🏒 Victory at last: The Sharks beat the Flyers, 2-1, on Tuesday to snap an 11-game losing streak and avoid becoming the first team in NHL history to start a season with 12 straight losses.
🏀 Self's new deal: Bill Self has signed what is effectively a lifetime contract with Kansas that makes him the highest-paid coach in college basketball. He'll make more than $13 million this season and $53 million over the next five years.
⚽️ MLS Cup Playoffs: Orlando City eliminated Nashville on Tuesday to join Kansas City, LAFC and Cincinnati in the second round (see bracket). Atlanta beat Columbus, 4-2, to force Game 3.
🏈 CFP rankings: The top eight teams stayed the same this week, but a shake up is coming with No. 2 Georgia hosting No. 9 Ole Miss and No. 3 Michigan visiting No. 10 Penn State on Saturday.
⚽️ City clinch spot: Manchester City beat Young Boys, 3-0, to punch the first ticket to the Champions League Round of 16 and advance to the knockout stage for the 11th straight season.
📸 BEHIND THE LENS
Each week, we go "Behind the Lens" with Getty Images to get the backstory on the best photographs in sports.
This week's photo: Kyle Palmieri of the Islanders watches a shot by teammate Noah Dobson get past Red Wings goalie Ville Husso during the third period of their game at UBS Arena. Detroit went on to win 4-3 in overtime.
Photographer: Bruce Bennett
Location: Elmont, New York
Date: October 30
Behind the lens: This is Bruce's 50th season (!!!) photographing the NHL. I asked him to explain how he captures these photos from inside the net. Here's his answer, which I found utterly fascinating…
It seems like throughout my 50 years shooting hockey, there have never been images more popular than the ones shot from the netcam. So let me take you into the net where photos are made, and you don't have to worry about getting hit with a puck.
Let's handle the equipment first. My preference is the Canon R5, a high-end camera that allows me to shoot photos at 20 frames-per-second so nothing is missed. On that camera body is a Canon 15mm fish-eye lens so that I can capture two different looks — one where the entire scene is framed out by the posts, and one where the posts are cropped out.
And where exactly can I find the hockey netcam? It is not in use every game, but when there, the square camera housing is clamped to the center post about six inches off the ice. By NHL rules, the camera must be in place 2.5 hours prior to game time so NHL Hockey Ops personnel can inspect the installation and TV people, who share the net with video and battery packs, can ensure that I didn't crimp or cut their wires.
At the end of warmups I watch the nets being pushed out on the ice in the same fashion as you would watch a ship being sent out from dry dock. That provides me with one last check that the camera is straight, and the ice crew haven't "bounced" the net knocking the housing down or crooked. If the housing gets wrecked 12 seconds into the game, I need to wait until the end of the period to make the necessary adjustments.
Also attached to the camera is a radio receiver manufactured by Pocket Wizard. From my shooting position, which I prefer to be at the far end of the ice, a one-second push on my transmitter will leave me with 20 frames on the netcam. Exactly when to push the button is based on an educated guess supported by experience and knowledge of the sport. To be clear, I am shooting blindly with no view from the net so when anything happens near the net, you hold that button down and end up with 20, 40, 60, 80 shots. You got the idea!
Sometimes you have an inkling what you will have shot, and sometimes the scoreboard replay will help you have a better idea, but it's always a thrill to see what you really have. That thrill is tempered of course by having to slog through 1,500-2,500 images. But when you capture a winner, the work is well worth it.
I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout-out to the ice crews who clean the netcam glass of snow at TV timeouts. Without them, the view quite often would be like looking out of a car window during an ice an snowstorm.
🏀 USA VS. WORLD: THE FUTURE OF THE NBA ALL-STAR GAME?
Could the NBA adopt a USA vs. World format for future All-Star Games? It certainly sounds like it, and the concept makes a lot of sense for the increasingly global league.
The latest buzz: Deputy commissioner Mark Tatum told NBA reporter Marc Stein last week that it's "very, very possible," the league goes that route, and commissioner Adam Silver promoted the idea during Monday's press conference awarding the 2025 All-Star Game to San Francisco.
