Grupo Firme Performs at Halftime During the NFL’s Monday Night Football Game

Grupo Firme is celebrating a career touchdown

The Regional Mexican band headlined the halftime show at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City during the Monday Night Football game in which the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 38-10.

Grupo FirmeThe return of the NFL to Mexico featured a week-long celebration of pride that transcends borders, as well as the nexus between Mexican culture and American football with activities focused on art, fashion, music, and youth football.

As part of the League’s “Por la Cultura” campaign, music has been a focal point of the NFL’s marketing strategy, kicking off the season with a J Balvin concert and releasing a Por La Cultura mixtape featuring Yandel, El Alfa, and Snow Tha Product among others. Latino football fans are the fastest-growing demographic for the NFL and an important audience the league is hoping to grow in the coming years.

Grupo Firme, formed in the northern Mexican city of Tijuana, arrived at the so-called “Coloso de Santa Úrsula,” as the Estadio Azteca is also known, after a massively successful touring year, including their concert at the Zócalo of Mexico City last September that garnered an audience of 280,000, a series of presentations at Foro Sol, a major arena also located in the Mexican capital, and their main stage set at Coachella.

“This is an achievement in our career, we are going ‘at a steady pace’ as we say it. The truth is that we were not thinking to be part of an event as important as this beautiful night,” singer Eduin Caz told Billboard Español. “It will be something historic, a different audience will know us. They will listen to us and we will give our best.”

The Latin Grammy and Latin Billboard Music Awards winners performed their hits “Ya supérame”, “El amor no fue para mi” and “Gracias,” for the 78,000 NFL fans in attendance.

This was the first Monday Night Football game played in Mexico City since 2019, after a forced two-year break because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the musicians, the presence of the NFL in Mexico is a good opportunity for two communities to honor sports and music without language barriers.

“Something that we have realized and that we are very grateful for is that the public and the people who listen to Grupo Firme are increasingly bicultural. We have already seen people who do not speak Spanish singing at our concerts. It is a blessing for us that this is growing and that opens the door to be at events like this”, said singer Jhonny Caz.

Mexican singer Sofía Reyes was chosen this year to perform the national anthem of Mexico. She electrified the stadium as soon as she started singing the first verse.

“For me it is an honor to sing the Mexican national anthem and above all to sing it here in my country at an event like this. It’s crazy! I am happy and very grateful,” Reyes told Billboard Español prior to the game.

 

On the American side, the Mexican-American singer Marisol HernándezLa Marisoul”, from the musical group La Santa Cecilia, performed The Star-Spangled Banner, the United States National Anthem.

“This is my first time at the Estadio Azteca, singing the national anthem of the United States. I feel that my two worlds, my two countries, come together in a beautiful way and I can’t hide my feelings from this experience. For years at La Santa Cecilia we have tried to build musical bridges and I feel that tonight is a great example of this,” said Hernández.

The match in Mexico was the fifth and final of the 2022 International Series, which included three games in London and, for the first time, a game in Munich, Germany. Musical performances from the game at Estadio Azteca on November 21st can be viewed on Mundo NFL’s YouTube channel.

Disney+ Releases Sneak Peek at Season Two of Pedro Pascal’s “The Mandalorian”

Pedro Pascal is ready to blast off…

Disney+ offered a special sneak peek at season two of The Mandalorian, starring the 45-year-old Chilean actor as the title character, during ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

Pedro Pascal as The Mandalorian

The spot, which aired during halftime of the game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys, reveals a bit more detail of the plot for the new season, with The Mandalorian (Pascal) now seemingly on a mission to return The Child (aka Baby Yoda) “to his kind” while also searching out other Mandalorians who can help him.

“Wherever I go, he goes,” Mando says about his charge.

The upcoming season follows the successful Season 1 of the first live-action Star Wars spinoff series, which scored 15 Emmy nominations including for Outstanding Drama Series, and won seven. Shooting had already wrapped on the second season before the coronavirus-related production shutdown in mid-March. Work is already underway on Season 3.

