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Good morning. Today is my birthday. Big quarter century. I have one ask: share the Sprint with a friend from college or someone in school now. Thank you!
- Blake
In today's Sprint:
⚽️  Super collapse
⛳️  The big pot
⚾️  Turnaround
Trivia: How many GM’s passed on Steph Curry in 2009 before the Warriors selected him?
  1. 4
  2. 5
  3. 6
  4. 7

SOCCER
Brexit
After a 48 hour run as the most debated and hated sports league in the world, the European Super League is collapsing.
Media pushback: Originally pegged for a ~$3 billion annual broadcasting rights deal, the Super League quickly lost its appeal to potential network partners as fans protested the move.
  • Amazon said it “shares the concerns raised” by soccer fans about the league
  • BBC’s Gary Lineker, the UK’s highest paid sports host, said he would “never work on this European Super League”
The first domino: Like everyone predicted, Chelsea rescued English and world football by exiting the League first. Fans chanted, "We saved football!" outside of Chelsea’s stadium when the news was announced. The other English clubs left soon after:
  • Manchester City
  • Manchester United
  • Tottenham
  • Liverpool
  • Arsenal
Following the withdrawal of the English clubs, the entire league was suspended to "reshape the project."
So, everything is good? Not really. The underlying issues driving the clubs to form the Super League remain. FIFA is rife with corruption, the Champions League group stage is mostly uncompetitive, and big clubs are expected to pull the financial burden of smaller clubs.
Looking ahead: Lost in the Super League news storm, UEFA announced a 36-team Champions League reform starting in 2024 to address some of these issues.

GOLF
Player Influencers
The PGA Tour added a $40 million bonus pool to be divvied up between players who “move the needle" on fan engagement metrics.
What’s a fan engagement metric? Exactly what you’d expect:
  • Google Search popularity
  • Social media followers
  • Nielsen Brand Exposure rating
The pool will be distributed to 10 beneficiaries at the end of the year, with the largest payout valued at $8 million.
Bottom line: The PGA is incentivizing its players to grow the game and draw in more fans through their personal platforms. If successful, expect other leagues to follow suit.

AROUND THE LEAGUES
MLB
(11-7) Oakland A’s 7 vs. (6-10) Minnesota Twins 0
  • Oakland’s offense was firing on all cylinders, helping cap off a tenth straight victory after starting the season with a 1-7 record.
(6-9) Washington Nationals 3 vs. (8-9) St. Louis Cardinals 2
  • In a unique eighth inning, St. Louis used five infielders while up 2-1, but walked four batters to give the Nats the go-ahead run. Tough night for the Cards.
NBA
(39-19) Brooklyn Nets 134 vs. (25-33) New Orleans Pelicans 129
  • The short-handed Nets held off the Pelicans, now losers of four in a row. The Pels are four games back from the final play-in spot with only 14 games to go.
(32-27) New York Knicks 109 vs. (28-29) Charlotte Hornets 97
  • The Knicks, the fifth seed in the East, look primed to end the NBA’s third longest active playoff drought.
NHL
(29-14-3) Pittsburgh Penguins 7 vs. (14-25-6) New Jersey Devils 6
  • The Penguins led 6-0 entering the third period but nearly pulled a Falcons in the Super Bowl, letting the Devils cut it to 1 in the final minute.

SPRINT'S PICKS
Stat: Reigning AL Cy Young winner Shane Bieber became the first pitcher in MLB history to begin the season with four straight starts with at least 10 strikeouts.
Quote: “I went from being the number 1 draft pick to everybody laughing at me. But guess what? I’m about that business. I’m outworking everybody at my position.” - Jameis Winston when asked what he’s out to prove next year with the Saints.
Highlight: Dylan Moore unlocked his inner Cirque du Soleil with his second acrobatic catch in 24 hours.

WATER COOLER TALK
⚽️  Ted Lasso , an Apple TV+ series about a football coach leading a professional soccer team in England, began filming season 2. Coincidence this was announced the same day the Super League fell apart? Probably not.
🏈  The Tampa Bay Bucs resigned backup QB Ryan Griffin, who's known for steering a tipsy Tom Brady away from reporters during February’s Super Bowl parade.
📱  Athletes, teams, and leagues from around the world made statements following the conviction of Derek Chauvin.
🏀  Zion Williamson debuted his first pair of signature shoes under the Jordan brand. They look great, and probably have more support than his Nike’s at Duke.
🏀  One week after learning who A-Rod is, Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards says he can throw a baseball 100 mph given a month to “get his arm right.”

WEDNESDAY WATCHLIST
NBA
Phoenix Suns (41-16) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (39-18) - 7:00 ET on NBATV
LA Clippers (40-19) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (29-27) - 10:00 ET on NBATV
MLB
Chicago White Sox (9-9) vs. Cleveland Indians (8-8) - 6:10 ET on ESPN+
Atlanta Braves (7-10) vs. New York Yankees (6-10) - 6:30 ET on ESPN
NHL
Nashville Predators (25-21-1) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (21-20-5) - 7:00 ET on NBCSN
San Jose Sharks (18-22-5) vs. Las Vegas Golden Knights (32-11-2) - 9:30 ET on NBCSN
Premier League
(50 pts) Tottenham vs. (36 pts) Southampton - 1:00 PM ET on Peacock
(44 pts) Aston Villa vs. (74 pts) Manchester City - 3:15 PM ET on NBCSN

TRIVIA ANSWER
B. When Curry was drafted seventh overall, a total of 5 GM’s had selected other players. Minnesota passed on Curry twice, selecting Ricky Rubio and Johnny Flynn.

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