👋 Good morning! I want to start telling your sport stories. See the bottom for more details.
Today's word count: 1,921 (7 minutes).
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
In an attempt to skirt federal and state guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic, the UFC plans to hold its April 18 pay-per-view event on tribal land in California, per multiple reports.
The backdrop: The Association of Ringside Physicians has urged the suspension of all combat sports, which could impede the UFC's attempt to hire ringside doctors.
"Any combat sport taking place during this global pandemic places the athletes, officials, and anyone else involved in the event under unnecessary risk of infection .... In addition, combat sports athletes often require medical attention after a bout, and we do not wish to see any additional strain on an already overwhelmed medical system."— Association of Ringside Physicians statement
The bottom line: Even as the rest of the sports world hits pause, White has remained adamant that fights must go on, and appears to have settled for a shutdown casino in a state with the fourth-most confirmed cases of COVID-19.
No matter what happens this year, Mike Trout will go down as one of the greatest players of all time. Still, if there's no season, he could lose his best chance at a career year — and it could ultimately keep him from becoming baseball's new home run king, writes Axios' Jeff Tracy.
What they're saying: "[Trout] is at the golden nexus of an athlete's life when accumulated wisdom (from 1,199 career games and 22,652 pitches seen) intersects with physical peak," writes SI's Tom Verducci.
By the numbers: Trout's power numbers (HR and slugging percentage) have steadily increased through his career, while his strikeouts and stolen bases have gone down.
The big picture: Trout's numbers are hard to project, because he's not human. But Hank Aaron, who began playing at roughly the same age, provides a great comparison, and his 23-season career offers insight into what Trout's future could hold.
The bottom line: Ted Williams lost five prime-adjacent years to World War II and Korea, leaving countless accolades on the cutting room floor, and Ken Griffey, Jr., battled injuries through his 30s, depriving him of a real shot at the HR record.
Consumers are adopting stand-alone broadband services at a much higher rate than just two years ago, and analysts predict that the economic downturn prompted by COVID-19 will accelerate the trend, Axios' Sara Fischer and Kim Hart write.
Between the lines: While cord-cutting has stabilized during the pandemic, pay TV services are still being replaced by over-the-top streaming apps, which require strong broadband connections.
What to watch: Over a decade ago, telecom providers started to bundle their services together to increase average revenue per user. A "double-play" bundle often included internet and pay TV like cable or satellite, while a "triple-play" bundle typically included internet, TV and phone service.
Go deeper: Streaming spikes during coronavirus (Axios)
You thought a pandemic was going to stop Tiger Woods from donning his green jacket and hosting a Champions Dinner during Masters week? Think again.
How it works: The Champions Dinner is a tradition that began at Augusta National in 1952. Only past Masters champions and the club chairman attend.
More past menus:
The Rakuten Monkeys of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (which is Taiwan) will play games in front of 500 robot mannequins dressed up as fans.
🏈 Mike Gundy's pandemic plan is ridiculous (Pat Forde, SI)
"He wants to have his [coaching staff] back to work in the Oklahoma State football facility May 1. Then the players after that. ... This may all come as a bit jarring to the simpletons who run ... the state of Oklahoma, the United States of America and the World Health Organization. Among others. But it's not their fault they lack the foresight of ... Noted Expert Mike Gundy."
😞 Jesus Christ do I miss sports (Drew Magary, Gen Mag)
"Like most fans, I have circadian rhythms that adhere to the traditional sports calendar. The tourney and the Masters and Opening Day mean spring. The NBA Finals mean June. Football and the World Series mean fall. I need these events to come and go so that my body clock recognizes where the f--k I am in spacetime."
🎙 How sports radio hosts became America's grief counselors (Bryan Curtis, The Ringer)
"Longtime broadcasters like Mike Francesa and Paul Finebaum have shifted their shows to reflect the coronavirus pandemic. And they're making their audiences rethink how they see the world."
46 years ago today, Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run, passing Babe Ruth for first on the all-time list.
By the numbers: Legitimate or not, Bonds is indeed the HR king. But the Hammer holds three MLB records regardless.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Jeff writes: With my weekly darts league on hiatus due to the coronavirus, I bought a board and set it up in my Brooklyn apartment to make sure I don't completely lose my form.
How it works: Most leagues have been using Dart Connect for years as a simple way to keep score digitally. But now it's a lifeline, and it helps make darts one of the only sports we can realistically play in the age of the coronavirus.
The big picture: For average Joes like me, a home board and an online scoring system is just a way to keep busy and stay sane while I'm missing my favorite weekly activity. But for pros, it offers something more.
Answer at the bottom.
✍️ Submit your story: What's your fondest sports memory? Maybe it's a moment you shared with your mom or dad. Maybe you witnessed history. Maybe you finally saw your team win the big game. Could be anything!
"My dad never saw a World Series brought to Cleveland, but I think the Indians gave him some of his greatest happiness, and some of his greatest bonds with his kids. Dad passed away on June 4th, 2017 and he was buried, of course, with a Tribe hat — always their biggest fan."
Kendall "Love you, dad" Baker
Trivia answer: Dusty Baker