September 14, 2004
Ahman Green:
The Packers O-line may get a lot of credit, but Green (119 yards, 3 TDs) will reap the reward. Is GB the NFC's top team?
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

This was MLB, not WWE, the last time I checked.

Still, a baseball player can give an opposing player a thwack with a folding char. He can give his teammate the chair. He can even give his manager the chair. It's crazy, but reasonable. But ... You cannot hit a fan.

Literally, it is the first, biggest, most important, insert-your-superlative-here directive of the athlete and the keepers of the game.

Rangers reliever Frank Francisco broke this code. He can plead temporary insanity, but he's going to pay a steep price.

Caught on tape: Three of the most damning words in our society. Here are three more, for Francisco:

Full-year suspension.

Forget the rest of '04. Boot him from the game for the entire 2005 season.

Give him a taste.

Wow, that Green Bay O-line is as good as advertised. Green had his way and Favre had all day (on the road, no less). Because the Packers overpowered the reigning NFC champs -- and arguably the best D-line in the game -- install them as the laughably premature NFC favorites.

Penalties Down
Give the NFL refs credit: Contrary to projections, there was no increase in "illegal contact" calls through the first 15 games of the season. Defensive holding calls were up, but total penalties were down.

But WRs still seemed to have a great opening week; did we read enough about the new rules to make ourselves simply believe they give the receivers an advantage?

Marlins in Chicago
Kudos to the 4,003 fans who went to Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field for the Marlins "home" game. The fans' reward?

NFL's Over-the-Hill RB Club: Emmitt, Curtis, Bus, Marshall
Padres: Beat the Dodgers; quietly, still in NL WC race
KC Royals: Boston fans rooting for you! Thump Yanks 17-8
Ichiro: Hitless Monday! (3rd oh-fer in last 4 games)
Nomar: To sit 5 days with that chronic groin; no surprise
Hungarian hammer thrower: Will give back OLY gold (drugs)
Novelty: A ticket stub of an NL team playing as the home team in an AL park for the first time since 1946.

Charity Helping Hurricane Frances victims.

Self-interest: Sox fans, temporarily, could enjoy supporting a team in a pennant race. Added bonus: Root against the Cubs by rooting on the Marlins.

Howe Wants Out
"Howe-thenized": More from the ever-growing Quickie vocabularly list ...

What it means: Leaking that you plan to fire your terrible manager in the offseason, then watching him dangle in the rabid New York media, even going so far as to beg to be fired now, rather than later.

Put Howe out of his our misery? Hmmm ...

Bowden Likes Rix
The wonders of inertia: Bobby Bowden said FSU QB Chris Rix will remain the starter -- probably because after four years of the same (overrated) status, the 'Noles don't have any depth in the pipeline.

Poker Finale
Who will be the next Chris Moneymaker? (8 p.m., ESPN) Better question: Does anyone still care about the last Chris Moneymaker? Winner will enjoy uber-manly WSoP bracelet -- the only bracelet a man should consider sporting (and, frankly, still a little effete).

Dream Job
And who will be the next Mike Hall? All I know is that three things about Dream Job's Season 2 premiere (7 pm, ESPN) are "must-see":

Super-judge Al Jaffe is back!

Woody, Stephen A. join him!

Nastier than all of them combined, I return as "Couch Judge" Wednesday on Page 3.

Hurricane Ivan:
"PPD, Weather" strikes again. So. Miss (coming off upset W at Nebraska) to postpone anticipated ESPN Thursday night home game vs. No. 10 Cal.
Today on
Page 2: Simmons on 'Entourage'
Quickie chat transcript
SportsNation: The Show
5 NFL Injuries to Watch
Steve Smith, Car, WR
Out for ?!?! (broken leg)
Charles Rogers, Det, WR
Out for season (collarbone)
Shaun Alexander, Sea, RB
Day to day; iffy for W2 (knee)
Tim Rattay, SF, QB
Dorsey to start (shoulder)
Joey Galloway, Tam, WR
Out 4-6 weeks (groin)

Vinny Castilla: Reaches 300 HR, 1,000 RBI stateau Monday. (See how I deploy that new word I invented yesterday?) ...

This time we really mean it: Maybe the last NHL-caliber hockey you'll see for at least a year, catch the World Cup final tonight (Canada vs. Finland, 7 ET, ESPN2) ...

Heat close to signing Laettner, which almost ensures that they will suffer brutal locker-room issues that will wreck the season ...

U.S. women's soccer to take 10-city "Fan Celebration" Tour (a.k.a. "These Are the Only Women Players Who Can Draw a Crowd" Tour) ...

As expected, late SportsCenter's "Salute the Troops" from Kuwait is one of the coolest must-see's of the summer ...

Be sure to check out The Morning Quickie on SportsNation, every weekday from 9-10 a.m. ET (See Q It Up for the link "SN: Quickie") ...

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