Quote of the Week I
"I think you realize that if I was to stop playing today, I would look back and say, 'Man, I wish I could've kept playing and try to go after that record.' I don't want to have to do that. I want to be able to give it all I got and I feel like I'm close enough where I can make a serious run at the record.''
To break the record, Tomlinson would have to rush for 6,596 yards ... in his 30s. Not saying it's impossible, but the Lions going 12-4 this year is more likely.
Quote of the Week II
"It all culminated when our quarterback didn't return calls from the owner. That's not the best idea for you young kids out there. You work for someone, you call them back.''
I said it then, and I'll say it again: Lynch is 100 percent spot-on. The Cutler deal had a lot to do with the relationship between him and Denver coach Josh McDaniels, but there's no question the thing accelerated when Cutler snubbed owner Pat Bowlen, refusing to return his phone calls. I am told Bowlen said it was the most insulted he's felt in 25 years as an NFL owner.
Quote of the Week III
"It would be a wonderful little salt to rub in the eyes of some of our Green Bay Packer friends.''
I wonder how many votes Pawlenty lost with that quotation. Think of it: My guess is the state of Minnesota has maybe 10 percent Packer fans. Just a guess from being there over the years for a few Viking-Packer games; it could be 15 or 20 percent. But there's a vocal minority of Green Bay followers. Very vocal. And here's your governor saying he'd love to sign your hero and rub it in your face.
Tweet of the Week
"I think he should do whatever he feels is in his heart. But once he puts on that purple, he will become an enemy, which is all part of the game ... It's hard to imagine him doing that.''
Stat of the Week
If the Steelers could win the Super Bowl last year with the kind of slate they faced, what might they do this year? Charting the difference in schedules entering 2008 and 2009 for the defending world champs:
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
The blogging, the instant-knowledging, the Tweeting ... it's all getting pretty hard to follow. But one of the blogs I enjoy a lot is the football/human one of Jerry McDonald, who wrote over the weekend of three straight minicamp drops by Darius Heyward-Bey; the top two draft picks (Bey and safety Michael Mitchell) sitting out Sunday's practice with undisclosed injuries; JaMarcus Russell looking inaccurate (including writing that Russell "threw a high wobbler down the left sideline ... that missed badly out of bounds with Justin Miller in coverage.''
It's amazing the coverage that football gets now. We're reporting critically on a wounded duck in a mini-camp practice.
McDonald also reported that early in the afternoon practice Saturday, "a hawk emerged from the field beyond the fence at the Oakland airport, flew through the air with a snake, and landed on a nearby communications tower, where it came under the scrutiny of a few other birds who were diving at his prey.''
Enjoyable/Aggravating Travel Note of the Week
I refuse to brag any more (after this column) about the joys of living in a city, particularly a city near the airport. But it's pretty cool when you can fly into Logan International Airport, hit the tarmac at 1:50 p.m., gather luggage, walk through customs, get in a cab, and walk into your apartment at 2:35. That just happened to me. I think we're going to like it here.
Dr. Z/Nothing Is Impossible Event Update
A week from tonight in West Orange, N.J., is our effort to raise money for SI's longtime pro football maven, Paul Zimmerman, who suffered three strokes in late November and cannot read, write or speak coherently. It's been a terrific week for the Zim cause, and it looks as though we'll have at least 200 football fans in the house to fete Dr. Z and to hear the two New York football coaches, Tom Coughlin and Rex Ryan, give us the lowdown on their teams.
I continue to be amazed at the response. The other night, my phone rang. "Mr. King,'' the voice said, "it's Mark Sanchez.'' Stop with the Mr. King business, I interrupted. Then he said he'd read about the benefit for Zim and wanted to know what he could do. This is Mark Sanchez, hardly a child of the Zim generation. Zim was writing Super Bowl game stories glorifying Joe Montana when Sanchez wasn't even in the womb yet. Sanchez wondered if he could do anything, and I said, "Well, a signed jersey would be nice.'' And so it happened, and you can visit our auction site, www.DrZ.cmarket.com, today and bid for the jersey.
Thanks for your response to the big-ticket items last week. There is some wine that still needs a home, and two fun football weekends for two -- in Dallas and Denver -- that need bidders. But Paul and Linda Zimmerman will never be able to thank you for your generosity.
For now, we're down to the deadline for dinner tickets. You must act today if you want to attend. The deadline for ticket orders is Friday, so get your check in the mail today, and let's make this the football dinner of the year. Tickets are $225 apiece, or $1,500 for a table of eight, and are available by sending a check, payable to "Dr. Z/Nothing is Impossible Foundation'' to:
Dr. Z/Nothing is Impossible Foundation
All tickets are tax-deductible. Donations may be sent to that address as well. For further information, please e-mail me in the box that comes with this column, or Barbara Neibart, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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