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  • Writer's pictureMario Nicolais

The NFL draft highlighted how much I miss watching sports together with my father

(Picture: from left to right, my brother Teo, my father Ron - in his Alabama hat at a CU game! - and me at the 2016 CU-Utah game when the Buffs won the the PAC-12 South division title. You can see the crowd rushing the field post game in the background)

Just after former Denver Bronco, and now San Francisco 49ers general manager, John Lynch took a defensive tackle with the 14th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, my dad sent me a text. As usual, the message was short and concise and pulled no punches.

“Jeudy is there — if the Donkeys don’t take him, they’re idiots.”

Normally, that’s my father’s homerism coming through — even though he was spot on in this instance. He is convinced that every player coming out of his alma mater, Alabama, should be the next pick regardless of need or expert ranking. His unabashed bias became a running joke in a fantasy football league we played in together.

But, of course, that “together” piece is what was missing from Thursday night.

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