Mike: Rooting for Ronald

I suppose it would be wrong to let the occasion pass without a few obligatory thoughts on the Super Bowl. Generally, my only concern with the biggest single advertising event of the year centers around which party my wife and I will be attending – I even hear that if you get invited to the <I>right</I> party in Raleigh, you could leave with a scholarship to play football for the defending Gator Bowl Champions.

This year, I am pulling for the Raiders. Not just because their success gives me the ability to gloat to my fantasy football friends who laughed at me when I unloaded Daunte Culpepper and a scrub receiver for the "washed up" Rich Gannon and Jerry Rice. I'm willing to overlook the Raider Nation fans, who aren't exactly my cup of tea, for this game. (I wonder if we could somehow set up a fan competition between the Raiders fans and the Cameron Crazies?)

I'm pulling for the Raiders because I would love to see Ronald Curry get a Super Bowl ring. I know that Ronald's first year in the League hasn't been much to write home about, as it seemed that whenever we saw him playing there was a fumble involved, but I contend that he must be doing one heck of a job in practice because NFL teams are known for cutting players for fumbles.

I'm guessing that the Raiders see his upside, and with further work in their program might be able to develop him into a valuable asset. I would also imagine that he was highly helpful as the scout team QB portraying Steve McNair in the week prior to the AFC Championship.

While Ronald didn't win the Heisman Trophy or fulfill all the expectations that seemingly everyone had for him, I wonder, though, if anyone could have fulfilled all the expectations of a Ronald Curry coming out of high school. Looking at his situation of questionable coaching at times, injuries, and offensive lines that offered little protection, I wonder how many could have performed as well as Ronald – both on the field and off.

It would have been easy for Ronald to quit, all the while denouncing Carolina and everyone associated with football and basketball there. But Ronald grew through the adversity, graduated, and remained a Tar Heel through and through. On Sunday, he'll have a chance to claim a share of a world championship, and I will be pulling for him to get it.

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