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• 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.” 

POLL POSITION

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).

GOALKEEPERS

Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS
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)
MIDFIELDERS
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)
FORWARDS
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

KEEPING SCORE

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).

BUY SELL

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.
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
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).

Monday
Aug132018

NBC Plans To Heat Up Next NHL Ice Age With Record Number Of Games in 2018-19

NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

August 13, 2018: The calendar still reads summer but NBC Sports Group is preparing for the coming ice age.

NBC Sports said it would broadcast 109 NHL regular-season games during the 2018-19 season, its most since acquiring NHL rights prior to the 2005-06 season.

NBC will air the 2019 NHL All-Star Weekend from SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. Jan. 25-26.

It will be highlighted by live coverage of the All-Star Game on Saturday, Jan. 26, in prime time on NBC, the first time the All-Star Game will be televised live on a broadcast network since 1997.

Also coming this season is the debut of Wednesday Night Hockey on NBCSN, which will showcase the network’s “most diverse schedule since it acquired NHL rights prior to the 2005-06 season, as well as the NHL’s current and rising stars.”

On Jan. 1, the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will feature the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks in Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Ind., on NBC.

NBC said the NHL Winter Classic has produced the five most-watched regular-season games in NHL history.

The 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series will feature the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 23 in prime time on NBC in Lincoln Financial Field, home of the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.

The NHL regular season and NBC Sports regular-season coverage begins Oct. 3 on NBCSN, when the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals host the Boston Bruins, with a ceremony raising their Stanley Cup title banner in Capital One Arena.

NBC Sports will present 13 NHL games on NBC, beginning with the 2018 Discover Thanksgiving Showdown on Friday, Nov, 23, when the Philadelphia Flyers host the New York Rangers.

Overseas contests in China, Germany and Switzerland are part of the NHL pre-season schedule of 110 games in 19 days, beginning Sept. 15.

The NHL returns to China for the second consecutive season for two games between the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames as part of the 2018 O.R.G. NHL China Games.

The teams will play at Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center in Shenzhen on Sept. 15 (2:30 AM ET, NHL Network) and in Cadillac Arena in Beijing on Sept. 19 (7:30AM ET, NBCSN).

Also overseas during the pre-season, the New Jersey Devils play SC Bern, in Bern, Switzerland (PostFinance Arena) on Oct. 1; and the Edmonton Oilers play Kölner Haie, int Cologne, Germany (Lanxess Arena) on Oct. 3.

“With the impressive growth of fan interest in non-traditional NHL markets combined with the emergence of a number of rising stars, we felt the time was right to broaden our Wednesday night schedule and evolve the brand,” Sam Flood, executive producer and president, production, NBC Sports and NBCSN, said in a statement.

“Fans will still see plenty of games between traditional powers, but our new approach to Wednesday nights – including a record number of doubleheaders – allows us to show more rising stars and more Western Conference and Canadian teams than ever before.”

All games will be streamed live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app to authenticated users via TV Everywhere.

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