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Shaq Writing, Producing Animated Movie

O’Neal is trying out producing and scriptwriting for the first time.

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Courtesy: NBC, NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Space Jam who? Retired NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is dipping his toes into the animated film world, just like Lebron James. Variety reported that the NBA center turned media star is trying his hand at producing and screenwriting on a new project called Headnoise.

Jersey Legends Productions, O’Neal’s production company, is spearheading the animated film that focuses on childhood friends Rashaun and Damon, two talented basketball players from the same inner-city neighborhood. The duo has dreams of making it to the NBA, but outside factors keep putting roadblocks in front of them.

Rashaun is the more sought-after player, but his true passion lies in sculpting. The story follows this wrinkle as Rashaun is determined to follow his dreams off the court, shaking away internal head noise to get there.

“I’m so proud of ‘Headnoise,’” Shaq said. “It is my first time writing and producing my own project. I wanted to call attention to what so many people encounter, especially young adults, who deal with anxiety and stress. It was such an honor to create this piece with such a diverse team of people. Everyone should see it.”

O’Neal is narrating the project and co-writing the screenplay for Headnoise with playwright Donnie F. Wilson. Animator Rafael Jimenez is directing the film. 

Shaq joins his Inside the NBA teammate Kenny Smith in the producer’s chair. Smith is producing a film on playground basketball legend Pee Wee Kirkland. Rapper and music producer Tone is putting together original songs for Headnoise with composer Matthew Wang.

Cedric Williams Jr. and Joshua David King will perform the voice roles for the film. The project has already been filmed and now sits on the cutting room floor as the team prepares it for the 2022 film festival season.

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Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys

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The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.

Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.

But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.

Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.

Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:

Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.

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Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”

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USA Today

Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.

The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.

Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.

“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”

Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”

He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.

Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.

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NFL Likely To Launch NFL+ Streaming Service This Summer

“A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+.”

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According to the Sports Business Journal, consumers could be downloading NFL+ by July. Now, just what NFL+ will be is still yet to be finalized.

Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reported in the site’s newsletter that live games will certainly be at the center of the league-owned streaming service. It is likely to only be available on phones and tablets with no option to stream to a larger monitor.

The viewing options would be limited. No out of market games would be available on the app. It is meant to replace the deals that recently expired with Yahoo and mobile phone carriers that recently expired.

The app could also include other content. Radio calls, team-created digital content, and league-owned podcasts are all options. 

NFL+ would make NFL Media more valuable. The league is trying to sell an equity stake in its linear TV and digital media properties. Amazon and Apple are considered the most likely to make a deal. 

A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+. The pricing structure can and likely will change before the app hits the market.

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