. Munoz, the only member of the Bengals franchise to be selected to the NFL Hall of Fame, has long been a fixture in conservative politics in Ohio.

Palm Beach NFL Owners Gang up on Obama!

Gossip Extra   Tues, Oct 16 2012

No fewer than three — count ‘em — three owners of National Football League teams are among the organizers of one of the last Florida fundraisers for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney before the November 6 election. Gossip Extra has learned that Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, Washington Redskins part-owner Dwight Schar and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson are among those involved in two big-money anti-Barack Obama events Saturday afternoon in Palm Beach…“It’s a business thing not a sports thing: Every businessman in the country is voting for Romney except those who get subsidies,”  said local Republican boss Sid Dinerstein. “Whether you’re in NASCAR or the owner of the Redskins, you’re not just a successful business guy. You have $1 billion or more.”

Olympic figure skater campaigns for Romney in NH

Auburn Citizen   Tues, Oct 16 2012

NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Figure skating champion Scott Hamilton is heading to New Hampshire to campaign for the Romney-Ryan presidential ticket. Hamilton, winner of the 1984 Olympic gold medal and a four-time world champion, will be part of a bus tour Tuesday, with stops planned in Nashua, Rindge, New London, Henniker and Manchester. The campaign says Hamilton will emphasize that the nation needs the kind of leadership Romney showed in saving the 2002 Winter Olympics from massive budget shortfalls.

NBA’s Spencer Hawes endorses Romney

The Hill   Tues, Oct 16 2012

Basketball’s Spencer Hawes (Sacramento Kings) plans to use his height to Mitt Romney’s advantage during the remaining three weeks before the election…this year that he is not a supporter of noted basketball fan President Obama, or of the president’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act. When the Supreme Court handed down its ruling that the healthcare reform legislation is constitutional in June, Hawes tweeted: “Ronald Reagan is spinning in his grave. We might as well be in Russia in 1983.”..The Romney campaign earlier this week announced a coalition of “Sportsmen for Romney” that included baseball Hall of Fame’s Wade Boggs and Olympic medalist Kim Rhode, but Hawes was not among them. Members of the Romney campaign re-tweeted Hawes’s tweet on Tuesday.

Mitt Romney praises Detroit Tigers, then hears opposition in Metro Detroit roar

MLive.com   Thurs, Oct 18 2012

DETROIT, MI – Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a Detroit native, appeared to make a kind gesture on Twitter Thursday night after the Tigers beat the Yankees and earned their second trip to the World Series since 2006. He praised the team for their accomplishment; then his political opposition in Metro Detroit appeared to go on attack.  At least 12 of the first 18 responses to Romney’s post left on his Twitter page appeared to share an anti-Romney sentiment. And it was pretty clear by 9:30 p.m. Thursday that negative posts in Metro Detroit to Romney’s message appeared to trump positive ones for his potential presidency. That being said, Romney’s Tigers message – at that time – was “favorited” by users 730 times and re-tweeted 2,615 times.

President Obama meets with Wisconsin basketball team during campaign stop

NBCSports.com   Sun, Oct 7 2012

President Obama likely won’t need much help winning the youth vote in November’s presidential election, but his decision to meet with the Wisconsin basketball team could very well have secured the votes of 16 young men in the Badger State. After a Twitter campaign by forward Zach Bohannon and some convenient connections to the Obama campaign, the Wisconsin team was able to score a few minutes with Obama before a campaign stop in Madison this week.

Poll: NASCAR fans prefer Mitt Romney over Barack Obama by wide margin

SB Nation   Wed, Oct 10 2012

A new poll released Wednesday by the conservative Race Fans 4 Freedom organization indicates NASCAR fans are more unhappy with the direction of the country than other voters and prefer Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama by a wide margin…Romney is preferred by 63 percent of NASCAR fans, while only 34 percent said they prefer Obama (58 percent of the voters surveyed said they are Republicans). Obama has a one-point lead over Romney (49-48) with the general population, the poll found.

 

VP candidate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, at Doyt Perry Stadium, Bowling Green-Miami University football game, THE BLADE:DAVE ZAPOTOSKY

Crowd greets Ryan at BGSU football game

Toledo Blade   Sat, Oct 13 2012

A cheering crowd greeted GOP running mate Paul Ryan at Bowling Green State University, where he stopped for some tailgating time before today’s football game…where the Falcons were taking on his alma mater, Miami University of Ohio.

VP candidate fumbles QB’s names at Browns practice

FOXSports.com   Wed, Oct 17 2012

Paul Ryan & Browns Left Tackle Joe Thomas

BEREA, OHIO (AP)- On a visit to the Cleveland Browns, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan fumbled. Ryan stopped by the team’s complex with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice – a lifelong Cleveland fan – as the Browns were beginning practice Wednesday. While addressing the huddled players, Ryan confused Browns backup quarterback Colt McCoy for starter Brandon Weeden. As Ryan spoke, it became obvious that while he was looking at McCoy, he was talking about Weeden, the rookie from Oklahoma State who got his first NFL win last Sunday on his 29th birthday. A few of the Browns players began laughing quietly while others looked away before the candidate realized his mistake. ”I think he saw the red (practice) jerseys and got us mixed up,” Weeden said. ”But he’s got more important things on his mind right now than me and Colt. It was a good laugh.”

Nats fever sweeps Congress, K Street

The Hill (blog)  Wed, Oct 10 2012

Politics in the District has competition from baseball on Wednesday as the city hosts a playoff game for the first time in nearly 80 years…D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay took the friendly sports rivalry to Twitter, sending each other Photoshopped images of government buildings with their respective city flags flying over them… “Gang of Eight talks will keep me from Nats Park today, but I’m rooting for the @Nationals in today’s playoff,” Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) tweeted along with the popular hashtag #natitude…Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a big baseball fan, couldn’t make Wednesday’s game either. His office said he is out of the country, but most likely will be getting updates on the game through his iPhone.

San Francisco Super Bowl campaign kicks off with South Bay in the back seat

San Jose Mercury News   Thurs, Oct 18 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — The official campaign to bring the Super Bowl to the Bay Area kicked off Thursday, and it left no doubt which city will be on center stage. Sorry, Santa Clara. At a news conference in San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee and other city leaders unveiled official marketing materials led by a logo that shows Golden Gate Bridge-style football goal posts featuring the title “SF Super Bowl.” They boasted of the need to bring the “world-class event to a world-class city,” unveiled the website SFsuperbowl.com and had an opera singer belt out “I left My Heart in San Francisco.” “Go San Francisco Super Bowl!” Lee said as he kicked off

Maryland governor, Ravens linebacker team up for same-sex marriage fundraiser

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, left, and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. Steve Ruark—Associated Press

 

Washington Post (blog)   Tues, Oct 9 2012

The second floor of the Baltimore bar (Mothers Federal Hill Grille) was the scene of a fundraiser for the cause that had been billed as a Monday Night Football watch party. Many of the 30 or so attendees — some picked by lottery — turned their attention to the Orioles playoff game instead. The TV cameras in the bar were trained on Ayanbadejo, who came with his young family in tow. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who is championing next month’s ballot measure to uphold the state’s new same-sex marriage law, was waiting to greet the linebacker. “Awesome of you to do this,” O’Malley, decked out casually in jeans and polo shirt, told Ayanbadejo.

