November 14, 2005
Samkon Gado:
In his first start, unknown Packers RB earns Player of the Week honors for a 3-TD, upset-leading effort. (And you could have had him on your FFL team.)
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
MOST  VALUABLE.

A-Rod or Big Papi? That's THE question of the day: Which AL MVP contender do you support?

Fans fall on one side or the other; there's no room for soft support in this most contentious of winner-take-all MLB award debates.

A-Rod? Love the numbers.
Ortiz? Love the clutchness.

A-Rod? Hate the prissy mug.
Ortiz? Hate the prissy DH.

We can all agree that A-Rod is as unliked as Papi is popular, but any outcome except A-Rod as MVP would be a farce.

Compare the stats: A-Rod was 1st in the AL in four key categories (OPS, SLG, HR, R), 2nd in BA and OBP, 3rd in BB, 4th in RBI and even added 21 SB.

Ortiz is behind A-Rod in every other significant category except RBI and walks. Please stop whining about Papi's late-inning heroics.

And that doesn't even factor in defense, which is overrated as a point of argument (but not so overrated that it should be ignored entirely).

Ortiz is a fabulous choice . . .
as a runner-up for AL MVP.

Bottom of the 9th, two outs, runner on first, down 1 run?

Sure, I'll take Big Papi.

But for an entire season?

It's not even close: A-Rod.

Bucs Win Boldly
"2 is the new 1" in the NFL: Going for the win in regulation rather than the tie (and OT) is contagious.

For the second straight week, an NFL coach made the bold call -- and it paid off. This time, it was Gruden and the Bucs, riding Alstott to a W.

One week is an exception; two weeks is an actual trend.

You know what that means, right? We're only a week away from some coach jumping on the bandwagon -- and failing.

NFC North Rules!
Following one of the worst halves of a season any single division has ever had, the NFC North came up huge with a 4-0 Sunday:

Vikings solve Giants: Who's Daunte? Brad Johnson (and "get-freaky" methods for TD scoring) overcomes a NY team that Culpepper couldn't.

Packers topple Falcons: What, you haven't bought your No. 35 "Gado" jersey yet? What are you waiting for?

Bears' D is stifling: Still, who had the Bears at 6-3 after 10 weeks? (Anyone? Anyone?)

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Steve Spurrier: Ol' Ball Coach has last laugh vs. Gators
Gilbert Arenas: Drops 43 on Spurs in huge W by Wiz (5-1)
Nathan Vasher: Set NFL record w/108-yard FG return for TD
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Ced Benson: Dud RB hurt in first start; Bears win anyway
Illnois: NCAA upholds ban on racist Illini mascot image
Raffy/Sammy: Won't be back with O's; Surprise, surprise
 
Harrington's reprieve: Joey earns a week off from the usual jeers after his annual "Maybe he's not that bad" teaser.

NFL Week 10 Wrap
Pats: Unconvincing? Fans looking for a decisive Pats win over the offense-light Dolphins didn't get it. Champs ain't that great.

Broncos: Convincing! Nonbelievers had been waiting for that quality road win. Beating the Raiders in Oakland was it.

Buffalo's JP Losman has got to be back in the good graces of Bills fans after leading them to a win over KC. (Missing Priest much?)

Speaking of good graces, Tommy Maddox is out of Steelers fans' doghouse after coming in for the injured Batch and managing PIT to a win.

Shaun Alexander (3 TDs) is the NFL's best player north of San Diego. And it took a Tomlinson bye week for most fans to realize it.

Jags-Panthers Super Bowl? Why not? They're the same team, right: Stifling D, just enough O?

Ravens: NFL's worst team. Baltimore is so hapless (NFL-low 100 points scored) that they might as well tank the rest of the season to ensure they can draft Matt Leinart. Fans would appreciate it.

MNF: DAL at PHI
Why do I suspect that we won't be seeing Jesse Jackson at the top of the show shouting, "Are you ready for some football?!"

What will we do without T.O.? No preening? No posing? No anticipation of a wild, self-absorbed celebration?

And if the Eagles lose without him, no hope of the playoffs.
(9 p.m. ET, ABC)

Knicks Finally Win
Brown off the schneid after his team wins first of the season, against the suddenly sorry Kings in Sacto. New York now on pace for just over a dozen wins this season. As Ali G's Borat might say: "Success!"

MLB Hot Stove
D-Rays to hire Maddon: Ex-Angels coach, not Bobby V (who's going back to Japan) will enjoy rise of Tampa. (Stop laughing.)

Matsui deadline tomorrow: But he's expected to re-sign with the Yankees at a rate ($10M/Yr?) that will make him the highest-paid Japanese player in MLB.

Rafael Furcal wants $50M: At least he's willing to switch positions.

BCS Is A-OK
The weekend's biggest winner in college football was the BCS. Not USC or Texas. Not LSU or Auburn. Not even Steve Spurrier.

In only 11 weeks, college football managed to use its regular season to whittle down a final two -- more efficient than any other sport.

It's not always perfect, but for now, the college system works. And yet what will the hysterics gripe about for the next six weeks?

For Fresno State to beat USC next week? For Texas to lose in the Big 12 title game? There's an alternative for the BCS-haters:

Why don't we all agree that seeing unbeaten USC vs. unbeaten Texas in the Rose Bowl would be the best CFB title matchup of the BCS era.

Kurt Busch:
Among NASCARdinal sins? Real-life reckless driving, which cost Busch the final two races of the season. (Ironically, his bro Kyle won Sunday.)
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie: Live!
Page 2 Index
NFL Sunday Stud
 
NFL Power Rankings
Colts
Another week, another win
 
Bengals
Huge Week 11 game vs. IND
 
Panthers
Make NFC respectable
 
Steelers
Only with Big Ben back
 
Broncos
Quality win at Oakland
 

More CFB: Bama lost. LSU ain't THAT great. Georgia stinks. And Auburn, the best team in the SEC, won't be playing in the SEC title game.

How good is No. 1 Duke? See for yourself tonight (7:30 ET, ESPN). I'm most intrigued to see high-profile freshman Josh McRoberts.

Speaking of "how good," keep your eye on women's hoops sensation Seimone Augustus of No. 3 LSU, who dropped 32 and 13 on No. 13 Texas Tech.

LeBron James became the youngest NBA player to score 4,000 career points, shattering Kobe's old record by more than a half-year.

Congrats to the L.A. Galaxy, which won the MLS Cup over the New England Revolution. More signals New England region is over as a sports-champ hub?



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