December 7, 2004
Julius Jones:
198 yds, 3 TD: Cowboys rookie RB runs wild in MNF debut. (So which rookie RB Jones is better: Julius or Detroit's Kevin, who had 196 yds Sunday?)
QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.

 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
TEST.  THIS.

Is it just coincidence that as soon as Bud Selig says he would welcome government intervention in MLB steroid testing, word comes out that the players and owners have reached a tentative agreement that beefs up more muscular testing policies?

"Get-Tough" plans for 'roids don't go far enough. Why not ban all stimulants, legal or not?

"Think of the Children!!!" You can't bust out that classic hysterical catch-all excuse for action, then conveniently overlook that stimulants (MLB's real addiction epidemic) have their own adverse (if not illegal) effects on the body of the kids that MLB and politicians claim to care about so much.

Stupor Six
The NFC 5-7 logjam for 6th underscores the key assumption of the NFL's "Parity Rules!" philosophy:

That fans will ignore "Win-Loss" and instead focus on "Games Behind."

Given Seattle's fold, let's size up the remaining schedules of the six 5-7 "contenders," ranked by prospects over the schedule's last 4 games:

Likely to go 3-1:
(1) CAR: StL, @ATL, @TB, NO
Skinny: Everyone's new fave

(2) DAL: NO, @PHI, WAS, @NYG
Skinny: MNF could spark rally

2-2, at best:
(3) TB: @SD, NO, CAR, @ARI
(4) DET: @GB, MIN, CHI, @TEN

Yikes:
(5) CHI: @JAX, HOU, @DET, GB
(6) NYG: @BAL, PIT, @CIN, DAL

Fixing the BCS
Jeff Tedford got media savvy one day too late. Signing a contract extension, the Cal coach blitzed the coaches' poll system for a lack of transparency; he wants his peers' Top 25 votes made public.

CFB coaches are sketchy? NO! Yet they continue to vote against making their ballots public, which should set off red flags for every fan that, gee: they might be trying to hide something.

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
HireRonZook.com: Ex-FLA coach gets new job at Illinois
Vijay Singh: Ends Tiger's stranglehold on PGA's POY award
Eric Milton: Close to deal that would bring him to Yankees
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Jason Giambi: Lame agent statement; too little, too late
Maggs Ordonez on South Side: Not offered arbitration
Henry Bibby: USC cans hoops coach; Trojans eyeing Majerus?
 
"Accountability" must be the foundation of this year's iteration of BCS "reform." (To compare, last year's was "Unplug the PCs.")

Human pollsters' individual ballots should be made public every week, and each voter's status should be independently reviewed and re-upped every offseason. It's the whole sunlight/disinfectant thing.

Kidd Returns
10 pts, 6 reb, 3 ast, 21 min: So, any contenders want to deal for him yet? (What? Too early?)

The Nets have a new ticket-sales marketing plan: They guarantee a trade rumor every time he touches the ball.

Spree-For-All
Leave it to Latrell Sprewell to recognize that the current hyper-tense conditions between NBA players and its fans is the perfect time to spew a sexual vulgarity at a heckling female fan.

Apparently, the TV cameras picked it up (rule of thumb: they always do), and the NBA is reviewing it. Last year, this would be a fine; this year: hmm ... I smell a suspension!

Fantasy QB Watch
Two new starters this week, but "new" is relative:

Arizona's Josh McCown:
Pros: 49ers are any QB's cure
Cons: Already benched once

St. Louis' Chris Chandler:
Pros: 18-27, 216 yds, 1 TD
Cons: AT Carolina; his head

Vocab: MNF Edition
Quickie vocab: "Schadenfraud"

Definition: Reveling in the collapse of teams that start a season with inexplicable bandwagons.

Ex: Seahawks, Mike Holmgren

Syn.: "Minne-So-What?"

Ant.: "Fan-thers", "Buffalove"

Denny Neagle:
Talk about a quick hook: Rockies terminate contract of P after he's busted for solicitation. (Wait: And the Yankees can't dump Giambi over steroids?!)
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Morning Quickie transcript
NBA Power Rankings
P2: The real single-season HR champ
 
Ranking NFL Underachievers
Seahawks (6-6)
Preseason SB b'wagon. Ha!
 
Vikings (7-5)
Annual 2nd-half swoon
 
Chiefs (4-8)
No undefeated run in '04
 
Redskins (4-8)
More specifically: Gibbs
 
Titans (4-8)
Blame injury to McNair
 

More NCAA coaching moves: Stanford is talking to USC offensive guru Norm Chow and Pitt BCS maven Walt Harris. You've got to take Chow! ...

BCS scandals: See, without the computers to kick around this time, humans look in the mirror and realize they have only themselves to blame ...

Pavano Free-Meal Tour: Next up, Seattle! Try the fresh fish at Pike Place! ...

Baseball HOF Vet group puts Hodges, Oliva, Santo on old timers' second-chance ballot; why have it if you're not going to vote anyone in from it? ...

Jimmy V Classic tonight at MSG: Good cause, great games. Memphis vs. Pitt (7, ESPN); Okla St vs. Syracuse (9, ESPN) ...

MLB Fray Agency: Tigers reportedly offer deals to 3B Troy Glaus and OF Steve Finley ...



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