May 5, 2005
Gilbert Arenas:
Buzzer-beating jumper to salvage a series-breaking Game 5 road win vs. the Bulls (Wiz up 3-2) is the biggest shot the franchise has made in 25 years.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
HELL-AMY.  ROAD.

Yesterday's memo? Apparently, the Yankees got it:

They stink.

Here's how bad it is:

George Steinbrenner has way better odds of winning the Kentucky Derby with his horse, Bellamy Road (5-2 favorite after Wednesday's post draw)...

...Than winning the World Series with his baseball team "Bellyache Woes" (11-17 duds after yesterday's 11-8 loss to Tampa).

For once-a-year pony fans (and all-year-round baseball fans), the Boss and his horse offer an intriguing racing/MLB mash-up appeal:

Do you root against Bellamy Road, a loss that only compounds the nationwide Steinbrenner-related schadenfreud?

Or do you actually root FOR Bellamy, a win that more than anything emphasizes the sorry state of Steinbrenner's human investments?

The horse may lose, but the continued losses of the horses' petards in New York will be far more likely to result in "glue" treatment.

Spurs Bounce Nuggs
It was kind of a sweep: Four straight wins is four straight wins, and Game 1 has been exorcised as a wild aberration.

Up next: "Phoenix Lite." Seattle plays a mercurial, jump-shooting style all the rage with the kids these days. (Season series: 2-2).

As for the Nuggets, they have played with nothing to lose since Karl took over; they exit with nothing but huge expectations for '05-06.

Wiz Edge Bulls
There is a special circle of fan hell reserved for supporters of the persistently mediocre.

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Larry Hughes: Arenas a hero, but Hughes the stud (33/9/7)
Javon Walker: Darren Sharper defends him against Favre
White Sox: First team to 20 Ws; they're not slowing down!
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Moving college 3-point line: Will stay at 19-9 in '05-06
Kellen Winslow II: Browns leery of state of injured knee
Dan Wilson: Mariners catcher on 60-day DL (torn right ACL)
 
There is rarely Red Sox Nation-like "Hope" -- only peeks at the prospects at the back of the NBA Draft Lottery.

For Wizards fans, last night's 4th-quarter collapse was a game they had come, over the last quarter-century, to expect the team to choke on.

Instead: Arenas! With Game 6 in D.C. on Friday, Wiz fans join peers from the rest of the league in finally embracing Hope. Uh-oh.

NBA Thursday
Oh, just end it already:

Celtics (2) at Pacers (3):
Rivers defends Walker... yes, but will he PLAY him? Meanwhile, if Tinsley plays like he did Tuesday, it's over.

Mavericks (3) at Rockets (2):
Are Houston fans clever enough to come up with a made-for-TV chant in support of Van Gundy?

Buss on P-Jax
Hiring not a lock: From Buss' own mouth, it sounded like he was willing to re-hire Phil Jackson, but the biggest question is Jackson's own willingness to return.

Expectations management: One of Phil's strongest skills. All the more reason he would avoid the Lakers (where "great expectations" include a title) and head right for the Knicks (great expectations = .500).

Nickname Watch
Perhaps taking its cue from the Syracuse Orange (nee Orangemen), Marquette announced it is morphing its nickname from the Golden Eagles to just "the Gold."

"The Bling," would have been more relevant (if purely aspirational) for today's college student, but I understand the limited shelf life and the interest in at least some connection to the previous name.

See the Big 5 for the top 5 "color-only" D1 college nicknames, and have your say about it in today's poll (bottom left).

Roger Clemens:
Not for anything he did, but for what his Astros teammates DIDN'T do: Lineup didn't core runs for him and bullpen didn't protect his lead... oh: AGAIN.
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
NBA Daily Dime
Ford in Turkey
Rovell on The Boss
 
"Color-only" U. Nicknames
Mean Green
North Texas: I mean it!
 
Cardinal
Stanford: Color, not bird!
 
Orange
Syracuse: Love the mascot!
 
Crimson
Harvard: Like school prez
 
Gold
Marquette: I kind of like it
 

As long as everyone's talking "replacement" for Paula Abdul as a judge on "Idol," I'd nominate either Stephen A. or Al Jaffe from "Dream Job."

Anna Benson Rules! (Actually, I'm just looking for an excuse to say that, and hubby Kris' 2005 MLB debut Thursday vs. Philly is just the thing.)

NBA Draft Watch: GA Tech PG Jarrett Jack expected to announce he's going pro; joins Paul, Felton, Gilchrist, Hodge in ACC PG-heavy draft.

Redskins roster moves: Sign deal with much-needed WR Santana Moss, release not-needed QB Tim Hasselbeck. At least he's got Liz on The View.

How about laying off Nets owner Bruce Ratner? Sure, he bristled when he first bought the team, but he's trying to be fan-friendly and a winner.

More prominent "color-only" school nicknames: Big Green (Dartmouth) and Big Red (Cornell). What's the deal with the Ivy League color fetish?



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