Feb 6, 2019

Like Silicon Valley, sports embraces talent over experience

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Over the last decade or so, the technology business has both fully embraced and, in many ways, helped create a "youth beats experience" mindset. The result is a culture where 30-year-old, and even 20-year-old, executives are the norm.

Why it matters: It would appear that the football world is following Silicon Valley's lead on this, as college programs and professional franchises alike have begun to, well, not really care how old people are as long as they're the best.

At the college level, starting a true freshman at quarterback used to be unprecedented. Now, it's how the best programs are achieving success: each of the past 3 title games has featured one (Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa, Trevor Lawrence).

"There's kind of a shift ... especially on the West Coast ... away from the traditional guy who was an intern and then worked for 55 years and now he's a CEO at age 100. I think football is the same way."
— Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams (via the WSJ)

At the pro level, the Cincinnati Bengals just hired 35-year-old Zac Taylor to be their head coach, largely — and this is no criticism of Zac, it's just the truth — because he spent the last 24 months learning from his now former boss, 33-year-old Sean McVay.

  • Taylor fits the trend of teams hiring young offensive minds — coaches who, as recently as a decade ago, would not have survived the "but have you had enough time to develop and LEARN THE GAME?!" part of the interview.

The big picture: The youth movement is happening in other sports, too. "Boy geniuses" like David Stearns (Milwaukee Brewers) and Kyle Dubas (Toronto Maple Leafs), both 33, run major franchises and rookies across every sport are being asked to do more than ever.

The bottom line: Whether it's a permanent societal change or merely a temporary response to the extreme times we're living in and the digital economy that surrounds us, age and experience are no longer prerequisites for success.

Go deeper: Traditional sports look to new tech to survive

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,094,068 — Total deaths: 58,773 — Total recoveries: 225,519Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 273,880 — Total deaths: 7,077 — Total recoveries: 9,521Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: Wisconsin's governor called for a last-minute primary election delay. "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said on the 2020 election, as more states hold primaries by mail.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: The amount of gas American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows. Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil.
  7. Tech updates: Twitter will allow ads containing references to the coronavirus under certain use cases.
  8. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Senators call for independent investigation into firing of Navy captain.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Government will cover uninsured patients' coronavirus treatment

Azar at Friday's briefing. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The federal government will cover the costs of coronavirus treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a White House briefing Friday.

How it works: The money will come from a $100 billion pot set aside for the health care industry in the most recent stimulus bill. Providers will be paid the same rates they get for treating Medicare patients, and as a condition of those payments, they won't be allowed to bill patients for care that isn't covered.

More states issue stay-at-home orders as coronavirus crisis escalates

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a stay-at-home order on Friday as the novel coronavirus pandemic persists. The order goes into effect Saturday at 5 p.m. and will remain in place through April 30. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson also issued a statewide social distancing order on Friday.

The big picture: In a matter of weeks, the number of states that issued orders nearly quadrupled, affecting almost 300 million Americans.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health