The NFL and the team owners got together and decided to enter
a new phase in their relationship - the 17 game regular season is
Now, not even the Cowboys can go 8-8.
What are the players saying?
It’s a mixed bag:
“We really let this happen…” - Adrian Amos
“As a whole this is great but adjustments have to be made.” - Torrey
Ultimately, though, the players agreed to the change when they voted
to ratify the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Per the
agreement, the owners could expand the schedule as soon as a new media
rights deal was agreed to. That happened last week.
The strategy: After missing revenue estimates by
$4 billion in 2020, the NFL decided to aggressively grow the game. The move
from a 16 to 17 game schedule increases revenue in two major ways.
Additional game-related sales from tickets, merch, media rights, etc
Roger Goodell said, “One of the benefits of each team playing 17
regular-season games is the ability for us to continue to grow our game
around the world.” The league mandated
each team play at least one international game between 2022 and 2030.
Zoom out: Between streaming and international
growth, the NFL has made its big bets clear for the next ten years.
Bucking the trend of lower sports viewership during the pandemic, Sweet 16
viewership was up 13% from to 2019. A few possible explanations:
Great matchups and close games
Society returning to a semblance of ‘normalcy’
Most likely, the move to air the Sweet 16 on weekend
primetime - instead of the usual Thursday, Friday slate - was the
biggest factor leading to the improved numbers. The question now? What Elite
8 viewership looked like on a Monday and Tuesday night.
(30-0) #1 Gonzaga 85
vs. (25-8) #6 USC 66
Gonzaga dominated from the tip, crushing a USC team that had just
blown out both Kansas and Oregon.
Referee Bert Smith collapsed
early in the first half. He was in stable condition after the game.
(22-9) #11 UCLA 51 vs.
(23-5) #1 Michigan 49
Johnny Juzang (28 pts, 2 reb) scored 18 of the Bruins’ 27 first half
points and more than half of their total points, helping them become
the second team to go from the First Four to the Final Four.
Fun fact: The Men’s Final Four includes no teams
east of the Mississippi River...for the first time ever.
College Basketball - Women’s Elite 8
For the girls, UConn versus Baylor specifically, the numbers are in and they
are high. Nearly two million tuned in to watch the Huskies beat the
Bears on Monday night.
(25-4) #1 South Carolina 62 vs. (21-9) #6 Texas 34
The Gamecocks kept the Longhorns scoreless over the final 12:30 of
the game to reach the Final Four.
(28-2) #1 Stanford 78
vs. (26-3) #2 Louisville 63
Stanford rode a 30 point fourth quarter to complete the come from
behind win. The Cardinal rule, never give up.
(24-22) Charlotte Hornets 114 vs. (17-29) Washington Wizards 104
Charlotte has now won four of five since losing LaMelo Ball to a
fractured wrist, despite another huge effort from Russel Westbrook
(22 pts, 15 reb, 15 ast) and this massive
(28-18) Denver Nuggets 104 vs. (32-14) Philadelphia 76ers 95
Without MVP candidate Joel Embiid, the 76ers couldn’t handle the
Nuggets new four-headed attack.
(15-8-9) Montreal Canadiens 4 vs. (22-14-1) Edmonton Oilers 0
Montreal secured a much needed win as they prepare for a brutal
stretch, playing 24 games in 42 days to make up for a series of
(17-5-5) Chicago Blackhawks 2 vs. (23-8-3) Carolina Hurricanes 1
The Hurricanes, surging recently, missed the opportunity to jump
into first place in the Central division with a win.
Dallas Mavericks (24-21) vs. Boston Celtics (23-24) - 7:30 ET on ESPN
Milwaukee Bucks (29-17) vs. LA Lakers (30-17) - 10:00 ET on ESPN
LA Kings (13-14-6) vs. Las Vegas Golden Knights (24-8-1) - 10:00 ET on NBCSN
Tennis - Miami Open
Quarterfinals: #2 Naomi Osaka vs. #23 Maria Sakkari - 1:00 PM ET
Quarterfinals: #1 Daniil Medvedev vs. #7 Roberto Bautista Agut - 8:30 ET
WATER COOLER TALK
⚽️ Sergio Aguero, Manchester City’s record goal scorer, is leaving the
club this summer after a decade of highlights, including this 2012 EPL winning
🏈 The 49ers went to Mac Jones’ pro day instead of Justin Fields’
after trading up to the #3 pick. But, after the performance
Fields put on, they may make the other choice come draft night.