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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).

Tuesday
Jun052018

WNBA Opts To Deconstruct, Rebuild Its '18 All-Star Game, Including NBA-Style Draft

NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

June 5, 2018:
Following in the All-Star Game footsteps of the NBA and NHL, the WNBA said a new format would be used to select teams for the Verizon WNBA All-Star 2018.

WNBA All-Star teams will be determined without regard to Eastern or Western Conference, a format that was used in the league’s previous 14 All-Star Games.

Rather than having to select an equal number of players from each conference, voters will now choose the All-Stars without regard for conference affiliation.

“Delivering on the promise to constantly innovate and entertain is driving this All-Star format change for our fans and partners,” WNBA president Lisa Borders said in a statement. “This bold and innovative approach to Verizon WNBA All-Star provides an opportunity to put the best of the best in our showcase event.”

WNBA All-Star Voting 2018 presented by Verizon begins June 19 (2 PM ET) and will conclude on July 12 (11:59 PM. ET.). Details here.

The game is scheduled for July 28 in Target Center, home to the defending champion Minnesota Lynx (ABC, 3:30 PM ET).

The selection of 2018 All-Stars will be conducted through a combination of voting by fans (40% of the vote), current WNBA players and head coaches (2% each) and a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters (20%).

A pool of 22 players who receive the most votes regardless of conference will be will be revealed on July 17.

The captains will be the two All-Stars, regardless of conference, who receive the highest vote totals.

The captains will then draft their respective teams from the remaining 20 All-Stars to form two 11-player rosters.

Last season, Maya Moore of the Lynx (19,949) and Elena Delle Donne of the Washington Mystics (19,280) received the most votes.

The NBA this past season also had its two captains — LeBron James and Stephen Curry, who received the most votes — draft their teams from all the players with the most votes, regardless of conference, to form Team LeBron and Team Stephen.

The NBA received flack for not putting the All-Star draft on national TV.

The WNBA has not yet said if the draft would be public, saying that “specific details about the draft will be announced at a later date.”

The NHL has been revising its All-Star Game selection process and format for several seasons, with four All-Star Teams based on the league’s four divisions competing in a single-elimination tournament.

The MLS All-Star Game dating back to 2005 has pitted a team of league All-Stars against a top international club (Juventus in 2018, Real Madrid in 2017).

Prior to the start of the 2018 season, the WNBA signed a deal with innovation and brand design consultancy Sylvain Lab to “work closely with the league to develop a long-term growth strategy and identify new marketing opportunities.”

According to the WNBA, the partnership with New York-based Sylvain Labs “entails a complete review of every aspect of the league to learn more about its fans and how best to engage them.”

Last season for the first time the WNBA including players and media in All-Star Game voting, which previously had been based completely on fan voting.

Under the new WNBA voting format, people will be able to vote for their top ten players regardless of position or conference.

Players, coaches and the media panel will each vote for 22 players, selecting nine guards and 13 frontcourt players regardless of conference. Players and coaches may not vote for members of their own team or themselves, both of which were previously allowed.

The All-Star rosters will be revealed on July 19 during ESPN2’s telecast of the Washington Mystics-Dallas Wings game.
 
The head coaches for Verizon WNBA All-Star 2018 will be the head coaches of the two teams with the best records following games on July 13.  The head coach with the best record as of that date will coach the team captained by the highest vote-getter.
 
On July 27, the All-Star team captains and head coaches will meet to determine starters for Verizon WNBA All-Star 2018.  The starting lineups will be revealed that night on ESPN2 (7 p.m. ET) during a live telecast of the WNBA All-Star Welcome Reception in Minnesota.

PHOTO COURTESY Target Center

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