"People are out there talking about … a Ryder Cup-type format, maybe thinking about U.S. players playing against global players. I just know we're looking at all different approaches to All-Star and [San Francisco] is a great market to try new things… Stay tuned."
Where it stands: This format wouldn't have worked 25 years ago, when the NBA had just 29 international players. But it's more than feasible now that the league is overflowing with foreign-born talent.
There were a record 125 international players from 40 countries on opening night rosters this season, and all 30 teams have at least one foreign-born player.
The last five MVP award winners were all international players, as were four of the top five finishers in MVP voting last season.
A record 25 international players participated in All-Star Weekend last season, including a record six international All-Star starters.
What this could look like: The USA vs. World format won't be implemented until 2025 at the earliest, but for the sake of this exercise, I picked 12 players for each squad based on this season's personnel.
🇺🇸 Team USA: Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, Damian Lillard, Bam Adebayo, Devin Booker, Donovan Mitchell, Anthony Edwards, Anthony Davis, Tyrese Haliburton, Zion Williamson
🌍 Team World: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokić, Luka Dončić, Joel Embiid*, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Victor Wembanyama, Kyrie Irving*, Domantas Sabonis, Jamal Murray, Pascal Siakam, Lauri Markkanen, Kristaps Porzingis
Who ya got?
*Dual citizens: Embiid was born in Cameroon and has dual citizenship in the U.S. and France. He recently committed to Team USA for the 2024 Olympics, but I have him choosing Team World here. Irving has Australian citizenship, and playing for Team World feels like something he'd do.
🏈 WEEK 10 POWER RANKINGS
The Ravens took over the top spot in this week's NFL power rankings, via Yahoo Sports' Frank Schwab, leapfrogging the Eagles* after a dominant win over the Seahawks in Baltimore.
Fun fact: If the season ended today, the entire AFC North (Ravens, Steelers, Browns, Bengals) would make the playoffs.
Ravens: 7-2 (up 2)
Eagles: 8-1 (down 1)
Chiefs: 7-2 (down 1)
Lions: 6-2 (up 1)
49ers: 5-3 (up 2)
Jaguars: 6-2 (up 2)
Dolphins: 6-3 (down 3)
Bengals: 5-3 (up 2)
Cowboys: 5-3 (down 3)
Browns: 5-3 (up 2)
Bills: 5-4 (down 2)
Seahawks: 5-3 (down 1)
Chargers: 4-4 (up 1)
Saints: 5-4 (up 1)
Steelers: 5-3 (up 1)
Texans: 4-4 (up 2)
Jets: 4-4 (down 4)
Vikings: 5-4 (up 6)
Colts: 4-5 (up 4)
Falcons: 4-5 (down 3)
Buccaneers: 3-5 (down 2)
Titans: 3-5 (down 2)
Commanders: 4-5 (up 2)
Broncos: 3-5 (down 3)
Raiders: 4-5 (up 1)
Packers: 3-5 (up 2)
Rams: 3-6 (down 5)
Bears: 2-7 (up 1)
Patriots: 2-7 (down 2)
Panthers: 1-7 (up 1)
Giants: 2-7 (down 1)
Cardinals: 1-8 (-)
*Don't worry Philly: The Birds may have slipped in our rankings, but history suggests they're in the perfect spot. The Eagles are the fourth team in the last 30 years to win at least eight of their first nine games in back-to-back seasons. The other three won the Super Bowl the second year.
🏀 HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF THESE SCHOOLS?
One of my favorite parts of the early college basketball season is discovering all the colleges and universities I didn't know existed.
Some examples: Here are 25 non-Division I schools that have played or are playing Division I opponents this week in men's and women's hoops:
The Apprentice School (Virginia)
Blue Mountain College (Mississippi)
Brescia University (Kentucky)
Cairn University (Pennsylvania)
Christendom College (Virginia)
Eastern Mennonite University (Virginia)
Goldey-Beacom College (Delaware)
Goshen College (Indiana)
Lees-McRae College (North Carolina)
Life University (Georgia)
Mount Marty University (South Dakota)
Northwest Indian College (Washington)
Our Lady of the Lake University (Texas)
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (Indiana)
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (South Dakota)
Southwestern Assemblies of God University (Texas)
Spalding University (Kentucky)
Sul Ross State (Texas)
University of Health Sciences & Pharmacy in St. Louis (Missouri)
Trevecca Nazarene University (Tennessee)
More College Hoops: 68 predictions for the men's college basketball season
📆 NOV. 8, 1966: ROBINSON'S RARE FEAT
57 years ago today, Orioles slugger Frank Robinson was named AL MVP after winning the Triple Crown and leading the O's to their first World Series title.
