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NEWS REAL

• 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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COLLEGE

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
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
Jun132016

Nike: Ads, J.B. Smoove Show Legendary Jordan 'Flu Game' Nothing To Sneeze At

By Barry Janoff

June 13, 2016: Was it the flu? And what type of flu? And did he contaminate his teammates, fans, his coach and others? Or maybe it wasn't the flu but the anchovies on his pizza.

On June 11, 1997, Michael Jordan played in what has since become known as his legendary 'Flu Game," scoring 38 points in Game 5 of the NBA Finals to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 90-88 win over the Utah Jazz

Jordan played 44 of 48 minutes with severe "flu-like symptoms" — subsequent stories attributed his illness to food poisoning from a bad slice of pizza he ate in his hotel room — with stats that also included seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and a blocked shot.

As a result of his output, Chicago took a 3-2 lead and then went on to win the NBA title in six games two days later at home.

Jordan himself often later recalled, "(Playing that game) was probably the most difficult thing I've ever done."

To celebrate the 19th anniversary of the event, Nike's Jordan Brand has unveiled a humorous campaign that includes a series of spots with comedian/actor J.B. Smoove (Jerry Brooks) which offer alternative reasons to why Jordan appeared to be so sick.

And in a bit of in-your-face humor, Jordan Brand also opened a pop-up store in Salt Lake City, home of the Jazz, which sold Jordan shoes and ran a continuous loop of the Flu Game.

The effort also includes Internet and social media.

Under the umbrella theme, Greatness Overcomes, (#GreatnessOvercomes), J.B. Smoove-led spots offer a variety of wild theories on how Jordan got the flu. They were filmed in Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, OR., in rooms filled with past and current Air Jordan shoes and other memorabilia.

In "Tongue Theory," Smoove, standing in front of a showcase filled with classic Nike Jordan's, offers, "You know how many viruses are floating around in the sky? Jordan could have gotten sick by holding this tongue out every time he drove to that basket. Viruses just jump on your tongue and start dancing.

"Viruses dance all the time," Smoove continues. "Every time Jordan goes to the hole, he puts that tongue out. A virus jumps on his tongue and starts doing the running man. Once you put your tongue out your mouth, viruses will jump on your tongue."

In "Coulda Been The Shoes," Smoove blames Jordan's own footwear. "It's very possible that his Jordan shoes got him sick. People say it all the time: 'Those shoes are sick. How'd you play last night, Jordan? Oh, I had a sick game last night.' He might gotten sick off his own damn shoes!"

"Pizza Theory" switches gears to focus on the room service order in his Salt Lake City hotel room that Jordan had the night before the game. "When you intentionally put anchovies on your pizza among the regular ingredients, you are trying to get me sick. Michael Jordan don't even like anchovies. He likes pepperoni. Cheese, Sausage. Extra cheese. Was this pizza the Grassy Knoll of this night?"

Jordan's long-time teammate, Scottie Pippen, makes a guest appearance in "Ice Cold."

"Scottie Pippen. My man!" Smoove says to Pippen. "The Flu Game. That night you had a triple-double," he mis-remembers: "18-11-10." Pippen's actual stats were 17 points, 10 rebounds, five assists. But Smoove continues, "Pat yourself on the back. Remember that game. Michael Jordan. 38 points, five assists, three steals. Sick as hell. But what kind of flu was it? To this day it's a mystery."

Pippen asks, "What's your point?" Smoove offers, "It's a conspiracy." Pippen replies, "Not buying it. Greatness overcomes anything."

J.B. then re-creates the post-game scene hen Pippen literally had to help carry Jordan off the court. "Jordan is sick. You helped Jordan up. He is sweatin' all over you. All over your shirt. And you say to yourself, 'Man, don't you breathe on me. Don't get me sick.'"

"What If?" sees Smoove contemplating an outbreak caused by Jordan's mysterious illness.

"The referees could have got sic. The audience could have got sick. The coach could have got sick. The mascot. The little girl who sang the National Anthem could have got sick: 'And the rocket's red glare . . . Bleeeehh.'

"But you ran up and down that court. Making shots. Getting rebounds. You got a game to win. It's the NBA Finals. Greatness overcomes."

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