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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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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
Sunday
Dec172017

Lakers, Marketers, Fans, NBA Set To Fete Kobe At Jersey Retirement Ceremony

By Barry Janoff

December 18, 2017: When the defending Golden State Warriors come to town, that is usually the top NBA story for the day.

Not so with the Warriors trip to play the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night (Dec. 18), when the No. 1 story will be the retirement ceremony for the No. 8 and No. 24 Lakers jerseys worn by Kobe Bryant.

Locally, Spectrum SportsNet will begin coverage of the pre-game celebration in the sold-out Staples Center at 5:30 P.M. (PT) and will air the game live at 7:30 P.M. (PT) on Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes.

NBA TV will air the halftime ceremonies nationally. Both NBA TV and NBA.com this past week dedicated significant space to honoring Bryant’s career, with highlight games, videos and career recaps.

Vivid Seats has two Row 1 court side tickets starting at more than $27,000 each.

Row 1 court side baseline tickets were going for $6,855.

Bryant will become the 10th player in Los Angeles Lakers history to earn this distinction, but the first to have two numbers retired, joining Wilt Chamberlain (13), Elgin Baylor (22), Gail Goodrich (25), Earvin "Magic" Johnson (32), Kareem Abdul- Jabbar (33), Shaquille O'Neal (34), James Worthy (42), Jerry West (44) and Jamaal Wilkes (52).

"Kobe's jerseys are taking their rightful home next to the greatest Lakers of all time," Jeanie Buss, Lakers CEO and controlling owner, said in a statement when the jersey retirement ceremony was unveiled in September.

"There was never any doubt this day would come, the only question was when. Once again, Lakers fans will celebrate our hero, and once again, our foes will envy the legendary Kobe Bryant,” said Buss.

Although no Lakers player can wear No. 8 or No. 24 again, the public is not restricted.

Among other activation, Nike, the NBA’s official on-court jersey partner, is offering Kobe Bryant retirement jerseys for No. 8 and No. 24.

Both come with a special patch that have Bryant’s faux signature, five stars (one for each NBA title), his “Black Mamba” nickname and the date of the jersey retirement, December 18, 2017. (MSRP $525).

The Lakers’ on-line shop is offering a plethora of Kobe merchandise, including exclusive 9Fifty Retirement Patch Snapback caps, T-shirts, jerseys and photos of Bryant, wearing No. 8 and No. 24, each framed with a special-edition coin commemorating the event.

To celebrate the day of the jerseys retirement,  the Lakers will host KobeLand a street festival to take place on Chick Hearn Court at L.A. LIVE on Ddec. 18 (4-7:00 PM PT).

Lakers corporate partners, many of whom will have a presence in KobeLand and/or inside Staples Center during the game and halftime ceremonies include American Express, Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser), Canon, Delta Airlines, Gatorade, Jack in the Box, Tissot, Toyota, Verizon, Wingstop and the team’s jersey patch sponsor Wish.

The festival, free and open to the public, will feature a variety of interactive games, a Kobe-inspired Ferris Wheel, a special basketball shootout, photo opportunities, branded merchandise and a live deejay. Nike will also have a prominent presence at the festival including a Kobe “8” & “24” branded truck onsite.

Many former teammates and opponents and all-time Lakers greats are expected to be in attendance at the game.

All of the Warriors will be in attendance, not just for the game but court side during the ceremony itself, according to head coach Steve Kerr.

Bryant wore each number jersey for ten seasons.

Bryant appeared in 707 games while wearing No. 8. During that time, he averaged 23.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists; and helped to guide the Lakers to four NBA Finals, and three championships (2000-02).

He wore No. 24: for 638 games, averaging 26.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists, leading the team to NBA titles in 2009 and 2010, being named MVP in both championship finals.

According to  Magic Johnson, former player and now Lakers president of basketball operations. "Kobe was one of the greatest Lakers and NBA players of all-time and he's definitely on my Mount Rushmore.

"I look forward to seeing both of his jerseys be retired and celebrating this special day with Kobe and his family."

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