UFC again urges Gov. Andrew Cuomo and ESDC to bring MMA to New York

MMATorch   Thurs, Oct 11 2012

The UFC is continuing their efforts to bring MMA to New York State this week, reaching out to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo this week amidst reports of a new sports division within the Empire State Development Corporation. According to the New York Post, the division would be put in place “to aggressively seek the expansion of professional and amateur sporting events around the state.”

Well, the UFC believes they are one such sporting endeavor that would help boost tourism and the local economies of the cities in which they could run. With that in mind, UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta once again made the case for legalizing the sport in the state.

New Jersey Sports Betting Law Spurs Move by NCAA

New York Times    Tues, Oct 16 2012

The N.C.A.A. is planning to relocate six championships from New Jersey, blaming a new state law there allowing sports betting on collegiate and professional games. The association, which prohibits championships being held in states where gambling on single games is legal, said in a statement released late Monday that the competitions, all planned for next year, would be moved to other locations yet to be determined….The N.C.A.A.’s decision was met with consternation by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who signed the law in January and has called it common-sense public policy. A spokesman for the governor, Michael Drewniak, said in a statement that the law prohibited betting on college games being played in the state or any college game involving a New Jersey team, regardless of where it was played. “The N.C.A.A. wants to penalize New Jersey for responsibly legalizing what occurs illegally every day in every state and often with the participation of organized crime,” the spokesman said. “But the N.C.A.A. looks the other way for that? Ludicrous and hypocritical.”

N.J. Gives Giants Town a Week to Pass Budget, Produce Documents

San Francisco Chronicle   Wed, Oct 17 2012

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration has given East Rutherford, home to the National Football League’s New York Giants and Jets stadium, a week to approve a budget or it may impose one. East Rutherford is the last municipality without a budget out of more than 550 in the state that operate on a calendar year, said Thomas Neff, director of the state’s Local Government Services division. The borough has been locked in a legal battle with the Giants over whether its training center is exempt from a $1.5 million property-tax bill.

Gov. Rick Scott signs youth sports head injury bill at Ponte Vedra High

WJXT Jacksonville   Fri, Oct 12 2012

PONTE VEDRA, Fla. – Florida Gov. Rick Scott visited Ponte Vedra High School on Friday to sign a bill designed to help reduce youth sports head injuries. House Bill 291 requires coaches and others to immediately remove players from a game or practice following a head injury and prevents the student-athlete from returning to competition until the player has been cleared by a doctor. “It is important to remember that as much excitement as we get from our children’s sporting events, safety always comes first,” Scott said.

Quinn, Emanuel Spar Over Governor’s Appointee To Sports Board

CBS2 Chicago   Mon, Oct 8 2012

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Emanuel and Gov. Quinn are clashing over Quinn’s choice to head the agency that finances and runs some major sports facilities. Kelly Kraft, the governor’s pick to head the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, is a former spokeswoman and assistant agency director for his administration. Emanuel says he has nothing against Kraft personally, but says his own appointees to the sports agency have had business and financial backgrounds…Quinn countered that Kraft is a former assistant budget director. He says the mayor and his operatives should stop questioning her credentials.

Lt. Governor wants to see Albany Devils in Atlantic City permanently

Press of Atlantic City   Fri, Oct 12 2012

ATLANTIC CITY — The New Jersey Devils’ mascot and four former players sat in the front row of a news conference Thursday morning at Boardwalk Hall to promote their minor-league club’s four games this season at the historic building. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno hopes the minor-league team decides to make the Hall its home. “I look forward to … maybe some type of permanent association with the farm team,” Guadagno said of the Devils’ minor-league club in Albany, N.Y., which has the lowest attendance in the American Hockey League.

Mayor urges Capitals owner to end lockout

WTOP   Fri, Oct 12 2012

WASHINGTON – D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray says he’s asked Capitals owner, Ted Leonsis, to help end the NHL lockout now in its fourth week. “We’ve urged him, whatever he can do, whatever influence he can wield on this, let’s get this over with,” Gray says…But Gray says he’s concerned that any prolonged lockout that erodes further at the season would have a major negative impact on the local economy.

NHL reportedly hires GOP strategist to craft PR campaign

Welland Tribune   Mon, Oct 15 2012

While the NHL and NHLPA work out their differences in a boardroom, the league has hired outside help to find out how the labour dispute is affecting fans. The NHL has hired marketing research firm Luntz Global to perform the research. Luntz Global is run by Frank Luntz, a pollster who has advised the likes of George W. Bush and Stephen Harper. Luntz Global ran a focus group Friday of 30 NHL fans to gauge their reaction to images of hockey and statements related to the league’s labour dispute. According to a report from Deadspin, the focus group was also used to test pro-ownership messages.

St. Louis, San Francisco mayors talking trash, making wagers

CBSSports.com (blog)   Mon, Oct 15 2012

We see this type of thing quite frequently in the NFL, but it seems a bit more rare in baseball. That thing is mayors of two cities (San Francisco and St. Louis) with teams competing for a championship locking horns over their Cardinals and Giants on the Internet. It’s San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee vs. St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay. First, the bet, via sanfranciscosentinel.com:  “The Mayor of the losing city will change his Twitter profile picture to the logo of the winning team for a day. Also, the losing Mayor will send food and beverages traditionally associated with the respective cities so the winning Mayor can invite the community into City Hall for a party to celebrate. Mayor Lee will send dim sum and Anchor Steam Beer. Mayor Slay will send St. Louis barbecue, toasted ravioli and a court of St. Louis brews, led by the King of Beers.”

LB wears Gerald Ford’s number

Michigan linebacker Desmond Morgan awarded the No. 48 jersey (the third jersey Michichigan jersey of former President Ford

ESPN   Sat, Oct 13 2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan sophomore linebacker Desmond Morgan was awarded the No. 48 jersey (the third jersey Michigan put back into circulation this season) of former United States President Gerald R. Ford (38th president of the United States) prior to Saturday’s game against Illinois. Ford played at Michigan from 1932 to 1934 as a center and a linebacker. He won two national championships in 1932 and 1933 and was named Michigan’s most valuable player in 1934…Morgan is Michigan’s fourth-leading tackler with 28 and tied for the team lead with four tackles for loss. He has 91 tackles and eight tackles for loss in his career.

Condi Rice, college football mascot

Washington Examiner   Sun, Oct 14 2012

College football fans have produced a new, unexpected mascot: former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. During ESPN’s pre-game coverage of the Notre Dame/Stanford match-up on Saturday, a large cardboard cutout of Rice bobbed in the crowd behind ESPN guest commentator Vince Vaughn. The mystery remains, however, which school was rallying around the secretary — Rice has a long history with Stanford and is currently a professor there, but she also holds a master’s degree from Notre Dame.

