👋 Good morning!
Today's word count: 1,381 words (5 minutes)
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
In an effort to expand the pool of potential team buyers, the NFL, NBA and MLB are considering drastic changes to how business is done.
Why it matters: Team valuations have skyrocketed in recent years, creating a dearth of individuals wealthy enough to buy the next teams put up for sale.
1. The NFL is considering increasing the amount of money that prospective owners can borrow from $350 million to $1 billion.
2. The NBA is mulling the creation of an investment vehicle that would buy minority ownership stakes across multiple teams.
3. MLB has altered its rules to allow investment funds to buy limited stakes in multiple franchises.
Ohio State edged past Clemson to No. 3 in this week's AP poll, while Wisconsin fell to No. 13 after losing to Illinois ahead of their showdown with the Buckeyes this Saturday.
Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer in 2011 when they were both on the Tigers. Photo: Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images
The 2019 World Series begins tomorrow night in Houston, with the Astros looking to build on their dynasty while the Nationals attempt to win their first title in franchise history.
The intrigue: After a regular season dominated by juiced baseballs and home runs, this series features historically great starting pitching.
Astros: Houston's 3 aces have a combined 17 All-Star Games, 4 ERA titles, 2 Cy Young Awards (going on 3) and an MVP award between them.
Nationals: Washington's 4 aces have a combined 12 All-Star Games, 3 Cy Young Awards and 1 ERA title (Sanchez in 2013) between them.
By the numbers: Add it all up and this group features a combined 29 All-Star Games, 5 Cy Young Awards (going on 6), 5 ERA titles and an MVP award.
The bottom line: No matter how you slice it, this group is phenomenal. Buckle up.
The 49ers improved to 6-0 with a sloppy 9-0 win over the Redskins in the mud. Thanks to both teams running the ball so much, it was the shortest NFL game in 10 years.
Aaron Rodgers (25/31 for 429 yards and 5 TD while running for a 6th) had arguably the best game of his career in the Packers' 42-24 win over the Raiders.
The Bengals lost to the Jaguars, falling to 0-7. Nobody went to the game, Joe Mixon had 10 rushes for 2 yards and Andy Dalton threw 3 picks in the span of 5 plays. Make it stop!
Lamar Jackson led the Ravens past the Seahawks, 30-16, and quieted his few remaining doubters in the process. He's not Michel Vick — he's better.
Auburn paid at least $30,000 to change its logo from the one on the left to the one on the right, according to 247 Sports. Can you spot the differences?
For the first time this Premier League season, Liverpool didn't win its match, settling for a 1-1 draw against Manchester United. Meanwhile, Manchester City beat Crystal Palace 2-0 to move within 6 points of Liverpool for first place.
8 years ago, Pascal Siakam had never played organized basketball. 3 years ago, he was a relatively unknown draft prospect. Now, he's an NBA champion, the league's reigning Most Improved Player and he just signed a 5-year, $130 million extension.
Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
55 years ago today, Ethiopia's Abebe Bikila won the men's marathon at the Tokyo Olympics in a world record time of 2:12:11, becoming the first athlete to win it twice.
Winners through the years:
Go deeper: The long and bizarre history of the Olympic marathon (Quartz)
A reader told me that he and his son love doing the trivia each morning, so I asked if his son would be our guest trivia master for the World Series. 13-year-old Billy Cannon from Chevy Chase, Md. will be providing the questions this week. Thanks, Billy!
Question: 3 players have won the World Series MVP twice. One is Reggie Jackson, while the other 2 are pitchers. Can you name both?
Answer at the bottom.
🎓 Can colleges police sports betting? Some are trying (Alan Blinder, NYT)
"Purdue, St. Joseph's and Villanova have banned students from betting on their schools' teams, but other universities are seeking more of a middle ground. No one is sure whose approach is right."
🏀 The art of sticking around in the NBA (Dan Devine, The Ringer)
"How do you carve out a decadelong career without superstar talent? Kendrick Perkins, Jared Dudley, and a bunch of other longtime veteran players reveal their secrets to lasting in the NBA in six easy lessons."
🏒 Hughes vs. Hughes: How hockey's new first family navigates its opposite-coast stars (Chris Peters, ESPN)
"Plenty of siblings have played against each other in the NHL over the years … But few have met on the ice at such a young age — Quinn turned 20 on Monday, and Jack is only 18 — and as such highly-touted rookies."
Here are the 10 most valuable NBA players since 2013-14, according to FiveThirtyEight's new metric RAPTOR (includes playoffs):
Kendall "Didn't think we'd be covering logo design this morning, did you?" Baker
Trivia answer: Bob Gibson (1964 and 1967) and Sandy Koufax (1963 and 1965)