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Monday, May 30, 2005
Page 2 Quickie: May 27, 2005

The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

The must-see novelty of this year's Indy 500 isn't that a woman is driving.

It's that a woman can win.

Rookie Danica Patrick could deliver the greatest gender-bending performance in sports history in Sunday's Indy 500 (1 p.m., ABC).

This isn't the "she-can-compete" feel-good story of Annika Sorenstam at the PGA's Colonial in 2003; this is "she-can-win," period.

Yet even just a strong showing makes her the top "crossover" athlete of the ESPN Era, in any sport.

The fact that she has single-handedly put open-wheel racing (back) on the map suggests the sport is way too small for her new large status.

So let me leap the frenzy to its next logical evolution:

She needs to go NASCAR.

Talent-wise, she's already there. All she needs is NASCAR's marketing genius combined with limitless sponsorship dollars that would follow her.

Instantly, she would be the biggest name in the sport, so hot even Dale Jr. would sit in the backseat.

The only thing between her and transcendent sports appeal of NASCAR stardom is the sport's inbred misogyny.

A strong race on Sunday can (and will) change all of that.

NBA Weekend
Wait, are there still playoffs? With the endless wait between games, who else had forgotten...?

Suns at Spurs: Playing with motivation (and Joe Johnson), Phoenix may make it interesting by giving S.A. a rare home loss in Game 3 (Sat, 9, ESPN). But don't count on it. We're talking "Pats-Colts" here ...

Heat at Pistons: Is there any way to play the game without having to hear the TV echo from that over-caffienated Pistons arena announcer? As established in Game 2, this series is all about Dwyane Wade.

Yankees-Red Sox
What a difference five weeks makes, heading into the weekend series between the Yankees and Red Sox in New York:

Yankees rule! After having hit bottom, they have won 15/17 and A-Rod (17th HR Thu) is making therapy sound like a good idea for Boston.

Red Sox stink! Having lost 7/10, including a Toronto sweep completed Thursday. The pitching is bad (and getting worse; see next item).

Improbable a few weeks ago, the Yankees have actually passed the Sox for 2nd in the division and can put more distance between them.

Schill Out: 12 Weeks
Adding injury to insult, now it looks like Curt Schilling will be out until the All-Star Break (if not longer; watch that "over.")

Who cares? He could do nothing the rest of his career and the Red Sox could tank, and he still led them to a World Series title last year.

His legacy is secure and he's immune from "What Have You Done For Me Lately?" analysis. (Wait: Is that griping I'm hearing from Red Sox Nation?)

Yanks-Red Coats
Think Yankees-Red Sox is a rivalry? It's barely 100 years old!

Try "Yankees-Red Coats": The 225-plus years of U.S. vs. England, being played out Saturday on a soccer pitch in Chicago (3 p.m., ESPN)

Don't expect a replay of the 50-year-old World Cup shocker (but perhaps some drunken taunts and/or singing being thrown around).

BCS Coach Vote
Stoops on transparency: "Without it being public, you may have gotten a truer vote from guys not having to worry about what the backlash is going to be." (via USA Today)

Does Stoops really think that coaches weren't voting politically, even under the shroud of anonymity? The only difference is that before, they did it without fans knowing.