CC: Media → The Caitlin Clark Saga


By: Jeff Yoder

Good Morning!

No NBA or NHL for three days left sports fans and journalists with a hole to fill. The result? A lot of nonsense. But I have a job to do (sigh). Let’s hope everyone walks away feeling better.

[CC: Media] Have you ever written an email intended for one group but CC’d others so they’d read it, too? That’s today’s edition. Written for you, our community of readers, CC’d for members of the media, and for CC herself — Caitlin Clark. Take notes.

Letter Rip!



CC: Media (The Caitlin Clark Saga)

Photo: Andy Lyons / Getty Images

A Deep 3: The Caitlin Clark Media Binge That Makes Me Cringe

I didn’t want to do it. I had to do it. I was hoping to weave in some WNBA coverage the next time a player did something noteworthy on the court — Arike Ogunbowale’s next 40-piece? Skylar Diggins-Smith’s next game-winner? You know? — and not this media sideshow. Alas, Caitlin Clark’s star-power is just too big. And on the eve-eve of the NBA Finals, when every sports journo and news site seemed to have nothing better to talk about, here we are. As a sports news curator, I feel obligated to regurgitate the most notable and viral topics of the day. Today, it’s the media sharks vs. Caitlin Clark.

What Happened? If You Didn’t Know…

Saturday night, the Chicago Sky’s Chennedy Carter hip-checked Indiana Fever rookie Caitlin Clark on a non-basketball play. The common foul was later upgraded to a Flagrant 1. Nothing new, here. Clark has been guarded like it’s Game 7 of the Finals every night. She was just named Rookie of the Month with an 18-6-5 average stat line, and she’s helping shatter WNBA viewership records like never before. That’s not a hot take, it’s a fact. Viewership records are being broken by a 2-9 team. Sellout crowds follow her to every arena. But Clark’s first 11 games have come with an avalanche of discussion and a media circus in regard to race, gender, privilege, jealousy, and more. The WNBA veterans want to send a rookie welcome package to the media’s darling, as they should (to a point). That’s awesome competition. But in 2024, we’re going to make it about something else… I guess.

“It is what it is. I feel like I’m just at the point where you just accept it and don’t retaliate… I think at this point I know I’m gonna take a couple hard shots a game.” — Caitlin Clark

“I ain’t answering no Caitlin Clark questions.” — Chennedy Carter

After the no-comment in the postgame presser, Carter proceeded to say the following on social media: “Besides three-point shooting what does she (Clark) bring to the table man.”

What does Caitlin Clark bring to the table? Hmm. She’s the NCAA’s all-time scoring leader, men or women. That Rookie of the Month thing I mentioned before. Those viewership spikes only help league revenue, and in turn, everyone’s paychecks. She’s launched the WNBA into the next level of its evolution. The craziest element of the debate is that no one understands what they’re debating. She might not be the league’s best player, but she’s drawing fans in droves. The debate is “why?” And the answers are blind. Clark was trending on sports Twitter/X for the entirety of Monday when the WNBA had a night of no games. Every talk show was abuzz with Clarkmania. Many of you asked for my thoughts or opinions while offering your own. It’s kind of amazing, actually.

While I don’t play the hot-take game like my friends at ESPN, I did watch and read all-day banter from Stephen A. Smith to Jemele Hill, and Indy personalities like Pat McAfee and Dan Dakich. Some good points, some ugly. Color me bored, but I’ll bite. Here are my two cents (three cents — a deep, Caitlin Clark logo 3 of sense) on the topic:

3 Takes on the Caitlin Clark Saga

1. Clark’s Appeal: Clark’s NCAA greatness became a media whirlwind just like LeBron James’ high school hype tour. There’s an unseen force raising her level of clout against the will of 143 other players who are also really good at what they do; many of them better than the current version of CC. Let’s stop trying to pinpoint the “why” behind Clark’s magnetism. Young girls like her, and their parents are buying tickets.

