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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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BodyArmor Into NCAA
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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
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
Jul102018

ESPN Touches All Bases For All-Star Game T-Mobile Home Run Derby Coverage

By Barry Janoff

July 10, 2018: The All-Star Game itself may be the big star during MLB’s All-Star Week, but the T-Mobile Home Run Derby attracts its own bright lights and excitement, and ESPN is treating the event like the star it is.

The 2018 exclusive broadcast of the T-Mobile Home Run Derby on ESPN, July 16 from Nationals Park in D.C., will get a plethora of fan-friendly coverage, beginning on-site at 3 PM (ET) that afternoon.

“The annual event is one of ESPN’s signature telecasts of the summer, and this year it will include more coverage than ever,” according to ESPN.

T-Mobile, an official MLB partner since 2013, became presenting sponsor for the Home Run Derby in with a three-year deal in 2016.

Prior to that, the Home Run Derby was sponsored by Gillette and before that State Farm and Chevrolet.

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who has been voted a starter on the National League roster, is currently the only other confirmed participant in the 2018 Home Run Derby.

Los  Angeles Dodgers infielder Max Muncy said on the club’s radio station that he would participate in the Home Run Derby.

However, official participants and brackets will not be known until a special ESPN telecast, the 2018 T-Mobile Home Run Derby Bracket Show, immediately following Wednesday Night Baseball with Texas Rangers at the Boston Red Sox on July 11 (approximately 10 PM ET).

Editor's Note: The 2018 T-Mobile Home Run Derby Participants are scheudled to be:
1. Jesus Aguilar Milwaukee Brewers
2. Bryce Harper Washington Nationals
3. Max Muncy Los Angeles Dodgers
4. Alex Bregman Houston Astros
5. Kyle Schwarzer Chicago Cubs
6. Javier Baez Chicago Cubs
7. Freddie Freeman Atlanta Braves
8. Rhys Hoskins Philadelphia Phillies

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees was crowned last year's T-Mobile Home Run Derby champion in Marlins Park in Miami, and the year before Giancarlo Stanton, now with the Yankees but then with the Miami Marlins, won the event. Both have decided to pass on the 2018 competition.

ESPN and T-Mobile have been touting the event with a spot featuring the Nationals' Racing Presidents mascots.

As part of what ESPN called exclusive, cross-platform coverage, a bevy of new technology will be employed to bring the event to fans.

ESPN said 4D replay would be used to  “provide viewers with 360-degree replays of the participants and their swings”; and “new 3D spray charts that will show paths and arcs of home runs.”

In addition, an on-screen scoreboard will feature a new “pace tracker” with a “sliding scale of projected home run totals for each hitter in the bracket and whether the hitter’s total is ahead or behind his opponent.”

Karl Ravech will return for his second year as lead announcer for the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, joined by analysts Mark Teixeira, Jessica Mendoza and Buster Olney.

ESPNEWS will televise a “first-of-its-kind alternative viewing experience” for this event, with on-screen graphics, data and information from Statcast.

The ESPNEWS telecast will also feature its own commentator team, including play-by-play voice Jason Benetti and analyst Eduardo Perez, according to ESPN.

ESPN Radio will have the national radio broadcast as Jon “Boog” Sciambi describeing the action with analysts Chris Singleton,  Marc Kestecher and Tim Kurkjian.

All ESPN and ESPN2 Home Run Derby day telecasts will stream via the ESPN App. Audio from the ESPN Radio broadcast will also be available on the ESPN App.

Among other T-Mobile Home Run Derby coverage on ESPN:

Baseball Tonight: Home Run Derby – Around the Cage will include live footage of batting practice and on-site interviews with participants.

Pardon The Interruption commentators Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser will talk about the Derby.

MLB Intentional Talk will be on site with hosts Chris Rose and Kevin Millar.

SportsCenter guest hosts Keith Olbermann and Karl Ravech will preview the T-Mobile Home Run Derby and the 2018 MLB All-Star Game.

The Home Run Derby Preview Show leads into the T-Mobile Home Run Derby telecast. Adnan Virk will join analysts David Ross, Tim Kurkjian and Eduardo Perez for commentary.

PHOTO COURTESY WASHINGTON NATIONALS

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