Quote of the Week I
"I'm very disappointed. I'm disappointed in the whole picture, not just disappointed that we might lose our star quarterback.''
-- Denver owner Pat Bowlen, quoted by the Denver Post Sunday night on the bizarre relationship between his franchise quarterback, Jay Cutler, and his rookie head coach, Josh McDaniels.
Quote of the Week II
"When I played in Indianapolis, I was within 5 percent of my peak strength when I was using steroids. I want to take a hammer and hit myself in the head. The message is, you can definitely make it in football without steroids.''
-- Tony Mandarich, the out-of-the-closet steroid user who played for the Packers and Colts in a star-crossed seven-year NFL career, on our Sirius NFL Radio show.
Quote of the Week III
"Stop following me around.''
The first Buffalo-New England matchup, with Tom Brady making his first start in a year (presumably) and Owens lining up across from Springs (also presumably, considering Springs has played him so well over the years), would be a gift to ESPN in the Monday night opener in September. But I get a feeling CBS has been scratching and clawing for Brady's re-debut to highlights its Week 1 slate.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me I
Who is the only enshrinee in the Pro Football Hall of Fame never to have been associated with the NFL -- never to have played, coached, owned, officiated, general-managed or been commissioner in the NFL?
Clue: He was a guest on our Sirius NFL Radio "Opening Drive'' show Friday morning.
Another clue: He blocked for O.J. Simpson.
Answer: Down in number 10 of Ten Things I Think I Think.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me II
They like dogs in my new neighborhood, Boston's South End. I'm starting to think they like dogs better than people. The bank on our block not only has a sign welcoming dogs, but also a dog play area inside with a fire hydrant and a big water bowl. The pet store in the neighborhood, Polka Dog Bakery, bakes dog-treat cookies and gives them freely to customers, as well as selling some interesting dog food. (One is 100-percent rabbit meat.) And I saw a van Sunday morning stopping to pick up dogs at a couple of apartments in the neighborhood. The driver told me he was taking a passel of dogs out for a "play date.''
Stat of the Week
LaDainian Tomlinson re-signed with the Chargers for three years last week, but he seemed to be looking beyond that when he said there was "a running back out there with a record I want.'' Tomlinson turns 30 in June. He is 6,595 yards behind all-time rushing leader Emmitt Smith, and given the fact that the Chargers plan to use Darren Sproles more in the regular offense, Tomlinson might be California dreamin.'
I looked at the top 10 all-time rushing leaders and examined how many yards they gained after their 30th birthdays. It shows what an uphill fight Tomlinson has to catch Smith, his boyhood hero growing up in Texas.
If Tomlinson is to catch Smith, he'll have to gain 800 yards more than any back in football has ever gained after the age of 30. Can it happen? Sure. The Chargers can also move to Tijuana this week too.
Enjoyable/Aggravating Travel Note of the Week
Front door to Logan Airport Wednesday morning, through a couple of sidestreets, one alley and a tunnel, for a flight to Columbus: 11 minutes. I might like it here.
I spent a pleasant day in Sidney, Ohio, speaking to a company there and dining with some executives, and realized the restaurant-chaining of America is leaving most towns the size of Sidney (pop.: 20,211), in western Ohio, without many or any non-Applebee's, non-fast-food options. (Not that there's anything wrong with Applebee's.) They took me to a delightful place in downtown Sidney, Toone P. Wiggins, with steaks from local cows and fresh walleye and beer from Russia and the Big East basketball tournament on the TV at the oak bar. And we talked about how lucky a town the size of Sidney was to have a place as original as this, with a menu like this. Places like Toone P. Wiggins are disappearing with the chaining of America.
Also unearthed this nugget while out in farm country: New England tackle Matt Light is evidently the year-'round Santa Claus of his old high school, Greenville High, in nearby Greenville, Ohio. Equipment and uniforms and shoes sometimes just show up there, and everyone asks, "Where'd this come from?'' But they figure it out pretty easily.
NFL Truth & Rumors