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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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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
Wednesday
Jan102018

Here’s Jonny: Selling The Second Coming Of Jon Gruden To Raider (And The) Nation

By Barry Janoff

Janaury 10, 2018: The Oakland Raiders have already started to pack their bags with the intention of moving into a new stadium in a new city, Las Vegas, by the 2020 NFL season.

But that leaves two seasons to go in Oakland, where the team’s fan base is as rabid and fanatical as any in sports.

How to keep the masses happy?

Enter Jon Gruden.

Gruden says he is back home, returning to his old Oakland Raiders stomping ground in his second tenure there as head coach.

Gruden coached the Silver and Black from 1998-2001 and, after being “traded” for several draft picks, the  Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2002-2008 — including a win over the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.

He had been with ESPN since 2009, including as an analyst on Monday Night Football and running Jon Gruden’s QB Camp.

At his re-introductory press conference in Oakland on Tuesday, the team said there were more than 110 credentialed media members.

Perhaps more important, there were upward of 50 former players, some of whom played under Gruder.

The show of solidarity was led by nine Hall of Famers — Tim Brown, Willie Brown, Dave Casper, Mike Haynes, Ted Hendricks, James Lofton, Howie Long, Jim Otto and Jerry Rice — as well as former head coach Tom Flores, Super Bowl XV MVP Jim Plunkett, Cliff Branch, Charles Woodson and Rich Gannon.

“Once a Raider, always a Raider,” said team owner Mark Davis.  “Never been more appropriate than today,"

And then, speaking directly to the team’s core fan base: ”Raider Nation, this is a big eff-en deal," said Davis.

Gruden said he returned to coaching after ten years for four reasons:

I love football .I love the city of Oakland. I love the Oakland Raiders. Most of all I love to win.

'I never wanted to leave the Raiders,” he said, and then in the same breath, “I never thought I'd be back.”

According to Gruden, and seconded by Davis, “Mark and I have been friends for a long time. Over the last six to seven years we have talked about the Raiders. Not necessarily becoming a coach, but maybe ways that we could improve the Raiders or my vision how I thought I could help them.

“Mark came to me a few weeks ago and asked me if I had any intentions of coaching and with the support of my family I said, ‘Yes, I do,’ and it’s a mysterious way it all came together and here I am. I don’t really have a solid explanation other than that.”

During his time with ESPN, according to Gruden, he continued to monitor the Raiders, as well as other NFL teams, from a coaching perspective.

“I have had some unique and beneficial opportunities as a broadcaster,” he said. “I’ve had a chance to watch practices and see how they conduct training camps [as a broadcaster]. I’ve had the chance to learn and see some things that I’ve never gotten to see as a coach. I’ve had a chance to study different offenses, different defenses, and the chance to get into personnel more.”

Regarding his new players:

• I've never met Marshawn Lynch, even as a broadcaster. Asked for him to attend production meetings but he never came. I am anxious to meet with him, sit down with him. He came back to Oakland for the same reasons I did’.”

• “There is a huge ceiling for Derek Carr. It's up to us as a coaching staff to help him soar. If I were an Oakland Raiders fan I would be excited to see him play.”

• Addressing his former players in the room: “I see some of you guys finally showed up on time!”

• Addressing his reported ten-year, $100 million contract: "I don’t have a guarantee to be alive for ten years so people know. Mark has told me that we are not getting any ownership of the team, so I am happy to report that today. I don’t really know the terms.

"All I know is that this year, I’ll be coaching in Oakland and next year I’m going to be coaching in Oakland. I know there is a big bull's eye on my chest. How long I stay here is dependent on how well we play.”

Will this be enough to satisfy Raider Nation, knowing that the team will be gone down the road?

"There is unfinished business,” said Gruden. "I’ve missed the game terribly. But I've really missed the Raiders.

“I hope people understand the emotion inside of me. I feel unfinished business. I also feel a lot of loyalty, and I feel a lot of responsibility to get the Raiders going again. It's been a while since we consistently performed at a high level and that's really all I care about. I'm going to do everything I can to help this team get right again."

“What I want to say to Raider Nation: I'm glad to be back. I can't wait to unite with you. Let's get going!”

PHOTOS: RAIDERS.COM

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