August 31, 2005
Gilles Muller:
Showed such mental toughness (and such talent!) in ousting Roddick 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 that he actually earned fans' rooting interests OVER popular Andy.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
MO.  JOKING.

The 2005 Award for Most Irony has been claimed. No one else will come close to Andy Roddick.

About 10 seconds after AmEx unveils a TV ad campaign where Roddick loses his "mojo," he's bounced in the first round of the US Open by an unknown.

Reality imitating art?

Sure, except in the "art," presumably, Roddick was going to find his mojo and make a run at the U.S. Open title -- not get bounced, left to cruise around NYC nightlife like an "Entourage" wannabe.

The magnitude of the upset actually derives entirely from the unfortunate content (and timing) of the TV ad. After all, defending women's Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova lost in the first round and fans said "Who?" (if they said anything).

Irony this delicious (we're talking the equivalent of a top rating in the NYC Zagat's Guide) comes along once in a generation.

The last time I can remember something bombing this substantially was Reebok's "Dan vs. Dave" campaign before the '92 Olympics, where "Dan" didn't even make it to Barcelona.

Move over, fellas:
"Andy vs. Mojo" eclipses it.

For all their flaws, at least Dan and Dave were real.

Andy was undercut by the figment of a copywriter's imagination.

After Katrina
I spent a lot of time yesterday watching the harrowing post-Katrina coverage of the devastation, and I realize that instead of floating Giambi-for-MVP arguments (hyperbole, folks!), I should have led with this:

What probably resonated most for sports fans everywhere was the storm's impact on something as seemingly indestructible as the Superdome. Now people who sought refuge in the Dome are even being evacuated from there. Overpowering news, and thoughts continue to be with all the people affected down there, across the Gulf Coast.

Saints: What Next?
How long will it take the NFL to figure out what to do if ("if?" Or "when?") the Superdome isn't ready to be played in by Week 2? San Antonio? Okay. But here's my suggestion: Put the game location up for auction nationally and give the proceeds to emergency relief funds.

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
James Blake: Beats Rusedski in Open's top feel-good story
Paul Maholm: Pirates' Duke replacement throws 8 IP, 0
ER "Curse of Bellhorn": Trade official; ex-Sox 2B now a Yank
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Kendyll Pope: NFL suspends IND LB (uh-oh: gives no reason)
World Match Play: Tiger, Phil, Vijay all won't be playing
M. Clarett: Officially cut by DEN. Worst 3rd-rd pick ever?
 
Wells Called In
Told to go to NYC to meet with MLB (but won't meet with Selig himself).

Well, you know what they say: If you don't have anything nice to say about someone, tell it to his lackeys.

Maybe while Wells is in NYC, he can go partying with Roddick's mojo. They both have some time on their hands.

Bonds Takes BP
His no-longer-secret training at UCLA (swings in a batting cage) is the best signal yet that he could make a September return. Even if all he does is pinch-hit, it's huge. Not bigger than the Wild Card races, but you can bet it'll be covered like it is.

Raffy Wears Earplugs
If there's ANY correlation between Palmeiro's reason for wearing earplugs (hostile boos on the road) and his performance while wearing them (miserable 0-4), then it's safe to say his career is effectively over and he might as well retire.

Unit vs. King Felix
Johnson vs. Hernandez is the pitching duel of the summer: One legend on his way out, the other on his way up. Total must-see.

Good news for Felix: The pressure's entirely on Johnson and the Yankees to make up for Shawn Chacon's brutal start Tuesday.

MLB Races
NL Wild Card: With Mike Piazza's season potentially over, who else wants to pencil the Mets into the NL Wild Card (unless he comes back)?

Mets edge Phillies on Castro HR, now tied with HOU .5 GB PHI and FLA. And Pedro pitches vs. Philly in NY tonight. Playoff atmosphere? You bet.

AL West: Zito-Colon lived up to expectations, in a 2-1 A's win in 11 and gems by both. Colon went 10; Zito pitched a 3-hitter with 9 Ks. Still, the A's have won 7 straight; the Angels have lost 5 in a row.

Buehrle vs. Rangers: In the 1st half of CHI-TEX DH, it sure looked like the Rangers were using light signals (8 runs in W); then, in the 2nd game, they didn't (0 runs in L).
Judgment? Inconclusive.

NFL Cuts
Falcons cut Peerless Price: Name of player now includes 100 percent more irony!

Bengals release Warrick: Stop dreaming, Eagles fans. Would Rosenhaus even *think* about putting another of his WR clients in Philly?

CFB 2K5: Storylines
As usual, don't be fooled: Anything labeled "Storylines" is merely a sports journalist's self-fulfilling prophecy:

1. Can USC three-peat?
Actually, it's 2.5-peat.
2. BCS mess, again
Watch that renegade AP poll
3. Spurrier vs. Meyer
SEC's faster turnaround at UF
4. This year's Utah?
Boise St. Preview? Sat at UGA
5. This year's Auburn?
The Big Ten is the new SEC

Coming Thursday: Bandwagons!

Curt Schilling:
Let's blame the new boy-band blonde 'do (not eroded skills): 2nd straight shelling in return as starter (5 ER, 6 IP). That no-decision was a gift.
 
 
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Page 2 index
Quickie Pick 'Em
 
NL Wild Card Rkgs
(via CoolStandings)
Mets (29.2 pct)
Bench play is difference
 
Astros (26.7)
Not if they don't score
 
Marlins (16.4)
Things could change fast
 
Phillies (13.9)
When do the Eagles play?
 
Nats (4.4)
Or Braves, in a collapse
 

Quickie 50/50: Nebraska. Impressions: Huskers football (Come on: IS there anything else?)

It will be very interesting to see how fans react to the sudden appearance of advertisements on college and NFL goal-post netting.

The LPGA would be crazy not to let early-entry candidate Morgan Pressel turn pro early. She and Wie are the two brightest teen stars in golf.

The idea of retiring Clemente's 21 across every MLB team is a noble idea, but I don't expect it to get much traction around the country.

Are you part of the Quickie's Pigskin Pick 'Em league yet? Sign up under the group name "Daily Quickie Readers."

Quickie Road Trip! I'll be in Gainesville this Fri/Sat for the FLA-WYO game. Let me pull a Jim Caple: Any frats having parties? Email me below!



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