⚽️ USMNT to the semis: Despite a 2-1 loss on Monday, the USMNT beat Trinidad and Tobago, 4-2 on aggregate, to advance to the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals.
⚽️ USWNT's new chapter: The USWNT announced its roster for December's camp ahead of two friendlies, and 10 of the 23 women from this summer's disappointing World Cup squad were left off as the team will begin its long-overdue rebuild.
⛳️ TGL delayed a year: TGL, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy's tech-infused golf league, is delaying its debut to 2025 following extensive damage to its facility in Florida.
🏀 First since Wilt: Giannis Antetokounmpo dropped 42 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists on 20-of-23 (!!!) shooting in Monday's win over the Wizards. He's the first player since Wilt Chamberlain in 1968 to average 40-10-5 on 75% shooting in a two-game span.
🏈 Four-game suspension: Broncos safety Kareem Jackson was suspended four games for his illegal hit against Vikings QB Josh Dobbs on Sunday — his second suspension of the season for an illegal hit to the head.
🏈 PHILLY GETS REVENGE
The Eagles went into Arrowhead on Monday night hoping for revenge after February's Super Bowl defeat. They emerged with a comeback victory and the best record in the NFL.
ICYMI: Philly beat Kansas City, 21-17, on "Monday Night Football," holding the Chiefs scoreless in the second half despite some incredibly close calls in the fourth quarter.
The Chiefs took a 17-7 lead into the locker room on two touchdown passes from Patrick Mahomes. But the second half was a different story as the Eagles defense forced four punts and a fumble on Kansas City's first five drives.
That gave Philly's offense the opening it needed to mount a comeback, scoring on a pair of Jalen Hurts rushing touchdowns to go up 21-17 with six minutes left.
Just when it looked like Mahomes would pull off one of his patented last-minute victories, his receiving corps forgot how to catch the ball, dropping* three passes on the final drive including the would-be go-ahead touchdown.
The big picture: The Eagles are now 9-1, and if the past is any indication, their future is bright: This is their seventh 9-1 start in franchise history, and the previous six times they went on to play for the title.
1949: Eagles 14, Rams 0 (NFL Championship) 🏆
1960: Eagles 17, Packers 13 in the (NFL Championship) 🏆
1980: Raiders 27, Eagles 10 (Super Bowl XV)
2004: Patriots 24, Eagles 21 (Super Bowl XXXIX)
2017: Eagles 41, Patriots 33 (Super Bowl LII) 🏆
2022: Chiefs 38, Eagles 35 (Super Bowl LVII)
*An ugly trend: The Chiefs lead the NFL with 26 dropped passes this season.
🏀 LEBRON VS. FATHER TIME
Stop me if you've heard this one before: LeBron James is defying Father Time.
The latest: LeBron, 38, powered the Lakers (8-6) to their fifth win in six games on Sunday, pouring in a season-high 37 points to go along with six rebounds, eight assists, three steals and the game-winning free throw in L.A.'s 105-104 victory over the Rockets.
By the numbers: He's played all but one game so far this season and his averages — 26.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.5 assists — are roughly in line with his career numbers. Those are excellent for anyone; they're downright ludicrous for someone playing in his 21st season.
The 21-season club: LeBron is just the sixth player in NBA history to suit up for a 21st season, and his Year 21 numbers are… slightly better than his fellow super-veterans.
James (2023-24): 26.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.5 assists and a 26.1 PER* in 34.4 minutes.
Vince Carter (2018-19): 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists and a 11.8 PER in 17.5 minutes.
Dirk Nowitzki (2018-19): 7.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 0.7 assists and a 9.6 PER in 15.6 minutes.
Robert Parish (1996-97): 3.7 points, 2.1 rebounds, 0.5 assists and a 14.3 PER in 9.4 minutes.
Kevin Garnett (2015-16): 3.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists and a 12.3 PER in 14.6 minutes.
Kevin Willis (2006-07): 2.4 points, 1.6 rebounds, 0.2 assists and a 6.3 PER in 8.6 minutes.
What he's saying: "Just trying to push the limit. See how far I can take this thing. I don't know. I mean, it's me vs. Father Time," he told ESPN after Sunday's win, saying he feels rejuvenated this season. "I got my bounce back, my spring back, my quick twitch back."
