Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Page 2 [Print without images]

Monday, September 13, 2004
Page 2 Quickie: September 10, 2004


 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
EYEING.  IVAN.

Aside from the unfortunate reasoning, is it such a bad thing that Ivan has moved the Titans-Dolphins season-opening NFL game to Saturday at 1? NFL a day early is kind of a treat, no?

Five more solid W1 subplots:

b>Game of the Week: KC at DEN. Broncos draw toughest opponent to test revamped D against. (8:30 pm, ESPN)

Welcome back: I predict that, at least in Week 1, unretired Joe Gibbs will be less rusty than unretiring Deion Sanders.

FFL bonanza: Jamal Lewis feasts on the Browns, who let him run for a zillion yards in one game in '03. This year? Two zillion.

Vick Watch: Michael Vick is always must-see, particularly against a sorry 49ers D.

Fast starter: No team busts out of the gates like the Vikings. Nevermind Weeks 9-17; for now, they are the Cowboys' problem.

See Big 5 for more subplots.

Pats Keep Rolling
16 Ws in a row, and Tom Brady (335 yds, 3 TDs) looks ready to make the leap from simply a playoff-clutch QB to one of the NFL's top week-in/week-out performers. And what was up with that early-game no-huddle? Belichick flexes the genius. No reason to sweat my pick of Pats Super repeat.

AL East Ripple
Oh, what a difference a day makes: Nothing shifts mo' like winning a double-header (Yankees), then watching your rival lose in a late West Coast game (Red Sox).

That's a 1.5-game swing, and instead of a tenuous 2-game division lead (or worse), New York is up 3.5. Gotten so used to Boston winning every night, an L -- especially to lowly Seattle -- is a strange feeling.

Watching NL WC
In the NL: Two streaks ended, as they were bound to. The Astros split a DH with the Pirates; the Marlins lost (to the Mets... ugh). Florida has a huge DH with the Cubs on Friday.

Meanwhile, Ivan forcing schedule changes isn't that odd. But relocating the Marlins to play "home" games vs the Expos at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field? That's just unnatural. The upside: Novelty begets interest; White Sox fans can finally root for a World Series champ.

Miami/FSU, Cont'd
The road to hell Miami is paved with the ACC's good intentions. Having these two teams meet in their season opener is a dramatic debut for the revamped ACC, but means one contender limps off with a BCS-cramping loss.

Good thing, then, that the media-coaches axis of polling evil persists with the ridiculous myth of "better to lose early than late."

More Coll. FB
Five match-ups to watch:

7 Mich/ND: Irish eyes crying
19 AUB/MS St: Croom for more?
16 Utah/ARIZ: Utes sexy pick
8 TX/ARK: Hogs d. Horns in 03
E Mich/11 FLA: I'll be there

Five match-ups to watch:

7 Mich/ND: Irish eyes crying
19 AUB/MS St: Croom for more?
16 Utah/ARIZ: Utes sexy pick
8 TX/ARK: Hogs d. Horns in 03
E Mich/11 FLA: I'll be there

Glide: Hoops HOF
Inducted Friday: Like many of his era, Clyde Drexler played in the shadow of Jordan (Glide was even the reason Portland skipped drafting MJ). But Drexler won a ring, won O.G. Dream Team gold and proved that a guy with an ungainly bald spot could still sky with the best of 'em.