Dec. 30, 2003
Birthday boy
LeBron James:

Want to feel old (or, perhaps like me, just a little more insecure about your age than usual)? LeBron turns 19 today. NINETEEN!
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Sure, there's the "ESPN 100." (See "Q It Up," right) But after 250-something daily editions, leave room for the "Quickie 10" from 2003:

Top 10 Most Intriguing Names:
Only 1-name wonders need apply
10. Theo
9. Jiggy
8. Carmelo
7. Dontrelle
6. Eustachy/Price/Harrick
5. Lance
4. Annika
3. Clarett
2. Bartman
1. LeBron

Top 10 Most Intriguing News:
You say "It's the new black!";
we say, "It's the new NASCAR!"

10. Parcells: Revives Cowboys
9. Celly-brate: Horn's antics
8. Poker: Yes, the new NASCAR
7. A-Rod: Greatest Near-Trade
6. BCS: All poll breaks loose
5. Coll. coach: Scandal-mania
4. Corkgate: Say it ain't Sosa
3. 'Roid rage: THG explosion
2. Kobe: His shocking arrest
1. MLB: Best postseason ever

And in 2004 ...
Sneak peek at the Quickie's
biggest stories for next year:

5. Cubs/BoSox: World Series
How can you snicker anymore?

4. Clarett: Wins NFL lawsuit
And world doesn't end.

3. Olympics: Steroids scandal
THG was just the start ...

2. Pete Rose: Reinstated!
On deck: HOF, Reds mgr job

1. Kobe: Trial of the year
Headline verdict: Not guilty!

All guaranteed to happen, naturally.

NFL Coaching Carousel
Seeing your favorite NFL team's coach get fired is a lot like a good New Year's Resolution: It sparks some hope, some activity, some promise for a more successful upcoming year ...

... Until you realize that taking advantage of that gym membership remains as unlikely

1 NFL: Nothing inspires hope like firing the coach
2 Bowls: Three today just warm-up for Wed/Thurs (5 each)
3 End-of-year lists: Go ahead -- make your own!
1 Cardinals' wild win: Didn't save coach McGinniss' job
2 Jauron's 13-3 in '01: What have you done for me lately?
3 Nick Saban leaving LSU to coach in NFL: Keep dreaming
as the Cardinals (or Bears or Bills or Giants or Raiders) making the playoffs.

For now: It comes down to which of three recruiting camps you personally favor:

"Saban Worshippers": Importing a college coach (formerly "Spurritans")

"Crennel Clubbers": Promoting a career assistant coach (formerly: "Marvin Lew-natics");

"Fassel Fools": Recycling a head coach who couldn't make it elsewhere (formerly "Ericksonians").

Today's Bowls
Since the dot-com era began, there's always been one random internet company every year that takes the brunt of the jokes about bowl title-sponsors. See if you can find this year's champ: Houston
Navy vs. Texas Tech
What else are you doing this afternoon? Yet another great QB to watch: Tech's B.J. Symons, who might throw for five bills. (4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Pacific Life Holiday
Texas vs. Wash St.
Few guarantees of any holiday season: You'll gain some weight;

you'll get some gifts you hate; and the Holiday Bowl will hit the "over." (8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Silicon Valley Football Classic
UCLA vs. Fresno St.
What's pretentious? Shunning "Bowl" for "Football Classic." After 12 other games, who do they think they're fooling? (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Packers' MVP
Arizona WR Nathan Poole is getting VIP treatment in Green Bay for catching the game-winning, playoff-clinching TD (for the Packers) vs. Minnesota on Sunday. GB's mayor invited Poole to watch Sunday's playoff game at Lambeau, where he'll be an honored guest. I guess Vikings master strategist Mike Tice turned it down.

Raiders coach
Bill Callahan:

Likely axed today. Fact that he lasted through Monday night is a bigger accomplishment than anything Oakland did all season.
Today on
P2: Wiley on BCS
The ESPN 100
CFB: Bowl Central
Ranking Open NFL Coaching Gigs:
Two words: Healthy. Vick.
7-9 team has working parts
High risk, high reward
Could have had Marv Lewis
Maybe with Eli Manning ...

Maybe Dave Wannstedt won't WANT to just be the coach. The personnel stuff stripped from his job is the fun part (that's why fantasy football is about being a GM, not calling the plays) ...

Give Isiah Thomas credit for creativity: He imported buddy Mark Aguirre to work with the Knicks' big men. Call it "Agu-irony" -- he is 6-6 and so are the team's big men ...

Did Nebraska assistant/interim Bo Pelini earn full-time head-coaching gig? Please. Huskers went that route last time. Find a big name ...

Is anyone actually taking the college hoops Top 25 seriously anymore? UConn back on top, yet Ga Tech (who BEAT UConn) still sits underrated at No. 3 (and 12-0) ...

NFL Draft Top 10: SD, OAK, ARI, NYG, WAS, DET, ATL, CLE, JAX, HOU. If only there was a LeBron James for the NFL ...

Tomorrow: The Quickie's New Year's Resolutions ...

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