January 26, 2018 / 9:20 PM / a month ago

This week in sports: Super Bowl countdown

Listen to this week’s Keeping Score podcast, with sports marketing expert Rick Horrow:

A wrap up of the week in sports news:

America’s ultimate clash: The Philadelphia Eagles walk into the Super Bowl clear underdogs against the New England Patriots on Feb. 4. The Eagles have never taken home the Lombardi Trophy and, in fact, lost the NFL championship title to the Patriots 13 years ago. Rick’s take: When the 2017-2018 NFL season kicked off in September, the Eagles had a mere 40-1 odds to win the Super Bowl according to Vegas’ Westgate SuperBook. Sunday’s victory was all the more sweet for Eagles owner Jeff Lurie and his NFC Champion team.

The so-called “Trump Factor” is complicating the United States’ efforts to host the 2026 World Cup. The president’s reported comments about “shithole countries” while discussing immigrants from Haiti and Africa are unlikely to help the North American bid, which is voted on by each of the 207 member nations of FIFA. Rick’s take: U.S. soccer officials further fear that the president’s rhetoric “could take a toll on support” outside of Africa as well.

Ball’s in China’s court: The WTA announced a plan to move its finals tournament to Shenzhen, as Australia stepped up its efforts to attract more Chinese tennis tourists to its Aussie Open. The decision comes amid a broader move by the sport to China. Rick’s take: The WTA has 54 events globally, not including the four Grand Slams; this latest announcement is testament to the WTA’s Steve Simon and his leadership skills amid ever-growing global interest in women’s sports.

Click here to view more of the best Reuters photography of the week.

And finally, this week sports business marketing expert Rick Horrow sat down with Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes to discuss the team’s impact on the community and the logistical hurdles that come with being a Super Bowl host city. Watch below:

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