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NEWS REAL

• ESPN and Uninterrupted, the digital media company founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter, will debut an original series, More Than An Athlete, Nov. 20, exclusively on ESPN+. The eight-episode series follows James’ journey from basketball prodigy to global sports icon, businessman and philanthropist via the bonds of friendship and partnership among four men over more than two decades: James, Carter, Randy Mims and Rich Paul.

• The NFL and Mexico's President-Elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador confirmed that the third game of the existing agreement signed in 2016 will be played in 2019 at Estadio Azteca. The date and time of the game will be determined in conjunction with the release of the 2019 NFL schedule next spring

• NBC Sports and the Premier League are partnering to present their second Premier League Mornings Live, scheduled to take place in New York on Saturday, Dec. 8. The event will include a turf pitch, the Premier League trophy, club mascots and special guests. The initial fan fest in September was attended by more than 2,000 on a rooftop overlooking the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.

• Between now and Nov. 19, every use of #SaluteToService on Twitter will generate a $5 donation, up to $5 million, to the NFL’s military non-profit partners – including the Pat Tillman Foundation, TAPS, USO, Wounded Warrior Project and the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

POLL POSITION

MLB MOY, MVP, CY Young, ROY

AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
• Shohei Ohtani, RHP/DH Los Angeles Angels

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
• Ronald Acuna Jr., OF Atlanta Braves

AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR
• Bob Melvin Oakland A's

NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR
• Brian Snitker Atlanta Braves

AL MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
• Mookie Betts, OF Boston Red Sox

NL MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
• Christian Yelich, OF Milwaukee Brewers

AL CY YOUNG
• Blake Snell Tampa Bay Rays

NL CY YOUNG
• Jacob deGrom New York Mets

KEEPING SCORE

All-Time NBA Scoring Leaders (To Date)

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38, 387
2. Karl Malone 36,928
3. Kobe Bryant 33,643
4. Michael Jordan 32.292
5. LeBron James 31.425*
6. Wilt Chamberlain 31.419
7. Dirk Nowitzki 31,187*
8. Shaquille O’Neal 28,596
9. Moses Malone 27,409
10. Elvin Hays 27,313
11. Hakeem Olajuwon 26,946
12. Oscar Robertson 26,710
13. Dominique Wilkins 26,668
14. Tim Duncan 26,496
15. Paul Pierce 26,397
19. Carmelo Anthony 25,551*
22. Vince Carter 24,967*
30. Dwayne Wade 22,211*
*Still Active

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Nov. 16-18
1. Fantastic Beasts Crimes of Grindelwald $62.2M
2. The Grinch $38.1M
3. Bohemian Rhapsody $15.7M
4. Instant Family $14.7M
5. Widows $12.3M
6. Nutcracker and the Four Realms $4.7M
7. A Star is Born $4.3M
8. Overlord $3.8M
9. Girl in the Spider’s Web $2.5M
10. Burn the Stage $2.3M

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
Friday
Jun292018

NBC Sports, Marketing Partners Ready For Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Next Ride

By Barry Janoff

June 29, 2018: Dale Earnhardt Jr. was a veteran of some 20 years as a race car driver — and another lifetime more as the son of iconic driver Dale Earnhardt Sr. — when he retired following the 2017 Nascar season,.

But back to being a rookie this year in the broadcast booth.

NBC Sports Group launches its 2018 Nascar season this weekend with more than 18 hours of trackside coverage from Chicagoland Speedway, culminating with the Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series Overton’s 400 on July 1 on NBCSN.

Along for the ride for the first time will be Earnhardt Jr., not as a driver but as an analyst and color commentator.

“I'm excited to finally be at the racetrack with my teammates and getting ready to go to work,” Earnhardt Jr. said on Thursday during a media conference call prior to his first official Nascar race on he media side. “We've been practicing, and here it is, it's time to get to work."

Earnhardt Jr. said that NBC put him through some trial runs in the radio booth this year to gain some knowledge and first-hand experience. He also did some feature reporting for NBC at the Winter Olympics this past February and over the years has made some quest appearances as a commentator during live broadcasts.

