Quote of the Week I
"I'm just doing my due diligence for the team. Do you have any interest in trading for Brett Favre?''
The team said no. The conversation lasted about 40 seconds.
Quote of the Week II
"I'm looking forward to getting to know the beat writers here. You're probably different than the people that write for the Enquirer or some of the other papers up in New York.''
Quote of the Week III
"He doesn't not coach. Don't ever think he's going to stop coaching. You know, he comes down to the field and when he sees something once in a while, he'll walk over to a player, pull them aside and talk to them about how to catch a punt or how to hold his hands if he's a receiver or how to drop his weight and get his body in position if he's playing linebacker. He talks to players all the time.''
Quote of the Week IV
"You're trying to get me to tell you that there's a possibility I'm going to go back to coach when I know there's not. ... We're not going to be sitting here five years from now talking about some coaching job, I can promise you that.''
Stat of the Week
The last time I was in Green Bay, the night of the NFC Championship Game, the wind chill temperature was minus-24.
On Sunday, when I arrived in mid-afternoon, it was 83.
By my math, that makes it 107 degrees warmer.
When the Packers step on the practice field this morning at 8:45 for their first practice of camp, it's slated to be 71, according to weather.com. That would make it 95 degrees warmer for the players in the six months between the title game and camp opening.
Factoid That May Interest Only Me
There is a statue of Gandhi on the campus of Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., where the Saints train. I don't know why I tell you that, other than a statue of Gandhi in Jackson seems about as in-the-right place as a statue of Ward Cleaver at the Playboy Mansion.
Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week I
The other night I dined with Cleveland GM Phil Savage on the outdoor patio of the Moosehead Café, a pleasant tavern with Moosehead Beer (God, how long has it been since I had a Moosehead?). The cafe is on the border of Westlake and Bay Village on the west side of Cleveland, and we were at the table on a cool, breezy, clear night for a couple of hours. Servers swarmed our table pleasantly and efficiently. Collectively, we had a large order of home-baked potato chips, two ice teas (his), three Heineken Lights (mine), two mega-salads (one with roast turkey, the other with chicken), two orders of whole wheat Texas Toast and coffee.
The bill came: $36.08.
I thought: Isn't traveling wonderful? When you live in a megalopolis, you get used to paying double that for less. It's nice to know there are still places in the world -- lots of them, as I see every summer on my training-camp trip -- where restaurants have more reasonable prices.
I hadn't seen the Lake communities on the west side of Cleveland since my post-college days, when the family considered moving to northeast Ohio. Beautiful. The parks, the homes on the lake, the green space ... Anyone who rips Cleveland has never been to the west side of town.
Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week II
I saw one of the most majestic, awe-inspiring things of my travel career the other night, flying from Charlotte to Jackson. As nightfall descended on Mississippi, a huge, black cumulus cloud (yes, I took meteorology for my science requirement at Ohio University) appeared maybe 15 miles west of our plane as we began our descent. And about every five seconds, a bolt of lightning illuminated the cloud and the darkening sky. Amazing thing was, we never felt a bump from it.
Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week III
How about the first half of my Sunday? Went to bed at 1:25 a.m. CT after writing a Favre story in southern Mississippi. Up at 3:15 to shower and drive 95 minutes to the Jackson airport. Flight at 6 to Atlanta. Change planes. Flight at 9:15 to Detroit. Change planes. Flight at 12:15 to Green Bay. Add this to the fun: There was not an empty seat on any of the planes.
You've got to love the airlines. On the Northwest plane to Green Bay, we were handed three-ounce containers of water. I mean, why bother?