👋 Good morning! Yesterday, I asked you to name the second-most random football player you could think of. Got a ton of great responses, but my two favorites were Reuben Droughns and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Perfect level of randomness.
Today's word count: 1,229 words (5 minutes)
Photo: Paul Buck/AFP via Getty Images
According to David Kessler, co-author of "On Grief and Grieving," sadness over the death of a public figure is often so strong because it is permitted.
Why it matters: There's something profound about collective grief. When someone who knew Kobe speaks, it reverberates, because we felt like we knew him, too.
What they're saying: During a tribute on TNT last night, Shaquille O'Neal got emotional about losing his "little brother."
The bottom line: Reach out more. Be more emotionally intimate. Say those things you've always wanted to say.
ICYMI: More on Kobe...
Photo: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
Penn National Gaming has agreed to buy a 36% stake in Barstool Sports for $163 million — a deal that values the company at $450 million.
Why it matters: With the gaming industry rushing to capitalize on the coming online sports betting boom, this deal joins an operator of 41 gambling properties in 19 states with a sports and lifestyle brand focused on young men.
What they're saying: "It's a stunning deal for the digital media industry, coming as many publishers are retrenching after a round of ultimately disappointing Facebook-fueled optimism and investment," writes Vox's Peter Kafka.
Watch: Barstool founder Dave Portnoy announced the deal on Twitter.
Coming up ... I'll go deeper on this tomorrow. Lots to discuss.
Men: Rafael Nadal was knocked out earlier this morning by 26-year-old Austrian Dominic Thiem, who will face 22-year-old German Alexander Zverev in Friday's semifinal.
Women: Simona Halep (above) needed just 53 minutes to defeat Anett Kontaveit 6-1, 6-1 and will play fellow two-time Grand Slam winner Garbiñe Muguruza in tonight's semifinal (11:30pm ET).
Photo: Rich Graessle/PPI/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
The forever cycle of Chiefs fandom has been broken (Rany Jazayerli, The Ringer)
"Kansas City is about to play in the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years. This is more than just a breakthrough for a long-suffering franchise. It's the culmination of a journey that defines an entire fan base."
Who the hell is Raheem Mostert? (Tyler Dunne, B/R)
"For the longest time, Mostert confided the details of his upbringing only to the tightest of tight inner circles. Now, he feels a duty to spread the word. He knows his story — especially right now, right when people are discovering who he is — can inspire."
The most VIP Super Bowl weekend costs $1.5M, includes butler (Kelli Kennedy, AP)
"[N]o place caters to the rich and famous quite like glitzy Miami. ... One package includes a 4-day cruise around the Caribbean on a private yacht after the game for $720,000."
The most balanced team in the Super Bowl isn't the favorite (Michael Salfino, FiveThirtyEight)
"One team competing this weekend in Super Bowl LIV has proven all season that it is one of the most dominant, well-balanced squads in NFL history. It's the team widely expected to lose."
Tales from Patrick Mahomes' high school no-hitter (Andy McCullough, The Athletic)
"He was the first pitcher I've ever faced throwing 95 mph. It had me kind of shaking in the back of the box. I'm used to maybe playing catch with guys who throw that hard, but not trying to put a bat on it."
🎥 Watch: "Loretta" (Google Super Bowl commercial)
Babe Ruth (left) and Ty Cobb at the Polo Grounds in 1920. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images
84 years ago today, the Baseball Hall of Fame elected its first five members: Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson and Christy Matthewson.
Why it mattered: When the news was broadcast to the world in the Sunday papers four days later, a new national dialogue was born and the words "Hall of Famer" truly came to life.
More inaugural classes:
Tokushōryū Makoto, a virtually unknown wrestler from Nara, Japan, just became the lowest-ranked competitor in 20 years to win the "Emperor's Cup," which is basically the Super Bowl of sumo.
🎥 Watch: Full fight (Twitter)
Question: Which of the following artists is not scheduled to perform during this year's Super Bowl festivities?
Answer at the bottom.
Kendall "Welcome back Vic" Baker
Trivia answer: Ariana Grande