But now comes the real deal.

“Well, here goes nothing! @chicagolndspdwy @nascaronnbc,” offered on his Twitter account, on which he has more than 2.5 million followers (and some three million on Facebook).

Earnhardt Jr.’s marketing partners have also come along for the journey.

Wrangler just broke a campaign showing how Dale Jr. has been preparing for his new career.

Spots include him calling a "Go-Kart Race" (“Welcome to the Dirty Mow Acres 300. I don’t if we’ll make it a full 300 but we’ll see how far we get”), "Reporting on Lawn Mowing" as a neighbor drives a riding mower to cut the grass (“Fred has a good steady pace going. He;s got the pattern down”) and doing "Play-by-Pay for a Buffalo Race,” which is basically watching three buffalo walk around in a field (“No. 93. Your first win. Good race. Good form”).

Another spot shows Dale Jr. taking a "New Warm-Up Lap" by practicing his vocals by doing tongue-twisters: “Billy Buttons bought a bunch of beautiful bananas. Unique New York. Billy Buttons went to unique New York.”

Mountain Dew has been running a humorous campaign in which Earnhardt Jr. is replaced as a driver by Dewey Rider (comic Danny McBride).

Earnhardt’s multi-year alliance with NBCUniversal will also provide him with opportunities in the company’s media businesses, including movies, television and podcasts.

“When you're a driver, you think you have all these ideas about what the sport needs to be better . . . we're always trying to improve the health of the sport,” said Earnhardt Jr. “Everybody has got the sport's best interest at heart, and as a driver you have those opinions of what those things are.

“Then when you go into the broadcast booth and you're on the other side, just looking at it through a totally different lens, some of those things change like 180 degrees.”

Earnhardt Jt. said that when he was a driver, he  didn't like being involved in rivalries, and “tried to fly under the radar and didn't want to be front-page news all week with a dust-up with another driver or be in any type of disagreement or conflict.

“I didn't like to be the story all week leading up to the next race or any of the videos coming up for the next race's promotion about me and some other driver running into each other.

But now that he’s on the media side?

“I understand what the purpose behind that type of promotion is and why the media exercises to share that with fans and help them understand the story lines in the sport," he said. "That's so critical, and I just didn't see it that way as a driver.

“And that's just one of many, many things that my perception has changed on.”

Earnhardt Jr. is not the only ex-driver in the booth. He will join NBC television analyst Jeff Burton, a 21-race winner who retired from Nascar competition three years ago, as well as former veteran crew chief Steve Letarte.

“This has been a lot of fun,” he said. “It feels like I retired from racing and haven't been working. It's been pretty surreal.”

Through the end of his full-time career, Earnhardt amassed 26 career victories, including the 2004 and 2014 Daytona 500s.

He also has a new book, Racing To The Finish: My Story, due out in October.

Now comes a new career, new goals, new challenges.

“I felt like that I had a lot more understanding of what I was getting myself into with race cars,” Earnhardt Jr. said during the media conference. “Growing up around it, and my family being so involved in it on my mom's and my dad's side, I was pretty sure at least when I was younger that I thought I knew everything about racing.

“But I had no history or background in broadcasting. Really kind of coming from a blank page here and drawing from my teammates, Jeff and Rick and Steve and everybody around me at NBC, just trying to draw all the information I can.

“I’m excited for that challenge. I feel very confident about the direction of the sport and the health of the sport and the future of the sport."

“I’m excited for that challenge. I feel very confident about the direction of the sport and the health of the sport and the future of the sport, or I wouldn't be in this position and want to be part of this team. I'm excited about where we're going and where we're headed, and I think we're going up, and I want to be on that ride.”

As the official home of the Nascar Playoffs, NBC Sports Group will present the final 20 Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series races, final 19 Nascar Xfinity Series races and select Nascar Regional and Touring Series events in 2018.

NBC Sports Group’s Nascar programming also includes NBCSN’s daily motorsports show, Nascar America, coverage of Nascar’s Awards Ceremonies and the annual Nascar Hall of Fame induction ceremony, as well as original programming specials.

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