• FIFA has postponed plans to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams for the 2022 event in Qatar. The plan is still being considered for the 2026 World Cup, which will be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. According to FIFA, “(There was not enough) time for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact.” The World Cup is scheduled for Nov. 21-Dec. 18, 2022.

• The NFL and NFL Players Association have unveiled two joint agreements that are intended to “support further resources directed to address pain management and behavioral health.” Full story here.

• The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and social impact education innovator EVERFI, Inc. have oined the students of Santee Elementary School in San Jose to launch The Compassion Project for the 2019-2020 school year, described as a “national nonprofit dedicated to providing compassion education to elementary school students across the U.S.”

• The U.S. Golf Association has aligned with Marvel Entertainment to create exclusive golf education products to “engage junior golfers on the essential elements to learning the game." Scheduled to launch in June at the 2019 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach, the collaboration features printed and digital comic books with many of Marvel’s super heroes The story follows Tony Stark (Iron Man) and other Avengers as they teach the next generation of Marvel Super Heroes about golf. Limited-edition Marvel-themed golf posters will be distributed (while supplies last) at the Junior Experience at the 2019 U.S. Open.

• Major League Lacrosse has signed a deal with Anheuser-Busch to have its Bud Light brand become the official beer partner for the 2019 MLL All-Star Game, being played in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD on July 27. The deal includes “prominent signage on the playing field, fan zone activation and various on-site promotions at several sports bars and retail locations in the Greater Annapolis area leading up to the All-Star Game.”

• Stating that “we are continually seeking opportunities to evolve our product offerings,’ Kohl’s has signed an exclusive long-term alliance with Fanatics, a global leader in licensed sports merchandise with the addition of “hundreds of thousands of items.” Full story here.

• Pete Frates and Pat Quinn, co-founders of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, have launched with The ALS Assn. the 5th anniversary of “Challenge Me” with a “new call to action to reignite the passion and generosity of the millions of people who dumped ice water on their heads in the summer of 2014.” 


U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23 players who will represent the U.S. in France and seek to defend their FIFA Women’s World Cup crown (July 7-Aug.7).


Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)
Abby Dahlkemper* (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson* (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn* (NC Courage), Ali Krieger*** (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara*** (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn*** (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett* (Portland Thorns FC)
Morgan Brian** (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz** (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan* (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle* (Washington Spirit), Allie Long* (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis* (NC Courage)
Tobin Heath*** (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd**** (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald* (NC Courage), Alex Morgan*** (Orlando Pride), Christen Press** (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh* (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe*** (Reign FC)
* First Women’s World Cup
** Second Women’s World Cup
*** Third Women’s World Cup
**** Fourth Women’s World Cup


Luka Dončić, Trae Young Head NBA All-Rookie Team
Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young have been unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Dončić and Young both received NBA All-Rookie First Team votes on all 100 ballots to finish with 200 points each.  They are joined on the NBA All-Rookie First Team by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (195 points; 95 First Team votes), Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. (159 points; 60 First Team votes) and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (156 points; 56 First Team votes).

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team includes LA Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (138 points), Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (132), Clippers guard Landry Shamet (85), New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (77) and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (45).


Weekend Box Office May 17-19
1. John Wick 3 $57M
2. Avengers: Endgame $29.4M
3. Pokemon Detective Pikachu $24.8M
4. A Dog’s Journey $8M
5. The Hustle $6M
6. The Intruder $4M
7. Long Shot $3.4M
8,. The Sun Is Also A Star $2.6M
9. Poms $2M
10. Uglydolls $1.6M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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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.
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.
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.
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.
Channel Chasers

NFL UK 2019
• Oct. 6 Chicago Bears v Oakland Raiders Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 13 Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 27  Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams Wembley Stadium
• Nov. 3 Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Wembley Stadium

NFL Mexico 2019
• Nov. 18 Kansas City  Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers Mexico City Estadio Azteca (ESPN Monday Night Football).


