Ali Contest
They said it couldn't be done, but that didn't stop the people who make "NBA Ballers" from trying to turn a mild-mannered, suburban, white guy into a hardcore gangsta baller. They gave Mike Philbrick the right ride, the right shoes, even the right fittie. So why didn't it work? Maybe because Mike drew the line at the right cris cut.

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It isn't enough that these guys get jetted hither and yon on private planes and make more money in a day than you'll see in a decade. Page 2's Patrick Hruby says the perks enjoyed by the pros simply aren't to be believed. And, of course, Page 2 suggests its own list of perks for our favorite foils.

Masters Blaster The No-Sapp Rule
Page 2's Brian Murphy had the strangest dream Sunday night -- that Phil Mickelson won the Masters. Ha! Like that could ever happen. Somebody better pinch Murph and his Masters List of Five.
So the NFL will penalize excessive on-field celebrations by Warren Sapp and others this fall? Page 2's Jeff Merron says, "Yeah, sure." Jeff can already hear the debates in those officiating conferences.

The Daily Quickie has his own ideas about how to handle the best assignment of the year: covering Miss Missouri's big win. Plus, the rookie vote, the crippled Cubs and the Boo-Birds of Brotherly Love.

As soon as Phil Mickelson rolled in that birdie putt on 18 on Sunday, we crossed him off our list of the top 10 current athletes who've never won "the big one." So who's left?

10]  Jeremy Roenick
Roenick is back in the playoffs with the Flyers after his career nearly ended earlier this year with a puck to the jaw. Through eight seasons with the Blackhawks, five with Phoenix and now three in Philadelphia, Roenick has only reached the Stanley Cup Finals once.
9]  Michelle Kwan
She's won five world championships, yes. But in figure skating, the "big one" is Olympic gold, and Kwan has come up short twice at the Games, She was third in 2002 and second in '98.
8]  Reggie Miller
Miller had a shot at the NBA title when the Pacers met the Lakers in the Finals in 2000, but you know what happened. He'll get another chance when Indiana starts the playoffs this spring.

2004 World Series Giants 20-1
2004 World Series Padres 25-1
2004 World Series Dodgers 40-1
2004 World Series Diamondbacks 45-1
2004 World Series Rockies 250-1

Got a comment about something you've seen on Page 2? Here's your chance to sound off to the editors and columnists. Plus, if you'd like to send an e-mail to The Sports Guy, here's your direct link to Bill Simmons.

There are some things time can't change and Bill Simmons knows that a trip to Vegas with the boys is on that list.

While Barry Bonds chases history, it doesn't hurt that he has a powerful man right behind him.

It's time for the NHL and NBA playoffs -- and for Page 2's Ralph Wiley to ask the questions that no one else will.

Derek Jeter has even more intangibles than you may realize.

Page 2's Jason Whitlock says college hoops is an example of the overhype in sports.
If your favorite writer isn't on Page 2 today, click here to check out our full roster of columnists.

What does it feel like to finally win a major? Love, actually. With that in mind, today's match is a no-brainer: It's Masters champ Phil Mickelson, left and actor Hugh Grant. Browse our archives of past pairs or click here to submit a future duo.

NHL Playoffs: Detroit at Nashville
7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Red Wings on Music City Row
10 p.m. ET, ABC
A pretty new partner for Ortiz
MLB: Seattle at Anaheim
10 p.m. ET, ESPN
Home opener for Vlad and Angels  
• Complete TV Listings

If you missed Page 2 over the last week, check out our back issues:
• Fri., April 9: Subject: Vegas
• Thur., April 8: 715 and Beyond
• Wed., April 7: Who's on Steroids?
• Tue., April 6: Diary of a Rout

Other featured content:
• Hank Aaron: Baseball's Under-appreciated Legend
• Page 2's Day-by-Day Baseball Predictions
• Being . . . Allen Iverson
• The 100 Most Memorable Super Bowl Moments
• All-Time World Series Rankings
• 100 Greatest Home Runs of All Time
Monday, April 12, 2004