August 31, 2004
Vinny Testaverde:
The ageless QB completed 17 of 24 passes for 240 yards and a TD on the Monday Night Football stage. Any lingering questions about his skills?
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
SEASON.  PREMIERE.

MLB's version of "The OC" has its season premiere today.

Call it "The WC": September's wild-card races might devalue division titles, but this new season returns with teen-TV-quality drama, confirming The WC as perhaps MLB's best innovation ever.

Let's do a season preview:

AL: Boston vs. the West (complicated by the wide-open West; that winner bypasses WC madness. What about the AL East? Please.)

Leader: Red Sox (--)
Next 9 games vs. next 3 teams
Hot on Heels: A's (.5)
Most likely to win West anyway
But Watch: Angels (1.5)
3 vs. Boston starting today
Give It Up: Rangers (3)
But points for overachieving!

NL: Much more clear-cut
Leader: Cubs (--)
Need flush of arms to deliver
Hot on Heels: Padres (.5)
Tough on road; weak at home
But Watch: Giants (1)
Who will give Bonds support?
Rising Fast: Marlins (4)
Last September? 18-8 finish
Too Little...: Astros (4)
Have won 7/8 (Last 4G: 43Rs)

Serena Fashion
What's Serena wearing? Monday at the US Open, she debuted her "Rebel Without a Cause" look, including a riveted black tank-top, a riveting denim mini-skirt and -- gulp -- verboten knee-high black boots that went "convertible" into sneakers. (Oh, and she won easily 6-1, 6-3. Not that anyone's watching the score.)

Brunell to Start
In D.C., QB competitions are met with nearly the same intensity as Presidential races. And when a new administration comes to town, any appointee (even an incumbent starter) knows jobs are up for grabs.

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Braves: All attention on WC, but ATL winning every series
Hugh Douglas: Cut by JAX? So what? Eagles happy to re-sign
Mike Piazza: Media mo' pressuring Mets to decide, 1B or C?
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Colorado regents: To be taken to school for mismanagement
Eddie George: M-N-Fizzle; more carries (4) than yards (3)
Michael Bennett: Vikes RB to miss Week 1 (fantasy alert!)
 
As expected since the moment new/old coach Joe Gibbs signed him, Mark Brunell got the nod over Spurrier fave Patrick Ramsey. Gibbs may not have thrown a party in New York to promote the move, but training camp is much more intense than a convention.

Wheaties Watch
Want closure? After two weeks of riding this gimmick, I sure do. Wheaties actually went with Phelps, Patterson and Gatlin for three different cereal box covers. Collect 'em all, if that's what you're into. (What about Paul Hamm? Ha! Wait, you're serious? No dice; direct that blame at FIG, too.)

Who's No. 1?
Tonight: Biggest controversy, and it's probably worth divvying up some of the contenders into appropriate superlative categories:

Most Rage: Brett/Pine Tar
Grossest: Tyson/Ear Bite
Youngest/Oldest: Dan Almonte
Career-Killingest: John Rocker
Latest Night: Irsay/Colts move
Be sure to vote (See Q It Up), check out my Top 5 (See Big 5), then watch the show tonight (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).

CFB Preview: Day 2
Today: Top 5 Storylines

1. BCS tilts at season's end
As predicted last year, too!
2. Big Ten instant replay
Will be under mammoth scrutiny
3. ACC realignment
Now rivals SEC (only at top)
4. Sylvester Croom at Miss St
Yes, it is that big of a deal
5. Hot seat at Colorado
This means you, Gary Barnett

Will get a lot more pub:
1. Calls for Joe Pa's ouster
2. Sched strength: Non-factor?
3. Bill Callahan at Nebraska

Stop the madness already:
1. Non-BCS leagues' whining
2. 11- vs 12-game schedule
3. Mike Price's UTEP comeback

Wed: Over-,underrated teams

Athens arenas:
All that effort/money spent for 2-week shelf life? No plans for future use? Apparently, the last 14 smooth-running days were an anomaly.
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Page 2 Index
Who's No. 1?
NFL Preview
 
Top Controversies
Rose banned for life
Still an issue today
 
OJ: Not Guilty
Transcended everything
 
MLB Strike in '94
Took years to recover
 
Al Campanis' racism
Not that it changed much
 
Brett and pine tar
If only for visuals
 

Today's must-read? NFL Preview. Monday, WRs (new glamour position?); today, DBs (me: I'm all about Deion, signing today?!)...

Where's Woodson? Cheery Charles is still a hold-out, and even if he came back, would reportedly miss Week 1 (highly doubt that)...

World Cup of Hockey: My Canadian friend tells me that this is the real deal; for the few of you in NHL withdrawal, enjoy (7, ESPN2)...

Chipper Jones named his new son "Shea" (yes, after a rival's stadium. And you thought parents who named kids "Espn" were wacked)...

Happy retirement to Todd Martin (former N'western tennis star), bounced from the US Open Monday, then officially ended his career...

Turning 2005 into a big Rusty retirement party, Rusty Wallace announced he'll end his career with the end of NASCAR's '05 season...

One thought about "glamour position": Don't discount the way that fantasy has turned RBs into the real position that matters...



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