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  • Private Equity and Retail: Are Takeover Deals Done? Friday, 20 Jul 2007 | 4:49 PM ET

    In my earlier post, I told you about the debate taking place on today's "Street Signs" about whether private equity deals in the retail industry are over. Here's the video of the discussion I had with retail analyst Lizz Dunn from Thomas Weisel Partners and Manny Weintraub, Integre Advisors president.

  • Michael Vick

    Nike has a new statement out, which I have just received. They are suspending the release of the Vick V shoe, which was scheduled to be in stores on Aug. 23. Here is the text: "Nike is concerned by the serious and highly disturbing allegations made against Michael Vick and we consider any cruelty to animals inhumane and abhorrent. We do believe that Michael Vick should be afforded the same due process as any citizen; therefore, we have not terminated our relationship...."

  • Tiger Woods' Golf Shirt: Not Quite Fitting To A "Tee" Thursday, 19 Jul 2007 | 11:51 AM ET
    How do I look?

    My nipples are erect right now. They are like this because I'm in the midst of an experiment which I'm calling "Operation Red Sunday." A couple weeks back, just a few days after I saw Tiger Woods in his tight-as-can-be Sunday magenta shirt at the U.S. Open, I called Nike Golf and asked them to send me what Tiger was planning to wear for the British Open on Sunday.

  • Michael Vick Nickname Not "Ookie Dokie" With NFL Thursday, 19 Jul 2007 | 11:47 AM ET
    "Ookie" not OK!

    Some time between yesterday and today, the NFL banned the word "Ookie" and the word "Dog" from the back of jerseys in light of Michael Vick's indictment related to dogfighting. Yesterday, I was able to get those words, as well as many others, through the first step of personalization on NFLShop.com. Today, the site rejects anyone who hopes the league will put Vick's nickname "Ookie" on the back of his number 7 jersey or any other team jersey for that matter.

  • Wal-Mart Testing Toys of Biblical Proportions Thursday, 19 Jul 2007 | 10:32 AM ET
    Talking Jesus Action Figure

    Wal-Mart is test marketing religious action toys, hoping there's a Goliath-like appetite out there for something other than Bratz dolls or Dragon Ball Z. The toys are being made by One2believe in California, and they'll be rolled out in August at 425 Wal-Mart stores. The test stores are not just in the Bible Belt, but in places like California. The action figures include a 3" tall figure of Daniel in the lion's den, and a foot-tall talking Jesus. What would Jesus do? Ask him! He talks!

  • Nike Air Zoom Vick 5 Falcons

    When Michael Vick's latest Nike shoe hits the warehouses at Dick's Sporting Goods in a couple weeks, they aren't going into the trash or back to Nike, as a result of the quarterback's recent indictment. The Vick V shoe, which retails for $100, will go out on shelves as scheduled on Aug. 23, the company's chief marketing officer Jeff Hennion told me this afternoon.

  • Google Agrees to Sell Print Ads for 225 Newspapers Wednesday, 18 Jul 2007 | 6:29 AM ET

    Google  said Tuesday it is expanding its Print Ads program to allow online advertisers nationwide to place print advertisements in 225 newspapers,  serving half  of  U.S. newspaper readers.

  • David Beckham: "Goal" May Be Just To Play First Game Tuesday, 17 Jul 2007 | 3:02 PM ET
    David Beckham

    The Los Angeles Times is reporting that David Beckham may not debut Saturday with his new American team, the Los Angeles Galaxy, due to a swollen ankle. I was assured last Friday that his ankle, which had been giving him trouble earlier this year, was "great." REALLY? Beckham shirted up with his new teammates for his first practice yesterday, but he did not practice with them.

  • 2007 World Series of Poker Final Table

    The Final Table of the World Series of Poker begins today at 3 p.m ET. You can order it on ESPN.com for $19.95 and watch it live if you want. I’m not going to talk about specific names, so there’s no need to turn away if you don’t want to know who made it the finals. Enough of the disclaimers. Now let’s get to the point.

  • YouTube's iPhone Video: Or Should I Say "eyePhone?" Tuesday, 17 Jul 2007 | 11:10 AM ET

    Google owns YouTube, the hottest platform for parodies. Here's my favorite take on Apple, and its new "eyePhone"...

