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, assistant sports editor for the U.S. east region, at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia(at)ap.org.
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All times are Eastern.
THURSDAY, Dec. 28
OLY–SKI-THE SNOW MAN
PINEDALE, Wyo. – The cattle rancher and hay farmer from western Wyoming will have a big influence on who wins the speed events at the Winter Olympics in South Korea. Tom Johnston’s other job just so happens to be as one of the world’s foremost experts on shaping a race course, most notably the downhill and super-G courses that Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin, Aksel Lund Svindal and the rest will zoom down come February. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos, video by 12 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28.
FBN–THE ICE BOWL
The wakeup call at the Holiday Inn in Appleton, Wisconsin, jolted the Dallas Cowboys out of bed. It was 7:30 a.m., the operator said, and the temperature outside was 17 below. It was Dec. 31, 1967, and the Cowboys were playing the Green Bay Packers, with the winners going to the second Super Bowl ever. Bart Starr was under center for the Packers, while Don Meredith led the Cowboys. On the sidelines were two iconic coaches, Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry. Fifty years later, players still shiver when they think of the day that became the Ice Bowl, one of three games played in the span of a decade that cemented the NFL into the consciousness of America. By Tim Dahlberg. UPCOMING: A repeat of the story that first moved Tuesday on the Ice Bowl, including newly-produced video and AP Was There, a look back at AP’s story written from the game in 1967.
FRIDAY, Dec. 29
FBN–END ZONE FUMBLES
OAKLAND, Calif. – Derek Carr’s stretch for a touchdown that turned into a fumble through the end zone for a turnover was just the latest example of a risk for a score backfiring on a player. The rule that treats fumbles through the end zone far more harshly than those that go out of bounds on the field of play has been used more times this year than any other this century and has coaches using the latest example as another teaching tool. By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 3 a.m. Friday.
FBN–BRONCOS-BUSY WITH BEES
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – When Brooks Dodson, the Denver Broncos’ director of turf, didn’t see any bees buzzing around the team’s expanded grounds, he visited a beekeeper for advice. That led to the Broncos becoming the first pro sports team to host hives on its property, and some of the honey that’s generated by the 100,000 bees is even used in the team’s cafeteria. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos, video by 12 p.m. Friday.
SATURDAY, Dec. 30
SOC–ON SOCCER-2018 LOOKAHEAD
LONDON – Soccer moves at a rapid pace. Zinedine Zidane won every major honor in club soccer in 2017, but enters the new year in difficulty at Real Madrid. Pep Guardiola failed to win a trophy in his first year at Manchester City, but remains in contention for a quadruple in 2018. Being a World Cup year, the tournament in Russia will shape the soccer landscape in June and July. It’s a test of Russia’s hosting capabilities, and a platform for players to secure big post-World Cup transfers. The cash available for player moves in future will be determined in part in 2018 by the value of television rights secured by the world’s richest soccer competition as the English Premier League completes television deals for the next three-year cycle. By Rob Harris. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 12 p.m. Saturday.
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 3
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Whether or not Seattle makes the playoffs, its defense is a lock for the postseason. The scheme that carried the Seahawks to consecutive Super Bowls (2013-14) has become increasingly popular around the NFL. It helped Atlanta make the Super Bowl last year and was the catalyst for Jacksonville’s stunning turnaround this season. It’s also getting rave reviews of late in Los Angeles and San Francisco. By Mark Long. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 3 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 3.
Again, if you have questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia, assistant sports editor for the U.S. east region, at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia(at)ap.org.