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Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Following the tragic hurricane-related events in Houston this summer, the city and its residents now have something positive to embrace: their hometown Astros beat the Yankees this weekend to advance to the 2017 World Series.

In fact, the team dedicated its win to the city of Houston and its people.

The Houston logo and word "strong" were a part of the team's uniform during the American League Championship Series last week, which inspired the thousands of residents who became displaced from Hurricane Harvey.

Last month, the playoff-bound team visited some families and fans who were living at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

"Today #Astros players spent their off day in the community, including a visit with evacuees at GRB," the team tweeted on Sept. 1. They spent the day taking photos and signing autographs for fans there. The Astros also donated $4 million to relief efforts.

Sports have always been a beacon of hope for people over the years. Here's a look back at other teams that captivated their respective cities after suffering through tragedies.

The Yankees after 9/11

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, The New York Yankees made it to the World Series just a few weeks later.

The Yankees ultimately ended up losing to the Arizona Diamondbacks, but more than 15 years later, who won and who lost is not what baseball fans recall from that emotional run.

They remember Yankees captain Derek Jeter tearing up during the National Anthem and then bringing the entire city of New York to its feet in game 4, hitting a walk-off home run in the 9th inning that gave the Yankees a 4-3 win.

In that moment, fans in New York and beyond were able to shed the tragedy of those lost the month before and embrace Jeter, who ran the bases, right hand in the air as a symbol of hope for all Americans.

That home run earned the future Hall of Famer the title "Mr. November."

The Saints after Hurricane Katrina

Katrina rocked New Orleans in 2005 and the team's stadium, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, was transformed into a makeshift sanctuary for those who lost everything they owned.

The events of the hurricane also forced the New Orleans Saints to play their home games elsewhere the entire regular season.

At one point there was even talk of relocating the team after the natural disaster.

The Saints stayed in the city and competed against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV -- four years after Katrina struck.

After falling 10-0 in the first quarter, Saints quarterback Drew Brees helped his team win the game with a score of 31-17.

It was a comeback moment not just for the Saints but the city of New Orleans as well.

Houston Astros after Hurricane Harvey

With the city of Houston still reeling from the storm that flooded the area in August, causing billions in damage, the Astros faced the New York Yankees in a classic match of "David and Goliath."

The Astros have played in just one World Series, losing in 2005 to the White Sox, versus the Yankees, with 40 league pennants and 27 World Series championships under their belts.

Down 3-2, the Astros won games six and seven in dramatic fashion, lifting a city onto their backs. They play the Dodgers next, beginning Tuesday in Los Angeles.

"These guys worked hard and played well together. And if you understand what we went through with [Hurricane] Harvey, to be able to give back to the fans, it's incredible," Astros great Craig Biggio told Bleacher Report. "The people here needed this."

"Our fans have been through a lot with Hurricane Harvey," current Astro Carlos Correa added. "I'm just glad we can bring them joy."

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Donald Miralle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It's been almost 14 years since Justin Timberlake last performed at the Super Bowl, introducing the world to the phrase "wardrobe malfunction."

On Sunday, Timberlake announced his return to the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show, but there was no mention of Janet Jackson. That is, until her fans, angry about what happened the last time they performed together, forced the NFL to issue a statement saying she hasn't been banned from the Super Bowl.

In 2004, the former *NSYNC band member was performing his hit song "Rock Your Body" at the Super Bowl with Jackson when he said he unintentionally pulled off Jackson's nipple guard, briefly exposing her right breast. A national uproar then ensued.

"I DO have the time. Half the time...#PepsiHalftime #SBLII @Pepsi @NFL @JimmyFallon @FallonTonight," Timberlake, 36, tweeted the news that he would be the next halftime performer along with a video featuring Jimmy Fallon.

Now, another uproar is ensuing -- on Twitter. Since Timberlake was announced as the next Super Bowl performer, Jackson's fans have been demanding that he at least apologize publicly to her for the 2004 incident. The hasthtag #JusticeforJanet has been trending on Twitter.