  • Kevin Durant And Nike: A Done Deal Monday, 16 Jul 2007 | 1:09 PM ET

    Kevin Durant will be a Nike guy, the question is how much did Nike pay him? The contract has been drawn up, but the paperwork has not yet been completed. I believe I'm going to be wrong on my prediction that Durant, when including signing bonus, would not get more than $6 million a year. The adidas deal was the larger deal, but Durant in the end seemed to go with the brand he was more comfortable with.

  • Pearl Izumi In Runner's World: Good Ad Or Bad? Monday, 16 Jul 2007 | 12:29 PM ET

    I have been reading Runner’s World for the last 10 years or so and I have never stopped at an ad like I did when I saw this Pearl Izumi ad in their August issue. What made me stop? I thought it was so outrageous. So over the top. I read the thing four or five times and wasn’t quite sure what the point was. Was I more likely to buy Pearl Izumis from reading the ad? Were these Pearl Izumis going to help me find dead bodies? Would they give me a free pair if I found one?

  • Earnhardt And Beckham: Your Email Replies (and mine) Monday, 16 Jul 2007 | 12:16 PM ET

    I get mail. Here's some of it with my responses back: From Randy Sheridan:I couldn't disagree more with your opinion that (a number change for Dale Earnhardt Jr.) would be good. A lot of fans are disheartened to learn that he will no longer be in a red Bud #8 next season. I do not drink the beer but will miss seeing that car synonymous with only him, in my mind. And I'm sure there will be several times next season where I'll see it fly by the screen and I'll think there goes Earnhardt.....

  • Welcome to Buck's Place. I'm talking about the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the 18th and Vine neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri. What you find here is a history lesson wrapped in a sports legend with a hint of just how supercilious 'organized' sport too often is.

  • Hendrick Motorsports announced moments ago that Budweiser will not in fact be the primary sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr. While it's a really bad thing for Budweiser--any other driver they get won't be as big as Dale Jr,--I think in the end, it's better for Dale Jr. It's just another signal of a fresh start. New team, new logo and I'd advise him and Hendrick to give him a new number as well.

  • David Beckham: My Take On The Soccer Star Friday, 13 Jul 2007 | 10:04 AM ET
    David Beckham

    Just because I've labeled Freddy Adu as an absolute failure, people think I'm a soccer hater. Let's get this out of the way. I'm not by any means a huge soccer fan, but I don't hate the sport. That being said, because the sport can't be called a true major league here in America, the media gets the impression that a league like the MLS in need of a savior. That's going to be David Beckham's downfall. David Beckham is going to be better than the average MLS player. But he's not going to be good enough to regularly appear in the highlight reels.

  • Kevin Durant Shoe Deal: The Odds For Adidas And Nike Thursday, 12 Jul 2007 | 10:30 AM ET

    With Kevin Durant set to sign a shoe deal in the next couple days, Bodog.com has posted odds on what company will sign the Sonics draft pick. Nike, which is believed to have the lower offer of the two but more of Durant's heart, is the favorite. Which company will sign Kevin Durant to a shoe endorsement contract?

  • Kevin Durant

    After a long wait, it's expected that Kevin Durant will sign with either Nike or adidas in the next couple of days and that the wait is only being delayed by certain language that is being reviewed. The total value of the deal is expected to exceed $40 million, the second largest deal ever signed by an NBA rookie.

  • Barry Bonds: "On Deck" To Make It Tough For Hank Aaron? Wednesday, 11 Jul 2007 | 11:58 AM ET
    Barry Bonds

    As Barry Bonds heads into the All- Star Break with 751 home runs, five shy of the all-time record, I have to admit I'm looking at the calendar and laughing. It's interesting to imagine what would happen if Bonds hit his grand shot in either Milwaukee (July 20 to July 22) or in San Francisco at home against Atlanta (July 23 through July 26).

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr's Sales Hit The Brakes And Notes On Coke Wednesday, 11 Jul 2007 | 11:36 AM ET
    No. 8 Budweiser Merchandise

    I never believed it when it came out, the story about how Dale Earnhardt Jr’s leaving of Dale Earnhardt Inc. actually led to a bump in No. 8 Budweiser merchandise sales. I knew that when the truth emerged, we’d find out that No. 8 Dale stuff was getting hammered as fans started to believe that his number and sponsor might change. Well, we now have that answer.