👋 Good morning!
Today's word count: 1,361 (~5 mins)
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The average child today spends less than three years playing a sport and quits by age 11, according to a new survey of sports parents conducted by the Aspen Institute and Utah State University.
The money problem: According to the survey, three of the main reasons kids quit sports are (1) a lack of fun, (2) bad coaches and (3) financial pressure. It's that third reason — financial pressure — that I'd like to focus on this morning.
"They may be holding back on vacation or on a car, but they will make certain that Susie goes to the cheerleading competition in Orlando and Johnny gets to his Little League tournament in Georgia."— Mary Helen Sprecher, sports journalist, to NYT
Meanwhile, low-income families are being priced out, resulting in their children losing not only an opportunity to excel at a sport but also the chance to exercise and make friends.
"Everyone thinks from the Olympic medal count, we have the best youth sports system in the world. But when you look at some of the sports, these are things parents pay for."
"If we're really looking at being a more inclusive and healthier society, we should probably get these kids playing together more out on the field — everybody, not just certain populations that can afford it."— Lisa Delpy Neirotti, sports management professor at George Washington University, via WashPost
My thought bubble: Youth sports in America is becoming a story of the haves and the have-nots. I don't know about you, but I absolutely hate it.
Go deeper: The price of youth sports (HBO Real Sports segment)
Bryant-Denny Stadium, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
College football attendance dipped to its lowest mark in 22 years last season, with every Power 5 conference other than the ACC experiencing a decline.
Driving the news: This alarming development is driven by numerous factors, many of which impact society on a macro-level and are out of a university's control (i.e. technology and consumption habits).
What they're saying:
"I went to a Disney seminar one time and they said, 'What do you think is the goal that we aspire for Disney?' You sit there and scratch your head and you think, 'To make people happy?' They told us no — it was to get you to come back to your next visit. That's really what we have to be motivated by ... That's what's driving a lot of us."— Kenny Mossman, Oklahoma's senior associate athletics director, to The Athletic
Go deeper: Attendance woes were inevitable
The 2019 Pan American Games are winding down in Lima, Peru. As you may have (not) noticed, coverage in the U.S. and Canada has been almost nonexistent.
⚾️ MLB: The Yankees have hit 32 HRs in Baltimore this season, the most by any team at a visiting ballpark in MLB history. ... The Orioles also became the first team to allow multiple HRs in 10 straight games — just days after becoming the first team to hit multiple HRs in 10 straight games. The balls definitely aren't juiced, though.
🏈 NFL: Entering training camp, there were 18 NFL QBs from the state of Texas (Barrett, Brees, Carr, Dalton, Daniel, Foles, Gilbert, Griffin III, Keenum, Luck, Mahomes, Mayfield, McCoy, Murray, Stafford, Stidham, Tannehill, Webb). California was second with eight.
🏀 NBA: Notre Dame women's basketball assistant Niele Ivey is joining the Memphis Grizzlies' staff, making her the NBA's ninth active female assistant coach. Remember: It was only five years ago that Becky Hammon broke the barrier and became the first full-time female coach.
42-year-old Vince Carter will reportedly sign a one-year contract to return to the Atlanta Hawks for his record 22nd season, passing Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Willis and Robert Parish, per ESPN.
The big picture: To put Carter's longevity into perspective, check out some of the players who were drafted alongside him in 1998...
Some random internet person — or should I say legend — made an interactive map of every major, minor and independent baseball stadium.
13 years ago today, 30-year-old Tiger Woods won the Buick Invitational to become the seventh — and youngest — member of the PGA Tour's 50-win club.
Go deeper: Tiger is closing in on Snead's record (NYT)
Five guards in NBA history have won the Defensive Player of the Year award, but it's been over 20 years since it last happened (1995–96).
Answer at the bottom.
At the 2019 CrossFit Games this past weekend, defending champions Mat Fraser of the U.S. and Tia-Clair Toomey of Australia established themselves as the "Fittest on Earth" once again — and took home $300,000 each.
How it works: The Games are operated by CrossFit, which was founded in 2000 and now has over 15,000 affiliated gyms worldwide. Athletes qualify by becoming national champions or winning regional events.
See you tomorrow,
Kendall "Raef LaFrentz!" Baker
Trivia answer: Gary Payton