Saturday, April 23, 2005

Mel Kiper Jr. Day

David Carr: picked first in 2002
The ultimate poker game of professional sports -- the National Football League's annual draft of "student athletes" from college -- commences today at 11 a.m. CST.

Yep, I'm kindofa a draft junkie. I check the mock drafts on the Web, read the papers, listen to sports talk radio, but I'm nothing like one of my nephews. He calls draft day his favorite day of the year. Over Christmas. The Fourth of July. His birthday.

The football draft is a sports version of Spy vs. Spy. Much disinformation is disseminated to hide the true aims of the various teams. Loose lips sink ships, and sometimes football franchises. Multi-million dollar bets are placed on young men in their early 20s. They're psychoanalyzed, intelligence tested, physically weighed and measured and still, teams sometimes make major boo-boos.

It's a nutty, fun time of year for pro football fans, and the sporting press. Speaking of the sporting press, here's my favorite lede of a sports columnist in today's editions, courtesy of Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune:

Vatican sources tell Mel Kiper Jr. the new supreme pontiff has good knee bend and can deliver an accurate Hail Mary. Some thought Benedict a reach at No. XVI. The cardinals considered trading down to stock up on archbishops. Spiritual leaders at One Buc Place cringe at his youth. The new pope is only 78. And they just hate praying rookies.
OK, maybe we're thinking about the NFL draft too much.


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