U.S. Markets close in 1 hr

Wait, did the NFL do something ... fun?

(Via @ Panthers)

Welcome to Read and React, Yahoo Sports’ daily newsletter. Every morning, we serve up and break down the day’s top sports stories, from breaking news to impactful storytelling to that viral video everyone’s watching.

Get Read and React emailed right to you, every Monday through Friday at 8 a.m. ET.

Subscribe to Read and React

Happy Thursday! It’s the NFL’s world, folks, and we’re all just living in it. But for one day, at least, that world was … fun?

Schedule release date turns silly

The NFL released its schedule Wednesday night — seriously, what other league could possibly turn a weekly to-do list into a nationwide media event? — with the most unexpected twist possible: humor! For once, the league, so often mired in self-serious mythmaking and solemn moral judgment, remembered that football is a game and games are supposed to be, you know, fun.

On Twitter, the Carolina Panthers busted out old-school video game references to highlight their schedule. The Atlanta Falcons went with a Game of Thrones-style intro, with a wicked shot at the Saints tucked inside. The Los Angeles Chargers chose hysterical stock footage to illustrate their opponents, while the Indianapolis Colts offered up Andrew Luck reading off trivia tidbits of each opponent. The Baltimore Ravens went full Monster Truck. It was ridiculous, it was meaningless, it was absurd … and it made us want to watch some football right. Freaking. Now.

No more No Fun League

One reason football is losing the coolness battle to the NBA is that the NFL takes itself far too seriously. Somewhere amid all the sermonizing and posturing, the NFL tends to forget that people love football not because it’s a moral barometer or test of patriotism, but because football is a great game. And it took a freaking schedule release, of all things, to remind us of that.

Anyway, here are the 10 best matchups of the season; we’re betting you can guess most of the top ones. We can’t wait for any of them.

— Jay Busbee

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Zion Williamson slams down gender reveal

Look, gender reveals are goofy as hell, but if you’re going to reduce the glorious discovery of your future child’s gender to viral content, you might as well go big. A Duke athletic department official solicited Zion Williamson his own soon-to-be-gone self to throw down a dunk that revealed the baby to be …well, you’ll have to see for yourself.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Man City bounced from Champions by video

There are brutal ways to lose, and then there’s the way Manchester City got bounced from the Champions League quarterfinals: by video review that ruled a late goal was invalid because of an offsides penalty. Tottenham moves on, and so too does the controversy over video review.

NFL: No Robert Kraft spa video yet, thank heaven

Robert Kraft remains embroiled in scandal over visits to a Florida spa, but for the moment we won’t be seeing what the Patriots owner did, or had done to him, inside. A judge has blocked the release of surveillance video, and while we’re all for justice being done, sometimes we don’t really need to see the whole process playing out.

(AP)

FRANK SCHWAB: What networks got the best NFL primetime games in 2019?

HANNAH KEYSER: How Mike Ford went from Princeton to pinstripes

SEERAT SOHI: Time for Joel Embiid to embrace his inner Shaq

Gronk dented the Lombardi Trophy!

Turns out you can’t use a Super Bowl trophy as a bat, as Rob Gronkowski learned at Fenway Park.

(Via Patriots.com)

Thanks for reading today’s newsletter!

Subscribe right now for free and never miss another one