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NEWS REAL

• FIFA has postponed plans to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams for the 2022 event in Qatar. The plan is still being considered for the 2026 World Cup, which will be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. According to FIFA, “(There was not enough) time for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact.” The World Cup is scheduled for Nov. 21-Dec. 18, 2022.

• The NFL and NFL Players Association have unveiled two joint agreements that are intended to “support further resources directed to address pain management and behavioral health.” Full story here.

• The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and social impact education innovator EVERFI, Inc. have oined the students of Santee Elementary School in San Jose to launch The Compassion Project for the 2019-2020 school year, described as a “national nonprofit dedicated to providing compassion education to elementary school students across the U.S.”

• The U.S. Golf Association has aligned with Marvel Entertainment to create exclusive golf education products to “engage junior golfers on the essential elements to learning the game." Scheduled to launch in June at the 2019 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach, the collaboration features printed and digital comic books with many of Marvel’s super heroes The story follows Tony Stark (Iron Man) and other Avengers as they teach the next generation of Marvel Super Heroes about golf. Limited-edition Marvel-themed golf posters will be distributed (while supplies last) at the Junior Experience at the 2019 U.S. Open.

• Major League Lacrosse has signed a deal with Anheuser-Busch to have its Bud Light brand become the official beer partner for the 2019 MLL All-Star Game, being played in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD on July 27. The deal includes “prominent signage on the playing field, fan zone activation and various on-site promotions at several sports bars and retail locations in the Greater Annapolis area leading up to the All-Star Game.”

• Stating that “we are continually seeking opportunities to evolve our product offerings,’ Kohl’s has signed an exclusive long-term alliance with Fanatics, a global leader in licensed sports merchandise with the addition of “hundreds of thousands of items.” Full story here.

• Pete Frates and Pat Quinn, co-founders of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, have launched with The ALS Assn. the 5th anniversary of “Challenge Me” with a “new call to action to reignite the passion and generosity of the millions of people who dumped ice water on their heads in the summer of 2014.” 

POLL POSITION

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23 players who will represent the U.S. in France and seek to defend their FIFA Women’s World Cup crown (July 7-Aug.7).

GOALKEEPERS

Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS
Abby Dahlkemper* (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson* (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn* (NC Courage), Ali Krieger*** (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara*** (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn*** (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett* (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS
Morgan Brian** (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz** (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan* (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle* (Washington Spirit), Allie Long* (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis* (NC Courage)
FORWARDS
Tobin Heath*** (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd**** (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald* (NC Courage), Alex Morgan*** (Orlando Pride), Christen Press** (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh* (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe*** (Reign FC)
* First Women’s World Cup
** Second Women’s World Cup
*** Third Women’s World Cup
**** Fourth Women’s World Cup

KEEPING SCORE

Luka Dončić, Trae Young Head NBA All-Rookie Team
Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young have been unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Dončić and Young both received NBA All-Rookie First Team votes on all 100 ballots to finish with 200 points each.  They are joined on the NBA All-Rookie First Team by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (195 points; 95 First Team votes), Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. (159 points; 60 First Team votes) and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (156 points; 56 First Team votes).

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team includes LA Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (138 points), Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (132), Clippers guard Landry Shamet (85), New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (77) and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (45).

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office May 17-19
1. John Wick 3 $57M
2. Avengers: Endgame $29.4M
3. Pokemon Detective Pikachu $24.8M
4. A Dog’s Journey $8M
5. The Hustle $6M
6. The Intruder $4M
7. Long Shot $3.4M
8,. The Sun Is Also A Star $2.6M
9. Poms $2M
10. Uglydolls $1.6M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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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. 6 Chicago Bears v Oakland Raiders Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 13 Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• 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).

Saturday
Aug042018

EA Sports Puts A Rap On Madden NFL '19 Marketing With Nicki, Lil Dicky, Quevo

By Barry Janoff

August 3, 2018: EA Sports’ Madden NFL 19 is en route (Aug. 10), but multi-media marketing is already here.

