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Football

Reports: 2013 NBA All-Star Game Coming To Houston

For the second time in seven years, the city of Houston will host NBA All-Star weekend.

“It’s a done deal,” a person familiar with the bidding process told the Houston Chronicle on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. “We’re just waiting for the NBA to make the announcement.”

The NBA might not make a formal announcement until after the labor lockout.

As for the 2012 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando, it could be in serious jeopardy if the lockout continues through the end of the year.

Orlando would be a awarded a future All-Star Game if next year’s game was cancelled, according to NBA commissioner David Stern.

Bill Simmons' Mustache Is All The Rage On The Web

Yes, that is Bill Simmons. And yes, he has a mustache.

The Grantland.com boss was on Pardon the Interruption Monday with Michael Wilbon, as the world got their first glimpse of Simmons’ new facial hair.

What would Uncle Tony Kornheiser think about the new look?

[H/T PTI]

New Haven Register Columnist Solomon Killed in Car Crash

Longtime New Haven Register sports columnist Dave Solomon died Saturday evening around 7 p.m. in a one-car accident on I-91 in Connecticut. Solomon was returning from covering a UConn football practice when his car skidded off the road and hit a tree near Cromwell. Police are investigating the cause of the accident. Colleagues of Solomon, 59, recalled a long and distinguished career as a prominent voice in Connecticut sports.

“He was a true professional, but he’s like the best friend you have, too,” said Register sports editor Sean Barker said. “He was my confidant. I talked to him every single day, about stories, about the paper, everything. We had a couple of battles, but it was like family. He never let it last long.”

Solomon’s ability to move on has found immortality on YouTube. After Providence College’s Ryan Gomes, from Waterbury, lit up UConn in January 2004, Solomon asked Jim Calhoun, “Recruiting is hardly an exact science, but what does Gomes do that blows you away now that maybe no one saw?”

Solomon never said how did you miss on Gomes and never meant anything like that. He was talking about Gomes’ improvement. After he famously carpet f-bombed the XL Center, Calhoun came to this realization. He called and apologized to Solomon the next day. Solomon’s reaction? Calhoun didn’t need to apologize.

Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant wrote,

“As a columnist, he stood his ground without histrionics. I admit there were a few times when I felt, wow, if I wrote black, Solomon would write white. And if I wrote white, he would write black. When I told him this once, he said, “I wasn’t aware you were wrong that many times.”

And then he smiled.

Barker said condolences from sportswriters poured in from around the country.

Tweets and messages came from across the sports world Sunday. Some of the most prominent names in sports journalism offered their condolences: Jack Curry, Andy Katz, Dick Vitale, Peter King, Les Carpenter, Adrian Wojnarowski, Seth Davis and many others.

They are household names to sports fans.

They all knew Dave. They all respected him. And they all liked him. A lot.

ESPN College GameDay Announces First Three Sites

College football season is just around the corner, and ESPN has announced where its GameDay crew will be descending for its first three games of the 2011 season. On Sept. 3, the crew will head to Arlington, Texas, for the Oregon-LSU matchup in the Cowboy Classic. In the USA Today Coaches Poll released Thursday, Oregon was ranked No. 3 and LSU was ranked No. 4.

On Sept. 10 they head to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for the annual Michigan-Notre Dame game. Notre Dame is No. 18 in the coaches poll, while Michigan is currently unranked.

And on Sept. 17 they head to Tallahassee, Florida, for the Florida State-Oklahoma game. Oklahoma is No. 1 in the coaches poll right now, while FSU is No. 5.

Hot damn, those are some good match-ups.

Once again the show will feature host Chris Fowler and analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard during the 10-noon hours. Erin Andrews will anchor the first hour on ESPNU at 9 a.m., and contribute reports, interviews and features throughout the latter two hours. Reporter Tom Rinaldi will also provide features on a weekly basis, and new this year, current ESPN analyst and former NFL player David Pollack will join in a contributing role.

Brazilian Soccer Chief Calls English Press 'Corrupt'

On the even of the World Cup qualifying draw, British media approached Brazilian soccer federation president Ricardo Teixeira on Friday in Rio de Janiero, but were rebuffed by Teixeira, who said he would not talk to the “English press” because they are “corrupt.”

Teixeira has an ax to grind because the BBC alleged that he was one of the FIFA members who took kickbacks from in the 1990s from the former marketing partner of the governing body. The English Football Association cleared Teixeira of three other FIFA officials of wrongdoing.

Eight- to 12-year-olds Will Now Be Subjected to Mike Lupica, Too

Daily News (N.Y.) sports columnist and Sunday Sports Reporter fixture Mike Lupica has an agreement with Scholastic books to publish a series of hardcover novels for middle-school readers.

Game Changers follows Ben McBain and his young pals across football, basketball and baseball. The first book (focused on football) will be published in May 2012, followed by basketball (spring 2013) basketball) and baseball (2014).

This marks the first time Lupica is targeting the eight-to-12 demographic. He is the author of several novels for teens, including Travel Team, Heat, Miracle on 49th Street and Summer Bal.

Cowboys Hire New Stadium Announcer and First In-Game MC

The Cowboys have announced a couple of changes to the team’s in-stadium game coverage, with local sports reporter Roger Emrich replacing Jody Dean as the Cowboys Stadium’ public address announcer and Armen Williams coming aboard as the first MC in the 51-year history of the franchise.

Dean, the P.A. voice in Cowboys Stadium’s first two seasons, had recently expressed a desire to retire, citing heart problems and a desire to spend more time with his 6-year-old daughter.

“This is perfect,” said Dean. “I get to step out of the booth, and I turn it over to one of the most deserving and likable people in this business.”

Both Emrich and Williams work for 105.3 The Fan, the Cowboys’ flagship station.

“Not too much ad-libbing, lots of outright professionalism,” Emrich said of his approach to his new job. “I want to be informing, not a distraction. I’m going to treat this like my dream job. I’m still worried Jody is going to change his mind, so I’m anxious to get started.”

Williams, meanwhile, will appear on the stadum’s JumboJerry screen (really…) during timeouts or end-of-quarter breaks, interviewing fans and celebrities or hawking items that have sponsorship deals with the Cowboys.

Video: "The Big Show" Attempts To Cast ESPN Movie

Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick took their best shot at casting the upcoming ESPN movie Thursday on Countdown.

Dubbed “The Big Show,” during their ESPN days, the two are still a riot together after all these years.

Video: Peter Berg Teams Up With Under Armour

Friday Night Lights executive producer Peter Berg worked with Under Armour on a new television spot featuring Cam Newton, Tom Brady, and Georges St. Pierre that premieres in the next couple of weeks.

Above is an interview with Berg about his relationship with UA and a preview of the new commercial.

 

ESPN, SEC Team Up For New Apparel Collection

The Southeastern Conference and the ESPN are teaming up to launch the “SEC on ESPN” apparel collection.

The t-shirt line includes nine graphics (six’s men’s and three women’s) and will feature slogans and logos from all 12 schools in the SEC, inspired by the conference’s traditions and rivalries.

“ESPN has shown its commitment to the SEC by bringing fans high-quality SEC sports programming on the network, and so partnering with the conference to reach fans in yet another way – consumer products – was only natural,” said Chris Brush, vice president, marketing, ESPN. “Fans love to show their pride for their favorite schools and the collection truly embodies what SEC on ESPN is all about.”

The “SEC on ESPN” will be sold exclusively at Dick’s Sporting Goods throughout the South and will be available online at DSG.com, ESPNShop.com and SECStore.com.

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