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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Ride The Lightning

Wednesday
December 18, 2002

As I type this, I'm watching the show Around the Horn on ESPN. It's actually a very entertaining program. It has the potential to be a train wreck, given the four voices (five if you could the host), but the deal with the mute button works quite well, and the show keeps up a nice, fast pace. Jay Mariotti from the Chicago is very funny, and Bob Ryan from the Boston Globe is a fixture from the Sports Reporters and knows what he's talking about.

The Around The Horn/Pardon The Interruption combo from 5-6 PM Eastern is a nice combo. When I'm awake to see it, it's worth tuning in to watch.

It's getting to that point of the year where you're going to start seeing some "Best Of" type programs and lists of some of the big events of the year. ATH actually brought up a good question over what the best game of 2002 was. Some candidates: the Snow Bowl (Raiders/Patriots in the AFC Playoffs), The Super Bowl (Patriots/Rams), Indiana/Duke in the NCAA Tournament, the Stanley Cup Finals Game 3 triple overtime thriller between the Red Wings and Hurricanes, Miami vs. Florida State in college football (last second field goal miss). My vote goes to the Super Bowl, but the "Snow Bowl" for most memorable (i.e. game you'll most remember 10 years from now).

I've been working on some preliminary thoughts on a 2003 NFL Mock Draft. The 1-13 Cincinnati Bengals are all but assured of the #1 pick (actually I think they've already secured it, since there's no way they can end up with a better conference record than the 3-11 Detroit Lions). The question now seems to be: what will they do with the pick? If they're smart, they'll shop the pick around and perhaps work a nice deal. But these are the Bengals, so perhaps it'd be better to stick and take Byron Leftwich (or would they go with Heisman trophy winner Carson Palmer?) I think they'd be insane to pass on Leftwich, but that's just me. A lot of that might depend on who are in the spots below them. Let's say the Texans and Lions end up in the #2 and #3 spots. Neither of them will be taking a first round QB (they drafted David Carr and Joey Harrington respectively last year). So if a team like the Vikings ends up at #4, they could in theory trade up to #1, land a guy like Penn State DT Jimmy Kennedy, and then the Bengals could go to #4 and feel fairly confident that they'd end up with either Leftwich or Palmer (assuming that both the Texans and Lions don't trade their picks). And then they could get an extra #2 and #3 pick to go with it. Not a bad idea, eh?

To the Bengals ownership, if you're looking for a new GM, you know where to find me.

Actually, the real fight might be between the Lions and Vikings for the chance to draft blue chip Kansas State CB Terence Newman. He'd be a perfect fit for the Lions (who could then take a RB in the second round).

Time to work out now. Time is flying by -- two days from now I'll be back in Nashville. And I for one can't wait...


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