November 30, 2004
Brett Favre:
On "Favre Day," celebrates 200th straight start (and Packers 6th straight W) with 3 TDs, topping 20 TDs for a record-setting 11th straight season.
QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.

 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
PARITY.  POOPER.

With the Rams MNF loss, the NFC playoff picture is either bleaker or more wide open, depending on which half-cup you enjoy.

Half-full: Just one game separates nine teams from the sixth (and last) NFC playoff spot. Parity rules!

Half-empty: Gives new meaning to the phrase "last playoff spot." The top 2 contenders are 5-6 and the rest are 4-7. Parity is killing the game!

But let's face it: It makes the final five weeks meaningful. Wouldn't you rather have the NFC mess than a league where every spot is wrapped up by Week 12?

See Big 5 for the Quickie's ranking of the Nasty Nine.

BCS Reform
The BCS geniuses declared Monday that they have no interest in matching up unbeaten Auburn and Cinderella-unbeaten Utah. Regular Quickie readers know this is a pet cause of mine, so I was ticked.

As I was railing, a friend reminded me that the BCS is simply there to (1) match 1 vs. 2, then (2) give "Have" leagues a big payday. Well, they blew the first one and are barely getting the second one right.

No solution satisfies, however, outside of a never-gonna-happen playoff. The "Plus-1" idea? Terrific... if you have a scenario like last year or, likely, this year. By the way, do you still do it if Auburn loses in the Sugar, leaving us with a single Orange Bowl-winning unbeaten?

And I have yet to hear Plus-1 proponents answer for what they would do if there was a neat-and-clean scenario, like only two unbeatens? Or one unbeaten and two one-loss teams?

Mets Heart Pedro
3 years, $38 million guaranteed, reportedly, which tops Boston's 2-year, $25.5 mil offer. Credit new Mets GM Omar Minaya for getting his team in the free-agency fray.

Bigger question: Will it be enough to make Boston up its offer (and guarantee that third year)?

And what about the Yankees? Reportedly willing to sit out the Pedro auction and rush Pavano, consider Milton and wish for Big Unit.

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Packers RB Najeh Davenport: 178 yards in 1st NFL start
Avery Johnson: Mavs asst gets temp head job Tue vs. Spurs
Doc Rivers: Celts top Magic in coach's Orlando homecoming
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Guy who threw the chair in Detroit: Police identify him
Boise St: BCS dreams over; accept Liberty bid vs. L'ville
Milton Bradley: Charged with disorderly conduct last week
 
New Cards QB
The NFL's new QB factory? Michigan:

Tom Brady: Reigning SB MVP

Drew Henson: Flavor of the month (turned T'giving turkey).

John Navarre!? The rookie -- who hasn't taken a snap this season -- was named Cardinals starter by Dennis Green. Good luck with that.

Sorry, NFL scouts: You'll have to wait until 2007 at the earliest to draft arguably the most talented Michigan QB yet. Current Big Blue starter Chad Henne is just a freshman.

MLB HOF Ballot
First-timers to watch:

Wade Boggs: In the harsh light of hindsight, was he nothing more than a power-shy, stats-hungry, chicken-eating singles hitter? It's a SABR vs. SABR-hater showdown!

Darryl Strawberry: If the HOF was just about talent, he'd be a lock. Too bad the voters will hold his off-field problems against him.

Willie McGee: Always felt like he was underrated, but since when has "underrated" been the adjective that got a guy into the Hall?

NBA Awards
Too premature? Never!

MVP: LeBron James (CLE)
Rookie: Dwight Howard (ORL)
Improved: Bobby Simmons (LAC)
Coach: Nate McMillan (SEA)
Exec: John Weisbrod (ORL)

ACC vs. Big Ten
Ain't much of a "Challenge," if your barometer is the top 25, where the ACC is as dominant right now as any league in college hoops history. Seven ranked teams? Sick.

1-0 ACC, after No. 13 NC St beat Purdue on Monday. Four games on tap (and on TV!) tonight, and I'd take the ACC in all of 'em:

Mich at 4 G. Tech (7, ESPN)
Fla St at Minny (7:30, ESPN2)
9 Mich St at 10 Duke (9, ESPN)
12 Md at 23 Wis (9:30, ESPN2)

Quickie Science
Research study of the day: A new one finds that the birth-control "pill" might help prevent ACL knee injuries.

No, dudes, I wouldn't suggest taking it, no matter how badly you want to make hard cuts to the hoop in your rec league.

Butch Davis:
Fired from Browns. Next stop: Gotta be going back to school. As for the Browns? Well, I heard Dave Wannstedt is looking for work. (Jokes!)
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie Live!
NFL Heisman Watch
Len P's NFL Morning After
 
NFC Final Playoff Spot Contenders:
Panthers (4-7)
Have won 3 straight
 
Cowboys (4-7)
3-4 in NFC looks good!
 
Cardinals (4-7)
On the Navarre b'wagon?
 
NO, TB, CHI, DET (4-7)
Enigmas and mediocrities
 
StL, NYG (5-6)
Just don't deserve it
 

Detroit police expect to charge four Pacers with assault and battery. That's a little worse than fan lawsuits ...

Other Hall of Fame ballot first-timers, if "other" means "no chance": Chili Davis, Jack McDowell, Jeff Montgomery, Mark Langston ...

More NFL QB moves: The Bears named Chad Hutchinson starter. Between that and signing Jeff George ... well, see you at the draft ...

With perhaps 7 new bowls on the horizon, the NCAA is reportedly looking to cap bowls at current 28 (still means 56 teams in; nearly half!) ...

In the Year of the Tight End (OK, the Year of Antonio Gates), apropos that Falcons solid TE Alge Crumpler gets paid (6yr/$26m, $10m bonus) ...

The World Champion Red Sox have finally signed one of their many, many free agents: Backup catcher and knuckler specialist Doug Mirabelli ...



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