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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).

Sunday
Dec172017

Lakers, Marketers, Fans, NBA Set To Fete Kobe At Jersey Retirement Ceremony

By Barry Janoff

December 18, 2017: When the defending Golden State Warriors come to town, that is usually the top NBA story for the day.

Not so with the Warriors trip to play the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night (Dec. 18), when the No. 1 story will be the retirement ceremony for the No. 8 and No. 24 Lakers jerseys worn by Kobe Bryant.

Locally, Spectrum SportsNet will begin coverage of the pre-game celebration in the sold-out Staples Center at 5:30 P.M. (PT) and will air the game live at 7:30 P.M. (PT) on Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes.

NBA TV will air the halftime ceremonies nationally. Both NBA TV and NBA.com this past week dedicated significant space to honoring Bryant’s career, with highlight games, videos and career recaps.

Vivid Seats has two Row 1 court side tickets starting at more than $27,000 each.

Row 1 court side baseline tickets were going for $6,855.

Bryant will become the 10th player in Los Angeles Lakers history to earn this distinction, but the first to have two numbers retired, joining Wilt Chamberlain (13), Elgin Baylor (22), Gail Goodrich (25), Earvin "Magic" Johnson (32), Kareem Abdul- Jabbar (33), Shaquille O'Neal (34), James Worthy (42), Jerry West (44) and Jamaal Wilkes (52).

"Kobe's jerseys are taking their rightful home next to the greatest Lakers of all time," Jeanie Buss, Lakers CEO and controlling owner, said in a statement when the jersey retirement ceremony was unveiled in September.

"There was never any doubt this day would come, the only question was when. Once again, Lakers fans will celebrate our hero, and once again, our foes will envy the legendary Kobe Bryant,” said Buss.

Although no Lakers player can wear No. 8 or No. 24 again, the public is not restricted.

Among other activation, Nike, the NBA’s official on-court jersey partner, is offering Kobe Bryant retirement jerseys for No. 8 and No. 24.

Both come with a special patch that have Bryant’s faux signature, five stars (one for each NBA title), his “Black Mamba” nickname and the date of the jersey retirement, December 18, 2017. (MSRP $525).

The Lakers’ on-line shop is offering a plethora of Kobe merchandise, including exclusive 9Fifty Retirement Patch Snapback caps, T-shirts, jerseys and photos of Bryant, wearing No. 8 and No. 24, each framed with a special-edition coin commemorating the event.

To celebrate the day of the jerseys retirement,  the Lakers will host KobeLand a street festival to take place on Chick Hearn Court at L.A. LIVE on Ddec. 18 (4-7:00 PM PT).

Lakers corporate partners, many of whom will have a presence in KobeLand and/or inside Staples Center during the game and halftime ceremonies include American Express, Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser), Canon, Delta Airlines, Gatorade, Jack in the Box, Tissot, Toyota, Verizon, Wingstop and the team’s jersey patch sponsor Wish.

The festival, free and open to the public, will feature a variety of interactive games, a Kobe-inspired Ferris Wheel, a special basketball shootout, photo opportunities, branded merchandise and a live deejay. Nike will also have a prominent presence at the festival including a Kobe “8” & “24” branded truck onsite.

Many former teammates and opponents and all-time Lakers greats are expected to be in attendance at the game.

All of the Warriors will be in attendance, not just for the game but court side during the ceremony itself, according to head coach Steve Kerr.

Bryant wore each number jersey for ten seasons.

Bryant appeared in 707 games while wearing No. 8. During that time, he averaged 23.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists; and helped to guide the Lakers to four NBA Finals, and three championships (2000-02).

He wore No. 24: for 638 games, averaging 26.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists, leading the team to NBA titles in 2009 and 2010, being named MVP in both championship finals.

According to  Magic Johnson, former player and now Lakers president of basketball operations. "Kobe was one of the greatest Lakers and NBA players of all-time and he's definitely on my Mount Rushmore.

"I look forward to seeing both of his jerseys be retired and celebrating this special day with Kobe and his family."

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