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Today's word count: 1,414 words (5 minutes).
In his latest piece for The Athletic, former big leaguer Lars Anderson talked about his experience using Adderall as a performance-enhancing drug (PED) while playing in Japan and how much it improved his on-field performance.
The big picture: Amphetamines were once super common in baseball. "Greenies" (real medical name Dexedrine), which were rumored to have been brought back by players who served in WWII, were passed around casually for decades.
Why it matters: The process for MLB players to acquire Adderall prescriptions is thorough, but since it's so easy to get pills (from, say, a friend) and hard to test for (stays in urine for four days and blood for just 46 hours), its use could be more rampant than anyone realizes.
The final word: "We all agree that athletes with poor eyesight should be allowed to wear glasses or contacts; we also generally agree that competitors should not be allowed to inject anabolic steroids that turn them into the Hulk," writes Anderson.
At the start of the decade, 50-point games in the NBA were a special occasion. Now, thanks to an offensive revolution sparked by the deep ball, they're a weekly occurrence.
The backdrop: During the 2009-10 season, only three players scored 50 points in a game: Brandon Jennings (55), Andre Miller (52) and Carmelo Anthony (50). The following season, there were only two: LeBron James (51) and Melo again (50).
Fast-forward: In March 2019, the NBA managed seven. And this season, we've already seen another seven: James Harden (60, 59, 50); Damian Lillard (60); D'Angelo Russell (52), Giannis Antetokounmpo (50) and Kyrie Irving (50).
Last night: Harden dropped 50 in a bizarre double-OT loss to the Spurs that might have to be replayed due to a blown call.
With the top four sports unchanged, Utah moved to No. 5 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, with Oklahoma moving to No. 6 and Baylor gaining two spots to No. 7.
Of course, this is all assuming LSU beats Georgia and Clemson beats Virginia. If Georgia wins, they're in. If Virginia wins, things could get weird.
Go deeper: Projecting all 41 bowl games, including the College Football Playoff (ESPN)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Junior Jordan Nwora had 22 points and 12 boards, and No. 1 Louisville held No. 4 Michigan to a season-low 26% shooting mark in an impressive 58-43 win.
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Freshman Vernon Carey Jr. (26 pts, 11 reb) and sophomore Tre Jones (20 pts, 12 ast) led No. 10 Duke past No. 11 Michigan State, 87-75, as Mike Krzyzewski improved to 12-2 against Tom Izzo.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Senior Devonte Green scored a career-high 30 points and helped fuel a late spurt with two big shots to lead undefeated Indiana past No. 17 Florida State, 80-64.
Connor McDavid. Photo: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images
ESPN's Greg Wyshynski released his updated NHL awards watch for December.
Hart Trophy (MVP)
Norris Trophy (top defenseman)
Calder Trophy (top rookie)
Vezina Trophy (top goalie)
Selke Trophy (best defensive forward)
Jack Adams Award (best coach)
The Grey Cup. Photo: Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
110 years ago today, the University of Toronto Blues beat the Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club, 26-6, in the first-ever Grey Cup (the Canadian Football League's Super Bowl).
Photo: Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Elite athletes like Alex Honnold and popular films like "Free Solo," which chronicles his ropeless ascent of El Capitan, have brought increased exposure to rock climbing — and come August, the sport will make its Olympics debut.
The big picture: While climbing continues to mature as a competitive sport, it's also gaining popularity among young urbanites, who appreciate the workout.
What they're saying: Three-time U.S. National Champion climber Sasha DiGiulian, 27, believes the climbing industry is expanding in tandem with the boutique fitness world (Barry's, SoulCycle, etc).
"They're opening these boutique studios that are dedicated to optimizing your fitness in order to 'train for your next adventure,' is their slogan. They're not even the traditional sense of climbing, it's climbing broken down into a fitness class. That definitely didn't exist even five years ago."— Three-time U.S. National Champion climber Sasha DiGiulian, per NYT
The other side: Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak doesn't think rock climbing provides a good enough workout to rival popular fitness classes.
The Panthers fired Ron Rivera yesterday following an eight-plus season tenure that saw him win 54.2% of his games and make one Super Bowl appearance (2015).
Answer at the bottom.
Kendall "Best song on the new Coldplay album" Baker
Trivia answer: Bill Belichick (hired in 2000), Sean Payton (2006), Mike Tomlin (2007), John Harbaugh (2008), Jason Garrett (2010), Pete Carroll (2010)