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• Six first-year eligible candidates are among the 27 semi-finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018: CB/S Ronde Barber, G Steve Hutchinson, LB Ray Lewis, LB Brian Urlacher, WR Randy Moss andDE/DT Richard Seymour. The Class of 2018 will be unveiled during NFL Honors, a two-hour prime-time awards special to air nationally (Feb. 3, 2018) on the eve of Super Bowl LII.
• The New York Knicks named Dan Sabreen vp-public relations, effective Nov. 27. Sabreen has spent more than a decade at CBS Sports, most recently as vp-communications.
• For every save made by goalkeepers during MLS Eastern and Western Conference Championships and MLS Cup, Allstate said it would donate two new soccer nets to fields in need in that club's city. MLS goalies participating inlcude Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew), Joe Willis (Houston Dynamo), Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders) and Alex Bono (Toronto FC).
• 2018 BBWAA ballot unveiled, with 14 1st timers including Chris Carpenter, Johnny Damon, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Hideki Matsui, Jim Thome, Johan Santana, Omar Vizquel Full ballot

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TCS NYC Marathon InfoGraphics
• Average age of participants Nov. 5, 2017: 41.2 years old
• 11,696 participants will represent their running clubs
• More than 50,000 people will cross the finish line
• 305 runners will celebrate their birthday on Marathon Day
• Cost to take a taxi on the NYC Marathon 26.2 mile route: $68.50 (no traffic)
• The biggest and smallest includes on the race route are both on the Verrazano Bridge
• Number of hot dog vendor carts needed to cove the course: 34,584
• Number of intersections crossed by Marathon runners: 300
• Number of times needed to climb 104 stories of One World Trade Center to complete a marathon: 101+
• Size running shoe needed for the Statue of Liberty: 879

SOURCE: TCS NYC MARATHON

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Top-Selling MLB Jerseys (MLBShop.com)

1. George Springer Houston Astros
2. Justin Verlander Houston Astros
3. Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs
4. Yasiel Puig Los Angeles Dodgers
5. Francisco Lindor Cleveland Indians
6. José Altuve Houston Astros
7. Enrique Hernandez Los Angeles Dodgers
8. Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers
9. Ernie Banks Chicago Cubs
10. David Ortiz Boston Red Sox
SOURCE: MLBSHOP.COM

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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
Friday
Feb172017

At NBA All-Star Game, Pepsi Making Much Ado About Uncle Drew (aka Kyrie Irving)

By Barry Janoff

February 16, 2017: Some people know him as Kyrie Irving, basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, All-Star, NBA champion.

But when historians look back, they will see his true identity: Uncle Drew.

The beloved, albeit fictional, character is getting new multi-media support from its creator, Pepsi, which since has developed a storyline about the lovable neighborhood character who knows a lot about basketball and knows a lot of people who strangely resemble basketball players and legends.

This week, to tie-in with Irving’s appearance in the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans, Pepsi has rolled out a new platform that includes TV, a dedicated Web site and a pop-up store on location.

Pepsi also shared the news that Uncle Drew would be coming to the big screen in a feature length film conceived, developed and produced by PepsiCo's in-house content creation arm, Creators League Studio.

A new spot, "All-Star Game," features former NBA player Baron Davis and writer/actor J.B. Smoove (Jerry Brooks), in which the trio, in character, sit in the neighborhood pizza parlor and discuss the upcoming game and NBA players.

Among those who have appeared as characters in the Uncle Drew saga are Bill Russell, Kevin Love, Ray Allen, Nate Robinson and Maya Moore.

The original video has received some 48 million views on YouTube since its release in 2012.

Irving is also involved as writer and creator.

"With fresh and exciting content, Pepsi will look to reignite the courtside excitement around Uncle Drew and continue its legacy of rewarding fans with fun, exciting and authentic moments in pop culture and sports," Aziel Rivers, director, Pepsi marketing, said in a statement. "With the availability of brand new Uncle Drew merchandise on UncleDrew.com, we are really able to show the evolution of the Uncle Drew brand which keeps fans connected at multiple touch points both on and off the screen."

The Web site features all of the Uncle Drew spots, merchandise and behind-the-scenes and other new content.

The pop-up location in New Orleans is modeled after Uncle Drew's pizza hangout and will feature Uncle Drew merchandise, player appearances, music from Peps partner iHeartMedia and giveaways.

According to Lou Arbetter, GM for Creators League Studio. "Today's consumers want to live the brand as much as consume it, and the tremendous success we've had with the Uncle Drew franchise is a perfect example of how we're building ecosystems around our flagship brands.

"Pepsi and Kyrie Irving are looking forward to expanding the Uncle Drew universe. We are excited for the recent launches of both UncleDrew.com and a corresponding merchandise line, and can confirm there are plans to feature Uncle Drew in a feature length film," said Arbetter.

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