August 16, 2004
Deion Sanders:
Maybe he misses/wants the attention, but maybe rumors of a comeback with the Ravens are true. Prime Time and Ray Lewis together? Amazing!
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Who to blame for Sunday's USA hoops debacle? The players are taking the brunt (can't shoot, can't play D, no chemistry).

But unprecedented 20-point losses demand blasphemous response: Blame sainted, previously untouchable coach Larry Brown.

"Emperor's New Coach": Brown had the team poorly prepared, didn't make the right adjustments, has failed to harness the talent and certainly didn't motivate them.

Isn't he supposed to be this great Xs and Os guru? The uber-passionate teacher of the game? Master of all things hoops?

Stop making excuses for him: If the team loses on a mental or execution mistake or dozen, blame the players. But when the team is blown out by 20? It's the coach's fault.

Olympic Wrap
Wheaties Watch: Uh, more athletes have taken themselves out of contention than put themselves in it -- U.S. hoops, Jenny Thompson, 4x100 free swim relay teams (men and women). Doesn't anyone want the box? (And it can't be South Africa's record-setting 4x100 men's free foursome!)

All eyes on Phelps: For tonight's 200 free showdown with Aussie Ian Thorpe. Sunday's relay loss means Phelps can win 7 golds (at best), but after tonight, it'll have to be six.

Stolen Gold?
Did Japanese swimmer Kosuke Katajima use an illegal dolphin kick to steal the 100m breast gold from American Brendan Hansen, as Hansen teammate Aaron Peirsol alleges?

Looked like it, but if judges don't see it/call it, it doesn't matter, so Peirsol just looks like a whiner. (By the way: If an American did it, we'd call it "crafty.")

Willis McGahee: Rehab continues -- 13 car, 58 yds, TD
Norv Turner: Raiders put up 33 points in W over 49ers
Chris Brown: Titans' "new George" solid (6 car, 46 yds)
Cowboys: Offense draws blank against Texans
Dennis Green: Lost WRs Boldin, Johnson; now Fitzgerald?!
Mets up the middle: Kaz Matsui on DL (with Piazza, Reyes)
Vijay Wins PGA
Will anyone remember Vijay and his playoff win? Or will the only memory be Justin Leonard's choke? The PGA Championship MVP was the 18th, aptly nicknamed "Dyeabolical" (after its creator).

Meanwhile: There is no greater disconnect between paper and reality than Tiger's No. 1 world ranking. In golf, majors are all that matters, which is why Mickelson is the real No. 1.

Pre-MNF: Hawks/Pack
Seattle at Green Bay: Are the Seahawks worth the line for the Super Bowl bandwagon forming for them? I'll take feel-good Favre, fantasy-fave Green and the Pack to go further in the NFC.

Meanwhile: Thanks to Charley, there's another game tonight -- Bengals at Bucs, notable for being Carson Palmer's debutante 'ball as starter.

Cleveland Rocks
Despite Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Twins, the Indians are on the move. After winning the first two games of the weekend series, they are only 2 back, with another series next weekend.

Even better: Cleveland plays 7 of their last 10 games of the season head-to-head vs. the Twins, so Sunday's loss means even less.

Prediction: Down to the season's final weekend, with the Tribe swiping the division title (and Travis Hafner earning AL MVP).

Roenick's Gambling
"I enjoyed it, but I don't think I had a problem," Jeremy Roenick said. Because somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000 in total bets is the behavior of someone with complete control over their gambling habit.

No evidence he bet on hockey: Funny, no evidence anyone else ever bets on hockey either.

Olympic no-showing:
Citius Altius Fortius Emptius: Staggeringly fan-free venues are far more eye-popping than any Olympic action. Embarrassing for Greece.
Today on
Page 2: Jim Caple in Greece
College Football preview
NFL training camp
AP Top 25
Top 5 Newcomers
West Virginia (10)
"Big Least?" Not totally
Cal (13)
Must shake "softee" label
Virginia (16)
Young studs growing up
Auburn (17)
Hmm: Remember last year?
Missouri (18)
QB Brad Smith that good

Best hoops game of the Olympics? Thanks to Manu Ginobili's buzzer-beater, Argentina's thrilling one-point W over Serbia and Montenegro ...

For all you wild card haters: Once again, a taut WC race is the biggest reason to follow MLB. Giants, Padres, Cubs all tied in NL ...

Scott Rolen nudged into the NL MVP lead after yesterday's 2-HR blitz over the Braves, making him first to 100 RBI ...

Speaking of the Cards, in case you weren't paying attention, St. Louis took 2 of 3 from Atlanta in a playoff preview ...

NOW it becomes clear how ex-agent Jeff Moorad got to become head of the D-Backs: He paid for it (and for $35 mil, he can have it) ...

Congrats to Nicky Hilton on her quickie Vegas marriage (my favorite kind) and for upstaging her sis (nuptials always do that) ...

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