Frank Ramos Among 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Awards of Excellence Honorees

Frank Ramos has entered a special recognition…

The 85-year-old Latino former public relations director for the New York Jets has been named among the 15 recipients of the Pro Football Hall of Fame‘s third annual Awards of Excellence.

Frank RamosThe Hall of Fame’s awards are presented in five categories to those significant contributors who’ve helped drive the accomplishments of their profession, individual NFL clubs and pro football.

Ramos, a New Yorker and transplanted Floridian, is the longest-serving PR representative for a single New York pro sports team.

He spent his entire 39-year public relations career with the Green & White, from their first season known as the Jets in 1963 through 2002. He never missed a game — working 681 in all — with the highlight coming on January 12, 1969, at Miami’s Orange Bowl when the Jets stunned the favored Baltimore Colts 16-7 in Super Bowl III.

Ramos was selected as a member of the Super Bowl PR group each year of his career and was often a key voice in helping shape the league’s public relations positions.

“I’m excited to be going into the Hall with dear friend Bill Hampton and with my fellow PR directors, Harvey Greene of the [Miami] Dolphins and Dan Edwards of the [Jacksonville] Jaguars,” Ramos said Wednesday night. “I was very fortunate to have such a long career with the Jets and to have worked with outstanding owners Sonny Werblin, Leon Hess and Woody Johnson. But I wouldn’t be going to Canton without the help of so many former outstanding assistants, associates and interns. I still bleed Jets Green. Go J-E-T-S.”

The five groups presenting the Awards of Excellence — assistant coaches, athletic trainers, equipment managers, public relations personnel and film/video directors — created their own selection committees and set their own criteria for choosing their class members.

Ramos and the other 2024 honorees will be recognized in Canton, OH, with an evening reception on June 26 and a luncheon emceed by Hall of Famer Dan Fouts on June 27.

Isiah Pacheco Helps Lead Kansas City Chiefs to Second Consecutive Super Bowl Championship

Isiah Pacheco is a two-time Super Bowl champion…

The 24-year-old Puerto Rican professional football player, a running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, rushed the ball 18 times for 59 yards in Sunday’s 25-22 overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII.

Isiah PachecoPacheco added six receptions (on six targets) for 33 yards, including two receptions on the Chiefs’ game-winning drive in overtime.

Pacheco proudly draped himself in a Puerto Rican flag on Sunday night to celebrate the team’s third Super Bowl victory in just five years.

The two-time Super Bowl titleholder — whose father hails from Ponce, Puerto Rico — is unabashedly proud of his roots. At last year’s Super Bowl, Pacheco wore a helmet featuring the iconic flag of the Caribbean island and U.S. territory, now memorialized in the NFL Hall of Fame.

“I feel amazing,” Pacheco told Telemundo Deportes in English, after the victory on Sunday. “Mind, body and soul. Eliminated distractions. It took all 53 of us tonight to get the job done.”

He was recruited to play football for Rutgers University in 2017 and made his NFL debut after being drafted by the Chiefs in 2022. Pacheco has played in every game since then.

“It’s the hard work you put in, during season, at practice,” Pacheco said. “When something happens, you’re going through adversity, you shake it off. Next play.”

At the Super Bowl LVIII, Pacheco was vying for the title against a team with another player of Puerto Rican descent — San Francisco 49ers’ offensive lineman Jon Feliciano, whose father is from Añasco, Puerto Rico.

Max Renews “Bookie,” Featuring Jorge Garcia, For a Second Season

Jorge Garcia’s bookie life continues…

Max has renewed its sports book series Bookie, featuring the 50-year-old Cuban & Chilean American actor and former Lost star, for a second season.

Jorge GarciaThe renewal comes two weeks after the season one finale of the show, which stars Sebastian Maniscalco.

From Chuck Lorre and Nick Bakay, the series follows bookie Danny (Maniscalco) as he and his partner, former NFL star Ray (Omar Dorsey), romp around Los Angeles trying to keep their illegal sports betting operation in play.

The series premiered on November 30.

Season 2 presumably will show whether Danny can win back the affections of his wife Sandra, played by Andrea Anders, after his Super Bowl win seems to have torn them apart, as well as Ray dealing with the fallout of his mother’s wedding, which saw the groom seemingly die at the alter.

