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Posted: Tuesday April 12, 2005 12:04PM; Updated: Wednesday April 13, 2005 3:20PM
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I WAS RIGHT: AMERICA'S GETTING SICK OF SOX FEVER. From Josh Peterson of Minneapolis: "I am gagging on the Red Sox obsession you mentioned. New England area fans have had to 'endure' 16 NBA championships and dynasties with the Bruins and now the Patriots. It must be rough. As a lifelong Vikings and Cubs fan, I can only imagine the stress New England area sports fans have experienced. Now that the Red Sox have a won the World Series, hopefully we soon won't have to be reminded of this every day.''

Well said. But can I add something? Watching the Fenway events on Monday, two things stuck out. One: the class of the Yankees. They didn't have to stand on the top step and politely applaud the Red Sox, but they did. It must have been incredibly bittersweet after losing four straight to them last fall in the biggest choke of our time. That will long be etched in my mind as one of most sportsmanlike things I've seen in 40 years of watching games. Two: the hand for Dave Roberts. Amazing. he might have gotten the biggest hand of anyone in a Red Sox uniform -- in part for his stolen base that led to the rally that turned the ALCS in the ninth inning of game four last year, and in part for being such a team player in accepting his role of going from a starting Dodger in a pennant race to a bench player in Boston in a pennant race.

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AN IDEA FROM TUCSON. From Geoffrey Denempont of Tucson, Ariz.: "I keep reading that no player is worth first-pick money. Would it make sense for the 49ers to simply pass on the first pick if they can't trade the pick or reach agreement on a contract?''

It would make sense except for one face-saving reason. Imagine if the 49ers passed all the way down to No. 8, and then picked, let's say, cornerback Adam "Pac Man" Jones of West Virginia. Nice pick. And let's say Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith or Ronnie Brown became a Hall of Fame player while San Francisco continues to struggle mightily over the years. That would be one of the greatest black marks on a front office and coaching staff of all time in sports. So while it is worth considering, you will never see a team pass up the top pick just to save money.

CHRIS, YOU ARE A VERY SMART MAN. From Chris Bierlein of Fort Worth, Texas: "When it comes to quarterbacks -- watching film, working them out, giving them intelligent tests -- that's all good. The one question I'd ask is, when your team is down by six with two minutes left in the game, who is going to lead you down the field? What team over the last couple of years has been in that situation and been successful? That's who I would go with.''

This is what makes the NFL so intriguing to so many people. Go back to the draft of 2000, sixth round. The Patriots have two guys on their board to pick as quarterback prospects: Tom Brady and Tim Rattay. The immortal Spergon Wynn has just been selected at quarterback. I mean, we're in dregsville. And the Patriots had the presence of mind to guess right. Brady will go down as an all-timer, and for five-and-a-half rounds, every team in the NFL passed and passed and passed on him. In 11 days, the draft will kick off again, and part of the compelling drama of it is if there's a Brady in it.


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