Happy Friday! Let's sports.
- Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.
Happy Friday! Let's sports.
Aaron Donald and Tom Brady. Photos: Rich Graessle, Icon Sportswire/Getty Images
The NFL is a quarterback-driven league. After all, it is the quarterback who gets the glory, the quarterback who takes the blame and the quarterback whose face is plastered on billboards and network promos to sell America on football.
But, but, but: Have you ever considered how crazy it is that quarterbacks — again, the stars of the NFL — are never on the field at the same time?
By that logic, what we really ought to focus on this weekend is a matchup between an offensive and a defensive player, since, ya know, they'll both actually be on the field at the same time.
Good news: Tom Brady vs. Aaron Donald is the quarterback-defensive lineman matchup of our dreams, pitting a legend who likes to get the ball out quickly against an unstoppable force capable of getting to him even sooner.
More Super Bowl:
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Every superstar the New York Knicks have employed this century was a veteran acquired via either trade or free agency. Kristaps Porzingis was different — a homegrown unicorn with the look of an eighth-grader on stilts. And now he's gone.
Driving the news: In yet another earth-shattering, Twitter-breaking day for the NBA this week, the Knicks traded Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks.
Let's check in with the local media: "There is one way, and only one, where the surreal events of Thursday afternoon make even a little bit of sense," writes the New York Post’s Mike Vaccaro.
P.S. This is mind-blowing: The last Knicks draft pick to sign a multi-year contract with the team after his rookie deal expired was Charlie Ward. He was drafted in 1994. (per Tommy Beer).
LeBron James (24-14-9) flirted with a triple-double in his return, leading the Lakers past the Clippers 123-120 in overtime ... an invasion of bats interrupted the Nets-Spurs game ... and the All-Star reserves were announced:
Oh, also: This is a fantastic profile on Boban Marjanovich, the NBA's tallest and most delightful man, whose life has been a fairy tale except for one thing: he was born 20 years too late.
Photo: Ben Jared/PGA Tour/Getty Images
Above: Rickie Fowler tees off on the iconic 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale, the site of this weekend's Waste Management Phoenix Open. Fowler (-7) is in a 3-way tie for the lead with Justin Thomas and Harold Varner III. Full leaderboard.
Below: This event in a nutshell. It's a giant party. Might explain why last year's tournament set attendance records (719,179 people fans came through the gates, including 216,818 on Day 3 alone).
Photo: Jimmy Simmons/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images
The NCAA is punishing the University of Missouri with a postseason ban for its baseball, softball and football teams, as well as 3 years of probation for its athletic department despite the school's attempt to clean up a case of academic fraud.
What happened: Former tutor Yolanda Kumar admitted to completing coursework and exams for student athletes in 2016. The NCAA followed with an investigation.
Rewind: Earlier this decade, the University of North Carolina committed a far worse infraction. But when confronted about the fake courses the school had created, UNC stood by its actions and avoided serious punishment.
P.S. Poor Kelly Bryant. The former Clemson quarterback transferred to Missouri after Trevor Lawrence took his starting spot. Now he can't play in the postseason.
Adam Silver and David Stern in 2013. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
5 years ago today, Adam Silver succeeded David Stern as commissioner of the NBA — exactly 30 years after Stern succeeded Larry O'Brien (2/1/1982).
Answer at the bottom.
Krispy Kreme dounts looking as good as they ever have. Photo: Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald/Getty Images
One would think that long distance running and glazed donuts mix together like oil and water. But one would be wrong, Mike Sykes writes.
What's happening: This weekend, the 15th anniversary of the Krispy Kreme Challenge takes place in Raleigh, N.C. It's the ultimate mix of competitive running and competitive eating.
How we got here: The race all started as a dare between students at NC State in 2004 before morphing into a marathon to raise money for the UNC Children's Hospital.
Watch: ESPN ran a feature on the Krispy Kreme Challenge back in 2009.
To play: Screenshot this card, add your answers and share it on Twitter or Instagram with #AxiosSports. You can also email your predictions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What you win: The 5 highest scores will receive Axios gear!
⚾️ The Colorado Rockies and star third baseman Nolan Arenado avoided arbitration yesterday with a one-year deal worth $26 million, a new record for an arbitration-eligible player.
🏀 The Louisville women's basketball team beat UConn for the first time in 26 years last night, 78-69. The third-ranked Cardinals ended a 17-game losing streak against the Huskies, who were ranked No. 2.
Kendall "How the heck has Adam Silver only been commissioner for 5 years" Baker
Trivia answer: Miami Dolphins (1971-73) and Buffalo Bills (1990-93)