Washington D.C.'s Arena Football League team finally has an identity.
On Thursday morning at the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Monumental Sports & Entertainment — the group headed by Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis — unveiled the logo and nickname for the city's new AFL team.
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The Washington Valor.
The logo pays homage to the flag of Washington, D.C., with the one white stripe surrounded by two red stripes, and the three horizontal white stars.
The team joins the Wizards, Capitals, Mystics and Nationals as Washington, D.C. teams to have the traditional red, white and blue color scheme.
The deal to bring an AFL team to Washington, D.C., was made official on March 10, 2016, and less than two months later tabbed longtime AFL coach Dean Cokinos as the franchise's first head coach.
The team will play its games at Verizon Center starting at the beginning of the 2017 season.
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Mylan World Team Tennis co-founder Billie Jean King sold her a majority ownership stake of the league to Mark Ein and Fred Luddy, the league announced on Monday. Ein is the founder and owner of the Washington Kastles and Luddy is the owner of the San Diego Aviators.
“After 42 seasons of World TeamTennis, Ilana (Kloss) and I feel this is the time to pass the baton to Mark Ein and Fred Luddy, and entrust the legacy of WTT as an innovative force in tennis to them and their team,” said King. “I will continue to be part of the league as a minority owner and as the owner of the Philadelphia Freedoms, and I am confident the league will continue to grow and prosper under Mark and Fred’s leadership.”
Ein and Luddy will use their strong entrepreneurial background to continue to expand the league, and bring tennis events to new markets across the country.
“This is such a fabulous product, some of the best men and women players in the world forming a team combined with a forward-thinking scoring system and high energy atmosphere, the opportunity for growth is phenomenal,” said Fred Luddy. “We look forward to building on this wonderful legacy.”
King founded WTT in 1974 based on her philosophy for gender equality and has been running continuously for over 40 years.
The 2017 season runs from July 16-August 5 and will feature prominent players such as Venus Williams, Andy Roddick and Martina Hingis.
A bit of bittersweet news for lovers of the Olympics: Bob Costas, who has hosted Olympics coverage on NBC since 1992, is stepping away from that role. Mike Tirico will take over for Costas for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The move comes less than a year after Tirico left ESPN to join NBC. In some ways, the successor to Costas is fitting: Tirico was the first student to receive the Bob Costas Scholarship at the University of Syracuse, according to sports media reporter John Ourand.
Ourand reports that Costas handing off Olympics hosting duties had been in the works since his last contract negotiations with NBC in 2012.
Lazarus said Costas first brought up the idea of stepping down from the host role during his contract negotiations in '12. At that point, according to Lazarus, Costas said, "I’m good to go through Sochi and Rio and do everything that I’ve been doing. After Rio, let’s reassess." Fast forward to early in the fall before an "SNF" telecast this season, Costas told him that he decided to pass the torch. “I said, ‘Are you sure? Why don't you think about it a little bit,’” Lazarus said. “He thought about it for another couple of weeks. We sat down again, and he said, ‘Yeah, that’s what I want to do.’"
Costas, 64, will also step away from the hosting "Sunday Night Football" as part of a decision to focus solely on big events like the Super Bowl and Triple Crown.
“He’ll have an on-going role around our big and iconic events,” NBC Broadcasting & Sports Chair Mark Lazarus said. “But in terms of day-to-day, he’s taking a step back as he heads towards slowing down his trajectory with us.”
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