👋 Good morning! I'm interviewing world No. 9 Taylor Fritz later today. What should I ask him?
⚾️ Wander update: A special prosecutor in the Dominican Republic is investigating Rays shortstop Wander Franco over a third allegedly inappropriate relationship with a minor, per ESPN. Franco remains on paid administrative lead.
🏈 Burrow's back: Joe Burrow returned to practice on Wednesday, just over a month after he first went down with a calf strain. He appears on track to start Week 1.
🎾 Tiafoe advances: Frances Tiafoe is just the third American man over the past 15 years to reach the third round at all four majors in a season, joining Andy Roddick (2009) and John Isner (2016).
⚽️ Streak snapped: Inter Miami failed to win for the first time since Lionel Messi joined the team, playing to a 0-0 draw against Nashville.
A NEW RECORD FOR WOMEN'S SPORTS
Nebraska volleyball stands alone, and not just in the volleyball world, or the NCAA world, Yahoo's Jack Baer writes.
Historic night: The Cornhuskers set a world record for attendance at a women's sporting event Wednesday, gathering 92,003 fans at Memorial Stadium for a match against Omaha.
That number broke the previous mark of 91,648 set by FC Barcelona's women’s soccer team last year.
It also set the attendance record for Memorial Stadium, where the Huskers play football.
The backstory: Wednesday was the culmination of an arms race to hold the record for an NCAA regular-season volleyball match.
Nebraska set a record with 15,797 last year in a match at Creighton, but that was broken one week later when rival Wisconsin pulled 16,833 fans into the Kohl Center.
Nebraska announced its plans to take back the record in April and quickly sold out of its 82,900 tickets, but then opened up thousands more standing room-only tickets.
Then they took things even further last month by announcing classes would be canceled for "Volleyball Day."
🇺🇸 Flashback… The previous record for a women's event in the U.S. was the 90,185 who attended the 1999 Women's World Cup final at the Rose Bowl (the Brandi Chastain game). That was a landmark event for women's sports in this country; this feels like it could be another one.
💵 $2.12 million… That's how much Nebraska volleyball made on ticket sales revenue in 2021-22, per Sportico. Among women's teams at public FBS schools, only UConn basketball made more ($2.4 million).
🏐 Powerhouse program… The Cornhuskers have won five national titles and been ranked in every poll since 1982. They've also sold out every regular-season home game since 2001 (306 straight).
THE POWER OF POSITIVITY
Trea Turner has completely turned his season around this month. All he needed was a little encouragement, Jeff writes.
Flashback: After signing a $300 million deal with the Phillies, Turner spent the first four months of the season mired in a career-worst slump. And while that play earned him some boos earlier in the year (this is Philly, after all), fans opted to change tack for the series that began on Aug. 4.
The strategy: Show support by treating Turner to standing ovations and chants of "Let’s go, Trea!" all weekend.
The result: Trea got his swagger back (and was so moved that he thanked fans on billboards throughout the city).
By the numbers: Since Aug. 4, Turner has raised his batting average 23 points (.235 to .258) and found his power stroke, helping lift Philly from two games back of the first wild card to three games up.
Pre-ovations (107 games): 10 HR with a .235/.290/.368 triple slash for a .657 OPS.
Post-ovations (24 games): 9 HR with a .365/.404/.760 triple slash for an 1.164 OPS.
Speaking of Phillies fans having an impact... Turner's teammate Bryce Harper blasted a homer on Tuesday hours after he heard "Chuck in Mt. Airy" compliment him on a radio show.
"I was driving in today and I’m listening to WIP like I do a lot," Harper said after the game. "A guy named Chuck called in and he calls in a lot. He’s hilarious."
"I walked in the training room and I was like 'I'm gonna go deep tonight for Chuck.' That guy had me fired up, man."
Perhaps still feeling inspired, Harper went yard again on Wednesday — an eighth-inning moonshot that doubled as his 300th career home run.
MAP: 16 TEAMS, 16 STATES
Here's a fun stat: The top 16 teams in the college football AP poll are from 16 different states.
And by 2024, those 16 schools from 16 different states will represent just four conferences (plus independent Notre Dame).
THE GLOBAL GAME
The second round of the FIBA World Cup begins tomorrow, as 16 teams remain in the hunt for global basketball glory, Jeff writes.
Who's left: The top two teams from each Round 1 group advanced to a second group stage, where their Round 1 records carry over. Now, they'll each play two more games — against those they haven't faced yet — with the top two per group advancing to the quarterfinals.
Group I: Serbia (3-0), Dominican Republic (3-0), Italy (2-1), Puerto Rico (2-1)
Group J: USA (3-0), Lithuania (3-0), Montenegro (2-1), Greece (2-1)
Group K: Slovenia (3-0), Germany (3-0), Australia (2-1), Georgia (2-1)
Group L: Canada (3-0), Spain (3-0), Brazil (2-1), Latvia (2-1)
NBA players everywhere: This year's 32-team field featured a record 55 current NBA players, which makes sense given the league's recent explosion of international talent. 46 of those players remain, and Puerto Rico and Brazil are the only teams left without an NBA player.
