March 30, 2005
Michigan State:
Congrats to the Spartans' women's hoops team, which makes it 2-for-2 for MSU in the Final Four. (Tennessee makes it back too; Vols' 4th straight FF.)
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

"The Punter Used Steroids."

That sounds more like a "Chappelle Show" skit than a "60 Minutes" segment.

But with all the hand-wringing this month about steroids in baseball, isn't it about time the NFL was put under the glare?

Fan cynicism is so strong that many (if not most) simply assume that NFL players are juicing like crazy -- that it's just part of the game. (Compared to baseball, where it's "cheating!")

True, the NFL has a tougher drug policy than MLB, but -- then again -- it seems to have the much larger problem.

And I'm betting that there's a much wider issue with steroids among high school football players than high school baseball players.

"What about the children?!" was enough to drag MLB in front of Congress, but I'm not holding my breath for an NFL hearing.

Adding insult to injury, the exposé taints the Super Bowl, claiming Carolina Panthers players filled roid prescriptions in the days leading up to the biggest game in sports.

And even worse, there are hints that the NFL has a huge HGH scandal looming. It's not the NFL's fault; there's simply no good test for it.

That just makes it the most likely prospect to be players' No. 1 pick in the Enhancement Draft.

Wrapping a punter into a steroid scandal makes for easy jokes, but it shouldn't diminish yet another angle to sports' biggest epidemic.

NFL Roid Testing
Tougher testing! That was the NFL's message yesterday, and it wants to work with the union to bolster current policies.

It's easy to believe the sincerity of the league's interest; the claim that the timing with the exposé is totally coincidental is what's sketchy.

Sonics: Playoffs!
The most unlikely ascent in the NBA this season was completed last night, when Seattle clinched a playoff spot.

I buy Stein's vote for Nate McMillan as Coach of the Year; he basically took the same (crappy)

Reuben Droughns: RB traded to Browns for two D-linemen
Title IX: Alabama coach wins huge Supreme Court decision
Charlie Villanueva: UConn scorer going pro (late 1st rd?)
Lakers' losing streak: Ends (8) with W over hapless Knicks
Marvin Harrison: Sued for alleged Pro Bowl incident w/fans
That Arizona St. running back: Lines up with murder charge
team as last season and turned them into winners.

They also made a telegenic, jumpshooting offense fashionable again. (And yet the doubters persist: You can't argue the long-term results!)

Brown Return Hazy
If Larry Brown doesn't return this season, I don't have high hopes for the Pistons' chances of repeating as champs of the East, let alone champs of the NBA.

The Pistons won four straight immediately after his surgery, but have since dropped four of five. Respite: After a game vs. the Kings tonight, the April sked is loaded with patsies.

If Detroit can't go 7-4 to close the season, that's a signal a playoff run without Brown will be a struggle.

A-Rod Brushback!
Oh, calm down: It's not like it was Bronson Arroyo throwing behind A-Rod; it was Boston P John Halama, actually an A-Rod buddy.

Rather than throw a punch or glare, the star laughed it off. Yes, they can all just get along.

NIT Update
"NIT Team of Destiny!" Ever heard that phrase before? Sounds kind of strange, doesn't it? But it always seems like an NIT champ emerges with some back-story of motivation.

No team fits the label like St. Joe's (of the "Goon Incident"), which will face S. Carolina in the NIT title game. The best part will be to see John Bryant take the court.

McDonald's Game
The Enormous Omelet Sandwich of high school hoops all-star games. (Wait: That's the other guys.)

No LeBrons or Howards, and the overall prep-to-pro potential of the class is low.

There are still at least a half-dozen kids that will use double-digit scoring in a no-defense exhibition as reason to make the NBA leap.

That, and the looming threat of a 20-year-old NBA age limit.

My rooting interest: Having had a "Hoosiers" moment a decade ago in the mega-gym at li'l Logansport (Ind.) High, I'm pulling for Berries coach Al Rhodes, who is coaching the West squad. (8, ESPN)

Dr. Elliot Pellman:
In wild irony, MLB medical advisor who talked so tough vs. Congress accused of "enhancing" his resume. (Med school in Mexico? Isn't that a punchline?)
Today on
Quickie live!
MLB and asterisks
Stein on NBA COY
Quickie NBA COY Ballot
Nate McMillan
Love the jumpshot offense
Mike D'Antoni
Offseason moves help
Eddie Jordan
Come on: It's the WIZ!
Scott Skiles
Has Bulls turned around
R. Carlisle/G. Karl

Phil Jackson to Knicks? Lakers exex/P-Jax sweetie Jeannie Buss thinks so. "I totally see him back in New York," she told the NY Post.

Bonds watch: SFG prez Peter Magowan thinks he'll be "back sooner rather than later," but no specific info on a timetable.

Happy retirement to Andres "Big Cat" Galarraga, a solid 1B with solid career stats: .288, 399 HR, 2333 hits, 1425 RBI.

North Dakota state senator trying to pass a bill that would have Bud Selig reinstate Roger Maris' 61 as the MLB HR record. That's ludicrous.

Gonzaga star Adam Morrison will put off the NBA for at least one more season (and maybe leading Zags past early Tourney choke? I'm not bitter ...)

Too Ridiculous NOT to Be True: Rockies P (and Nuggets fan) Shawn Chacon got ejected from the Suns-Nuggets game on Monday night by the Suns' owner.

QB Adrian McPherson, Quickie pick for Biggest Impact Player of the 2005 NFL Draft, apparently had a great workout for NFL scouts yesterday.

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