Tipping the ‘W’ & The Lion’s Share


By: Jeff Yoder

Good Morning!

It’s a fun change-of-pace in today’s Tuesday edition. The playoffs are *still* rolling, and we got ‘em, but we’re pressing pause to show some love to other sports.

The WNBA tips off tonight with a Caitlin Clark-inspired sellout. The Lions gave Jared Goff that “win us a Super Bowl, please” paycheck. There’s a new No. 1 in our MLB Power Rankings. And we had some fun with the new nickname options for the Utah hockey team.

Letter Rip!



Tipping the ‘W’

Photo: Jeff Dean / Getty Images

WNBA Season Tips on Heels of Hype Train — Caitlin Clark, New Toronto Franchise, Charter Flights & More

The 2024 WNBA season is expected to be unlike any before it. More eyeballs and ticket sales are inevitable since the dawn of the Caitlin Clark phenomenon. The Indiana Fever are one of eight teams on the docket for tonight’s season-openers. The league has also made a push to get private charter flights for players this season. And just last week, the ‘W’ awarded its 13th expansion franchise to Toronto billionaire Larry Tanenbaum’s Kilmer Sports Group. They’ll begin play in 2026. For now, we set our sights on the first 40-game season.

2024 WNBA Storylines to Watch

Clark-a-Palooza: By now, you’re likely aware that Caitlin Clark draws ticket sales harder than any women’s basketball player to come before. Even on the road tonight, the Connecticut Sun have a sellout opener for the first time in decades. Clark’s first preseason game in Indiana was also a sellout (preseason!). At least three teams have moved games to larger arenas so they can accommodate Clark-a-Palooza this summer.

Pocket Aces: The Las Vegas Aces are back-to-back defending WNBA champs. They open the season as the clear-cut favorites to win it again for a third time, but there’s a super team in New York (Liberty) who could dethrone the champs. Will Vegas make it three-of-a-kind?

MVP Odds: A’ja Wilson (Aces) and Breanna Stewart (Liberty) open as the MVP favorites. Both stars have won the award twice already, and there’s a good chance one of those two will take it again. Dark horses are lurking, though. Nneka Ogwumike (Storm) finds herself in a rejuvenated spot with a new team alongside Jewell Loyd, and the rookie Clark (Fever) could adjust quicker than expected.

Ready for some more ball?

WNBA Tip-Off (Tonight)

Liberty at Mystics (7:00 pm ET, ESPN3)

Fever at Sun (7:30 pm ET, ESPN+)

Mercury at Aces (10:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

Lynx at Storm (10:00 pm ET, ESPN3)

Read More

ESPN: Sun Sell Out First Opener in Decades for Caitlin Clark’s WNBA Debut

Yahoo! Sports: Can Anyone Deny the Las Vegas Aces 3-Peat Quest?



The Lion’s Share

Photo: Ryan Kang / Getty Images

Detroit Makes QB Jared Goff Highest-Paid Player in Franchise History With $212 Million Extension

They love Jared Goff in Detroit. L-O-V-E… After being discarded in Los Angeles, the former No. 1 pick’s relentless leadership fits this city’s persona like a tight chinstrap. The Lions believe he’s the man to take them where they’ve never been — a Super Bowl. He almost did. Detroit gave Goff a four-year, $212 million contract extension on Monday night, effectively making him the highest-paid player ever to wear a Lions jersey. The deal includes $170 million guaranteed. His annual salary now ranks second among all quarterbacks behind only Joe Burrow. And if you question why, it’s simple: Goff was top-4 in yards (2nd) and touchdowns (4th) this season, and he took the Lions further than any QB before him. 

Highest-Paid QBs (Annual Salary)

1. Joe Burrow (CIN): $55 Million

2. Jared Goff (DET): $53 Million

3. Justin Herbert (LAC): $52.5 Million

4. Lamar Jackson (BAL): $52 Million

5. Jalen Hurts (PHI): $51 Million

Goff’s 2023 Season Stats

4,575 Yards | 30 TDs | 12 INTs | 67.3 Comp. %

Goff & the Lions — A Mutual Respect

The Lions are one of four franchises that have failed to appear in a Super Bowl. They’ve only won playoff games in two years during the Super Bowl era — 1991 and 2023. After the former No. 1 pick by the Rams was traded for Matthew Stafford, Lions fans and Goff had to watch Stafford win the Super Bowl almost immediately. Goff responded by leading the Lions to their first playoff win in 32 years. Then another. Detroit was just three points shy of heading to the Super Bowl this Winter. You pay that man.

Read More

ESPN: What QB Jared Goff’s Contract Extension Means for the Lions

B/R: Ripple Effects of Jared Goff Contract on Dak Prescott, Jordan Love & Trevor Lawrence



Mid-May Power Rankings

Photo: Mitchell Leff / Getty Images

The Braves & Orioles Have Held No. 1 Since Mid-April, But Here Come the Phillies & Dodgers…

Slow starts happen, but no one is surprised that the Dodgers and Phillies have come to life in the past few weeks. Both NL powers are 8-2 over their last 10 games with massive run differentials to boot. The Braves and Orioles have been great, and the Yankees had a hot start, but there’s no denying Philly and L.A. at this point. A lot can change in a long season. 

Surprises: There have been plenty of surprise fall-offs through 40-plus games, too. The Astros (16-25) are just off, and the Pirates (19-23) have been a mess since their 10-4 start. The Reds have also lost 9 of their last 10. On the flip side, the Royals and Athletics have risen from their bottom-dweller status a year ago. Here’s where they stand after two weeks of May.

