December 14, 2005
"King Kong":
Most anticipated movie of the holiday season opens. You know, if the Texans had Kong on the D-line, they'd probably have a better record.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
RILED.  UP.

What did fans learn about the new-look Heat after last night's win over Chicago?

That the most dramatic change isn't Pat Riley stalking the sidelines -- it's an increasingly healthy Shaq in the middle.

What is Riley's resuscitation going to resemble? Just check out the box score:

In only his fourth game of the season (his second since a month-long injury), Shaq took a team-high 21 shots and scored a game-high 30 points in a highly efficient 27 minutes.

Now, if feeding Shaq is Riley's "brilliance," I'm wondering if there aren't tens of thousands of fantasy basketball gurus who can do THAT.

(But how many fantasy GMs can look as styled as Riley while doing it? That said, don't you remember his slicked-back hair being so cool back in the '80s? Now it just looks skeevy -- sort of dirty old mannish.)

Now, it didn't hurt that the Heat were playing the Bulls, whose strength in the paint is so weak they might as well sign the Dutch Boy. And Miami still only won by 3. Eep.

The Riley Reunion Tour continues tonight vs. the upstart Bucks, and as long as Riley's key insight continues to be "Give the ball to Shaq," he's going to look like the genius everyone thinks he is.

Spurs Edge Clips
A quarter of the way into the NBA season, here's how legit the Clippers are: a game with the Spurs is a must-watch event. The NBA story of the year is the bizarro 1st-place status of the other team from L.A.

Despite shooting 33 percent in a loss, the Clippers' OT effort against the defending champs continues to confirm that while 10 games might have seemed fluky, 20 games of quality hoops proves they are for real.

Vick: Ready for Bears?
The word is that Michael Vick will be ready to play Sunday versus the toughest defense in the NFL. Less obvious is whether his bruised ribs will allow him to play effectively, let alone finish the game, after he's bulldozed a few times by Urlacher and Co.

A-Rod: D.R. over U.S.?
If I was A-Rod, I'd play for the Dominican Republic over the U.S. in the World Baseball Classic, too, precisely for the reason he lays out:

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Superdome: Could be ready for football as early as Nov. 1
Miggy Tejada: Ramon Hernandez wants to stay in BAL
Carmelo Anthony: Remember? Scored career-best 42 Tues.
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Matt Leinart: Lost 1st-team All-America status to V. Young
Cavs: Have lost 7/9, including at home last night to ATL
Wake Forest: 21-G home W streak snapped by feisty DePaul
 
All of the teams outside of the U.S. seem way more enthusiastic about the event than the U.S. Think back to last year's flag-waving nationalism on display at the Home Run Derby.

A-Rod's going to be jeered as a traitor and many cynics will crack that with A-Rod's track record, the D.R. has no chance at the WBC title now, but he'll be laughing all the way through the tournament.

(And that's the point.)

ChiSox Get Vazquez
The defending champs' starting pitching is going to get even deeper, with word that they're about to trade for disgruntled D'backs ace Javier Vazquez, who finished 8th in the NL in Ks and whose 1.25 WHIP was tops among Arizona starters.

And all they had to do to get him was give up El Duque, RP Luis Vizcaino and OF prospect Chris Young. El Duque, of course, will always be remembered fondly by Chicago fans for his thrilling, gritty relief performance vs. the Red Sox in the ALDS.

USC: Best Ever?
Is USC the best team ever? Of course not. They might not even be the best team this year. (I might have my "instant historian" card ripped away for that.)

Anyway, "SportsCenter" and SportsNation launched a cool feature to figure out where this USC team fits in among the best of all time.

First, you rank the top 10.

Then, you vote to see where USC fits in, by matching them up against each of the top 10 teams (plus a wild card No. 11).

I don't see USC's 2004 team on the list; too bad, because I think that champ would wallop this year's edition.

Fashion Watch: Tights
Inspired by Paul Lukas' UniWatch analysis, I put on full-length tights, Kobe-style, for my Mediabistro.com rec-league hoops season-finale last night. Here's a review:

Comfort: Although I avoided the usual thigh-chafe, my legs got too hot. Does Kobe really worry about his legs getting cold?

Performance: I missed just as many shots as I usually do without them. But inspired by Kobe, I tried to jack up even more.

Look: No one really got that I was specifically going for Kobe's look. Instead, I got a lot of stares and mostly snickers.

Summary: Unless you, too, would like to be mocked by your rec league, you might want to avoid tights as either a performance-enhancer or simply an attempt at fashion irony.

Tim Montgomery:
Former "Fastest Man" suspended for two years for steroid violations, another taint on track and field.
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie: Live!
Page 2 Index
NFL Playoff Pic
 
NBA Surprises
Clippers ruling
Still feels weird...
 
Pistons firing
"Flip's Way" working
 
Grizzlies rising
Feast on weak West
 
Bulls stalling
.500 in tough Central
 
Elton Brand
25.4 ppg: MVP next?
 

From "Moneyball" to Looneyball: Crazy quotient in the Bay Area just went up, with Milton Bradley being traded from the Dodgers to the A's.

Artest watch: Pierce says he wouldn't mind Artest dealt to Boston, but I like the interest out of Seattle; Indiana wants Ron-Ron out of the East.

Nomar to the Yankees heats up, with the notion that Nomar will be a "super-utility." Wait until they find out he's not super-anything anymore.

Are the Braves for sale? Maybe the new owner can get them over the top from perennial division winner to actual World Champ more than once.

Despite a disappointing first season at Florida, Urban Meyer is forging a top-3 recruiting class, headlined by QB Tim Tebow, who committed Tuesday.

Colorado football update: It looks like Quickie-endorsed Dan Hawkins from Boise St. will be the coach at CU. Great move.

Coming Thursday: The Quickie's Holiday Gift Guide!



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