By Dan Shanoff
Page 2 columnist

During the NBA playoffs in the spring, cowbells were all the rage as a way for fans in the arena to audibly participate. Now, the baseball playoffs are being dominated by thundersticks, those ubiquitous plastic rods that every fan in attendance seems to be clapping together.

Angels fans
Thunder Stix are a non-Ligue way for fans to stick it to the opposition.

For home-field advantage to mean something, fans have to make an impact; if nothing else, the sticks give them a way to work out their anxieties about the on-field action. The only complaint is that stickless fans' sightlines are ruined by those holding their sticks high -- how about a little respect for fellow fans?

Regardless, the baseball playoffs of 2002 will be remembered as "The Season of the 'Sticks" (which has a better ring than "Season of the Monkey"). Like any fad, who knows how long they'll last? All the more reason to check out this week's "What's Hot, What's Not" list below:

What's Hot, What's Not this week
Category Hot Not
Angels owner Mexican billionaire All-American cowboy
Rumor Jazz selling name to Hornets Lakers selling name to Timberwolves
Who Mets are sweet on
Dusty Baker

Lou Piniella
NCAA reform - "The Colorado Bill" Slap coach with sanctions -- wherever he is Slap old team/new coach with sanctions
Tim Couch's biggest problem Backup better than he is Hometown crowd boos him
Charlotte's NBA attitude We love this game! We hate this team!
Rookie QB
Patrick Ramsey

David Carr
Where are the Expos? In D.C. via BET On a season-long barnstorming tour

Where to find managerial candidates Team legends Down on the farm
We stand corrected
Joe Mays

Billy Koch
Yankees management scapegoat Brian Cashman Joe Torre
What to say about the Dream? In '95, as dominant as MJ would have been In '84, better than Ewing
Anticipated comeback
Grant Hill

Oliver Miller
Way to score Special-teams defense Special-teams offense
Chicago Bears' biggest problem Awful blue-on-blue MNF uniforms Offense stinks
Retro MLB shirt St. Louis Cardinals Atlanta Braves
Where to see athletes on road Hotel rooftop bars Nightclub VIP areas
Arena guest
British royalty

Rock royalty
Big weekend matchup Texas-Oklahoma Florida State-Miami
Rockets' big headache Francis won't pass China won't deal
Spree's m.o. Taking swings Talking things out
Tiger's arm candy a TAG a Rolly
College bandwagon
Notre Dame

Weekend flick "The Rules of Attraction" "Tuck Everlasting"

Dan Shanoff is a columnist for Page 2. His "What's Hot, What's Not" trend-spotting list appears Thursdays. Got inside scoop on an up-and-coming trend? Want to declare something passé? Send this glimpse of your hipness to Don't forget to check out the NHL season preview Hot 'n' Not List!