July 22, 2005
T.O. vs. Philly
What did T.O. say *this* time? Keep reading to find out. What makes this standoff so dramatic is that neither he nor the Eagles are going to budge.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Fans' last chance to see Lance in the Tour de France is this weekend.

Don't miss it.

Rarely do all-time great athletes go out at the top of their sport.

Even Michael Jordan didn't do it. (And by winning his 7th title, Lance will even finish with one more championship than MJ.)

Critics who begrudge Lance his "Athlete of the Year" awards he picks up with metronomic frequency are simply being knee-jerk contrarians.

He's no fluke: Fans have given him the "Male Athlete of the Year" ESPY Award for three years running. Trust the many fans over the few noisy.

Sports fans get it: Within his sport, Lance is as dominant as he can be. Does his uber-dramatic backstory count? Even more so.

But he's a cyclist! critics howl. That makes it all the *more* impressive.

Lance has managed to take an off-the-radar sport and deliver it smack into the national sports-fan consciousness every July.

True sports greatness is rare enough that it's worth your energy to catch the end of the Tour de Lance era.

T.O. Escalates
Sometimes quotes say it all:

"It's going to be hard for me to get back on that field if I ain't getting paid. Just to show you I'm ready, they better be ready."

"Trade me, release me, and we can just part ways like adults. Not to stir anything up, but I don't really have to play for the Eagles.

"I can go play for any other team and still be productive. If he feels that way, then get rid of me."

"I've talked to the coach and like I said, if I gotta come there [with no new deal], it's not going to be a good situation."

(Quotes via Comcast SportsNet Southeast)

NFL Training Camp
With NFL training camps kicking off Sunday, the Quickie resumes its annual tradition of oversimplifying each camp's key plotline.

Dolphins (Davie, FL)
Plot: Ricky! Ricky! Ricky!

Patriots (Foxboro, MA)
Plot: Replacing Weis, Crennel

Bears (Bourbonnais, IL)
Plot: Where's the Lovie?

NHL: Players ratify new labor deal (which 10 pct said NO?)
Jay Williams: Buzz improves for rehab/return of ex-Duke PG
MLB Crackdown: Suspends Runelvys H., 3 others for KC brawl
Livan Hernandez: Recants rant from Wednesday, will pitch
Kerry Wood: Will miss next start; what else is new here?
Marino as Steeler QB: HOF'er rejected Cowher offer in '00
Follow along with the Quickie as all 30 teams go to camp over the next two weeks!

MLB: Pitching Woo!
Checking in on Thursday's notable pitching matchups. To sum up: Hindsight is No Decision ...

Kenny Rogers: No decision Thursday in TEX L to OAK, but Rogers can expect to be the loser of any decision today by Bud Selig re: his suspension.

Buehrle-Clement: Another ND. Neither looked that good in 6 IP, and Schilling eclipsed them both, earning his first W out of the 'pen (after blowing save).

Unit vs. Colon: Johnson had to leave the game with a back issue, then replacement Tom Gordon promptly gave up a game-breaking slam to Vlad.

Maddux "3K K's?" Not yet. Stuck at 2,998 after 4 Ks vs. CIN. Adding injury to insult, the Cubs' 'pen blew his lead, along with the game.

Zach Duke watch: Scoreless inning streak snapped at 22, but got W over Rockies with 5 K's and only 1 R in 7 IP.

NBA: Zeke Seeks Larry
Deal today, weekend, someday? And, yet, there hasn't been a summer romance more obviously headed for eventual heartbreak and/or breakup since Brad and Angelina. Or is that Tom and Katie? Or maybe Jessica and Johnny Knox?

NHL: Draft Lottery
A.K.A. "The Crosby Mysteries": Which team today will win the rights to Sidney Crosby, the hottest hockey phenom since Gretzky?

If the NHL was truly ready to re-emerge from the morass of the lockout, it would ensure he went to New York, paying off the other teams if that's what it took.

Forget having the kid in the biggest media market in the country; sometimes scandal can be a good thing.

In this case, a "Sid-NY" conspiracy would have everyone talking NHL, if only momentarily. (Fri, 4, ESPNews)

Movies: Bad News Bears
Considering the original "Bears" is one of the best sports movies ever (not to mention the most inspired use of soundtrack -- Bizet's opera "Carmen"), I'm eager to check out the re-make.

For some BNB BP (literally), don't miss Mary Buckheit's must-read Page 2 column, going head to head with the Bears' star pitcher. (See Q It Up.)

50-in-50: Weekend
Three stops!

Friday: Virginia
Dominant Impression:
Ralph Sampson vs. Chaminade

Saturday: North Dakota
Dominant Impression:
College hockey powerhouse.

Sunday: Kansas
Dominant Impression:
Unlikely NCAA hoops hotbed.

Fading Nats face Rocket after loss Thu to HOU drops DC into tie for 1st in NL East with ATL. After weekend, Nats won't sniff 1st again. (WC? Maybe...)
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie live!
Bad News for Bear
Tour de France
Original "B.N. Bears" Players
Kelly Leak
Cycling around the bases
Amanda Whurlitzer
Your childhood crush?
Tanner Boyle
Precursor to Kenny Rogers?
Can't beat the fat kid
Original SABR member?

MLB trade rumors: Are Dodgers shopping Weaver. And are O's interested? (via LA Times)

Even more NHL: Board of Govs to agree to rules changes today that everyone hopes will make the games more telegenic and fan-friendly.

NBA moves: Nets, Shareef make deal (K-Mart loyalists can be quiet now). More: Clips eyeing Bonzi? Wiz liking Madsen? Lakers have Glove love?

Bruschi update: The Pats deny that the LB was rejected for medical clearance before he announced his decision to sit out in 2005. (via BOS Globe)

Best oddball sports memorabilia of Quickie Era? I'd say Horn's Celly or Schilling's Sock. Catch OTL on Friday (12:40 am, ESPN) for a report.

50-in-50 Extra! I'm spending the day in D.C. Where's my red carpet, Mayor Williams? Expect my unofficial D.C. "50-in-50" report next week.

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