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Wednesday wisdom ... Today's newsletter is just what you need to get over that midweek hump. Know a friend who needs an extra push to get through Wednesday? Why not send them this newsletter? You can do so right here.
Liftoff for the Rockets? ... The Houston Rockets face the L.A. Clippers tonight -- on ESPN! Pretty exciting! -- and all the on-court questions surrounding Houston are about how James Harden and Russell Westbrook can coexist in their second go-round. So far, it's going pretty well -- Houston is 7-3 and Harden is averaging more than 37 points per game -- but can it hold up over the course of a full season? In today's ESPN Daily podcast, Mina Kimes talks to Kirk Goldsberry about how the Rockets' Westbrook experiment is going ... and what needs to happen for the team to bring home that elusive championship. You can listen to it right here.
The most legendary trash talk ever ... As the great Terry Tate once said, football is about mind games. What better way to let your opponents know they've got no chance of winning than with a little bit of trash talk? We've taken the best bits of sassing, dissing and all-around disrespect the NFL has to offer and put them into a quiz. Can you identify who said what? Take our quiz now!
THINGS TO CARE ABOUT
A return for Kaepernick? Colin Kaepernick's three-year absence from the NFL might finally be coming to an end. NFL clubs were informed that a private workout showcasing Kaepernick's readiness would be held Saturday, according to a copy of a memo obtained by ESPN. Kaepernick's reaction? Pleased -- and shocked. Read More
The biggest game left for each team ... That's it: There are no more undefeated teams left in the NFL this season. The '72 Dolphins can celebrate, and in a way, so can the contenders: You get a loss out of the way and suddenly you realize, hey, it's not so bad. Are the 49ers still No. 1 despite falling to the Seahawks? We've got rankings for every squad right here. Read More
Phil Mickelson's jarring fall ... For the first time in ages -- 26 years, to be precise -- Phil Mickelson is out of golf's top 50 rankings. He also missed being on a U.S. team for the first time in almost as long. Mickelson's been a top contender for so long that his fall out of the rankings is almost a system shock -- after all, while other golfers fell by the wayside, Lefty could always be relied upon to be up there on the leaderboard in the biggest tournaments of the year. Bob Harig has a look at Mickelson's sustained success -- and sudden drop. Read More
THINGS TO WATCH
"I don't understand airplanes ... I don't understand Stonehenge ... I don't understand why Todd Gurley's not getting the football."
-- Dan Orlovsky, on the Rams' offense Read more
On this date in 1979, Darryl Dawkins completely shattered a backboard with a dunk. To this day, it remains the coolest thing anyone has ever done. Watch
WHAT'S ON TODAY?
Nadal vs. Medvedev (9 a.m. ET, ESPN App): Top-seeded Rafael Nadal faces off against Daniil Medvedev in the Nitto ATP finals.
Clippers at Rockets (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): This one's gonna be fun. Both of these teams are just as ferocious as predicted, and as we mentioned earlier, James Harden seems to have entered a new offensive stratosphere.
Indiana State at No. 4 Louisville (8 p.m. ET, ACC Network): Louisville has taken care of business in the first two games of the season, but allowing Youngstown State to grab 19 offensive rebounds in one of their victories seems like an issue the Cardinals will need to address.
Warriors at Lakers (10 p.m. ET, ESPN): LeBron James & co. face off against a depleted Warriors squad -- which has only grown more depleted as guard Damion Lee is out with a metacarpal fracture.