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College Football Playoff Championship 2017: What time, what channel, who is playing

The College Football Playoff National Championship game is set for Monday night with No. 1-ranked Alabama taking on No. 3-ranked Clemson in what looks to be an exciting match-up.

It will be a rematch of last year’s championship game. Alabama goes into the game undefeated – the same as Clemson did last year. Alabama won last year’s game by five points, 45-40.

Here’s what you need to know about tonight’s game.

Who is playing?

The University of Alabama from the Southeastern Conference plays Clemson University from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

What time does the game start?

Kickoff is at 8 p.m. ET Monday.

Where is it being played?

Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

What channel is it on?

ESPN will broadcast the game.

Can you watch it online?

Of course. You can catch it on WatchESPN.

Who are the coaches?

Nick Saban coaches Alabama, and Dabo Swinney coaches Clemson.

Who is favored to win?

Alabama is favored to win by 6 points.

Have these colleges ever won a National Championship?

Alabama has won 16 of them – Saban has four championships at Alabama; Clemson won one championship in 1981.

How much are tickets going for?

As of Monday morning, tickets on the ticket-selling website Stubhub were listed from $1,750 to $18,691. The $18,000 tickets are for lower-level sideline tickets. 

Fun facts:

  • Clemson’s coach’s name is pronounced Dab-o Swee-nee. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama.
  • According to The Weather Channel, at game time in Tampa the high will be 67 degrees, the low 50. There is a zero percent chance of rain. Winds will be northeast at 5-10 miles per hour.

  • Alabama quarterback, Jalen Hurts, is a freshman at the school.

  • Clemson’s quarterback, Deshaun Watson, has played in three bowl games, including last year’s championship game, and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.

  • Monday’s game marks the first time two teams will met for a rematch of a Division 1 College Football Championship since the title game was introduced at the start of the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) era in 1998.

Bomb threat on Celtics’ plane was hoax

Members of the Boston Celtics got a scare Saturday when they were told of a bomb threat on their chartered flight to Oklahoma City, but it appears it was a hoax, several news outlets reported.

>> Read more trending stories

The Celtics’ team plane landed safely in Oklahoma City on Saturday. A team spokesman said the Celtics became aware of the threat while the flight was airborne, ESPN reported. 

According to Tim Martin of WFXT, the plane made it to Oklahoma City as scheduled, with the FBI and local law enforcement looking into the threat. Martin also reported that a Celtics spokesman said there was no evidence of a bomb on the plane. 

The FBI's Oklahoma City field office said late Saturday that a thorough search of the aircraft "did not locate an explosive device" and that the agency is investigating the incident.

Celtics forward Jae Crowder posted a short video to his Instagram page showing police lights flashing next to the team plane with the caption, “Bomb threat on us.”

Crowder also tweeted about the incident, saying the team was fine.

The Celtics face the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Sunday night. Boston lost 101-94 at home Friday night to the Toronto Raptors. 

LeBron James wears Cubs uniform to pay off World Series bet

LeBron James didn’t like it, but a bet’s a bet. And when you lose a bet, you pay the winner.

>> Read more trending stories

The Cleveland Cavaliers star made a bet with former Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade before the World Series. If the Cubs won, then James would have to wear a full Cubs uniform the next time the Cavaliers played in Chicago. 

The Cubs did indeed win the Series, earning their first championship in 108 years when they overcame a 3-1 deficit to rally past the Cleveland Indians.

So the payoff came Friday night, as James and the Cavaliers came to town to play the Chicago Bulls. James donned a Cubs jersey, pants and cap. No cleats, though.

“I’m not wearing cleats,” he had told reporters on Thursday. “No glove. Just the uniform.” 

As James walked through the arena before Friday night’s game, he was met by a gleeful Wade, who videotaped his rival. 

“My Indians gave everything they had,” James said in an earlier video posted on the Bleacher Report website. “But the Cubs came back, and, you know, they showed what true champions was all about. 

