Tearful retirement send-off at U.S. Open. He'd be more highly regarded, like it or not, if his emotional display wasn't notable for its rarity.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
A year ago, USA Basketball wasn't just upended
by Argentina in the World Championships; the team was
humiliated by a group that played harder,
smarter, faster and more above-the-rim.
With a more talented and focused team playing in the
Americas Olympic qualifying tournament, the U.S.
should see Tuesday night's rematch with Argentina as nothing
less than the ultimate referendum on what is still
jingoistically referred to as "our game."
But win or lose, the gap between the U.S. and the
rest of the world grows smaller. Like Obi Wan Kenobi
to Darth Vader, if we destroy them, they'll only come
back more powerful than ever.
Leaping up the growth curve, the world learns from our
best, who will be celebrated for reclaiming what's
"ours." But only for now.
MLB: AL Watch
First rule of scoreboard: If your own team wins,
everything else takes care of itself. In the
middle of battling Boston for the AL Wild Card spot,
Oakland can look up and notice they're in a
tie for first in the AL West. But they should only
take a glance before getting back to the winning.
Then again, the second rule is: Doesn't
hurt if your rival is losing at the same time. The
Mariners are in a tailspin after being swept in Boston -- capped by losing again to Pedro (0-12 lifetime).
We'll know if the M's are in it to stay -- or
done -- after the next 12 games vs. Tampa and
P. Manning: Lunacy
"You've just got to play," said Peyton
Manning, who threw himself all over the field in last
night's 28-23 Colts win over the Broncos. Easy to say
when you walk off healthy enough to play again the
next day. (Maybe Manning thinks he has to improve his
image as a softie.)
||ASHLEY HARKLEROAD: ANNA CAN KEEP HER TV JOB
|THE SET-UP: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR TODAY|
1 Hoops: U.S. vs. Argentina for Western Hemis. pride|
2 White Sox at Yankees: Are Go-Gos for real? We'll see
3 U.S. Open: Agassi, Roddick, Capriati on schedule
|THE SIT-DOWN: DROP THESE FROM YOUR HOT LIST|
1 U.S. Open 8-seed Chanda Rubin: Bounced in 1st round|
2 Chucky dolls: Bucs' Raymond James Stadium bans them
3 LLWS: Now comes real presssure -- starting junior high
But the NFL is on to a great preseason-marketing
slogan: "Watch your favorite players before they
Brunell: No Takers
QB depth is every NFL team's most pressing
need, as mentioned in Monday's Quickie. So does
it say something about Mark Brunell's skills -- or his
contract size -- that the Jaguars can't find a taker
in their reported (ESPN) attempt to dump him?
Now we'll see if Slick Quin Snyder's
basketball team is as clean as his look: The
Missouri president has authorized an investigation
into the entire men's hoops program. In this year's
trendy "Y2Crackdown," it might be an inopportune time
to have, say, embittered ex-players out and about.
The future of fan-ness is here: If an
athlete doesn't have any, bribe some into rooting for
little-known U.S. tennis player Mardy Fish
did at the Open yesterday, as reported by ESPN.com's
Call it being a "Free Agent Fan": And if you're
willing to trade your allegiance for a cheap ducat and
a faux-homemade poster, more power to you.
What ER did for docs and Oz did
for prison life, Playmakers (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET)
will do for pro football. (Except those shows didn't
have NFL Films-quality camera work during action
sequences ... in the case of Oz, um, probably a good
Suspended from Monday's practice for beating the crap
-- out of a teammate -- during Sunday's practice. Save
it for the OTHER team, Romo ...
|Today on ESPN.com|
|P2: Sports Guy on "Playmakers"|
|FAN: Football tips|
|"New CD Release" Edition|
|Mary J. Blige|
|'Love, Life': Sampras, tennis|
|'Wind': Blowing which way for Cubs?|
|'Metamorph.': NFL cut-down day|
|'Wooden': Also describes Sampras|
|'You, Yes You': Ruben upset|
Lamar Odom gets his wish: Exit from Hell-A. The
Clippers won't match his offer sheet from the Miami
Under the radar, Andy Pettitte is on track to be a
rare '03 20-game winner ...
More shocking than the U.S. losing dominance in hoops is
the U.S. medal shutout in the 100 at the World
T-and-F Championships ...
For all his interest in being an NBA owner, why hasn't
MJ jumped at chance to join Bobcats? Johnson group
gives him one more month ...
Seven straight Ws? Break up the Brewers ...