July 28, 2003
"Spy Kids":
Ultra-gimmick third edition crushed at the box office; to improve attendance, should baseball consider 3-D glasses giveaway?
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
NUTTY.  PEDALER

Lance Armstrong is the Jerry Lewis of American sports: Undervalued in the U.S.; beloved in France.

Watching this weekend's Tour de France conclusion -- Saturday's harrowing time trial, Sunday's glorious "homecoming" -- allows for appreciation that Armstrong is arguably the world's top male athlete of the last half-century.

Looking for another under-pubbed record-smashing American sports star? 18-year-old swimmer Michael Phelps set five individual world records at the world championships last week; could win a bushel of gold at next summer's Olympics.

Battle at the Bridges
Made-for-TV sports exhibition is populism at its best: Tonight's best-ball Monday Night Golf fiesta pitting Tiger and Ernie versus Sergio and Phil (where's Rush?) brings together exactly who fans want to see, made even better through a format that lets us see them relaxed, rather than their usual Sunday stressed.

Remembering Bob Hope: An avid golfer and golf fan, Bob Hope died late Sunday night. A moment of reflection at the BOTB would be appropriate to mark the passing of this comedy legend.

Millen's Fine
The day's most divisive sports issue will be the NFL's $200,000 fine for Lions president Matt Millen for failing to comply with league rules about diversity in failing to interview a minority candidate for coach.

Lions owner Bill Ford expressed outrage, but at the very least, Millen appeared to flout the spirit of the policy; as with any infant initiative, perception is often as damaging as substance.

Halladay's 15 Straight
Believe in jinxes? Just about time to ruin Roy Halladay's win streak (now 15) by mentioning that the record is 19, set so long

MINELLI, GEST SPLIT! WHO HAD 16 MONTHS IN THE POOL?
THE SET-UP: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
1 Tiger/Ernie vs. Sergio/Phil: Best ball rules (8pm ET ABC)
2 D'backs at Marlins: Battling for NL Wild Card position
3 Braves at Expos: Montreal needs to make its move...now
THE SIT-DOWN: DROP THESE FROM YOUR HOT LIST
1 Suzy Whaley: 15 minutes over, but well-received showing
2 Piazza wants to be traded: Mets C laughed at the rumor
3 Jason Sehorn: Broke foot in Rams camp; out until October
 
ago it wouldn't mean anything if I used the space to explain.

But while we're talking "at this pace...": Who can possibly deny the Cy Young to the Royals' comeback-of-the-year Jose Lima, who ran his record to 7-0 on Sunday for the Kansas City Cinderella Royals?

Hall Induction
On baseball's Hall of Fame induction day, what about the players who are close but will never make it? If they were smart, they would pool their resources and create some kind of "Hall of Near-Fame." (Criteria: Named on more than 15 but less than 75 percent of ballots). Welcome in Pete Rose and Joe Jackson (posthumously) to generate p.r. Celebrate the almost-greats.

LeBron in L.A.
Is it foreshadowing that LeBron was overshadowed by Carmelo at Magic Johnson's charity hoops event on Sunday? James had 28 points, but Anthony had 34 (what bodes best for the rookies is that they topped the vets 127-123). Silly kids: Effort is for the playoffs!

KobeTV
Countdown to court date: 10 days. Random spa employee? Childhood friend? Mark Madsen? With "Law and Order: Eagle County" set for full TV treatment, some unknowing regular shmoe anonymously slurping coffee today will be this generation's Kato Kaelin tomorrow.

Metro-dope
Chuckle if you want at the Minneapolis Metrodome engineer who claims to have rigged the air pipes to help the home team Twins in late innings. But what if your team missed out on playoffs because of the Twins' home-air advantage?

Yankees bullpen
After blowing three-run lead in 6-4 loss to Red Sox in Boston last night, it appears the entire 'pen caught "Armando-itis."
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
ESPN Radio: Billy Beane talks trades  
P2: Happy 100th, Yankees
NFL: Training Camp reports
 
"Seabiscuit" Edition
Underdog
It's Jose Lima's season
 
Big winner
Halladay can't be stopped
 
Scrappy rider
Armstrong x 5
 
Quiet trainer
Eddie Murray same type
 
Flashy owner
Snyder lounges at 'Skins camp
 

Hopefully, m.e.'s identifying Patrick Dennehy's body will allow his family to begin to find some peace ...

Welcome to Cincinnati, Marvin Lewis: Bengals star RB Corey Dillon was late to the first day of training camp on Sunday ...

Signing Elden Campbell quietly puts the Pistons ahead of the Nets in the East. Why? No lingering "if" about EC, like with 'Zo ...

Korey Stringer's widow is going to sue the NFL today over its policies' role in her husband's death; Sunday, Jags' Larry Smith collapsed at camp ...


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