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales plays soccer with Peruvian workers in Lima, October 1, 2012. President Morales is in Peru to attend a summit of leaders from South America and Arab states on October 1

August 17-21, 2012 Headlines: Sports Cash for Obama & Romney, Augusta admits Rice, ‘n’ RI’s Guv called dunce

NBA political donations to Obama and Romney revealed

Sheridan Hoops   Sat, Aug 18 2012

NBA owners, players and coaches are taking sides in the 2012 U.S. presidential election, with players and coaches favoring incumbent Democrat Barack Obama and most owners supporting Republican challenger Mitt Romney…largest individual donation was $15,000 (to the Romney campaign) by Michael Gearon of the Atlanta Hawks’ ownership group.

Romney supporters: Rockets general manager Daryl Morey donated $8,500 to the Romney campaign (outspending his colleague in Boston, Danny Ainge, by $6,000), and $7,500 Romney donations were made by Pat Riley (Miami Heat president), Herb Simon (Indiana Pacers owner), and Thunder minority owner Aubrey McClendon, who donated $2,500 more than principle Oklahoma City owner Clay Bennett.

Obama supporters: Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich donated $5,000 apiece, as did players Baron Davis, Vince Carter and Grant Hill. NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silverdonated $2,000. Among owners, Ted Leonsis of the Washington Wizards donated $5,500, and Philadelphia 76ers CEO Adam Aron went into his wallet for $5,000 for the Obama campaign.

Who Do Pro Sports Owners Back For President?

Yahoo Sports   Mon, Aug 20 2012

If you ever had any doubts on which way your local owners lean politically, WNYC has documented how they are spending their money so far this election cycle. Here are some interesting revelations from the station’s research into the political contributions of owners in the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB: — Owners from these four leagues have given $1,992,050 to 2012 national election efforts. Republican committees and Mitt Romney received nearly $1.25 million of that.
– Braves owner Gregory Maffei was the largest single donor with $157,500 to Romney and various Republican groups.
– The Dodgers have given the most as a team, with four owners, including Magic Johnson, totaling nearly $180,000 in contributions to President Obama’s re-election.

Mitt Romney nearly bobbles Yankees fan’s vote

New York Daily News   Mon, Aug 20 2012

Mitt Romney may have nearly whiffed with one Yankees fan in New Hampshire Monday, but running mate Paul Ryan was there in the clutch to try to save the vote. Romney — the former governor of Massachusetts and a Red Sox fan — ragged on the Bronx Bombers while taking a question from a New York fan at a town hall meeting at St. Anselm College. He reportedly broke into a riff on a story he told at a South Carolina town hall about Johnny Damon being traded to New York by Boston, with the punchline being (drumroll, please): “We all hate Yankees.”
“But not you, Sir,” said Ryan for the save. “We love you.” The forgiving fan — who remained nameless in a crowd of thousands who showed up to hear the White House hopefuls — replied, “I back winners and that’s why I’m backing you.”

Schilling calls RI gov ‘dunce of epic proportions’

OneNewsNow   Tues, Aug 21 2012

Former major league baseball pitcher Curt Schilling, whose video gaming company recently collapsed, called the governor a “dunce of epic proportions.” Schilling, who won a World Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks and then two with the Boston Red Sox, criticized independent Gov. Lincoln Chafee in a Saturday exchange on Twitter about the collapse of 38 Studios, which got a $75 million loan guarantee from the state in 2010. Schilling tweeted that “if the state loses money it’s because the Governor is a dunce of epic proportions, nothing I can do about that.” In follow-up tweets on Monday, Schilling also called the governor a “buffoon” and called the prospect of him getting re-elected in 2014 “terrifying.” Chafee told WPRO-AM that Schilling’s comments were “regretful.”

Augusta, home of the Masters golf tournament, admits first women

Los Angeles Times   Mon, Aug 20 2012

A decade after former Augusta National Golf Club chairman Hootie Johnson swore that the home of the Masters golf tournament would not admit women “at the point of a bayonet,” the club has quietly invited two prominent women to join. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore have accepted membership invitations, the club announced Monday — 22 years after admitting its first black members.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan to Speak at “Oakland Loves its Sports Teams Week Rally

The Raider Nation Times   Tues, Aug 21 2012

The city of Oakland will hold “Oakland Loves Its Sports Teams” Week in order to show its professional sports teams how much the city cares about them, according to the office of Mayor Jean Quan.

When it comes to sports, Congress has historically spent the most time on the national pastime.

Fox News Radio, Oustide the Lines

That may only be fitting. As far back as the 1890s, there were debates in Congress about whether the Sherman Antitrust Act applied to professional baseball. A landmark 1922 Supreme Court case ruled that baseball was exempt from antitrust rules as the sport was not “interstate commerce.” And since then, Congress periodically threatens to revoke baseball’s antitrust exemption when things go awry. Such was the case when Congress investigated steroid use in the game in 2005 and during the 1994 labor stoppage which cancelled the World Series.

DC mayor embraces his alter ego — first baseman

Washington Post   Mon, Aug 20 2012

Mayor Vincent C. Gray stood up from his desk at city hall at just before 9 p.m. Wednesday, took off his dress shirt and charcoal suit, and put on his other uniform, a red jersey with “Dragons” in white lettering across the chest, matching pin-striped pants and a red cap. His two bats and first baseman’s glove were in a duffel bag stowed in the back of the Lincoln Navigator waiting downstairs….Softball for the mayor, at 69, remains what it has been for decades, a joyous excursion from the pressures of work and a source of not-inconsiderable regret.

Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller wins amateur MMA debut, retires from Politics

MMAjunkie.com   Mon, Aug 20 2012

For Ross Miller, the decision to take an amateur MMA fight was not something he took lightly. A longtime fan of the sport with several years of training under his belt, Miller wasn’t certain he had the skills necessary to be successful, but he wanted to test himself in actual competition.

Akron mayor honors NBA MVP LeBron James Sunday at Akron Aeros game

NewsNet5.com   Sun, Aug 19 2012

AKRON, Ohio – LeBron James is back in his hometown of Akron where he’s being honored by the mayor at an Akron Aeros game. Mayor Don Plusquellic will pay tribute to James during the Akron Aeros minor league baseball game Sunday afternoon. James came home to Akron with a gold medal from the Olympics and his first NBA title that he won with the Miami Heat.

Steve McMichael: Mayor? Former Chicago Bear Throws Hat Into Ring For Romeoville Race

Huffington Post   Sat, Aug 18 2012 Steve McMichael #76 of the Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Steve “Mongo” McMichael has worn a lot of hats: he’s won a Super Bowl game as a defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears, served as an analyst for ESPN pregame shows, operates Mongo McMichael’s Restaurant and Sports Bar and is currently the head coach of the Chicago Slaughter indoor football team. On Thursday, McMichael threw his hat into another ring, announcing his candidacy for mayor of suburban Romeoville.

President Hu greets Chinese Olympians

Chinese top leaders and Olympians (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)(mcg)

Xinhua   Fri, Aug 17 2012 

BEIJING, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) — President Hu Jintao on Friday greeted the Chinese mainland’s delegation to the London Olympic Games and called for more efforts in promoting scientific development of sport. Hu extended congratulations to the athletes, coaches and staff members of the delegation and thanked them for winning honor for the country and the Chinese people. Hu encouraged the members to draw experience from the games and contribute more in enhancing the country’s sport.

