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Thursday, November 17, 2005
Page 2 Quickie: November 16, 2005

The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Zen Way vs. Right Way: Of course, both Phil Jackson and Larry Brown have their teams going the wrong way.

As they get set to face off tonight (10 ET, ESPN), neither coach's team is over .500, and both have been disappointing. So who's doing the better job so far?

Jackson has higher expectations: He has, by far, the best player on either roster (Kobe) and familiarity from coaching in L.A. before.

(Of course, it's tough to be Phil this month -- what with that other team in L.A., the Clippers, not just becoming the toast of the town, but of the entire NBA.)

Brown has wrung two wins out of a young team still unsure of his demands. (I'm still unsure the players won't revolt against his tactics.)

New York's two wins are a near miracle; they even played team-record D, holding the Jazz to 62 on Monday.

(Of course, it's been a tough November for Larry-boosters; his old team, the Pistons, have proven to be better without him. Apparently, the real "right way" in Detroit includes offense.)

Here's a Zen koan for you: If neither guy leads his team to the playoffs (and count on that), does either really make a sound?

Eagles Update: Ack!

McNabb unlikely for Sunday vs. the Giants. (I would have called it a must-win, but how can it be must-win if the Eagles are already out of it?)

The Eagles would be better off losing without McNabb; if sub Mike McMahon can manage to lead the team to its first NFC East win, he will actually create a bigger problem.

MLB Steroid Policy
"50-100-Lifetime": MLB's new 'roid policy has a great ring to it. It's simple; whether it is effective as a deterrent is TBD.

It REALLY is a decisive win for the oft-maligned Bud Selig, who deserves credit for taking an uber-aggressive position and pushing it past the union.

Selig might have been at the helm for the MLB's Steroid Era, but now his legacy will be known for an equally powerful response to the problem.

Dodgers Dis Ng

The Dodgers disappointed me in not promoting assistant GM Kim Ng to be the first female GM in baseball history. Of course, I'm not surprised that they went with the Giants' Ned Colletti.

Picking Ng was far too smart of a choice for a team that has an obvious allergy to bold thinking. Hopefully, her chance will come next winter.

Pujols Dynasty?

How many MVPs can Albert Pujols win? Two? Three? Five?

I don't want to get into "Beano-Pawlus" territory, but now that MLB award-voters have "broken the seal" on Albert -- like a frat guy in a bar with an endless bathroom line -- as long as Pujols keeps putting up DiMaggio numbers, he should get DiMaggio respect.

And who in the NL will compete? Jones is coming off his best year ever and he still didn't win. Derrek Lee? Career year.

Maybe Miggy Cabrera, but the best he's ever going to do is match Pujols, and all things equal, Albert will nudge him out, now that he's got MVP rep. It'll take injury to stop him. (Bonds? Don't even say it...)

NCAA All-Time Team

Must-Read: Page 2's Great College Hoops Tourney. The most entertaining debate you'll have all season.

So who are my picks? It's hard to pick against the top four seeds (UCLA, UNC, LSU and Georgetown) advancing out of our four regions.

If you're looking for bold sleepers, I like No. 21 USF (if anyone can beat Wilt's Kansas, it's Russell); No. 19 Cincy (Big O!); No. 25 Villanova (why not?) and No. 10 Michigan (Fab Five 'n all).

I know Scoop loves LSU to win it all, but I'm wondering how Shaq, Pistol Pete and Chris Jack-em-up will each get their shots. Give me the Hoyas.

Vote for your all-time favorites.

(And spend hours debating.)