2. The Sky Bench: Forget the foul by Carter, as intentional as it was. Did you see the Sky’s bench react to it? Look again. There’s an open celebration for a head-hunting foul. It only furthered the hoopla that they’re after Clark. I don’t think the whole league has a personal vendetta, but that look didn’t help. Reply to today’s edition and let me know what you think.

3. CC: The Media: This type of story arc makes me cringe. The say-anything-for-clicks crowd continues to make everything about race, gender, or the next form of division and oppression. We all have differences that make us just that — different. Different looks, skills, opinions, and passions. Let’s lift each other up and let each other be.

No matter how you spin it, the ‘W’ is in the spotlight right now, and that’s pretty awesome for the league. Two more expansion teams are coming. Caitlin Clark is a superstar, and 143 other women are pretty darn good, too. Now let’s celebrate the game, not fight for clicks. Ironic... (here are some things to click)

Read More

Yahoo! Sports: Why the Caitlin Clark-Chennedy Carter Incident Has Struck Such a Chord With the Public

SI: Angel Reese Asserts Caitlin Clark Isn’t Only Reason for Sold Out WNBA Games

USA Today: Indiana Fever Legend Tamika Catchings Weighs In On Caitlin Clark Cheap Shot

NBC Sports: Chennedy Carter Seemingly Claps Back at Draymond Green’s ‘Enforcer’ Comment



The J.J. Pay Day

Photo: Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Inks Largest Non-QB Contract in NFL History (4 Years, $140 Million)

After drafting J.J. McCarthy in the 1st Round of April’s NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings have two JJs on offense. Whether McCarthy or Sam Darnold starts Week 1 remains to be seen, but when that day comes, their No. 1 target should be a happy camper. Vikings WR Justin Jefferson inked a record-setting 4-year, $140 million extension on Monday morning. It includes $110 million guaranteed. That $35 million annual mark breaks the record for the most money given to a non-quarterback position. Nick Bosa (49ers) set the mark last September (5 years, $170 million). The news ends a potential holdout saga that would’ve crushed the Vikings’ offensive firepower. Jefferson announced the news himself on social media: “The deal I have been waiting for since I was a little kid.”

Jetta’s HOF Trajectory

Jefferson (a.k.a. Jetta) just reset the receiver market for good reason. In just four seasons since he was selected with the No. 22 pick in the 2020 draft, he’s received three Pro Bowl nods. Jefferson’s 5,899 receiving yards since 2020 ranks second to only Dolphins’ WR Tyreek Hill (6,024 yards), and it’s the most by any player in his first four seasons. His 1,500 yards-per-season pace would put him top-5 all-time at the end of a 10-year career. Hall of Fame numbers…

Largest Annual Receiver Contracts

1. Justin Jefferson (MIN): $35M / Year

2. A.J. Brown (PHI): $32M / Year

3. Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET): $30M / Year

4. Tyreek Hill (MIA): $30M / Year

5. Jaylen Waddle (MIA): $28.25M / Year

Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb is smiling somewhere. He’s up next.

Read More

ESPN: Why Vikings’ Record Extension With Justin Jefferson Makes Sense

NBC: Justin Jefferson Agrees to Record $140 Million Contract Extension With Vikings



No Djoke: Another Paris Survival

Photo: Franco Arland / Getty Images

#1 Novak Djokovic Survives 2nd Straight 5-Set Thriller to Beat #23 Francisco Cerundolo

Shaken, but not stirred! For the second straight match, Novak Djokovic needed every bit of five sets and four-plus hours to etch his name on the next line of the French Open bracket. Monday’s 4th-round clash with Francisco Cerundolo required a comeback by the Djoker to take Set 4 and 5 and advance. It hasn’t been easy for the 37-year-old, and it won’t get easier. The other youth group of men’s seeds — Sinner, Alcaraz, and Zverev — are still alive and playing some of their best tennis in their 20s.

