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With ESPN’s new morning show Get Up set to enter its first football season, ESPN is in active conversations in regards to adding a rotating cast of personalities with football backgrounds to the show, The Big Lead has learned from two people with knowledge of the news. Unauthorized to speak publicly on the matter, they requested anonymity.

There are at least five names being discussed, highlighted by Adam Schefter and Paul Finebaum.

The idea would be to have each personality assigned to a specific day of the week to join the regular cast of Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle, and Jalen Rose. ESPN could elect to use them as the fourth co-host or feature them in and out throughout the program. Making these recurring spots happening on the same day each week would give ESPN a mechanism to promote habits.

While nothing is final, and several things could still be tweaked, considered, or changed this idea is at the forefront of options being discussed.

An ESPN spokesperson declined to comment.

Get Up‘s struggles have been well documented as the current staff and format has never seemed to click with the viewing public. Michael McCarthy of Sporting News previously reported in May that Get Up could be in for changes by football season. A football presence on the show is needed, as two-thirds of the cast are unequivocally more associated with the NBA. It is crucial for the show to make gains by football season, as it lays the foundation for the rest of ESPN programming.

Both Schefter and Finebaum have...

The Big Lead’s PM Sports Roundup, which was overlooked by the ESPYs for the 26th year in a row.

Charlotte at the ESPYs: Charlotte Flair presented an award at the ESPYs last night. She was part of a solid WWE contingent in attendance.

Melo traded: Carmelo Anthony has been traded to the Atlanta Hawks. He is expected to be waived, and will be free to join any team.

KD, LeBron party in LA: Kevin Durant and LeBron James were hanging out with Draymond Green at a bar in Hollywood Wednesday night. Cue the rumors of a team-up in LA.

Indians get a Hand: The Cleveland Indians acquired Brad Hand and Adam Cimber from the San Diego Padres. They paid a hefty price though, surrendering top 15 overall prospect Francisco Mejia.

Tweet of the Day:

The deadest sports day of the year has given us a Kawhi Leonard trade to the Raptors and a Manny Machado trade to the Dodgers. The world of sports never stops. — Max Meyer (@TheMaxMeyer) July 18, 2018

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The Spurs Waited to Trade Kawhi Leonard, and

Round one of the 2018 Open Championship is in the books and it was a good one. A relatively unknown player in Erik van Rooyen took the lead early but was later passed by Kevin Kisner, who finished the day at five-under and currently sits alone at the top of the leaderboard.

Tony Finau, who is starting to become a regular at the top of major championship leaderboards, fired off an opening round of four-under and is tied with van Rooyen and Zander Lombard in second place.

Good start for Finau at #TheOpen — Michael Shamburger (@mshamburger1) July 19, 2018

Former Masters champion Danny Willett was able to find a groove on the brutal Carnoustie and finds himself tied for eighth with a ton of other big names.

Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Zach Johnson, and Justin Thomas are among those tied with Willett.

Just behind that group are Players Champion, Webb Simpson, recent PGA Tour winner Kevin Na, last year’s runner-up to Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar, along with Rickie Fowler, former Open Champion, Henrik Stenson, as well as one of our sleepers, Alex Noren.

Tiger Woods got off to a hot start and was two-under for most of the day until the winds picked up a bit and the greens sped up. Woods finished his opening round at even par after carding three bogies on...

Two blockbuster trades were the talk of the sports world over the last 24 hours. The day started with the Toronto Raptors acquiring Kawhi Leonard. It was a huge deal in the NBA landscape, but let’s be real, neither the Raptors nor the San Antonio Spurs are beating the Golden State Warriors.

The second trade of the day, when the Los Angeles Dodgers ‘officially’ traded for Manny Machado, is the one that legitimately shifts the balance of power in all of baseball.

The trade is official! Manny Machado has been informed he’s been traded to the #Dodgers — Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 18, 2018

How much did adding Machado to the Dodgers impact the odds? Per Kevin Bradley, Sportsbook Manager, the “Manny effect” caused a huge shift in the odds in favor of L.A.:

“The acquisition of Manny Machado by the Los Angeles Dodgers moved them to favorites to win the NL Pennant. They moved from 4/1 to 3/1, leapfrogging the Chicago Cubs who moved slightly from 10/3 to 7/2. They also saw improvements in their World Series odds moving form 17/2 to 13/2. The most significant improvement for the Dodgers was in their odds to win the NL West Division. The moved from 5/4 to significant favorites at 2/5. Baltimore remains off the board for betting.”

The odds swing makes a ton of sense. The Dodgers currently lead the NL West, were...

The USGA and R&A plan to sternly limit green reading books starting on January 1st, 2019.

