Dec. 12, 2003

The Trade Rumor That Wouldn't Die ... is dead?! A-Rod himself admitted that his swap to BoSox is looking less likely by the hour.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Ranking the MLB winter-meeting attendees you'd most ideally want to gofer for:

(1) Theo Epstein
(2) Peter Gammons
(3) Vlad Guerrero's agent
(4) Billy Beane
(5) The New York GMs

On second thought, scratch that last one. (Does anyone in sports have a worse job than Yankees GM Brian Cashman right now?)

NFL Week 15 Subplots
Game of Week: SEA at STL
Seattle on wild-card bubble; Rams jockeying for home-field edge.

Hot Seat: Dave Wannstedt
It's December; Miami must be folding. Bad timing: Play Eagles on Monday night.

Rookie QB: Rex Grossman
Bears adopt Cubs' "Wait Till Next Year" mantra, bench Kordell Stewart vs. Vikings.

Feel a Draft?
3-10 Bunch (Falcons, Raiders, Cards, Chargers) all in hunt for top pick. Why win now?

MVP Positioning:
Steve McNair (likely) vs. Bills
Peyton Manning vs. Falcons
Priest Holmes vs. Lions
Jamal Lewis vs. Raiders

Heisman Watch
The momentum for Quickie Heisman fave Eli Manning has surged, but will probably be too-little-too-late to pass Jason "Torretta" White.

Too bad the Heisman Trophy doesn't have a single election day on Saturday (but that kind of real-time drama would certainly help the Trophy regain some cachet).

Pettitte Fallout
In bulletin-board material of the month, the Boss growled, "If you're counting us out next year, don't bet the house." Not my house, but how about The House That Ruth Built? George just did.

And adding insult to injury, Pettitte (how happy did he look?) alluded to trying to lure Roger

1 NFL Week 15: Rams/Seahawks, AFC home-field angling
2 Heisman: White still favorite, but watch Manning's mo'
3 Yankees spinning Pettitte loss, finalizing K Brown trade
1 Big BoSox/Rangers deal: A-Rod makes it sound unlikely
2 Mizzou prez won't resign over scandal (We add: "yet")
3 L. Arrington, Redskin for life: Rejects deal extension
Clemens to come out of retirement and join him in Houston.

NBA All-Star Voting
Three biggest storylines:

Vinsanity tops all balloting:
And, yet, I can't find a single person who admits to being a Vince Carter fan. Baffling.

Kobe leads West votes:
"Free Kobe" not just a T-shirt, but an election slogan.

Yao Ming lags behind Shaq:
Wait 'til Beijing polls check in; suddenly, the West's starting five resembles Houston's.

Star Sightings
At the prep hoops game last night on ESPN2 showcasing Brooklyn PG Sebastian "Next LeBron?" Telfair (27 pts in 82-77 W):

Prospective Nets part-owner Jay-Z ... prospective AL East runner-up captain Derek Jeter ... prospective future Telfair coach Rick Pitino (who looked absolutely nauseous when Telfair went down with an ankle sprain.)

Rule of thumb: Judge a phenom by the Q rating of the celebs who hop on the early bandwagon.

Weekend Flicks
But will they re-do the "Anteater" scene? "Love Don't Cost a Thing" has got to owe royalties to its '80s template, the classic "Can't Buy Me Love." Hard to buy cool Nick Cannon as a dork; Patrick Dempsey -- now there was a legendary casting job. He better have a cameo in this remake.

Watch for lots of athlete cameos in Farrelly Brothers' new comedy, "Stuck on You."

Bowl Replacement Series
USC vs. Michigan for the national title! That's how Page 2 readers see it, picking Michigan over Oklahoma and USC over LSU in the semifinals of our "Bowl Replacement Series" playoff bracket.

Vote today (and all weekend) for which team you think would win this fantasy matchup (wait ... isn't this the real Rose Bowl? How appropriate.) Quickie pick: Michigan.

"Wack" is right: Will force Hawaii to play its bowl game, even though the school said it wouldn't if players weren't academically eligible.
Today on
Page 2: Simmons on NFL playoff chase
MLB: 10 guys who may be traded
NFL: Games of the week
NFL Games
Involving 8-5
"Bubble" Teams
DAL (at Was)
Pull out of tailspin?
MIA (vs. Phi)
Simply put: Must-win.
DEN (vs. Cle)
AFC wild card on line
BAL (at Oak)
Div. title in sight
Sorry: AFC just tighter

NFL Wk 15 office-pool picks: StL, NE, NYJ, TB, MIN, CIN, TEN, IND, KC, DEN, BAL, WAS, CAR, GB, NO, PHI (LW: 9-7; season: 129-79) ...

Antoine Walker accused Danny Ainge of trying to "set my career back." As opposed to his no-conscience shooting and playoff choking ...

Worst. Seats. Ever.: Ford Field nosebleeds for Kentucky-Mich St in front of college-hoops record 75K ...

Yankees' tag-team Nelson/Garcia due in Boston court Friday re: playoffs beat-down. If goes to trial, how to find an impartial jury? ...

Pedro Martinez names Mets, Giants as teams he would consider pitching for if Red Sox don't offer contract extension by April ...

New NBA record! Spurs, Rockets combine for worst-ever 55 points in first half ...

Next "Brewing" sports scandal: Local Milwaukee backlash against Brewers for possible fuzzy accounting practices ...

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