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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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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
Tuesday
Dec262017

Chris Paul Takes State Farm Tour Of Houston With Harden, Backstreet Boys

By Barry Janoff

December 25, 2017: During the years he played with the Los Angeles Clippers, Chris Paul appeared in a series of campaigns for State Farm that included teammate DeAndre Jordan and his faux twin brother — and “State Farm agent” — Cliff Paul.

State Farm needed to re-write the script after Paul was trade to the Houston Rockets this past June, and did so with an initial spot that saw Cliff host a “Going-Away Party” for Chris.

He also offered to find his brother a new insurance agent. Because as the spot relates, “When you are born to assist, you can’t close one door without opening another.”

The storyline continues with Chris in Houston, not only meeting his new State Farm guy, Cole Perez (played by actor Oscar Nunez), but new members of the State Farm roster: Rockets teammates James Harden and Trevor Ariza.

In the new spot, “Grand Tour,” Paul finds that, like brother Cliff, Cole Perez “gets him,” not only finishing sentences but sharing common interests.

As Paul gets  acclimated to Houston, he finds that Perez and he both like bowling, barbecue and chili fries and singing along to songs from the 1990s, in particular “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys.

Paul, who has been a State Farm spokesman since 2012, now welcomes Harden and Ariza to the club, first seen getting roadside assistance from State Farm and hitching a ride with Paul and Perez.

Ariza is all in for the tour of Houston, but a scowling Harden is less joyful.

He initially refuses the ride from Paul, then focuses text messaging rather than singing along Paul, Ariza and Perez, who each know the Backstreet Boys tunes rather well.

“Ain't nothin' but a heartache/Tell me why
“Ain't nothin' but a mistake/Tell me why
“I never wanna hear you say/I want it that way.”

"I had a great time," Ariza told the Houston Chronicle. "Chris Paul is a great guy. He came here. He asked if I would like to be involved. I told him absolutely. It was fun. I was a bit nervous at first, but just being around ... James and Chris and the whole State Farm organization made it easy for me."

Support for the campaign includes Internet, social media and an eBay auction "Moving Sale" destination (going live Nov. 11) where “Chris will sell some of his most valuable items and donate all proceeds to storm relief in Houston,” according to State Farm.

The campaign featured a recent community event held in partnership with NBA Cares and the Chris Paul Family Foundation to help rebuild school libraries in Houston and support students and families impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

The campaign is scheduled to run through 2018.

Lead agency is Translation.

State Farm Takes CP3 To Houston, But What About Cliff?

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