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Happy Friday. Think of this newsletter as an offramp from the workweek into the weekend. Make sure to take it slow, check our grammar carefully, and let us know what you’d like to see more or less of - specific sports, detailed analysis, etc.
In today's Sprint:
  • 🏀  Migrating south
  • 🏎 ️ Daytona
  • ⚽ ️ Neymar out
Trivia: Which NASCAR driver has the most wins in the Daytona 500?
  1. Cale Yarborough
  2. Richard Petty
  3. Jeff Gordon
  4. Jimmie Johnson

AROUND THE LEAGUES
O Canada
Due to Canadian-US border protocols, the struggling Toronto Raptors are relocating to Tampa Bay for the rest of the year. At least they’re a little bit original and not moving to Miami.
Come to think about it, this may be just the spark the Raptors need. Tampa has been the center of title runs in every major sport since Tom Brady arrived. The Lightning won the Stanley Cup, the Bucs won the Super Bowl, and the Rays made it to the World Series...
If the Tampa magic is going to take effect, it needs to soon:
(13-11) Boston Celtics 120 vs. (12-14) Toronto Raptors 106
  • Boston was on fire from three, shooting 20-39 as a team, and Semi Ojeleye (24 pts, 6 reb) played his best game as a pro.
(14-10) Portland Trail Blazers 118 vs. (18-8) Philadelphia 76ers 114
  • Damian Lillard (30 pts, 7 ast) and Joel Embiid (35 pts, 9 reb) dueled all night, with Lillard’s Blazers snatching the win late in the fourth quarter.
Weekend games
Utah Jazz (20-5) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (16-9) - Fri. 9:00 ET
Golden State Warriors (13-12) vs. Brooklyn Nets (15-12) - Sat. 8:30 ET on ABC
LA Lakers (20-6) vs. Denver Nuggets (13-11) - Sun. 10:00 ET on ESPN
NCAAM
(13-7) Minnesota 71 vs. (13-8) #24 Purdue 68
  • Marcus Carr (19 pts, 5 reb, 4 ast) led the Golden Gophers on a late run to beat Trevion Williams (24 pts, 10 reb) and Purdue.
Weekend games
#5 Villanova (13-2) vs. #19 Creighton (15-5) - Sat. 5:00 ET on FOX
North Carolina (12-6) vs. #9 Virginia (14-3) - Sat. 6:00 ET ESPN
#3 Michigan (13-1) vs. #21 Wisconsin (15-6) - Sun. 1:00 ET on CBS
NHL
(7-5-3) Columbus Blue Jackets 6 vs. (6-5-4) Chicago Blackhawks 5
  • It’s been a bizarre week for the Blue Jackets. On Tuesday, veteran center Mikko Koivu retired in the middle of the season. Then, yesterday, the squad rode a four-goal third period to come from behind against a hot Blackhawks team.
(8-3-0) Carolina Hurricanes 5 vs. (5-3-3) Dallas Stars 3
  • Sebastian Aho (1 goal, 1 assist) helped the Canes dominate the Stars in the third period.
Weekend Watch
Premier League
(43 pts) Leicester City vs. (40 pts) Liverpool - Sat. 7:30 AM ET on NBCSN
(50 pts) Manchester City vs. (36 pts) Tottenham - Sat. 12:30 PM ET on NBC
Australian Open
Women’s:
#1 Barth vs. #29 Alexandrova - Fri. 7:00 ET
#10 S. Williams vs. #7 Sabalenka - Sat. 7:00 ET
Men’s:
#4 Medvedev vs. #28 Krajinovic - Fri. 7:00 ET
#2 Nadal vs. Norrie - Fri. 7:00 ET

NASCAR
Raise Hell, Praise Dale
The green flag at the Daytona 500 will wave on Sunday at 2:30 ET to kick off the biggest race in NASCAR. This race marks 20 years since the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt, who lost his life in a crash on the final lap in 2001.
The legend: Earnhardt was one of the best drivers Nascar has ever seen.
  • 76 Cup Series wins - 8th all time
  • 7 Championships - T-most all time
  • 34 wins at Daytona, including the 1998 Daytona 500
His legacy: "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe."
This verse was taped to the instrument panel inside Dale’s car when he crashed. A month later, the Daytona International Speedway dedicated a seating section ‘The Earnhardt Tower.’
The accident brought needed safety improvements and protocol to the sport, saving the lives of future NASCAR drivers.

WATER COOLER TALK
  • ⚽  PSG superstar Neymar injured his adductor muscle and will miss four weeks, meaning he’ll be unavailable for PSG’s clash against Barcelona in the Champions League.
  • 🎾  The Australian Open is giving fans the boot in anticipation of a state-wide lockdown. This isn’t the only buzz generated by fans. A rowdy spectator was ejected for cursing at Rafa Nadal.
  • 🏈  Matthew Stafford played all 16 regular-season games in 2020, despite several injuries, including a torn UCL in his left elbow held together with athletic tape.
  • ⛳  Patrick Cantlay (-10) leads the Pebble Beach AT&T Pro-Am by two strokes after the first day.
  • 📺  Disney announced that ESPN+ has 12.1M subscribers. The real question? How many of those subscriptions were driven by the bundle package with Hulu and Disney+. By itself, Disney+ boasts 94.9M subs after just 14 months.

TRIVIA ANSWER
B. Richard Petty, the most awarded driver in NASCAR history, won the Daytona 500 seven times.