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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).

Thursday
Mar162017

Aramark Serves Appetizing MLB Menus, Topps Cooks Up Culinary Trading Cards

By Barry Janoff

March 16, 2017: Sy Berger was a major influence at Topps for more than 50 years before his passing in 2014, so it makes sense that the trading card and memorabilia company would join with Aramark to create a set of cards based on food menus at MLB stadiums.

Entering the 2017 season, Philadelphia-based Aramark said it would work with ten MLB teams and their stadiums for food and beverage, retail and/or facilities services.

Topps, the exclusive trading card partner for MLB, is on the food bandwagon, creating a special 18-card "Incredible Eats" trading card insert series. The cards have "immortalized some of the most popular and iconic ballpark fare."

Seven of the cards feature fare from Aramark. The other cards have menu items from various MLB stadiums shot by Getty Images.

"As sports' food and beverage expert, creating a menu complete with unique and distinctive options has always been a hallmark of ours," Carl Mittleman, president for Aramark's Sports and Entertainment division, said in a statement. "Our culinary teams work tirelessly to create menus that are on-trend and full of variety and complementary flavors and this year's offerings, once again, set the standard for ballpark dining."

Although players are not part of this insert set — they also do not come with bubble gum — some MLBers who might be particularly interested in "Incredible Eats" are Coco Crisp, Chili Davis, Mike Trout, Jake Lamb, Dusty Baker, Josh Smoker, Adam Eaton, Brett Gardner, Roughed Odor and Alex Cobb.  

Aramark this season will provide food and beverage, retail and/or facilities services to the Baltimore Orioles (Camden Yards), Boston Red Sox (Fenway Park), Colorado Rockies (Coors Field), Houston Astros (Minute Maid Park), Kansas City Royals, New York Mets (Citi Field), Philadelphia Phillies (Citizens Bank Park), Pittsburgh Pirates (PNC Park), San Diego Padres (Petco Park) and Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre).

The seven Aramark signature dishes in the Topps set include: the Cracker Jack & Mac Dog (Pittsburgh Pirates), Chicken and Waffle Cone (Houston Astros), Classic Pastrami Sandwich  (New York Mets), Kayem Fenway Frank (Boston Red Sox), Buffalo Cauliflower Poutine (Toronto Blue Jays), South Philly Dog (Philadelphia Phillies) and the Cheesy Corn Brisket-Acho (Kansas City Royals).

The set mimics player cards, with a photo, name of the item and stadium location on the front; and a description of the food on the back.

For the Buffalo Cauliflower Poutine at Rogers Centre (Toronto Blue Jays), the description: "Buffalo Cauliflower Poutinis a Rogers Centre twist on a Canadian classic. Blue Jays fans have been going wild for the lightly-breaded cauliflower, tossed in classic buffalo hot sauce, topped with cheese curds, ‘Cheesey’ gravy and fresh, topped scallions."

"Some MLBers who might be interested in 'Incredible Eats': Coco Crisp, Mike Trout, Jake Lamb, Dusty Baker, Josh Smoker, Adam Eaton, Roughed Odor, Alex Cobb."

For the Cheesy Corn Brisket-Acho at Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City Royals): "The Cheesy Corn Brisket-Acho at Kauffman Stadium has quickly become as much of a fan favorite as the Kansas City Royals players themselves. A modern-day take on the traditional nacho, this must-have combines the famous tastes of Kanas City pilled high on a bed of crisp tortilla chips."

More than hamburgers and hot dogs, the creative Aramark menu items that fans will see this year include the Lobster Melt (Fenway Park), LaFrieda Black Angus Steak Frites (Citi Field), Braised Kielbasa Reuben (PNC Park), Short Rib Cheese Curds (Kauffman Stadium) and Apple Pie Nachos (Coors Field).

Of course, there are basic foods that have also been given a special twist by Aramark, such as Harry The K's Pastrami Sausage and Jersey Shore Dog (Citizens Bank Park) and the Spam Grilled Cheese Sandwich (Minute Maid Park).

There are other food, beverage and/or stadium facility service companies working with MLB teams and venues.

Delaware North's pacts include the Atlanta Braves (SunTrust Park), Baltimore Orioles (Camden Yards), Chicago White Sox (Guaranteed Rate Field), Cincinnati Reds (Great American Ball Park), Cleveland Indians (Progressive Field), Detroit Tigers (Comerica Park), Milwaukee Brewers (Miller Park), Minnesota Twins (Target Field), San Diego Padres (Petco Park), St. Louis Cardinals (Busch Stadium) and the Texas Rangers (Globe Life Park in Arlington).

Levy Restaurants alliances include the Arizona Diamondbacks (Chase Field), Chicago Cubs (Wrigley Field), Los Angeles Dodgers (Dodger Stadium), Miami Marlins (Marlins Park), Pittsburgh Pirates (PNC Park) and Washington Nationals (Nationals Park).
 
Some of the deals are non-exclusive or exclusive for specific categories, so different food and facilities service firms may work for the same teams and stadiums.

Despite appearances, there are options for fans and customers looking for healthy options.

According to Aramark, as part of its Healthy for Life 20 By 20 initiative and "ongoing commitment to providing fans with greater variety, choice and access to healthier menu options, Aramark continues to expand 'better-for-you' options throughout the ballparks it serves.

Among these menu items: Caribbean Grilled Chicken Salad and Rainbow Kale Caesar Salad (Rogers Centre), Ultimate Vegan Burger and Toasted Tofu (PNC Park) and Farmer's Market Grain Bowl (Citizens Bank Park).

In addition, Fenway Farms, a 5,000-square-foot rooftop farm opened in 2015 in Fenway Park on the roof of the Front Office (located on the third base side of the EMC Level). It provides fresh produce throughout the ballpark, upward of 7,500 pounds of organic produce a season, with different seasonal offerings to concessions and the EMC Club. It is presented by Stop & Shop, Dole, Sage Fruit and Aramark.

Topps Opening Day packs with the "Incredible Eats" inserts can be found at mass retailers and local hobby shops.

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