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Original Issue

King's Corner

Bills middle linebacker London Fletcher

SI: How'd you get the nickname

Fletcher: During the '99 season with the Rams, I was making a ton
of big plays. Guys were saying I was totally connected with what
the offense was doing, like I was linked online with it.

SI: When's the last time you lied about your height?

Fletcher: My senior year in college, at John Carroll [in
University Heights, Ohio]. I asked to have my height listed as 6
feet. I figured it would be tough enough to get an NFL team
interested in a Division III linebacker, let alone a 5'10"
Division III linebacker.

SI: Which linebacker would you pay to watch?

Fletcher: Ray Lewis. He plays with a ton of intensity and does
exactly what a middle linebacker should do, creating chaos and
getting his guys to rally around him.

SI: Your feelings when the Rams wouldn't re-sign you?

Fletcher: I was mad as hell. I felt like I did everything I could
for the organization. You look at it from a business standpoint,
but you're still pissed off.

SI: What do you hate about the game?

Fletcher: The politics.

SI: Your TV viewing last night?

Fletcher: My Wife and Kids; that's our favorite show. Then MTV
Cribs; I love seeing how people do their houses.

SI: Vanilla, chocolate or rocky road?

Fletcher: Vanilla. The best ice cream flavor of all time.

Jerry Rice versus his past

When the 49ers cross the Bay Bridge to play the Raiders on
Sunday, it will be one of the most emotion-filled games of the
40-year-old Rice's life. Almost two years ago Niners czar Bill
Walsh said, in effect, that he thought Rice was washed-up.
Instead, the Hall of Fame-bound wideout signed with Oakland and
caught 83 passes in 2001. This season Rice has nine more catches
than the Niners' No. 1 target, Terrell Owens; he's averaging 2.7
more yards per catch than Randy Moss. Yeah, he's washed-up.


All the attention paid to Emmitt Smith's pursuit of the NFL
rushing record has obscured the struggling Cowboys' greatest
need: a quarterback to adequately replace Troy Aikman, who
retired after the 2000 season. Here are the men who have not been
able to fill Aikman's cleats.


Quincy Carter 15 54.2 12 15 68.2
Clint Stoerner 2 53.1 3 5 53.8
Ryan Leaf 3 51.1 1 3 57.7
Anthony Wright 3 49.0 5 5 61.1
Chad Hutchinson 1 50.0 1 0 82.8


1. I'm as big a fan of what Michael Vick's doing as anyone, but
if the Falcons' quarterback continues to expose himself to so
many hits (he has carried 41 times and been sacked 16 times), he
won't last long in the NFL.

2. I can make a good argument that no team suffered a more
crippling injury this year than the Bears when they lost
defensive tackle Ted Washington in Week 2. They're 0-5 since, and
Brian Urlacher, one of the best linebackers to come into the
league in years, has no sacks in those games. --P.K.