October 8, 2004
NY G3 starter
Kevin Brown::

Yankees signed him for this: Arguably overmatched by MIN starter Silva and knowing if he loses, NY faces Johan (and possible elimination) Saturday.

The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Making last weekend's "Housewives" look at ease with their circumstances, there's a discomfort level among all the MLB playoff teams heading into the weekend, beyond the obvious two SoCal teams down 0-2.

Yankees at Twins:
MIN: G2 collapse lingering?
NYY: Looking at Johan in G4

Angels at Red Sox:
BOS: NY scoreboard obsession
ANA: No Rally primates in '04

Cards at Dodgers:
StL: Can they win close one?
LA: Worn out by NL West race?

Braves at Astros:
ATL: Play 2 in rabid Houston
HOU: Never clinched a p'off

Weekend preview:
Fri: Boston brooms at Fenway
Sat: Cards close out, easy
Sun: Yanks top Johan, advance
Mon: HOU/ATL Game 5 madness

Sox Rooting Interest?
In the Morning Quickie show Thursday, the hottest topic was which team the Red Sox would rather see advance this weekend to meet them in the ALCS -- the Yankees or Twins?

Is a Red Sox World Series appearance less meaningful if they don't exorcise the Yankees en route? Boston fans seemed to see the bigger picture; it was the rest of fans who wanted to see a NY-BOS ALCS.

(Gotta love the paranoid Red Sox fans, who made solid arguments that the Twins' better pitching made them the team to worry about.)

To join in, check out SportsNation, 9-10 am, Mon-Fri (or just see Q It Up for a link.)

Pats: 19 in a Row?
More impressive than the 1972 Dolphins. (That's not to say the '72 Fins weren't impressive, just that these Pats are more.)

Why? This era is infinitely more competitive than the early 1970s. (And, to bolster the argument that 2 titles in 3 years is good enough to be called a "dynasty," this current era of the last five years or so is more competitive than any previous.)

McNair: Looking probable for MNF showdown with Favre
Milton Bradley: No investigation into slur incident
NASCAR: Jumps on 5-second delay bandwagon. Thanks, Janet!
Phillies: To interview Baylor, Manuel ... and Grady Little?
Dodgers P Jeff Weaver: 4.6 IP, 6 R, 0-2 career playoff
Portis-Bugel feud: Skins asst says air has been cleared
But with every W after 19, it will become less and less of a debate, and the NFL purists' screeching will simply fade into the background.

Next up: Is this the greatest all-time team game-winning streak in any sport? I'd vote yes.

NFL Unbeatens Watch
Only a dozen or so more wins in a row until the three other remaining unbeatens on the Week 5 schedule enter the '04 Pats-'72 Fins "better-streak" debate!

NY Jets (vs. BUF) Can you believe the Jets would be 4-0 (and the Bills will be 0-4)?

Atlanta (vs. DET) Falcons better on both sides of the ball (except for Roy Williams).

Seattle (vs. StL) Hawks in great shape, as long as Martz is making those crack decisions.

Don't forget the winless!
49ers (vs. ARI), Bucs (vs. NO) jockeying to see which team is second-worst in the league, behind the Dolphins (who we know are losing).

See Big 5 for more subplots.

CFB: Huge Weekend
Speaking of desperate, there's Texas coach Mack Brown, who is one win over Oklahoma from reputation salvation -- or one (more) OU loss from being Texas toast.

Five more must-see games:
Cal/USC: No gimme for Trojans
Tenn/UGA: Dawgs eyeing No. 1
Minn/Mich: Prove it, Gophers
Wisc/Ohio St: Watch Ant Davis
LSU/Fla: Playing for pride

"Friday Night Lights"
Only question: Why'd this take so long to go from must-read book to movie? Who didn't inhale this book and instantly recognize the flick potential?

You can just imagine those development meetings:

Exec: We love it! See it now:
"Varsity Blues meets 8 Mile"

Producer: Yes, but Blues borrowed from this story.

E: "Remember the Titans II?"

P: Uh, replace race relations with economic sociology.

E: "Any Given Sunday meets American Pie?"

P: Nevermind.

Kidd-Nets Relationship:
He's griping (and skipping training-camp practices). They're steaming. You see what's coming don't you? Two words: Midseason. Trade.
Today on ESPN.com
MLB second guessing
Morning Quickie!
"Friday Night Lights"
More NFL Subplots
Parcells vs. Wannabe
Vote for Kerry!
Can Cats adjust?
Big game for Moss
Worst game of week

Week 5 NFL office-pool suggestions: ATL, NE, NO, PIT, MI, NYG, IND, JAX, NYJ, ARI, SEA, DEN, BAL, TEN...

Apparently, the NFL equates a 4-month prison stretch with a 2-game suspension; isn't that the same penalty for a TD dance? Ridiculous...

More Jamal Lewis: Here's hoping his bunkmate in the pokey didn't draft him for the Cellblock D FFL (Groupname: It Wasn't Me; Password: Oz)...

MLB playoff dynamic to watch: How do Boston's non-Schilling, non-Pedro starters look? Last remaining NFL Week 5 subplot: CAR at DEN. Panthers need Stephen Davis back (badly); Broncos should deploy similar two-headed RB game...

Best kind of problem: Juggling up to 4 MLB games Sat with best day of CFB games yet? Or how to juggle up to 4 on Sunday with full NFL slate?...

In Friday's Morning Quickie: MLB playoffs, NFL Preview, CFB madness and more. *LIVE*, 9-10 ET or read the transcript. (See Q It Up.)

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