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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