February 24, 2005
The Northeast hoops bandwagon has left Boston and headed down to Philly. Nova toppled the No. 3 Eagles -- VU's 4th win over a top 25 team (2nd vs. top 3). QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Question: What do the Moss and Webber trades have in common?

Proving conventional wisdom: When trading a superstar, a team almost never gets equal (or appropriate) value back.

Fans in Philly and Oakland might be celebrating right now, but fans in Sacramento and Minnesota are left scratching their heads:

"We got WHAT for THAT?"

Expect the GMs to take the heat.

No offense to Kenny Thomas or Corliss Williamson, but they play the same iffy position: Undersized power forward.

No offense to Napoleon Harris and the No. 7 draft pick (say, WR Mike Williams), but didn't the Vikings already have a middle LB?

The quickest way to silence the critics is to win, but the Kings and Vikings apparently have re-building on the brain. Where's that season-ticket order form!

Trading Day: Two teams enter, only one leaves truly happy.

Webber to Sixers
Finally! Juicy NBA action!

Webber-AI instantly becomes the best big-small combo in the putrid Atlantic. In fact, I'd even call Webber the Sixers' version of T.O. Or this year's equivalent of the Rasheed trade to Detroit last year.

As good as Shaq-n-Wade? No.

Or LeBron-n-Z? No.

But good enough to nudge just the Sixers just north of .500, which should be enough to win their division and earn the East's No. 3 seed.

And maybe enough to push the Celtics (tied with Philly for first in Atlantic) to make a dramatic move? Hmm ...

Read on ... it's NBA Trade Day!

More NBA Trades?
The rumors are flying!

Ray Allen for Paul Pierce?
Scenery change good for both.

Michael Redd to Blazers?
Welcome to the dysfunction!

Baron Davis to Warriors?
What about PGs Fi$her, $peedy

Deadline: 2 p.m. ET

Moss to Raiders
Moss-see TV: With one bold move, the Raiders just went from unwatchable (and irrelevant) to must-see.

Raiders: Count the winners. Moss, Al Davis, Norv Turner, Kerry Collins, Moss jersey sales.

Kerry Collins: Moss-stantly, he's a decent FFL draft pick!
Mo Clarett: Not NFL combine's top talent, but top sideshow
John Chaney: Temple coach suspends himself for one game
Kings GM Geoff Petrie: Webber deal gets scratched heads
Erick Dampier: Mavs C goes IR; who DIDN'T see this coming?
Rockets: What W-streak? Lost 2 in row after Spurs thumping
Vikings: Disarray rules. I thought the new ownership liked Moss. Fleecing ranks up there with "Herschel for three Cowboys SB Rings."

Silver lining: No. 7 pick should net Vikings WR Mike Williams, the classy anti-Moss who got treated shabbily last year, like he was Mini-Moss.)

NFL Combine
It' a Wonderlic Life! I've always found the combine's old men lustfully ogling the young studs to be skeevy (but no lifestyle judgments here!)

40 times, bench-press reps: If anything, hasn't the Patriots' dynasty debunked and demystified the value of these cattle-call auditions?

Anyway, look for a lot of "rising," "falling," "upside," "swivel in his hips" and more.

Shaq Watch
Will get MRI today on his knee. Meanwhile, without him, the Heat lost (again), this time to the Pacers in OT.

More "Absence=MVP" evidence: If you gave Nash "MVP points" for the Suns' stinking while he was out, you have to credit Shaq, too.

H2H, Nash still rules: Because without Shaq, Miami is a 7- or 8-seed team (as proven last season); without Nash, PHX is in the lottery.

Sosa Arrives
It's Happy Sammy, not Bitter Sammy:

"I'm in a new house with a young team that I can help. I'm very happy to be here, no question. And I can see in their faces that they're really happy for me to be here."

Oh, come on, Sammy: Give us just a glimpse of Bitter Sammy. Hey, someone ask him about how he left it with the Cubs!

"That page is closed, and I don't want to touch that page no more. We're here to move on and go forward."

Ah! That's the stuff!

Golf Madness
Brackets rule! They are the best format for determining a sports champ and they are the most ideal format to drive fan "interest."

"Interest" meaning "pools": That's why I whole-heartedly endorse golf's Accenture Match Play Tournament, which uses a 64-player bracket and should be the only format golf uses.

So: Who's got Villanova?

Red Sox Rings
Here's the question: If they were opening against the Royals -- with the Yankees two weeks later -- would they still want their rings on Opening Day?

You can't convince me the timing isn't slightly to rub NY's nose in it. Literally. (Since ESPN is covering the game, I want a split-screen: Half on the ceremony, half on the Yankees' dugout.)

Will Schill start on O.D.? Curt's rehab is going weel. ("Running is ... the last hurdle.") My guess? He's ready just in time for O.D.

Bay Area media:
Watch out for exploding heads as the most media-hated athlete in baseball (Bonds) and football (Moss) work in the same area. Loathing overload!
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie Live!
Webber analysis
Moss analysis
Ranking East Big-Small Combos
Look at Flash without him!
Does LBJ count as "Small?"
Neither has had better partner
Big Ben/Rip
(Or even Wallace-Billups)
Oh, wait a second ...

Time to stop dissing Duke for not having any quality ACC road wins: Georgia Tech may not be ranked, but the reigning national runner-up is tough.

Don't cry for Jay Fiedler. The Dolphins cut him, but he could land with the Jets, Pats or Eagles as a backup. Last laugh with Jay.

Nuggets go retro, signing old coach Doug Moe as an assistant; think the Suns' offense is novel? Nah: Moe led thrilling Denver run-n-gun in 1980s.

Wizards activate Larry "Li'l LeBron" Hughes and Kwame "Big Dud" Brown; "Wizards Playoff Watch": I never thought I'd say the words.

Full Quickie "MLB ST Book Club" coming in March, but I got a copy of "Baseball Prospectus 2005" yesterday and was immersed all day.

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