🇺🇸 USA (12): Mikal Bridges (BKN), Cam Johnson (BKN), Tyrese Haliburton (IND), Austin Reaves (LAL), Jaren Jackson Jr. (MEM), Bobby Portis (MIL), Anthony Edwards (MIN), Brandon Ingram (NO), Jalen Brunson (NYK), Josh Hart (NYK), Paolo Banchero (ORL), Walker Kessler (UTA)
🇦🇺 Australia (9): Patty Mills (ATL), Josh Green (DAL), Jack White (OKC), Joe Ingles (ORL), Dyson Daniels (NO), Josh Giddey (OKC), Matisse Thybulle (POR), Xavier Cooks (WSH), Dante Exum (DAL)
🇨🇦 Canada (7): Dwight Powell (DAL), Lu Dort (OKC), Dillon Brooks (HOU), Nickeill Alexander-Walker (MIN), R.J. Barrett (NYK), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC), Kelly Olynyk (UTA)
🇩🇪 Germany (4): Daniel Theis (IND), Franz Wagner (ORL), Mo Wagner (ORL), Dennis Schröder (TOR)
🇷🇸 Serbia (3): Bogdan Bogdanović (ATL), Nikola Jović (MIA), Filip Petrušev (PHI)
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic (2): Lester Quiñones (GSW), Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)
🇬🇪 Georgia (2): Goga Bitadze (ORL), Sandro Mamukelashvili (SA)
🇸🇮 Slovenia (1): Luka Dončić (DAL)
🇬🇷 Greece (1): Thanasis Antetokounmpo (MIL)
🇮🇹 Italy (1): Simone Fontecchio (UTA)
🇱🇻 Latvia (1): Dāvis Bertāns (OKC)
🇱🇹 Lithuania (1): Jonas Valančiūnas (NO)
🇪🇸 Spain (1): Santi Aldama (MEM)
🇲🇪 Montenegro (1): Nikola Vučević (CHI)
Highlights...USA vs. Jordan (YouTube)
PAC-12 NICKNAMES, RANKED
Rankings are a big part of sports, whether they’re objective (stat leaders) or subjective (best sports movies). So naturally, each edition of Yahoo Sports AM will include a "Daily Ranking."
To celebrate college football's return, we're ranking the nicknames of each team by Power Five conference. We've already hit the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12. Today, we've got the Pac-12.
Pac-12 nicknames, ranked:
Sun Devils (Arizona State)
Golden Bears (Cal)
Beavers (Oregon State)
Cougars (Washington State)
Coming up: We'll finish things off tomorrow with the ACC.
AUG. 31, 1987: "THE GREAT POTATO CAPER"
36 years ago today, Williamsport Bills (Indians Double-A) catcher Dave Bresnahan etched his name in baseball lore by pulling off "the potato caper," Jeff writes.
What happened: Bresnahan carved a potato to look like a baseball, snuck it onto the field, purposely overthrew a pickoff attempt to entice the runner on third to come home, and tagged him out.
Once the umpire realized what had happened, he called the runner safe at home. Bresnahan's manager then pulled him from the game and the team released him the next day, effectively ending his career.
It wasn't all bad, though: The Bills held a "Dave Bresnahan Potato Night" the following season, where fans paid $1 — and a potato — for entry. The play was re-enacted and Bresnahan's No. 59 was retired.
Incredible quote: “Lou Gehrig had to play in 2,130 consecutive games and hit .340 for his number to be retired," said Bresnahan. "All I had to do was bat .140 and throw a potato."
🎾 1881: The first U.S. National Championships, which later became the U.S. Open, kicked off in Newport, Rhode Island.
⚾️ 1990: Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. became the first father-son duo* to play in a game for the same MLB team (Mariners). Both went 1-4 with a run scored in a win over the Royals.
⚾️ 2001: The Danny Almonte scandal came to an end when an investigation revealed that the LLWS pitching phenom was 14, not 12, causing his team's wins to be retroactively forfeit.
*Fun fact: Tim Raines Sr. and Jr. are the only other father-son duo to play in a game for the same MLB team. They both suited up for the Orioles in 2001.
WATCHLIST: HERE WE GO!
Week 1 of the college football season begins tonight with an 11-game slate. Seven games feature FCS teams and four are FBS vs. FBS:
Kent State (+35.5) at UCF (7pm ET, FS1)
NC State (-14) at UConn (7:30pm, CBSSN)
Nebraska (+7) at Minnesota (8pm, Fox)
Florida (+4.5) at No. 14 Utah (8pm, ESPN)
More to watch:
⚾️ MLB: Braves at Dodgers (10:10pm, MLB) … NL’s top two teams.
🎾 U.S. Open: Day 4 (11am, ESPN/ESPN2/ESPN+) … Second-round matches for Carlos Alcaraz, John Isner, Jessica Pegula, Ons Jabeur and more.
⚽️ Champions League: Group stage draw (12pm, Paramount+) … With the 32-team field set, this will determine the eight groups of four.
🏀 WNBA: Mystics at Aces (10pm, Prime)
Betting odds via BetMGM.
The Athletics, who travel back to Oakland today for a weekend series against the Angels, are one of just two MLB teams with their bullpen adjacent to the field in foul territory.
Question: Who is the other team?
Hint: Also in the AL.
Answer at the bottom.
FANTASY FOOTBALL: TIME TO DRAFT
The NFL season kicks off a week from today, which means millions of fans will be drafting their Yahoo Fantasy Football rosters over the coming days.
That includes me! I've been in a Yahoo league with my best friends from high school for 10 years and I’m starting to draft prep for Year 11. I’m sure many of you are doing the same. If not, join or create a league today.
Happy drafting, my friends.
Trivia answer: Rays (Tropicana Field)