Geoff Shackelford at Golfweek spoke to sources who confirmed the changes on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t publicly allowed to comment:

“We announced last year that we were reviewing green-reading materials and expect to be able to give a further update in the coming weeks,” an R&A spokesman said. “We believe that the ability to read greens is an integral part of the skill of putting and remain concerned about the rapid development of increasingly detailed materials that players are using to help with reading greens during a round.”

The USGA provided the following statement: “We haven’t made any public announcements on Green Reading Materials since our joint  announcement with The R&A last year, but we do plan an update on our review process in the coming weeks. It’s simply too premature to discuss, but we promise to keep everyone informed as we move forward.” 

The rumored changes will effectively force players to use their skill to read the greens instead of relying on books that show exact distances and severity of breaks.

I believe this is a wonderful idea. While I’m not a big proponent of rolling back the driver or the ball and instead just halting distance gains (don’t @ me), I do believe that green reading should be more of an art and not a science involving mathematical compasses.

Jordan Spieth was asked...

College football media days are a breeding ground for interesting statements highlighting generational divide. This year has been no different. Fortnite has reached the level of cultural relevancy where many coaches have heard of it, but don’t fully understand what it’s all about. That’s why you get Boston College’s Steve Addazio saying something like this.

Addazio, on @FortniteGame: I don't know if it's Fortnite or Shmortnite. Does that have something to do with football, heck I don't know. — David Glenn Show (@DavidGlennShow) July 19, 2018

Coaches who are familiar with the game have begun to use it as a replacement for social media in their quote construction. As in, sort of a catch-all to explain the mindset of 18-23-year-olds.

Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy used it as an example of why our society has become less agrarian. Seriously.

Mike Gundy explains why most kids don’t like to farm. “They’d much rather be playing Fortnite.” #Big12MediaDays — Austin Capps (@CappsMedia) July 17, 2018

Sure. To be fair, kids have long preferred to do almost any leisure activity over working the land. Perhaps even the ol’ ball-and-cup game.

If you’re scoring at home, Fortnite replaces social media (usually intentionally botched when referencing a specific platform), which replaced texting as a go-to topic.

The Belk Bowl, as always, gets it. Brace yourself for this trend to continue.

We have no...

There are plenty of Dwight Howard skeptics out there, but precious few would willingly risk death instead of seeing him represent their interests in an important game. At a certain point, most people back down from their criticisms and grant that Howard is somewhat competent on the hardwood.

The Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan is not one of these people. Here he is envisioning an incredibly specific and improbable scenario.

If I had to play a basketball game for my life tonight, and the only center available was Dwight Howard, I’d play with 4. — Bob Ryan (@GlobeBobRyan) July 19, 2018

Oh yeah. This has all the makings of a mediocre screenplay. Can you imagine how hurt Howard would be when informed that Ryan would rather play shorthanded and risk death than give the veteran center any run? Can you imagine the painful pleading from Ryan’s loved ones trying to talk him out of such stubbornness?

In the real world, the Washington Wizards have opted to play him for the next two years and pay him $11 million. They believe the 32-year-old can help them in a non-life and death scenario as he managed to score 16.6 points and grab 12.5 boards per contest last year.

For at least the past quarter-century, ESPN has been the dominant brand in sports media. While its outer edges are being chewed by media fragmentation, cord cutting, increasing rights fees, and both legacy and upstart competition, ESPN remains a difficult place to leave. Among those who have departed, many have gotten lost in the media landscape; others decided the grass was not greener on the other side. 

This list encompasses 15 talents who had prominent positions at The Mothership, left since the year 2000 to join other media entities, and never returned. The criteria for the rankings are a) body of work, i.e. what have they accomplished outside of ESPN in aggregate, as opposed to being a power ranking of where they stand right now, and b) relevance in the proverbial (if unquantifiable) conversation. It’s difficult to rank people who are on game broadcasts — which are the most-seen vehicles in sports media by a substantial margin, but which the primary attraction is the leagues and athletes as opposed to the broadcasters — versus opinionists or journalists who drive interest in their own work. This is is an inherently subjective exercise and surely you will have your own thoughts about where everyone should be ranked.

15. Brent Musburger

Musburger is having something of a renaissance of late; he’s slated to do the radio broadcasts for the Oakland Raiders and is also joining a daily FS1 gambling show with Charissa Thompson and Clay Travis, according to a recent report from Sporting...

According to TMZ, porn star Kiara Mia was seen on a Beverly Hills date with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

In March, it appeared Jimmy G was dating Alexandra King.

More from Kiara Mia:

Jhonattan Vegas probably isn’t enjoying his Open Championship as much as he should be. The 33-year-old from Venezuela had issues getting his visa expedited and approved and, well, lets just say he barely made it to his tee time.

