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It would have normally caused a stir for Sean Payton to be at Oaklawn, but with no fans there it wasn't really known until the news broke that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

That caused a big stir.

It is thought that he is the first known person connected to the NFL who has tested positive for the virus.

Payton has more than a mild interest in thoroughbred racing. Along with others, including Jimmy Buffett, he owns Who Dat Ambush.

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Payton was at Oaklawn for the Rebel Stakes and presented the trophy for the winner of the Azeri Stakes, while shaking hands with several people.

The next day, in New Orleans, Peyton said he just felt tired but wasn't coughing or showing symptoms of the coronavirus. He decided to be tested to be on the safe side.

When the results came back positive for the virus he quarantined himself for a week.

Tuesday, Payton said he had been declared clear of the virus.

He is practicing social distancing, which by the way, means if you are grocery shopping, and you are about to pass someone, stop talking please.

. . .

Apparently it hurt the feelings of Cam Newton that he was cut after the Carolina Panthers new Coach Matt Rhule signed off on a $64 million deal with Teddy Bridgewater.

Newton used Instagram to say "They gave up on me."

Newton, the 2016 NFL MVP after leading the Panthers to the Super Bowl where they lost to Denver 24-10, missed all but one game last season and had been cleared by the Panthers to seek a trade.

Newton, who recently passed a physical by the Panthers, will find a new home. He is the NFL all-time leader in rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.

He tends to be controversial, but he can flat-out play when he's healthy.

Bridgewater rebuilt his career filling in for Drew Brees at New Orleans.

. . .

Thursday was an anniversary when an infamous rivalry began.

On March 26, 1979, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird faced each other for the first time.

It was the NCAA Tournament championship, which still holds the record for television viewers.

The game was won by Johnson and Michigan State, but it would be a very long time before fans forgot Bird and Indiana State.

Bird had just 19 points in the game to 24 for Johnson, but it was his lowest scoring effort of the NCAA Tournament. It was also Indiana State's first loss of the season.

They breathed new life in the NBA with their rivalry.

Johnson led the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships, and Bird led the Boston Celtics to three.

In three head-to head-meetings for the championship, Johnson won two.

Thursday also would have been the beginning of the Sweet 16 if the NCAA Tournament had it not been cancelled.

. . .

Speaking of the NCAA Tournament, the all-time winningest team of course is UCLA with 11 titles, and the last came in 1995 when the Bruins beat defending national champion Arkansas, 89-78.

Kentucky has the second most titles with eight, the last coming in 2015.

North Carolina is third with six.

Tied for fourth are Duke and Indiana with five.

Mike Krzyzewski has coached the Blue Devils to all of their national titles.

The all-time leader is the Wizard of Westwood, John Wooden, who led UCLA to 10 titles.

Several schools have more than one championship, but of all the great teams it would seem likely that UCLA or at least Kentucky had been the No. 1 seed the most.

Nope, it is North Carolina with 17. Kansas and Duke are tied for second with 14.

Sports on 03/27/2020

Print Headline: Saints coach gives all-clear after quarantine


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