Quote of the Week I
"I think the Super Bowl will certainly stay in the United States. I wouldn't look for that to move.''
I'd say it stronger that that. Unless a Murdoch type or some sheikh pays a sick sum to play the game in London (why would they, really?), the game's not moving outside the U.S. in the next decade. Two, probably.
Quote of the Week II
"Now I just gotta stay there 15 years.''
Stat of the Week
In the last three seasons, since the Williamses -- Viking defensive tackles Kevin and Pat -- have teamed together to systematically stop the run better than any other two men in football, Minnesota's defense has been first, first and first against the run in NFL rankings in 2006 through 2008, a rare trifecta of greatness. And the only time Pat, the stout nose man, and Kevin, the knifing three-technique tackle, didn't play together was the final three games of last season -- two in the regular season and one in the playoffs, when Pat suffered a broken right scapula and missed the rest of the year. In those three games, the Vikes allowed 24, 19 and 26 points, respectively, and without Pat Williams pushing the pocket, allowed 134, 229 and 300 passing yards. In the three games, teams rushed 85 times for exactly 300 yards.
In 2006, 2007 and 2008, the Vikings never played a game with both Kevin and Pat Williams missing. For a team supposed to be in the thick of the NFC playoff picture this season, playing without them for the first four games of the season could be a death blow.
The luckiest thing for Minnesota? The Vikes open with three weak offensive teams -- Cleveland, Detroit and San Francisco -- before hosting Green Bay in Week 4. If they have to play without them, the Vikings will be mortal, but against the likes of the Browns, Lions and Niners, that might be good enough.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
To say New York Jets special-teamer Larry Izzo enjoyed his time with the Patriots is an understatement. He played with New England for eight years, won three Super Bowl rings, was a fixture in Boston social and community events, and was a selfless volunteer (raising more than $600,000 for military families with an annual karaoke event called "Larryoke''). In the offseason, he signed with the Jets. Not exactly Johnny Damon to the Yankees, but notable.
He and wife, Mara, had a son this spring. They named him Boston.
Might want to keep that one to yourself when out in the Village, Larry.
Tweet of the Week I
Tom Speicher of Williamsport, Pa. (who Tweets under the name tomspeicher), asks this about Michael Vick: "Will someone in the media please point out that even at the 'height' of his career, Vick was at best a mediocre QB!''
Well, as a quarterback, Vick was decidedly mediocre in his four full seasons starting for the Falcons. His completion percentages when he started at least 15 games -- 54.9,56.4, 55.3 and 52.6 -- were poor; he had 36 fumbles and 38 interceptions in his last 46 starts. He was electric and exciting, but Speicher's right.
Tweet of the Week II
Mark Seymour of Melbourne, Australia (packer4 is his Twitter handle), responded thusly to my Tweet complaining about a possible 18-game schedule: "In Aussie Rules Football, we have a 22-round sked. 18 is a snack.''
Perhaps. Not sure how tasty it would be.
NFL Truth & Rumors