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July 13, 2023

Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets Begrudgingly Tapped for ‘Hard Knocks’

Whether they like it or not, the New York Jets are getting the Hard Knocks treatment. A Wednesday ESPN report suggests the AFC East team will be the featured franchise for HBO’s annual preseason reality program. When asked earlier this summer whether he’d welcome a film crew to practice, head coach Robert Saleh didn’t seem too keen on the idea. Other teams in contention were the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints. Another franchise eligible and apparently willing to participate is the Washington Commanders, but seemingly only after their pending ownership change is a done deal.


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Spotify Taps 40 Women Athletes for World Cup-themed Playlist

We’re a week out from this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup and Spotify is bridging football, culture, and music together with an eclectic Equal Players playlist, completely curated by women soccer players. Among the 40 collaborators are 27 athletes heading to Australia and New Zealand. Recognizable contributors include USWNT star Crystal Dunn, England’s Jess Carter, Asisat Oshoala from Nigeria, and representing the host country New Zealand, Meikayla Moore. Powerful female artists listed on these playlists are Alicia Keys, Doja Cat, Elodie, G Flip, Jorja Smith, Adele, PinkPantheress, and RAYE.

WNBA Viewership Reaches Staggering Records Ahead of All-Star Weekend

If you air it, they will watch. ESPN revealed on Wednesday that WNBA viewership across its platforms has nearly doubled this season compared to 2022, averaging 548,000 viewers through 13 games. The network added that the midseason average is a 46% increase over WNBA viewership compared to last year’s averages. ABC recorded 647,000 average viewers across eight WNBA broadcasts this season, an 18% increase over the four WNBA broadcasts that aired before the All-Star Game last season. The WNBA All-Star Game will be played this Sunday, July 15, at Michelob Ultra Arena, home of the reigning champions, the Las Vegas Aces.

NBA Approves 2 Rule Changes

The NBA‘s Board of Governors voted to pass two rule changes for the upcoming year on Tuesday. The first gives coaches a second challenge if their first one is successful. The other, which will certainly be on notice week by week, is the punishment of an in-game technical foul for flopping. The challenge rule change is something that coaches have wanted for some time, according to ESPN. Flops called during games will result in a free throw for the opposing side.

Emmy Nominations 2023: Jenna Ortega & Pedro Pascal Make History

Nominations for the 75th Annual Emmy Awards were revealed Wednesday morning and while expected programs like Succession and Ted Lasso were adequately recognized, two actors made history on their own. Jenna Ortega, nominated for Lead Actress in a Comedy for her portrayal of Wednesday Addams in the Netflix series Wednesday, became the third Latina ever to be recognized in the category following Rita Moreno in 1983 for ABC’s 9 to 5 and America Ferrera for Ugly Betty in 2007. Meanwhile, The Last of Us star Pedro Pascal becomes the first Latino nominated in a Lead Actor category since 1999, when Jimmy Smits was acknowledged for his performance on ABC’s NYPD Blue.

Puma Launches Mixtape Collection in Honor of Hip-hop's 50th Anniversary

In collaboration with Roc Nation, Paper Planes co-founder Emory Jones, and footwear designer Alexander John, Puma is launching new gear in honor of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. The capsule pays homage to an important piece of the genre’s history: the mixtape. The line’s star is the RS-XL with three versions of the sneaker designed around different mixtape formats: cassettes, CDs, and playlists. Each show features an “LGT Tag,” an NFC-powered chip from Legitimate, that once scanned, unlocks a digital portal featuring exclusive content, weekly mixtape drops, and access to life behind the scenes as a Roc Nation artist. Retailing for $35-$130, the Mixtape collection is available on Friday, July 14, online and in-store at Foot Locker, Champs Sports, and Champs Sports Canada.

Lionel Messi & Hard Rock Team Up on New Chicken Sandwich

The undisputed soccer GOAT is now a culinary connoisseur. Per a Wednesday release, incoming Inter Miami striker Lionel Messi and Hard Rock collaborated on a new menu item titled “Made For You by Leo Messi.” The sandwich is now available at participating Hard Rock Cafés and Hotels. The dish features thinly pounded chicken cutlets, similar to one of Messi’s favorite Argentinian dishes growing up. It’s topped with melted provolone cheese, herbed aioli, fresh arugula, and tomatoes. “I can’t wait for my fans all over the world to get a taste of one of my childhood favorites that still makes me feel at home, wherever in the world I am,” Messi said in a statement.