HEY FOLKS, FIGURED you were down about the Flyers' season coming to an end, the Phillies scratching and clawing through May and a weather pattern that only our in-house "weatherman" Bill Conlin could explain, so here's my effort to shed a little light:

Adam Taliaferro, the former Penn State cornerback and Eastern High (Voorhees, N.J.) graduate whose stellar football career was cut short by a neck injury, will graduate with a law degree today from Rutgers School of Law in Camden.

And his search for a job is over: Taliaferro landed a position with Philly law firm Montgomery McCracken, according to a press release sent to the Daily News yesterday. After a much-deserved break and a trip to Disney World, Taliaferro will start sometime in September and work in the "Labor and Employment" department.

"I'm not sure what area of the law I want to focus on," Taliaferro said. "I want to learn about all aspects of the law. Possibly representing athletes is something I want to keep in the back of my mind."

More important, the local hero is staying local.

"Staying in the Philadelphia area was a main goal of mine," Taliaferro added. "I love going back to Penn State and going to as many games as I can."

Remember folks, this is a guy who was told he would never walk again after lying motionless on the field for an eternity during a game against Ohio State in 2000.

Now, if that story can't provide a sense of hope - at least for the time being - you may need to talk to someone.

Kick penalty kicks

For the soccer fans in Philly who watched what was an amazing Champions League final yesterday: Were you as upset as I was that it came down to penalty kicks? According to an on-screen stat, yesterday's game marked the fourth shootout final in 8 years. In the words of my colleague Mike Kern: "Soccer should be like hockey [in the playoffs], play 'til you drop."

Couldn't agree more. At least it would make for a fair fight instead of a fluke finish.

- Kerith Gabriel