February 8, 2005
Norm Chow:
Reportedly will take Titans O.C. job today (for not-unsubstantial $900K). Credit Tennessee and Chow for making a bold move. Keep reading. QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Forget Weis and Crennel. The Pats' assistants are so yesterday's story.

Except for the drama that Weis, the NFL's reigning best offensive mind, just left to go Back to School ...

.. And there to claim his title is the Titans' new O.C., Norm Chow, making the reverse commute from college to the pros.

It's the best coaching move of the day-old NFL offseason.

Labels like "innovative," "genius" and, frankly, "college coach" usually cause NFL fans and analysts to have an allergic reaction.

But given Chow's role as the offensive architect of the USC dynasty, his presence in an NFL booth instantly makes Tennessee must-see. Have you ever felt that way about the historically unremarkable Titans?

As a pro O.C., Chow will quickly position himself not just for the college job of his choice (see Charlie Weis), but for an NFL head job.

(Say: San Diego? Picture him back in SoCal with LT, Gates and ex-protege Philip Rivers.)

Admirably, Chow has made no secret that he welcomes the chance to be the first Asian-American head coach (in either college or the NFL).

With this move, he gets closer -- and the Titans get better.

Ex-Pats: What Next?
Crennel to Browns: Where the selfless Pats spirit is replaced with a Cleveland culture in which the answer to any motivational slogan Crennel may have is:

But there IS a 'ME' in TEAM.

Weis to Notre Dame: And he thought Pats Nation was needy? Wait until he gets a taste of the Irish boosters.

Early line on the over/under until they break Weis' independent, "We'll-do-things-differently" spirit: September 10 (at Michigan).

Canseco's Book
Wow, the backlash is fierce! I'm among those quick to disbelieve Canseco, too. He's a punchline, not a former Bash Brother. "Canseco and Able?" Not quite.

Pacific: Make first-ever hoops top 25 appearance
Gilbert Arenas: 43 pts (Wiz d. IND); ASG reserve lock!
Black One Black: Funky Nike golf ball is hot new thing
Syracuse HCA: UConn snaps Orange 16-G home W streak
Lakers: Relocating to "Rock Bottom?" Lose to lowly Hawks
MLB Free Agent Watch: Finally over! Maggs signs with DET
But let's just remember that Mark McGwire did fuel his home-run binge with a substance later banned by MLB for being steroid-ish.

Palmeiro denies allegation: "At no point in my career have I ever used steroids, let alone any substance banned by Major League Baseball."

(Left unsaid: Viagra rules!)

Bush denies, too: "If there was [roids], he was not aware of it at the time," the President's spokesman said. Canseco is playing WAY out of his league with that claim.

Reid's Rep Wreck
O.C. Childress, too: Just decimated by well-deserved day-after Philly-fan agita, driven by the worst embarrassment of time management since the 1972 Olympic hoops final.

"We did try to get it going," Reid said Monday. "(But) I can't tell you in detail why it didn't work as well as it should've." Maybe that's part of the problem.

T.O.'s Rep Repair
If it's possible to win, even in loss, Terrell Owens did it with his gritty 9-catch, 122-yard game. Amazingly, he did more to create fans (even turning critics into fans) than any previous celebration gesture, nervy yapping or on-field exploit.

All-Star Reserves
Announced today. I did a mash-up of Chad Ford, Marc Stein and ESPN.com users' reserve picks to craft a Consensus Reserve List:

East: Wade, J. O'Neal, Arenas, Francis, Okafor, Jamison, Pierce

West: Nash, Amare, Dirk, Marion, Ginobili, Brand, Allen

Snubs: Bosh, C-Webb, Gasol

Rivalry Week
Tonight's top matchups:

1 Illinois at Michigan: Remember the '89 "Flying" Illini team (knocked out in FF by Michigan)? Reminds me of this '05 squad. (7, ESPN)

4 B.C. at Notre Dame: Great if it was football; even better with B.C. visiting as unbeaten. Will Charlie Weis be there? (7, ESPN2)

Florida at Kentucky: You know what that means, right? Possibility of an Ashley Judd sighting! Need any more reason to watch? (9, ESPN)

Despite airing the most talked-about ad of the Super Bowl, an encore airing in the 4th was reportedly yanked. (Wait: Good enough for 1st, but not 4th?!)
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie Live!
Olney on Canseco
Ways (Gack!) Boston
(Ugh!) Rules in
(Cough!) Sports
Nothing tops reversing Curse
2 in row; 3 in 4 ... phew!
College hoops
B.C. is new St. Joe's
Marathon is annual show
Beanpot: sport's marquee event

Let me get this straight: Nuggets SG Vashon Lenard has been sidelined with injury since Day 1, but feels well enough to defend his 3-PT title? ...

Rest of NBA ASG 3PT field: Suns Joe Johnson, Q. Richardson; Sonics Ray Allen, Vlad Radmanovic; 76ers Kyle Korver (Hoiberg snubbed!) ...

Mailman to Spurs? Having a hard time understanding how Karl Malone is the missing piece to put SA over the top; isn't Duncan the power forward? ...

Boston owns baseball, football, college hoops -- now NHL-free hockey?! Beanpot is sport's top event in 2005 (NE d. Harvard; BU d. BC) ...

VC 10K: Congrats to Vince Carter, who became the 41st NBA player to reach the 10,000-point plateau (scoring season-high 43 in Nets W) ...

Scuttlebutt mill: Rick Majerus taking Mike Davis' job at Indiana? Or, at least, someone is planting that rumor. Tracking ...

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