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BOB RYAN

A few things come to mind

Emptying Out The Desk Drawer of the Sports Mind:

I'm a card-carrying member of Varitek Nation, but we must all remember that anyone who chooses Scott Boras as an agent is sticking a thumb in management's eye before the negotiations begin.

Oh boy, did colleague Kevin Paul Dupont start something when he declared Ray Bourque to be a better player than No. 4. (He's accepting car-starting and food-tasting applications, if you're interested.)

Can anyone explain to me why Roger Clemens filed for free agency? Is there some other team in Houston that will allow him to be a part-time employee? (Not that there's anything wrong with wanting to be a doting dad.)

On behalf of fifty- and sixtysomethings everywhere, I'd like to thank Joe Paterno for showing us why it is dangerous to remain too long at anything.

Next year the Division 1-A bowl-participation percentage will creep perilously close to 50, as three more bowls are added. It kind of frightens me to think of the kind of person who would actually attend some of these games.

In 40 years of BC-watching I have seldom enjoyed a game, in any sport, more than last Saturday's blowout at Morgantown, a game whose unsung hero was offensive coordinator Dana Bible.

Memo to Johnny Damon: Don't get any funny ideas. America will not allow you to cut your hair or shave your beard. You are part of the zeitgeist now, my friend.

So which is the real Derek Lowe? The one who allowed four hits and one run in those two dazzling starts against the Yankees and Cardinals, or the one who, in 65 regular-season starts covering 386 innings the past two seasons, has an uninspired ERA of 4.92? Someone will have to pay a lot of money to find out the answer.

If you're looking to make an investment, the athletic growth stock you want is the Celtics' Al Jefferson. He has two things you can't teach: good hands and explosiveness to the ball.

It's Wednesday, Nov. 17. Do you know where your NHL is?

There's a rumor going around that Phoenix Suns coach Mike D'Antoni is allowing -- I'd go so far as to say is encouraging -- his team to run fast breaks all night long. If that's true, he'll be up on charges before the NBA Coaches Association by Thanksgiving.

I heard Coach Belichick on the radio talking about the Kansas City Chiefs and their offense, as if his team would be lucky to hold them under 50. But no one remembered to ask him why the Chiefs are 3-6 and coming off a humiliating loss to a New Orleans team whose coach already has been fitted for a casket.

Too bad Gary Gillis had nothing to offer Channel 7 other than knowledge, professionalism, integrity, contacts, and just plain class. That operation is now a far lesser place than it was a week ago.

Anyone who claims to be a serious football fan had better be paying attention to BC freshman linebacker Brian Toal. This kid is special.

What does Theo do with the rest of his life? Step down and run for the Senate?

Bill Buckner can't get over himself long enough to take part in the new Red Sox fun, but he'll join Mookie Wilson to sign photos of You Know What for money? What am I missing here?

Suggestion to NESN for some winter viewing: Run Game 4 of the 1975 Series, so we can see how Looie Tiant threw 161 pitches to beat the Reds. Yes, kiddies, I said 161 pitches in something called a complete game. And, of course, get Looie in the studio to talk about it.

I hope that when they get through casting the statues for Messrs. Schilling, Martinez, Ortiz, Damon, Ramirez, Varitek, etc. they remember to at least commission a bust of Dave Roberts.

The Celtics are sticking their toes into the shallowest of cheerleader/dancing girl waters this year. They just don't have the guts to do it for real as long as Red is around.

In contrast to the notoriously penurious '86 bunch, these Red Sox have established new levels of generosity with their postseason money. As a result, a full share is worth about $70,000 less than it was last year.

For those peripheral people included at the lowest end, the stipend could mean something like a house down payment or a college tuition. Now that's worth a standing O.

Which will end first? Ken Jennings's "Jeopardy" tyranny or the college hockey season?

Given that John Harrington is the architect of the wild card, John Henry should at least have him over for Thanksgiving.

Bill Parcells had better realize that if he stays in Dallas much longer, maybe he won't get into the Hall of Fame. Remember, Will McDonough is not around to argue for him.

Where hasn't that World Series trophy been? It's only a matter of time before it gets an agent of its own and starts doing bar mitzvahs and first communions.

If Mientkiewicz is here next year, he should play.

The Celtics can win this new Atlantic Division. Then again, so can the 76ers, Knicks, Nets, and Raptors.

Hey, Joe Gibbs: Any second thoughts?

All I can say is I'd rather have someone else fool around with the Colts come January. Indy makes me nervous.

Are you paying attention to LeBron James lately? If the Celtics can't sell out for his visit the night after Thanksgiving, then the NBA really is dead in this town.

John Henry should just go for it. Have Shaughnessy throw out the Opening Day first ball.

Bob Ryan is a Globe columnist. His e-mail address is ryan@globe.com. 

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