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Fantasy Sports

Brazilian Soccer Legend to Retire

The world (and Twitter) almost exploded over the weekend after Wayne Rooney’s epic goal, but we’re on to another story already. Brazilian superstar Ronaldo – he of 414 goals in 611 matches – will retire at the age of 34.

His fans are coming out to honor the amazing talent. Steve Nash tweeted to express his disappointment and gratitude. Rio Ferdinand did as well. The Telegraph remembers the time Old Trafford gave him a standing ovation for his exploits. The Guardian‘s Sid Lowe recalls a wonderful interview from 2003.

Who’s the best footballer in the world?
Of all time, Pelé [Small Talk reflects - mentally - on just how good 'Pelé' sounds when said by a Brazilian rather than a wrong-letter-stressing Englishman]. Right now? … Not including me … Zizou. [And including you? Small Talk ponders]. Well, me along with Zizou.

And then there was that goal against Compostela. Defenders won’t be sad to see him go.

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Another MLS Club Gets A Jersey Sponsor

The last time a Major League Soccer franchise announced a new shirt sponsor, the reaction was overblown and ridiculous. This time, it should be more muted.

Chivas USA and Corona agreed to enter a multiyear partnership that will make the beer brand the “presenting sponsor” of the MLS club. Chivas is a Mexican-owed team, so it makes sense the the country’s No. 1 beer would give money to put its logo on the jerseys.

(Ironically, Bimbo – the sponsor that created some controversy – at one point affixed its logo to the Chivas brand.)

Details of the arrangement are scare, but more will be revealed during an event on February 16 in Los Angeles.

Read more

NFL Broadcast Teams For Week 15

With the Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaners (Thanks Jimmy Delach) blacked out on Sunday, it raises the season total to 23 – one more than last season’s mark.

The league’s 22 blackouts in 2009 were a five-year high. With Oakland, Tampa Bay, Cincinnati and Buffalo all hosting home games in Week 16, the number is certain to increase.

Below are the broadcast teams for Week 15 of “Where in the World is Gus Johnson?” Read more

Fox, MLB Set Early Start to 2010 World Series Game

Fox and Major League Baseball have announced the start times for the 2010 World Series, and there is a pleasant surprise among them. Game three of the Fall Classic, scheduled for Saturday October 30, will begin at 6:57 PM ET, a full hour earlier than last year’s Saturday game.

The pre-7 PM start time is the earliest World Series game since game six of the 1987 series

The other games will begin at 7:57 PM, with the exception of game four on Sunday, which will begin following Fox’s NFL coverage.

Viewers can thank Chevrolet for the earlier start time, with the auto company committing an additional level of advertising support for the game.

“I am extremely pleased we are able to provide our fans the earliest World Series start time since 1987 with Saturday’s Game Three,’” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig in a statement. “The changes we made with FOX last year to start the World Series games earlier helped increase viewership including more young fans and we are optimistic that the earlier start time for Saturday’s Game Three will keep us moving in the same direction.”

More information, and the full schedule, is after the jump.

Read more

NFL Broadcast Teams For Week 3

Another week, another home town unable to hear Gus Johnson.

The Tampa Bay-Pittsburgh game will be blacked out within within a 75-mile radius of Raymond James Stadium as the Bucs were unable to sell out their entire batch of non-premium seating.

Last week’s home opener for the San Diego Chargers, which Johnson called, was blacked out in Southern California.

Normally a team will ask for an extension from the league to sell the remainder of the tickets.

Tampa Bay didn’t even bother.

This is the second home game this season that has been blacked out for the surprising 2-0 Buccaneers.

Below are the broadcast teams for Week 3 of, “Where in The World is Gus Johnson?”

Dallas @ Houston: Joe Buck & Troy Aikman (FOX)

Detroit @ Minnesota: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston & Tony Siragusa (FOX) Read more

The Unstoppable High School Football Growth Market

Friday Night Lights might have trouble staying on the air, but we’re about to be inundated with a whole lot more real high school football. ESPN launches its expanded RISE High School Football Kickoff on Friday night with a match between Manatee High and Tampa Plant. (Amazingly, this is a preseason matchup.)

The game is the first of between 28 and 30 the Worldwide Leader will broadcast during the coming season. ESPN2 will show a tilt between Sacramento schools Grant and Folsom.

Don’t look for the attention to high school football – and sports in general – to fall off anytime soon.

“We are networks driven by ratings,” ESPN director of high school programming Dan Margulis told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “At the end of the day, an elite high school game with an elite player has better chance to draw more than a smaller college game.”

Other venues are getting into the act as well. Read more

NFL Media Sales Looking Good for 2010-2011 Season

Good news for the networks that televise NFL games: it looks like the 2010-2011 season will be a major step up from last season in terms of revenue.

At a press conference earlier this week, CBS news & sports president Sean McManus and CBS executive VP of sports sales John Bogusz said that the market for this season is strong.

“Like all television networks we went through a pretty tough time when the economy had its problems a year and a half ago, but I am pleased to say that the sports business right now, the NFL, college football, golf, tennis and college basketball are all really strong,” McManus said. “I feel good about where we are from a business standpoint and I couldn’t be prouder of the job that we did last year with the NFL.”

Bogusz said that many advertisers that have cut back since the economy soured are beginning to return, particularly in automotive, which is a key category for sports programming.

Read more

NFL Network, Cox Renew Carriage Deal

♦Quick Hit: NFL Network and Cox Communications have signed a new long-term carriage agreement. As part of the deal Cox will carry NFL RedZone, which features live action from games when a team is in the opponents Red Zone. The deal is a big one: Cox is the Country’s 3rd largest cable provider.