A rare feat: Robinson, who won the NL MVP in 1961 with the Reds, is the only player in MLB history to win MVP in both leagues. Six pitchers (and likely a seventh* soon) have won the Cy Young in both leagues, but nobody has matched Frank.
🏈 1966: President Lyndon Johnson signed into law an antitrust exemption that allowed the NFL to merge with the AFL, giving birth to the modern era of American professional football.
🏈 1970: Saints kicker Tom Dempsey, born without toes on his right foot, kicked a then record 63-yard field goal to beat the Lions. There have only been two longer field goals since.
*Padres lefty Blake Snell is the favorite to win the NL Cy Young, which would make him the seventh player to win the award in both leagues (he won the 2018 AL Cy Young with the Rays).
📺 WATCHLIST: WEMBY AT THE GARDEN
Victor Wembanyama will make his Madison Square Garden debut* tonight when the Spurs visit the Knicks (7:30pm ET, ESPN). Then the 7-1 Nuggets host the 6-2 Warriors (10pm, ESPN) in the nightcap. Are you not entertained?!
More to watch:
🏒 Rivalry Series: Canada vs. USA (9:30pm, NHL) … The first of a seven-game competition between the women's national teams. At Mullett Arena in Tempe, Arizona.
⚽️ MLS Cup Playoffs: New England (down 1-0) vs. Philadelphia (7pm, Apple/FS1) … The Revolution need to win at home to keep their season alive.
⚽️ Champions League: Matchday 4 (12:45pm, 3pm, Paramount+) … Eight matches.
🏒 NHL: Panthers at Capitals (7:30pm, TNT/Max); Kings at Golden Knights (10pm, TNT/Max)
*Speaking of MSG debuts: 39 years ago today, Michael Jordan played his first NBA game at the world's most famous arena, scoring 33 points in a 121-106 Bulls win.
🏈 NFL TRIVIA
Lamar Jackson currently leads all QBs in completion percentage (71.5%) and rushing yards (440). If he keeps it up, he'll be just the second QB in the last 50 years to do that over a full season.
Question: Who would he join?
Hint: He did it in 1994, when he won MVP and Super Bowl MVP.
Answer at the bottom.
⚽️ MEET EMMA HAYES, THE DISRUPTOR THE USWNT NEEDS
From Yahoo Sports' Henry Bushnell:
The most alarming aspect of the USWNT's 2023 World Cup flop was that, as dominance unraveled, and even as defeat sunk in, "blind confidence" reigned.
It persisted within players who once sat atop their sport, even as European peers climbed past them. They knew they needed to improve after a dreadful draw with Portugal; asked why they believed they could, Julie Ertz said: "It's what we do."
Five days later, after exiting the tournament earlier than ever before, Alex Morgan said she was "still hopeful with the future of this team." Their potential, Lindsey Horan opined, remained "outstanding." Lynn Williams added: "We'll be back."
But astute observers had opposing views. "The realities are, it is going to be very, very difficult for the U.S. to climb back to the top," one wrote in The Telegraph two days before the USWNT's loss to Sweden. "I'm not saying they won't," but "they will have to respond to this World Cup," she concluded.
Her name was Emma Hayes. And three months later, she's the USWNT's incoming coach.
Over 11 years, Hayes transformed Chelsea's once-middling women's team into England's domineering force. She is a grinder … a master psychologist with experience handling superstars … a seasoned tactician, and many other things that make her a near-ideal USWNT boss. Perhaps her most important quality, though, is that she's utterly unafraid to push uncomfortable truths.
Trivia answer: Steve Young