And Dan Marino, excoriating Andy Reid for not putting Donovan McNabb in the shotgun more, and Cris Carter, laying the wood to more than a few NFL types. And that Bob Costas. There's a bland guy, Warren, a guy viewers tune into for no good reason. Ask your good friend Barry Bonds and Belichick how bland Costas is.
Final note, Warren: The man who produced the HBO show, the proactive and imaginative (and not bland, I can tell you that) Brian Hyland, has moved to the NFL Network for the season, to run the pre-game show, the Sunday morning show you'll be working on. I look forward to you two meeting -- if you haven't already. I especially look forward to the disgusted look Hyland will have on his face when he shakes your hand.
Big talk, big fella. Good luck backing it up.
Hey, I like Sapp. He's always been a good quote, and good to me. But saying what he said would be like Mike Brown hiring me to be his GM, and on the first day on the job, someone asks me about the nearby Indianapolis Colts and I say, "That Bill Polian's a know-nothing. We'll out-scout him and out-draft him.''
Quote of the Week V
"Mark my words: If Shaun Rogers is healthy, he'll be the NFL defensive player of the year.''
Millen and I discussed Rogers and the trade the other day. I drew a parallel between Rogers and Manny Ramirez and told Millen that if he's right, and Rogers plays great for the Browns, the Lions should not be ripped for this trade. That's because a player can grow stale in a place and not play well there any more, even if he's a talented player with great upside. Manny Ramirez, who'd soured on everything Sox, would not be playing as well in Boston as he's played in Los Angeles over the past month. Guaranteed.
Here's how you know: Manny hasn't taken a day off in L.A. and he's stolen two bases in a month. In his final two months in Boston, he was playing in quicksand; he had one steal in his last three years with Boston. Same sort of I'll-show-you thing when Roger Clemens left Boston. Had Clemens stayed, he'd have been just a guy the rest of his career. Doubt me? Look at Clemens' last four years in Boston ... the definition of mediocrity.
That brings me to a stat you might appreciate, especially if you live in New England.
Vindictive Manny Stat of the Week
The first month on new jobs for Manny Ramirez and the man who replaced him in Boston, Jason Bay:
Ramirez is unconscious, as we figured he might be, trying to show the Red Sox didn't appreciate him. But Bay's been superb with runners in scoring position, and 29 RBIs in August -- in any month, for that matter -- is big-time production.
Stat of the Week
The seven highest-paid Indianapolis Colts in 2009 will have a combined $81.3-million cap cost, which leaves the bottom 46 players on the active roster, eight practice-squad players and, say, estimated injured-reserve players to split the remaining estimated $40.7 million of the cap.
Salary-cap average of the relative Colt haves: $11,614,286.
Salary-cap average of the relative Colt have-nots: $678,333.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me I
"Who is making up this schedule, anyway?'' Mike Holmgren asked me last week. He slid the Seahawks' slate of 2008 games across his desk to me and asked me to look at Seattle's last home game.
Dec. 21, New York Jets, 1:05 p.m.
Seattle traveled to Green Bay for the last game of the 2005 season. After the game, Brett Favre boarded the Seattle plane and told Holmgren he was going to retire.
Seattle traveled to Green Bay for the wild-card playoff game after last season. Before the game, Favre sought out Holmgren before the game and hinted strongly that this was going to be his last month playing football.
Now the Jets will travel to Seattle at the end of the 2008 regular season, and if you're Holmgren, you just might take whatever Mr. Brett Favre tells you with a salt shaker.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me II
The New York Giants have named Snausages (I just love that brand name ... Snausages) the official dog snack of the team. For every third down the Giants convert this year, Snausages will donate $100 to New York Pet Rescue in Larchmont, N.Y.
Think of that promotion: Someone actually had to think of that, present it at a Snausages board meeting, sell it to the Giants, and do it with a straight face.
Roster-Cut Weekend Quiz of the Week
I am going to name three of the five players of one NFL team's position group now that the rosters have been cut to 53. You name the team and the position group.
Kregg Lumpkin, Korey Hall, John Kuhn.
I would bet $100 that there are some NFL personnel people who don't know the team and the position group.
Answer at the bottom of Ten Things I Think I Think.
Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week
I assumed Alaska Airlines was just like all the rest of carriers last week when I boarded an Alaska flight from Seattle to Newark last Monday. You know, cut-rate service, pricey water, no leg room. Then the beverage cart went up the aisle early in the flight. Alcohol was $5 a pop, but the rest of the drinks, gratis.
I got water, no ice, with two small bags of spicy pretzels. The flight attendant noticed I finished the water quickly. She said, "Would you like more?'' I said how about a cup of coffee. "Cream and sugar?'' Just cream, I said. Here came a cup of Seattle's Best coffee, with two half-and-half creamers.
Who gives half-and-half to coach passengers? Alaska Airlines, that's who.
Later in the flight, the beverage cart came around again. The coffee was so good I got another cup.
Very, very pleasant flight attendants. Legitimately cheerful.
The food was for sale, and I didn't do that. But three beverages, with the offer of more, is far more than we've come to expect from airlines that more and more pack us into planes and tell us to like it -- or else.