October 27, 2004
Pedro Martinez:
MVP for 3 reasons: (1) Game 3 was the *real* door-shutter; (2) how masterfully he pitched (7 IP, 0 R, 3H, 6K); (3) how soon series will be over.
QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.

The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

It's over, and this time I really mean it.

There will be no historic 0-3 comeback. We've already had one of those. Laugh at the people who cite the ALCS as some kind of precedent.

Once you give yourself over to the only conclusion possible, it hits you like very few feelings you've ever had as a sports fan:

The Red Sox.

Are gonna win.

The championship.

I'm so sure that Boston is going to capture their first world title since 1918, that I'm going to pre-empt the series' remaining games and write a "Sox Win!" lead today, to beat the crowds.

(Okay, I'm also doing it because I'll be on my honeymoon starting tomorrow -- and it's so wrong that I might miss commenting this moment.)

Break out the champagne ...

Sox Win!?!?
"Pre-printed" from after the Sox eventually win, despite the hostility today from my "believe-it-but-can't" RSN friends to stop me:

What the hell happens next? For sports fans everywhere, the reality we have all known, grown up with and lived with for our entire lives will change.

What's that? Jumping the gun?

No more Curse? No more New England fatalism? No more self-loathing?

RSN is averting their eyes...

Clocks will be re-set: Not Daylight Savings, but some kind of Spiritual Savings, at least for Red Sox Nation.

Protest howls! (And peeking?)

As for the rest of us, we can simply bask in experiencing something that no one younger than 86 has ever been around for.

It's okay, Sox fans. Embrace it! I'm already on the other side, and I can tell you: It's the most liberating sense you've ever had!

Spurrier to UF?
Decide by tomorrow. Ultimatums don't do anyone any good, whether they go from school to coach (or, perhaps, the other way around?)

Let me say it: Or else what?!

Willis McGahee: Claimed that he'll get W8 start vs. ARI
Neil Rackers: Cards K's shoes going to HOF after his 3x50
Mel Kiper: NFL Draftnik reportedly re-ups deal with ESPN
Quentin Griffin: Torn ACL ends Broncos RB's promising year
Brian Westbrook: Eagles RB may miss 2 games (BAL, at PIT)
Bowling Green hockey: Seven suspended for raunchy photo
Spurrier has the leverage, thanks to friendly booster pressure (not to mention other college options... or the Dolphins).

But if he balks, the booster pressure on UF to sign him eases up; it's not like UF doesn't have quality back-ups (Utah's Meyer? Cal's Tedford?)

P-Jax to Knicks?
"I'd have to think about it," Phil Jackson told the NY Post, when asked if he'd take the Knicks job -- if offered -- next year.

And, thus, the Zen/Marketing Master vaults to the front of the NBA radar, just as everyone is turning their attention to (ahem) season previews and the like. Oh, and just as he's got a book to push.

He was even making nice towards Isiah... wow: there could actually be something to this.

What do you think, Lenny Wilkens?

Leyland to Phils?
Jim Leyland offers the crusty baseball manager's equivalent of "street cred." He won a title with the Marlins in 1997, and he took the Pirates to the playoffs in '90 and '92.

Philly's hot-n-heavy for him, which may unnerve recent candidates Buddy Bell and Jim Fregosi. Perhaps also unnerved? Confident Willie Randolph; the Mets are rumored to be interested in talking to him, too.

NBA 04-05 Preview
Why so early? See last item. Anyway...

Top 5 Storylines:
Pistons legacy: Team-D mania?
Shaq vs. Kobe: Compare Ws, Ls
Rising: Nuggets, Jazz, Suns
Falling: Nets, Mavs, Lakers
Realign-spansion: Go Bobcats!

Quickie Awards/Picks:
MVP: Shaq (Runner-up: Duncan)
More All-L: KG, Kobe, LeBron
Rookie: Dwight Howard
Scoring champ: Kobe (33 ppg)
West: Spurs over Nuggets
East: Pistons over Heat
Champ: Spurs over Pistons

Quickie Note
What could possibly trump a Red Sox World Series title? Honeymoon Nation, that's what: But this particular bandwagon's only got two seats -- and they're heading for a celebration in Hawaii, not Harvard Square.

Beginning tomorrow, you'll be in the capable hands of Quickie editor David Schoenfield, who will also be the fill-in host of the Morning Quickie on SportsNation (9-10 am, Mon-Fri). I'll be back Nov. 10.

Cards' "MV3":
105 Ws... for what?! Boston has dominated so thoroughly that, compared to classic ALCS, the World Series has been World's Biggest Anti-Climax.
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie: Live!
NBA Preview
WS: Second Guessing
Events Dan Will
Miss While On
Red Sox title
Once in a lifetime?
Cards comeback
Epic heartbreak
NBA season-opener
Season defined: Shaq!
College FB upsets
Hopefully, Oklahoma
MLB free-agency
Can't top 2003...

Looking for the next "Mike Vick Experience"-quality TV ad? My nomination is LeBron's new Bruce Lee-inspired "Chamber of Fears"...

Nomar Garciaparra was reportedly voted a full playoff share by his ex-teammates; I guess that's a "thank you" for lifting the pall...

If a person's politics influence how you think about them, then USA Today's sports-world political contributions charts are a must-read...

FFL Watch: RB-depleted Panthers have signed Brandon Bennett...

Here's to a healthy recovery for Brett Favre's wife, who is now known to have been battling breast cancer for the last two years...

Allergic reactions to Tuesday's Quickie lead. My response is: Why so bitter toward people who are rooting for you? Get ready for MUCH more...

In Wednesday's Morning Quickie: W.S. Game 3 wrap, Game 4 preview and more. *LIVE*, 9-10 ET or read the transcript. (See Q It Up.)

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