September 9, 2005
Tom Brady:
In his first game without mentor Charlie Weis, Brady established early MVP bonafides (24/38, 306 yds). Who needs a run game when passing is that easy?
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

What's it take to be The Man?

Sam Jackson and Eugene Levy might be battling it out on the movie screen for the title, but in the NFL, there's a formula:

*National prominence.
*Universal respect.
*Proven results.
*Intimidating cool.

That makes picking The Man easy:

Bill Belichick.

Last night, he showed it all:

What brain drain? Tom Brady looked better than ever.

3-4 D has gaps? The Pats held an explosive Raiders O mostly in check.

TV time? How many shots did we get of him in that plastic bag-looking Pats top? (What was that? And is it the new hoodie?)

The biggest reason?
Nothing seems to faze him.

Even with all the notable issues that could derail the team, his outward appearance is of the calm that comes with total mastery.

Total mastery?
Sounds like The Man to me.

NFL Week 1 Subplots
Game of the Week:
IND/BAL: Best O vs. best D.

Sentimental Rooting:
NO/CAR: Yes, be a Saints fan.

Must Prove '04 Wasn't Fluky:
TEN/PIT: Big Ben as a Soph?
DAL/SD: 'Boys the new Bolts?

Something's Gotta Give:
GB/DT: Lions O shreds Pack D?

2005's "Hot" Teams:
CIN/CLE: Palmer will explode.
SEA/JAX: Leftwich will Leap.
ARI/NYG: Yes, the Cardinals!

Fantasy Do-or-Die:
NYJ/KC: All eyes on Priest.

See Big 5, right, for more.

Chris Carpenter: NL Cy runaway wins 21st (7 IP, 7K, 0 ER)
NASCAR: Final "Chase" race before playoffs; time to watch
Euro-MLB in '07: I didn't know England liked baseball...
Brian Westbrook: Cut off contract talks with the Eagles
Kyle Lohse: Twins P busts up hand in clubhouse bat rage
Magglio Ordonez, on his Tigers: "I think we stink."
CFB Wknd Preview
Quasi-Title Game of the Week:
Texas (No. 2) at Ohio St (4):
Simply put: One team's national title hopes will end. If only the "O" in Ohio really meant "Oklahoma." Pick: UT. (8, ABC)

"Prove It" Game of the Week:
Notre Dame (20) at Michigan (3):
Who else wants to believe in Weis? I'll bet he schemes ND's way into keeping it close, but Michigan has the huge talent edge. Pick: UM. (12, ABC)

Emotional Game of the Week:
LSU (5) at Arizona St (15):
Considering the game was supposed to be in Baton Rouge, ASU students should wear purple and gold. LSU will be motivated. Pick: LSU (9, ESPN)

Heisman Watch: Wisconsin RB Brian Calhoun (258 yds, 5 TDs LW vs. B. Green) will rack it up against Temple. Watch out for a monster game.

More: Spurrier has a "This-ain't-Florida" moment when he takes SC to Georgia (5:30, ESPN); Oklahoma will obliterate Tulsa. (They better.)

MLB Wrap
Red Sox at Yankees: Who would guess that ending a series with Tampa to play Boston would be seen as a relief by Yankee fans?

Bonds Update: This weekend?!

NL Wild Card: The Marlins (.5 GB HOU) play the struggling Phillies; the Astros play the Brewers and feature a Clemens start.

AL Wild Card: Thanks to the Yankees' ineptitude vs. the D-Rays, the Indians, who actually won, moved into the WC lead for the first time.

Katrina Update
Saints Scheduling: 4 games in San Antonio and 3 at LSU, reportedly; let's hope it's not the knee-jerk reaction to put them in NY for Week 2 that ends up being the difference between playoffs and not.

Quickie Book Club
I love any studies of fandom, so I really enjoyed Jere Longman's book about Eagles fans in 2004, "If Football's a Religion, Why Don't We Have a Prayer?" Eagles fans are a sick bunch.

Under-.500 Mockery:
Can't kick around the Padres anymore: They went one game over .500 on Thursday night. But there's still a lot of season left...
Today on
Quickie: Live!
Week 1 picks
NFL Eliminator
More NFL Subplots
Life without Randy
Debut of rookie RB Brown
Both want fast starts
Two sick Ds; two sickly Os
Doesn't get much uglier

NFL Week 1 Office-Pool Suggestions: BUF, CIN, KC, DEN, MIN, PIT, WAS, CAR, JAX, DET, ARI, SD, ST, IND (SNF), PHI (MNF). (LW: N/A, Season: 1-0).

More from Thursday's NFL Opener: If the *Pats* can barely contain Randy Moss, he's going to be even more awesome for the Raiders O than expected.

US Open: Agassi-G should be entertaining; Federer will dominate Hewitt in the other men's semi. Women's side: Everyone will be watching Sharapova.

So ripe that it HAD to happen: Those blog all-stars at Gawker Media have launched a sports blog ( Oh, come on: Mock me! Mock ME!

It's not too late to sign up for the Quickie's Pick 'Em and Eliminator leagues. SIGN UP under the group name "Daily Quickie Readers."

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