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Photos: WWE SummerSlam VIP Party

The WWE and The Creative Coalition teamed up for an exciting kickoff party centered around WWE SummerSlam and the “be a STAR” initiative.

STAR stands for “Show Tolerance and Respect,” and The Creative Coalition has joined forces with the WWE to unveil a new anti-bullying campaign.

For a wrestling geek like myself, Thursday night at The Andaz Hotel was heaven on earth, as the biggest names from the WWE were out and about.

CM Punk, John Cena, Edge, Christian, The Miz, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, Triple H, Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, Maryse and Alicia Fox were just some of the sports entertainers that partied the night away.

Above are some photos from the red carpet – and since it’s Friday and I’ll be at SummerSlam, I have John Cena defeating CM Punk thanks to the assistance of Triple H.

 

Iowa Announcer Gary Dolphin Diagnosed With Cancer

Gary Dolphin, Iowa’s play-by-play radio announcer for football and men’s basketball, announced yesterday that he’s been diagnosed with prostrate cancer. Dolphin, 60, said the cancer was detected early and he expects to fulfill his job duties this year, his 15th with Iowa.

“My doctors are confident they’ve caught the cancer in the early stages and I will attack it aggressively with radiation treatment,” said Dolphin. “Barring unforeseen circumstances, I expect to fulfill all my responsibilities to the University and Learfield Sports, where football and basketball are concerned.

“In the meantime I would appreciate the prayers and well wishes from Hawkeye fans all over the country. I’d also like to urge ALL males, age 50 and above, to have the simple PSA blood test performed. It could save their life.”

Dolphin has the support of his bosses.

“We’ll be with Dolph every step of the way through his treatment of this disease,” said Chuck Schroeder, general manager of Hawkeye Sports Properties. “Gary is a huge part of Hawkeye Sports Properties and the Hawkeye Radio Network. We have great confidence that he’ll be ready when we go on the air in a few short weeks.”

 

 

Mike Pavone Out After Two Years At WWE Studios

WWE Studios executive vice president Mike Pavone resigned last week to “pursue other interests,” according to a regulatory filing Wednesday.

Pavone was named EVP of WWE Studios in June 2009, overseeing theatrical releases and reality programming. Prior to that, Pavone was a strategic consultant to the WWE’s creative writing department.

Under Pavone’s leadership, the WWE released such films as Legendary, Knucklehead, and The Chaperone.

According to the Los Angeles Times, WWE Studios made just $400,000 profit last year.

 

Indianapolis 500 Remaining On ABC Through 2018

The Indianapolis 500 will remain on ABC through 2018 as part of a new, six-year rights agreement that was announced Wednesday.

As part of the agreement, ESPN on ABC will continue to televise four additional races in addition to the Indianapolis 500. Starting next year, ESPN3.com will live stream ABC’s onboard cameras during the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series.

“The Indianapolis 500 and ABC have been together since 1965 and we are very proud to extend the relationship with this new agreement,” said George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports. “The 500 is a uniquely American event and a Memorial Day tradition, and we especially look forward to televising the 100th edition of the race in 2016.” Read more

Starz May Greenlight Female-led NASCAR Pilot Called Tits in the Pits

Starz is reportedly close to ordering a NASCAR-based project centering around a woman who becomes the first female race team owner, and the show is tentatively titled Tits in the Pits (seriously), a nod to the old school NASCAR saying “No tits in the pits.”

The one-hour original drama is set in the present day and comes from the screenwriters of the recently released Justin TimberlakeMila Kunis comedy Friends With Benefits. Insiders are reportedly billing it as a “red state Mad Men.”

Will the word “tits” get the same censored treatment as “shit” did in Sh*t My Dad Says? No telling what passes for a swear word these days.

Video: Nick Saban Loves The Media (Lies!)

College football fans know Nick Saban loathes the media. With a passion.

But the Alabama head coach told Colin Cowherd that he loves the media.

