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• ESPN said it would add two late-night shows to its programming line-up beginning Jan. 28, 2019: Now or Never (ESPN2) hosted by Steve Covino, Rich Davis, and Janelle Marie Rodriguez; and Ahora o Nunca (ESPN Deportes),hosted by ESPN Deportes’ Mauricio Pedroza, Herculez Gomez and Janelle Marie Rodriguez. The shows “will be dedicated to covering the intersection of sports and pop culture for young, multicultural sports fans.”

• Sports apparel firm Fanatics, which has alliances with most of the major pro sports leagues, has signed its first college deal, with the University of Oregon, to become a licensee, manufacturer and retailer for the University’s apparel, headwear and numerous other product categories. The deal, which begins Jan. 1, 2020, was put at $25 million for ten years by industry analysts. Nike and Columbia Sportswear will remain as prominent University of Oregon partners.

• The 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the  Boston Bruins and host Chicago Blackhawks is scheduled for Jan. 1 outdoors in Notre Dame Stadium. Before that happens, Road To The NHL Winter Classic docu-series returns to go behind the scenes with both teams, with the three-week, limited series premiering in the U.S. Dec. 19 on NBCSN (11:30 PM ET).  The series is produced by Ross Greenburg Productions in association with NHL Original Productions.

• Seeking to continue expanding its presence in China, the NFL has signed a digital partnership with Youku, the video entertainment platform for Alibaba Group, intended to “bring high-quality football programming to Chinese fans.” Weekly programming on Youku's sports channel will feature game highlights and behind-the-scenes stories from NFL games, including the Super Bowl, NFL Kickoff, Thanksgiving, NFL Draft and NFL International series.

POLL POSITION

Eight Teams And Venues For XFL 2020

• Dallas – Globe Life Park
• Houston – TDECU Stadium
• Los Angeles – StubHub Center
• New York/New Jersey – MetLife Stadium
• St. Louis – The Dome at America’s Center
• Seattle – CenturyLink Field
• Tampa Bay – Raymond James Stadium
• Washington, DC – Audi Field

See full story here.

KEEPING SCORE

BABE RUTH MEMORABILIA AUCTION

A live auction is scheduled to take place in Yankee Stadium on June 15, 2019 under the auspices of Hunt Auctions, to include 100s of items from the Babe Ruth family that have been in their possession since he passed away in 1948, most of which have not been seen in public. A portion of the proceeds will go to charity.

Among the items: 
• Babe Ruth Professional Model cleats
• Babe Ruth 60th Home Run Autographed display piece
• Babe Ruth 1934 Tour of Japan Champion Batsman presentational trophy
• Lou Gehrig signed and inscribed photograph to Babe Ruth
• Babe Ruth's 1930-31 New York Yankees "Better year than President" player contract
• Babe Ruth 1935 Boston Braves autographed contract agreement
• Babe Ruth personal check ledger with related signed documents
• Babe Ruth single signed baseballs and autographed photographs
• Babe Ruth 1934 Tour of Japan presentational pass
• Babe Ruth personal photographic albums including autographed exemplars
• Babe Ruth 12 Point Deer Trophy Mount with photographic provenance

Other items not from the Ruth family include:
• Babe Ruth Professional Model Bat with Home Run Notches c.1926-29
• Babe Ruth "Bustin Babes" barnstorming equipment travel case c.1920s (Waite Hoyt provenance)
• Highly significant 1923 New York Yankees World Championship presentational Spalding trophy
• 1923 New York Yankees World Champions team autographed ledger sheet

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Nov. Dec. 7-9
1. Ralph Breaks the Internet $16.1M
2. The Grinch $15.7M
3. Creed II $10.3M
4. Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald $6.8M
5. Bohemian Rhapsody $6M
6. Instant Family $5.6M
7. Green Book $3.9M
8. Robin Hood $3.6M
9. Possession of Hannah Grace $3.2M
10. Widows $3.1M

SOURCE: COMSCORE.com

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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
Monday
Jan082018

Mr. Motivation: FanDuel Names Hoops Hero/Heel Christian Laettner ‘CMO’

By Barry Janoff

January 8, 2018: FanDuel knows a lot about fantasy sports.

Christian Laettner knows about beating competitors in the clutch.

The two have joined forces, with FanDuel launching a humorous video series, “Christian Laettner: Office Motivator,” and also naming him the company’s CMO — the faux position of chief motivational officer.

The multi-media effort follows Laettner as he seeks to motivate people to improve their lives using examples from his career, even if the people he’s speaking to don’t really know who he is.

It will air on Mondays with the social media hash tag, #MotivationalMondays and #FanDuelCMO.

“Christian has a reputation for being intense and not caring what people think of him,” Justine Sacco, vp-communications for FanDuel, said in a statement. “But he has this amazing sense of humor and loved the opportunity to poke fun at his persona for laughs.”

FanDuel itself needed motivation when a merger last year between FanDuel and rival DraftKings was blocked by the FTC last year.

Laettner is best known for his clutch shots while a member of the Duke University basketball team, most notably in the 1992 NCAA Div. 1 Men’s regional final against Kentucky, when he hit a turnaround jumper as time expired to give Duke a 104-103 win. Duke went on to win the NCAA title.

As the 1992 NCAA player of the year, Laettner was the only collegian selected for the "Dream Team" that won gold in the Summer Olympics.

In the NBA Draft, he was selected third overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves, behind Shaquille O’Neal (Orlando Magic) and Alonzo Mourning (Charlotte Hornets).

He played 13 seasons in NBA for six different teams, was named an All-Star Game selection in 1997 while with the Atlanta Hawks and scored 11,121 points and had 5,806 rebounds.

But Laettner is also known for his competitive — some would say overbearing — attitude, and being reviled by fans of opposing teams.

A poll conducted by ESPN in 2013 named him ”the most hated player in college basketball history.” In 2015, he was the focus of an ESPN “30 for 30” documentary, I Hate Christian Laettner.

In a FanDuel spot this past holiday season, he played Santa and granted kids their wishes — except for one young girl who was wearing a University of Kentucky T-shirt.

And that is what comes across in the new FanDuel series.

In the first episode, “Christian Laettner: Office Motivator,” FanDuel explains, “(We) are always looking for ways to inspire and motivate our interns. So we decided to bring in one of the most competitive athletes of all time, Christian Laetnner.”

Laettner runs into a conference room with group of interns seated around a table.

“Are you awake!“ he shouts. “Do I have your attention now! I know what you all are thinking — Oh my God, it’s Christian Laetnner! “

We get a shot of the interns, who don’t know him from Adam and look like deers in a headlight.

Laettner continues. “I’m here for one reason: To make you better competitors.

“Rule No. 1: Always be on your toes.”

He throws a mini-basketball at one guy’s head, who responds, “This guy is friggin’ crazy.”

“Rule No. 2: Never be afraid to take The Shot. The Shot. (Again, no response.) Don’t tell me you don’t know what The Shot is!? Hello. 1992 NCAA tournament.”

Even a reenactment with the interns doesn't help. One young woman responds, “I was born in 1996.”

Finally, Laettner is motivated to shout, "Do you guys not know who the f*&# I am!?” (See the full first spot here.)

According to Laettner, “When they called me with the funny concept of motivating office people, I knew it was the perfect fit.

“I got a chance to throw basketballs at millennials, show off my legendary Ping-Pong skills and, above all make people laugh,” said Laettner. “The videos were a lot of fun to film and I love that I can now add CMO to my Twitter profile.”

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