“Meanwhile, I’m pinstriped-up, walking into a nationally televised game in Chicago because of a bet I lost.” 

"It's a bet," James continued. "You have to fulfill your bet. Nothing more to it."

Cleveland’s luck against Chicago continued to sour, as the Cavaliers lost 111-105 despite James’ 27-point night. Wade helped Chicago to victory by scoring 24 points. 

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Bud Light giving away Super Bowl tickets for life

As part of a sweepstakes promotion, Anheuser-Busch, Bud Light's parent company, is offering beer-loving football fans a chance to win Super Bowl tickets for life.  

>> Read more trending stories  

"All season long, Bud Light has celebrated the most passionate and dedicated fans that the NFL has to offer, and as the playoffs approach, we want to see fandom turned up another notch," Anna Rogers, director of NFL partnerships and strategy at Anheuser-Busch, said in a statement. "Most NFL fans likely won't see one Super Bowl in their lifetime, so we figured what better way to reward one of the NFL's biggest fans than by giving him or her tickets to the big game for the rest of their life?"

Bud Light will place 37,000 gold cans in select 18-, 24- and 30-packs of 12-ounce Bud Light through Jan. 13. The packages will be sold across the country in all states except California.

Those who find a gold can can enter the contest by uploading a photo of it and using the hashtags #SBTix4Life and #Sweeps.

Six weekly winners will be selected to win a pair of season tickets to their favorite NFL team.

One grand prize winner will receive a pair of Super Bowl tickets for life, up to 51 years.

The grand prize winner will be selected the week of Jan. 16.

Read more at Anheuser-Busch.

Super Bowl Champions are remembered forever. But your memory will be better than most. Find a Bud Light Gold Super Bowl LI Can and upload a photo with #SBTIX4LIFE #SWEEPS and you could win Super Bowl tickets for life. Go to www.budlight.com to see more rules. A photo posted by Bud Light (@budlight) on Nov 25, 2016 at 7:45am PST

Indian cricketers wear mothers' names on jerseys

When India and New Zealand clashed in Saturday’s One Day International, 5th Series, the Indian cricket team decided to honor their mothers. 

>> Read more trending stories 

Every member of the squad was wearing jerseys bearing their mothers’ names, rather than their  own, the Indian Express reported. 

The final ODI – in Visakhapatnam, India – will decide the outcome of the series. 

This gesture was part of a new campaign started by Star India media company, highlighting the role of mothers. 

The Board of Cricket Control in India Chairman Anurag Thakur said the display by the Indian cricketers was done with “the intent to thank all the mothers for their efforts and sacrifices.”

Photos: Olympic champion Michael Phelps married girlfriend in June

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.

Swimmer Michael Phelps is synonymous with Olympic gold. He earned five gold medals and a silver during the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

>> Read more trending stories 

But Phelps also grabbed more gold this summer -- a wedding ring.

People magazine reported that Phelps and his girlfriend, Nicole Johnson, are now married. The couple announced their engagement in February 2015. Their son, Boomer, was born in May.

TMZ obtained a copy of the couple's marriage record. It shows that they applied for the license on June 9 and were married June 13 in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

Phelps' agent, Peter Carlisle, was listed as the person who performed the ceremony, People reported.

The Phelpses shared photos from their summer wedding on Instagram Sunday. 

"Truly the happiest day of my life," Nicole wrote on Instagram.

Truly the happiest day of my life @m_phelps00 thank you @boonestudios for capturing this day A photo posted by Nicole Michele Johnson (@mrs.nicolephelps) on Oct 30, 2016 at 1:11am PDT <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script>

My best friend.... I love you!! A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on Oct 30, 2016 at 3:07am PDT <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script>

Seahawks’ Baldwin calls for change after shootings

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin is calling for a review of training policies for law enforcement across the country, saying the message NFL players are trying to send with their actions during the national anthem now needs some follow-through.

