Monday, July 25, 2005

Mr. Smith goes to Washington Mutual

The first player chosen in this year's National Football League draft, Utah quarterback Alex Smith, inks a six-year, $57 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

And in Salt Lake City, there was much rejoicing.

Considering that the 49ers were 2-14 last season, one wonders whether one handsomely compensated rookie QB is going to provide enough firepower to rescue the once-mighty franchise from the doldrums.

On the other hand, I recall another 49ers team that went 2-14 in consecutive years in the late 1970s before blossoming into a Super Bowl champion and perennial powerhouse just two seasons later. That miraculous turnaround required a new coach named Walsh and a horde of players with names like Lott and Clark and Hicks and Craig to materialize, in addition to a pretty fair signal-caller by the name of Montana.

Is Alex Smith the new Montana? Better than the old Utah, I suppose.

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