Lights Camera! Action! NBA Players Seek To Be The Next Denzel (Equalizer) Washington

By Barry Janoff

June 1, 2018: Forget being like Mike. NBA players want to be like Denzel, and we have the script.

Premise: The NBA and Sony have an alliance during the NBA Finals to promote The Equalizer 2, starring Denzel Washington as Robert McCall, the follow to The Equalizer (2014), due in theaters July. 15.

Director Antoine Fuqua, after a suggestion by Denzel, auditions NBA players for the role of McCall.

Scene 1

The Pitch”: Antoine Fuqua, who directed The Equalizer, and Washington are watching an NBA game on TV.

Fuqua: “The studio (Sony) just called. They want to do Equalizer 2. You in?”

Denzel: Excited. “EQ 2!” Less excited. “I don’t do sequels.”

Fuqua: Confused. “It’s not like movie stars fall out of the sky.”

Washington: Looking at the TV. "You should audition NBA stars to see if any of them could be the next Robert McCall." Smiles. " I like that.”

Scene 2

Player Showcase”: Fuqua is in a room auditioning NBA players for the role of McCall.

Fuqua: “Read this line: ‘I’m a high-level paid government assassin.’”

Manu Ganobili (San Antonio Spurs) One-shot, speaking in a thick Argentine accent. ‘I’m a high-level paid government assassin.’”

Cut to Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers): ‘I’m a high-level paid . . . assassin.’”

Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers) Seated on a stool. “What was the line again?”

Cut to Fuqua: “Give me your best Denzel.”

Lonzo Ball (Los Angeles Lakers): Big smile, arms wide open. “My man!!!”

Isaiah Thomas (Los Angeles Lakers): “King Kong ain’t got nothin’ on me!”

Fuqua: Look of bewilderment on his face. “Who was that?”

Thomas: “Denzel . . . “

Fuqua: Still bewildered. “Denzel . . .  Washington? Okay . . . “

Return to Ganobili, now wearing a cowboy outfit. Pretends to be shooting a gun. “Psshow!”

Fuqua: Still bewildered, looking at Ganobili’s boots. “Spurs!?”

Scene 3

In the audition room with Fuqua and Dwight Howard (Charlotte Hornets).

Fuqua: “Why are you always smiling?”

Howard: With a big, broad smile on his face. “I didn’t smile. There’s two types of pain. What do you see when you look at me?”

Fuqua: “You’re still smiling.”

Howard: “I should be The Equalizer. I have the poster to show you." Unrolls a poster that pictures Howard as Robert McCall. "This is the first 7-foot poster." Reads text on the poster. "He’s on the Dwight side of the law.”

Fuqua: “Let me see your most intense Robert McCall!”

Howard: Momentarily makes an intense face, then returns to a broad smile. “Was that intense?”

Scene 4

In the audition room, director Fuqua seeks a new "Catchphrase" for the movie.

Oladipo: “I just came up with my own catchphrases: You just got Ola-dequalized. When it comes to busting bad guys, I’m Victor-ious.”

Paul George (Oklahoma City Thunder): “Better call Paul.”

Skylar Diggins-Smith (WNBA Dallas Wings): “Roberta McCall.”

Scene 5

"We Got The Merchandise"

Fuqua: “What’s all this?”

Ball: Surround by a bevy of goods marked with EQ2 logos. “You’re going to need some ‘merch’ and my family is king of the ‘merch’: T-shirts. Hats. Doozie. Kicks — they’re kinda hot!”

Fuqua: “No. Can you do some acting now?”

Ball: “This is a family movie, right?”

Fuqua: “No.”

Ball: “So my family can't be in it!?”

Fuqua: “No.”

Ball: “Not even my Pops!?”

Voiceover:The Equalizer d2. In theaters July 20. And watch the NBA Finals on ABC.”

Fuqua (who is bald): “I had hair when these auditions began!”

Marketers (And Denzel) Ready To Play At NBA Finals

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