Good morning.In case the NBA and NHL playoffs weren’t enough, here’s a friendly reminder less than 100 days separate us and college football.
In today's Sprint:
🚴 Chased by chainsaws.
🥍 Lacrosse goes in on NFTs.
🏀 NY is officially back.
Trivia:Who was the last NFL MVP who played defense?
WATER COOLER TALK
⚽ After the Super League fiasco and failing to win La Liga, Zinedine Zidane resigned as Real Madrid manager. He goes out with a hat trick of Champions League trophies from 2016-2018.
🚴♂️ Two men with chainsaws ran beside Giro d’Italia leader Egan Bernal. Naturally, this got Egan peddling even faster as he extended his lead to 2 minutes 24 seconds.
⛳️ Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady will team up against young guns Bryson DeChambeau and Aaron Rodgers in “The Match” on July 6th in Big Sky, Montana. “Two old guys against the young bucks,” according to Brady.
⛳️ Brady expertly trolled Rodgers and Bryson, who was subtweeted by Brooks Koepka, who was tweeted at by Bryson. Mickelson helpfully chipped in to remind everyone he’s “the CURRENT PGA champ.” A spectacular day for golf on social media.
A new spin on NFTs: The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) auctioned one “Owner’s Pass” for each of its eight teams. Starting bid was $10k and the winner got a slew of interesting rewards including season tickets, a call with the PLL’s co-founders, and a championship ring (if your team wins!).
Co-founder Paul Rabil said this about the league:
“In ‘93, the UFC held its first event. Over the next 28 years they grinded, invested, innovated, and took a company from $2M to now worth $10B. Ready for the PLL to begin our third year.”
Big plans for the PLL, and I love it.
Another sports media acquisition? The New York Times may expand outside of its main vertical, cooking, and get into sports. The publication is “in talks” to acquire The Athletic, which has 1.2 million paying subscribers and is valued around $500 million.
The NFL gets its groove back: Last year the NFL reduced its salary cap by 8%. It was the first reduction in 10+ years.
Now, with fans expected to pack stadiums in the fall and new TV rights deals in place, the NFL upped the salary cap by 12.3% to $208.2 million.
AROUND THE LEAGUES
#4 NY Knicks101vs. #5 Atlanta Hawks 92
After an abysmal first half that saw them down 13, the Knicks stormed back behind Derrick Rose (26 pts, 4 ast). Madison Square Garden was rocking.
#1 Philadelphia 76ers 120vs. #8 Washington Wizards 95
We nearly saw a Malace at the Palace part 2 after a fan threw popcorn onto Russell Westbrook as he left the game with an ankle injury.
76ers lead 2-0.
#1 Utah Jazz141vs. #8 Memphis Grizzlies 129
Ja Morant (47 pts, 7 ast) brought the Grizz within 4, but the Jazz pulled away late in the 4th quarter.
ICYMI: Ja is convinced he can dunk on anyone, even 7'2" Rudy Gobert who was having none of this poster attempt.
Europa League - Final
Villarreal1vs. Manchester United 1 - PKs
Both teams scored 10 straight PKs, setting up an epic keeper showdown. Villarreal’s Rulli won by blasting the ball past Man U’s de Gea and then stopping de Gea’s attempt a moment later.
Villarreal, the 7th-place team in La Liga and the 181st largest city in Spain, earned a Champions League berth next year with the W.
(27-22) Houston Astros 5 vs. (30-19) LA Dodgers 2
Trevor Bauer, who feuded with the Astros well before their sign-stealing days, wasn’t pleased after he allowed home runs to Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa.
Tampa Bay Lightning 4 vs. Florida Panthers 0
After dropping the series to the defending champs, the Panthers are still the NHL’s Cleveland Browns; the franchise hasn’t won a playoff series since 1996.
Minnesota Wild 2 vs. Vegas Golden Knights 0
Wild winger Marcus Faligno put Zach Whitehead through the glass with a cross-check as Minnesota evened the series 3-3.
NY Islanders 5vs. Pittsburgh Penguins 3
The Islanders are headed to their third straight second round appearance after knocking off Sydney Crosby and the Penguins.
Stat:The cheapest ticket for the LA Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns game 3 is $329. The cheapest for game 3 of LA Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks? $30.
Quote:“Because I can.”
- Simone Biles on why she completes skills that don’t receive difficulty scoring because... they're too dangerous for the other gymnasts to try.
Highlight:Ole Miss’ Justin Bench hustled around the bases for an inside-the-park home run. It’s only the second in SEC tournament history.
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