👋 Good morning! Steph Curry returns tonight against the Raptors (10:30pm ET, TNT) after missing more than four months with a broken left hand.
Today's word count: 1,700 words (6 minutes).
Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
When Tua Tagovailoa hears his name called during next month's NFL draft, he will officially become the NFL's first left-handed QB since Kellen Moore retired after the 2017 season.
By the numbers: Lefties make up roughly 10% of the world's population, but they make up 0% of the NFL's current QB population — and I'm not just talking about starters. Of the 107 QBs currently signed to NFL rosters, all 107 are right-handed.
Between the lines: Left-handed QBs are somewhat of an inconvenience in the NFL, since receivers have to adjust to passes that "look and spin differently," coaches have to flip plays and O-lines have to protect the opposite blindside.
The bottom line: While the NFL's implicit bias against lefty QBs certainly isn't helping their cause, the biggest factor in the dearth of southpaw signal-callers is likely baseball, which covets strong-armed lefties and offers them the clearest path to the pros (27.2% of MLB pitchers are left-handed).
1. The past: The NBA, NFL and NHL salary caps (i.e., limits on how much money teams can spend on players) have all significantly increased this century, but at fairly different rates.
2. The present: All three leagues have released salary cap projections for next season as they look ahead to the 2020s.
3. The future: See that huge jump the NBA's salary cap made between 2014 and 2016? That was a direct result of the landmark nine-year, $24 billion deal it signed with ESPN and TNT.
The second stop on the PGA Tour's annual jaunt through Florida gets underway today with the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.
⛳️ Hole preview: The 18th (458-yard par-4) features one of the easiest tee shots on the course — and one of the toughest approach shots of the year. It's also seen its fair share of memorable moments...
In related news: PGA Tour leans further into sports gambling by partnering with the Action Network (WashPost)
Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Luka Dončić (30-17-10) broke Dallas' career triple-double record with his 22nd, helping the Mavericks hold off Zion Williamson (21 points) and the Pelicans 127-123 in an overtime thriller last night.
Best 25 under 25:
⚾️ Building a 'Backyard Baseball' roster for 2020 (Zach Kram, The Ringer)
"As we near the 20-year anniversary of the classic '2001' version of the video game, it's time to imagine what a return built around real-life MLB stars would look like."
🏀 Their governor called them 'a bunch of thugs,' and a high school basketball rivalry ignited (Jacob Bogage, WashPost)
"Jim Justice, the business tycoon-turned-politician and Republican-turned-Democrat-turned-Republican again, last month put himself at the center of a slow-burning, small-town high school rivalry in southern West Virginia."
📺 The enduring pain of Dick Vitale (Seth Davis, The Athletic)
"He's 80 now, and love him or hate him, there has never been a sportscaster who can equal Vitale's longevity and impact on a sport. For all his awesome-baby clowning, the story of his remarkable life centers on his enduring pain. The ride has been propelled by one unhappy accident after another."
Courtesy: NFL Films
56 years ago today, the NFL purchased Ed Sabol's Blair Motion Pictures, which was renamed NFL Films and quickly became the main repository for the history of football on film.
Why it matters: Over the next half century, Sabol played a significant role in making pro football America's No. 1 spectator sport and elevating it to the realm of myth.
The big picture: Sabol was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011, and his son, Steve, will join him this year, making them just the third father-son combo to reach Canton (Art and Dan Rooney, Tim and Wellington Mara).
"Dad always used to say, 'Tell me a fact and I'll learn. Tell me a truth and I'll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.'"— Steve Sabol
Go deeper ... A Football Life: Ed Sabol (YouTube)
In 1887, the sport of skeleton was born in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on the "Cresta Run," a three-quarter-mile track that, to this day, remains one of the most difficult and dangerous ice runs in the world.
In 1929, women were barred from using the Cresta. "It was reasoned that the chest-down positioning needed for skeleton could cause breast cancer," writes NYT's Noele Illien, "but rumor has it that a woman earning faster times on the chute than her husband was the real reason."
In 2018, the St. Moritz Tobogganing Club — the members-only club that controls the Cresta — agreed to allow women to start using it again.
Obi Toppin throwing it down during Dayton's 84-57 win over Rhode Island last night. Photo: M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Dayton's Obi Toppin is the favorite to win Naismith College Player of the Year, which would make him just the fourth player outside of the "Power 6" (ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) to win the award this century.
Answer at the bottom.
Kendall "Do a 180" Baker
Trivia answer: Kenyon Martin, Cincinnati (2000); Jameer Nelson, St. Joseph's (2004); Jimmer Fredette, BYU (2011)