espn.com Ali Contest
Think it was just a meaningless exhibition game? You are wrong, jockstrap-breath. Sunday's Red Sox-Yankees tiff was for all the marbles -- at least, the marbles lost by the fans Jim Caple found camping out overnight for tickets. Not to worry if you missed the action. You can still play along with Page 2's exhibition board game.
FUN PAGE | CAPLE: FAN FRENZY




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There's only one way, really, to write the definitive history of the sport formerly known as Our National Pastime: Ask Yankee fans. So Page 2's Eric Neel gets the coast-to-coast skinny on the game's past from A-to-Z, filtered through the eyes of the only people truly in the baseball know.

Weekend Water Cooler Olympic Hardhat Area
What would inspire Page 2's Brian Murphy to resuscitate the Weekend Water Cooler? Nothing less than a glorious pre-spring weekend in the Bay Area, capped by the season premiere of "The Sopranos."
Page 2's Steve Woodward gets up close and personal with preparations for the Summer Olympics in Athens, and comes back from Greece with this sage advice: Wear your protective headgear.

THE DAILY QUICKIE
The Daily Quickie knows how the next chapter reads in O.J. Simpson's life story. Hint: It has to do with a search for a different sort of criminal. Plus, the Tim Couch boo-boo, and the 'Zags' funny seed.


It's Championship Week in college hoops and we've got the first of our March Madness lists: the 10 biggest surprise conference tournament winners.

10]  Central Florida, 1996 TAAC
UCF had lost 12 of 13 games at one point, lost twice by at least 40 points ... and then reeled off its first three-game winning streak of the season to win the conference tourney and reach the NCAA Tournament.
9]  Florida International, 1995 TAAC
The coach had already announced his resignation, the team was 8-18 in a terrible conference. Then, mini-miracle: FIU won three straight; at 11-18, it was in the Big Dance.
8]  Providence, 1994 Big East
The Friars were just the sixth seed for the conference tournament, but upset No. 3 UConn in the semifinals and beat Georgetown in the final to win their first Big East title.
  • GET THE FULL LIST


MLB AL CENTRAL ODDS TO WIN
2004 World Series Twins 30-1
2004 World Series White Sox 30-1
2004 World Series Royals 50-1
2004 World Series Indians 100-1
2004 World Series Tigers 100-1


 
Got a comment about something you've seen on Page 2? Here's your chance to sound off to the editors and columnists. Plus, if you'd like to send an e-mail to The Sports Guy, here's your direct link to Bill Simmons.



So in his new book, Ken Venturi has accused Arnold Palmer of cheating in the 1958 Masters. Maybe Arnie did; maybe Arnie didn't. But the Writers' Bloc has a few other questions for Venturi. Like, why now?

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    EASY DOES IT
    Jim Harrick Jr. gives easy tests. But you don't know the half of it.

    APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED
    Derek and Nomar are now accepting applications to replace A-Rod in their Holy Trinity.
    If your favorite writer isn't on Page 2 today, click here to check out our full roster of columnists.


    It's Mr. Mackey of South Park and ESPN's John Clayton. This match was submitted by Rashad of Washington, D.C. Browse our archives of past pairings or click here to submit a future duo for Page 2.


    Women's Hoops: Big East Title
    7 p.m. ET, ESPN
    No UConn -- can that be right?
     
    American Idol
    8 p.m. ET, Fox
    Back for a second try as wild cards.
     
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    10:30 p.m. ET, HBO
    Messing up day-to-day life.
     
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    If you missed Page 2 over the last week, check out our back issues:
    • Fri., March 5: Dazed and Confused
    • Thur., March 4: In Defense of Barry
    • Wed., March 3: The Way We Were
    • Tue., March 2: "Hoosier" Daddy

    Other featured content:
    • What the Heck Are They Thinking?
    • 10 Burning Questions for Heather Mitts
    • The 100 Most Memorable Super Bowl Moments
    • Best Sports Cities of 2003
    • Sex and Sports, 2003
    • All-Time World Series Rankings
    • 100 Greatest Home Runs of All Time
    Monday, March 8, 2004
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