keepin' it local

Nate Burleson, a fine human being despite being an O'Dea product, has had a curious year and change for my hometown Seahawks. He's clearly overpaid but a great guy who's arguably won three games for us with opportune plays, like a backbreaking punt return TD last year against the Rams.

P-I photog Rod Mar kept his lens trained on him throughout last Sunday's game, and, thankfully, Burleson ended up a hero. Mar does great work and ain't a bad writer neither. I'm looking forward to reading that throughout the year.

Nate returned home but was in Nevada for college, and my inherent Northwest favoritism, having only grown in my time out East, got me thinking about the ultimate local boys and girls:

Pat Tillman, rest his soul. San Jose to ASU to the Arizona Cardinals to an unfortunate ending. He would've been a presidential [Manchurian] candidate if he decided to put his looks, eloquence, stature, and disillusionment about the war effort into politics. I don't think he got capped on purpose, but I wish he hadn't.

Lisa Leslie, who grew up in Inglewood, went to USC, and is a lifelong, er, Spark. [Why, when there are so many attractive ladies in the league and on LA, is Michael Cooper - a first-ballot Darkness HOFer - the first thing I see on their page?]

Cal Ripken Jr., who grew up in Havre de Grace, MD [!] and played for the Orioles his whole career. And also was one of the most intelligent and best steroid users ever. Check the subtle. improbable career stats. Let's be real - that '91 MVP year is just weird

I'm sure there's a bunch more out there, but those were the ones I knew off top.

Feel free to think about the local cats on your own club and let me know if I missed anyone obvious. Hey, how about Brock Huard