September 7, 2005
Andre Agassi vs.
James Blake:

If you're going to watch one tennis match this year, make it this U.S. Open quarterfinal between tennis' reigning Old Man and Comeback Kid.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Getting engaged can do strange things to a man:

You strategize over gift registry like it's a fantasy football draft.

You develop an opinion about place settings and invitation fonts.

You learn the groom's mantra:
"It's her day. It's her day."

And, apparently, if you're Lance Armstrong, you announce you "will no longer rule...out" an un-retirement for a cycling comeback.

The best part? His reasoning:

It's not for love of sport.
Or love of Tour glory.
Or even love of his woman.

No: He's doing it for spite.

He hates the French media so much after this latest round of allegations that he is willing to consider unretiring simply to throw another Tour de France title in their face.

Simply put: There has never been a more honest reason offered by an athlete to un-retire.

Root for Lance's 2006 return:

"Riding for the Love Loathe."

Bonds Watch
Wouldn't you rather see the Giants, behind Barry's return, sneak past .500 to win the NL West than have the Padres win it?

Because the Padres just slipped a game below .500, re-setting their own record for worst record for a division leader this late in a season.

It's not like San Diego is any more playoff-worthy, and love him or loathe him, anything Bonds is must-see right now.

T.O. Speaks
T.O. will talk to McNabb, or so he said when he talked to Michael Irvin. And talked... and talked...

"It's not that I hate Donovan. I love Donovan. I don't hate him at all. I was disappointed in a few things. I have the right to do that.

"Everyone speaks out of emotion. Everybody speaks out of frustration. Everybody's done it. That means I'm human.

"If you want me to go in and say I was wrong, maybe I was. Maybe I wasn't.

"Things'll get worked out. You guys'll see... Hey, the camera's going to be on me. Believe that."

Saints Watch
One of the curious offshoots of the NFL moving the Saints' Week 2 home opener to NY is this: How do the tickets work?

Sharapova: Women's most telegenic advances to semis
Koren Robinson: WR signs with Vikings; drops surely follow
Jason Christiansen: Ex-SFG P reportedly was Bonds-scuffler
Venus Williams: Ousted in U.S. Open quarters by Clijsters
Auriemma to WNBA: Admit it, UConn is better than PHX
Rice retiring as 49er in '05: Roster rules may push to '06
Apparently, Saints season-ticket holders and existing ticket-holders will have the first chance to buy tickets. That seems fair...

...Until you consider how many of those fans will be able to make it to New York for the game. Umm...I'm going to make a guess: Not. Many.

So ticket sales becomes a free-for-all among Giants season-ticket holders and then among random Giants fans who can get to the game.

(Right: This idea was much better than having the game in a region actually within cheering distance of New Orleans.)

To the NFL's credit, they are zeroing in on having the Saints split their other seven home games between San Antonio and Baton Rouge.

Owner Tom Benson backs the move to B.R., but rumors still swirl about his long-term intentions and motivations for the franchise.

D-Rays d. Yankees
Again. Analysis? "HA ha!"

Papi for AL MVP!
Papi wins it for Sox (again).

John Henry loves Quickie-style Superlatives, giving Ortiz a plaque naming him "the greatest clutch hitter in the history of the Boston Red Sox."

No argument here. While we're at it, let's call Ortiz "2005 AL MVP," too. A-Rod's stats are comparable, but Papi's clutchness seals it.

CFB: Ranking Rant
Oklahoma No. 18?!
Did voters not see the game??

As a contrast, Auburn loses its home opener to an unranked team (GA Tech) and drops from the mid-teens out of the ranking entirely.

Why the discrepancy? Blame poll-voter ignorance, inertia (laziness) and an inflated original ranking for Oklahoma at No. 8.

Meanwhile, Tennessee was the only Top 10 team to win, yet drop (from 3 to 6). Does anyone really think, based on the way UT played, that the Vols are the 6th-best team in the country?

It wasn't all bad: The surprise winners (GT, Notre Dame, TCU, Clemson) all made ranking debuts. Purdue didn't play and moved up; go figure.

NFL Preview: AFC
Division Picks:
E: Pats; W: Raiders;
N: Steelers; S: Colts;
WC: Ravens (N), Bengals (N)
AFC Champs: Pats d. Colts

Overrated: Chiefs
New D? Believe when I see it.
Underrated: Jaguars
Leftwich will make The Leap
Disappointment: Bills
Won't pick up '04 fast finish
X-factor: Raiders
Can Randy Moss carry Oakland?

Thu: P'off/SB picks
Fri: Indiv Awards, W1 Prev.

Lloyd McClendon:
Didn't see this coming? You probably weren't paying attention because the Pirates had fallen so far off your radar. And THAT'S why he got axed.
Today on
Quickie: Live!
Page 2 index
NFL Eliminator
Ranking AFC Contenders
Until proven otherwise...
Only with playoff home field
CBig Ben: Soph Slump?
If only an O went with D
One-year wonder? We'll see

AL Wild Card: Between the A's slumping (4th straight L) and NY being owned by Tampa, both teams could use their division titles instead.

NL Wild Card: Turning into a duel between the Astros and Marlins, with the Phillies, Nats and Mets predictably choking it away.

Next Pirates manager? Why not ol' Jim Leyland? Can they get Barry Bonds while they're at it? Put the old early-90s gang back together!

More on Thomas Herrion: An autopsy revealed that the 49ers OL had heart disease, with no drugs found in his system.

More Katrina: Tulane hoops will play (and live and study) at Texas A/M, along with v-ball, soccer and women's swimming. (Football is at LA Tech.)

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