But is it sustainable? LeBron has made a career out of defying expectations. But the soon-to-be 39-year-old is in fact mortal, so coach Darvin Ham would be wise to limit his minutes — as he suggested he would last month — in order to keep him healthy for the playoffs.
Having said that, it's easy to understand why Ham has already abandoned that strategy: the Lakers have a +6.7 net rating when LeBron is on the court, but they're at -17.9 when he's off it.
If he rests too much now, they might not have a playoff run to keep him fresh for anyway.
What to watch: The Lakers host the Jazz tonight (10pm ET, TNT) for their fourth game of the in-season tournament, in which they lead their group with a 3-0 record. LeBron's played at least 34 minutes and scored at least 35 points in two straight games. Think he'll make it three in a row?
*Player Efficiency Rating: A catch-all stat that provides a per-minute rating of a player's performance by adding his positive accomplishments and subtracting his negative ones.
⚾️ GET TO KNOW THE NAME: YOSHINOBU YAMAMOTO
The most coveted free agent this offseason is Shohei Ohtani, but perhaps not that far behind him is fellow countryman Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who's now free to negotiate with MLB teams.
Driving the news: Yamamoto was posted on Monday by the Orix Buffaloes, his Nippon Professional Baseball team, meaning MLB clubs' 45-day negotiating window begins today.
The 25-year-old righty is expected to fetch by far the largest contract for an incoming Japanese player, eclipsing the seven-year, $155 million deal the Yankees gave Masahiro Tanaka in 2014.
Whichever team Yamamoto chooses — and more than a third of the league has been linked to the young ace — will also have to pay the Buffaloes a hefty posting fee: likely over $30 million, assuming the contract is north of $200 million as expected.
Who is he?Yamamoto has been among NPB's best starters since debuting in 2017, going 70-29 with a 1.82 ERA in seven seasons. But in the last three years he's become nearly unhittable, winning three straight Triple Crowns en route to three straight Sawamura Awards (essentially the Cy Young):
2021: 18-5, 1.39 ERA, 206 strikeouts
2022: 15-5, 1.68 ERA, 205 strikeouts
2023: 16-6, 1.21 ERA, 169 strikeouts
Oh, yea… He also threw no-hitters in each of the last two seasons, set a Japan Series* record earlier this month with 14 strikeouts in a 138-pitch complete game and should capture his third straight league MVP later this month. Not too shabby.
What to watch: Fans won't be the only ones waiting to see if their favorite team lands the generational talent. The three excellent free agent starters behind Yamamoto — Blake Snell, Sonny Gray and Jordan Montgomery — will likely wait for him to set the market.
*Japan Series: NPB's version of the World Series, which Yamamoto's Buffaloes played in each of the last three years, winning in 2022.
⚾️ THE ROAD TO COOPERSTOWN
Adrián Beltré, Joe Mauer and Chase Utley headline the list of 12 new players who've earned a spot on the 2024 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, which was unveiled on Monday.
Those dozen newcomers, alongside the 14 returning players, must now sit and wait for the members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America to cast their votes, which are due by the end of the year.
Players must be named on at least 75% of ballots to be elected, and on at least 5% to remain on the ballot another year.
The newcomers: Beltré, Mauer, Utley, David Wright, Bartolo Colon, Matt Holliday, Adrián González, José Bautista, José Reyes, Victor Martinez, James Shields and Brandon Phillips.
The holdovers: Four returning players earned at least 50% of the vote last year, when Scott Rolen was the only player* elected to Cooperstown. One of those four, Gary Sheffield, is the only player entering his 10th and final year on the ballot.
More than 50% last year: Todd Helton, 72.2% (now in his 6th year on the ballot); Billy Wagner, 68.1% (9th); Andruw Jones, 58.1% (7th); Sheffield, 55% (10th)
20%-50%: Carlos Beltrán, 46.5% (2nd); Alex Rodriguez, 35.7% (3rd); Manny Ramirez, 33.2% (8th)
Less than 20%: Omar Vizquel, 19.5% (7th); Andy Pettitte, 17% (6th); Bobby Abreu, 15.4% (5th); Jimmy Rollins, 12.9% (3rd); Mark Buehrle, 10.8% (4th); Francisco Rodríguez, 10.8% (2nd); Torii Hunter, 6.9% (4th)
*Technically one of two: Rolen was the only player elected by the BBWAA, but Fred McGriff also earned induction thanks to the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee, whose 2024 ballot includes eight managers, executives and umpires.