Produced by Warner Bros. TelevisionBookie also stars Vanessa Ferlito as Danny’s side-hustling sister Lorraine, Garcia as reluctantly reformed drug dealer turned soccer expert Hector and Maxim Swinton as Sandra’s ten year old son.

Charlie Sheen also reunited with Lorre for a few appearances.

“The collaboration between Chuck and Sebastian has proven to be a winning hand and we’re looking forward to continuing the story with this incredibly talented cast and crew,” says Amy Gravitt, executive vice president, HBO Programming, Head of HBO & Max Comedy Series.

Channing Dungey, chairman, Warner Bros. Television Group added, “There’s no doubt that Chuck and Nick’s Bookie won big this season as they took us on a hilarious ride into the underbelly of illegal sports gambling, featuring a cast led by another dynamic duo: Sebastian Maniscalco and Omar J. Dorsey. I’m looking forward to watching more of their antics in Season 2.  Congratulations to the entire cast and crew, and thanks to our partners at Max.”

Marc Anthony Buys E1 Electric Powerboating Team in Miami

It’s smooth racing for Marc Anthony

The 55-year-old Puerto Rican singer, songwriter and actor has expanded his sport-related empire by becoming the owner of the new E1 electric race boat championship Team Miami.

Marc-AnthonyAnthony, a minority owner of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and owner of the artists and athletes agency Magnus Media, joins a star-studded line-up of E1 team owners that includes Tom Brady, Rafael Nadal, Steve Aoki, Sergio Perez, Didier Drogba and Virat Kohli.

Their respective teams will compete in the first-ever E1 event next February 2-3 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. E1 is the first electric raceboat championship sanctioned by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), the world governing body of powerboating, and promotes a racing series powered solely by electric, and based on clean technologies to protect our waters and coastal areas.

Marc Anthony, E1, Team MiamiIn addition to owning the new team, Anthony and Magnus will also host E1 in the U.S in a 2025 Miami event that will include races, the Acceleration Festival fan village and a star-studded live concert.

“It is going to be a couple of days of culture, entertainment, style, sexiness, just the right amount of danger,” says Anthony in a video released on Monday (December 18). “It’s a blank canvas. I’m making every phone call. I’m starting now for what’s going to happen in 2025.”

While Anthony is first and foremost a music star, he has stakes in many ventures, including a minority ownership in the NFL’s Dolphins. That experience in particular has helped him understand the intricacies of running a team and provided him with the macro view of launching a championship and making the experience as “exhilarating” as possible, he says.

“It wasn’t only just owning the Miami Dolphins,” he says in the announcement video. “It was the stadium and the 300 acres around it. I see it the same way. I’m interested in finding a way that the race experience […]is as eventful as possible and quality and hair-raising.”

Felipe Pimiento, COO of Magnus added: “This is a very exciting venture for us at Magnus. It continues to solidify our footprint in the sports world at various levels.” Anthony joins a list of hugely influential owners that E1’s founders hope will help amplify E1 presence and awareness.

“E1’s list of owners exemplifies how our championship’s strategy is leading the way in sport marketing, and we are thrilled to have Marc join our roster of global icons,” says Rodi Basso, CEO and co-founder of E1.

“It’s a great sign for the future of E1 that we are already speaking about our season 2 destinations, and with Marc bringing our championship to Miami, I could think of no finer place for E1 to make its United States debut,” adds Alejandro Agag, Chairman and co-founder of E1.

Lindsay Mendez Starring in Ryan Murphy’s FX Anthology Series “American Sports Story”

Lindsay Mendez is getting in the game…

The 40-year-old Mexican American Broadway singer/actress has been cast as a series regular alongside Josh Andrés Rivera and Patrick Schwarzeneggein Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology American Sports Story.

American Sports Story, a new extension of Murphy’s “American Story” franchise, is a scripted anthological limited series focusing on a prominent event involving a sports figure and re-examines it through the prism of today’s world, telling that story from multiple perspectives.

The first installment, written by Stu Zicherman, is based on the podcast Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc. from the Boston Globe and Wondery.

