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- Blake
In today's Sprint:
🏈  Texans in Arizona
⚽  Trolls
🏂🏿  Kamara hits the slopes
Trivia: The addition of JJ Watt will likely boost Cardinals’ HC Kliff Kingsbury’s win percentage (.422). Which active head coach has the highest regular-season win percentage?
  1. Kevin Stefanski
  2. Bill Belichik
  3. Matt LeFleur
  4. Andy Reid

NFL
Reunited and It Feels So Good
The rumor mill caught fire Monday morning when a JJ Watt Peloton account announced his final three teams - Green Bay, Cleveland, and Buffalo.
Only one problem. Unlike the rest of quarantine America, JJ doesn’t own a Peloton.
He then set the record straight, shocking the NFL world by joining the Arizona Cardinals on a 2-year deal.
Finish what we started: Two weeks ago, in a bit of friendly tampering, former Texans teammate Deandre Hopkins posted a photo of him and JJ on Instagram with the caption “Let’s finish what we started.”
Now, two of the best players in Texans’ history reunite in Arizona.
Best in the West: The NFC West is shaping up to be the toughest division in football next year. Let's dig in.
  • Arizona Cardinals: Watt alongside Chandler Jones and Budda Baker gives Arizona the defense to compliment an offense that showed signs of greatness early last season.
  • San Francisco 49ers: If injuries are avoided, this is one of the best teams in the league built around a dominant run game, George Kittle, and Nick Bosa.
  • Los Angeles Rams: Matthew Stafford bolsters Sean McVay’s passing attack while the league’s scariest defense, led by Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, will keep opponents in check.
  • Seattle Seahawks: If Russell Wilson is convinced to stick around, he and DK Metcalf will be a touchdown-scoring machine.

SOCCER
Barcagate
Catalan police raided FC Barcelona offices, arresting the club’s former President Josep Bartomeu, current CEO, and two other high-ranking officials.
Even wilder?
The club is accused of trolling its own players, including superstars Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique, on social media.
Professional trolls
Reportedly, Barcelona executives hired I3 Ventures, a social media marketing agency, to influence opinion on social media with two objectives:
  1. Protect the reputation of President Josep Bartomeu and his board
  2. Attack the image of certain players and others associated with the club
I3 Ventures received €1M per year since 2017 to run numerous troll accounts. Other than Messi and Pique, these accounts also targeted club legends Xavi, Carles Puyol, and Pep Guardiola.
Let's get legal: While technically hiring I3 Ventures was legal, deliberately divvying up the contract into small chunks to avoid suspicion and external audit checks, was not.
The police could bring charges of falsifying accounting and misuse of club funds.
Zoom out: Barcelona is a case study in destroying club-player relationships.
Messi joined the club when he was just 13, made his top flight debut at 16 in 2004, and won piles of trophies and awards since.
Now, after a few years of mismanagement, he’s expected to leave the club when his contract expires in June. Two huge suitors, PSG and Manchester City, are setting the stage to sign the Argentinian.

TUESDAY WATCHLIST
NBA
LA Clippers (24-12) vs. Boston Celtics (17-17) - 7:30 ET on TNT
LA Lakers (24-11) vs. Phoenix Suns (22-11) - 10:00 ET on TNT
NCAAM
#3 Baylor (18-1) vs. #6 West Virginia (17-6) - 5:00 ET on ESPN
#2 Michigan (18-1) vs. #4 Illinois (18-6) - 7:00 ET on ESPN
NHL
Philadelphia Flyers (11-4-3) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (11-8-1) - 7:00 ET on NBCSN
Carolina Hurricanes (14-6-1) vs. Nashville Predators (10-11-0) - 8:00 ET on ESPN+
Premier League
(62 pts) Manchester City vs. (34 pts) Wolves - 3:00 ET on NBCSN

WATER COOLER TALK
⚾️  Thanks to a Spring Training rule, the Red Sox snuck out of a first inning, bases loaded jam without throwing another pitch.
🏈  Reigning NFL Comeback Player of the Year Alex Smith will likely be released by the Washington Football Team. Wherever he plays next is getting one of the toughest guys in the league.
🏈  Alabama, plus the rest of the SEC, plans to pack its stadium to capacity in the fall.
🏀  The Atlanta Hawks let go of head coach Lloyd Pierce after a disappointing 14-20 start to the season. Nate McMillan, longtime assistant and former Pacers lead man, will be the interim head coach.
🏀  #17 Oklahoma State beat #16 Oklahoma for the second time in three days, winning 79-75.
🏂🏿  Alvin “Shaun White” Kamara is living his best life snowboarding in Montana. Remember those crazy balance videos? Yeah, they translated to the slopes.

ANSWER
C. Matt LeFleur has had quite a hot start (26-6) in Green Bay. He and the Packers will try to win the NFC North for the third straight year this fall.
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