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• The Professional Baseball Agreement between MLB and minor league teams expires at the end of the 2020 season. But if a new MLB proposal were to become reality, more than three dozen cities with affiliated minor league teams will lose those teams a year from now and thousands of minor league players will be out of work as well. Full story here.

• "We said there's no chance that's happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver regarding China’s request that the league fire Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey

• "The losses have already been substantial. Our games are not back on the air in China as we speak, and we'll see what happens next. I don't know where we go from here. The financial consequences have been and may continue to be fairly dramatic." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver at the Time 100 Summit on Thursday regarding the league’s on-going situation with China.

• Showtime Sports will launch on Oct. 21 a weekly podcast, All The Smoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, in which the two NBA veterans (now retired) and NBA champs (Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, respectively), will “deliver an authentic, unfiltered perspective on the most polarizing topics in and around the game of basketball.”  It will air Thursdays on the Showtime Basketball YouTube Channel.  

• Bluberi Gaming has signed a deal with WWE to develop a series of licensed slot games featuring WWE Superstars and Legends. Among those to be featured include John Cena, Triple H, Becky Lynch, Roman Reigns and Ronda Rousey. The first WWE series of slot games is scheduled to hit casinos October 2020.

• HarperCollins Publishers said it has acquired world rights to Back, the first memoir authored by Tiger Woods. According to Woods, “This book is my definitive story. It’s in my words and expresses my thoughts.” A publication date was not given.

• Halloween this year is Oct. 31, and retailers, marketers and consumers are ready for another season of trick-or-treat. Total spend on Halloween 2019 is expected to reach $8.8 billion according to the National Retail Federation, Washington, DC. Full story here. 

POLL POSITION

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Nominees

• Pat Benatar
• Dave Matthews Band
• Depeche Mode
• Doobie Brothers
• Whitney Houston
• Judas Priest
• Kraftwerk
• MC5
• Motorhead
• Nine Inch Nails
• Notorious B.I.G.
• Rufus feat. Chaka Khan
• Todd Rundgren
• Soundgarden
• T. Rex
• Thin Lizzy

VOTE HERE

KEEPING SCORE

Most Popular NBA Player Jerseys (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
5. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
6. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
7. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
8. Zion Williamson New Orleans Pelicans
9. Carmelo Anthony (most recently with Houston Rockets)
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets

Most Popular Player Merchandise (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
4. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
6. Paul George Los Angeles Clippers
7. James Harden Houston Rockets
8. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
9. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets
SOURCE: STUBHUB.COM

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Oct. 11-13
1. Joker $55M
2. Addams Family $30.3M
3. Gemini Man $20.5M
4. Abominable $6.2M
5. Downton Abbey $4.9M
6. Hustlers $3.9M
7. Judy $3.3M
8. It 2 $3.2M
9. Jexi $3.1M
10. Ad Astra $1.9M
BoxOfficeMojo.com

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NYSportsJournalism.com + Topic Of Requested Search

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COLLEGE

BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Channel Chasers

NFL UK 2019
• Oct. 27  Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams Wembley Stadium
• Nov. 3 Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Wembley Stadium

NFL Mexico 2019
• Nov. 18 Kansas City  Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers Mexico City Estadio Azteca (ESPN Monday Night Football)

NBA 2019 Opening Nights
• Oct. 22 New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors TNT 8 PM (ET)
• Oct. 22 Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers TNT 10:30 PM (ET)

• Oct. 23 Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers ESPN 8 PM (ET)
• Oct. 23 Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers ESPN 10 PM (ET)

Tuesday
Mar202018

Alliance of American Football Planning Spring League ‘Unlike Other Pro Sports’

By Barry Janoff

March 20, 2018: In January, WWE Founder Vince McMahon unveiled plans to reboot the XFL, a short-lived football venture that rose and fell in 2001, which is scheduled to begin anew in the spring of 2020.

Now comes news of the Alliance of American Football, scheduled to begin play in February 2019, with leadership that includes founder and CEO Charlie Ebersol. co-founder Bill Polian, head of football operations JK McKay; board of directors member Dick Ebersol; and a Player Engagement Board of Advisors led by such former NFL players as Jared Allen, Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward.

Unlike the XFL, AAF already has a national media partner.

CBS has signed on to broadcast the season opener and championship game scheduled for the weekend of April 26-28, 2019, with a regular-season game airing each week exclusively on CBS Sports Network.

