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Ravens’ Lamar Jackson officially revealed as ‘Madden NFL 21’ cover athlete

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June 16 (UPI) — Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson was officially unveiled as the cover athlete for EA Sports’ Madden NFL 21 on Tuesday.

“With style and swag uniquely his own, reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson dazzles on the new Madden NFL 21 cover as he does against the opposition on gameday,” EA Sports wrote on its official website. “Dynamic agility and blazing speed make the Baltimore Ravens superstar QB untouchable in the open field.

“The face of a fearless new generation of rising NFL stars, Jackson has changed the game.”

When the football video game officially releases worldwide Aug. 28, Jackson — at 23 years old — will be the third-youngest player to grace the cover of the Madden NFL series, behind only star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on Madden NFL 16 and former scrambler Michael Vick on Madden NFL 04.

Jackson also is the ninth quarterback — and sixth black signal-caller — to appear on the cover, following Daunte Culpepper (2002), Vick (2004), Donovan McNabb (2006), Vince Young (2008), Brett Favre (2009), Drew Brees (2011), Tom Brady (2018) and Patrick Mahomes (2020).

“My manager told me Madden was interested in me being on the cover. I was very excited,” Jackson said in an interview with The Undefeated. “That’s a kid’s dream and I’m a grown man now. From getting drafted two years ago to winning MVP, it feels like everything has happened so fast.

“Now, I’m happy to be a part of this, just like all the other greats who have been on the cover.”

Madden NFL 21 — which will have standard, deluxe and MVP editions — will first be playable Aug. 25 to those who pre-order the game or have EA Access. It will be released for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows, then will be available on the upcoming consoles Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.



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Reality TV stars Christina and Ant Anstead split up

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Sept. 19 (UPI) — Reality TV stars Christina and Ant Anstead have split up after nearly two years of marriage.

“Ant and I have made the difficult decision to separate. We are grateful for each other and as always, our children will remain our priority. We appreciate your support and ask for privacy for us and our family as we navigate the future,” the Christina on the Coast star wrote in an Instagram post Friday.

The message included a photo of the former couple walking along a beach at sunset.

They began dating in October 2017, married in December 2018 and welcomed their son Hudson in September 2019.

Christina also has a 5-year-old son named Brayden James and 9-year-old daughter, Taylor Reese, with her ex-husband and Flip or Flop co-star, Tarek El Moussa.

El Moussa has been engaged to reality television personality, Heather Rae Young, since July.

Ant Anstead is the host of Wheeler Dealers.

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Dwayne Johnson tears down faulty security gate to get to work

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Sept. 19 (UPI) — Film star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tore down the security gate at his home when it malfunctioned and prevented him from getting to work.

“Not my finest hour, but a man’s gotta go to work,” the Moana and Jungle Cruise star captioned Friday’s Instagram photo of the damaged gate he tossed on the lawn.

“We experienced a power outage due to severe storms, causing my front gate not to open,” he explained. “I tried to override the hydraulic system to open the gates, which usually works when power goes out — but this time it wouldn’t. Made some calls to see how fast I can get the gate tech on site, but I didn’t have 45 min to wait. By this time, I know I have hundreds of production crew members waiting for me to come to work so we can start our day. So I did what I had to do. I pushed, pulled and ripped the gate completely off myself. Tore it out of the brick wall, severed the steel hydraulics and threw it on the grass. My security team was able to meet the gate technician and welders about an hour later — and they were apparently, ‘in disbelief and equally scared;’ Not my finest hour, but I had to go to work. And I think I’m 100 [percent] ready to be #blackadam #ripgates.”

Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds was quick to comment on the post.

“The gate opened the OTHER way,” Reynolds quipped.

Johnson’s Jumanji co-star Karen Gillan responded with a string of faces with tears of joy emojis and remarked, “This is brilliant.”

Comedian Tony Baker joked, “The gate’s final words were ‘not like this…..’ beeeeeeeeeeeeep flatline.”

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Famous birthdays for Sept. 20: Phillip Phillips, Sophia Loren

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Sept. 20 (UPI) — Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo.

They include:

— Novelist Upton Sinclair in 1878

— Sister Elizabeth Kenny, Australian nurse who pioneered the care of polio victims, in 1880

— NASA mathematician Dorothy Vaughan in 1910

— Basketball Hall of Fame Coach Arnold Jacob “Red” Auerbach in 1917

— Actor Sophia Loren in 1934 (age 86)

File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

— Artist Dale Chihuly in 1941 (age 79)

— Writer George R.R. Martin in 1948 (age 72)

— Hockey Hall of Fame member Guy Lafleur in 1951 (age 69)

— Actor Gary Cole in 1956 (age 64)

— Actor Kristen Johnston in 1967 (age 53)

— Musician Gunnar Nelson in 1967 (age 53)

— Musician Matthew Nelson in 1967 (age 53)

— Actor Asia Argento in 1975 (age 45)

— Actor Jon Bernthal in 1976 (age 44)

— Musician Phillip Phillips in 1990 (age 30)

— Actor Jason Drucker in 2005 (age 15)

File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

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