November 8, 2005
Peyton Manning:
Gets his first win in eight tries at Foxboro in style -- completing 28/37 passes for 321 yards and three TDs.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
Colts  Stampede

The analysis is simple: The Colts clobbering the Pats means nothing unless Indy can do it again in the playoffs.

Remember, the Steelers thumped the Pats last year in the regular season and even had home-field advantage for the AFC title game. Before Belichek-mate.

But that was last season. The difference between 2004's Pats squad and this year's 4-4 version is even wider than last night's 19-point canyon.

Like their New England baseball counterparts, the Pats simply don't seem to be The Team this fall. Their D has more gaps than the Red Sox front office.

Meanwhile, for the Colts, all Monday night's win did is ratchet up the expectations even higher.

I'm not whispering "16-0" just yet: Of their eight remaining games, five are against playoff-quality teams (at CIN, PIT, at JAX, SD, at SEA).

But what's the matter with uber-expectations? To be an elite team, you have to want nothing less than a championship.

Think Pats fans are really worried about 4-4? That's a champs' mindset. As long as they get in the playoffs, they'll still be the team to beat.

The Colts proved that they're a team that can beat them. But the difference between "can" and "will" in the playoffs remains more than half a season away.

T.O. Done for '05
Say It Ain't T.O.!
The Eagles' decision to boot him, as much as it reflects decisiveness, smacks of pettiness.

Why not cut him?

If the team wants to be rid of him so badly, why not release him outright? Are they keeping him out of spite? That seems counterproductive for a 4-4 team.

NCAA Hoops Tip-Off!
No. 16 Syracuse gets the honors, with a laugher against Bethune Cookman tonight.

Big question: Hasn't Gerry McNamara graduated yet?

Give him the 2005 "Matt Brust Award" for the seemingly endless college career.

Duke No. 1 in AP Top 25: No surprise there. Look forward to the Dec. 2 game against No. 2 Texas. Meanwhile, defending champ UNC was unranked. Yikes.

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
D-Wade: No Shaq? No problem. Heat's REAL star wins game
David Akers: Who's TO? Eagles K gets new deal through 2010
Reggie Brown: Sure to be on Fantasy FL's "Most Added" lists
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Ravens: Name Kyle Boller starting QB. Damned if you do ...
Raptors: NBA's worst team drops to 0-4 with loss to Cavs
Busch Stadium: Wrecking of venerable St. Louis stadium
 
BCS Update
BCS-haters must feel as conflicted as the Carolina Panthers' webmaster: Loathe to admit that the BCS got something right that the human polls might have screwed up.

If you thought Alabama being behind Miami in the latest human poll was wrong, you might have a more positive view of the BCS system this week, which puts the Tide ahead of the 'Canes.

MLB Awards: AL Cy
Johan Santana is the best pitcher in the AL, but he's like Shaq. He could win this award every year. (Mo Rivera is the same, discounting the Cy voting bias against relievers.)

My vote goes to Mark Buehrle, who led the White Sox to their startling first-half success and was a rock of the rotation through the second half.

Watch out for a "split-vote" situation with teammate Jon Garland, who also had a ridiculous first half and was one of the pleasant surprises of the season. (Runner-up: Bartolo Colon. Why doesn't he get my vote? No fatties.)

Tomorrow: AL/NL Managers

Manny to Mets?
At the MLB GM meetings, rumors percolate that the Red Sox and Mets are talking about a trade for Manny. (Given his veto power over any deal, he has to at least be tacitly backing this, right?)

Meanwhile, Nats GM Jim Bowden will meet with the Red Sox about the open GM position, setting up a perfect bookend storyline if (hmm, when?) the new Nats owners bring in ex-Boston GM Theo Epstein to run the team.

Cheerleaders Update
Free Renee and Angela! As expected, on Monday the Panthers axed the two most famous cheerleaders in America.

Renee has bigger problems: She's charged with a felony for giving a false name and causing harm to another squad member.

The colleague whose ID Renee originally used with the cops must be feeling a lot less cheery right now.

So, what's next for the "Charlotte Two?" Needless to say, it'll likely involve Maxim, FHM, Playboy, beer commercials or pay-per-view.

DVD Watch: '55 Dodgers
You don't have to be a Brooklyn junkie (like me) to enjoy the new DVD "Brooklyn Dodgers: The Original America's Team" (ESPN).

Recommended for:
*Any baseball fan who enjoys MLB history.
*Any fan with an interest in the sociology of race relations in sports.
*Or any fan who hates the Yankees and would like to re-live the glorious moment when the Bums toppled them in the World Series.

Pete Rose Jr.:
"Son of" pleads guilty to charges of distributing a steroid-like substance to minor-league teammates. Could be worse; he could have gambled on baseball.
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie: Live!
T.O. Unplugged
TO: What next?
 
Updated NFL Rankings
Colts
Super Bowl XL or bust
 
Bengals
Host Colts in two weeks
 
Steelers
But they need Big Ben
 
Panthers
Class of the NFC?
 
Broncos
Gasp! No Patriots?!
 

MLB Awards: As expected, Street and Howard win AL, NL Rookie of the Year. (Whoever gave Clint Barmes a third place NL vote should lose their privileges.)

More GM talk: They'll discuss replay. More of a chance to bash what should be a no-brainer of an endorsement for MLB to add to umps' tools.

Larry Brown's inconsistency is freaking out his players. His team can't win AND his players are unhappy. Boy, this "Right Way" sure is effective!

Baseball World Cup eligibility rules are stretched to the breaking point of reality: Mike Piazza playing for Italy?

Sidney Crosby scores a goal in his NHL debut in NYC's Garden. Now, if only he'd been put on the Rangers, the league would have had something.

Coming Wednesday: The Quickie's NFL Midseason Awards!



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