December 20, 2005
Kyle Boller:
Save this entry, because you won't see it again: The Ravens QB was a star, at least for one night: 19/27 for 253 yards, 3 TDs and zero INTs. Who WAS that?
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
PACKING.  IN.

In a season of lows for the Packers, last night was truly the lowest point.

Forget 2005: The 48-3 drubbing on Monday Night Football -- by the sorry Ravens, no less -- was the lowest moment of the Brett Favre Era in Green Bay.

That's why the Favre Era in Green Bay is officially over.

No matter how the team decides to limp through the final two games of 2005. No matter what the Packers decide to do with understudy Aaron Rodgers. No matter whether or not Favre comes back next year. No matter if he IS the face of the franchise.

(Or at least, WAS.)

The new face of the franchise is futility, and even the most ardent Favre fans can't argue their guy hasn't been tainted by this season.

But should Favre pack it in? Not yet.

He's the NFL's Roger Clemens: On a contender, he could be an MVP candidate again. Can you imagine him on the Bears?

That's the problem: No one can imagine him in any jersey but Green Bay's. (I'm guessing he can't, either.)

But even Joe Montana went out in a Chiefs uniform, and no one holds that against him. It's selfish of any fan to demand fealty to a jersey.

Here's what a 45-point loss to the Ravens on "MNF" really confirms:

The Packers are a shell, destined to wallow among the NFL's dregs for the remainder of Favre's career, however long that lasts -- and whether Favre plays for them or not.

If Packers fans and Favre's many admirers really cared about him, they'd encourage him to finish his career elsewhere.

Grossman to Start
Here's how ineffective Kyle Orton was: He was the starting QB of a 10-4 division-leader, the surprise team of the NFL this season. But he just couldn't overcome that league-worst QB rating -- or the mere potential for a big play that Rex Grossman brings to the line.

Pro Bowl Voting
Peyton Manning set a Pro Bowl-voting record with more than 1.18 million votes from fans to earn the starting QB role for the AFC. (Carson Palmer never had a chance.)

Leading all RBs was not LaDainian Tomlinson but Shaun Alexander, who is in for a Rod Tidwell-like payday after leading the Seahawks to a 12-2 record in a contract year. (Not to mention his chance to bust the all-time single-season TD record in the next two games.)

As for WRs, despite what would have been a hilariously awkward moment in Hawaii, T.O. was NOT the leading vote-getter; Chad Johnson was, after a season in which he claimed T.O.'s mantle as the NFL's most entertaining WR. (At least for TD celebrations. Think he'll incorporate a lei in Hawaii?)

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Pistons: Win in 2OT at Memphis on Billups' buzzer-beater
Mariners: Shore up spotty pitching, sign Angels' Washburn
Ronaldinho: Named FIFA P.O.Y. as world's best footballer
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Yao Ming: Toe surgery will keep Rockets C out indefinitely
Kurt Warner: Knee injury sidelines him for the rest of '05
Duke women: Run up score on Ball St, 110-24. Classless.
 
NFL Tank Watch
49ers coach Mike Nolan has a very respectful (yet realistic) attitude about NFL fans who would rather see their team tank and get the No. 1 overall pick in the draft (say, Reggie Bush) than win one extra, marginal, meaningless game at the end of the season:

"I do not think it's nonsense at all for a fan to think that way. That's what makes being a fan so much fun. [But] as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, I am not a fan."

LPGA Trumps NBA
The LPGA's decision to give rising star Morgan Pressel full membership five months before she turns 18 (the usual LPGA entry qualification) represents good sense the NBA could learn from:

No reasonable fan could make the argument that LeBron James wasn't ready for the NBA as an 18-year-old. There are other examples, too: Dwight Howard, Amare Stoudemire and more.

The ludicrous part of the NBA's arbitrary 19-year-old age limit is that it defies the simplest test of all: What fans, coaches and GMs can see with their eyes when they watch a teen player.

Prep star Greg Oden isn't ready for the NBA? He'd be the No. 1 pick in the draft! How is that not ready? H.S. junior OJ Mayo would be the No. 2 pick, and rumor has it he's ready to skip college for the NBDL anyway, if only to collect his endorsement money.

For once, the NBA would be smart to take a lesson from the LPGA and think about granting individual exceptions for the most exceptional players.

CFB Recruiting
Urban Meyer is a dynamo: A week after landing top-ranked run-pass QB Tim Tebow, Florida got a two-fer at WR yesterday on ESPNews, landing Insider's top-rated Percy Harvin AND Harvin's teammate Damon McDaniel (the No. 2-rated WR).

I'd like to think it's the way Meyer embraced technology, giving his assistants Blackberries so they can constantly text-message recruits, which is still basically unregulated by the NCAA. Does the technique work?

Well, the Gators now have verbal commitments from 26 players, including 12 in the ESPN Top 150, giving them the No. 1-rated prospective class. Mrs. Quickie, an avid fan, has instructed me not to make New Year's plans from 2008-2011.

Bowl Season Opens
Quickie coverage of all 28 bowls begins today, with the New Orleans Bowl, presumably played IN New Orleans most seasons, but this year moved to Lafayette (for obvious reasons). Kind of an inauspicious debut for bowling, but don't tell that to the excited kids from Arkansas State or Southern Miss! (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).

It's College Bowl Mania! Compete against other Daily Quickie readers in my special College Bowl Mania Pick 'Em league! (Group name: Daily Quickie Readers). Join up NOW!

Correx: Grad Rate
Yesterday, I mocked the NCAA for "massaging" graduation numbers in its new study, but while it DID recalculate the stats with a new formula, it appropriately stopped penalizing schools for transfers leaving.

With the recalculation, the average grad rate was 76 percent (compared to 62 percent figured the old way). Before you think the system works, consider that men's basketball is still less than 60 percent, lowest among men's sports.

Perhaps most intriguing, among women's sports, the lowest grad rate was bowling (72 percent). Gotta clamp down on those renegade women bowlers dragging the more respectable female athletes down.

Jeremy Roenick:
Feels dissed after being left off the U.S. Olympic hockey roster. Maybe it was payback for his mouthing off, look-at-me spectacle during the strike.
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie: Live!
Page 2 Index
Bowl Pick 'Em!
 
Most Exciting Non-BCS Bowls
Sun (12/30)
No D in N'western, UCLA
 
Cotton (1/2)
Texas Tech O is must-see
 
Peach (12/30)
Miami, LSU: Sick defenses
 
MPC Comp (12/28)
Hawkins' finale at Boise
 
GMAC (12/21)
NFL-ready QBs vie
 

CBB Rankings: Nice to see unbeaten Tennessee finally make its debut (23) after thumping Texas (which fell from No. 2 to 6 to 15 in 2 weeks.)

After shouting "How 'bout them Redskins?" to a crowded Dallas arena, Darrell Armstrong might think the $1,000 fine was cheap.

After stubbornly suspending star Antonio Gates for that Week 1 loss, think the playoff-bubble Chargers would like that decision back now? Fans would.

Bill Belichick said he won't be resting his starters, even though the Pats have clinched. (Good news for Jets fans who want to lose!)

NHL may be off the radar, but Olympic hockey is still intriguing. The U.S. roster runs from 44 year-old D Chelios to 24 year-old G DiPietro.

Quickie Obit: Yankees investor Barry Halper, who had arguably the greatest collection of baseball memorabilia ever. Google his name. Wild stuff.

Someone alerted me to SNL's "Narnia" rap parody. Count me among those who think the show is pretty bad, but this bit was classic.



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