Sunday, January 18, 2004

Page Two power rankings



Thumbs up

1. Those old guys. The Knicks have turned to 66-year-old Lenny Wilkens. The Redskins returned to the coach of their glory days, 63-year-old Joe Gibbs. The Chiefs re-upped Dick Vermeil, 67. Ancient Marlin Jack McKeon won the Series. Shoot, the Reds should have just hired Sparky Anderson again.

2. Those spunky kids. Michelle Wie, 14, going toe-to-toe with the PGA pros. Freddy Adu, 14, was the first pick in the Major League Soccer draft.

3. John McEnroe. The former tennis great is going to co-host a primetime program on CNBC that will take a look at the day's top sports, entertainment and political stories. That has to be great. What if one of the guests disagrees with McEnroe? YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS!

4. Real courageous athletes. The word courage gets tossed around the sports world. But Neil Parry and Bethany Hamilton actually qualify. San Jose State football player Parry had his right leg amputated three years ago after a gruesome injury on kick coverage. Last week, he made a tackle in the East-West Shrine game. Hamilton, a 13-year-old surfer, finished fifth in her age group in the Open Women's Division of a National Scholastic Surfing Association meet only 10 weeks after losing her left arm in a shark attack.

5. The Phillies, Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox and Twins. The teams made significant offseason moves and, surprise, all are having record ticket sales for spring training. Imagine.

Thumbs down

1. Mark Dantonio. Perhaps the new UC football coach's "re-recruitment" of players who had committed to then-Bearcats coach Rick Minter is completely reasonable. Still, the program took a lot of negative shots for a couple of days.

2. Yankees. Funny how it's just fine when the Evil Empire swoops in and pulls talented players away from the poor teams, but when the Yankees lose someone it's a travesty. The pinstripe faithful were none too pleased to lose Andy Pettite, and then Roger Clemens decided not to retire. Witness these tabloid headlines: "TEXAS TWO-FACE" and "WHAT AN ASSTRO."

3. Christian Laettner. The Wizards forward was suspended for five games Tuesday for violating the NBA's drug policy. We thought Duke guys were perfect.

4. Fish story. The world record for a largemouth bass still stands. A mother and son petitioned the International Game Fish Association to credit what would have been a world record 22-pound, 8-ounce catch. Trouble was, they didn't properly document it. "We had basically a mother-son telling us, 'We caught a big fish and this is how much it weighed,' " said Mike Leech of the International Game Fish Association. The integrity of the sport is upheld.

5. Winter. You can't beat us. See the signs in the neighborhood for youth softball and baseball signups?




LOCAL COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Bearcats roll, but it's no masterpiece
Maxiell expected back soon after spraining ankle
Valiant XU can't stop top Hawks
Daugherty: West one high-flying Hawk
Martelli rips XU fans for booing
Georgia shocks No. 5 Kentucky
Time, turnovers cut for Hawkins
Lethargic Hawks fall apart
RedHawks welcome return of Horace
Norse present Winstel with her 450th victory

PREP SPORTS
Blue Devil vets step up in 2nd
Indians rebound nicely from rout
Saturday's boys basketball games
Saturday's Kentucky boys basketball games
Saturday's girls basketball games
Saturday's Kentucky girls basketball games
Groeschen: Preps insider
Ernst: Kentucky prep insider
Swimming: Carothers helps St. X to 30-point lead
Prep sports results, schedules

REDS / BASEBALL
Can Lopez become factor?
Reds e-mail Q&A
Brock: Famers protective of Hall
Selig will always have special spot for Brewers
Astros get an off-field boost from Clemens

PRO FOOTBALL
Eagles hope third time is the charm
Hot teams, chilly setting
All Eagles want is some R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Can't get enough of these NFL playoffs

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Minter happy to assist
Fulmer out of bounds with defective detective work
IU designates Randle El's No. 11 an 'honor jersey'
Iowa's Russell is Hula MVP

MORE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
Top 25 games: UNC upsets No. 1 UConn
Flyers top Fordham; Buckeyes slam Gophers
NBA: Miller's layup lifts Grizzlies past Sixers

ALSO IN SPORTS
Oh brother, can Esterkamp play
The Big Wiesy makes it look easy
Page Two power rankings
Sports digest
Sports on TV, radio