Feb. 3, 2004
Bill Belichick:
In harsh glare of morning after the morning after, there's no question he has vaulted himself among the Pantheon of great NFL coaches.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

The old Frog/Scorpion parable (with a new twist):

Out-of-work legendary coach (with equally legendary temper) wants to get back into the game. Mid-level college hoops program wants to cross raging river between mediocrity and the Top 25.

Coach says: I'll help you get there. School says: Hmm, if we hire you, you'll bite us once we're on the other side. Coach insists: No, I won't. I'll be good. I promise.

School rises in prominence, coach restores rep and the team is successful. But on the other side, the coach has an "incident." With the school chancellor. At a grocery store. Yesterday. (Allegedly.)

Realizing what they got themselves into, school says: I thought we had a deal! Now you've humiliated both of us! Why? Coach says: Because I am Bob Knight ... and that is my nature.

Drew Henson to NFL
For those of us jumping on the "Tom Brady Must Be Stopped" bandwagon this week, our hero may have just materialized: Drew Henson, who is done with baseball and will head to the NFL.

If there's one player who makes Brady nervous it's Henson, a fellow member of the "Golden Boy" Club who fearlessly went head-to-head with Brady when both were at Michigan. Though Brady eventually won the full-time starting job, there was a whole lot of looking-over-the-shoulder.

Henson's presence across the field might be the only thing that can rattle Brady's Hall of Fame-worthy cool and the Pats' next Super Bowl.

Shark's Bite
"Rightful place": Two loaded words that any social critic -- and certainly any athlete -- should avoid.

1 Knight Watch: Texas Tech coach reportedly mixes it up
2 Making Reserve-ations: NBA All-Star benches named today
3 "Breast-Case Scenario": Grammy-blacklist, FCC fallout?
1 NFL parity: Not with Pats simply reloading for next year
2 Kobe missing his hearing: Didn't need to be there anyway
3 Shaq's cursing: No choice words you haven't heard before
Calling women golfers playing with men a "marketing ploy" and lobbying for them to be excluded from PGA events, Greg Norman leaps to the top of sports' misogyny hierarchy.

Norman forgets that his bills are paid by those same sponsors he criticizes for offering their purchased exemptions to whomever they want.

And he seems to be in denial that 14-year-old Michelle Wie may be as good as any PGA golfer in 10 years. Maybe he's a little nervous that she can out-hit him already.

But maybe he's just bummed he's a has-been who needs to say outrageous things to get back in the news.

NBA All-Star Reserves
Named today. Top storylines:

* LeBron/Carmelo: Amazing rookie duo should make it to the bench, then get lots of PT.

* First-timers: Sam Cassell, Lamar Odom, Andrei Kirilenko.

Snubs: Way too many good guards that will be left on the outside looking in.

Fall-out Fallout
Sincere or staged? No, not Janet Jackson's risque "reveal" -- Monday's outrage from critics and apologies from participants.

NFL? Just sorry they were snookered.

Networks: What, sorry their halftime show was the talk of the nation yesterday?

FCC: Sorry their investigation looks so ridiculous compared to the larger national issues related to intelligence failures or the economy?

Timberlake: Sorry for one-upping ex-g/f Britney?

Janet: Sorry for hyping her brand with a new CD coming out at the end of March?

I'm sorry to see all this mock morality -- or is it mockery of morality?

Boston fans'
"Manifest Insanity":

Did someone have to die -- to DIE -- so that Pats fans could rage? Reason enough to root against the Red Sox winning the World Series.
Today on ESPN.com
P2: Simmons' Super Blog
Fantasy: Outfield rankings
CBB: Bracketology
NBA All-Star Game Non-Starting 5 Who Could Whup Either Starting 5
Shaq (C)
Heck, even Brad Miller ...
Peja Stojakovic (F)
League's best shooter right now
Ron Artest (F)
Still first-team All-Crazy!
Baron Davis (G)
Having a breakout year
Sam Cassell (G)
Main reason Wolves cruising

At some point, fans will turn their attention to college hoops, and when they do, No. 3 St. Joe's (19-0) will STILL be unbeaten ...

What rookie wall? Day after LeBron goes for career-high 38, Carmelo does him one better with career-high 39 ...

Any Tigers wins over 55 should be attributed to Pudge Rodriguez, who proves "ring" and "money" don't have to be a package deal ...

Knight Commission today examining frosh ineligibility. Right: Because Carmelo Anthony *definitely* seemed to struggle ...

Repentant, swear-free Shaq sits out Lakers L to Pacers; next time, Shaq should just reveal his boob and a nipple shield ...

Kobe's D going after police investigators, whose tactics will prove in hindsight to be the turning point of his acquittal ...

After amazing SB and buzzworthy halftime, NFL could take huge loss this week, with decision on Clarett case expected ...

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