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BC-Sports Showcase Digest

January 28, 2019

A look ahead to top enterprise and feature stories planned globally by AP Sports. New digests will go out each Thursday and Monday and will be repeated on other weekdays. Please note that story plans may change depending on news and other issues.

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As with all our operations, we welcome and want your feedback. If you have thoughts or questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia, deputy sports editor for presentation and storytelling, at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia@ap.org.

All times are Eastern.


MONDAY, Jan. 28


ORLANDO _ Some might argue they are the most indispensable players on the roster _ the players who man the only position guaranteed to have their hands on the ball on every single play. No, not the quarterback. The center. An Associated Press analysis shows centers are becoming endangered more quickly than other NFL players. By Mark Long. SENT: 800 words, photos.


Though the fight is more than two years off, the issues are already clear. Avoiding a work stoppage in 2021 could depend in part on whether players can secure more guaranteed money in the next collective-bargaining negotiations with the NFL. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 900 words, photos.

TUESDAY, Jan. 29


ATLANTA _ Message to all you soon-to-be Super Bowl champions: Don’t get too comfortable. Turnover is coming. By National Writer Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 3 a.m. Tuesday.



NEW YORK _ Home sweet home for the first-place New York Islanders means hanging their helmets in two places. This season is the first of three in which the team will play half its home schedule at the sleek Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the rest in the venerable Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. So far, the fans have made it clear they prefer the old barn. The win-loss record says the team prefers that, too. By Vin A. Cherwoo. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 3 a.m. Wednesday.



Returning to the venue of her first World Cup win in 2012, Mikaela Shiffrin will be a multi-medal threat at the Feb. 5-17 world championships in Are, Sweden. Having learned from her exhausting build-up to the Pyeongchang Olympics last year, the American two-time overall champion has scaled down her schedule in recent weeks to recharge her energy before chasing a record fourth straight gold in slalom. By Eric Willemsen. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 a.m. Thursday.

FRIDAY, Feb. 1


DENVER _ Of all the things that have happened to snowboarder Chloe Kim since winning an Olympic gold medal last February _ face on a cereal box, Barbie doll in her likeness, hanging out with hip-hop stars _ this one stands out: Heading to Princeton. Next fall, she’s trading her board for books as she tries to blend in and become your normal college freshman. Well, as much as one of the most recognizable snowboarders can blend in anyway. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 3 a.m. Friday.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ A wave of retirements left a massive void of superstar drivers capable of carrying NASCAR through a tough transitional phase. Kyle Larson could be the exception and the future for American auto racing. He’s the rare driver who still competes at the grass roots level and shows an interest in racing more than stock cars. Larson appeals to the grassroots fanbase but has yet to reach a mainstream audience. But as he enters his sixth season at NASCAR’s top level it is clear that once Larson starts winning on a consistent basis he could become the biggest star in the country. By AP Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by noon Friday.



CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ Jimmie Johnson by all measures is one of the politest athletes in sports and rarely rattled. But his patience was tested during the worst season of his NASCAR career by criticisms sent his way via social media. Unable to always tune it out, the seven-time NASCAR champion clapped back one day with a stern message: “I’m far from done JA” Johnson said in an October rebuke to a suggestion he’s a washed up and should retire. His retort is now his mantra, Johnson even had T-Shirts made with a version of the slogan, and he’s determined to prove he can still win a record-breaking eighth championship. By AP Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING. 700 words, photos by noon Saturday.

MONDAY, Feb. 4


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. _ NASCAR has new leadership, a new rules package and ambitious plans to tackle many of the issues facing the beleaguered series. The slide in attendance and television ratings has been unstoppable the last five years and NASCAR believes this season is the first step in finding some stability. The biggest initiative is a radical new rules package that won’t debut until the second race of the season but is designed to drastically improve the on-track product. By AP Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING. 700 words, photos by 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 4.


Again, if you have questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia at 215-446-6632 or ogarcia@ap.org.


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