January 18, 2005
Boston College:
Ever been a faster, higher riser in the college hoops poll? Two weeks ago, 25th; last week, 13th; this week, 8th. One of four remaining unbeatens, too. QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Who's under the most pressure, heading into the NFL conference finals?

Obviously, it's the Eagles: And, as I've argued, this game presents more pressure than any team in Philly history has ever faced.

So, how are they handling it?

Well, there's Denial:
"[The Falcons] have more pressure on their shoulders than we do." (Donovan McNabb)

There's Resignation:
"I look back at how I felt about all the other [NFC title] games and I felt great about them. I feel the same way right now." (Andy Reid)

Then there's Reality:
"If we're not popping champagne bottles at 6:30 next Sunday, the season is a wash." (Ike Reese)

And Reese is understating it: If the Eagles lose Sunday, the season isn't just a wash; it's an epic sports failure.

In the NFL's history, these Eagles would make the 1990s Bills look like world-beaters.

In the city's history, these Eagles would make the 1972-73 76ers look quaint.

In annals of fan-dom, these Eagles would make pre-2004 Red Sox Nation look satisfied.

No pressure, Donovan?! Let's see what happens if you lose.

49ers Hire Nolan
Ravens D-coord is intense: San Fran could use it. But will Mike Nolan use the No. 1 overall draft pick to shore up the woeful offense or the terrible D? On the bright side, both are so bad, he can't go wrong.

Meanwhile, the Ravens hired Jim Fassel to coach the offense (not that he did much last year as a "consultant") and Rick Neuheisel to manage the office pool quarterbacks.

Texas: After L, routs Okla St (Frosh PG Daniel Gibson: 27 pts)
"Wie exemption": Teen star accepts invite to LPGA Champ.
Ben Gordon: Rookie scores 13 of 17 in 4th; Bulls W in NY
Wizards: With no Hughes, "Big 2" held to 9 pts in L to SA
Kobe Bryant: Injured ankle to keep him out two more weeks
Re-signing the Edge: Should Colts save cash for defense?
NHL Meetings
Cracks in union? The players invited the league to have an informal chit-chat. How do we know it's "informal?" Because they didn't invite their own honcho Goodenow or NHL commish Bettman.

With no decision-making authority, it will be one of the more empty gestures of the 125-day lockout. (Wait, what's this "N-H-L" thing, again?) Hey: There's always the WHA.

Nash/MVP, Cont'd
How much worse do the Nash-less Suns have to get before everyone will realize that he's the NBA MVP?

Four straight Ls, including their worst yet, scoring a season-low 80 against the defending champs. MVP! MVP!

Beltran Deal
See if you can spot the fake detail of Carlos Beltran's Mets deal among the actual contract clauses!

Paid through 2014 (even though he's only under contract through '08).

Gets suite at Shea (is it me, or does agent Scott Boras always push for a stadium suite; hasn't he made enough money to buy good seats when he visits his clients?).

Ocular enhancer machine, to improve his hand-eye coordination.

Mr. Met as personal valet.

More NFL Quotes
"Someone burn those films?"
Quoted: Bill Belichick
Topic: Pats as favorite
Referring to: PIT 34, NE 20

"[Has] to pick his game up."
Quoted: Alan Faneca
Topic: Steelers' QB Big Ben
Referring to: Dud vs. Jets

"We can be loose now."
Quoted: Jim Mora Jr.
Topic: Expectations' weight
Referring to: NFC pressure

Svetlana Kuznetsova:
U.S. Open women's champ tests positive for banned ephedrine, but WTA won't take any action against her. But if it was 'roids and MLB: Up to 10 games!
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie Live!
NFL: Len P's Morning After
NBA Power Rankings
Who's the NFL Pressure On?
Eagles fans
Take a deep breath
Ben Roethlisberger
1st rookie QB in SB?
Donovan McNabb
And he loves it
Brady's backup
Who? Rohan Davey?
Peerless Price
Been a fizzle so far

EA and ESPN sign 15-year marketing deal: Hmm ... will you one day see the Daily Quickie in one of your favorite games' "franchise modes?" ...

Delgado watch: Down to 4 teams -- Mets, O's, Marlins, Rangers. Says he wants to play for a winner ...

Future MLB trade bait: Alfonso Soriano signed a 1-yr/$7.5 mil deal w/ Texas. Do I smell a midseason trade? ...

Trade Bait II: Marlins P A.J. Burnett signed a 1-yr/$3.25 mil deal, avoiding arbitration, but not possibility of being shipped elsewhere ...

Aussie Open: Who else is confused by the time difference down there? All I know is Roddick won and Serena's wearing some nice kicks ...

There's still another night to watch "Unforgivable Blackness," the fabulous PBS documentary about boxer Jack Johnson ...

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