The Pulse newsletter from The Athletic covers a variety of sports topics, including the recent rule changes in major American sports leagues. One of the major changes discussed is the new NFL kickoff format, which aims to encourage more returns while increasing player safety. Under the new format, kicks must land in a designated “landing zone” for the receiving team to return the ball, preventing players from colliding with a head start. This rule change is expected to bring back the excitement of kickoff returns, which have decreased over the past decade.

The adoption of the new kickoff format by NFL owners in a vote of 29-3 signals a shift towards more strategic roster construction for teams. College officials are also considering studying and potentially adopting this new format in their games. Similar to rule changes in baseball that resulted in more steals and faster games, the new kickoff format is expected to have downwind effects and bring back a beloved aspect of the game that has been lost over time.

In other news, ESPN is targeting Jason Kelce for its “Monday Night Football” lineup, potentially reshuffling on-air talent around the franchise. Jordan Montgomery signed a one-year deal with the Diamondbacks, Olivier Giroud is finalizing a move to MLS with LAFC, and there is speculation about Aaron Rodgers as a vice-presidential pick for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. amidst controversy surrounding Rodgers’ offseason activities.

Upcoming games to watch include the NBA matchup between the Clippers and Sixers, as well as the NHL game between the Bruins and Lightning. A single pre-snap motion in NFL offenses, originally deployed by Miami for Tyreek Hill, has become a prominent feature across the league. The newsletter also highlights recent drama within the USMNT and introduces Gabby Herzig, the newest golf writer for The Athletic.

Most-clicked and most-read stories from the newsletter include Bruins coach Jim Montgomery’s motivational speech to his players and a reseeding of the men’s Sweet 16 teams. Readers can sign up for other newsletters from The Athletic covering basketball, baseball, soccer, racing, football, and more. Overall, The Pulse newsletter provides a comprehensive overview of the latest news and updates across various sports leagues and events, keeping subscribers informed and engaged with the latest developments in the world of sports.

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