September 8, 2005
Andre Agassi:
"Match of the Year" lives up to the hype. Andre came back from being down 2 sets to beat sentimental favorite James Blake and advance to the semis.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
PROVEN.  CHAMPION.

"Until. Proven. Otherwise."

That's my mantra for picking the Pats to win Super Bowl XL, the road to which begins tonight in Foxboro vs. the Raiders (9 ET, ABC).

I speak on behalf of all the fans who doubted the Pats against the Colts last January, then again versus the Steelers in the AFC title game.

We won't get fooled again.

That's the respect the Pats have earned by becoming the most impressive sports dynasty ever (hey, I dubbed 'em with the "D-word" after XXXVIII).

Doubters can whisper about Belichick's losing his assistants, about losing the soul of his D, about the injury Brady is so due for...

Then there's the theory that if the Colts or Steelers or whomever can get home-field advantage over them for the AFC title game...

Oh, just stop it.

The Pats already have beaten the Colts under the Indy dome. As for the Steelers? See January 2005. And other contenders? Who, exactly?

It's not fun to pick them.

It's not bold to pick them.

It's just right to pick them.

Until proven otherwise.

Raiders: Moss Mania!
Raiders at Pats (9 ET, ABC):
T.O. may have a claim on histrionics, but no WR in the NFL brings as much excitement to actual game play as Randy Moss.

That's why his new Raiders No. 18 jersey is a top seller. That's why the NFL was genius in featuring him vs. the champs tonight in the '05 opener.

And that's why the Raiders will be this season's Chargers.

You know what I mean: The annual NFL tradition that a team reverses its previous year's record to go from division chump to champ.

Sure, Oakland's D is spotty. But Randy (and new RB LaMont Jordan) will revitalize the offense. Moss and Kerry Collins will play "jump ball" all season.

Too bad Oakland will have to start with a Week 1 L to the champs, but by midseason, the Raiders' success will be one the biggest story lines.

Friday: Full Week 1 preview!

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Eli Manning: Listed as "probable" for W1 opener vs. ARI
Ken Griffey: Expected to fully recover and return in '06
"L.A. 2016": '84 Olympics host city wants to do it again
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Bartolo Colon: Back problems may be worse than expected
Davenport: Bounced from Open by Elena Dementieva
"Expos": Vermont team will play final game for nickname
 
NFL Kickoff: Music
Musically, the pregame show will have something for every taste: Green Day, Kanye West and the Rolling Stones.

What it won't have is political statements (even though all three have made them). That's what the 10-second delay is for.

Bonds: "Definitely"
Let's hope Bonds' prognostication for his return this season is more realistic than his fantasy about it:

"I'm very anxious to get on the field. All I think about is having my name called, playing left field and seeing that little kid in the field cheering. Those are the visions I see."

Cheering, eh? What: Does he plan to play only home games?

More Agassi-Blake
"It couldn't have been more fun to lose" is the gracious way Blake met Agassi at the net. It couldn't have been more fun to watch, either.

Next for Agassi: A semifinal meeting with another unseeded upstart, Robby Ginepri, who quietly has become one of the most exciting players in the field.

MLB Wed Wrap
Yankees d. D-Rays: The old saying about squirrels and nuts comes to mind.

NL Wild Card: Astros continue to hurt Phillies' chances; Marlins keep pace behind Dontrelle's 20th; Mets blow a save (go figure) and lose to Braves.

AL Wild Card: Win or lose, Yanks get all the attention, but very quietly, Indians are sticking around (Sabathia pitches CG with 10 Ks).

Padres Watch: Back to .500.

Today: On the Cy Young Watch for Cardinals' Chris Carpenter, going for his MLB-leading 21st W.

NBA Notes
Damon Jones to Cavs: Won't it be funny when it turns out that the glue of the Heat's success was Jones? They'll miss his 3s.

Best wishes to Red Auerbach, who is reportedly back in the hospital. The NY Post says he's in a coma, but no confirmation. Tracking...

Katrina help: Kobe, LeBron and KG lead a group of NBA stars playing an exhibition game for Katrina relief fundraising on Sunday.

Mike Morse:
Mariners rookie gets roid-related 10-day suspension. Here's a twist: He claims the positive test came from OLD use he's already been punished for.
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie: Live!
Clayton: 1st&10
NFL Eliminator
 
NFL WR Import Impact
Randy Moss
"Jump Ball" with Collins
 
Derrick Mason
Can he make Boller good?
 
Muhsin Muhammad
Breaks in rookie Orton
 
Plaxico Burress
How will he mesh with Eli?
 
Santana Moss
What can you do w/ Ramsey?
 

Lance: Word is that he'll join his Discovery teammates in training in December, another sign that he'll make a comeback.

Saints Update: Let's hope all the speculation that they're finalizing a plan to be in San Antonio is true. Let's bus real Saints fans out there.

The Broncos signed castoff WR David Terrell to replace the spot left by Jerry Rice. Talk about not being able to fill a guy's shoes...

Quickie NFL Book Club: If you enjoy the provocativeness of number-crunching in sports, definitely check out "Football Prospectus 2005."

Last chance for Week 1 to sign up for the Quickie's Pick 'Em and Eliminator leagues. Sign up under the group name "Daily Quickie Readers."



SEND PRINT ARCHIVE EMAIL US
Sponsored Links
espn.com