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USATSI

Happy Monday everyone, Shanna McCarriston back with tons of news from the sports world. Hope you had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed the final events of the Olympics. 

Last night was the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony and I loved watching highlights of the players in the 2021 class and listening to stories from their careers. I grew up watching Peyton Manning play (many times losing to Tom Brady 😄) so it felt wild to see him secure his place in football history.

We will talk about the ceremony more in today's newsletter, but before we get to that, we have some other stuff to discuss, such as the top Olympic moments, Lionel Messi and more.

Let's get to it.


📰 What you need to know

1. The top Olympic moments from Tokyo🏅

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have come and gone, and they brought us some incredible moments from the top athletes around the world.

The United States took home the most medals of any country with 113. Team USA combined for 39 gold, 41 silver and 33 bronze. China took home the second-most with 88, while host country Japan finished the Games with 58.

There were many incredible Team USA moments to choose from as the best, and here are just a few:

One of my favorite moments was easily the women's basketball team winning their seventh gold medal. 

Dominance in any sport is difficult enough, but it's especially hard when you are going against the best in the world. Simply put, Team USA always finds a way to win. Bird and Taurasi making history by becoming the first basketball players, man or woman, to win five Olympic gold medals is the icing on the cake.

For full commentary on all the top moments, click here.

2. Lionel Messi gives tearful goodbye to Barcelona ⚽

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Lionel Messi has said his goodbyes to Barcelona and is now likely headed to Paris Saint-Germain. Messi's time with Barcelona, the only club he's played for, ended with an emotional press conference this past weekend.

He discussed what the city and team meant to him, and did so through many tears.

  • Messi: "After 21 years I am leaving. I cannot tell you that in a few years we will not come back because this is our home. I have promised my children that. So many beautiful things have happened, some bad, but all of this helped me to grow and improve and make me the person I am. The truth is that this is very difficult for me. I spent my whole life here, I was not really prepared. It is our home, we always overcame our well-being and it is our home."

The superstar is now reportedly headed to play with PSG, according to CBS Sports' Fabrizio Romano -- who in great detail explained how Messi's split with Barcelona happened.

Here is a look at the proposed details of his new contract:

  • An agreement until June 30, 2023
  • Option to extend his salary of €25 million ($29.4 million) net per season
  • Add-ons up to a maximum of €35 million ($41.2 million) for each season until 2024

Some details still remain to be seen, as an official agreement has not been made yet. Last year, Messi revealed he wanted to leave Barcelona, which was the beginning of the end of his time with the club. His contractual situation was never settled due to La Liga salary cap issues, which led to this, but clearly he was not totally emotionally ready to leave Barcelona.

3. Tom Brady is not happy about the NFL's new salary cap 🏈

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Tom Brady is not thrilled with his fellow players. He said so much over the weekend, calling them "ignorant" on social media. The defending champion seemed to be upset that the NFL's salary cap went down, even though the value of every team in the league increased by an average of 14% over the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, the current salary cap is set at $182.5 million -- a 20% decrease. The team with the biggest increase in value? None other than Brady's Buccaneers, whose value went up by 29%. Here's what Brady's problem with all of this is, in his own words:

  • Brady, via Instagram: "The salary cap dropped by 20% and the new media deals were announced the day AFTER 2021 salary cap was set. NFL players better wake up @NFLPA. NFL players are IGNORANT."

Strong words from Brady, who would likely want to see the NFLPA negotiate a better collective bargaining agreement in the future. Ultimately, the seven-time champion isn't thrilled that the owners seem to be getting a better deal from the players, but as CBS Sports' John Breech pointed out, it's not that clear cut.

Salary cap goes hand-in-hand with total revenue, which went down $4 billion during the coronavirus pandemic. Owners could counter argue that they took those losses while players got what they were promised. 

Regardless, the cap likely will increase from now on, with a 2022 cap going as high as $208.2, a 14% increase over 2021, the league announced. 

4. R.I.P. Bobby Bowden 🏈

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College Football Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden died at 91 on Sunday. Just weeks ago, the Florida State legend announced that he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Bowden's son, Terry Bowden, later confirmed that his father had pancreatic cancer.

  • Bobby Bowden in July after announcing his terminal illness: "I've always tried to serve God's purpose for my life, on and off the field, and I am prepared for what is to come. My wife, Ann, and our family have been life's greatest blessing. I am at peace."

Bowden's time with Florida State football -- all 34 years --elevated the program beyond measure in Tallahassee. Here's a snapshot of his 40-year career as a major college coach:

  • 377 career wins
  • 12 ACC titles
  • National championships in 1993 and 1999 with Florida State
  • Helped FSU finish in the AP top 5 for 14-straight seasons (1987-2000)
  • Coached at Samford and West Virginia, as well as FSU
  • Retired in 2009

Following his death this weekend, friends, family, players and fans expressed their condolences for the coach on social media.


📝 Odds & Ends

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📺 What to watch tonight

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Reds vs. Indians, 6:10 p.m. | CLE +150 | TV: MLB.TV

White Sox vs. Twins, 8:10 p.m. | MIN +170 | TV: ESPN

Yankees vs. Royals, 8:10 p.m. | KC +157 | TV: MLB.TV


Best thing I saw on the internet 🏅

As someone who started watching football in 2001 at the young age of six, Peyton Manning was a face I watched for my entire childhood. Sometimes I watched him with hatred (those six times he beat Brady and the Patriots), sometimes I thanked him for his interceptions in Foxboro or on the road (the 11 times he was defeated by Bill Belichick's crew) and sometimes I watched him and laughed when he was in commercials or on "Saturday Night Live."

No matter what, though, I always watched him with respect, even as a rival to my hometown team. 

Watching his Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement, with his rival-turned-friend Brady in his personal section, felt like a culmination of the time I started to love football. He joked that Brady won't retire until 2035, referencing how the 44-year-old just doesn't ever seem to be nearing his career. It was great to watch two GOATs interact and laugh on a stage like the HoF's.