Having never seen Carnoustie, he arrived at The Open this morning by helicopter after flying through Houston to Toronto, but when he touched down in Glasgow at 8:45 am his clubs did not.

Vegas’s tee time was at 10:31 am this morning and he was unwrapping new ones put together by his equipment company on the range and trying to get used to them just minutes prior to his tee time. While Vegas was on the range, his caddie was scrambling to find all of the essentials that are needed for a professional golfer’s bag.

Vegas, who’s last win came in 2017 at the RBC Canadian Open, is currently four-over through 16 holes. He missed the cut at The Open last year.

Ben Simmons was the driving force behind the 76ers surging from 28 wins two years ago to 52 last season, and he was rewarded with the Rookie of the Year award.

In the span of two years, Ben Simmons went from “guy who couldn’t lead LSU to the NCAA Tournament” to one of the 10 best players in the NBA (according to me, at least). I believe Simmons is the best player under the age of 25 in the NBA.

Simmons has enjoyed a meteoric rise off the court as well, and is now dating model Kendall Jenner. The two are reportedly living together this summer in West Hollywood, renting a place for $25,000 a month. Jenner previously dated Blake Griffin … and the two broke up shortly after he was traded to the Pistons.

At the end of this summer, Simmons will return to Philadelphia and who knows what...

Tiger Woods tees off at Carnoustie in a few hours. Neutral observers would like nothing more than to see him in contention at The Open. To do that he’ll need a singular focus on the goal at hand. So, sorry kids, there will be no time for autographs and small talk. This is a business trip.

When a group of kids want your autograph but you have a 6:00pm dinner reservation at Perkins — Shooter McGavin (@ShooterMcGavin_) July 19, 2018

Surely there will be some hand-wringing over this lack of grace. Personally, I think it’s a great move. Never let anyone see you blink. There will be plenty of time for chit-chat after raising the Claret Jug.

Or, more realistically in this case, after missing the cut.

Kendall Jenner … The NFLPA is posturing about legal sports gambling … NBA players ripping the Raptors for disloyalty in trading DeMar DeRozan … Bruce Springsteen on Broadway headed to Netflix … And Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings is writing a book … Rumors about Apple’s new lineup of iPhones/iPads/MacBooks this Fall … “Welcome to the airport of the future, where your face is your passport” … New Lays regional chips include deep dish pizza and lobster roll flavors … Man has sex with horse, defends act as consensual because horse winked at him … “Donkey is ‘beaten to a pulp’, left with a broken nose and rammed with a car after being tortured for political stunt” in Pakistan … 

This lawsuit filed by a former WFAN employee includes allegations of a host soliciting a threesome, rampant alcohol consumption at work, prostitutes, and a brawl in a luxury suite at the Mayweather-McGregor fight [NY Post]

Private equity firm considers buying stake in...

Danica Patrick, as part of her hosting job duties, made some sports-themed jokes during her ESPYS monologue. Jose Altuve, Odell Beckham, LeBron James, J.R. Smith, Tiger Woods, and a host of other characters were skewered.

Some of the zingers landed. Others, well, came close to landing. Some laughter in the room was authentic. Other laughter, well, wasn’t. See if you can spot which is which.

When a star says he wants out, and everybody in the NBA knows, the move is to trade him immediately. The longer you wait, the more said player’s value goes down.

The Spurs just learned that the hard way in a terrible deal for Kawhi Leonard. All San Antonio got for a Top 5 player in the NBA was this:

* Almost 29-year old DeMar DeRozan, who yes, is a 4-time All-Star (in the East), but he’s had two straight subpar playoff runs
* Jakob Poeltl, a 22-year old who has some upside, but wasn’t one of the four best young players in Toronto
* a 1st round pick that is Top 20 protected, and could turn into two 2nd round picks

That’s it?

Jason McIntyre explains how the Spurs arrogance has cost them in any valuable trade talks for Kawhi Leonard. @jasonrmcintyre — Speak For Yourself (@SFY) July 17, 2018

Spurs fans are excited about DeRozan, but is he even an All-Star in the West? Curry, Westbrook, Harden, Lillard, Butler, CP3 and Klay were the picks last year. Remember, Paul George was an All-Star in the East, and didn’t make it in the West last year.

DeRozan didn’t want to be dealt. He’s coming off two straight playoff failures, where his shooting and efficiency stats fell significantly. He was benched against the Cavs this year in Game 3.

Nick Saban looks forward to winning football games and little else, but one thing he seems to relish is sticking it to the media whether they deserve or not. Or if his criticisms make any sense.

The Alabama coach fired a preemptive salvo during SEC Media Days, bringing up an issue unprompted.

