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Tuesday, November 9, 2004
Page 2 Quickie: November 8, 2004

The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

We're certain that ...

The Steelers are the NFL's best team right now (outgained Philly 420-113).

Big Ben is Super Bowl-worthy (6-0 as starter).

The Eagles better learn to stop the run if they want to reach the Super Bowl (Steelers ran 76 plays to 37).

Donovan McNabb still has something to prove in big games (24 attempts for only 109 yards).

That Hines Ward mocking Terrell Owens was quality entertainment.

NFL Week 9
More instant impressions ...

Maybe Belichick is a genius. Troy Brown playing corner. Adam Viniatieri throwing a TD pass. LB Mike Vrabel catching a TD. Well, that or Mike Martz is proving his naysayers right.

Drew Brees for MVP. After 4 TDs and another SD win, he's up to 18 TDs/3 INT. Chargers are 6-3 and Brees is the reason why.

Not yet, Houston. With a chance to make a big statement, Broncos rough up Texans 31-13.

College: Who's No. 1?
No. 1 USC and No. 2 Oklahoma both won, but both struggled. USC rallied from 13-0 deficit to beat Oregon State 28-20 while OU rallied from 14 down to beat Texas A&M 42-35.

Let's see, USC struggled to beat Virginia Tech, beat Stanford by 3, were 9 yards away from losing to Cal, and had to really to beat Oregon State. And they're a near-unanimous No. 1?

Auburn, idle, picked up only one first-place vote in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. It hosts No. 5 Georgia this weekend. Maybe a win will get them two first-place votes.

Tour Championship
Tiger Woods' tough year  on the course, anyway -- ended in fitting fashion as Ratief Goosen came from four shots down to win the Tour Championship by four strokes. He shot 64 to become only the third player to overtake Tiger in the final round.

At least Tiger can console himself that Vijah Singh didn't win and settled for nine wins on the year to match Tiger's 2000. Or that he can go home to Elin.

Earnhardt Wins
Dale Earnhardt Jr. wanted to change tires late in the NASCAR race in Phoenix, but his crew ordered him to stay on the track. It paid off, as Earnhardt held off Jeff Gordon.

Kurt Busch finished 10th to keep his overall lead in the points race, 41 points ahead of Gordon. Earnhardt jumped from fifth to third, 47 points behind, while Jimmie Johnson slipped from second to fourth, 48 points behind Busch. Two races are left in the Chase for the Cup championship.

Sox and Pedro
The Boston Globe is reporting the Red Sox offered Pedro Martinez a similar deal to the one Curt Schilling signed last November: two years, $25.5 million, with a $13 million option for 2007 and $2M in performance bonuses.

Seems like a reasonable offer. Martinez is coming off a career-high in innings pitched (including the postseason), but also a career-high 3.90 ERA. Martinez will surely get longer-term offers, but the Red Sox are making the right play.

Hockey Hall
Congrats to defensemen Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey and Larry Murphy, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame tonight.

The trio won nine Stanley Cups (four each by Coffey and Murphy) but are known for their offensive abilities. Bourque is first (1,579), Coffey second (1,531) and Murphy fifth (1,216) in points by a defenseman. It's fitting they're entering the Hall together.

--David Schoenfield