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Morning Briefing

August 28, 2008|Thomas Bonk | Times Staff Writer

With this bling, it means a thing

It's getting closer to that time of year they love at Tiffany & Co. -- when they hold up the gleaming World Series trophy, custom-designed in sterling silver by the venerable Fifth Avenue company.

Actually, there aren't many times of the year that don't suit Tiffany, which owns sort of a monopoly on creating gleaming trophies for pro sports leagues.

Tiffany also makes the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy, the NBA's Larry O'Brien trophy, the U.S. Open tennis championship trophy, the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup trophy and more championship rings than you can shake a finger at.

"What do we get out of it?" said Tom O'Rourke, vice president of business sales. "Besides an intense amount of pride, it answers our core premise about celebrating important milestones in people's lives."

O'Rourke won't say how much the Lombardi trophy is worth (published estimates are $12,500), but its origin is priceless. It was sketched on the back of a cocktail napkin by Tiffany designer Oscar Riedner at a luncheon he attended with NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle in 1966.

Trivia time

The Joseph Abboud brand of JA Apparel Corp. has a three-year deal to be the official clothier of the NFL Coaches Club. Which one of the 32 head coaches isn't on board?

Tyme bomb?

It's trendy to say time may be running out for Tyrone Willingham at Washington, where the Huskies are 9-25 in his three years on the sideline. If so, he may go out with a bang -- he opens at Oregon with 10 freshman or sophomore starters, then faces Brigham Young and Oklahoma.

Have a ball

The USTA estimates 72,000 tennis balls will be used at the U.S. Open. That's a lot of fuzz.

Money news

So Milwaukee Bucks Coach Scott Skiles bought the 13-room Mequon, Wis., house that belonged to former Marquette coach Tom Crean for $1.375 million. Crean can't be running short on dough these days. His new contract at Indiana is for $23.6 million.

Money news II

Speaking of cash, the Southeastern Conference's new, 15-year, $2.25-billion deal with ESPN that goes into effect next fall, in addition to the SEC's 15-year, $55-million-a-year contract with CBS, will nearly triple the conference's television revenue.

Each team's share: about $15 million a year.

National pastime?

It's not bad enough that the Washington Nationals are a failing baseball team, now the Washington Post reports that they actually have fewer people listening to games on radio (cumulative weekly audience of 26,500) than attending home games (29,990 average).

Trivia answer

Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots.

And finally

Anquan Boldin of the Arizona Cardinals is unhappy making $4 million this year, and Cliff Brown of Sporting News Today thinks he knows how pass-catching peers such as Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens would respond if Boldin didn't act up: "He might get thrown out of the wide receiver's diva union."


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