Monday Morning QB (cont.)
Posted: Monday July 30, 2007 9:30AM; Updated: Monday July 30, 2007 1:23PM
Quote of the Week I
"I plan to win games every year I'm playing, and I plan on doing it here in Philadelphia. I'll be here in Philadelphia for years to come."
-- Donovan McNabb, with the hot breath of second-round quarterback Kevin Kolb breathing down his neck as the Eagles opened training-camp practice on Saturday.
Quote of the Week II
"I believe Vick had a passion for dogfighting. I know many athletes who share his passion. The allure is the intensity and the challenge of a dogfighting to the death. It's like ultimate fighting, but the dog doesn't tap out when he knows he can't win."
-- Deion Sanders, in a column for the Fort Myers News-Press.
All I can say is this: These players, and player-sympathizers who write about the quasi-justification of NFL players being involved in this detestable bloodsport, need to start understanding what the rest of us in the United States think. Dogfighting is sick, and whoever participates in it is equally sick.
Quote of the Week III
"If you're asking me whether I mind being a decoy, no.''
-- Randy Moss, after his first practice as a Patriot on Friday. Somehow, I think that quote might re-emerge in November after a one-catch Moss game.
Quote of the Week IV
"Talk is cheap. Play the game.''
-- T-shirts being worn at New York Giants' training-camp practices`
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
This is either a classic SI sign-of-the-apocalypse thing, a sign of the athletic times, or an example of how ridiculously passionate the fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers are. But the Steelers issued a press release at 6:48 p.m. Friday headlined, "Steelers to Delay Naming of Team Mascot.'' The release said the Steelers have received more than 70,000 entries from fans suggesting what the mascot should be named; and even though the list had been narrowed to a few finalists, the decision had not been made yet. (The mascot was on hand Saturday at camp. It's a cheery steelworker with a hard hat and jovial smile, all dressed in black and gold. Somehow, I bet this was not Dan Rooney's idea. And I bet the old man is rolling over in his grave. What's next? Cheerleaders? (Saints, preserve us.) Imagine that: 70,000 mascot suggestions.
Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week I
There's been a recurring ad on NESN telecasts of Red Sox games this year for Southwest Airlines introducing new service between Manchester, N.H., and Phoenix, one-way, for a fare as low as $59. A steal, obviously.
On Thursday, while in New York to interview Goodell, I parked in a Manhattan garage, near the corner of 48th and Park, for two hours and 36 minutes. When I handed the cashier my ticket prior to leaving, she ran it through her register and said, "Fifty-nine.''
What a country. You can fly 2,479 miles from the woods of New Hampshire to the desert of the southwest, or you can park your car in a microscopic spot in New York City for as long as it takes to have lunch. Same price.
Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week II
Four days, 880 miles in the car, from Montclair, N.J., to suburban Rochester to Latrobe, Pa., to Berea, Ohio, to the Cleveland airport. Bills, Steelers, Browns, all avoiding airports. I couldn't have done it without three things. One: Sirius radio in the rental car. Two: The cell phone. Trent Green, speaking from Florida, sounded like he was next door Saturday morning on Route 30 between Pittsburgh and Latrobe. Three: Well, this is a little different than the first two. But setting your own schedule at training camp, instead of being a slave to the airline schedules, makes life 300 percent better.
I had to wait 'til Saturday evening to get Ben Roethlisberger at Steeler camp, but I cared not. Where did I have to go? One great tip, too, from a bus driver at a rest stop near Binghamton, N.Y., on Day 1. "If you get tired,'' he said, "Chew ice. I always have a thermos of ice chips to chew on. Your head gets cold, and you get that vibration in your head. You can't fall asleep.''
At 11:36 p.m. Sunday, driving from the Lexington airport to my motel near the Bengals' training camp in Georgetown, Ky., I got stopped for speeding. "Do you know why I stopped you?'' a very polite Georgetown officer said. I said no. "I clocked you going 52 in a 35 zone. We take our speeding very serious here.'' I told him that was good, and I was sorry. He gave me a warning, asked what my business was in town, and told me to have a great time at Bengals camp. I should have asked him: "Hey, there are lots of police jobs in New Jersey. How about coming east to practice that kind of foreign civility?''
Stat of the Week
Out of the 65 preseason games scheduled for the next five weeks, there is one true afternoon game. It's in the desert, of all places: Houston at Arizona, Aug. 18, at 1 p.m., local time.