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Old 10-08-2001, 09:43 AM   #1
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Default Sports Central Newsletter - #61 - A Match Made in Hell

The Sports Central Newsletter
October 7th, 2001 - Issue #61

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|-- IN THIS ISSUE... --|

- Words From the Editor for 10.07.01
- What's new at Sports Central?
- Feature article: Now, truly a believer
- Community Spotlight Center for 10.07.01
- Sports briefs: The latest in the sports world



Hello folks,

Don't you just love this time of the year? The colorful fall weather is spectacular and sports are in full-force. The NFL is as hot as ever, college football is exciting fans every Saturday, baseball is entering the postseason in midst of Bonds finally breaking the HR record, and the NHL and NBA seasons have started or are going to start in the next few weeks. After a slow summer, it's becoming quite difficult for a sports fan to keep up with it all!

Our Rick Reighard is back this month with his very special Heroes and Zeros of last month, September. For those of you who are not familiar with Rick's column, he features a handful of athletes and sports figures each month whom he categorizes as heroes and zeros based on their performances, attitudes, etc. If you're looking for an easy-to-read, witty, and funny column from a bold-faced sports columnist, this is for you. However, this month is quite different, following the events of last month in America. Rick has scratched the routine sports theme from his column and given the very well-deserved credit to the thousands of hard-working fire fighters who have risked their life time and time again to aid in the rescue and clean-up in New York. Read the column online at

Got a worthy sports site you wish to nominate? It can be your very own or even a lesser-known site you think deserves recognition. What's there not to like about a free week of promotion on Sports Central? Nominate a site for our Site of the Week contest today at

Until next time,

- Marc James, Your Diehard-Fantasy-Football-Playing-Editor
mailto:[email protected]


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Revisiting the new articles for the week of 10/01/01 - 10/07/01:


MLB: Emotion lurks below the surface
by Gary Cozine

There is more passion on a baseball diamond than most people realize. The majority of the time players are required to keep their emotions under control. But there are times when those emotions tamped down by pride and discretion rise to the surface. SC's Gary Cozine breaks out the hanky.



COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Big Ten preview (Part Two)
by Ross Lancaster

The new college basketball season begins in shortly over a month. To preview the upcoming season, SC's Ross Lancaster offers up his outlook of the upcoming season. Part Two focuses on the Big Ten.



NHL: Courage to fly: NHL starts season with respect and calmness
by Josie Lemieux

Fact: September 11, 2001 brought the world to a stop. False: sports have no value on an entertainment point of view. Fact: for NHL athletes, airplanes are regular means of transportation. False: all players step inside with peace of mind. Fact: Fear of flying? Avoid planes. False: NHL players also have that option. Will the next NHL season bring a first real contagious wave of aviophobic players? SC's Josie Lemieux gives her perspective.



BOXING: Hopkins/Trinidad: Return of the superbout
by Mason Williams

Bernard Hopkins silenced the critics by knocking Felix "Tito" Trinidad our in the 12th round of their middleweight superbout. Hopkins unified the middleweight division for the first time in fourteen years. The fight was a classic that adds to the already historic lore of the middleweight division, says SC's Mason Williams.



NHL: Previewing the NHL's Eastern Conference
by Lee Manchur

A very dramatically different NHL takes to the ice on October 3, and in Part One of our two-part NHL season preview series, SC's Lee Manchur ranks and previews each team in the Eastern Conference. Are the Islanders playoff material? How much have the Capitals' chances of winning the Cup changed with the addition of Jaromir Jagr? Find out in this week's NHL article.



NFL: The early NFL surprises
by George Gouvas

The Bengals, Browns, and Chargers have surprised many, but so have the Titans, Bucs, and Vikings. Let's look at the first month of the NFL season. From the highs to the lows, the surprises to the busts, SC's George Gouvas has it covered.



NBA: The comeback isn't a reputation-killer
by John Nothdurft

Ali, Lemieux, and other legends are one of many superstars in sports have unretired to come back to the game they love. Michael Jordan is no different. Should he have stayed retired, or is coming back this time around a good thing? SC's John Nothdurft assures you M.J.'s comeback is a good thing.



NHL: Previewing the NHL's Western Conference
by Lee Manchur

A very dramatically different NHL takes to the ice on October 3, and in part two of Sports Central's two-part NHL season preview series, SC's Lee Manchur ranks and previews each team in the Western Conference, as well as make his final predictions for the 85th National Hockey League Champion.



NFL: Pats pull Week Three shocker - without Bledsoe
by J.R. Hilton

Starting off with a 0-2 season, the doomed New England Patriots were unable to achieve a win with franchise QB Drew Bledsoe. Then it seemed to get even worse when Bledsoe was hospitalized, says SC's J.R. Hilton.




A Match Made in Hell

Three great NL divisional races reach their crux this weekend, with six NL teams still dreaming of a World Series ring. Yet, hardly anyone - especially in the media - seems to care. This last month has been Barry Watch - and frankly, I'm bored.

