Feb. 10, 2004
George Foreman:
At 55, training for one last comeback fight. Says a lot about boxing that this would be the sport's must-see event of the decade.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Rasheed Wallace is your problem now, Atlanta.

Trading 'Sheed -- the capstone of the Great Blazer Bust-Up (as opposed to Portland P.D.'s usual Great Blazer Bust) -- may bring Portland "character guys," (euphemism alert) but it's not great for everyone else.

Most of the wack-jobs used to be concentrated on one team. Exporting ex-Blazers around the NBA will spread the drama to every corner of the league.

Take Atlanta, for example: What's the over-under on days until Wallace's inevitable allergic reaction to being on a terrible Hawks team? (Hint: There are no more games for Atlanta between now and the All-Star Break ... but that might not stop him).

Soon enough, the Bust-Up-the-Blazers campaign will turn into the Family Tree from Hell.

Fitzgerald Goes Pro
With college sophomore Larry Fitzgerald entering the 2004 NFL Draft, keep in mind that the NFL continues to contend that sophs aren't pro ready. Fitz is so unready that he's been installed as the No. 2 prospect in the entire draft.

NHL Eyes Changes
Kudos to those NHL GMs considering any and every reform on the table at their annual retreat/CPR session.

* New standings points system?
* Shootout replacing OT?
* Smaller goalie pads?

One of everything, please.

1 Blazers trade Rasheed: Get Abdur-Rahim from Hawks
2 Foreman training for comeback fight: He's a lunatic
3 CBB Top 5 shake-up: No. 4 Pitt, No. 5 UConn both lose
1 NBA trade inactivity: Hopefully Portland sparks a surge
2 NFL court-case crying: Still waiting on draftee "flood"
3 Woman drops lawsuit re JJ's boob: Says point was made
Who's No. 4?
NCAA Tourney No. 1s (today):
Easy: Duke, Stanford, St. Joe's

Harder: Who's the fourth?

Pitt: Lost Mon to Seton Hall
UConn: Lost Mon to Notre Dame
Miss St/KY: Whoever wins SEC?
Gonzaga: Only 73rd-best sched?
L'ville: Faltered last week?
OK St: Crushed Kansas Mon. Hmm ...

Dogs and Hoops
Meanwhile, let's handicap the Westminster Dog Show after its first day, using 2004 college hoops analogies:

Josh, the Newf
St Joe's: Hot bandwagon pick

Coco, the terrier
Stanford: Scrappy, underrated

Mikimoto on Fifth, the poodle
Duke: (Here come hate emails)

Willie Watch
Arrest warrant issued for America's hottest teen diarist after an alleged probation violation. He's got legal counsel, so here's some p.r. advice:

He should leverage his current fame by declaring his intentions to become the first high-school player ever to enter the NFL Draft. Things ain't looking so hot to suit up for Miami anyway.

U. of Colorado rape-probe
investigation boss:

Joyce Lawrence puts herself in a bad situation by saying women "put themselves" in a bad situation by going to a party w/ booze and drugs.
Today on ESPN.com
P2: Hottest ... Female ... Athlete
IN: What 'Sheed trade means
IN: NFL offseason scouting reports
Ranking All-Star Events:
Variety, parties, no defense
Even when it didn't count
107 combined points?!
More scoring than reg season
College Senior-ish Bowls
For those that need a fix

Mark Cuban and Larry Brown are *still* going at it, and they better agree to disagree, because neither is changing his mind ...

Nolan Ryan is near a deal with the Astros for "personal services," which would be really cool if it meant "No. 5 starter" ...

At this point, who's NOT in the derby for Mark Brunell? His final destination will have huge draft effects ...

Biggest test of Lawrence Frank's young head-coaching career: Puts unblemished 7-0 record on the line vs. Pistons tonight in NJ ...

Boston College wins the Beanpot college hockey tournament ...

Today's must-read: Bob Lipsyte's piece on religion in sports in the Writers' Bloc, coming this afternoon ...

For guys looking for a layup V-Day gift, try the new Norah Jones CD (or, for something a little more out there, Nellie McKay) ...

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