Time for 1972 Dolphins to visit White House

Sun-Sentinel   Sat, Aug 18 2012

…In recent days, President Barack Obama has congratulated Olympians, picked the Dream Team over this year’s U.S. Olympic basketball team, claimed he wasn’t a fan of Tim Tebow on the Jets, and generally shown how, as the Wall Street Journal said when 18 athletes or teams once visited the White House in a six-month span, he’s “the Sports President.” Except one sparkling invitation is missing…the 1972 Dolphins…trip to the White House? Wouldn’t that be a special moment on the 40th anniversary of their Perfect Season?

August 12-16, 2012 Headlines: Browns Rice, Romney’s NASCAR support, ‘n’ CA move to protect sports fans

Condoleeza Rice claims the Browns as her team

Yahoo! Sports (blog)   Wed, Aug 15 2012

The NFL is marketing some new fashion-forward gear for women under the slogan, “It’s My Team,” and one of the high-powered ladies modeling for it is former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

Gov. Jerry Brown weighs protections for California sports fans

Los Angeles Times  Wed, Aug 15 2012

Mariah Tauger/ Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown is weighing a proposal to better protect sports fans from violence at California’s professional football stadiums, hockey arenas and baseball parks. In the wake of violent incidents across the state, including the 2011 beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium, the Legislature this week sent Brown a bill that would require major-league sports venues to clearly post phone numbers that fans can call or text to quickly summon stadium security for help.

President Obama congratulates Team USA basketball: ‘You all make us so proud’

Examiner.com   Sun, Aug 12 2012

After the final competition finished on Sunday, the President of the United States took a minute to congratulate all the winners of the United States basketball teams at the London Olympics. Winning 104 medals during the individual competitions, there were plenty of moments that America can be proud about and then there was a special moment coming at the end with the men’s basketball team winning gold. “Congrats to the U.S. women’s and men’s basketball teams for bringing home the gold. You all make us so proud. –bo” tweeted President Obama from his official Twitter account.

Commissioner Stern awarded Olympic Order

Jacques Rogge & David Stern

NBA.com    Sun, Aug 12 2012

LONDON — NBA Commissioner David Stern has been awarded the prestigious Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He was presented the honour during the half-time of Sunday’s men’s Olympic Basketball Final by IOC President Jacques Rogge, who attended the Final in the North Greenwich Arena. Together with the then FIBA Secretary General Borislav Stankovic — who was awarded the Olympic Order in 1985 — Stern was the key figure in working towards the participation of professional basketball players in the Olympics, including those of the NBA.

IOC President Jacques Rogge calls Olympic anti-doping program a ‘system that works’

Washington Post   Sun, Aug 12 2012

LONDON — Even before the flame was out, IOC President Jacques Rogge said efforts to fight doping at the Olympics were a success. Through Sunday morning, only one athlete tested positive for a banned substance on the day of competing at the London Games. Seven more were caught in doping controls conducted since the official testing period for the games began July 16.

Obama congratulates Cameron on successful Olympics

USA TODAY (blog)   Sun, Aug 12 2012

President Obama called Prime Minister Cameron today to congratulate him and the people of the United Kingdom and London on an extremely successful Olympic games, which speaks to the character and spirit of our close ally. Both leaders commended the

Michelle Obama teases Gabby Douglas over fast food

The Seattle Times   Mon, Aug 13 2012

Olympic champion Gabby Douglas basked in the “Tonight” spotlight and the admiration of fellow guest Michelle Obama, but the teenage gymnast already is thinking ahead to 2016.

Romney, GOP put NASCAR Tech on big stage

Mooresville Tribune   Wed, Aug 15 2012

Mooresville’s NASCAR Technical Institute has been front-and-center at two high-visibility Republican events in the past week. But a school executive says the Mooresville facility isn’t picking political sides in the presidential election.

First, a race car with NASCAR Tech decals was displayed prominently at the opening of the Mitt Romney/Iredell GOP headquarters in Morrison Plantation last week. Then Romney himself visited NTI on Sunday in a high-profile campaign stop with new vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

Both events had all the making of an NTI endorsement of the Republicans, but that wasn’t the intention, insists John Dodson, NTI’s Community/NASCAR Team Relations Director.

Romney Gets Fundraising Lift From Nascar

Wall Street Journal (blog)   Wed, Aug 15 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. –Mitt Romney once mentioned he was friends with Nascar team owners — and on Wednesday he proved it.At a lunchtime fundraiser here Wednesday, Mr. Romney raked in $1.5 million at Duke Mansion, alongside a handful of Nascar owners and officials. Among the notable team owners were Richard Childress, a former Nascar driver who owns the team Richard Childress Racing and Rick Hendrick, who owns the Nascar team Hendrick Motorsports. Nascar Chief Executive Brian France introduced Mr. Romney. Nascar President Mike Helton and Bruton Smith, the owner of Speedway Motorsport Inc., were also in attendance.

One sign of Ryan’s impact on Romney campaign: Big crowds

ABC News  Sun, Aug 12 2012

…Several thousand people turned out to see the new GOP ticket at a NASCAR mechanics training facility here—including over 1,700 who crowded inside the event, which was held on a repair floor inside the complex. It was the second day in a row of record-breaking crowds for the Romney campaign, including more than 8,000 who attended a rally in Manassas, Va., on Saturday. In Mooresville, Romney was presented with his own customized NASCAR by legendary stock car driver Darrell Waltrip, prompting an emotional reaction from the GOP presidential candidate who rarely strays from his usual stump speech.

Biden: I dreamed of winning the Daytona 500

Politico (blog)   Tues, Aug 14 2012

At a campaign stop in Stuart, Va., Vice President Joe Biden was so excited to meet a NASCAR owner that he ordered the press corp to scatter. “Get out of the way man,” Biden said “good-naturedly” to a photographer upon entering The Coffee Break Cafe, according to a pool report filed by POLITICO’s Jonathan Martin. “Get out of the way.” Biden then approached restaurant patron Glen Wood, the owner of a car that won the Daytona 500 in 2011.”I heard somebody in here won the Daytona!” Biden said. “This guy did what I dreamed of, man,” Biden said.  “I’d trade being vice-president in a heartbeat for having won Daytona.”

Ann Romney to raise coin for Connie Mack at RNC baseball-themed event

MiamiHerald.com (blog)   Thur, Aug 16 2012

Romney’s wife, Ann Romney, is a special guest of Mack’s “Evening at the Ballpark” fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency Tampa from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 28 during the Republican National Convention week. Host contribution: $10,000. Reception contribution: $1,000 per person. Mack is the great grandson of baseball great Connie Mack.

Steve McMichael plans to run for mayor

SI.com   Thur, Aug 16 2012

ROMEOVILLE, Ill. (AP) – Former Chicago Bears defensive lineman Steve McMichael says he wants to enter the political field after being a star on the football one. McMichael was a fan favorite as a member of the Super Bowl-winning Bears and he says he plans to run for mayor of Romeoville, Ill. McMichael is co-owner of Mongo McMichael’s sports bar in the Chicago suburb.

