December 9, 2004
Seattle Sonics:
Hot start a fluke? But they beat the Spurs, ending a 21-game S.A. home W streak. Ray Allen for MVP? Not quite, but All-NBA for now.
QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.

The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Starting today, the MLB winter meetings will offer a much-needed break for fans weary of the punishing steroids scandal.

The meetings are the closest that GMs ever get to playing in a fantasy league. (Which is going to be the first team to hire a star Fantasy GM for the front office? It's the new "Moneyball!")

Speaking of fantasy, 75 percent of the rumors flying out of the Anaheim Marriott hotel lobby will be distortions, distractions and plain ol' disses.

MLB learned from last winter that some sizzling hot-stove rumors can push everything else to the back-burner, even especially the 'roids issue, which fans really don't want to talk about.

Biggest scuttlebutt? We may finally see trade movement on Randy Johnson and Sammy Sosa, and perhaps on two young studs, Alfonso Soriano and Tim Hudson.

Watch the hometown Angels: They've got money to spend and that itching, burning feeling to use it.

Heisman Finalists
Get behind rooting for Adrian Peterson, simply for the novelty of seeing the first freshman ever get the award (then to hear the stammering excuses why he's "not ready" for the NFL simply because of his age.). USC's Reggie Bush was the Quickie pick.

As for the QBs? Matt Leinart is a system guy; Jason White stole it last year; Utah's Alex Smith is there for the "Cindy" factor.

More CFB Awards
The only on-field specialization that doesn't have its own award is water boy. (And if it did, you KNOW it would be the "Bobby Boucher.")

Nevertheless, if it's a legendary player, there's an award for him: Bednarik (top D player); Biletnikoff (top WR); Butkus (top LB); Groza (top K); Guy (top P); Mackey (top TE) ... the list goes on.

(And if Leinart wins the Heisman, you can re-name it "the Torretta," in honor of the Miami QB who set

David Pollack: UGA DE wins Lombardi award (top lineman)
Viv Stringer: Women's hoops-coach legend reaches big 7-0-0
Rick Majerus: ESPN analyst willing to talk to USC (in '05)
MasterCard: Huge promo around Bonds/Aaron given kibosh
Serena: Very unhappy about false internet fake interview
Cal talk about the Rose Bowl snub: Tedford says, No more
the template for winning simply for being the QB on the nation's top team.)

Tonight's award show is most compelling for the tight races for top QB (Davey O'Brien), between Heisman finalists Leinart, Smith and White and top RB (Doak Walker), between Texas' Cedric "Lifetime Achievement" Benson and eye-popping super-frosh Peterson.

Harrison's New Deal
7 years/$66 million extension with the Colts means Marvin Harrison can waltz hand-in-hand to the Hall of Fame with Peyton.

It also means the Colts can slap a franchise tag on the Edge. (Ever notice "slap" is always the verb used with "franchise tag?")

Now, if Indy could only firm up that D, we'd be talking about a Colts dynasty.

The Next LeBron?
LeBron ... Bassy ... Greg Oden? The heir to TV's "Chosen One" throne is Indiana's schoolboy 7-footer -- who isn't even eligible for the NBA draft until 2006 (but is a near-lock as the No. 1 pick, once he's in there). Judge for yourself tonight (7:30 ET, ESPN2).

MLB Fray Agency
The biggest winner if the Mets sign Richie Sexson? NY tabloid editors.

"Feeling Sexy?" Yikes, it already feels clichéd. But if this winter's version of Vlad Guerrero (injured slugger who could have monster comeback year) stays healthy, there'll be a lot of that.

Kobe Backtracks
"I meant nothing by it, he said of his off-the-cuff comments that hurt the Mailman's tender feelings. "The door's always open."

Left unsaid: "Just don't let the handle hit you where they split you on your way out!"

NHL Talks Today
Perhaps recognizing that their sport has redefined the phrase "fallen off the map," NHL owners and players will sit down today. The Quickie has obtained exclusive transcripts:

Union: Hockey is suffocating!

Owners: What's this "hockey?"

Notre Dame:
When your outgoing president breaks ranks and goes on the record as "embarrassed" over the Willingham debacle, you know you've got problems.
Today on
Morning Quickie transcript
P2: Eric Neel on Super Sonics
Heisman votes
Ranking Heisman Finalists
Reggie Bush, USC
Not enough touches? Please!
Adrian Peterson, Okla
Happy if mold-breaker wins
Alex Smith, Utah
Spit votes help chances?
Matt Leinart
2 words: Geno. Torretta.
Jason White
Swiped it in '03!

More MLB Fray Agency: A bitter Al Leiter signs with Florida (1yr/7m); ex-pat Yankee Jon Lieber signs with Philly ...

Pro Bowl Voting: Peyton leads all players (not unsurprisingly), but take note, haters: TO is running 4th overall ...

Bush urges "strong steps" to curb steroids in baseball. Isn't "strong steps" what got us into this mess in the first place? ...

Pedro meets with BoSox execs: Is greeting free-agent baseball players in a D.R. airport the new "woo them over Thanksigiving?" ...

"Be Careful What You Wish For" file: Vikings coach Mike Tice listed the U-Washington job as one he'd want. And he may need the work ...

ContinUUity: Utes hire D-coord to replace Meyer after Fiesta Bowl (he snubs BYU, too; a double-whammy) ...

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