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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
Wednesday
Feb142018

NBA Players-Refs Detail ‘Unprecedented’ All-Star Summit To Improve Relationship

By Barry Janoff

February 13, 2018: Tension between NBA players and NBA referees is not new.

What has happened this season, however, is that NBA players’ respect for NBA referees arguably seems to be at an all-time low.

At one point, Golden State Warriors All-Star forward Draymond Green suggested that the NBA should get “a new crop of referees.”

He was fined for his words by the NBA, and managed to keep the green in his wallet after another game when, asked about the referees, declined to offer negative comments. “I’m going to save my money,” he told reporters.

At another point this season, Carmelo Anthony of the Oklahoma City Thunder said, “I’m done with the refs. No disrespect, but I’m done with these guys.”

They were far from alone.

In what was called “an unprecedented meeting” that will seek to ease tensions and create a clearer vision moving forward, representatives from the National Basketball Players Assn. and the National Basketball Referees Assn. will gather in private to discuss player-referee relations.

The meeting is scheduled for Feb. 17 in Los Angeles during All-Star Game break.

Although attendees were not shared, the NBPA executive committee includes Chris Paul (president), LeBron James (first vp), and vps Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry, Pau Gasol, Andre Iguodala and Garrett Temple.

According to the NBPA and the NBRA, “The two overriding objectives of the meeting will be furthering communication and transparency  —  two tenets of growing importance in a league with more exposure and attention than perhaps any other in the world.

“It is our shared belief that improvement in these areas will lead to enhanced on-court dynamics and will serve to create an environment characterized by utmost fairness and respect.”

“This meeting provides a rare opportunity for our players to talk directly with the referees off the court, away from the immediate pressures and emotions of the game,” Michele Roberts, NBPA executive director, said in a statement.

“We feel confident that this format will allow for a candid discussion of the issues and that each side will come away with a better understanding of the other’s perspective. It is our hope that this meeting will mark the beginning of an open dialogue that will ultimately lead to progress and improved conditions for all,” said Roberts.

According to NBRA spokesperson Mark Denesuk, “Everything we are focusing on in the meeting with the players is about creating a better experience for the fan. This initiative taken on by the players and referees demonstrates just how seriously we take this responsibility.”

Both sides said that, based on input from their respective members, they wouldl be prepared to “productively discuss strengths and frustrations, as well as ideas and solutions.”

"It is our hope that this meeting will mark the beginning of an open dialogue that will ultimately lead to progress and improved conditions for all."

Among the topics that are on the table for discussion:

• On-court communication and demeanor
• Perception in media, optics, and reality of issues between players and officials
• Respect For The Game rules, and their consistent enforcement
• Tactics for de-escalation of tension from each side
• Equality of treatment for all players and officials

“Night in and night out, the NBA is a showcase for the most competitive professionals in the world,” the NBPA and NBRA said in a  joint statement. “Our community of players, coaches and referees pursue excellence and the continuous improvement of our craft, always working toward the advancement of the game.

“Finding opportunities to work together, like this summit, is the beginning of a process — one that we hope and believe will yield positive results in the long run.”

NBA, All-Star Game Marketers All Revved Up With Someplace To Go (L.A.)

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