It charts the rise and fall of NFL superstar Aaron Hernandez, played by Rivera, and explores the connections of the disparate strands of his identity, his family, his career, his suicide, and their legacy in sports and American culture. Schwarzenegger portrays Hernandez’s friend, former college teammate and fellow former NFL star Tim Tebow.

Mendez plays Tanya Singleton, Aaron’s cousin and favorite relative who becomes his de-facto mother.

Mendez, a Tony Award winner for Carousel, is currently back on Broadway top-lining the praised revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll along opposite Daniel Radcliffe and Jonathan Groff.

She most recently was a series regular on the Warner Bros. series All Rise for CBS and then OWN.

Josh Andrés Rivera to Star as the Late Aaron Hernandez in FX’s “American Sports Story” Anthology Series

Josh Andrés Rivera is hitting the football field…

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican actor will star in the first installment of Ryan Murphy’s American Sports Story anthology series for FX.

Josh Andrés RiveraRivera will portray the late former NFL star Aaron Hernandez in the season that’s based on the podcast Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc. from the Boston Globe and Wondery.

Rivera’s co-star will be Patrick Schwarzenegger as fellow former NFL star Tim Tebow.

The first installment charts the rise and fall of NFL superstar Hernandez and explores the connections of the disparate strands of his identity, his family, his career, his suicide, and their legacy in sports and American culture.

Tebow and Hernandez were longtime friends going back before their time in the National Football League. They were onetime teammates at the University of Florida, where they won the 2008 SEC Championship and went on to beat Oklahoma for the BCS Championship title. Tebow was known for looking out for Hernandez while on the team, including protecting Hernandez from being kicked off over marijuana use and helping to diffuse a situation in a bar when Hernandez got into an altercation with the bar manager. The two first met when Tebow hosted Hernandez on a recruiting trip to UF before he graduated high school.

Both castings were completed in early 2023, prior to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, but were never confirmed by FX.

“We have a fairly complete set of scripts for American Sports Story by Stu Zicherman,” FX chairman John Landgraf said back on January 12, noting at the time that the series is “heading toward production.”

That was delayed by the WGA strike, which started in May, and the SAG-AFTRA strike, which has been going on since July.

American Sports Story, one of two new offshoots in Murphy’s “American Story” franchise alongside American Love Story, is a scripted anthological limited series focusing on a prominent event involving a sports figure and re-examines it through the prism of today’s world, telling that story from multiple perspectives.

Rivera next stars in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. He recently played Chino in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of West Side Story. He notably performed in the original company on the first national tour of Hamilton.

Dany Garcia’s XFL to Merge with USFL

Dany Garcia is preparing for a merger…

The XFL, whose latest revival as a springtime alternative to the NFL has been steered by the 54-year-old Cuban American film producer and businesswoman and her ex-husband Dwayne Johnson , is merging with the USFL.

Dany GarciaA brief announcement on Thursday indicated the plan, but offered no details, saying more would be announced “at a later date.”

Both leagues have been operating under the shadow of not only the NFL, which occupies vast real estate in terms of player talent and the public’s attention, but also their own back stories.

Prior to being acquired in 2020 by Johnson, Garcia and RedBird Capital for $15 million, the XFL had been the passion project of Vince McMahon, the longtime head of the WWE. Reprising a previous venture with NBC, which sought to draft off the WWE’s edgy showmanship but wound up one of primetime television’s most notorious turkeys, the XFL 2.0 was a more buttoned-down affair. Even so, the upstart league was aiming to stir things up with an array of newer rules and a looser approach than the NFL.

The USFL, meanwhile, had similarly looked to challenge the NFL but a bit more head-on. In its first incarnation in the 1980s, the league self-destructed when it attempted to move into the fall and go head-to-head with the NFL. That first iteration ended in a legal mess. Decades later, it was revived with an unusual joint broadcast deal with both NBC and Fox, with Fox also taking a minority stake in the league.

“Subject to customary regulatory approvals and if the transaction is consummated, the new league will establish best-in-class operations based on the most recent seasons of both leagues,” today’s announcement said. “This historic combination will anchor professional spring football with substantial capabilities and resources to ensure future growth and continue to enhance the development of the collective players, coaches, and staff that are coming together.”

