👋 Good morning! Let's sports.
Photo: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
As the NFL and NFLPA continue early CBA talks, the 18-game regular season proposal has stolen all the headlines. But there is another issue that is being largely ignored — and it could be just as impactful.
Driving the news: According to multiple reports, the elimination of the NFL's archaic "funding rule" is a top priority for the NFLPA.
How it works: The NFL's funding rule stipulates that every fully guaranteed dollar owed to a player, but not yet paid to him, must be placed in a league-run escrow account.
The problem: Back when the NFL wasn't the cash cow that it is today and players had legitimate concerns about owners not being able to fulfill future financial obligations, this rule made sense and worked in the players' favor.
The big picture: Thanks in part to the funding rule, fully-guaranteed contracts — which are the norm in the NBA, NHL and MLB — are a rarity in the NFL.
The bottom line: The elimination of the NFL's funding rule might not make deals like the one Cousins signed the norm, but it would remove a giant roadblock in the players' ongoing fight for more guaranteed pay.
LEEDS, ENGLAND — 'The Ashes" is a cricket series played between England and Australia that dates all the way back to 1882. On Sunday, Ben Stokes played the hero in England's one-wicket win for the ages.
MOSTAR, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA — Our friends Gary Hunt and Rhiannan Iffland clinched their eighth and fourth Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series titles, respectively, in Mostar this past weekend. More photos.
NEW YORK — Just kidding, this isn't a photo. Rather, it's an in-game screenshot taken during the Gran Turismo World Tour stop in New York, which saw the world's best online players compete in the popular racing simulation video game.
🏀 Best stadium unveiling: The Warriors officially unveiled the Chase Center yesterday — the team's new billion-dollar home in San Francisco. NBC Sports posted photos and videos from the media tour on Twitter.
🎬 Best trailer: HBO released the first trailer for their upcoming Diego Maradona documentary directed by Asif Kapadia ("Senna"). Looks incredible.
🏈 Best thing to read if you want to cry: Debra Fellows wrote a piece for Deadspin about her husband Ron Fellows, 61, a former NFL cornerback who is "dying every day."
"I want people to understand — not only for the well-being of the players, but for the caretakers. Ron gets really sad. He gets really, really sad. He said to me a few weeks ago, 'I wish I would have met you sooner so I could love you longer.' And it broke my heart. We thought we had all this time to be able to enjoy one another."
Photo: Donald Emmert/AFP via Getty Images
15 years ago today, Argentina pulled off a shocking 89-81 victory over the U.S. in the semifinal game at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.
Go deeper: How 2002 changed Team USA basketball (The Ringer)
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado has now recorded at least 30 HR and 100 RBI in five straight seasons.
Answer at the bottom.
The DI women's college volleyball season doesn't begin until Saturday, but Nebraska is already selling out practices in the Bob Devaney Sports Center — the crown jewel of volleyball-specific arenas.
The backdrop: The Huskers (five national titles) fell to Stanford (eight) in last season's championship. Naturally, the two powerhouses sit atop the preseason poll.
11-25: 11. Oregon, 12. Pittsburgh, 13. Washington, 14. USC, 15. Michigan, 16. Marquette, 17. Purdue, 18. Creighton, 19. Tennessee, 20. Baylor, 21. San Diego, 22. Washington State, 23. Cal Poly, 24. Arizona, 25. Louisville
See you tomorrow,
Kendall "So you're telling me there's a chance (for the Reds to make the playoffs)" Baker
Trivia answer: Albert Pujols (2001–2010) and Miguel Cabrera (2007–2013)