🏀 WOMEN'S POLL: TERPS ARE OUT
For the first time in 13 years, Maryland isn't in the women's basketball AP top 25, ending the second-longest active streak in the nation.
The top 10: UConn has the longest active streak by far, and the longest all-time as of last week. With Maryland out of the poll for the first time in 252 weeks, here's how the rest of the top 10 shakes out.
UConn: 567 consecutive weeks in the top 25
South Carolina: 209
Notre Dame: 38
Ohio State: 30
North Carolina: 29
Virginia Tech: 27
Clarity at the top: The only undefeated teams from the preseason top 10 are South Carolina, this week's unanimous No. 1, and UCLA, who at No. 2 have their highest ranking ever.
Meanwhile, on the men's side… Kansas strengthened its grip on the No. 1 spot and Miami rose to No. 10 for its highest ranking since 2018.
📆 NOV. 21, 1920 & 1969: TWO STARS ARE BORN
103 years ago today, Stan Musial was born in the tiny town of Donora, Pennsylvania. 49 years later, so was Ken Griffey Jr.
What are the odds? It's one of my favorite bits of baseball trivia, that Griffey — one of the best players in MLB history at any position — has the second-most wins above replacement, hits, runs scored, RBIs and MVPs among left-handed outfielders born on Nov. 21 in Donora*.
🎾 1905: The first Australasian tennis championships — which would later become the Australian Open — began in Melbourne with a field of 17 men's singles players.
⚾️ 1934: The Yankees traded four players and $25,000 to the Pacific Coast League's San Francisco Seals for a 19-year-old outfielder named Joe DiMaggio. Pretty good deal.
*Fun fact: The two all-time greats share another connection: one of Musial's teammates on the Donora High School baseball team was Griffey's grandfather, Joseph.
📺 WATCHLIST: TOP-10 SHOWDOWNS IN HAWAII
A pair of top-10 showdowns in the Maui Invitational semifinals headline tonight's college hoops action.
No. 2 Purdue vs. 7 Tennessee (8pm ET, ESPN)
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 4 Marquette (10:30pm, ESPN)
More to watch:
🏀 NBA: Cavaliers at 76ers (7:30pm, TNT/Max); Jazz at Lakers (10pm, TNT/Max)
⚽️ World Cup qualifiers: Brazil* vs. Argentina (7:30pm, Telemundo)
🏈 CFB: Bowling Green at Western Michigan (7pm, ESPNU); Eastern Michigan at Buffalo (7:30pm, ESPN2)
*Protecting their house: Brazil has never lost a World Cup qualifier at home. Coming off two straight losses and facing Lionel Messi tonight could be their stiffest test yet to keep that streak alive.
🏈 NFL TRIVIA
Nine NFL teams have at least seven wins.
Question: Can you name them?
Hint: 5 AFC, 4 NFC (and we already gave you one above).
Answer at the bottom.
🏈 IT'S BOYLE TIME
The Jets started the season with one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time under center. Now, they've got Tim Boyle.
What's happening: Head coach Robert Saleh named Boyle as New York's Week 12 starter on Monday, demoting Zach Wilson to QB3 after his third straight loss.
While you'd think nearly anyone would be an improvement over Wilson, who's completed just 59% of his passes this year with 6 TD and 7 INT, Boyle's track record isn't exactly sterling.
The fifth-year pro has thrown just 3 TD against 9 INT, with the most recent pick coming on Sunday after he entered the game for Wilson.
And his numbers in college across four seasons at UConn and Eastern Kentucky were perhaps even worse: 12 TD and 26 INT.
What's next: Boyle's fourth career NFL start is this Friday against the Dolphins, whose All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey has intercepted three passes in three games since returning from injury. Pray for Boyle, and for Jets fans.
Trivia answer: Eagles (9-1), Lions (8-2), Ravens (8-3), Chiefs (7-3), 49ers (7-3), Jaguars (7-3), Dolphins (7-3), Browns (7-3), Cowboys (7-3)