The Daily Outkick: Friday, January 4, 2019

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NFL Signs Caesars as Casino Partner, Inches Toward Betting Deals (Bloomberg) This is the NFL’s first-ever casino partner, bringing the pro sport and its owners closer to a possible deal for sports betting.

Job Growth Surges By 312,000 In December (CNBC) Job creation ended 2018 on a powerful note, with nonfarm payrolls surging by 312,000 in December.

Finalists for 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame Announced (Sports Illustrated) The 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019 were announced on Thursday night, with the former stars getting one step closer to being enshrined in Canton.

Clay Travis: Reuben Foster, Antonio Brown, NFL Ratings Up (Outkick) Clay Travis’ full Outkick the Show from Thursday, January 3, 2019

Ellen DeGeneres Faces Backlash After Defending Kevin Hart (Hollywood Reporter) Ellen DeGeneres’ attempts to play peacemaker between The Academy and Kevin Hart has engendered a social media backlash.

Philip Rivers Has His Last, Best Chance to Win a Ring (The Ringer) Rivers has never won a Super Bowl. Will he finally get his title? Or further cement his legacy as this era’s Dan Marino?

The iPhone Canary (Wall Street Journal) Apple’s sales plunge shows the need for a U.S.-China trade deal.

Harden Hits Winning 3-pointer, Gets Triple-Double In Rockets’ OT Win Over Warriors (USA Today) James Harden hit a contested 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left in overtime and finished with his second triple-double of the week and fifth straight 40-point game.

Trump Won’t Lose in a Long Shutdown (Washington Post) Now that Democrats run the House, they will increasingly bear some political responsibility for ending the crisis.

Antonio Brown: Teams Knew What They Were Doing When He Fell to 6th Round (Big Lead) One former scout said recent antics confirm that teams knew what they were doing when 194 players were selected in front of him.

Disney+ Streaming Service: What To Expect From Disney’s Answer To Netflix (TechHive) Unlike Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and whatever AT&T’s WarnerMedia is working on, Disney+ will focus more on family-friendly fare and probably won’t cost as much.

‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund Took Wrestling Seriously, So We Could Too (SB Nation) The legendary interviewer died at 76 and leaves behind an unmatched impact on professional wrestling.

A Mighty Tree Grows in Georgetown. It Belongs to Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning. (New York Times) Trey Mourning had one foot out the door at Georgetown when Uncle Patrick became Coach Ewing. He turned around and went to a team meeting.

NFL Launches Voice-Powered Football Guide for Amazon Alexa (CNBC) The National Football League (NFL) has launched voice-recognition content for Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa that will teach fans about players, rules and the history of American football.