I Need Your Help
In the mortal words of Mike Greenberg, "We're back and better than ever.'' (At least that's what Greenie says at the start of his morning ESPN Radio show every day.) And as another season of MMQB dawns, I'm stealing the line and asking for you to help me mean it.
I want to be back and better than ever. I want you to help me find two or three new column staples to add to my weekly lineup of travel notes, stats, quotes, Fine Fifteens, players of the week, factoids that mean something to me, and coffee shots.
Do you want an additional football note or two? I was thinking about one along the lines of "Back to the Future,'' where I'd compare a player of today to his counterpart from a generation or two or three ago. Maybe I'd look at Joe Flacco and compare him as a young player to a Rudy Bukich, one of the strongest-armed quarterbacks ever to play. Or stacking up Ernie Sims next to Wilber Marshall, or an Alan Faneca/Bob Kuechenberg comparison, or maybe whether Wes Welker is to these Patriots what Don Maynard was to the Namath Jets. You get the point.
Do you want a note from the set of NBC's Football Night in America on the eating habits of Jerome Bettis, or the backstage jabbering between Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann, or the viewing habits of Cris Collinsworth, or something inside-ish from our football Sundays? Or a factoid from the set we didn't use on TV?
Do you want the three guys every week who became overnight sensations?
Do you want this thing I've been thinking about making a part of the column for the last couple of years -- the single most enduring moment of the NFL weekend? In other words, when the New York Times from Week 14 2008 is unearthed 50 years from now, what's the big headline we're going to be looking back on?
I don't know. Let me know what you're thinking, and I'll pick some new departments to make a permanent part of the column for the 2008 season -- and, hopefully, beyond. I'm wide open. Just tell me what you want. Maybe I'll have a vote in the coming weeks. Maybe I'll give you five choices and tell you that the top two vote-getters become a part of the column. Democracy at work, people.
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think if you take nothing else from this column, take this one little piece of Kingian advice: Wear your sunscreen every time you're outside in the sun for more than 15 minutes. It's something I wish I'd been more religious about over the last 30 years.
2. I think you'd be smart, if you live in Southern California, to come to the NFL 101/201 event tonight at the L.A. Coliseum. I'll be there, with Andrea Kremer, Shawne Merriman and other league officials and players to keep the game alive in Los Angeles. It's a great idea, and a great way for people to hear and feel the pro game in what has become such a college stronghold. Looking forward to seeing you Angelinos at the Coliseum.
3. I think Mark Bavaro's got a novel coming out. If that stuns you -- a book coming from one of the quietest players since Duane Thomas -- join the club. But I'll have my claws into it soon, and I'll report what it's all about.
4. I think Matt Jones needs a pretty good lawyer. Any of those in Fayetteville? Oh, and he needs something else: another career.
5. I think it's easy for Giant fans to be all angst-filled because the team is putting a price tag on season-tickets in the new stadium at the Meadowlands in the form of personal seat licenses. But folks, it's the way of the future. And look at it this way: For many like seats in the New Jersey stadium compared to the new Dallas stadium, the PSL will be 25 percent as expensive. I understand it's still objectionable to pay for something you've gotten for free for the past two generations, but communities just aren't going to underwrite stadia the way they used to. And you can't expect the Maras and Tisches to eat an $800-million fee to build a stadium.