Sports Digest: Johnny Football draws a crowd at SEC Media Days

2013-07-17T21:15:00Z 2013-09-16T18:41:15Z Sports Digest: Johnny Football draws a crowd at SEC Media Days nwitimes.com
July 17, 2013 9:15 pm

JOHNNY FOOTBALL DRAWS A CROWD AT SEC MEDIA DAYS: Johnny Manziel strode into Southeastern Conference Media Days and was swarmed by hundreds of reporters and dozens of television cameras.

He shook some hands and the cameras flashed as he settled into his seat, the star of the SEC's latest must-see TV show.

If the Texas A&M quarterback was troubled by all the attention, he didn't show it.

Dressed in a dark blue suit, checkered shirt and striped tie, Manziel answered every question thrown his way during the 30-minute Q&A, some were even about football. He said he largely enjoys the spotlight that comes with winning the Heisman Trophy — even if it sometimes includes unsavory headlines.

"This is just another day," Johnny Football said with a grin.

The 20-year-old sophomore and face of college football spent most of his three-hour stay at the Wynfrey Hotel, bouncing from one interview session to another. He mostly talked about an eventful offseason that has frequently made him a trending topic.

"I don't feel like I've done anything that's catastrophic," Manziel said. "Of course, I've made my mistakes. It's time to grow up."

 

Pro football

BEARS TICKETS ON SALE TODAY: Bears individual-game tickets go on sale through Ticketmaster at 11 a.m. today.

Fans may charge by phone at (800) 745-3000 or (800) 943-4327 for the hearing impaired, or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets are priced at $79 to $395 for preseason games. There is no limit on how many preseason tickets may be purchased. Regular-season tickets are priced at $104 to $420, with a limit of four tickets per customer per game.

 

College basketball

MICHIGAN SIGNS BEILEIN THROUGH '18-19: Michigan men's basketball coach John Beilein has signed a new deal that keeps him with the Wolverines through the 2018-19 season.

Athletic director Dave Brandon told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Beilein signed a three-year extension that replaces his previous contract. The 60-year-old Beilein will make $2.45 million a year in total compensation.

Michigan hired Beilein in March 2007, a week after he led West Virginia to the NIT championship. Last year, the Wolverines tied a school record with 31 wins and lost in the NCAA championship game to Louisville. That team included former Times Boys Basketball Player of the Year Glenn Robinson III, Crown Point native Spike Albrecht, and Chesterton native Mitch McGary.

 

Sports media

OLBERMANN REJOINING ESPN TO HOST LATE-NIGHT SHOW: Keith Olbermann dreaded that he'd be remembered as the guy who rose to stardom at ESPN then left less than amicably.

"I don't want that to be in the obituary, flatly," he said on a conference call Wednesday.

So now he's returning to the company as a late-night host, insisting that, this time, a gig won't end badly.

Olbermann expressed gratitude for "this chance to put a different ending on the story of my relationship with ESPN."

"We are indelibly intertwined," he said. "I know that we can't go back and undo everything that happened 20 years ago in those environs. But I would like to do my best to correct as much of it as I can."

"Olbermann," which premieres Aug. 26, will generally air at 11 p.m. ET Monday-Friday on ESPN2, depending on live event coverage on the channel. Executives hope the show can exploit the ratings boost from the frequent live event lead-ins.

 

Pro baseball

RAILCATS FALL TO LINCOLN IN LOW-SCORING GAME: RailCats pitcher Billy Spottiswood hurled seven strong innings, scattering seven hits and one earned run, but the RailCats fell to Lincoln 2-1.

Kyle Lindquist took the loss for Gary (34-23), giving up the other earned run in 2/3 of an inning pitched.

The RailCats scored their lone run in the sixth inning, when Drew Martinez's RBI single allowed Ryan Babineau to score.

 

College baseball

DOUGHERTY SAYING GRACE: Morgan Township graduate Joe Dougherty has signed a national letter of intent to play for Grace College. Dougherty won 20 games in his prep career, finishing with 253 strikeouts. He was 5-4 as a senior with a 3.19 earned run average and 89 strikeouts. Morgan won Class A sectionals the last two years.

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