👋 Good morning! Anthony Fauci believes American sports can return sooner than some are expecting, but only if teams are quarantined and stadiums are empty.
Fauci: "People say, 'Well you can't play without spectators.' Well, I think you'd probably get enough buy-in from people who are dying to see a baseball game. Particularly me. I'm living in Washington. We have the world champion Washington Nationals. You know, I want to see them play again."
Today's word count: 2,091 (8 minutes).
The University of Cincinnati's soccer field. Courtesy: Katie Kapusta/Spectrum News 1 Cincy
With athletic departments reeling from the coronavirus fallout and bracing for a shortened — or even canceled — college football season, schools are taking drastic measures to protect themselves financially.
What they're saying: "I think now that Cincinnati just did it, watch the next month. They cleared the way for other people to do it. Cincinnati puts it on a different level," one FBS athletic director told Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel.
The big picture: In a letter sent to NCAA president Mark Emmert and obtained by AP, commissioners of the AAC, Mountain West, MAC, Sun Belt and Conference USA (aka the "Group of Five") asked the NCAA to relax certain requirements for four years to provide "short-term relief."
80% of FBS athletic budgets are made up of football revenue, so if the upcoming season is canceled — or negatively impacted in any way — it would be disastrous.
Photo: Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
16-year-old Emoni Bates, arguably the best high school prospect since LeBron James, won the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award yesterday.
Why it matters: He's the first sophomore to ever win the award.
What they're saying: With his length and all-around game, Bates could become "point center of a sort the league has never quite seen before," writes The Athletic's Jared Weiss (subscription).
What to watch: Bates plans to be the first high schooler in nearly two decades to make the leap to the NBA if the one-and-done rule is rescinded prior to the 2022 draft, as expected.
We all know that no two ballparks are alike, but do we know why? Time for a quick history lesson, courtesy of Axios' Jeff Tracy.
The early days: It was 1862 and Brooklyn businessman Bill Cammeyer's Union Grounds skating rink wasn't making money, so as winter turned to spring, he turned it into baseball field.
The Jewel Box era: From 1895 to 1923, 15 new ballparks sprung up in the U.S., all with the goal of being more permanent fixtures than the wooden stadiums of the past.
The multi-use era: In the 1950s, Americans began moving to the suburbs, and their stadiums — intended for both baseball and football — would soon join them there.
The modern era: Baltimore's Orioles Park at Camden Yards saved the day, all thanks to the Colts moving to Indianapolis.
🎥 Go deeper: Kudos to MLB for the video that served as our inspiration.
Warriors reporter Ethan Strauss has a new book out called "The Victory Machine: The Making and Unmaking of the Warriors Dynasty," which chronicles their boom-then-bust years through the 2010s.
KB: What person — or moment — played a bigger role in this dynasty than people might realize?
"The wise Ron Adams — defensive guru, assistant coach, someone who's been coaching since the Lyndon Johnson administration — had a huge hand in the Warriors' revolutionary defensive strategy.
"His decision to have Andrew Bogut 'guard' Tony Allen in that 2015 series against the Grizzlies might have changed the course of basketball. The Warriors perhaps flame out if not for that suggestion."
KB: What person — or moment — played a smaller role than people might think?
"Draymond fighting with KD was a much smaller deal than it's thought to be. I think Kevin was gone, and that's why Draymond went off on him. So the idea that their on-court fight is why Kevin left — I just don't think that's the case."
KB: Take us inside the book. Is this a story about X's and O's basketball, or a story about what happens behind the scenes?
"It's both, but certainly the behind-the-scenes stuff is where you can take people on a little bit of a different journey than what they're used to. My concern sometimes is that it's a little too dark for what they might want.
"The NBA is often sold as 'fun, fun, fun,' but the truth is that the players survive a Darwinian crucible to get to the very top, there's a ton of pressure, they all know how much money their teammates are making as they try to form this team. To me, the off-court elements almost make the success of the on-court product miraculous sometimes."
KB: How will the Warriors' dynasty be remembered?
"It should be remembered as the greatest team ever — the 2017 team, specifically. But it probably won't be remembered that way.
"Some of that speaks to the team, but it also speaks to the conditions of our modern society where we seem more inclined to criticize failure (mocking blowing a 3-1 lead) than celebrate success (coming back from 3-1 down). It seems like the current trends are anti-celebration, but we'll see, maybe there will be nostalgia in the future."
Seven years ago today, two bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring 264. A fourth victim, MIT police officer Sean Collier, was murdered by the perpetrators in the ensuing manhunt.
Why it matters: The terrorists responsible for this act of cowardice hoped to stoke fear and inflict damage; instead, they brought a country together in support of a city and its most beloved event.
History of the race: The first Boston Marathon took place in 1897, inspired by the marathon at the first modern Olympics one year earlier.
What they're saying: Rebekah Gregory was watching near the finish line with her boyfriend and 5-year-old son when the bombs went off.
"This has made me look at life from a whole different perspective. I wake up just grateful to be alive and to have one more moment with my husband and our beautiful children. You count your blessings or you count your problems."
The bottom line: Out of the ashes of tragedy sprung hope and unity, and no one summed up Boston's resiliency quite like one of its favorite sons, David Ortiz: "This is our f--king city!" Six months later, the Red Sox won the World Series.
⚾️ Kenny Lofton, welcome to our Hall of Pretty Damn Good Players (Neil Paine, FiveThirtyEight)
"Despite not really being viewed as a true franchise cornerstone by the Indians ... Lofton was a driving force behind an iconic team that ranks as one of the best ever not to win a World Series. With six All-Star nods in the decade, he was also one of the biggest stars of the '90s."
🏀 Samford rolls the dice on high school coach Bucky McMillan — and hopes it struck gold (Pat Forde, SI)
"The 36-year-old had been the head coach for 12 years at Mountain Brook High School ... Before that he coached the Mountain Brook junior varsity team at age 22, and as a teenager he led a couple of local AAU teams. That's hardly the tried-and-true path to a Division I head-coaching job."
💨 For runners, is 15 feet the new 6 feet? (Gretchen Reynolds, NYT)
"It may be a good idea to give one another more than six feet of space while exercising outside during the current coronavirus pandemic, according to a compelling new study that looked at how air flows around bodies in motion."
Fencer Alexandra Ndolo trains with a self-made puppet in her apartment in Cologne, Germany.
If Joe Burrow goes first overall in next Thursday's NFL draft, he will become just the second player this century to win the Heisman Trophy, a national championship and be the No. 1 pick in the same year.
Answer at the bottom.
Austin D. (Winter Springs, Florida) writes:
"When I was young, my aunt promised to take me to Europe if/when I graduated college. Graduate I did (Sports Management, NYU) and off the Europe we went. The twist? It was during the 2018 World Cup. The icing on the cake? I ended up in Paris, France the day of the final.
"Pandemonium ensued as I ran around Champs-Elysees with my Canon and snapped all the celebration in its rawest form. Among the memories of seeing every phone booth and newspaper climbed by 10+ Parisians, I snapped my favorite photo of all time (see above).
"This occurred in a timeline not too far off from the Yellow Vest riots. While those events portrayed France as a country divided, I look back at this moment and this photo as proof of the unification powers that sports hold.
"This was unbridled celebration and pride in ones country. Everyone was equal — and everyone was a fellow countryman. If only for that night..."
✍️ Submit your story: What's your fondest sports memory? Could be anything! Reply to this email letting me know. We'll be telling your stories all month.
Kendall "Move aside, pizza rat" Baker
Trivia answer: Cam Newton (2011)