February 23, 2005
Barry Bonds:
Want to see the awesome power of the media? Witness the one-sided pig-pile on Bonds, following his candid, combative, often hilarious Tuesday press event. QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

On rumors: "This is old stuff, like watching 'Sanford and Son' -- rerun after rerun after rerun. It's almost comical ... Are you guys jealous? Upset? What?"

Defending Barry: The media has an obligation to ask, of course, but we're quickly approaching the tipping point of obsessive to the point where fans will tune the media out (raving lunatic columnists especially).

On scrutiny chasing Ruth: "Because Babe Ruth is one of the greatest baseball players ever, and Babe Ruth ain't black. I'm black. Blacks, we go through a little more. I'm not a racist, but I live in the real world."

Defending Barry: He's so right about this, it's not funny. Literally.

On lying: "All you guys [media] lied. Should you have an asterisk behind your name? All of you lied. All of you have said something wrong. All of you have dirt. All of you. When your closet's clean, then come clean somebody else's. But clean yours first, OK?"

Defending Barry: Score the point to Bonds! If the curtain ever got pulled back on the media ... oh boy ...

On cheating: "I don't know what cheating is. I don't know if steroids is going to help you in baseball, I just don't believe it. I don't believe steroids can help you, eye-hand coordination, technically hit a baseball."

Defending Barry: Bonds is right about eye-hand, but sidesteps the elephant-in-room issue of "power."

On asterisks: "You cannot rehash the past, and we'll crush a lot of things out of the sports world. We can go back into the 1800's and basically asterisk a lot of sports, if that's what you want."

Defending Barry: For example, go back and read David Schoenfield's brilliant Page 2 analysis of who the real single-season Home Run Champ should be.

On fan support: "From all the places I've gone -- and I've traveled all over -- it's 'Barry, keep your head up, we're behind you ... I've never heard that before."

Defending Barry: The litmus test isn't fan reaction on the road (every good player is booed on the road); it's fan support in SF, which seems strong.

On Canseco: "I don't know Jose. I was better than Jose then, and I've been better than him his whole career."

Defending Barry: Not necessary. Did you know both were rookies in '86?

On roid-testing: "[Let's] allow the drug testing program to work. Allow it to work. Let's go forward. You cannot rehash the past. Y'all stop watching Redd Fox in rerun shows."

Tag! Edge, Woodson, Adam V, Darius, Peterson "franchised"
B.C. at Nova: Today's March-related must-see TV (9, ESPN2)
Redd Foxx/"Sanford and Son": Boost from Bonds reference?
Pay-per-view polygraph: Canseco proffers Worst. TV. Ever.
Okla St: Just as I eye 'Boys as FF pick, lose to Nebraska
Rockets: 8-G W streak snapped by those never-quit Sonics
Defending Barry: His point is well-taken, although it would be nice if while we went forward, players who cheated in the past would step forward. Care to out anyone, BB?

On Giambi-ish "apology": "What are you [the media] going to apologize for when you're wrong?"

Defending Barry: Silly, Bonds; the media never apologizes.

On rumors, again: "Why do you keep asking me the same questions? I'm not a child."

Defending Barry: You'd never know it from the hysterical commentators, but give Barry a TKO.

The media tried to pounce yesterday, and he punched back, with glib answers that should make you respect him more, not less.

Bledsoe to Dallas
So much for "moving forward": Instead, the Cowboys and Parcells will continue to mortgage the future with an over-the-hill QB ...

... And a coach perhaps so obsessed by being displaced on the "All-Time" list by that other Bill that Parcells can't think straight.

Henson vs. Bledsoe: Don't think this ends the Cowboys QB controversy; it's just "Drew-Drew," instead of "Drew-Vinny."

Shaq Injured
I'm a Nash-for-MVP guy, but I may have to re-evaluate Shaq's candidacy after the Heat lost to those rising Baby Bulls.

Shaq went down early in the first with a knee injury (details pending), and the Heat lost. Correlative?

Well, Nash-for-MVP'ers looked to the Suns' awful Ls while Nash was out with an injury; why shouldn't Shaq get similar in absentia credit?

NHL Rule Changes
Proposed NHL rule changes sound nice -- if you're already a fan. But retaining the diehards was never the NHL's problem.

The NHL's problem is that it needs to create fans, and the new rules are incremental fixes. To develop new fans, the NHL needs RADICAL change.

Case study: Arena football, quickly streaking past the NHL in fan relevance and popularity. Why? AFL didn't try to offer NFL-style football in the spring; they got innovative (on and off the field).

I'd Do Anything
New IDA season casting now. I was looking over the prize list, and one caught my eye:

1-on-1 time: Maria Sharapova.

I'm assuming this is after the Best. 18th B-Day. Ever. coming this April 19. Uh, but who's counting (down)?

Sort of makes "Final Four with Dickie V," "Bat Boy for the Giants" and "Hang with Rusty Wallace" missing, umm, that certain something.

But, hey, whatever floats your boat. (See Q It Up)

Carroll HS football
(Southlake, Texas):

Nation's No. 1 prep FB team is rocked by a steroid scandal. So to all of you MLB Henny Pennys shouting "Think of the children!" -- they're in it, too.
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie Live!
Vote: Your take on Bonds
Casting: I.D.A.
Likelihood of NBA Trades (total speculation)
Michael Redd
Or Bucks will lose him as FA
Steve Smith
From N.O. to Yes in Miami?
D. Marshall/K. Thomas
Continuous rumors/no action
Antoine Walker
Because who wants him?
Ray Allen
No way! This team is legit!

As noted here Tuesday, the Seahawks signing Hasselbeck for six years simply ensures six more years to forget about winning the Super Bowl.

Abolish the RPI! Any ranking system that maintains Kansas is No. 1, even after a third straight losses, doesn't deserve to impact March Madness.

Off-kilter Milton Bradley says he's playing center for the Dodgers, but manager Jim Tracy says CF (J.D. Drew other candidate) not set in stone yet. (Edge to crazy guy.)

Kudos to Bob Johnson, eponymous owner of the NBA's Bobcats, for floating the idea for a "money-back guarantee" on next year's season tickets.

Update: Start of Golf's February Bracket Madness moved to Thursday, after bad rains in California. So I've moved my preview to tomorrow, too.

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