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According to Q Scores, which track the appeal of celebrities, LeBron James’ likeability peaked last January (fourth among active athletes behind Peyton Manning, Troy Polamalu , Brett Favre). Last month, he ranked 78.
In ticket sales, the top five NBA games in 2010-11 are Heat games — StubHub
Miami home game ticket sales are up 300% from last year – StubHub
In the past month, Heat merchandise generated 5 times more revenue than the same period last year — Princeton Retail Analysis
“I think what he did was wrong: he announced it, he made a spectacle of it, and I think it rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. However, from a business standpoint it was brilliant…He became the NBA conversation, and he has hurdled his brand forward in ways that are immeasurable today.” — Ed O’Hara, sr. partner SME Marketing
After a handful of vicious hits in the NFL’s Week 6, player safety became a hot topic. The NFL says it will suspend players guilty of initiating illegal head-to-head contact, but will that effectively change the way the game is played? Both the Patriots’ Brandon Meriweather and Steelers’ James Harrison said they will continue to play aggressively. NFL vice president Ray Anderson and Rich McKay, a member of the league’s competition committee, and the players themselves weigh in. Greg Garber reports.
The NFL had one of its most-tumultuous weeks in recent memory with the announcement that it will start suspending players for certain illegal hits. Bob Ley will review the debate around the suspension edict and discuss how games might be affected. Guests will include New York Jets safety Eric Smith.
More deadly than AIDS and more prevalent than the swine flu, staph infections are a nightmare for athletes. They have wrecked the careers of scores of athletes, professional and amateur, international stars and prep school hopefuls. Even death is not unheard of. Reporter Ric Bucher talks to the athletes, trainers and medical community about the perils of staph infections and why more hasn’t been done about it.
Who would’ve guessed that Max Hall, so unsure of what lay ahead, would someday have 120,000 lungs screaming for him? Or that he’d leave so many people guessing? Elizabeth Merrill writes for ESPN.com.
It’s a play that can’t be planned for, or against. It can’t be called in the huddle. But when it happens, it can turn a game or a season around. Coaching legends Bobby Bowden, Johnny Majors and many current college players and coaches talk about the keys to the interception return. Jeremy Schaap reports.
Kobe Returns to Philadelphia High School, Would Major in Spanish
ESPN Deportes SportsCenter (Sunday, 11 p.m.)
Reportajes Especiales piece on espndeportes.com.
ESPN Deportes was there when the Lakers Kobe Bryant visited his former high school in Philadelphia where it was revealed, among other things, the strong interest that the 5-time NBA champion has for languages, in particular, Spanish. His relationship with his hometown is not all love, however, with the complex relationship between Bryant and Philadelphia dating to the 1996 NBA Draft when the 76ers selected the consensus-top player Allen Iverson instead of Kobe.
E:60 Tuesday 7 p.m. ESPN
A seven-month E:60 investigation examines the health issues and problems caused by Energy Drinks
In an E:60 exclusive, Maurice Clarett sits down with reporter Rachel Nichols and speaks in-depth for the first time on television about his mistakes, his abuse of alcohol, his downward spiral, and his quest to fix his broken life.
The chances of surviving a nine-story fall are less than one percent, but Jordan Burnham is alive. Once a star high-school pitcher and golfer, the fall left his body badly injured and unsure if he would be able to walk again. Today, Burnham is back playing golf and his remarkable journey provides a rare glimpse into a young boy and his family’s struggle with teen depression.