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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).

Friday
Jan222016

Why Teddy Atlas Came Back To Train Timothy Bradley, 'Fight' Manny Pacquiao

By Barry Janoff

January 22, 2016: The event was supposed to be about the upcoming welterweight fight between Manny Pacquiao — who said this would be his last pro fight — and Timothy Bradley Jr.

It also was about why veteran trainer Teddy Atlas returned to ring after four years to train Timothy Bradley

In what he said would be his final fight after an illustrious 20-year career, Pacquiao will be going up against not just Bradley but Bradley's trainer.

Atlas, a long-time fixture in boxing gyms and in the ring since the 1970s, has been an analyst and commentator mainly with ESPN since 1998, a role he focused on in 2011 after his fighter, Alexander Povetkin, won the WBA heavyweight title against Rusian Chagaev.

Atlas returned to training in 2015 to work with Timothy Bradley Jr., who last November successfully defended his welterweight title against Brandon Rios.

Atlas is now in the spotlight again with Bradley, preparing for the third fight between "Desert Storm" and Manny Pacquiao, scheduled for April 9.

"When you look at a fighter, it goes beyond lefts and rights. A person has to have character, and I saw that in (Bradley)," said Atlas during a pre-fight media conference in The Theater in New York's Madison Square Garden on Thursday (Jan. 20). "He's a solid fighter with a great heart. I didn't want to come back to this business if I wasn't going to be around a person with those kinds of strengths."

Atlas has been a controversial figure, often a lightning rod, in the fight game dating back to his time in the 1980s training Mike Tyson, not only for his actions but for his shoot-from-the-hip comments. Speaking about his return to the ring after four years did little to smooth that image.

"I felt good being around (Bradley). I didn't feel good being around this business any more," said Atlas. "I was commentating for 20 years but to get involved to the point where I am responsible for a human being in the ring, I didn't want to take on that responsibility. I didn't like it any more. But this gave me a chance to like it again. To trust it again."

The fact that his fighter would be able to put a negative exclamation point on the legacy of Pacquiao did not go beyond Atlas' observations.

"You have to know what you are facing," said Atlas. "I knew (last year) going into (Bradley's) camp, that we were going to be facing a fire. What was Rios' greatest strength: That he was going to be relentless. He was going to bring heat. So our theme throughout camp was to handle the fire, handle the flames. They were gong to come. They were going to come. And when the moment came, I reminded him of that. Just doing my job.

"Both of these fighters have been in their share of Super Bowls," Atlas said, referencing the NFL's upcoming Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7. Then, switching gears to the presidential election this November, as well as Pacquiao's position in his native Philippine as a congressman in the House of representatives and his upcoming run at a senate seat,  Atlas said, "For Manny, this is the final debate. You can say goodbye to him as a fighter, but he will be fighting other fights as a politician."

Despite his retirement pronouncement, some have their doubts that Pacquiao would not return to the ring.

"Is this Manny Pacquiao's last fight?" asked iconic promoter Bob Arum during the media event. "I don't know. He says it is and we have to take him at his word."

"Sad to say," Pacquiao said moments later, "this is my last fight."

Atlas has been in that position, seemingly haven worked in the ring for the last time in 2011. But he returned, fueled by words of wisdom from his daughter Nicole.

"She reminded me that at the end of the day, we are who we are. If we are teachers, we are teachers. At the end of the day, if you are a teacher, what speaks to you? The chance to help somebody," said Atlas.

"I am looking forward to this fight between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley," said Arum. "We will see how much Manny has recovered from shoulder surgery and whether he has been able to retain all of his power.  We saw in Tim's last fight a new, improved Tim Bradley thanks and largely due to his astute trainer Teddy Atlas.

"One thing is for sure, this fight will be vastly different from the first two these two warriors have had," said Arum.

Putting it into perspective, however, Atlas said, "Not that I'm doing anything great. Don't get carried away. I'm helping the homeless get off the streets and that type of work (via The Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation, a  community service organization created in honor of his father, which provides financial, legal and emotional support to individuals in need). Which is the most important kind of work.

"But if you can help somebody get better, that means something. Sometimes you have a responsibility to say, Yes, we can do that," said Atlas. "Sometimes we help ourselves. I understand that. But if we can help somebody, and if they think they can be helped by you, what's a greater privilege. What's a greater gift."

Tickets for the Pacquiao-Bradley welterweight championship fight went on sale today (Jan. 22), with the event being promoted by Top Rank in association with MP Promotions and produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.

"I didn't want to take on that responsibility. I didn't like it any more. But this gave me a chance to like it again. To trust it again."

All to much less fanfare than Pacquiao's fight last May versus Flloyd Mayweather Jr., which also took place in the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

It also is the first time that Atlas would be in a corner opposite long-time trainer Freddie Roach, according to boxing analysts, who has been in Pacquiao's entourage for some 15 years. The two have, however, thrown verbal jabs at each other for years.

"You have to know what you are facing," Atlas said about his new life inside the training camp of Bradley. "I knew (last year) going into (Bradley's) camp, that we were going to be facing a fire. What was Rios' greatest strength: That he was going to be relentless. He was going to bring heat. So our theme throughout camp was to handle the fire, handle the flames. They were gong to come. They were going to come. And when the moment came, I reminded him of that."

Then, summing up a career that has seen him in the corner of several boxing champs, Atlas said, "Just doing my job."

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