Fortunes fleeting on draft day

Philip Rivers knows all about the fleeting fortunes of NFL Draft day.

In 2004, when the New York Giants chose the North Carolina State quarterback with the No. 4 pick, the first thing he autographed was a Lawrence Taylor jersey.

“I signed it about 15 minutes after I got drafted,” Rivers told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “I had a neighbor (in Raleigh, N.C.) who was a huge Giants fan. When it was announced I’d been drafted by the Giants, my neighbors started going crazy, honking their horns and all that.

“One of them showed up with the Giants jersey and asked me to sign it, so I did. It might be the only Giants thing I ever signed. A few minutes later, I got traded to the Chargers.

“… The Giants take me in the first round, and I still haven’t heard it from them.”

NO PROPER ENDING — The Kansas City Chiefs’ trade of Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez to the Atlanta Falcons for a 2010 second-round draft choice had football fans all atwitter last week.

Market research by the informatic software company Spiral 16 showed 53 percent of Twitter postings across the country disliked the trade and 43 percent approved of the trade — most likely living in or near Atlanta. Four percent were neutral.

Meanwhile, in The Kansas City (Mo.) Star, columnist Joe Posnanski voiced the feelings of Chiefs fans when he wrote: “Let’s be honest: There isn’t much sentimentality in pro football. Jerry Rice finished his career with the Seattle Seahawks. John Unitas threw his last pass for the San Diego Chargers. Emmitt Smith gained his last yards for the Arizona Cardinals. Reggie White made his last sack for the Carolina Panthers.

“And so Gonzalez, the greatest pass-catching tight end in football history, will probably catch his last pass for the Atlanta Falcons. No, it doesn’t seem right. But football rarely has proper endings.”

PARENTS GONE WILD — What to do about out-of-control parents yelling at and belittling the referee at youth soccer games? One league in Maryland has come up with a solution: Banish the parents from the sideline and order them to watch the action from a nearby hill about 100 yards away.

The Washington Area Girls Soccer League ordered parents of Bethesda’s Legacy team to stay far clear of the sidelines for two games, a sanction for the parents’ behavior in a game last season.

The league has found banning parents more effective than fines, because parents would pay fines and continue the abusive behavior.

“We have taken a strong stance,” league president Kathie Diapoulis told the Washington Post. “For the parents to be shrieking on the sidelines and belittling people goes against everything we’re trying to do.”

SPEED THRILLS — NFL Draft consultant Gil Brandt, on why the 40-yard dash remains a scouting staple for rating receivers: “You can always teach them to catch better, but it’s hard to teach them to run faster.”

THAT’S COLD — Participant in an ESPN survey for an NHL playoff quiz, when asked to name a Washington Capital: “Spokane.”

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL WIRE SERVICES

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