? ESPN lucked out when the Heisman race became so wide-open, and the network capitalized with a compelling awards show. The best moments were the live interviews. Maggie Dorsey and Jannie Jones—the mothers of Miami players Ken Dorsey and Willis McGahee, respectively—held hands during their spot, while Carson Palmer's father, Bill, talked about how he'd spent years commuting from California to New York so that Carson wouldn't have to change high schools. Player interviews drew surprises such as Dorsey's take on critics: "I'd like to sit up here and name names and rip some people apart." When Palmer accepted the trophy, he said, "My heart's about to come out of my shirt," and viewers believed him thanks to the network's skillful building of drama.
?On the subject of LeBron James, ESPN was not so sharp. During the high schooler's game last Thursday commentators indulged his fantasy that he could play in college if he wants. Dick Vitale talked up the 17-year-old senior's solid grades but failed to mention that LeBron—who's the subject of a multimillion-dollar battle between Nike and Adidas—has received free gear and been feted by sponsors. The NCAA would surely view those as what it calls "improper benefits"—and make him ineligible.
? U.S. Soccer has released Our Way, an excellent documentary about America's 2002 World Cup run. The film, available on DVD and VHS, shows the squad's confidence (before its 3-2 win over favored Portugal, coach Bruce Arena said, "When we win today, I'm not going to be surprised") and includes candid scenes such as veteran Frankie Hejduk telling 20-year-old Landon Donovan to "keep those elbows high" and "give them one of those to the jaw."