Now HERE's the guy at the heart of the national roid
rage! Says Marion Jones juiced for Sydney! Says 50 pct
of MLBers cheat! (See ESPN Mag, online.)
QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
Critics got what they wanted: Barry Bonds
admitted to the grand jury that he used
It doesn't matter that he says he didn't know what he
was using; between media and fan cynicism, that
detail will be overlooked or simply disbelieved.
"Cheater!" implies forethought, but it makes for easy
Perception is everything: No one can prove
whether he knew or didn't know, but that's incidental;
the only detail that matters is that Bonds used. Even
assuming he did it unknowingly, he
Bonds' record is tainted now: All of it. His
single-season HR record. His Ruthian accomplishments.
More distressing: his likely eclipse of the
career HR record.
As quick as a jacked shot to McCovey Cove, the debate
will shift from "what did he know and when did he know
it?" to "what about the stats?"
My colleague Rob Neyer correctly insists that there's
no place for asterisks in the record book (see Q It
Up). But that's a too-narrow view.
It's baseball's "Scarlet A": The asterisk has
transcended statistical notation and has come to
represent ultimate dishonor with fans.
Whether Bonds knew what he was taking or not, whether
it affected his performance or not, he has petrified
Win, and you're ... in?!
In what, exactly? Only in the 2004 NFC do a pair of
games between 4-7 teams (ARI at DET, CAR at NO) have
massive playoff implications:
Winner stays alive for the NFC's sixth spot, as a
mortified AFC looks on; loser euthanized.
Say it loud: Parity Rules!
More NFL Subplots
NFC Game of Week: Packers,
Eagles face off in a preview of the odds-on NFC
AFC Game of Week: You could call it
a "prove it" game for the Chargers against Broncos, but they've
already done that.
Peyton Watch: Back at home, pitching on 10
days' rest after his 6-TD Thanksgiving, vs. the
Big Ben's Streak: Goes for 10 in a row in a
textbook trap game -- at Jacksonville under the lights
on ESPN (8:30).
Dirk vs. T-Mac
Forget LeBron vs. Carmelo! How about
Dirk vs. T-Mac in one of the best NBA one-on-one
shootouts you'll ever see.
||CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
|WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...|
Yankees voiding Giambi contract: But can they pull it off?|
Myles Brand: NCAA honcho urges diversity in CFB coaching
Babe's bat: Auctioned for $1.26M; test it for The Cream!
|... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'|
Ricky Williams: Turns down NFL offer for reinstatement|
Mets OR Yankees getting Al Leiter: Talking to Marlins?
Grand-jury "secrecy": Really makes you want to testify!
Nowitzki hit for 53, a Mavs record and NBA high
this season, confirming his leap this season to
top-tier NBA star.
As for T-Mac, how often does a guy score 48 and
lose? There's his career, in a nutshell.
NHL Labor Talks
Steroids or Strikes: What scandal
damages a sport more?
Consider that it's December, and that no one cares
about hockey anymore -- but can't talk enough about
baseball today. So I'll argue "strikes."
Meanwhile, the NHL accepted the union's offer
to talk next week. Wait: What's hockey again? The
phrase "too little, too late" comes to mind.
College Football Weekend
As predicted in the preseason by the
Quickie for two years running, the BCS system goes
"TILT" this weekend, when three teams end the season
It could be worse. How? We could end a season
with five once-beaten teams as the top 5. Stick
that in your Plus-1!
The top 3 in Action:
USC at UCLA
Oklahoma vs. Colorado (at KC)
Auburn vs. Tennessee (at ATL)
Don't vote just yet! Listed in order of
conventional wisdom about their chances, here are the
top 5 contenders, any one of whom could rally (or
choke) their way to a trophy (or atrophy):
Matt Leinart, USC QB
Gimmick: Remember Torretta!
Jason White, Okla QB
Gimmick: He won last year!
Adrian Peterson, Okla RB
Gimmick: Just a freshman!
Reggie Bush, USC RB/WR/KR/PR
Gimmick: Plays four positions!
Alex Smith, Utah QB
Gimmick: He's a Cinderella!
Quickie vote coming Monday!
Giambi, Day 2
In case you didn't realize by now, the
Giambi story -- the entire BALCO story -- has
really been about Barry Bonds.
Giambi's "shocking" confession was, simply,
underwhelming. Was anyone really surprised? How
can this change perception of baseball As We Know It
when everyone already thinks juicing is
My guess is that with Friday's news implicating Bonds,
you won't hear much about Giambi anymore, except for
news about the Yankees wanting to void his albatross
of a contract.
And, then, a young kid approached me, tears
welling. He pulled the newsboy cap from his head,
twisted it into his hands and squealed:
"Say it ain't ... cynicism!"
His dud vs. LeBron last night (6/20 FG, 5 TO) is mere
insult compared to p.r. injury of appearing as DVD
extra in "Witness Intimidation: Season One."
|Today on ESPN.com|
|Morning Quickie transcript|
|Neyer on Bonds|
|Road to the BCS|
|More NFC "Win or Bust!" Games|
|NYG (5-6) at WAS|
|Perfect NY choke game|
|STL (5-6) vs SF|
|Rams draw NFL's worst|
|DAL (4-7) at SEA|
|When does 6-5 look good?|
|CHI (4-7) vs MIN|
|Bears start Chad. D'oh!|
|TB (4-7) vs ATL|
|Only clinching? Falcons|
Worst NFL Game of the Week: 3-8 KC at 4-7 OAK. Funny
thing: Either team would be a playoff contender in the
And in other CFB action with BCS implication: Miami at
Va Tech, winner gets BCS spot; Cal at So. Miss,
Cal only with its Rose spot to lose ...
More Friday Night Madness with the Pistons!
(at Spurs, 8, ESPN) And if you need a Pacers fix, keep
watching (at SAC, 10:30, ESPN) ...
Weekend's best college hoops: KY at UNC (Sat); MS St at AZ
Nats Watch: MLB has set a DC relocation vote for
Friday, even though they have no deal with Angelos
(read: lawsuit waiting to happen) ...
MLB Fray Agency: 2005 Look-Ahead Edition! A's ace Tim
Hudson gave the team until March 1 to give him a fat
new deal, or he's outtie ...