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NEWS REAL

• Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open (March 23) due to knee issues.

• Picking up the mantle of National Women’s Month, and anticipating what next year will be its 70th anniversary, the LPGA has unveiled “Drive On,” a multi-platform refined brand position. According to the LPGA, “Drive On is clearly rooted in golf, but it's a bigger idea. It captures the power and potential in each of us and celebrates the hard work, focus and tenacity that it takes to achieve our goals.” Full story here.

• The NBA said that the Chinese and Croatian National Teams would join all 30 NBA teams to compete at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019 in Las Vegas, marking the first time that the league will feature two international teams, with 83 games over 11 days (July 5-15).

• The 2019 Alliance of American Football Championship, originalluy scheduled for April 27 in Las Vegas, will be played in Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas., which is owned and operated by Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.

• MLB and the MLB Players’ Assn. have unveiled numerous changes to the game to be installed over the next two seasons that will impact game length, marketing broadcast partners, the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby. Full story here.

POLL POSITION

Top Ten Most In-Demand MLB Tickets (based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14):
1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Chicago Cubs
5. St. Louis Cardinals
6. Los Angeles Dodgers
7. Philadelphia Phillies
8. Texas Rangers
9. New York Mets
10. Houston Astros

SOURCE: STUBHUB

KEEPING SCORE

The Most-In-Demand MLB Home Openers
(based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14, all on March 28):

• Arizona Diamondbacks at the Dodgers (average ticket price $229.
• Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees (average ticket price $202)
• Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies (average ticket price $84)
• Chicago Cubs at Texas Rangers (average ticket price $254)
• Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds (average ticket price $122)

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office March 15-17
1. Captain Marvel $69.3M
2. Wonder Park $16M
3. Five Feet Apart $13.2M
4. How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World $9.4M
5. Madea Family Funeral $8M
6. No Manches Frida 2 $3.9M
7. Captive State $3.2M
8. Lego Movie 2 $2.1M
9. Alita: Battle Angel $1.9M
10. Green Book $1.3M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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
SUPER BOWL LIII

Saturday
Dec082018

Fifty Former NFL Players Form Freedom Football League In Ever-Crowded Field

By Barry Janoff

December 7, 2018: Ricky Williams, Terrell Owens, Robert Griffith, Simeon Rice, Jeff Bake and Jeff Garcia are among some 50 former NFL players behind the launch of Freedom Football League, a spring-summer enterprise.

According to the FFL Web site, there will initially be ten teams in two conferences. It plans to start in the spring of 2020.

The spring-summer football calendar has suddenly become very crowded.

The Alliance of American Football, led by founder and CEO Charlie Ebersol and co-founder Bill Polian, plans to start play February 2019.

The XFL, behind founder and CEO Vince McMahon, also plans to start play February 2020.

There also is the American Patriot League, described as a “league run by former NFL players for current football players.” Headed by ex-NFLers Marques Odden, Keon Lattimore and Bob Golic, it is scheduled to begin playing a 16-game season in February 2019 with ten teams.

And the NFL is not exactly dormant: After the Super Bowl comes the NFL Scouting Combine and the NFL Draft.

FFL ownership includes 100 stakeholders, including the 50 ex-players, and also is offer people the opportunity to invest in the league. It will be financed by a combination of private funding and public offerings in 2019.

Many of the former players involved have also has careers in business, investments and/or as motivational speakers and community leaders.

The league's mission statement: "To attract football players at their highest level of athletic ability, including those defecting from the NFL, graduating college or high school or playing in international or alternative professional football leagues."

FFL also intends to give its players freedom to express their social and personal opinions.

“We are in a position to be leaders,” Williams (pictured), who  played for 12 seasons in the NFL and won the Heisman Trophy with Texas in 1998, says in a FFL intro spot. “To initiate social change. One of the main tenants of the Freedom Football League is to allow players to have a voice.

“Why do we have to go to the old white guys (NFL owners) in order to change things? (Let’s) empower ourselves and see what power we have to actually change things.”

According to the FFL Web site, “The current NFL ownership, with a market capitalization of over $100 billion is closely held and controlled by 32 wealthy billionaire families and generates, on average, over $100 million of annual profits per team per year.

"This ownership schism creates an exploitative dynamic between ownership and the players and coaches, neglects the long-term health and well-being of the players, and gouges the fans with outrageous ticket prices.

“The Freedom Football League is rethinking all aspects of the game of football and it starts with the ownership and money. The FFL’s teams will be owned by a unique consortium that includes former NFL players, active players from each FFL team, the local franchise operators, and most uniquely, you the fan," according to the league's Web site.

FFL teams and cities include:

Eastern Conference: Birmingham Kings, Connecticut Underground, Florida Strong, Oakland Panthers, Ohio Players, St. Louis Independence and Texas Revolution.

Western Conference: Oklahoma City Power, Portland Progress, San Diego Warriors.

“What makes this league different from all other leagues out there is that from an ownership standpoint we are giving everybody a chance to be part of the process,” said Jeff Garcia, who played for four seasons in the CFL and 12 in the NFL, passing for more than 25,500 yards, in the FFL’s intro spot. “Players, coaches, management. Fans — they can all be owners of franchises. It’s something they’ll never have anywhere else.

“Why do we have to go to the old white guys (NFL owners) to change things? (Let’s) empower ourselves and see what power we have to actually change things.”

Initial ownership also includes such former players as JJ Lasley, Byron Chamberlain, Darryl Ingram, Dexter Jackson, Eddie Anderson, Greg Bell, Mike Jones, Spencer Conley, Todd Yoder, Toi Cook, Willie Harper, Chris Hovan, Glyn Milburn, Akilli Smith and Derek Kennard.

The league said it is founded upon "four philosophical and operational pillars":


• Ensuring players receive permanent and reliable holistic health and wellness support on and off the field, seeking to avoid physical and financial exploitation that is commonplace in both collegiate and professional football today


• Amplifying the voice(s) of athletes by relentlessly pursuing unity and encouraging athletes to address society’s challenges relating to social justice, wealth disparity, health and wellness and more hot-button issues they are passionate about


• Reimagining the game for fans by creating a new spectator experience that leverages technology and embraces innovation, while simultaneously eliminating price-gouging to make loyalty and game-attendance affordable again


• Establishing economic justice via financial incentives through joint ownership and further eliminating financial exploitation and profiteering to the benefit of the few at the expense of many.

“The Freedom Football League is the perfect integration of my passion for social justice, economic equality and health and wellness, with my life-long dedication and love for professional football,” said Williams.

“As much as I’d like to throw on the pads and play, this league is designed to bring competitive football back to the masses, providing players and fans alike with the economic benefits of owning stake in a team, while also ensuring players are empowered to use their public platform for social good.”

XFL Marks Its Spots With Eight Cities, Stadiums

AAF Bets On Vegas For Championship Games

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