March 4, 2005
Jason Giambi:
With every game under scrutiny, here was his first spring stat line: PA: 3; BB: 2; GO: 1; snide 'roid comments made about him: Too many to count. QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
BE.  COOL.

Players on the hot seat are best served to take the advice of Chili Palmer (or emulate Bill Belichick):

Be Cool.

For the next week, teams on the NCAA Tournament Bubble are better off worrying about their own business -- that last regular-season W, that critical conference-tournament mini-run -- than scoreboard-watching.

Others who should "Be Cool":

Giambi in front of everyone
MLBers in front of Congress
MLBers providing "samples"
Pistons (cooled off by PHX)
NHL owners icily dissing $3B
J.J. Redick vs. Tar Heel fans
Illinois fans waiting on "-0"
Clarett handling his NFL biz
Martha Stewart counting cash

It's easy to get caught up in Madness or 'roid scandal or spring-training results or last night's news becoming today's superlative, but March is a long, weird, wild month.

To navigate it successfully -- as a fan or an athlete -- just Be Cool.

Congress vs. MLB
As noted here on Thursday, Congress will hold must-see 'roid hearings on March 18. On the Invite List:

Panel 1 (aka "Not Illegal!")
Canseco, Giambi, McGwire, Schilling, Sosa, Palmeiro, Thomas.

Panel 2 (aka "Not My Fault!")
Selig, Fehr, Alderson, Towers.

(Wait: No Bonds?!)

MLB Roid Testing
Debuted Thursday (Marlins), and reliever Todd Jones has the quote of the day/week/roid-era:

"As long as they don't test for Little Debbies," he said, "I'll be fine."

If Jones doesn't watch out, he might have a Star Crunch printed next to his statistics in the record books.

Suns Beat Pistons
Nash returns, Suns win: OK, so it's not as catchy as "MVP! MVP!" but it makes the same point.

With Nash back in the lineup (16 pts, 14 ast), the Suns beat the Pistons 100-97, ending an 8-game Detroit W-streak.

Really: How could anyone else could be MVP?

Now that you mention it ...

Shaq returns, Heat win big: Back from that knee sprain, the Diesel went for 20 and 13 in an assertive 106-90 W over the Nets.

Maybe it's "Co-MVP! Co-MVP!"

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Louisville: Runs past under-radar Charlotte to win C-USA
Martha Stewart: Released from prison; new empire rising ...
Katie Holmes: Suddenly single. Just when I get married ...
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Miami: ACC newcomer routed by Duke, bubble dreams popped
NFL Draft at MSG: Nutty fans must move X-town to Javits
Vin Diesel: Pacifier? Smacks of Worst. Career Move. Ever.
 
NFL Free Agency
Big winner: Panthers. Sign OL Mike Wahle and CB Ken Lucas, two pieces that could easily help put Carolina back in the Super Bowl.

More action:

49ers: LT Jonas Jennings
One rookie QB breathes easier

Redskins: WR David Patten
Ex-Pats exodus continues

Cowboys: OG Marco Rivera
Will find Bledsoe no Favre

Texans: LB Morlon Greenwood
Dolphins good for something

Rams: LB Chris Claiborne
Vikings D worthy of copying?

Jets: TB Derrick Blaylock
He's the new LaMont Jordan

CBB Weekend
Regular-season finales!

In addition to the teams sweating out the Bubble process, there are two significant games:

Illinois at Ohio State
Unbeaten season on the line, coming off Thursday W over Purdue on Senior Night frenzy in Champaign.

Duke at UNC
How Tourney-ready is Duke? Thursday, Duke throttled Miami but UNC beat Fla St to win ACC title. (Ask again after pending Heels blowout.)

NHL $3.5 Bil Plan
No one expected every owner to embrace the $3.5 billion offer to buy the league -- kit, caboodle and crisis.

But dismissive, defensive reactions from some owners (Cough! Boston!) reveals their true ignorance to the state of the league.

Alas, it'll go down as The Greatest NHL Plan That Never Happened. (See Archive, below, for Thursday's Quickie)

But maybe it will spur more innovative thinking.

Zo Returns to NJ
"Wow, I don't care": That's how Alonzo Mourning describes his effort level in New Jersey, in his return (with the Heat).

Don't expect outrage that Vince Carter or T-Mac received for similar sentiments about less-than-optimal efforts.

Fans will give Mourning a pass because if an owner is apparently breaking up a winner, players with huge contracts don't have to care ...

'Zo, you're PAID to care.

ESPNU Debuts
All college, all the time: ESPN's newest network debuts Friday, and just in time for Pledge Week March Madness.

My hat goes off to the "face" of the net, Dream Job winner Mike Hall, who, in his first appearance on "DJ," I described as looking so scared he might wet his pants. I take it all back, dude!

College rules! Party on!

Maurice Clarett:
Ohio State bans him from their on-campus "Pro Day" workouts. Ouch, that stings. (But what did he expect?)
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie Live!
NBA: Trimester Report
College: Bubble Watch
 
More Who Should "Be Cool"
Randy Moss
At least off the field
 
John Chaney
Start the reputation repair
 
Nationals fans
It's just one win, folks
 
Gary Barnett
Wait, no: Put him on ice!
 
Kobe
Suit over, where's the Ws?
 

Looking for C-Week Madness? Big South title game (Sat, noon, ESPN2), where Cindy Charleston So. (13-16) faces top-seed Winthrop for Dance spot!

You MUST catch the CIAA Tournament on ESPN Classic, if for no other reason than to see Stephen A. Smith as a game analyst. (Fri, 7/9:30; Sat, 6)

Speaking of which: C-Week upsets begin! Fayetteville St upsets CIAA top-seed Bowie St (on national TV! Stephen A. must have gone nuts!)

Even more hoops highlights: L'ville at DePaul (Sat, noon, ESPN); Pitt at ND; Cuse at UConn; KY at FLA (listen for dad-in-law hounding Tubby).

NBA weekend: Shaq vs. LeBron (Sun, 7:30, ESPN). So why do I think the difference in the game will be Flash Wade?

Nuggets sign sharpshooter Wes Person, who could fit into one of Voshon Lenard's thighs; Denver's second-half revival continues.



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