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Wednesday, December 31, 2003
Page 2 Quickie: Dec. 30, 2003

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

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.