March 11, 2004
T-Mac's 62:
With the most points by a player since '94, McGrady shows why he's the best pure scorer in the NBA. (The problem? That's *all* he is.)
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

"Somebody is definitely guilty of taking steroids," Jackson told an Atlanta newspaper in today's edition.

And somebody is definitely guilty of being a spotlight-seeking, attention-craving loudmouth ... someone who seems to be willing to say anything to see his name in print.

Jackson's logic is baffling, and his evidence is nonexistant: Because sluggers today are outperforming ones of yesteryear (Reggie compares them to Hank Aaron), they must be on 'roids.

(Right: Legal weight-training methods, bigger athletes, smaller ballparks, juiced balls, diluted pitching haven't had anything to do with it.)

Here's a good guideline: Unless they have a smoking syringe, jocks -- and, please spare me, ex-jocks -- shouldn't play Sherlock.

Bertuzzi Decision
A day after Todd Bertuzzi's weepy, not-quite-acceptable apology, the NHL suspended him for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs. Rest of the regular season sounds imposing -- until you realize that's a whopping 12 games.

That begs this question: What would the league have done if this had happened in October? If it's the same "season-ending" ban, they need to extend his suspension well into next season.

(Check out the Writers' Bloc for a debate over the state of the NHL.)

McCain vs. Fehr
At least give MLB union chief Don Fehr credit for a brass set during his smug-sounding testimony in front of Senate sports/steroids hearings. Going

Hot injury: Back strain (B. Bonds, UConn C Emeka Okefor)
Kobe Bryant: Surprise start (18 p, 10 r, 5 a, 3 stl)
Washington state hoops: E. Wash in (joins 'Zaga); UW next?
Mark Prior: Might not be healthy for Cubs' Opening Day
TJ Ford: Bucks rookie PG may miss rest of season (back)
Stanford men's golf: Coach says he wouldn't recruit Wie
toe-to-toe with John McCain, Fehr basically dared Congress to legislate the problem away.

Remember, Fehr's no newbie: Even while presenting himself for national vilification, he recognized that it's easy to bluster from the committee dais, but it's another thing entirely to put (PAC) money to mouth and pass actual laws.

For all his Fourth Amendment talk, Fehr will cut a deal with Bud Selig, but because Bud is more likely to crack from the public pressure, Fehr will extract a juiced-up pound of flesh for any drug-testing concessions.

C-Span to C-Sports?
It wouldn't be an election year, would it? Yesterday's "Steroids in the Senate" begets today's "Recruiting in the House." At this rate, there will be enough action to justify launching C-SpanCenter.

Why not just create a formal Congressional Sub-Committee on Sports?

T.O. Update
Prediction for this weekend's hearing (and apparently expeditious decision ... you go, Special Master!):

Owens' trade to Baltimore is upheld, but since it's a weekend, it'll be a delayed pout; look for T.O. to tee off on a more media-friendly Monday.

C-Week Heats Up
Game of the day:
St. Joe's vs. Xavier (noon)
Many see as an Upset Special;
Must-win for Musketeers
(And a "must-watch" -- at least on's scoreboard -- on your desktop ...)

Corey Dillon:
After all of his whining about not wanting to play for a loser, how ironic that he's going to be traded from the Bengals (8-8) to the Raiders (4-12)?
Today on
Page 2: Wiley on trash talking
CBB: Championship Week
MLB: You predict the standings!
More Thursday "must-wins" from the Bubble
Notre Dame (vs. Conn)
RPI: 49, SOS: 26
Virginia (vs. Clemson)
RPI: 53, SOS: 43 (next: Duke)
Missouri (vs. A&M)
15-12 (9-7) RPI: 42, SOS: 7
Oklahoma (vs. Neb)
0-6 vs. Top 25; SOS: 60
Richmond (vs. Temp)
RPI: 41; SOS: 25; top 50: 1-7

Congrats to VaTech (first-ever Big East tourney win); but it's short-lived -- Hokies move to ACC next season. Good luck with that ...

More from Championship Week:

ACC: Play-in game
UVA vs. Clemson

Big East: Quarters
Marquee: UConn vs. ND

Big Ten: First Round
Marquee: Purdue vs. Minn

Big 12: First Round
Marquee: Okla vs. Neb

Pac-10: Quarters
Marquee: Wash vs UCLA

SEC: First Round
Marquee: Tenn vs. Bama

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