September 2, 2004
Maria Sharapova:
Smells like teen spirit: The nearly nubile tennis sensation will get her own perfume (that does one better Anna K, who simply stinks).
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
FREED.  KOBE.

"I want to apologize to her."

I thought the first rule of any open-ended legal proceeding -- from a fender-bender to CEO shenanigans -- was never apologize.

But Team Kobe ain't dumb: What does Kobe give up with his statement to his accuser (but, mostly, the world)?

A few (million) dollars on the civil-suit side? In exchange, he gets to make an immediate start at repairing his reputation, which is worth many more (million) dollars.

"I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual." No one will remember that part.

"I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter." Let's translate that:

Empathy for her perception? No, more accurately, already moving forward, trying to manage the public's perception.

El Duque to Rescue
The biggest insult George Steinbrenner could possibly give his team is to try to motivate them with tired pre-game "rah-rah" cliches like "Winners never quit; quitters never win."

Aren't the Yankees supposed to be the ultimate pros? If one staggeringly big loss throws them off so badly they can be motivated by lame slogans, they probably don't deserve to be in the pennant race at all.

Moot point: They didn't need "Going gets tough"-style infantilizing; they needed El Duque, who reminded why he's NY's most clutch pitcher (7 IP, 7 K, 3 H), running his record to 6-0.

Watching the WC
Credit the Red Sox for keeping their eyes on the Wild Card prize, beating WC rival Anaheim 12-7 and taking a 3.5-game lead on the race. That's right: Don't even bother looking up at the Yankees. Who cares about the division? Just make the postseason....

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Serena's US Open fashion: No skirt; "micro-mini" shorts!
Ichiro: Wed: 2H. Tot: 214. Record: 257. Diff: 43 (GR:30)
Chad Pennington: 7yr/$64M deal, with a $23M signing bonus
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Mark Hurlbert: So much for that career-making case file
Boxing reality shows: Who ISN'T a lawsuit contender?
Magdalena Maleeva: World No. 22 loses to No. 185 Haynes
 
Deion Comeback!
"I prepare to win": And everyone else prepares to curiously follow the Ravens' game tonight vs. the Giants, in the hopes that Prime Time gets some P.T.

Mourning Comeback?
Give 'Zo credit for good intentions in saying he'll attempt a comeback at Nets training camp next month. But enough with the Sean Elliott comparisons; the NBA's physical rigors of the NBA for a swingman versus a big man are two entirely different things.

MJ Comeback?
MJ has been lacing 'em up at his old haunt Hoops the Gym, getting in runs with NBA types. As usual, NBA Insider Chad Ford has the scoop (see Q It Up, right). His un-retirement with the Heat is the No. 1 "Wishful Thinking" concept of 2004.

Dante Hall Watch
He's ESPN the Mag NFL '04 cover guy for good reason: He's must-see every time he touches the ball. That's why even though it's a shame that Chiefs 3rd WR Marc Boerigter is out for the season with a knee injury, the very silver lining is that Hall will get more snaps as the replacement.

NFL Pre: Last Chance
20 teams play their last exhibition game. Here are the Top 5 storylines:

BAL/NYG: Let! Deion! play!
BAL/NYG II: Let! Eli! play!
StL/OAK: Let! Woodson! play!
SD/SF: Let! Rivers! play!
CAR/PIT: Cats still "Pre-0"

CFB Preview: Day 4
Today: Bandwagons

USC as "everyone's pick"
Remember lesson of '03 OKLA!
West Virginia and Cal
One of 'em guaranteed to flop
Paterno-bashing
Okay, maybe he deserves it
The "new" ACC
Until they all beat each other
Busting on the BCS
PCs diminished, blame humans?

Friday: Hot/Not List preview

Hurricane Frances:
FSU and Miami might postpone their humongous season-opening match-up (set for Monday) due to the storm, moving it to the next Saturday.
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Page 2 Index
Maria stinks!
MJ's Return?
 
More Thursday
Night Football
Jags/Pats
Does NE look sharp yet?
 
Bills/Lions
On the McGahee Watch
 
Chiefs/'Boys
More from Dante Hall!
 
Bucs/Texans
TB still needs RB game
 
Cards/Broncos
How's Fitzgerald doing?
 

NL WC Watch: Astros, Marlins both have 6 Ws in row; yet FLA considered "for real" and HOU a "pretender." Why? Credit '03 results...

"No harm, no foul" in AL West: A's 8-game W streak broken, but rivals ANA and TEX lost too. All losses are NOT created equal...

More on Deion: Who else thinks that Deion's jersey will be the NFL's top seller this season? (Number TBA)...

Thanks to the Braves' mid-week sweep, we're still on track for an ironic Labor Day dismissal for Phillies' Larry Bowa...

More on Sharapova: Here at Quickie HQ, we refer to her as "Lindsay Lohan Between the Lines" But even LL doesn't have a perfume!...

Must-see CFB double-header tonight: Texas A&M at intriguing Utah (7:30, ESPN), then my Northwestern at TCU (9:30, ESPN2)...



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