Even as some fans demand that Jackson be included in the halftime show, there's been widespread speculation that she's been banned from the Super Bowl. Earlier today, the NFL released a statement addressing the matter:

"There’s no ban. We are not going to comment on any speculation regarding potential guests. There may be no guests. Along with Pepsi, we’re excited to have Justin Timberlake. Like the elite NFL players who can run, catch, and block, Justin can do it all -- sing, dance, act and entertain. He’s the ultimate global superstar who we know will put on an entertaining and unifying show that will appeal to the massive worldwide audience."

Asked during NBC's "Sunday Night Football" about the infamous incident from his last appearance, Timberlake vowed, "That won't happen this time."

Here's a quick primer on what happened in 2004.

1. The incident

MTV produced the 2004 halftime show with a roster of performers -- Nelly, Diddy and Kid Rock -- headlined by Janet Jackson. Timberlake was to be the final performer, and Jackson remained on stage dancing alongside him as he performed "Rock Your Body." With the song's closing line, "Bet I’ll have you naked," he then reached with his left hand for her top in what her spokesperson said had been a carefully planned move to remove part of her clothing. Unfortunately, Timberlake also pulled off Jackson's nipple guard, exposing her breast to an estimated 140 million viewers watching live. Less than a second later, Jackson quickly covered herself as the network cut away to a distant long shot and fireworks display.

2. Apologies

The incident became known as "Nipplegate," and the apologies came swiftly. Jackson was one of the first to issue an apology. Her spokesman called the incident "a malfunction of the wardrobe," saying "it was not intentional" and Timberlake "was supposed to pull away the bustier and leave the red-lace bra." That was followed by MTV, which said the tearing of Jackson's costume "was unrehearsed, unplanned, completely unintentional and was inconsistent with assurances we had about the content of the performance." Timberlake responded, "I am sorry if anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance at the Super Bowl. It was not intentional and is regrettable."

3. FCC

Despite all the apologies, including from the network, CBS was fined a record $550,000 for the incident by the Federal Communications Commission, which received over half a million complaints. The fine was ultimately voided in 2011. The FCC also increased its fine per indecency violation from $27,500 to $325,000, and many networks instituted a five-second delay during some live TV performances that continues today.

4. Grammys

Later that week, Jackson's invitation to perform at the 2004 Grammy Awards telecast was withdrawn. She was then re-invited with the caveat that she apologize for the halftime show. She declined. Timberlake did attend and won the award for best male pop vocal performance for "Cry Me a River." In his speech, he once again apologized for what happened during the halftime show. "I know it's been a rough week on everybody," he said to audience cheers. "What occurred was unintentional, completely regrettable, and I apologize if you guys were offended."

5. Jackson

Meanwhile, Jackson suffered the biggest backlash. Viacom, the owner of CBS, and its subsidiaries blacklisted Jackson's music and videos and her next album, "Damita Jo," underperformed compared to previous ones, though it still managed to debut at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Months after it happened, she called the incident "truly embarrassing," but told USA Today, "There are much worse things in the world, and for this to be such a focus, I don't understand." She also questioned the ferocity of the attacks on her at a time when Americans were divided over the second Gulf War. "It was just perfect timing to take people's focus off of other things," she told the newspaper. "That's what happens, and it happened to me."

Female performers at the Super Bowl also took a hit. The NFL turned to more classic-rock acts such as the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen and did not feature another female act until Madonna performed in 2012. Although Timberlake never made a public apology to Jackson, he did cover one of her songs during his 2013 tour, which was seen as something of an apology.

Now some fans are wondering if perhaps Timberlake has something bigger planned -- like making Jackson a surprise performer at his next halftime show.

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Google Maps(WHEATON, Ill.) -- Four of the five Wheaton College football players facing felony charges for allegedly assaulting another student pleaded not guilty on Monday morning.

The five athletes were suspended from the football team at the Christian school after being charged with aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint.

The alleged incident happened in March 2016 in Wheaton, Illinois, during which a man said he was taken forcefully out of his dorm room, restrained against his will and left at a baseball field, Wheaton police said.