>> Read more trending stories  

Baldwin gave a prepared statement on Thursday, similar to what teammate Richard Sherman did Wednesday. Baldwin said the situation has reached a point where action is needed. Baldwin said he has consulted with his father, a police officer, to gather information. "The situation that's upon us right now, what's going on in our country, it's devastating. ... We cannot tolerate this," Baldwin said.

Doug Baldwin begins his news conference reading from the US Constitution & calls for accountability. — Cale Ramaker (@CaleKIRO7) September 22, 2016 Doug Baldwin: demanding all 50 state Attorneys General review police training & emphasize deescalation over order. — Cale Ramaker (@CaleKIRO7) September 22, 2016

>> Related: Richard Sherman says anthem protests message getting lost

#Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin opened his availability today with a statement similar to teammate Richard Sherman pic.twitter.com/pcz1UUBYMT — Tim Booth (@ByTimBooth) September 22, 2016

Washington’s attorney general reached out to Baldwin on Twitter after the news conference.

.@DougBaldwinJr Watched your press conference today with interest. I’ll be reaching out soon to see if you'd like to sit down and chat. -BF — WA Attorney General (@AGOWA) September 22, 2016

Baldwin and Sherman's statements came in the wake of a pair of police shootings this week, one in Charlotte, North Carolina; and another in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Yankees fans orchestrating 'Moon Big Papi Night' for Ortiz’s New York finale

David Ortiz is down to the final weeks of his major-league career and a group of New York Yankees fans are planning a less-than-cordial sendoff.

>> Read more trending stories 

A group has founded a website called Moon Big Papi and they want fans to moon the Boston Red Sox star when he plays his final game at Yankee Stadium next week. Ortiz owns a career .315 average against the Yankees, with six homers and 13 RBI.

>>RELATED: Company honors Ortiz's career walk-off with special edition shoes

The site says “if 10 people moon Big Papi, they'll be arrested, but if 10,000 do it it will be a story for the grandkids.”

Panthers’ Olsen: Sunday’s game must go on

More than 70,000 fans are expected in Charlotte this weekend to watch the Carolina Panthers vs. the Minnesota Vikings.

For now, the game will go on as scheduled at 1 p.m. Sunday at Bank of America Stadium.

>> Read more trending stories  

The Panthers have tried to keep it business as usual on the field despite the chaos that’s unfolded the past two nights, but safety is never far from their minds.

Panthers’ tight end Greg Olsen said his family normally tailgates on game days, but this week they will likely head right to the stadium, not because he fears for their safety, but just in case.

Olsen said the game must go on. He said sport can heal at a time like this and as silly as it sounds, this game matters.

“Is the game itself as important as the issues at hand? No. But is the game itself a big piece of healing and bringing people together and letting people put their differences aside and just start that process of inclusion and being less divisive? I do,” Olsen said.

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said he was a coach with the San Diego Chargers when San Diego was struck by wildfires.

“While the circumstances now are obviously different, playing again was an important step in that community's healing process,” Rivera said. 

Florida school district: Students must have permission to kneel during national anthem

Orange County school district officials in Florida said students must have parents’ permission to kneel during the national anthem at sporting events, WFTV reported.

The issue has been making national headlines since San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee in protest of social injustice.

>> Read more trending stories

Some athletes are starting to follow national players’ lead on the issue, although none did at a football game  Thursday night in Orlando between Evans and Jones high schools.

Several school districts said it has not happened in central Florida, but a southwest Florida school district said students needed written permission to kneel.

Orange County Public Schools officials said it has interpreted state law to treat the national anthem like the Pledge of Allegiance.

District officials said they like the policy on the Pledge of Allegiance, students may kneel if they have permission in the form of a letter from a parent.

“I have to stay neutral, but whatever they do, I’m going to support them. That’s really between that individual and their family,” Jones High School football coach Elijah Williams said.

A school district spokesman said that if any of the students had kneeled, they would not have gotten in trouble.

Orange County Public Schools said its legal team is still reviewing state law.

Florida statute mentions students should stand for the national anthem, but only mentioned students being excused by a written letter for the Pledge of Allegiance. 

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