September 1, 2005
Randy Johnson:
Credit Unit for sensing the weight of the moment and delivering (3H in 7IP), outdueling the 19-y.o. phenom Hernandez (4H in 8IP, but with 2HR)
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
STEVE.  INFERIOR.

Is Steve Spurrier worthy of the bandwagon his return to college football has triggered?

Three words sum up why his previous success is no indication of future performance:

This. Ain't. Florida.

South Carolina has an enthusiastic fan base, a good chunk of booster money and a nickname worthy of Spurrier's "Cocky" persona.

*But the talent is iffy.
*The recruiting is spotty.
*The NCAA has clamped down.
*And the schedule? Merciless.

No mercy: That's the problem.

Every week, it's going to be SEC coaches looking to extract payback from years of being bullied by "Steve Superior" when he was at Florida.

There will be no dramatic turnaround this season. By the time SC hosts the Gators on Nov. 11, UF will be sealing a sub-.500 season for Spurrier.

This. Ain't. Florida.

(UCF at S. Car, 7:30, ESPN)

Unit vs. Felix, Cont'd
If fans learned anything last night, it was the reminder that Randy Johnson is still a sick "big game" pitcher.

That means forget his mediocre regular season if the Yankees make the playoffs; they'll have at least one ace in an ALDS rotation.

As for King Felix, there's no shame in losing to the best lefty of the ESPN Era. (Anyone else slightly troubled by the *2* HRs he gave up?)

MLB Wrap
Wells... apologizes?! One can only imagine the "discussion" David Wells had with MLB execs that would trigger his humble apology for lashing out at Selig and MLB.

NL Wild Watch: Pedro pounded by the Phillies, who use a clobbering 8-2 W to put one more game's breathing room between them and Mets.

AL Wild Watch: Angels' Lackey handcuffs A's to end LAA's slump and get within 1 GB of OAK in West and 1 GB of NY for WC (.5 GA of CLE).

NL West Watch: It's September 1 and the West-leading Padres have finally crept to .500. Instead of a pennant race, we get this.

Pujols earns a first: First player ever to hit 30 HR and have 100 RBI in his first five seasons. Best "first-5-year" player ever? You bet.

"First time since 1898": Love anytime a player does something that includes a detail like that. Marlins OF Jeremy Hermida hits a GS in his first-ever at-bat. (Yes, it's THAT rare.)

More on Katrina
Hornets relocating? While the NFL struggles with temporary solutions for the Saints, the NBA might relocate the Hornets out of New Orleans for the entire season, period. Huge. (via NY Times)

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
McNair and Favre: Both QBs to help with Mississippi relief
Serena: Will donate $100 for every ace to Gulf relief fund
Astrodome: Prepares for crush of Louisiana's refugees
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Bobby Crosby: A's SS back to DL (ankle); back in late Sept
NFL Labor Progress: League cancels October owners meeting
Chris Webber: Fined $100K in Fed criminal contempt charge
 
Based on positive feedback I got for my idea yesterday, the NFL should seriously consider auctioning off Saints home games to the highest-bidding city, then giving the proceeds to disaster relief.

Finley to Spurs
Let's just save the trouble and give the Spurs their 2006 championship rings in the same ceremony we give them rings for '05.

Because having swiped Mike Finley from the Heat and Suns (along with grabbing Nick Van Exel), the Spurs are as much of a favorite as they could be.

Kudos to Finley on the decision: He took the best chance for a title over Miami money and glitz. What's his ring size?

The Spurs were already among the top contenders for 2006. Now, they could challenge for the NBA's best regular-season record of all time.

(This isn't the dysfunctional '04 Lakers; this is the best TEAM in the NBA, loading up with a talented swingman and a potent combo guard.)

Rockets Re-up Yao
Huge coup for Houston, locking up Yao for an extra 5 years (at $75 mil), and effectively taking him off the table from would-be pursuers who had been planning cap room in anticipation of his free agency. (Tough luck, Lakers.)

NFL Signings
DT Simon to Colts: Sure, Indy might overpay, but what price can you put on increased pressure on Tom Brady?

WR Warrick to Seahawks: Anyone else want to speculate that as soon as he signed the contract, he dropped the pen?

Cowboys eyeing WR Price? Reunion with Bledsoe? But will Parcells let him have "I Hate Y'all" on the back of his jersey, XFL style?

NFL Pre: 11 Games!
Key theme: Don't. Get. Hurt.

NYJ/PHI: More of T.O. Show
ATL/MIA: Ricky done 'til Oct
HOU/TB: How's the Caddy ride?
PIT/CAR: More Willie Parker!
WAS/BAL: Which QB is WORSE?
JAX/DAL: Cowboys D is solid
CLE/CHI: Keep eye on QB Orton
GB/TEN: Just how bad is GB D?
NYG/NE: Whither the Bachelor?
NO/OAK: Heavy thoughts here
SF/SD: Rest LT... please!

U.S. Open
Quickie Tennis Book Club:
"A Necessary Spectacle": My favorite newspaper columnist, Selena Roberts of the NY Times, smartly analyzes the King-Riggs "Battle of the Sexes."

"On Being John McEnroe": A fascinating (and quick!) psychological profile of the biggest personality in tennis history.

CFB 2K5: Bandwagons!
Overrated
Vols: 13 1st-place votes?
BCS' awful new "human" poll
Joe Paterno's still got it!

Underrated
Texas A&M: In shadow of UT
Norm Chow's impact on USC's O
Louisville leap to BCS league

Just Right
Spread Offense Mania: Rules!
Mids: Boise, Fresno, B. Green
GameDay: Sports' best TV show

Coming Friday: Books!

No. 1 Prep FB News
Top-rated prep FB player Myron Rolle, a DB from New Jersey, will announce his college choice today (5:20, ESPNews) from Atlantic City. That kid's got style! Choice reportedly down to Penn St and Florida.

Speaking of Florida, I'll be in Gainesville this Friday and Saturday for the Florida-Wyoming game. Any fraternities having a party or a tailgate? Email me below. Why should Caple have all the college fun?

North Dakota:
Appealing NCAA ban on nicknames and claimed to have Sioux support. Now one local tribe has come out AGAINST the school. Not what you'd call "support."
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie: Live!
Page 2 index
College Pick 'Em
 
Spurrier's '05 Schedule
vs. Florida (11/12)
Meyer wants this one bad
 
at Tennessee (10/29)
Pre-Halloween nightmare
 
at Georgia (9/10)
That's NEXT weekend
 
at Auburn (10/1)
Or 11/5 at ARK (pick poison)
 
vs. Alabama (9/17)
Home L would be u-g-l-y
 

Quickie 50/50: South Carolina. Impressions: Two of sports' top nicknames -- "Death Valley" (Best Stadium?) and "Gamecocks" (Best College?)

US Open Wrap: Williams Sisters, Sharapova advance. (Who needs Andy Roddick and his mojo? I'll take Maria's mojo or Serena's mojo every time.)

And even though Rafael Nadal beat him in straight sets, teen sensation Scoville Jenkins is going to be a huge name in men's tennis.

More CFB: Minnesota RB Laurence Moroney is a stud (10:15, ESPN2). Plus: Oregon at Houston (7, ESPN2), Temple at Arizona St.

Among ESPN.com's CFB experts' picks for the Rose Bowl opponent of USC, not a single one joined me in picking Louisville. I love it. Bring it on.

Are you part of the Quickie's Pick 'Em leagues yet? Sign up for BOTH NFL *and* COLLEGE (new!) under the group names "Daily Quickie Readers."



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