The alleged victim told school investigators he was in a dorm when several people burst in, held him down, "violently" pulled his arms behind him and wrapped duct tape around his ankles and wrists, according to an investigation report obtained by ABC News.

The attackers put a pillowcase on his head and duct-taped it, and put him into a car, the alleged victim told investigators.

The alleged victim told investigators his attackers attempted to sexually assault him with an object, and that he was also punched and slapped.

He told investigators he was taken to a baseball field; he said dirt was thrown on him, his cellphone was taken and he was left there partially naked.

The alleged victim, who left Wheaton College shortly after the alleged incident, told school investigators he suffered labral tears on both shoulders from the way his arms were pulled and restrained.

An attorney for one of the accused students, Noah Spielman, said last month his client was "disappointed" and "frustrated," the Chicago Tribune reported.

"There are three things in life that he absolutely adores: his faith, his family and his passion for school," the attorney said.

Wheaton College said in a statement last month that it was "deeply troubled by the allegations."

The school said, "when this incident was brought to our attention by other members of the football team and coaching staff in March 2016, the College took swift action to initiate a thorough investigation."

The school said the "conduct we discovered as a result of our investigation into this incident was entirely unacceptable."

The school also said it "fully cooperated with law enforcement in their investigation."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed -- The Houston Astros’ trip to the World Series to seek their first-ever title has become a rallying cry for the Hurricane Harvey-battered city.

The Astros dedicated their Game 7 win against the New York Yankees Friday to the city of Houston and its people.

The players wear a visible sign of their support for Houston on their uniforms, a patch that features the word "strong" between a drawing of the state of Texas and the Astros logo.

Just two months ago, much of the city of Houston was underwater after Harvey swept through parts of the state. The August storm dumped more than 20 trillion gallons of rain across Texas and Louisiana.

When thousands of Houston residents sought shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Astros players showed up to meet their fellow residents and cheer them up.

The Astros also offered tickets to people affected by Harvey and collected donations at Minute Maid Park. The Astros organization donated $4 million to relief efforts.

The team’s MVP pitcher, Justin Verlander, has pledged to donate his playoff share to people affected by Harvey.

Verlander, who was traded to the Astros days after Harvey hit, also made a $100,000 donation to his Wins for Warriors foundation to help military families affected by the storm.

"I want to help in more ways than just playing on the baseball field," he said.

Residents of Houston may not have imagined the Astros heading to the World Series just months after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, but a magazine predicted it three years ago.

The Astros will face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series.


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Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Justin Timberlake will be headlining the Pepsi Super Bowl LII halftime show next year, it was announced Sunday.

The singer, 36, tweeted the news along with a video featuring Jimmy Fallon.

"I DO have the time. Half the time...#PepsiHalftime #SBLII @Pepsi @NFL @JimmyFallon @FallonTonight," Timberlake wrote.

I DO have the time. Half the time...#PepsiHalftime #SBLII @Pepsi @NFL @JimmyFallon @FallonTonight

— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) October 23, 2017

Simultaneously, the NFL tweeted an image promoting the show.

Minnesota.@SuperBowl LII.
February 4, 2018.@jtimberlake! #PepsiHalftime #SBLII

— NFL (@NFL) October 23, 2017

Pepsi also got in on the fun, declaring the news "official" after weeks of speculation.

It’s official: @jtimberlake is taking the #PepsiHalftime stage at #SBLII Tune into #SNF tonight for the full scoop & we’ll see you on Feb 4!

— Pepsi™ (@pepsi) October 23, 2017

The Super Bowl takes place on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the latest scores and winners:

Houston 4, N.Y. Yankees 0

Toronto 128, Philadelphia 94
Orlando 114, Cleveland 93
San Antonio 87, Chicago 77
Miami 112, Indiana 108
Detroit 111, N.Y. Knicks 107
Houston 107, Dallas 91
Memphis 111, Golden State 101
Milwaukee 113, Portland 110
Denver 96, Sacramento 79
Utah 96, Oklahoma City 87
L.A. Clippers 130, Phoenix 88

