Notebook: ESPN takes ‘TitleTown' to Titletown

Green Bay is the first stop on the network's 20-city search for the, ahem, real Titletown. Also, the NFL cancels the Supplemental Draft, which Green Bay used to land Mike Wahle a decade ago.

Talk about rubbing salt in the wound.

A few days after rumblings about Brett Favre possibly coming out of retirement — and the possibility the most famous No. 4 in sports could wind up playing someplace other than Green Bay — ESPN is coming to town to take away our Titletown USA moniker.

ESPN kicks off its 20-city "TitleTown USA" tour on Friday at Leicht Park, home of Green Bay's Independence Day celebration.

ESPN anchor John Anderson — a Green Bay native — will tape a segment for that evening's "SportsCenter" at 1 p.m. Part of the taping will include an interview with former Packers safety LeRoy Butler.

The 20 "TitleTown USA" finalists are Green Bay; Louisville, Ky.; Gainesville, Fla.; Detroit; Williamsport, Pa.; Boston; Los Angeles; Columbus, Ohio; Chapel Hill, N.C.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; San Francisco; Pittsburgh; Knoxville, Tenn.; Valdosta, Ga.; Parkersburg, W.Va.; Chicago; Lawrence, Kan.; Palo Alto, Calif.; Massillon, Ohio; and New York City.

Each of those cities will be profiled daily during the 5 p.m., 10 p.m. and midnight editions of "SportsCenter."

Don't fret, Packers fans. ESPN's "TitleTown USA" series (notice the capital "T" in town) is nothing more than a way to break up the monotony of regular-season baseball highlights. Green Bay will always be Titletown USA (notice the lowercase "t" in town), no matter what the point-and-clickers decide during voting on

Packers on TV

As part of the "TitleTown USA" programming, ESPN Classic will air a few Packers-related shows today (all times are Central): "SportsCentury: Vince Lombardi," 1 p.m.; "SportsCentury: Bart Starr," 2 p.m.; "SportsCentury: Reggie White," 3 p.m.; and "Top 5 Reasons ... You Can't Blame the Atlanta Falcons for Trading Brett Favre," at 3:30 p.m.

Supplemental draft canceled

The Supplemental Draft, which had been scheduled for next week, has been canceled due to a lack of entrants, has learned.

"No one applied at the time of the deadline," 49ers general manager Scott McCloughan confirmed Thursday. The NFL sent out a memo to all 32 teams informing them of the announcement Wednesday.

The cancellation comes as a surprise, as there had been rumblings throughout the league that several players were considering applying, including high-profile talents like Southern California middle linebacker Rey Maualuga, Oklahoma State tight Brandon Pettigrew and Mississippi State offensive tackle Michael Brown.

Designed to be an avenue into the NFL for "special case" players, the Supplemental Draft had grown in popularity in recent years. Ten players applied for special eligibility last year, with two players being selected. San Diego drafted former Georgia cornerback Paul Oliver in the fourth round, and Baltimore selected Maryland offensive tackle Jared Gaither a round later. Gaither is being given the first crack at replacing retired left tackle Jonathan Ogden in Baltimore.

Since its inception in 1977, 37 players have been selected. Among the notable selections are former Cleveland quarterback Bernie Kosar in 1985, possible Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter by Philadelphia in 1987, Brian Bosworth by Seattle in 1987, Pro Bowl nose tackle Jamal Williams by the Chargers in 1999 and Mike Wahle by the Packers in 1998.

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