Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Page 2 Quickie: August 30, 2004
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
The rest of us are recovering from the
two-week Olympic binge. (Quickie analysis: Yes, it was
a success, but it's already forgotten, in last night's
blinding wake of "Up With Greek People.")
Meanwhile, Red Sox fans need to exhale, too, gaining
some perspective while they have a day off during this
giddy six-game win streak (12 of 13, too). Hit
Pause on the "Ti-Bo."
Charging within 4.5 games of the Yankees is a
mirage; forget those six head-to-head games later in
September, or else the far more important next nine
games -- versus the AL West's Big 3 -- might bite
the Sox in the "ahhsss." (New York gets cupcakes CLE,
BAL and TB in the same stretch.)
Forget NY; remember the goal:
Just make the playoffs.
(US) Open Season
Something big is happening in New York
this week. Forget the convention (oh, but if I only
could); alas, the US Open might be eclipsed until the
weekend (when the circus leave town), but it still
shares some qualities with the RNC, like wild
cheering, crowded venues... and no surprises?
Picks to win: An inspired Serena (but in an
upset, she'll be eclipsed for media coverage by Maria
Sharapova) and -- head over gut -- Federer over
Here are some numbers that even the
biggest SABR-phobe can appreciate: No. 695 went 467
(feet); No. 696 went 462 (feet). To sum up: 2 HR at
929 feet (equals one more MVP?)
U.S. Hoops: Bronzed
"Catastrophic success": You might hear
this phrase being thrown around early this week --
and, in an adulterated way, it applies to U.S. hoops'
So what next? Where to start?
Problem: Selection process
Manifested as: Wrong players
Solution: "Fit" over "Stars"
Problem: Coach's "Right Way"
Manifested as: "Wrong result"
Solution: Find an open mind
Problem: Development system
Manifested as: Clang-fest
Smoke Practice J's
Prime Time ready to sign? I would never
suggest a single player -- let alone one without much
fantasy football consequence -- dominates an NFL
season, but Deion instantly jumps to the top of the
list of Top 5 "must-see" players, just ahead of (in
order) Vick, T.O.,
Eli Peyton and
NFL Pre: Eli Stinks?
You can pinpoint the moment(s) from
Friday night when the wheels came off the Eli Manning
bandwagon: A couple picks, a bad fumble, a weekend for
everyone to stew over it, and -- voila! -- he's
benched for the season opener in favor of Kurt
But don't pity him; he's the guy who demanded
the New York pressure. (Hear anyone griping about Phil
Rivers' similarly sorry effort in San Diego?
CFB Preview: Day 1
Today: Heisman Watch. Nothing feeds the
"instant history" jones like tracking the Heisman
race, which swings wildly, weekly. To wit: USC stud
Reggie Bush goes for 3 telegenic TDs on Saturday? Who
wouldn't put him in the early lead? This year's
contenders (um, for... today):
1. Reggie Bush, RB, USC
Who's Mike Williams?
2. Matt Leinert, QB, USC
In it until USC loses a game
3. Darren Sproles, RB, K-State
Has the skills; needs the pub
4. Chris Leak, QB, Florida
If talent was only criteria ...
5. Jason White, QB, Okla
Ugh: Undeserving then and now
Needs more hype:
Wisconsin RB Anthony Davis
Syracuse RB Walter Reyes
Utah QB Alex Smith
Don't believe the hype:
Texas RB Cedric Benson
Georgia QB David Greene
Auburn RB Cadillac Williams
Tuesday: Top 5 storylines