Also unlike the XFL, which is getting most of its initial funding from McMahon himself, AAF has key investors that include Founders Fund, Slow Ventures, The Chernin Group, Adrian Fenty and Charles King's M Ventures, Keith Rabois and Jared Allen. Financial details were not shared.

Both XFL and AAF seek a plan to be a feeder of players and/or an adjunct to the NFL rather than a rival league, although they will be rivals to each other.

"The Alliance of American Football represents a fundamental shift in the way we approach professional sports," Charlie Ebersol said during The Alliance of American Football unveiling at a media conference in New York on Tuesday. "We believe fans and players are what's most important, so our approach is simple — we've created an Alliance where fans and players share in the success of their teams."

AAF said it plans to begin play on Feb. 9, 2019 — the Saturday after the NFL’s Super Bowl LIII in New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Stadium — with eight 50-man roster teams playing over ten weeks.

AAF did not unveil marketing plans but has released an intro spot and tag line, “The Alliance: What If Football Didn’t Have To End In February?

A dedicated Web site explains the premise and goals of the AAF and offers opportunities for people who want to be a fan, a player or work for the league.

Squads will be built around players who have been cut from or have not made NFL rosters, joining teams “in markets near where they played in the NFL or college.”

AAF said that eight Alliance cities and their respective coaches would be unveiled in their local markets over the next 12 weeks.

"There is a significant amount of football talent looking to begin or extend their professional careers,” said Polian, who spent 24 years as an NFL GM (including the Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers), is a six-time recipient of the NFL Executive of the Year award and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.

“The Alliance will provide those players with a new opportunity to compete at a high level. Our players and fans are the lifeblood of The Alliance, and we will treat them as such."

AAF said it would provide players a “comprehensive bonus system, post-football career planning as well as counseling and scholarship support for postsecondary education.

New rules will be implemented with a focus on both player safety and fan entertainment. Among them:

• Eliminating kickoffs and allowing the offense to start on the 25-yard line.
 
• In place of the onside kick, the trailing team would receive the ball on their own 35-yard line facing fourth down and 10.

• Instituting a shorter play clock and fewer commercial breaks in the interest of shortening the total time of games.

• Eliminating the extra point, requiring two-point conversions after every touchdown.

AAF said that experiences in stadiums (to be named) will have “family pricing (for) a more affordable in-stadium experience.”

People will be able to live-stream Alliance games via the free Alliance app.

In an effort to tap into the burgeoning football fantasy market, AAF said it “views fans as first-class partners and will empower them with an unprecedented level of participation in the success of their favorite teams and players. For the first time in American professional sports history, fans will have the option to play interactive fantasy with real rewards while they watch.”

"As the Alliance of American Football launches next February we are excited to become the official television partner, adding more football to our robust programming line-up with a great package that includes two prime-time games on CBS, as well as a full slate of regular-season spring football on CBS Sports Network," Sean McManus, chairman, CBS Sports, said in a statement.

"With Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian at the helm we are confident that the product they will deliver will be entertaining, exciting, engaging and something that fans will really enjoy.”

"Players have our commitment that we will seek the highest degree of safety and our support as we continue to invest in their success off the field with post-football career scholarships and financial wellness programs," said Charlie Ebersol, who has built his reputation as a film and television producer and director.

His dad, Dick, is an iconic broadcasting executive and producer, including heading NBC Sports' programming for more than two decades, as well as co-creating NBC’s Saturday Night Live. He also was involved with Vince McMahon in launching the original XFL.

The initial version of the XFL and XFL 2.0 are not the first to challenge the 800 lb. gorilla that is the NFL.

Most recently was Major League Football, which was founded in 2014, played no games and has not been seen since 2016.

Like the XFL and AAF, MLF planned its schedule so as not to conflict with the NFL.

However, its intended March-July schedule would have crossed paths with the start of the MLB season, NCAA Div. I Men's and Women's basketball March Madness, and not just the conclusions of the NBA and NHL seasons but the entire post-season runs for both leagues.

Even during the off-season, the NFL is never really off. This year, the Scouting Combine was Feb. 27-March 5, just weeks after Super Bowl LII; free agency began March 14; the league's annual meeting is March 25-28; and the NFL Draft is April 26-28, this year in the Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium, more than 100,000 expected to attend.

According to Charlie Ebersol, ”With the expertise of Bill Polian and a leadership team of respected former All-Pro players and executives, we are committed to putting the best football product possible on the field every weekend, ensuring that 2018 will be the final year fans have to experience a six-month period without football."

XFL Wants To Rise From The Ashes

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