Hope springs eternal for a challenger to come along and gain enough momentum to survive as a legitimate “other” pro football league, but history is littered with failed attempts like the WFL and the AAF. As gargantuan as the TV audience for the NFL remains, it is far from clear whether viewers will turn out in anywhere near the same numbers for players and teams populated by far lower-profile names. The USFL Championship last July drew about 1.16 million viewers on NBC, about double the regular-season average. The XFL title game a few weeks later pulled in 1.43 million viewers on ABC.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day. This league isn’t going to be built in a day,” Johnson told USA Today last summer. “It’s day-by-day, year over year.”

Xochitl Gomez to Compete on Season 32 of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”

Xochitl Gomez is heading to the ballroom…

The 17-year-old Mexican American actress and Marvel star will compete on season 32 of Dancing with the Stars.

Xochitl GomezBut Gomez won’t be the only Latinx competitor.

Venezuelan YouTuber, actress and singer Lele Pons, 27, and Mexican real estate mogul and television star Mauricio Umansky, 53, will also compete this season.

Other competitors include Mira SorvinoAriana MadixCharity LawsonJamie Lynn Spears, Alyson Hannigan and NFL star Adrian Peterson.

“There’s something for everyone in this cast,” says executive producer Conrad Green. “What’s interesting with a lot of our contestants this year is this real drive and excitement about doing it. There’s a real passion for it. It’s been a tough number of years, one way or another with the strikes going on and all these things. So what I’m hoping we can bring to people is bringing Dancing back and giving audiences a blast of sunshine early in the week.”

After Tyra Banks‘ exit, Alfonso Ribeiro will return as a host, stepping onto the main stage, while former Dancing pro Julianne Hough joins to take over Ribeiro’s former cohost slot in the Sky Box.

The show is also back in its original home, airing live on ABC, after being solely available on Disney+ last season (where it will now stream concurrently).

Here’s the full cast for season 32 of Dancing with the Stars:

  • Supermodel Tyson Beckford with partner Jenna Johnson
  • Marvel star Xochitl Gomez with partner Val Chmerkovskiy
  • How I Met Your Motherstar Alyson Hannigan with partner Sasha Farber
  • Social media and reality TV star Harry Jowsey with partner Rylee Arnold
  • Bachelorette Charity Lawson with partner Artem Chigvintsev
  • Vanderpump Rules‘ Ariana Madix with partner Pasha Pashkov
  • Grammy-winning singer Jason Mraz with partner Daniella Karagach
  • NFL All-Star Adrian Peterson with partner Britt Stewart
  • Singer and social media star Lele Pons with partner Brandon Armstrong
  • Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino with partner Gleb Savchenko
  • Actress Jamie Lynn Spears with partner Alan Bersten
  • Real estate mogul and TV star Mauricio Umansky with partner Emma Slater
  • Comedian and actor Matt Walsh with partner Koko Iwasaki
  • The Brady Bunch star Barry Williams with partner Peta Murgatroyd

Dancing With the Stars premieres on Tuesday, September 26, at 8:00 pm ET/PT on ABC.

RMAND Among Emerging Latin Artists Taking Part in NFL, Neon16 & Ntertain Content Series

RMAND is getting in the game

The Dominican singer from Netflix’s reality music competition show La Firma is among the emerging Latin artists will join NFL Latino players in an upcoming content series as part of a special partnership between the National Football League, Neon16 and Ntertain Studios for the 2023 season.

RMANDThe deal also includes new music releases that will comprise of a new volume for the next Por La Cultura mixtape.

NFL’s season-long campaign Por La Cultura will continue to spotlight Latin players, coaches and staff members to celebrate Latin excellence while telling their own stories of the community.

“Music is a leading passion point for Latinos, and we feel this partnership is an ideal platform for celebrating our Latino players and connecting more deeply with our fans,” said Javier Farfan, cultural strategist at the NFL, in a press release. “This content series brings together the commonalities of artists and athletes and their inspirational stories from humble beginnings, as they reach the top of their careers and their goal of stardom. Working with Ntertain and Neon16 allows us to authentically tell these stories with the creative vision of tastemakers at the forefront of Latino culture, music and entertainment.”

By showcasing current NFL Latino players and emerging Neon 16 music artists, the series aims to highlight the diversity and inclusivity of the NFL while celebrating the shared passion for music and football.