An extended three and a half minute video, “Make Your Play” — which will be used in 15-, 30- and 60-second formats — tells the story of gamer named Will and "The Greatest Play Call Ever."

If nothing else, it boasts a roster of sports and entertainment celebs, some in extended roles, some in cameos, including Nicki Minaj, Lil Dicky, comic Chris Redd, DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) and even SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Starfish.

Lil DIcky and Redd are sitting in a diner, with Redd telling the story of Will.

The narrative is like a game of Telephone, where the basic story becomes more and more exaggerated.

Redd not only knows the story, but says emphatically, “Man, I was there!”

It seems that Will, who may (or may not) be a fictional character, made a Madden NFL call with time running out in a game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys that has become legendary.

“Down by three, seven seconds on the clock, seven-yard line, fourth and three, no timeouts left. The only option he has: A field goal to tie it up and force overtime,” says Redd.

“So Will brings out his field goal unit like anybody would do. The opponent calls time out to ice the kicker. So Will says to himself, ‘Let’s go. I got this.’ Will eyes the coverage . . .  decides to take a shot.”

By now, the conversation has attracted a crowd, including Nicky Minaj, a self-professed Madden player.

Instead of a field goal, Will sends out the offensive unit and calls a play, which goes from a run by Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott to a lateral to TE Geoff Swain (“A blocking TE with no career TDs,” boasts Will) who dives into the end zone in to score the game-winning TD.

“So Will starts going crazy,” continues Redd with the story. “Starts talking mad trash. That’s the Greatest Call Ever!”

While jumping around, Will’s cell phone falls out of his pocket and dials a random number — turns out it belongs to rapper Quavo, who happens to be playing Madden, who hears Will’s excitement and decides to turn it into a song.

“I’m a legend like Will/Be real like Will/Big rings like Will/I score at will.”

"That’s when things get really crazy," explains Redd

Will gets his own hot sauce, Fourth and Hot; a 30 for 30 documentary on ESPN; a freeway billboard; jewelry with his image on it; and being included in the plot line of an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.

Even more amazing, Quevo's song was playing on the radio in a hospital room where Will’s aunt was in a coma, which woke her up, according to the story.

When the camera pull’s back, we see the name of the diner they have been sitting has changed from Chips to Will’s.

All or some of which may or may not be true, But as Nicki and others say at the end, “Heck of a play call.”

The video is from ad agency Johannes Leonardo, NY.

Nicki Minaj is also part of the Madden NFL 19 soundtrack on three songs: Post Malone’s “Ball For Me” (feat. Nicki Minaj) YG’s “Big Bank” (feat. 2 Chainz, Big Sean & Nicki Minaj) and Young Thug’s “Anybody” (feat. Nicki Minaj).

The Madden NFL 19 soundtrack created its own news when it was uncovered that YG’s song, "Big Bank," had been altered to eliminate the name of Colin Kaepernick.

In the original lyrics, Big Sean raps, “Feed me to the wolves/Now I lead the pack and shit/You boys all cap/I’m more Colin Kaepernick."

The soundtrack, omits Kaepernick's name.

“We made an unfortunate mistake with our Madden NFL soundtrack," EA said in a statement.

"Members of our team misunderstood the fact that while we don't have rights to include Colin Kaepernick in the game, this doesn't affect soundtracks. We messed up, and the edit should never have happened.

“We will make it right, with an update to Madden NFL 19 on August 6 that will include the reference again. We meant no disrespect, and we apologize to Colin, to YG and Big Sean, to the NFL, to all of their fans and our players for this mistake."

Last month. EA Sports unveiled Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown as the Madden NFL 19 and Madden NFL Overdrive cover athlete. He also is part of the Madden 99 Club, joining "an elite group of players rated 99 OVR."

Former NFL WR and new Pro Football Hall of Fame member Terrell Owens is on the cover of the Madden NFL 19 Hall of Fame edition

Antonio Brown Catches Madden NFL 19 Cover

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