N.Y. Rangers 4, Nashville 2
Philadelphia 2, Edmonton 1
Tampa Bay 7, Pittsburgh 1
N.Y. Islanders 5, San Jose 3
OT Buffalo 5, Boston 4
Ottawa 6, Toronto 3
L.A. Kings 6, Columbus 4
Florida 4, Washington 1
Dallas 4, Carolina 3
Chicago 4, Arizona 2
Minnesota 4, Calgary 2
OT Vegas 3, St. Louis 2

(1) Alabama 45, Tennessee 7
(2) Penn St. 42, (19) Michigan 13
(4) TCU 43, Kansas 0
(5) Wisconsin 38, Maryland 13
(8) Miami 27, Syracuse 19
(9) Oklahoma 42, Kansas St. 35
OT (10) Oklahoma St. 13, Texas 10
(13) Notre Dame 49, (11) Southern Cal 14
(14) Virginia Tech 59, North Carolina 7
(15) Washington St. 28, Colorado 0
(17) South Florida 34, Tulane 28
(18) Michigan St. 17, Indiana 9
(20) UCF 31, Navy 21
(21) Auburn 52, Arkansas 20
(23) West Virginia 38, Baylor 36
(24) LSU 40, Mississippi 24

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Elsa/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- The Houston Astros have advanced to the World Series for the second time in franchise history.

The Astros defeated the New York Yankees 4-0 in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on Saturday night.

The last World Series appearance for the Astros was in 2005 when they lost the championship to the Chicago White Sox in four games.

The Astros will face the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the latest scores and winners:

Houston 7, N.Y. Yankees 1

Washington 115, Detroit 111
Boston 102, Philadelphia 92
Cleveland 116, Milwaukee 97
Charlotte 109, Atlanta 91
Portland 114, Indiana 96
Brooklyn 126, Orlando 121
Minnesota 100, Utah 97
Sacramento 93, Dallas 88
Golden State 128, New Orleans 120
L.A. Lakers 132, Phoenix 130

Vancouver 4, Buffalo 2
San Jose 3, New Jersey 0
Pittsburgh 4, Florida 3
OT Washington 4, Detroit 3
Winnipeg 4, Minnesota 3
Anaheim 6, Montreal 2

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Instagram/JustineSkye(NEW YORK) -- The Brooklyn Nets invited singer Justine Skye, a native of the New York City borough, to sing the national anthem at Friday night's home opener at Barclays Center -- and to the surprise of spectators and Nets management, she took a knee at the end of her performance.

Skye, 22, appears to have taken a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, based on an Instagram post about the evening, which included video of her performance and the hashtag #blacklivesmatter.

"Got a bit shaky at the end.. was pretty uneasy about singing the anthem and probably won’t ever be invited to sing it again but I had to take a knee for the opening game in my city and let my voice be heard," she wrote. "We will not be silenced #blacklivesmatter."

Unlike the NFL, the NBA has a rule requiring players to stand during the national anthem.

Players from both the Nets -- who locked arms while Skye sang -- and the Orlando Magic stood along the foul line during her performance.

A spokeswoman for the Nets said it was unaware that Skye was planning to take a knee. "We recognize that tonight's national anthem singer kneeled briefly at the end of her performance and we were not aware that she was going to do so," she said.

The Nets beat the Magic 126-121.

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Micah Malone(SOUTHWOOD, La.) -- One toddler has become the star of a Louisiana high school’s halftime show thanks to her dance moves.

Ollie Malone, 2, was captured on video dancing with Southwood High School's flag line and dance team in Shreveport during homecoming on Sept. 30.

The girl's mom, Micah Malone, is the coach for the high school's dance team, the Silver Spurs.

"These girls are head over heels for her," Malone told ABC News. "She stands with the girls and dances with them in the stands. This year, she started going down to the field because she's a little older."

Malone and her husband, Cody, are both teachers at Southwood High School.

Ollie has a uniform to match the Silver Spurs and dances with them at every home game, Malone said.

Ollie's dance moves went viral after her mom shared the video on Facebook of her dancing at homecoming.

"It just went crazy from there," Micah Malone said. "Overnight, it was at over a million views."

"We just have so much support at the school and we are a big family," she added.

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