Watch: #1 N. Djokovic Survives Another 5-Setter

Defeats Francisco Cerundolo (6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3)

Men’s Singles (4th Round)

#4 A. Zverev def. #13 H. Rune (4-6, 6-1, 5-7, 7-6, 6-2)

#7 C. Ruud def. #12 T. Fritz (7-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2)

#11 A. De Minaur def. #5 D. Medvedev (4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-3)

Women’s Singles (4th Round)

#2 A. Sabalenka def. #22 E. Navarro (6-2, 6-3)

#4 E. Rybakina def. #15 E. Svitolina (6-4, 6-3)

#12 J. Paolini def. E. Avanesyan (4-6, 6-0, 6-1)

M. Andreeva def. V. Gracheva (7-5, 6-2)

Today’s Schedule (Quarterfinals)

W: #3 C. Gauff vs. #8 O. Jabeur (5:00 am ET)

W: #1 I. Swiatek vs. #5 M. Vondrousova (6:30 am ET)

M: #2 J. Sinner vs. #10 G. Dimitrov (7:45 am ET)

M: #3 C. Alcaraz vs. #9 S. Tsitsipas (2:15 pm ET)

Read More

EuroSport: Djokovic Roars Back to Edge Epic Against Cerundolo Despite Injury Scare

SI: French Open Midterm Grades: Sinner, Swiatek Earn Top Marks at Rain-Soaked Roland Garros




Rhys Hoskins Hits HR in Return to Philly

Brewers Lose to Phillies (3-1)

Reds Set Season-High in Runs & Hits

Cincy Rolls Rockies (13-3)

Pavin Smith Hits Walk-Off Blast for D-Backs

Arizona Tops SF (4-2) for 3rd Straight Win

Softball World Series (Semifinals)

#1 Texas def. #8 Stanford (1-0)

Texas Advances to Finals

#4 Florida def. #2 Oklahoma (9-3)

Florida Forces Winner-Take-All Today (2pm ET)



The 2024 NBA Finals Entrance Survey

Do the Dallas Mavericks or Boston Celtics have a better leading duo? Which role player is the biggest X factor? It’s time for Finals picks ahead of the NBA’s ultimate clash. (The Ringer)

Kylian Mbappe Joins Real Madrid

The 25-year-old World Cup winner with France joins a Madrid team that is already loaded with talent and still celebrating its latest European triumph. Announcement coming. (NBC News)

The Next Sports Gambling Scandal

San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano is facing a potential lifetime ban for betting on baseball. It’s just the next in a long line of sports gambling scandals in recent years. (ESPN)



Beloved Cowboys Hall of Fame OL Larry Allen Dies Suddenly at Age 52 (ESPN)

Michael Jordan 2003-04 Upper Deck Card Sells for Record $3 Million (FOX Sports)

Mariners to Sign CF Victor Robles After Being Released by Nationals (B/R)

Astros’ Ace Jose Urquidy Done for Season With Possible Second Tommy John Surgery Needed (AP News)

Monica McNutt Leaves Stephen A. Smith Stunned With ‘First Take’ Criticism During Caitlin Clark Discussion (SI)

TE Darren Waller Reportedly Expected to Retire Ahead of Minicamp (Yahoo! Sports)

NBA Legend Alonzo Mourning Cancer-Free After Surgery (CBS Sports)



Today’s Must-Watch List

French Open (Quarterfinals)

W: #3 C. Gauff vs. #8 O. Jabeur (5:00 am ET)

W: #1 I. Swiatek vs. #5 M. Vondrousova (6:30 am ET)

M: #2 J. Sinner vs. #10 G. Dimitrov (7:45 am ET)

M: #3 C. Alcaraz vs. #9 S. Tsitsipas (2:15 pm ET)

*Stream on NBC Sports

Softball World Series (Semifinals)

#2 Oklahoma vs. #4 Florida (2:00 pm ET, ESPN)

Winner to Face #1 Texas in Final Series


Twins at Yankees (7:05 pm ET, TBS)

Braves at Red Sox (7:10 pm ET, NESN)
White Sox at Cubs (8:05 pm ET, MLBTV)


Liberty at Sky (8:00 pm ET, NBATV)
Mercury at Storm (10:00 pm ET, CBS)

Soccer (Friendly)

USWNT vs. South Korea (8:00 pm ET, truTV)