Mayor, Boston Pizza play road hockey for a cause

Orangeville Citizen   Thur, Aug 16 2012

Boston Pizza and Mayor Rob Adams are partnering to raise money by submitting a team to play in the annual Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer event at Ontario Place next month. And on the evening of Monday, September 24, Boston Pizza will be playing host to their fundraising efforts by creating an evening of entertainment and live music for residents.

August 9-11, 2012 Headlines: Sen. Brown Balls, Soccer shout-out/fundraiser, ‘n’ NY Pol’s support Bills

Team rosters revealed for charity basketball game with Sen. Scott Brown

MassLive.com   Thurs, Aug 9 2012

The Path to Manhood charity basketball game to be held at the Dunbar Y Community Center in Springfield will pit community members and politicos against each other in a winner-take-nothing contest designed to boost two of the city’s non-profit entities that help underprivileged youth.

Obama congratulates US women’s soccer team

Boston.com  Thurs, Aug 9 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — President Barack Obama has congratulated the U.S. women’s soccer team for winning the Olympic gold medal. Obama visited the U.S. Olympic Committee’s training center in Colorado Springs Thursday and singled out the women’s soccer team, which had just finished its gold-medal match. Obama offered a ‘‘special shout-out’’ to the women’s team, which avenged its loss to Japan in last year’s World Cup.

Amb. Rice, Michelle Kwan join presidential delegation to Olympics closing Ceremony

The Hill (blog)   Thurs, Aug 9 2012

Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will lead the presidential delegation to the closing ceremonies of the Olympics, the White House announced on Thursday.

The delegation will also include former Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan and former baseball player Curtis Pride, both members of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Reggie Love, the president’s former personal aide and “body man,” is also part of the delegation, along with Deputy National Security Adviser Benjamin Rhodes and U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Louis B. Susman.

Sen. Charles Schumer has devised a worthwhile proposal to help keep the Bills

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle   Thurs, Aug 9 2012

Two of New York state’s highest-ranking government officials, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, proposed ideas Wednesday that they hope will help ensure the long-term viability of the Buffalo Bills in western New York. Schumer held a news conference outside of Ralph Wilson Stadium where he announced that he has written a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asking him to alter language in the league’s G-4 loan program that could potentially make the Bills a more attractive property to a potential new owner.

Olympic gold medallists Laura Trott and Chris Hoy tell PM: Hands off sport funding

The Independent   Thurs, Aug 9 2012

Britain’s medallists tell Cameron that we’ll all regret it at Rio Games if he cuts elite sport funding. Britain’s most decorated Olympian Sir Chris Hoy led a succession of medallists yesterday in warning David Cameron of the dire consequences of cutting funding for elite sport. Hoy, who won his sixth gold medal in the velodrome on Tuesday, spoke out as ministers refused to guarantee that current levels of sports spending will be maintained. Funding for elite sport is set to be cut next year, leaving depleted resources when Team GB appears at Brazil in 2016 if it cannot make up the shortfall with lottery money.

Miami Soccer for Obama Tournament to raise funds and fun for Obama 2012 Campaign

South Florida Caribbean News   Wed, Aug 8 2012

Miami – On Saturday, August 18, 2012, 9-5pm, the Florida Finance Committee will host a grassroots 5v5 Soccer for Obama tournament fundraiser at Soccer Town Miami…in Midtown Miami in support of Obama Victory Fund 2012.

August 6-8, 2012 Headlines: Aly’s Olympic Solute to slain Israelis, Pres pushes tax cut for some, ‘n’ Balling for $

Jewish gal shows up IOC with a gold salute to Munich 11

Jewish-American gymnast Aly Raisman wins Olympic gold-medal floor routine, Reuters

New York Post  Tues, Aug 7 2012

It wasn’t a gloved-fist salute from the medal stand, but Jewish-American gymnast Aly Raisman made quite a statement yesterday by winning a gold medal and invoking the memory of the Israeli athletes killed 40 years ago in Munich. Raisman finished first in the women’s floor exercise, but she deserves to have another medal draped around her neck for having the chutzpah to face the world and do what needed to be done and say what needed to be said. At the same Olympic Games where bigoted organizers stubbornly refuse to honor the slain athletes with a moment of silence, 18-year-old Raisman loudly shocked observers first by winning, then by paying her own tribute to 11 sportsmen who died long before she was born.

Obama favors cutting Olympians’ tax bill

CNN (blog)   Mon, Aug 6 2012

These Olympians owe thousands in taxes

(CNN) – When the U.S. Olympic team add to its medal count, it’s not just the fans and Olympians who celebrate. So does the IRS. That’s because the U.S. Olympic Committee awards each medalist with a cash prize – $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze – money that the U.S. government has always considered taxable income. But the White House on Monday said President Obama favors a proposed bill that would keep Uncle Sam’s hands off Olympic earnings. “The president believes that we should support efforts . . . to ensure that we are doing everything we can to honor and support our Olympic athletes who have volunteered to represent our nation at the Olympic Games,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters…referencing legislation proposed by Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio that would exempt the cash awards associated with Olympic medals.

Barack Obama to fundraise with basketball game featuring Michael Jordan and Carmelo Anthony

President Barack Obama has Michael Jordan, Carmelo Anthony and other basketball stars committed to a fundraising event. (Saul Loeb:Getty Images)

SI.com   Tues, Aug 7 2012

Barack Obama is about to get a boost in his fundraising efforts from a number of big names in the basketball world. According to a report Tuesday afternoon from CBS.com, citing a campaign e-mail, the president will hold an “Obama Classic” basketball game as a fundraiser. Among those scheduled to participate are Michael Jordan, Carmelo Anthony, Kyrie Irving, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning and Sheryl Swoops.

President or bust: Candidate Mitt Romney meets Harry Caray statue at Chicago Fundraiser

Yahoo! Sports (blog)  Wed, Aug 8 2012

Witth the current occupant of the White House also being a fervent supporter of the Chicago White Sox (no matter what it said on Facebook recently), it makes sense that Republican candidate Mitt Romney would seek the sprawling Chicago Cubs vote. To that end, Romney visited Harry Caray’s restaurant Tuesday to raise campaign funds and to rub, eh, shoulders with the inspiration for the business, Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Caray. Or at least Harry’s bust.

Holy Cow! Mitt Romney & Harry Caray, Getty

No Olympic medal for Ann Romney’s horse Rafalca

Washington Post   Tues, Aug 7 2012

In Tuesday’s Olympic dressage event at Greenwich Park, Rafalca, the 15-year-old mare part-owned by Mitt and Ann Romney, received an individual score of 69.302, which is too low to qualify for the highlight of dressage competitions — Thursday’s Grand Prix Freestyle — meaning the Romneys’ horse is out of medal contention.

Major League Baseball, the New York Mets and New York City unveil the official logo of the 2013 All-Star Game

MLB.com   Tues, Aug 7 2012

FLUSHING, NY – Major League Baseball, the New York Mets and New York City today unveiled the official logo of the 2013 All-Star Game, which will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16th…”Major League Baseball hit a home run when they chose to hold the 2013 All-Star Game in New York City,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “Incorporating our city’s iconic skyline into the logo highlights that the game will be played on the world’s biggest stage.”

