👋 Good morning! Game 7 of the World Series is tonight at 8pm ET. Mischief Night is canceled. Save the toilet paper rolls for next year and watch some baseball with friends.
Today's word count: 1,405 words (5 minutes)
Game 6 hero Anthony Rendon hugging Ryan Zimmerman. Photo: Elsa/Getty Images
"In a World Series largely devoid of drama — there had been but a single lead change in the first five games, way back in Game 1 — we got plenty of it in Game 6," writes ESPN's David Schoenfield.
By the numbers:
What's next: Washington ace Max Scherzer (3-0, 2.16 ERA this postseason), a late scratch Sunday due to neck spasms, declared himself ready to go for tonight's Game 7. If he leads the Nats to victory, Hollywood better have a movie script ready by morning.
The final word ... One of my earliest sports memories is my dad pitching to me in the front yard as a kid. I'd always imagine it was Game 7 of the World Series. Bottom of the 9th. Bases loaded. Two outs. It all comes down to this.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Under mounting pressure from California and other state legislatures (and athletes like LeBron James), the NCAA board of governors voted yesterday to consider letting college athletes profit from their name, image and likeness.
Why it matters: This potentially clears the way for athletes to begin accepting endorsement deals — a monumental shift that would dramatically alter the economics of college sports.
"There's no question that the legislative efforts in Congress and in states has been a catalyst to change. It's clear that the schools and the presidents are listening and have heard loud and clear that everybody agrees that this is an area that needs to be addressed."— NCAA president Mark Emmert
Yes, but: While the NCAA's stance has certainly softened, exactly what they'll be giving up is unclear. Their official statement offered no details, and any specific rule changes will require further discussion.
The big picture: One of the main arguments against directly compensating college athletes is how complicated it would be. Do all athletes get paid or just some of them? How is that determined?
The bottom line: The return of the "NCAA Football" video game seems like the surest thing at the moment. As for how the rest of this will work, yesterday's news doesn't change anything. Not yet.
Nicolas Lodeiro celebrates his first half goal. Photo: Shaun Clark/Getty Images
Raul Ruidiaz scored twice and Nicolas Lodeiro added a goal and two assists as the visiting Seattle Sounders upset LAFC, 3-1, to advance to the MLS Cup final for the third time in four years.
What they're saying: Following the best regular season in MLS history, LAFC's loss is the "latest playoff choke job by an L.A. sports team," writes the Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez.
What's next: The Sounders will play the winner of tonight's Eastern Conference final between Atlanta United and Toronto FC (8pm ET, FS1). If Atlanta wins, it will host the final. If Toronto wins, Seattle will host.
Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Playing with a sore shooting shoulder, Anthony Davis had his first breakout game as a Laker, scoring 40 points, grabbing 20 rebounds and setting a franchise record for free throws made (26) in a 120-91 win over the Grizzlies.
Why it matters: This is the second time in NBA history that a player has recorded at least 40 points, 20 boards and 25 made free throws in a game. The only other occurrence? Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in 1962.
Lionel Messi scored two goals (including an unreal free kick) in Barcelona's 5-1 thumping of Real Valladolid, surpassing rival Cristiano Ronaldo in club goals scored ... in 118 fewer games.
With Joe Flacco expected to miss five to six weeks with a herniated disk in his neck, fourth-year QB Brandon Allen will start for the Broncos this weekend.
David Pastrnak scored his league-leading 12th goal (and recorded his league-leading 24th point) in the Bruins' 5-1 win over the Sharks last night.
Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images
45 years ago today, Muhammad Ali knocked out previously undefeated George Foreman to regain the world heavyweight boxing title in arguably the greatest sporting event of the 20th century.
Inside the ring: The fight is famous for Ali's introduction of the "rope-a-dope" tactic. Beginning in the second round, he began to lean on the ropes, inviting Foreman to land hundreds of non-injuring body blows.
If Novak Djokovic wins the Paris Masters this week, he'll end the year ranked No. 1 for the sixth time, which would tie the all-time men's record.
Answer at the bottom.
"Lesser known than the extreme equine sport, bronc riding, cowboy mounted shooting is unique in the western sports world," writes Deadspin's Aria Alamalhodaei.
🏈 The winners and losers from the NFL trade deadline (Danny Kelly, The Ringer)
"[A]s boring as the actual trade deadline was, when you add in a bevy of deals that have gone down over the last few weeks, there was more than enough action to impact the second half of the year."
👟 How Spencer Dinwiddie created his own footwear path (Nick DePaula, ESPN)
"Two years ago, with no sneaker company clamoring to sign him, the former second-round pick decided to create his own signature shoe from scratch."
✍️ Deadspin editor fired amid pushback over 'stick to sports' memo (Marc Tracy, NYT)
"A popular sports website was told to stick to sports — and staff members revolted. … The dispute reflects an atmosphere between G/O Media and Deadspin that has become increasingly tense."
Kendall "Baseball is good" Baker
Trivia answer: Pete Sampras