February 9, 2005
Notre Dame:
Wake up the echoes apparently extends to the hoops court, where the Irish add another huge win over an unbeaten team to their legacy. QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Duke-UNC is the best rivalry in college hoops. Period.

Given the top-10 status of both teams, this year's edition (9, ESPN) should be fabulous.

But is Duke-UNC the best rivalry in sports?

No way: It's Red Sox-Yanks, with all others in the top 5 a distant second:

2. UNC-Duke (Coll BB)
3. Michigan-Ohio St. (Coll FB)
4. Shaq-Kobe (NBA)
5. Pats-Colts (NFL)

But in the last 16 months, Yankees-Red Sox has emerged as not just the best or the most must-see, but the most enthralling rivalry of all time.

Take the best UNC-Duke game ever; is it even in the top 20 college hoops games of all time?

I ask, because the last two Yankees-Red Sox ALCS series have been arguably ranked 1 (2004) and 1A (2003) in the history of baseball.

The offseason is must-see.
Spring training is must-see.
Opening Day is a solo stage.
Midseason series are events.
The ALCS? Perfectly sublime.

How can they top the 2004 ALCS? Didn't we say that after the 2003 ALCS?

Twice a regular season, Duke and UNC offer up the prototype for everything that's good about the passion of college hoops.

But Yanks-Red Sox is in another league entirely.

UNC-Duke Preview
No. 2 North Carolina is better, but No. 8 Duke plays like a No. 2 team at home. On the road in Durham, it is, by far, UNC's toughest game of the season.

It's Duke's toughest, too: They have no size (UNC plays bigger); they live and die by the 3 (UNC shoots 3s better); they like to run (UNC outguns them by 10 ppg).

Conspiracy Theor_Eags
With Eagles fans looking to assign blame in the days following the Super Bowl huge loss. they are providing fodder worthy of the tradition.

Why did the Eagles blow the clock management in the fourth quarter

Selected theories:

"We tried."

No experience with no-huddle.

Linemen too fat to no-huddle.

O.C. Brad Childress' fault.

Romeo Crennel: Finally gets shot with Browns (5-Y/$11-M)
Boston parades: Sheesh, leave some for other cities, too
Digger Phelps: Yes, you called the ND upset. Kudos ...
Snubbee S. Francis: 53 pct of ESPN.com users sympathize
Snubbee Pau Gasol: Have to wonder if its voter xenophobia
Snubbee E. Okafor: Welcome to NBA, rook; enjoy JV game
McNabb was knocked senseless.

"SickNabb," eh? Hmm ...

More SickNabb
It's like "Rashamon." Everyone has a p.o.v. about McNabb's late-game status and its possible contribution to the loss.

Fraley: "Almost puking."

G. Lewis: "Didn't think it was anything serious."

Leave it to "Logorrhea Freddie":
"You could see there was some kind of complications. We couldn't run the offense. There were a lot of words that he couldn't get out, so it was hard."

Ah, Freddie ...

"It was my first time being the quarterback in the NFL. It was hard. He kind of tried to get the hand signals to the team, but I knew what he was thinking. I just finished the play up."

No word yet from McNabb himself, but suddenly the lucky reporters covering the Pro Bowl have an actual angle to cover.

Chow to Titans
OK, so I was a day early. (See archives link, below, for Tuesday 02/08 edition of the Quickie, where I lead with what a great move this is.)

Upshots: Titans 2005 Edition: Chow makes them "Tenne-must-see."

Whither USC? Chow leaving USC is a bigger bigger blow to Pete Carroll than Charlie Weis' departure is for Belichick. (Think Parcells without Belichick; that's Carroll without Chow.)

Looking ahead: After one season, Chow will have his choice of college jobs (and a couple NFL head-coaching opportunities, too ... say a SoCal return in San Diego?)

Boston College Loses
Exposed? Hey, even the Pats lost twice en route to a Super Bowl title (and AT Notre Dame is nothing to be ashamed of). But it's going to give the "Overrated!" critics a lot of fodder.

Illini stand alone: At this point, lone-unbeaten No. 1 Illinois doesn't have to win pretty -- they simply have to keep winning. And they did, at Michigan (57-51), so haters can't pounce just yet.

B.C. will be keeping nay-sayers busy anyway.

All-Star Reserves
Theme: Rewarding the poster players for this Renaissance season of the Run-n-Jumpshot.

Seven of 14 reserve slots went to Suns, Sonics and Wizards.

E: D-Wade, Arenas, Jamison
W: Ginobili, Amare, Rashard

The Rest:
E: Z, Big Ben, O'Neal, Pierce
W: Nash, Ray, Dirk, Marion

Anna K Swim-Stalker:
The only not nutty thing the weirdo was heard mumbling about was "shrinkage." As George Costanza might say: "Like a frightened turtle!"
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie Live!
NFL Draft coverage
P2: Jackpot Jay on losing streak
Ranking UNC/Duke NBA Prospects:
Marvin Williams (NC)
Frosh SF by a long ways
Rashard McCants (NC)
Will be huge NBA scorer
Daniel Ewing (D)
Nation's most underrated
Raymond Felton (NC)
ACC's quickest PG
J.J. Redick (D)
The next Trajan Langdon?

Pudge Rodriguez joins Canseco-Bash Brothers: "I'm in shock. He is saying things that aren't true." (Walt Weiss chips in defending McGwire.) ...

More for the Nash MVP file: 33 pts and 17 assists in wild Suns W at Sacto, 125-123; PHX's first W there in 9 games ...

Congrats to the Bulls, who matched last season's win total in style, knocking off the Mavs ...

Pedro showed up to the Mets spring-training complex a week early, apparently on his own. Maybe this "New Mets" thing is for real ...

Texas hoops is in a tailspin: Horns have lost 4 of 5, including last night to Colorado ...

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