N.J. officials unfazed by lawsuit against plan for sports betting

NorthJersey.com   Tues, Aug 7 2012

Four major professional leagues and the NCAA sued New Jersey on Tuesday, saying that Trenton’s plan to allow betting on athletic competition poses a threat to the integrity of their games. But an array of powerful figures in the state — including the governor and a leading Democratic state senator — shrugged off the lawsuit, saying that a legal battle had been anticipated. “Listen, there’s a federal law that was passed that restricts the states that can participate in sports gambling to just four,” Governor Christie said at a State House press conference. “We believe that law is unconstitutional.”

New York senator, governor announce plans to keep Bills in Buffalo

CBSSports.com   Wed, Aug 8 2012

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced the appointment of a sports expert to advise the state in its efforts to secure the Buffalo Bills‘ future in western New York. Sen. Charles Schumer, meantime, said he has asked the National Football League for changes in a stadium renovation loan program that he said would advance the same goal. The moves come as negotiations are under way between the Bills and Erie County and New York state to extend the Bills’ lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium in suburban Buffalo. The current deal expires in July 2013.

Knicks links: Assistant Secretary of State drops Jeremy Lin’s name in Taipei

The Star-Ledger – NJ.com   Mon, Aug 6 2012

Diplomats are regular people (I don’t know any, but that seems reasonable to say) so it’s not a complete surprise that Jose W. Fernandez, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, discussed Jeremy Lin with Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou in an official visit on Monday.According to a post by Kelven Huang and Sofia Wu on the Focus Taiwan Channel’s website, Fernandez, a native New Yorker, said he regretted Lin’s move from the Knicks to the Houston Rockets and added his hope that the California native would return to the Big Apple to finish his career.

Former mayor named head of sports authority

Northwest News and Tribune   Wed, Aug 8 2012

PLANT CITY — A former mayor who helped find a new tenant for the Plant City Stadium complex has been named chairman of the Tampa Sports Authority. Randy Larson, 57, said he looks forward to his year leading the authority, which manages Raymond James Stadium and three Tampa golf courses and is the landlord for George Steinbrenner Field and the Forum. His goal: to make the venues “accessible to the most people,” he said.

August 5, 2012 Headlines: Mr. Prez: Birthday Golf, Call me maybe but tweet me, ‘n’ Royal Cheerleaders

Obama Spends 51st Birthday Playing Golf

Daily Political   Sun, Aug 5 2012

President Barack Obama spent his 51st birthday Saturday with a round of golf. The president played with friends and colleagues at the Andrews Air Force Base. Then he took the Marine One to Camp David for a quiet evening off the presidential campaign trail.

Call from the President? OK, but athletes prefer his tweets

USA TODAY  Sun, Aug 5 2012

LONDON – The tweet came before the phone call. The president was on the line, but he was old news. Michael Phelps had heard from him in a 140-character burst on Twitter. It’s no longer, “Let my people get in touch with your people.” President Obama can contact the most decorated Olympian instantly, and Phelps can tweet back his gratitude. Teen pop star Justin Bieber can congratulate 17-year-old swimmer Missy Franklin after she won the first gold medal of her Olympic career, giving her a surprise almost as wonderful as that medal.

London 2012 Olympics: William, Kate and Harry’s Olympic effort to ‘sell’ UK to the World

Telegraph.co.uk   Sun, Aug 5 2012

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry celebrate in the Velodrome Photo- REX FEATURES

Their daily presence at Olympic events sporting Team GB polo shirts has seen the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry emerge as the most visible brand ambassadors for UK plc during the Games. While all three share a keen interest in sport, the royal trio, who have attended up to four Olympic events a day while also meeting with foreign dignitaries and international business figures, have embarked on a dedicated push to “sell” the UK to the world during and beyond the Olympic Games. A royal aide said: “The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry have been throwing themselves into the Olympics with gusto as they recognise that the Games provides a unique moment for the country to sell itself and they recognise they are in a unique position to represent the nation to our friends and partners around the world.”

Christie critical of Giants, Jets suit

Asbury Park Press

HACKENSACK — As a sports fan, Gov. Chris Christie has cheered on New Jersey-New York market teams at every turn, but two teams recently fell off Christie’s list of favorites. Christie last week said the NFL Jets and Giants are “anti-New Jersey” because of a lawsuit the teams filed against Triple 5, developer of the former Xanadu project (now known as American Dream). The lawsuit is preventing “thousands of people” from beginning construction jobs and more people from getting permanent jobs inside the shopping and entertainment mall when work is complete, he said…The teams are seeking an injunction against Triple 5 over concerns about the impact the mall with indoor amusement and water parks will have on game-day traffic.

August 3-4, 2012 Headlines: Presidential Gymnastics, Rafalca places 13, ‘n’ Obama avoids date/land in the middle of one

Obama and Romney’s political gymnastics

Washington Post  Fri, Aug 3 2012

At NBC, to say we have Olympics fever is an understatement. For a few short weeks every four years, the Games overtake the presidential campaign as the more compelling news event. But competing in the Olympics and running for the White House have some things in common…Let’s use a sport that’s popular and one that, if President Obama and Mitt Romney actually tried it, would surely entertain audiences more than your typical stump speech: women’s gymnastics. Let the games begin!

Obama to US Olympic team: ‘Your country could not be prouder’

The Hill (blog)   Fri, Aug 3 2012

President Obama stepped away from election-year battles to praise America’s athletes who are competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, telling them “your country could not be prouder of you.” In his weekly address, Obama said the competitors showed the nation that “for all our differences, we’re Americans first” and that their efforts had “brought us all together this week.”

Ann Romney ‘thrilled’ by horse’s performance in Olympics

Los Angeles Times   Thurs, Aug 2 2012

Ann Romney stayed behind in London to watch her trainer, Jan Ebeling, and Rafalca, the mare she co-owns, compete in the dressage ring Thursday. Ebeling and Rafalca, part of the U.S. Olympic Equestrian team, finished 13th in their first test — the individual grand prix competition — with a score of 70.243%. The Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott reported that Romney pronounced herself “thrilled to death with the performance.”

German rower leaves London after reported ties to neo-Nazis surface

Yahoo! Sports  Fri, Aug 3 2012

Nadja Drygalla, a German rower who already competed at the Olympics, is on her way home from London a bit earlier than she intended. Drygalla decided to leave the Games after reports surfaced that she is connected to a neo-Nazi group in Germany. Drygalla’s boyfriend is reportedly a leader of the Rostock National Socialists, a group German intelligence describes as neo-Nazi and racist.

Picture of Obama holding baseball bat angers Turkish political circles

New York Daily News   Sat, Aug 4 2012

Barack Obama’s publicity team were thrown a curve ball this week when a photo of the president holding a baseball bat intended to promote friendship with an important ally did just the opposite. Speaking with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Monday about the escalating crisis in Syria, Obama was photographed holding a baseball bat signed by legendary player Hank Aaron. In the shot, the president looks relaxed and contemplative. But some Turkish leaders didn’t seem to think so. “The photo reveals from whom our Prime Minister receives orders to rule the country,” Metin Lutfi Baydar, an opposition politician for Turkey’s Republican People’s Party (CHP) party, said in a statement. Another CHP leader, party vice president Umut Oran, called the picture “an implicit insult to Turkey and its citizens” in Parliament, Reuters reports.

