Good morning. If you were wondering what Southern Cal had to drop to get Lincoln Riley onboard, the answer is a lot (rumors from Sooner Insider)…
USC buying both his homes in Norman (who has two homes in Norman?) for $500k over asking price
USC buying him a $6 million home in LA
Unlimited use of the team’s private jet for him and his family
He’s not scared of the SEC, he just got the best coaching deal in college football history.
-- Nathan & Blake
In today's Sprint:
⚽️ Messi’s new record.
⛳️ Saudi golf.
🏈 WFT FTW.
Trivia:Who won the 2021 Saudi International Golf Tournament?
*Answer at the bottom
WATER COOLER TALK
🏈 In the year of the never-ending coaching carousel, LSU signed Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.
According to The Athletic, the deal is for at least 10 years and $100 million. That'd make Kelly the highest-paid coach in college football, potentially behind Lincoln Riley depending on the length of Riley's deal.
🏈 Spencer Rattler, the preseason Heisman favorite, is transferring from Oklahoma. Joining him in the transfer portal, OU’s #1 wide receiver Jadon Haselwood.
⚽️ Leo Messi won his record seventh Ballon D’Or, given to the best soccer player in the world for that year. He's won seven of the last 13.
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski (who would've won in 2020 had the award not been canceled) came in second, trailing Messi in votes 580-613.
FC Barcelona star attacking midfielder Alexia Putellas won the women's Ballon d'Or award, becoming the first Spaniard to win the award since 1960.
⚾️ MLB contracts may be the only ones crazier than college football coaches. A few more hit last night:
Shortstop Corey Seager signed a 10-year, $325 million deal with the Texas Rangers who have dropped half a billy in the last two days on their middle infield.
Reigning Cy Young winner Robbie Ray is going to the Seattle Mariners on a 5-year, $115 million deal.
Max Scherzer's contract with the Mets was confirmed. It has the highest average annual value in MLB history at over $43 million.
A Lesson in Negotiation
The 2022 Saudi International released its list of player commitments, and it’s a who’s who in the golf world:
And 22 others
The announcement comes as a surprise as the PGA denied all requested waivers for golfers to play in the event and threatened to fine those who do.
What’s the beef? In the past, the PGA granted waivers to its members for the first three Saudi Internationals... when it was a European Tour event.
Then in 2020 the PGA and European Tours announced a strategic alliance, removing the event from the European Tour schedule. The move was viewed as a joint effort to stymie rival tours.
It has not worked. LIV Golf Investments, an investment arm of the Saudi Arabian government, poured $200 million into the Asian Tour and tapped PGA legend Greg Norman to lead the effort.
Norman said: "This is only the beginning. LIV Golf Investments has secured a major capital commitment that will be used to create additive new opportunities across worldwide professional golf."
Looking ahead:The 2022 Saudi International will be part of the Asian Tour, a planned 10-event series spreading across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
Even worse for the PGA, the Saudi International takes place the same weekend as the popular Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
The bottom line: Players are joining because of massive appearance fees (up to $3 million in 2021, said to be higher for the 2022 version).
This is a fundamental shift in golf from earnings based on tournament finish to guaranteed paydays, and something players such as Norman and Mickelson have been pushing for decades. The move may force the PGA to adopt a similar hybrid model.
The Real Winners
(5-6) Washington Football Team 17 vs. (3-8) Seattle Seahawks 15
The game featured 13 punts and three turnovers with Washington's Antonio Gibson (146 total yards) the only offensive player to do much.
For the Seahawks, Russell Wilson (247 yards, 2 TDs) doesn't look right after returning from a hand injury two weeks ago.
The real winner from this game? The NY Jets, who own Seattle's 2022 first-round pick thanks to the Jamal Adams robbery (sorry, we mean trade). That pick would currently be 5th.
(10-10) Denver Nuggets 120 vs. (13-8) Miami Heat 111
Stat:Steph Curry and Kevin Durant have both played in 19 games this season and scored 544 total points.
It’d be crazy if they ever played on the same team...
Quote:“Playing the Tour one day - never full time, ever again - but pick and choose, just like Mr. Hogan did… a few events a year. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. I understand it and I accept it.”
-- Tiger Woods talking to Sports Illustrated on his golfing future.
Highlight:The Houston Rockets (4-16) may be the worst team in the NBA, but it seems like a great work environment.