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Hurricane Irma Heads Toward Florida with Destruction in Its Wake; NFL Faces Challenges As A New Season Begins: CNN Hero Helps At-Risk Youth
Aired September 8, 2017 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi. I`m Carl Azuz.
As we produced today`s edition of CNN 10, a category five hurricane was roaring over the Turks and Caicos islands and it had the Bahamas and the U.S. mainland directly in its projected path.
Hurricane Irma is a monstrous and deadly storm. Last night, it had 175 mile per hour winds. They had weakened a little bit since Irma first passed over islands in the Caribbean, but it remained the strongest classification of hurricane, capable of catastrophic damage like rip-off roofs, collapsed walls and so much destruction that entire communities could be left uninhabitable.
What happened in the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda is an example. Barbuda`s prime minister said 95 percent of the buildings there are damaged.
Hurricane Irma has killed several people throughout the Caribbean and several forecast models predicted that the storm would directly hit south Florida, possibly by Sunday.
Irma may also spin up the U.S. Atlantic coast to southeast Georgia and South Carolina.
Yesterday, Florida Governor Rick Scott reminded people that forecasters still weren`t exactly sure what Irma would do, but that Floridians should be ready to evacuate regardless of what coast they live on. Mandatory evacuations were ordered for the Keys and some areas around Miami. Heavy evacuation, traffic and long lines for gas were common in the region.
The islands that have already been hit are keeping a watchful eye on another storm, Hurricane Jose. It was rolling west across the Atlantic last night. It could also hit Antigua and Barbuda.
And Hurricane Katia was spinning in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:
Who is the current commissioner of the National Football League?
Rob Manfred, Gary Bettman, Roger Goodell or Paul Tagliabue?
Current NFL commissioner is Roger Goodell. He`s held the job since 2006.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: The NFL`s 2017 regular season started last night, though most of the games will be played on Sunday. That`s not the case for the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They`re both Florida teams and their game against each other was postponed until November due to preparations for Hurricane Irma.
That`s one of the issues Commissioner Goodell will have to manage. Football is the most popular sport in America and the NFL is the most profitable league. But it comes with a unique set of challenges and controversies.
AHIZA GARCIA, SPORTS BUSINESS REPORTER, CNNMONEY: The NFL is back and there`s a lot riding on the season. Last year, ratings dropped, which begged the question, is the league in serious danger?
For so long, sports was the lone holdout against bad ratings for live TV. They did well because fans wanted to watch games live and didn`t DVR them the way they would a TV show.
There`s a certain window for TV spoiler alerts, but that window is about two seconds in the world of sports. So, when the NFL`s ratings took a hit last year, it was shocking. If the NFL, the king of U.S. sports is in decline, how can any other league hope to thrive?
Because of that scare, all eyes will be on the NFL`s TV ratings this season. The good news is ratings rebounded during the post-season, when there was more on the line.
Plus, there were several factors last year that aren`t an issue this time around. For one, the 2016 presidential election was so controversial, it dominated story lines and took attention away from the NFL. After Election Day, viewership went up an average of 15 percent.
Then, there was a fact that the matchups weren`t that thrilling. This year, the NFL has worked to make sure there are more interesting matchups at the start of the season.
Another problem, people don`t necessarily want to commit four hours to watching a game. So, the league has taken steps to speed it up. It`s
doing things like limiting overtime periods to 10 minutes. And FOX Sports is going to start using 6-second commercials in the hopes of picking up the action.
But it`s not just ratings that are causing a stir. The NFL has been dealing with various controversies of late, from domestic violence, to racial tension, to fears over the effects of concussions. There`s a lot to be worried about and a lot riding on how the league responds. But at the end of the day, the NFL is still a hugely successful business, even when it hit a ratings slump. It was miles ahead of the competition.
No need for a spoiler alert on this. The NFL isn`t going anywhere anytime soon.
AZUZ: Meeting with young people who are failing their classes, considering dropping out of school or who are locked in jail, and then working to help them turn their lives around. This is the goal of a nonprofit organization called New Earth. It was founded in 2004. Since then, it`s helped thousands through literacy and critical thinking programs and the man who started it knows personally what the people he works with are going through.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I live in the south central. If you wasn`t here, you probably don`t want to be here. Two years ago, my life was going down the drain and that`s what it felt like. I wasn`t doing what I supposed doing, ditching class, skipping school.
HARRY GRAMMER, CNN HERO: How many y`all got friends out there right now just on the block?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do.
GRAMMER: Growing up, I spent five years on juvenile probation. I became very lost. I think many of our young people feel the same way.
This is the FLOW class. It`s about going to the side. It`s about telling your story. Bottom line is, everybody in this room, including myself, we got a story to tell.
We work mainly with kids that are in risk of being drop out of their high schools, being incarcerated, being on the streets. They can come here and find themselves a home.
There`s a million places you could be right now, but you`re here.
We have a community center in Los Angeles with full wrap-around services, counseling therapy, mentorship program, vocational programs. We have a high school diploma educational program.
Tell them, you`re going to tell the world about who you are. I want to see what you have inside of you that wants to come out.
FLOW is our flagship program that helps young people tell their story, turn their story into poetry, turn their poetry into music and the music into songs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Harry Grammer basically like laced me. He`s like he tightened me up, tied my shoes up.
GRAMMER: If you want to make your last arrest your last arrest, you`re in a right place.
Seven days a week, we also are going to detention facilities in Los Angeles County and we tried to build a family, a team, a safe space for everyone to express themselves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My life was really different from what it is now. I can`t believe I got to this day. I mean, it`s crazy. It`s mind-blowing.
It`s mind-boggling. It`s like how did I do this?
GRAMMER: You`re finally here. How do you feel?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel good, bro.
GRAMMER: You need to listen to our young people. We need to find out what it is that they`re longing for, what they want.
We provide a whole piece to help them land safely on their feet and to move forward powerfully and be productive.
We are --
GRAMMER: We are -
GRAMMER: Yes! Come on, y`all. All right.
AZUZ: Breaking candy new. There`s a new addition in the world of chocolate. In addition to white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate, a Swiss company has invented pink chocolate. Well, they prefer you call it ruby chocolate. But it`s still pink. And they say it`s all
natural with a slight berry flavor that sour and sweet. It reportedly took more than 10 years for scientist to develop this, and the company says it`s targeting millennials with it, though we got some other folks who say cool beans and try to eat all the candy berry.
Does this count as a fruit? Will fans dessert other chocolate? You can chuck a lot of interest up the sweet`s popularity and even if this means hot chocolate could turn pink, we bet it has a cocoaphony of flavor that`s tough to rubeat.
I`m Carl Azuz. Our next show on Monday will bring you the latest on Hurricane Irma`s impact, in addition to an explanatory look back at the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. Thank you for watching.