Always worth celebrating a little harder when a longtime player (22 seasons!) finally wins a championship. And probably a lot sweeter.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
Today is hockey's "Day After
The NHL is about to enter an "Ice Age," and that's not
some catchy new marketing slogan. That offseason full
of massive problems that everyone has talked about all
season long? It starts now.
Can there even be an "offseason" if there's no
season to turn back "on?" this fall? Because that's
what the league (and its players) are looking at when
they try to stare each other down during labor negotiations.
Radical solutions are necessary: Financially, players
need to get over themselves and accept a salary cap.
Competitively, the league must make the regular-season
more meaningful, the action more dramatic.
It's no coincidence that fans started tuning in to
this exciting, underrated Cup series (contrary to
critics' prediction) once the games became
There it is: The NHL has four months to make
itself consequential ... or face some nasty
NBA Finals: Game 2
"We know what we have to do. I know I have to
get up in the morning and put my underwear on first
and then put my pants on. I don't need people to tell
-- Shaquille O'Neal on Monday
Yes, but the rest of the Lakers skipped the pants
thing and went right to being given the atomic wedgie.
Phil Jackson is a Hall of Fame motivator but has never
been an Xs and Os master like Pistons counterpart
Larry Brown; too bad motivation can't make jump shots
Given that Games 3-5 are in Detroit, tonight qualifies
as a "must win" for the Lakers. (9 p.m. ET,
Bill Parcells is one of few
super coaches arrogant enough to qualify an apology
with the equivalent of But it's your fault,
stupid. Read and judge (italics are mine):
||CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
|WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...|
Nomah: Working out today; team to determine health status|
Tommy Maddox: PIT QB gets an ext through '07 (yeah, right)
Jesse Palmer: Took only starter snaps of season on Monday
|... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'|
Jason Kidd: Knee status (and possible surgery) uncertain|
Serena: Out of women's top 10 for first time in 5 years
David Hasselhoff: Arrested for susp. of DUI this weekend
"Today during my news conference I made a very
inappropriate reference, and although I prefaced it
with the remark, 'no disrespect to anyone
intended,' it was still uncalled for and
inconsiderate. For that I apologize to anyone who may
have been offended."
Salary caps for the NFL and NBA draftees allow
for teams to take the best available player. Only MLB
-- infused with "Moneyball" mania -- has a draft where
budget-minded teams at the top add a sixth tool to the
best players -- signability -- and take a pass
on bigger talents.
Kudos to the Padres for avoiding a classic
Boras-reaming and passing on Boras clients Jered Weaver (Long Beach State P) and Stephen Drew (Florida State SS) and taking local prep shortstop Matt Bush, who was cheaper and actually excited to play for
Adding a fifth BCS bowl (which last
year I coined as "The Cinderella Bowl") is a great
move, but the execution of a post-BCS title game is
riddled with questions.
Here's the simplest one, which I have yet to
a good any answer for:
How, exactly, will a post-BCS title game ensure
that there will be no controversy over the two
participants any more -- or worse! -- than the current
Then and Now
Sports' best day is
That's not just a foundation of this column, but also
a core belief of mine. Critics label it "instant
history"; I say that it simply reflects the era we're
By extension, the past 25 years (the "ESPN Era") is,
by far, the Golden Era of sports. The 1920s? The
1940s? The 1960s? Combined, not even close to 1979
Begin to relive the Best Years of Sports Ever tonight,
with the ESPN25 celebration "Then and Now." (7-9 p.m.
And while you're at it, don't forget to check out ESPN.com's countdown of the 100 most memorable moments of the past 25 years.
Fined $5K by NBA ... drumbeat of criticism from local, national media. You can see what's coming right? They're going to scapegoat the Glove!
|Today on ESPN.com|
|Page 2: Tortured Cities - Chicago|
|MLB Draft: Analysis|
|Stark: Useless Info|
|Legends of SCTV|
|Writer, actor, Olsen co-star|
|10X funnier than Farley|
|circa early (funny) Short|
|See any Guest movie|
|McKenzie Brothers, eh?|
Someone help me figure out why replacing a scoring PG
(Bibby) with a non-scoring rebounder (Boozer) makes
sense for Olympic hoops ...|
Raptors GM choice questionable: Minny personnel guru
Rob Babcock had an open checkbook and no draft
choices. Hello: Track record? ...
NBA pre-draft camp starts today in Chicago. Don't
expect much (except Chad Ford's dispatches); big stars
won't actually play ...
Griffey Watch: No HRs Monday (Who else can't believe
we're actually on a "Griffey Watch?" 500 will do that
to you) ...
Tomorrow's pop culture reference today: "Blow Out,"
that new hair-salon reality show on Bravo, may be a
good Lakers-Pistons theme ...
Must-have DVD: SCTV, which spawned so much comedy and
comedians to qualify for some kind of Hilarity Hall
of Fame ...