Obama Clears a Baseball Hall of Fame Coin

Wall Street Journal   Fri, Aug 3 2012

Despite earlier criticism from the White House, President Barack Obama signed a bill to mint new coins honoring the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y…H.R. 2527, the “National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act.” The measure, calling upon the Treasury Department to mint new coins honoring the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. was sponsored by Rep. Richard Hanna, a New York Republican whose district includes the Hall of Fame. A companion Senate bill was sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.).

Virginia Gov discusses deal to move Redskins’ camp

CBSSports.com   Sat, Aug 4 2012

ASHBURN, Va. — Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell says the Washington Redskins have chosen four sites in Richmond at which they hope to hold their training camp next year. McDonnell, speaking at the Redskins’ “Fan Appreciation Day” at Redskins Park, said executives will make on-site assessments next week. In June, McDonnell announced a financial package that would relocate the team’s three weeks of training camp each summer from Ashburn to the state capital in exchange for public funding in renovating their year-round facility. The package includes a $4 million investment by the state and $2 million from Loudoun County, as well as $400,000 from the city of Richmond to fund capital improvements at the eventual training camp site. The Redskins estimate the cost of renovations to their facility, which opened in 1992, at $30 million.

Rex Ryan avoids debate with Obama

Newsday  Fri, Aug 3 2012

CORTLAND, N.Y. — The media sat in stunned silence, unsure of what to make of the dead air. Reporters anxiously had been awaiting a Rex Ryan comeback, certain the Jets‘ coach had stayed up all night crafting witty one-liners. But when pressed Friday for a reaction to President Barack Obama‘s negative stance on the Tim Tebow trade, he surprisingly bit his tongue. “The president of the greatest country there is, and he’s talking about the New York football team,” Ryan said with a smile. “I’ll say this, I respect President Obama. And I respect the fact that this is his opinion.”

Serena Williams and Condoleezza Rice among the unexpected football fans in `My Team’ campaign

Newser   Fri, Aug 3 2012

Football fans will soon be pulling out their jerseys, but a few have gotten a jump on the season: Serena Williams, Melania Trump and Condoleezza Rice are among the NFL fans who’ll be appearing in ads promoting team-themed apparel and gear next week in a campaign called “It’s My Team.”

August 1-2, 2012 Headlines: Penn get statesman oversight, Phelps Gold ‘n’ Proposed Medal tax cut

NCAA tabs former Sen. George Mitchell as PSU integrity monitor

Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, D-Maine, AP Photo:Dennis Cook

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review  Wed, Aug 1 2012

STATE COLLEGE — Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell will serve as the independent athletics integrity monitor at Penn State University for the NCAA. The NCAA announced Mitchell’s five-year appointment on Wednesday…Mitchell will evaluate Penn State’s compliance with the agency’s sanctions and the integrity agreement with the NCAA and Big Ten. College sports’ governing body says Mitchell will have “broad access to campus, personnel and records” and make any recommendations necessary for Penn State to comply with its requirements.

Michael Phelps’ Twitter Gets Tweets From Obama, Pele, Lil Wayne

Huffington Post   Wed, Aug 1 2012

LONDON (Reuters) – In 2008, the congratulations came by telephone: “If you can handle eight gold medals, you can handle anything,” then U.S. President George W. Bush told Michael Phelps after he swept the board at the Beijing Olympics. It was a sign of the times that just four years later, at the so-called Twitter Games, it was via the social media site that dozens of friends, musicians, sports celebrities and even the U.S. President showered Phelps with good wishes after he became the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time.”Congrats to Michael Phelps for breaking the all-time Olympic medal record. You’ve made your country proud. – bo,” Obama, who tweets as @BarackObama, wrote. Messages from Obama are often written by his team, but the initials identify the rare messages that come directly from the president. Phelps was quick to respond: “Thank you Mr. President!! It’s an honor representing the #USA !! The best country in the world!!”

Rubio proposes Olympic tax loophole

MiamiHerald.com (blog)   Wed, Aug 1 2012

It’s doubtful that, say, Michael Phelps needs a tax break, but Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., announced Wednesday he was introducing the Olympic Tax Elimination Act, which would exempt U.S. Olympic medal winners from paying taxes on their medals.  His office notes that Olympians who win medals also receive honorariums: cash payments of $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. We’re checking with the IRS to determine whether there’s a special tax for Olympians, or whether it all gets taxed as income. And whether the winners of the Nobel Prize, for example, also face similar taxes. Rubio’s spokesman said that Americans for Tax Reform, headed by Grover Norquist, brought the idea to the senator’s attention.

First fan: Russian President Vladimir Putin, a black belt, takes in Olympic judo

Washington Post  Thurs, Aug 2 2012

LONDON — He clenched his fists at times, leaned back nervously at others. And when his compatriots won Olympic gold, he leaped from his seat and thrust his arms skyward. A common fan reaction — from an uncommon fan. Vladimir Putin was one thrilled Russian president on Thursday. The longtime judo enthusiast had a VIP seat to watch Tagir Khaibulaev win the 100-kilogram gold medal. When the match ended, Putin led the celebration

Ann Romney’s horse fails to win dressage but avoids offending British

The Guardian   Thurs, Aug 2 2012

Rafalca, the horse owned by Ann Romney, competes in London 2012

Rafalca, owned by Mrs Mitt Romney, was impeccably behaved and well received by Olympic equestrians in Greenwich

New era of sports diplomacy

Politico   Thurs, Aug 2 2012

The State Department, like the rest of America, has its eyes fixed on the London Olympics. But officials there aren’t just rooting for Team USA — they’re also looking for new recruits. Today’s gold medalists, after all, are tomorrow’s sports diplomats. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has been sending renowned Olympic coaches and athletes, including Michelle Kwan, Evan Lysacek, Kate Markgraf and Misty May-Treanor, around the globe as part of its SportsUnited initiative, which aims to strengthen ties with other countries by teaching sports to underserved youth.

President Obama doesn’t endorse Jets’ QB situation

USA TODAY   Thurs, Aug 2 2012

(CNN)–It’s still a mystery why President Barack Obama was holding a baseball bat during his telephone conversation with Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan

Obama was a guest on 97.1 The Fan in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday and offered his thoughts on the tenuous situation between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. “I gotta tell you, I don’t like the idea of a quarterback controversy at the start of a season,” Obama said, via the New York Daily News. “So if I was a Jets fan, I’d be pretty nervous. Sanchez is not Tom Brady yet, but he led them to the playoffs two years in a row. I think Tim Tebow seems to be a wonderful young man, and he’s got just a great winning attitude. He really steps up when things count.”

Racing presidents continue Olympic tributes with fencing

Washington Post (blog)  Thurs, Aug 2 2012

The racing presidents are continuing with their Olympic tributes. Tuesday it was race walking. Last night, fencing. It was Teddy’s race to lose as it was essentially a one-man contest with sword-bearing presidents as obstacles. Abe and George were easy targets, but Tom is apparently a fencing novice opposite of novice. It’s a little surprising that George, a former general, isn’t better with a sword.