Riiiiight. Sure you do, Nick.

I hope you and the SEC reporters have a great season together since you’re so in love. The honeymoon will be over before the season opener against Kent State.

[H/T SportsGrid]

BBC Posts Online Planner for Watching 2012 Olympics on Website

In a bid to help fans plan their viewing schedules for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the BBC has posted an online planner, while also announcing that fans watching online will have full control over what events they watch.

With up to 12 sports taking place simultaneously on many days of next year’s Olympic Games, it will be the corporation’s most ambitious coverage of an Olympics to date with more than 2,000 hours of live sport on the BBC website.

The BBC has launched an online guide to help people plan their viewing, highlighting “ones to watch” and “medal events”. It will be updated with more information including when and where British teams and individuals will be competing.

Dave Gordon, the BBC’s head of major events, said: “If you want to spend all day watching the water polo or fencing or taekwondo or swimming, or any combination of the 26 sports, for the first time you can. The choice is yours rather than ours.

That’s pretty cool (even if the games aren’t for a year).

“As host nation broadcaster, this online guide is the first step in realising our commitment to making every sport from every venue where it’s happening on every day of the games available to the British public.

“From the start of the early morning action until the end of competition just before midnight, there will be live BBC Sport online coverage. You can look at the big picture each day, planning for those not to be missed events.”

Clone Gets A Jim Rome Tattoo On His Calf

Growing up as a sports junkie in Los Angeles, I loved Jim Rome.

But as much as I wanted to be like the sports talk show host, I would never consider getting a tattoo of Rome on my body.

Rack this dude.

[H/T SportsGrid]

Deadspin Posts ESPN's Standards and Practices Manual

Deadspin obtained a copy of ESPN’s Editorial Guidelines for Standards and Practices and has re-printed it in full on their website. The manual outlines editorial and advertising guidelines for the World Wide Leader, including restrictions on when condom commercials should be aired (Condom advertisements may not air in any programming ESPN reasonably believes to have significant audience concentrations or appeals to persons under age 17.)

Deadspin takes ESPN to task for what it describes as situational ethics.

In the section on “Civil suits,” which addresses ESPN’s cockeyed treatment of the Ben Roethlisberger story, the entry makes some sensible points about the tricky nature of civil cases and rightly urges “extreme caution” in deciding whether to cover these stories. And then, a few paragraphs later:

“Perhaps, most significantly, is the Associated Press reporting it?”

In other words, let’s let a couple of guys in the AP’s Reno bureau or wherever determine corporate policy for the largest sports media outfit in the world. That’s fine. A little craven, but fine. I’m all for situational ethics. ESPN is a great big monument to situational ethics. Everyone knows that, except maybe the yammering Poynter lady. That’s why a formalized guide to standards looks so silly in a company whose only inviolable standard, that I can tell, is that the folks in charge get to make shit up as they go along.

Yeah, that’s really no different from any other huge company. The bottom line is don’t mess with the brand. If you think the brand is a nest of hypocrisy, well then, mess away. Just be prepared to deal with the consequences.

Lesley Visser to Wed International Businessman Introduced to Her by Rick Pitino

CBS sportscaster Lesley Visser, whose 28-year marriage to fellow announcer Dick Stockton ended in divorce in 2010, is getting married Saturday on the campus of Harvard University to international businessman Bob Kanuth. The couple were introduced by none other than Louisville coach Rick Pitino, whom Vesser has known since covering Pitino’s first NCAA tournament appearance at Boston University in 1978.

Visser began her sports journalism career in 1974 at the Boston Globe, and became the first female to cover an NFL beat. Her long and distinguished career reached its apex in 2006, when she became the first female inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Many notable names from the world of sports are expected to attend Visser’s wedding on Saturday, including Pitino, CBS sportscaster Bill Raftery, former Yankee Tino Martinez, Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan, and golfer Nick Faldo.

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