October 24, 2005
Scott Podsednik:
So: Do baseball "experts" still think the White Sox gave up too much power when they traded Carlos Lee for the "light-hitting" Pods? Didn't think so.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

OK, trend-spotters,
what's hotter:

Podcasts? Or "Pods-Blasts?"

Fewer people may be watching this World Series than last year, but if they missed Sunday night's wild ending, they join the Astros as the losers.

How can you ignore the unlikeliest walk-off home run in World Series history?

This was Chicago's Podsednik. Wasn't he the guy who didn't hit a home run all season? (Call him "Small Papi" -- or "Big Pod-pi?" Either way, he could fit into one of Ortiz's thighs.)

This was Houston's Lidge. Wasn't he supposed to be the "new Mariano Rivera?" (More like the "new Mitch Williams.")

I feel sorry for the fans who didn't pay close attention this weekend because they were waiting for the Series to heat up.

Or because they can't get find interest in the two teams that are playing. Don't watch a World Series for the teams; watch it for its moments.

Like last night's ending.

Dye: Hit-By-Hunh??
Lost in Pods' heroics, there might not have been a chance for him to win the game if ump Jeff Nelson had gotten the Dye HBP call right in the 7th, which even Dye admits he didn't.

Instead of a foul ball, it's a hit-by-pitch. You know what happened next: Konerko clocked it for a slam. Astros fans join the enlightened on the "Replay? OK!" bandwagon?

Clemens Done?
Old wisdom: Ageless Cy-worthy is the rock of a "Three Ace" rotation.

New wisdom: Too old to get the job done in the cold?

Clemens' hammy, which knocked him out of Game 1 after only 2 innings, might keep him out of Game 5 ... or it might end his Series completely.

Either way, it's handy symbolism for the Astros' woes in chilly Chicago.

NFL W7 Wrap
Bengals bandwagon derailed: So apparently Big Ben IS the real deal. He returns (along with dance-tastic Hines Ward), and the Steelers look like a different team -- like an XL contender.

(Meanwhile, I like Carson Palmer's attitude: He said he still thinks the Bengals are "the better team." We'll see in Week 13 in Pittsburgh.)

Call it a "Tice preserver": There was no bigger win than the Vikings rallying from down 17 at home to squeak past the hapless Packers.

What's the better chance: That the Colts go unbeaten this season, or that the Texans go winless? (Take Houston 0-16.)

Randy Moss: What injury? Snagged TD catch in Raiders rout
Paul Edinger: 56-yard FG caps comeback stunner for Vikings
Lucas Glover: 23-year-old gets 1st PGA win (Funai Classic)
LaDanian Tomlinson: Shut out?! TD streak ends at 18 games
C. Woodson/D. Gibson: Raiders lose 2 key DBs for season
Grant Hill: Abdomen/groin strain could derail early season
Seahawks: NFC's Best? "Best" is relative, obviously. Hard to take Seattle too seriously when they only scrimp 13 in a W over Dallas.

Give me the NFC East: Eagles, Giants grit out huge wins at home against solid AFC teams; Skins' O finally explodes under Gibbs.

Newcomer of Week Jeff Garcia wins and Joey Harrington doesn't. That's why, barring injury, Joey has taken his last snap as Lions starter.

MNF: Jets at Falcons. You won't get a QB match-up more diametrically opposite than Vinny vs. Vick. Probably ever. (9, ABC)

See Big 5 for my NFL Top 5.

Saints Done in N.O.?
As if fans in New Orleans haven't had a crushing enough fall, the Saints are likely done in that city, according to Mort.

That owner Tom Benson wanted to bolt for Texas (or L.A.) is no surprise, but the city wouldn't get a new team for a decade or more (or ever).

It's shameful that Benson would use the city's destruction as a lever to boost the team out of town. He makes Bob Irsay look guileless.

But let's deal with the realities that the team is as good as gone:

Assuming it's a fait d'accompli, here's an idea: Once the Dome is rebuilt, make it the permanent home of the Super Bowl.

Alternate the game between N.O. and another rotating host city every other year. And include rights to build a Super Bowl Hall of Fame museum.

CFB Weekend Wrap
Texas is clearly Rose-worthy.
I appreciate VA Tech's claim, but UT dismantled a team ranked No. 7 in the BCS. It's USC and UT, with everyone else in the distance (for now).

Who's NOT No. 1? Bama and UGA
Sure, both teams won to stay unbeaten, but both looked gimpy. The Tide's MVP isn't QB Brodie Croyle; it's injured WR Tyrone Prothro. UGA's hopes are over next week in Jax vs. Florida if injured QB Shockley doesn't play.

USC: Best QB, RB ... and WR?
It almost seems unfair, but Dwayne Jarrett is arguably the best WR in the country, joining Leinart and Bush as the best at their positions.

Team of Week: Northwestern
With a D ranked 2nd-worst in D1, NU shut down the best offense in the Big Ten -- and established that its OWN offense should have that title. Showdown with Michigan next week at home at night on ESPN will be huge.

Quickie Top 10 Ballot:
1 USC | 2 Texas | 3 VA Tech
(Wait: I have to keep going?)
4 N. Dame | 5 Miami | 6 UCLA
7 Bama* | 8 Georgia* | 9 LSU
10 OH St/PA St (*Key injury)

Goalpost Death
The horrible story of the college student in Minnesota killed after being bashed in the head by a goalpost after fans ripped it down should be the last straw in the "rushing the field" debate.

I understand the tradition, but it's just out of hand: Anyone caught on the goalposts should be arrested.

I appreciate students rushing onto the field to celebrate a victory with the team. But the goalposts, sadly re-proven as dangerous, have to be off-limits.

MLB: Got Upset?
The new milk campaign pokes fun at MLB's steroid scandal, and MLB isn't happy about it.

What, like they think that fans see the ad and go: "Oh! Is there a 'roid issue in baseball?"

By getting upset about it, MLB only makes people more curious to see the clever ad -- and remind fans how tone-deaf MLB is on the subject.

Speaking of ads, how cool is the opening of that new Gatorade ad, where they show revisionist "What if?" endings to classic sports moments: MJ missing against the Cavs, Jeter blowing the backhand vs. the A's.

Brad Lidge:
Giving up a game-winning HR to powerful Pujols is one thing; giving up a game-winning HR to puny Podsednik is another. How's his psyche right now?
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie: Live!
Page 2 Critics
World Series
More NFL W7 Subplots
6-0 heading into bye
Statement win at Cincy
Host Bills next Sunday
Bye week for up-n-comers
Just nudges out PHI, NYG

More NFL injuries: In addition to the game, the Packers lost RB Ahman Green and WR Robert Ferguson. Can it get much worse?

Texas took 2 1st-place votes from USC in the AP poll. Gap is still 55-10, and based on the rest of UT's schedule, that's as close as they'll come.

I watched MJ on "60 Minutes" last night. The footage of him playing middle-aged slobs who paid $15K each to be abused by him was the highlight.

For those like me who think Villanova is a Final Four team, a new knee injury to valuable Curtis Sumpter (who missed the UNC game) is a problem.

T.O. Watch: I know some weren't impressed, but I liked Owens' WR-as-waiter TD celebration. NFL waist towel as the new maitre'd accessory. Love it!

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