“We loved the concept of having our artists collaborate with Latino NFL players to create something as unique as an original song,” added Lex Borrero, co-founder and CEO of Ntertain and Neon16. “While both share Latino heritage, we know that artists and athletes also share a common drive to succeed, the talent to shine and the work ethic to thrive in their respective careers. Unifying these traits and the mutual love and respect for music has led to some incredible art that we can’t wait to share with fans this season.”

This season, the team-up will create original songs and music videos that reflects Latino NFL players and the artist’s shared passion for music, football, and community.

The first one “#0B,” an energetic electronic banger by RMAND, draws inspiration from the artist’s experience working with Miami Dolphins’ wide receiver Braxton Berrios, who is of Puerto Rican descent and wears the number zero.

“0B” is slated to release on the third week of the NFL regular season, leading up to the Miami Dolphins Latino Heritage Month game and home opener on September 24th.

Another player and artist collaboration will drop later in the season, joining the RMAND and Berrios song as this season’s Por La Cultura mixtape.

Furthermore, the NFL Shop commercial for this year will also feature RMAND as well as Neon16’s Alex Ponce and Nashy-Nashai; the commercial’s score will be done by the label. Neon16 will also produce four exclusive tracks for the NFL and its 32 clubs to use as part of their soundtrack for the upcoming season.

“With more than 31 million NFL fans in the United States, there is no doubt that Latinos continue to fall in love with the sport of football every day,” said Marissa Solis, NFL SVP global brand and consumer marketing. “We want to inspire Latinos with the lyrics and melodies created by these talented NEON16 artists in the same way they get excited for a perfectly executed pass and catch for a touchdown. This partnership unifies the heroes of stage and sport through their common bond as Latinos representing ‘por la cultura.’”

Last year, the NFL and Neon16 announced their 10-track debut Por La Cultura Mixtape: Vol. 1, featuring El Alfa, Will.I.Am., Yandel, Snow Tha Product, Anthony Ramos, Trueno and more, and beats by producers Albert Hype, Jodosky and Chael.

The NFL, Ntertain, and Neon16 partnership kicked off in 2021, when Latin artists Jodosky, Kris Floyd and Álvaro Díaz were invited guests of the NFL League.

This collaboration is one of the NFL’s ambitious plan to go all in on Latin music and its growing fanbase.

Last year, J Balvin became the first Latin headliner to perform for the league’s yearly free Kickoff Concert. Last November, the NFL also recruited Tijuana superstars Grupo Firme to perform at the halftime show for its annual Mexico City game, featuring the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers.

https://twitter.com/rmandofficial/status/1692599481785540957

Elly De La Cruz Appears in New Ad for Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One”

Elly De La Cruz is on a mission

The 21-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, a Cincinnati Reds rookie, shows off his acting skills in a new advertisement for the upcoming movie “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, starring Tom Cruise.

Elly De La CruzDe La Cruz, who has been a breakout star on the field this season, appears alongside soccer star Alex Morgan and NFL standout Odell Beckham Jr. 

The three athletes show off their speed in homage to Cruise’s signature sprint in the long-running action franchise.

De La Cruz, a third baseman, filmed his portion of the ad — in which he swings a bat and runs — about two weeks ago.

He fielded questions from reporters on Friday night before the NL Central-leading Reds took on the second-place Milwaukee Brewers in the opener of a three-game series before the MLB All-Star break. The teams will meet again immediately after the break, with a three-game set in Cincinnati.

Asked if he had acted before, De La Cruz laughed and responded, “Just by myself, yeah, I’ve been an actor.”

De La Cruz is batting .325 in 27 games with four homers, 14 RBI, 12 stolen bases and 25 runs scored.

The Reds were 27-33 when De La Cruz was promoted from Triple-A Chattanooga on June 6. Since then, the club has rocketed into first place, going 22-6 and carrying a two-game lead over Milwaukee into this weekend’s series. He has started 27 of the Reds’ 28 games since his debut.

De La Cruz touched on why he wears No. 44 — made famous by Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

“It’s just an honor to have that number and to wear this same number that a lot of legends in this game have worn in the past,” De La Cruz said. “It’s just an honor.”