👋 Happy Monday! Hope you enjoyed the weekend. Coming Friday: College Football Season Preview (Special Edition).
Today's word count: 1,343 (5 minutes)
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
In a shocking development on Saturday night, 29-year-old Colts QB Andrew Luck retired from the NFL, saying constant injuries have taken away his love for the game.
"For the last four years or so, I've been in this cycle of injury, pain, rehab — injury, pain, rehab — and it's been unceasing, unrelenting. I felt stuck in it, and the only way I see out is to no longer play football. It's taken my joy of this game away."
"I've come to the proverbial fork in the road, and I made a vow to myself that if I ever did again, I'd choose me, in a sense. ... This is not an easy decision. It's the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me."
Why it matters: This is the most shocking retirement American sports has seen since the 1990s, when Barry Sanders quit football at age 30 (1999) and Michael Jordan left the NBA for the first time (1993).
What they're saying:
The bottom line: This isn't the end of Andrew Luck. It's the beginning of the rest of his life. (Though, honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if we see him back under center in the future.)
The final word from Capt. Andrew Luck, himself (best account on Twitter)...
P.S. ... Can't wait for the "30 for 30" documentary on the 2012 NFL draft: The greatest class that never was. The top five picks that year: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson, Matt Kalil (he's been solid), Justin Blackmon.
Serena Williams after a practice session. Photo: Steven Ryan/Getty Images
The 2019 U.S. Open begins today, and we'll be treated to a high-profile first-round clash between No. 8 seed Serena Williams and her (kind of) rival Maria Sharapova.
Women's preview (view bracket)
Men's preview (view bracket)
Tonight's slate (ESPN/ESPN2)
L to R: Khris Middleton, Jayson Tatum and Brook Lopez. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images
USA Basketball has finalized its roster for the upcoming FIBA World Cup (starts Saturday in China), and let's just say this ain't the Dream Team. But hey, that could make it more fun to follow, right?! Victory is far from guaranteed.
Depth chart (according to me):
P.S. ... Exhibition happening as we speak: USA vs. Canada (live coverage)
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, PA. — Louisiana claimed its first Little League World Series title as pitcher Egan Prather threw a two-hit shutout to lead a team from suburban New Orleans past Curacao 8-0.
ATLANTA — On a weekend that saw a lightning strike injure six spectators, Rory McIlroy shot scores of 66-67-68-66 to win the FedEx Cup (and $15 million), joining Tiger Woods as the only players to win it twice.
ORLANDO, FLA. — In the opening game of the 2019 college football season, Florida beat Miami 24-20 to improve to 22-0 all-time in season openers when ranked in the Top 10.
"This weekend was what MLB calls 'Players' Weekend,' when players can choose a nickname for their jersey backs, and MLB tried to spice things up further by making the uniforms nearly monochromatic in black or white. The decision … received near-universal derision."
"Loan-to-buy deals are on the rise, favored because they allow top clubs to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations without losing any of their purchasing power."
"Dabo Swinney lost his dream job in 2000, when the entire staff at Alabama was axed. So he started … selling real estate. And his old boss says if Swinney had stuck with it, he could have been a millionaire property mogul. But he wanted to get back to coaching, and that has turned out OK."
Photo: Bettman/Getty Images
80 years ago today, a doubleheader between the Cincinnati Reds and Brooklyn Dodgers was televised — the first time a Major League Baseball game was broadcast on live TV.
How it worked:
Go deeper: Baseball's first Major League broadcast (MLB)
Andrew Luck's 171 career passing touchdowns are the third-most in NFL history through a player's first 86 games.
Answer at the bottom.
Controversy over video assistant referee technology (VAR) has engulfed seemingly every sport. Now, it's coming to gymnastics, writes Axios' Mike Sykes.
What's next: The technology will be used at the world championships in October, and if the test goes well, it could be deployed at the 2020 Olympics.
Thought bubble from Axios' very own former gymnast, Sara Fischer:
"As a gymnast, your energy is always placed on the standard point deductions. The stress to me wouldn't be that VAR is biased against you, but that it makes it easier for judges to see things they normally wouldn't catch. That could be good or bad."
See you tomorrow,
Kendall "We need to bring back the name 'Red'" Baker
Trivia answer: Aaron Rodgers (174) and Dan Marino (196)