You won't be reading the usual run of snappers and witty humoroids for a while because the Flaming Redhead and I will be vacationing in New Zealand for a month. But the reason I'm in such a good mood is because she just presented me with a voucher for two grandstand seats for the Super 12 rugby match on Saturday, April 30. Highlanders from NZ against the Waratahs from Australia, at Carisbrook in Dunedin, the famous House of Pain.
Wow! I don't know how she finds these things, but she does. I mean, do I have a wife, or what?
Interesting encounter during the middle of the first round of the draft Saturday. Some guy tried to sell me a 49ers hat for a quarter, "Five for a buck," he said. I told him I didn't want any. Then he introduced himself.
"The name's Aaron Rodgers," he said. "Aaron," I said, "I just don't need a hat."
Hey, did you get as tired as I did of all the draftees who got in trouble because they were "immature," or they "made a mistake?" Just once I'd like to hear about a mature, mistake-free crook.
Oh yes, my draft evaluation is coming up. I promise I won't use the word "speedy." I promise I won't mention the times of cornerbacks or wideouts who ran in the 4.4s. It gets numbing after a while, like reading the dollar figures on contracts.
VIKINGS -- Where do we start? Top pick Troy Williamson goes deep and doesn't walk off the field while the game's going on. The other first-rounder, Erasmus James, should have been the first outside rusher selected. Instead the Vikes got lucky and he was the fourth. Marcus Johnson is a serious mauler at either guard or tackle. Dustin Fox -- a cornerback or safety, take your pick -- vertically jumped 43 1/2, which is almost as high as I went when the Redhead presented me with those rugger tix.
COWBOYS -- Being of limited IQ points, I really like things I can understand. So when Bill Parcells tells me, "I need to get bigger and stronger on defense ... I hate little guys," and then drafts two big, talented outside rushers -- DemarcusWare and Marcus Spears -- in the first round, and follows it up with a big inside LB named Kevin Burnett in the next one, I get a real comfortable feeling. Not that MLB Dat Nguyen is lacking in ability. It's just that he wears down during the course of a season, even a game.
EAGLES -- Saturation bombing with 11 picks, one fewer than the Bucs, who had the most on the board. Everyone admitted that USC's DT Mike Patterson plays in a fury, but what a shame the guy's only 5-foot-11. It'll cost him a spot in the first round and about a billion bucks. He's a player, we'll take him, said the Eagles, who made him their first-round choice. From that point it was obvious what they were doing -- taking real guys, players, not, as the Steelers' former personnel chief, Art Rooney, Jr., once said, "people who look good in their underwear." Wideout ReggieBrown, OLB Matt McCoy, RB Ryan Moats, a Brian Westbrook clone and Sean Considine, a productive safety who will step into the Brian Dawkins spot some day -- guys like that.