Joe Biden adds to list of Nats’ high-powered visitors

Washington Post (blog)  Thurs, Aug 2 2012

The VP, with principal owners Debra Lerner Cohen and Ed Cohen. Photos via the Nationals

Nats Park seems to be a popular destination for government heavyweights. Vice President Joe Biden’s visit

President Obama’s campaign will host a basketball themed fund-raiser at Chelsea Piers

Capital New York  Thurs, Aug 2 2012

President Obama’s campaign will host a basketball themed fund-raiser at Chelsea Piers later this month. “Please join basketball’s greatest super stars and shoot some hoops to benefit the Obama Campaign in New York City,” says an invitation for the event on August 22. Tickets are $250 for an autograph session; for $5,000 a parent and child get a “shoot around skills session” with the players.

July 31, 2012 Headlines: Empty seats & Tweets at the Olympics ‘n’ the Gov & Cam Newton

“There are simply too many corporate seats”: France president wades into Olympic tickets row

GEOFF ROBINSON PHOTOGRAPHY

Mirror.co.uk   Tues, 31 Jul 2012

French President Francois Hollande today weighed into the growing empty Olympic seats row – after claiming the London Games was obsessed with making cash. The Socialist leader, who has a tetchy relationship with David Cameron, slammed the number of corporate seats in the stadiums and said an Olympics in France would hand more tickets to ordinary punters. Mr Hollande also boasted about France’s flying start to the Olympics – which by today had far outstripped team GB’s. He said: “We don’t talk of money, we talk of gold. The problem is that there are simply too many corporate seats.

Swiss Olympic team expels player for racist tweet

Newsvine   Tues, 31 Jul 2012

LONDON — A Swiss soccer player was expelled from the Olympics on Monday for his threatening and racist message on Twitter about South Koreans. The comments by Michel Morganella came hours after Switzerland lost to South Korea. Morganella “discriminated against, insulted and violated the dignity of the South Korea football team as well as the South Korean people,” Swiss Olympic team chief Gian Gilli said through a translator at a news conference. He said the player was stripped of his Olympic accreditation. Morganella is the second athlete kicked off a London Olympics team for offensive Twitter comments

Twitter suspends account of reporter who tweeted email address of NBC Olympics President

New York Daily News   Tues, 31 Jul 2012

Guy Adams, a correspondent for The Independent, was upset with the network’s decision to broadcast the opening ceremony on tape delay when he sent his critical tweet Friday afternoon…”The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven’t started yet is Gary Zenkel. Tell him what u think!” it read, before going on to provide his corporate email listing. Adams checked his Twitter account Sunday and received a message it was suspended. He then received an email Monday that attributed the move to his tweet that included Zenkel’s email.

Gov. Haley, family visit Panthers to show support

Spartanburg Herald Journal   Tues, 31 Jul 2012

Carolina Panthers owner:founder Jerry Richardson and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Carolina Panthers Tim Kimzey

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is just like most Carolina Panther fans in at least one respect: She was excited to get the chance to meet star quarterback Cam Newton. Haley attended the team’s Wofford training camp Monday to honor owner Jerry Richardson and officially proclaim it Carolina Panthers Day across the state. Before the ceremony, which was held on the sideline during the team’s evening workout, Richardson piloted a golf cart containing Haley — along with her husband, Michael, and son, Nalin — around stretching players.

Fischer Says Louisville Will Pursue Pro Sports Opportunites With “Full Force”

CN2.com   Tues, 31 Jul 2012

During the most recent Metro Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer provided some hope to NBA fans hoping that the city would one day land a franchise. And that’s perhaps a bit of an understatement. During a question-and-answer session with the crowd, Fischer sounded strong in his desire to bring an NBA team to Louisville and for the first time, gave hope to fans wishing that an NBA team would move to Louisville. When asked about the possibility of an NBA team eventually making its home at the Yum! Center, Fischer emphatically stated, “If we have the opportunity, I will pursue it with full force.”

July 29, 2012 Headlines: Olympics: empty seats, free Tibet ‘n’ Flotus balling

Empty seats plague London Games

Soldiers sit in the empty seats held by the IOC as they watch the women’s gymnastics qualification in the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 29, 2012. (MIKE BLAKE:Reuters)

CANOE   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

LONDON – When private security contractor G4S failed to deliver all the staff promised for the airport-style security checkpoints, London Olympics organizers called the army. When seats for Olympic events went empty on Day 1 of the Games, they also called the army. Local teachers and students, too, for help in putting bums in seats to avoid international embarrassment. London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe downplayed the Games’ latest controversy on Sunday, denying it’s “shambolic.” “This is not something we should be extrapolating dramatically from the first day of an Olympic Games,” Coe said.

Bill Clinton talks Cardinals QBs with Larry Fitzgerald

NFL News   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

These days, part of being Larry Fitzgerald means facing an unending line of queries about the Arizona Cardinals‘ unsettled quarterback situation. We’re guessing Fitzgerald assumed he’d have a respite from the questioning earlier this month when he traveled to Uganda to do some charity work. But Kolb v. Skelton followed Fitzgerald halfway around the world, thanks to Bill Clinton. The former president also was in Uganda as part of the Clinton Global Initiative, and he wanted the wide receiver’s take on the Cardinals’ hottest storyline…Fitzgerald…was in Uganda to distribute hearing aids to impoverished citizens. Larry Fitzgerald’s a pretty unbelievable dude himself.

Olympic organizers defend choice of flag

FOXSports.com   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

LONDON (AP) – London Games organizers are defending a decision to allow a former Brazilian presidential candidate to help carry the Olympic flag at the opening ceremony – in front of the winner of the election. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff reportedly was surprised to see Marina Silva carry the flag. Muhammad Ali and Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, appeared with the flagbearers. The London organizing committee says Silva was chosen by ceremony director Danny Boyle ”because of her really strong environmental credentials.” Organizers say the International Olympic Committee ”was aware of our choice.”

Exiled Tibetans upset over Tibet not qualifying as a nation to participate in Olympics

Newstrack India   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

Dharamsala, July 29 (ANI): Exiled Tibetans living in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, have expressed disappointment over Tibet not qualifying as a nation to participate in the London Olympics. Tibetan activists feel the real meaning and essence of the games is missing, as Tibetan people are suffering under the repressive Chinese regime and the games do not reflect the value of sportsmanship. The Cultural Secretary of Tibetan Youth Congress, Jigme, said he wants to take this opportunity to seek support from the world for their movement of Free Tibet.

Michelle Obama Hugs Lebron After USA B-Ball Thumps France 98-71

 

News One   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

LONDON The hiccups outnumbered thehighlights, and for a while the U.S. racked up fouls faster than points. The opener wasn’t artistic. However, it was enough – easily enough…American men’s basketball team overcame some sloppy moments with a 98-71 win Sunday over France.

Michelle Obama ends UK trip with visit to military families, Olympic basketball match

Washington Post   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

LONDON — U.S. first lady Michelle Obama has met with British-based American military families on the final stop of her visit to Britain. Obama received a warm welcome from the American families when she arrived at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk. Casually dressed in a sports jacket and chinos, she greeted them with hugs and high-fives, before signing autographs and posing for pictures.

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