MLB Power Rankings

1. Phillies (29-13) ↑

2. Dodgers (28-15) ↑

3. Orioles (26-14) ↓

4. Braves (25-13) ↓

5. Yankees (27-15) ↓

6. Twins (24-16) ↑

7. Guardians (26-16) ↓

8. Brewers (24-17) ↓

9. Cubs (24-18) ↑

10. Royals (25-18) ↑

Teams 11-20: 11. Padres (22-22), 12. Mariners (23-19), 13. Red Sox (21-20), 14. Rangers (22-21), 15. Diamondbacks (20-22), 16. Rays (21-21), 17. Mets (19-21), 18. Giants (19-24), 19. Blue Jays (19-22), 20. Tigers (21-20)

Teams 21-30: 21. Pirates (19-23), 22. Athletics (19-24), 23. Astros (16-25), 24. Nationals (19-20), 25. Reds (17-24), 26. Cardinals (17-24), 27. Angels (15-27), 28. Rockies (13-28), 29. White Sox (12-29), 30. Marlins (11-32)

Read More

B/R: MLB Power Rankings: Dodgers vs. Phillies for No. 1 Spot, Padres Enter Top-10

CBS Sports: MLB Power Rankings: Phillies, Now No. 1, Showing They Can Challenge Braves in NL East



NBA Playoffs

S-G-A-Game: Thunder Storm Mavs

Gm 4: Thunder def. Mavericks (100-96)

The Mavericks had a narrow lead late in the 4th quarter, and a 2-1 series lead over OKC, before Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Thunder stormed back. SGA (34-8-5) recorded his third straight 30-point playoff game while Dallas missed a bunch of critical free throws. There’s a big difference between down 3-1 and tied 2-2. OKC is still kicking. Series Tied (2-2)

Tatum’s Takeover Time

Gm 4: Celtics def. Cavaliers (109-102)

Jayson Tatum didn’t have a 30-point game in the C’s first seven playoff games, but he didn’t need to. It looks like JT (33-11-5) is starting to take over after back-to-back 33-point performances to help the Celtics push the Cavs to the edge. It’s not over, but all signs point to Boston in the East Finals. BOS Leads Series (3-1)

Stanley Cup Playoffs

‘Cane You Believe It?

Gm 5: Hurricanes def. Rangers (4-1)

Trailing 1-0 with 20 minutes left and their season on the line, the Hurricanes scored four unanswered against the Rangers in the final period to force Game 6 last night. Kuznetsov, Staal, Martinook, and Necas (1G, 1A) all scored in a backs-against-the-wall third-period frenzy. NYR Lead Series (3-2)

Stars Align on Johnston’s 21st B-Day

Gm 4: Stars def. Avalanche (5-1)

Dallas’ Wyatt Johnston (2G, 1A) had a three-point night on his 21st birthday to lift the Stars to the edge of the Conference Finals. Miro Heiskanen (1G, 2A) also tallied three points. The Stars are 7-2 in their last nine playoff games, and they’ve essentially buried the Avs if not for a Game 1 comeback. DAL Leads Series (3-1)


Cubs’ Shota Imanaga Ks 8, Drops ERA to 0.96

Blue Jays’ Daulton Varsho Hits HR, Robs HR

Dodgers’ Mookie Betts Hits 50th Career Leadoff HR

Astros’ Alex Bregman Hits 2 HRs, 4 RBIs in 9-2 Win

Phillies Top Mets (5-4, Extras) After Controversy

Bonus: Same Mariners Fan Catches 2 Foul Balls on Back-to-Back Pitches



NASCAR’s In-Season Tournament

Track brackets! NASCAR will introduce a five-race in-season tournament with a $1 million prize going to the winner in 2025. The specific races are yet to be announced. (ESPN)

Bronny to the Lakers?

Bronny James has officially been medically cleared for the NBA after last summer’s cardiac incident, and he’s looking good so far at the draft combine. Laker father, Laker son? (CBS Sports)

Premier League Title Scenarios

Anything other than a win for Arsenal would’ve given City a chance to clinch the title on Tuesday. Instead, the Premier League will come down to the last day of the season. (NBC)



NFL Announces Chiefs-Ravens AFC Title Rematch for 2024 Thursday Night Season-Opener on Sept. 5 (CBS Sports)

Utah State’s Great Osobor Transfers to Washington With $2 Million in NIL Deals Reportedly Waiting (Yahoo! Sports)

Buccaneers Make Antoine Winfield Jr. Highest-Paid DB in NFL With 4-Year, $84.1 Million Deal (ESPN)

Stephen A. Smith Claims Kevin Durant is a ‘Problem’ in Phoenix, Not Happy With Suns (SI)

Cleveland Guardians Latest MLB Team to Show Off New City Connect Uniforms (USA Today)

Iowa Women’s Basketball Coach Lisa Bluder Announces Retirement After Caitlin Clark Departure (FOX Sports)

Avalanche Forward Valeri Nichushkin Receives 6-Month Suspension 1 Hour Before Game 4 (AP News)



Today’s Must-Watch List

WNBA Tip-Off (Season Openers)

Fever at Sun (7:30 pm ET, ESPN+)

Mercury at Aces (10:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

Opening Night Schedule

NBA Playoffs

Gm 5: Pacers at Knicks (8:00 pm ET, TNT)

Gm 5: T-Wolves at Nuggets (10:30 pm ET, TNT)

Stanley Cup Playoffs

Gm 5: Bruins at Panthers (7:00 pm ET, ESPN)

Gm 4: Canucks at Oilers (9:30 pm ET, ESPN)


Phillies at Mets (1:10 pm ET, MLBTV)

Cubs at Braves (7:20 pm ET, MLBTV)

Yankees at Twins (7:40 pm ET, TBS)


EPL: Tottenham vs. Man. City (3:00 pm ET, NBC)