WHO'S Hot/WHO'S Not

February 21, 2005

WHO'S Hot

Pro Bowl

Skills Challenge

See Daunte Culpepper try to throw a ball through a target (and miss with a clang); watch beefy linemen vying to out-bench-press each other; gasp as Darrell Green, 45, races guys half his age; and cheer as Hines Ward (left) battles a rapid-fire JUGS machine. Just plain fun. Like taking your favorite NFL player to the county fair.

Phil Mickelson

He's been atop the leader board for two weeks now, after he became the first golfer ever to go wire to wire at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. On the 18th hole last Sunday, as his year's winnings jumped to a PGA-best $2 million, Lefty was embraced by three-year-old daughter Sophia. This week? He's taking a vacation.

Kyle Lohse

Baseball's get-rich season has begun! Twins righty, who earned $395,000 last season, won 2005's first arbitration hearing, getting $2.4 million--after going a lousy 9-13 with a 5.34 ERA. Said Lohse, "This makes you feel good about the start of the year."

Memphis Hoops

After starting 12-17, NBA's Grizzlies have gone 18-5 and are doing it all together now: 10 players have led team in single-game scoring. The city's NCAA hoopsters are rolling too: 15-10 Tigers have won five of six and beat then No. 9 Louisville.

Ronaldo

Brazilian soccer god celebrated Valentine's Day, and impending wedding to model Daniella Cicarelli, by renting French castle and inviting 250 friends--folks like Ronaldo's Real Madrid teammate David Beckham and Formula One champ Michael Schumacher.

Who's Not

Pro Bowl

Football without urgency is no football at all, and not even Bill Cowher in an aloha shirt could brighten this dull game. More than a dozen players begged out--some with "undisclosed" injuries. Terrell Owens, who did show, said, "I could have played today." Instead, he stayed happily on the sideline, "just having fun."

Madison Square Garden

Its NBA tenants (the Knicks) have lost 17 of 21. Its NHL tenants (the Rangers) are out in the cold, and now the NFL says that after 10 years it will move its draft out of MSG, effective immediately, because the owners of the self-proclaimed world's most famous arena oppose building a Jets stadium in Manhattan.

Sam Mitchell

Tough go for Raptors' rookie coach. He had an embarrassing scuffle with guard Rafer Alston; veteran Eric Williams asked for a trade; and Vince Carter's mom, Michelle, reportedly said her son and Mitchell tussled before Carter was dealt to Nets. Oh, yeah: Toronto's falling out of playoff hunt.

Atlanta Hoops

With losses in six of nine--they were upset by N.C. State on Sunday--Georgia Tech (14-8) may not make NCAAs a year after playing in final. The NBA's Hawks? Dovish. Yet fans don't want them to get outta town: They're 2-21 in road games.

Baseball Sluggers

Jason Giambi tried our patience with lame apology for ... something; on 60 Minutes, Jose Canseco (page 39) couldn't recall if he'd injected Mark McGwire "often" or "twice"; Barry Bonds was labeled a steroid user by alleged ex-mistress. And new Mariner Richie Sexson got charged with DUI. Spring training? How about spring cleaning?

COLOR PHOTOELSA/GETTY IMAGES (HOLT, CLEMENTS) COLOR PHOTOOTTO GREULE JR./GETTY IMAGES (MITCHELL) COLOR PHOTOKEVIN COX/WIREIMAGE.COM (BYNUM) COLOR PHOTOLALO YASKY/WIREIMAGE.COM (RONALDO) COLOR PHOTOMARK GOLDMAN/ICON SMI (LOSHE) COLOR PHOTOKIRBY LEE/WIREIMAGE.COM (WARD)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)