The new season of the Lucasfilm-produced returns Pascal as The Mandalorian, aka Din Djarin, and The Child who continue to attempt to evade ruthless Imperial Remnant officer Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito). Gina Carano and Carl Weathers also return from Season 1, with cast newcomers including Rosario Dawson (reportedly as Ahsoka Tano), Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett, Katee Sackhoff, Michael Biehn and Timothy Olyphant among others.

Directors for the new season include Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, Weathers, Peyton Reed and Robert Rodriguez.

Season 2 of the series will debut on Disney’s streaming platform next Friday, October 30.

Tony Romo Leads After First-Round at the American Century Championship

Tony Romo is one step closer to defending his turf…

The 39-year-old Mexican American former Dallas Cowboys quarterback-turned-NFL analyst birdied six of his final 11 holes to take the first-round lead Friday in the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

Tony Romo

Romo, the defending champion, shot a 2-under 70 and scored 26 points in the celebrity tournament that uses the modified Stablefordscoring system.

Arizona Cardinalscornerback Patrick Peterson was two points back, and former Major League Baseball pitcher Derek Lowe was another point behind. Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltzwas fourth at 22, and actor Jack Wagner, a two-time winner in the event, had 21.

Romo, who has competed in two PGA Tour events this year, played the back nine in 5-under 31 after getting off to a slow start with two bogeys and a double-bogey on his first five holes.

“I think I had two points after five holes,” Romo said. “So from that point on, I got pretty hot.”

Charles Barkley, the former NBA star who has regularly finished last or second to last, birdied the second hole.

“Did he hit somebody and they threw it in the hole?” Romo joked.

Barkley was at minus-12 points, but he was ahead of 14 players in the 90-player field.

Gonzalez Exposes All for ESPN the Magazine’s The Body Issue

Omar Gonzalez may be a Major League Soccer star…But he’s also a major league stud. And, he’s not afraid to show it.

The 25-year-old Mexican-American soccer star, who plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy, is one of the 22 world-class athletes featured in their birthday suits for the sixth annual edition of ESPN the Magazines The Body Issue.

Omar Gonzalez in the ESPN Magazine's The Body Issue

“I don’t really care how much you can lift in the gym,” says Gonzalez about exercise and weightlifting. “I think it’s funny that there are a lot of really buff guys out there. What is all that for? They are just strong for no reason. For me, I have to be strong for my sport, so I can compete at the highest level. I may not have been the biggest, but when it came down to playing, I shut people up.”

Omar Gonzalez in the ESPN Magazine's The Body Issue

Gonzalez, who admits to being horrible at pullups, says he’s not a show-off.

“I don’t have my shirt off whenever possible,” says Gonzalez. “I’m not one to really show myself off like that.

ESPN the Magazine’s The Body Issue, which hit newsstands on July 11, is the magazine’s annual celebration of the athletic form.

“We somehow manage to raise the bar each year,” said ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com editor in chief Chad Millman. “This year’s collection of exceptional athletes and stunning photography showcases an array of sports and body types. It inhabits our mission to pay tribute to these athletes’ bodies and all they are capable of.”

Omar Gonzalez in the ESPN Magazine's The Body Issue01

In addition to Gonzalez, a member of this year’s U.S. soccer team at the FIFA World Cup, the other athletes featured stark-naked in the issue include Olympic gold-medal-winning snowboarder Jamie Anderson, tennis players Venus Williams and Tomas Berdych, Olympic bronze-medal-winning bobsledder Aja EvansArizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, professional surfer Coco Ho, boxer Bernard Hopkins, cliff diver Ginger Huber, Olympic hockey player Hilary Knight, WNBA All-Star Angel McCoughtry and the husband-wife team of X Games stars Travis Pastrana and Lyn-Z, and Amy Purdy, a snowboarder who won a bronze medal at the 2014 Paralympics.

In previous years, the magazine featured soccer star Carlos Bocanegra and professional baseball star Giancarlo Stanton.