By Mike Round

Baseball's regular season head's into its final weekend with the most memorable finish to a season in years - at least in the National League. Not that we've heard much about the exciting NL divisional races lately; it's been Barry Watch all week. Endless shots of Barry's offspring begging opposing pitchers to throw him a grapefruit he can hit out of the latest rinky-dink ballpark he's visiting. Or - even more regularly - shots of Barry throwing his bat and body armor away in disgust as he's walked for the 950th time this year. To listen to Chris Berman Wednesday night, you would never have known Houston and the Giants were aiming for post season places - he talked over the non-Barry at bats with a total disrespect for the game.

Thank God the 70-mark was finally reached Thursday night. With the game safely won by the Giants and the crowd baying for a long shot, the Astros' hapless rookie pitcher threw a juicy one over the plate and the record was equaled. It'll more than likely be broken back at Pac Bell this weekend - a park where any self-respecting hobo could spit from home plate to McCovey Cove.

Am I alone in being bored rigid by the great fake homerun chase? No one denies Bonds is a great player - and he's not the only sports star in history to have a surly, uncooperative attitude with the prima donnas in the media. Personally, I expect my sports stars to be jerks, so that's of no concern. But this home record has been cheapened significantly in recent years.

Big Mac and Sammy in 98 was a lot of fun, but let's face facts - the record came courtesy of a mixture of bad pitching, postage stamp-sized ballparks, meaningless games (particularly in Mac's case) and, er, shall we say supplements? There are at least five guys in the AL (Gonzalez, Ramirez, Giambi, Delgado, and A-Rod) - given an injury free season - who'd have a shot at 70 if they played in the NL, with its lack of pitching depth and plethora of mini ballparks. Unless we get better pitching depth (through contraction) or they raise the mound back to where it should be, we'll see 80 homers in a season before the decade is out.

Maybe Bonds still makes it to 71 or even beyond. If he does, it's a great feat, especially given his record number of walks. But, if the Giants don't make the postseason, it's a virtually meaningless statistic - a sideshow. What matters in baseball are the W column, divisional titles, pennants, and a ring. [Editor's note: Mike's column was written prior to Bonds breaking the record and the Giants being eliminated from the postseason.]

Speaking of rings, The Boss seems to be demanding another in The Bronx if Joe and GM Brian Cashman are to avoid a pink slip. This really takes some believing - if the baseball grapevine is on the money, which it often is. What have you done for me lately, huh? It seems four championships in five years aren't good enough for Tampa's most famous Nixon booster. Both Torre and Cashman's contracts are up at the end of the season and there's no word on a renewal from He Who Must Be Obeyed. Remember - this is the same guy who elevated some pen pusher, who no doubt never misses a chance to salute The Boss, over the head of Cashman because he held his GM responsible for losing a two arbitration cases a couple of years back.

Apparently, Steinbrenner - ugh, I said his name - resents the high esteem that the Yankee faithful have for both Torre and Cashman. He wants more of the credit and believes that paying his manager and GM the top salaries in the game for their jobs is a waste of money. Sort of like signing Jose Canseco over your manager's head huh George, just to stop the Sox grabbing him?

This idiot has a lot of bum decisions on his resume already. Hell, this is the guy who wasted Don Mattingly's career whilst resigning Steve Howe straight out of the Betty Ford 25 times. But this would cap them all. If Torre and Cashman do go, then it'll be no surprise to see them head straight up I-95 to New England to be welcomed with open arms by the Red Sox Nation. And it would be no surprise to see the clubhouse spirit cultivated by Torre follow them out the door.

This team hasn't won four championships on sheer talent alone - last year especially, the Yankees certainly weren't the most talented team in baseball. It's won on guts, teamwork, intelligence, willpower, and getting every last drop of talent out of the roster. Most of that is due to the manager and GM.

So, finally, back to Bonds. His contract is up too at season's end. His agent Scott Boras - as is his favored tactic - is playing hardball with Giants management. Odds are Bonds is out of there. You know for sure that Steinbrenner won't be able to resist courting him, even at $20 million or so a year. Bringing Mr. 24 and 1 into Yankee Stadium at an inflated wage risks alienating Jeter, Bernie Williams, Mussina, Clemens, and Jorge Posada - who's looking for a deserved pay hike already. But, still, he won't be able to stop himself, especially if Torre and Cashman aren't there to put the brakes on. The cheaper, and better, option of Moises Alou just won't grab enough headlines. Let's hope The Boss realizes that with Bonds strutting around Yankee Stadium come April he won't be the only blimp-sized ego in The Bronx.


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And now, a collection of the latest and hottest sports stories on the

MLB: Oriole rests his wings

NHL: Lemieux sits out home game against Anaheim
National Post Online

NFL: Ravens looking to deal rivals a titanic blow

MLB: Bonds weighs HR feat, future

MLB: Cubs look for Oscar's replacement
Chicago Sun-Times

NBA: New routine for teens
Chicago Sun-Times

MLB: Twins move a game up on Sox with finale Sunday
Chicago Daily Herald


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(Thanks for reading! Next issue set to come out on 10/21/01.)

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