Oct. 21, 2003
Marlins ace
Josh Beckett:

Has been talking a huge game. Pivotal World Series Game 3 will be his chance to back it up. More likely, the Yanks spank the kid.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Calling the upset now: Grizzlies over Lakers, Nov. 10: The day that Kobe makes a "First Appearance" in his now-official criminal trial in Colorado. That's more than symbolic.

For the franchise, Kobe's circumstances shift from innocuous distraction in the summer/preseason to invasive disruption in the regular season ... and potentially beyond.

If Bryant's D knows that the timing of the trial will definitely happen during the playoffs: Kobe should, in the best interests of the team, take the year off.

Removing himself de-fuses the media maelstrom that goes where he goes -- that will inevitably affect his teammates. Think postgame interviews won't constantly be about Kobe? Think some of the more hostile arenas won't chant "Ray!-Pist!"? There's a chilling image.

The Lakers can win the title without him. The far bigger uncertainty is whether they can win the title with him.

Game 3
Bandwagons are really cool when the entire country rallies behind an emergent underdog. Fans from 49 states should enjoy these easy-to-root-for Marlins.

Bandwagons become a complete crock when the team's own home region doesn't get behind them until the championship round. The Marlins' Miami-area fan-come-lately's don't deserve their team's success.

MNF: Chiefs 7-0
Bend, don't break is an iffy strategy for an AFC Super Bowl contender: The Chiefs needed a last-gasp, goal-line tackle to avoid OT with the pitiful Raiders.

1 W.S. Game 3: New Fish fans might need map to stadium
2 Kobe's case sent to full trial (But judge hedges ...)
3 Chiefs escape on MNF to remain one of 2 NFL unbeatens
1 The THG scandal is a "track and field thing": Hardly
2 Broncos' hard-luck QB situation: Great team would cope
3 Darko's silky smooth NBA game: Cut digit slicing cheese
Don't let KC's unbeaten record fool you: Right now, the best team in the AFC is Tennessee.

C's-Mavs Trade
Raef LaFrentz to Boston? Hold on, I'm still laughing ... one more sec ... whew -- that was a good one!

And in Dallas? Antoine Walker could lead the league in assists -- if he didn't enjoy the sound of his own shot clanking so much.

Steroids Scandal
Does everyone really want to know how the sausage is made? Kudos to the NFL (and other leagues) for being out front on testing for THG: But drugs -- from pot to designer pharma -- are sports' dirty little secret.

BCS Kickoff
(1) Okla, (2) Miami, (3) Va Tech: It's all fun until someone loses a game. Actually, until all of them

lose a game. Then you get four or five one-loss teams staking a legit claim to a Sugar Bowl built for two. Hasn't happened yet, but it's coming.

Indy Jones DVD
Raiders of the Lost Ark: The best action film of our generation.

Temple of Doom? Still freaked by that dude who reached into people's chests.

Last Crusade? Let's be charitable: One sequel is hard enough.

Indy IV? If Ford/Spielberg don't make this, they are crazy.

Boston authorities:
Seeking charges against Yankees Nelson, Garcia (a.k.a. "The Bullpen Bonnie and Clyde") Sore losers? You betcha!
Today on ESPN.com
P2: Scandal in Best Uniform Bracket!
CFB: BCS Standings
World Series Coverage
Ranking Top Action-Movie Heroes:
Indiana Jones
Go ahead: Hum the theme song
Jackie Chan
He does his own stunts!
John McClane
Yipee-kai-yay, mother ...
Like G.I. Joe, with rage
Yes, but the acting ...

Maybe it's Minneapolis: NFL MVP-wannabe Randy Moss is the Kevin Garnett of the NFL: The most talented player, but a playoff dud ...

Hilarious turnabout: Miami is suing the Big East (and several members), claiming damages for staying in such a shoddy league ...

Next: Northern Illinois sues the MAC for being so mediocre that they can't get into a BCS bowl ...

Speaking of BCS, the cabal is scheduled to defend itself before the Senate Judiciary Hearing next week. Take the fifth! ...

Will Kobe's trial be bigger than OJ's? No, the charge isn't nearly as severe, but consider that OJ was pre-Internet ...

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