“The No. 1 thing you’d like to talk about is the quarterback controversy you love to create and continue to create, you love to talk about. It’s still to be determined,” Saban said. “You can ask all the questions you want. I’m going to say, ‘We’ll see.'”

For those with short memories, this would be the position that will either go to Jalen Hurts, who has led the Tide to two national championship games, and Tua Tagovailoa, who came in relief to win the whole enchilada against [autotag]Georgia.

Tagovailoa has been battling a hand injury and missed out on significant reps to this point. Hurts is a safer option with a lower ceiling, but questions abound about his presence on the roster come fall.

To be clear, the controversy was created when Saban, in his infinite wisdom, inserted the then-freshman in the title game and rode him to victory. It was not created by the media. Yes, they noticed — as anyone paying attention would — that a decision eventually needs to be made. Both seem more than competent. Only one can play.

It’s a good problem to have.

Earlier today a blockbuster deal took place between the San Antonio Spurs and the Toronto Raptors which sent Kawhi Leonard to the Raptors, and DeMar DeRozen to the Spurs. And, as always, the trade has everyone losing their minds, including gamblers.

San Antonio has agreed to trade Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to Toronto for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick, league sources tell ESPN. Trade call with league office is beginning momentarily. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 18, 2018

So how much did adding Kawhi to the Raptors impact their 2018-19 NBA title odds? According to the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, Leonard’s addition caused a huge shift in the odds in favor of Toronto. The Raptors went from 40/1 (opening line) to 20/1 to win the title, and went from 8/1 to 4/1 to win the East after the trade. On the flip side, the Spurs’ odds to win it all went down drastically. They went from 25/1 to 200/1 (wow), and from 50/1 to 125/1 to win the West.

Toronto comes in as the third choice in the Eastern Conference behind the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers following the deal, which makes sense. The C’s have one of the best coaches in the league in Brad Stevens, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward will both be back and healthy, and Boston brings its entire core back from last year’s...

The Big Lead’s PM Sports Roundup, which is all about the three true outcomes.

Hailee locked down?: Hailee Steinfeld is apparently dating one of the guys from One Direction.

What Kawhi trade means: Breaking down what the Kawhi Leonard trade means for the San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors and the rest of the NBA.

Winners and losers from Kawhi deal: The winners and losers from the Kawhi Leonard trade.

Tweet of the Day:

I will probably be taking the odds on this not being the case. — Zach Osterman (@ZachOsterman) July 18, 2018

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Song of...

North Carolina is coming off a 3-9 football season and hopes to return to some sort of relevance in the ACC this fall. Coach Larry Fedora proved he had his eye on the big-picture by delivering some strong opinions at the conference’s media day. The very big picture.

It seems he believes that if football continues to change in the name of player safety, America as we know it will be a distant memory.

“Our game is under attack,” Fedora said. “I fear the game will be pushed so far from what we know that we won’t recognize it in 10 years. And if it does, our country will go down, too.”

Seems a bit extreme? Well, Fedora has the receipts.

He spoke with a general – military branch unknown – and asked what made America’s forces the strongest in the world. It’s because the U.S. is the only country that plays football, the general replied, per Fedora.

“I think because of the lessons you learn in the game of football relate to everything you’re going to do for the rest of your life,” Fedora said. “When we stop learning those lessons, we’re going to struggle. Go ahead. Try to refute that. You can’t. Name a war the U.S. military has failed to win since it started playing football. Impossible. If that particular take doesn’t tickle your interest, Fedora also offered his thoughts on CTE. Larry Fedora: “I don’t think it’s been proven that the game...

The Philadelphia Eagles offensive linemen eat like kings when they get together for meals. They bring their 1,896 pounds of blocking ability to a restaurant with the intention of retaining that mass.

Left tackle Jason Peters, left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, left guard Stefen Wisniewski, center Jason Kelce, right guard Brandon Brooks and right tackle Lane Johnson spare no expenses on their nights out. From Sports Illustrated’s Alex Prewitt:

“Most often the group dines downtown at Del Frisco’s Steak House, where their standard order of shared appetizers includes two tuna tartars, three fried calamaris, three cheesesteak dumplings, three lobster mac and cheeses, two creamed corns, three château mashed potatoes, two asparaguses, several shrimp cocktails and (sometimes) one seafood tower. After that, everyone digs into either a 22-ounce prime rib eye or a 32-ounce tomahawk—everyone, that is, except Wisniewski, who’s been known to house both.”

Yes please.

That’s the fun part. The less-fun part is the bill. They play credit card roulette to see who pays. The bill, which tends to exceed $2,000, once went to Jason Kelce two times in a row.

No thank you.