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Today's word count: 1,326 words (5 minutes)
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
A California bill that would allow college athletes to accept endorsement money moved one step closer to becoming law last night when it cleared the State Assembly by a vote of 72-0.
Why it matters: This bill would allow college athletes in California to profit from their name, image and likeness — whether that's basketball stars signing shoe deals or golfers advertising swing lessons.
The opposition: Naturally, the NCAA has come out in strong opposition of the bill.
The final word, via the bill's sponsor, Sen. Nancy Skinner:
"To me, this is fundamental fairness. California law basically gives each of us the right that no one can use my name, market my name or make money off of my name, or my photo, without my permission, or without sharing that revenue with me. The only people in the entire state of California for whom that is the case are student-athletes."
Saints 30, Texans 28: The insane ending to this game completely made up for whatever the heck Packers-Bears was last Thursday. For the first time in MNF history, the lead changed more than once in the final minute of the 4th quarter.
Raiders 24, Broncos 16: The Raiders responded to a tumultuous week by scoring on a 10-play drive to open the game — and they never surrendered the lead, handing the "L" to Vic Fangio and Joe Flacco in their Broncos debuts.
Team USA beat Brazil 89-73 yesterday to earn a top seed for the quarterfinals. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
8 teams remain in the FIBA World Cup, with quarterfinal action set to take place today (the first game is already in progress) and tomorrow.
David Ortiz threw out the first pitch during the Red Sox game last night, his first appearance at Fenway Park since nearly being killed in a shooting in June.
"I want to thank God for giving me a second opportunity in my life to be here with all of you. I want to thank the Red Sox, my real family. They always have been there. They were the first ones there supporting me."
P.S. ... In other MLB news, the Astros beat the A's 15-0 yesterday — one day after beating the Mariners 21-1. They also became the first team in MLB history to hit 6 HR in the first 2 innings of a game (Yordan Alvarez hit an absolute moonshot).
Photo: Duane Burleson/Getty Images
Army's football program has slightly loosened its academic requirements and begun relying more heavily on its prep school, where players can spend a year getting acclimated to the U.S. Military Academy's unique atmosphere.
Why it matters: By taking chances on kids who would have previously been passed over, Army has been able to offset some of the disadvantages it faces in trying to compete in D-I (post-grad military duty, no redshirts, etc.) and become far more competitive.
Photo: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images
ESPN will debut the 133rd installment in the Emmy award-winning "30 for 30" series tonight with the highly-anticipated "Rodman: For Better or Worse."
Quick review: This is one of the most introspective 30 for 30's I've seen (and I think I've seen them all). While director Tom Kapostasy spends a fair amount of time on Dennis Rodman, the basketball player, the film is firmly focused on Dennis Rodman, the human being.
From the director:
"Many of us remember the counterculture persona Dennis created, but explanations for his behavior were, and still are, often reduced to the idea that 'he's just crazy'. ... But when you begin to piece together individual events of his life and the psychology that under-pins them, a much more complex and nuanced picture emerges. That is the story we wanted to tell."
30 years ago today, Eric Dickerson became the fastest player in NFL history to reach 10,000 career rushing yards — reaching the milestone in just 91 games. His record still stands today.
Fastest to 10,000 rushing yards:
Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Steve Smith's incredible batting performances have guaranteed that Australia will beat England in the 2019 Ashes, a 137-year-old series between the two countries.
By the numbers: Through 4 matches, Smith has single-handedly scored 29% of Australia's runs despite missing 1.5 matches with a concussion. His batting average is the 3rd-highest in series history, behind only Don Bradman (the Babe Ruth of cricket) and himself.
The intrigue, per WSJ (subscription):
Go deeper: Steve Smith Ashes highlights (YouTube)
Braves CF Ronald Acuna Jr. (38 HR, 34 SB) has a chance to become just the 5th player in MLB history to join the 40-40 club.
Answer at the bottom.
AT&T launched multiple "5G experiences" for fans during the Cowboys' home opener on Sunday, including an augmented reality experience called "Pose with the Pros."
How it works:
Read this. Awesome interview.
See you tomorrow,
Kendall "Big Papi forever" Baker
Trivia answer: Alfonso Soriano (Nationals, 2006) ... For reference, the other 3 members are Alex Rodriguez (Mariners, 1998), Barry Bonds (Giants, 1996) and Jose Canseco (A's, 1988)