"Because I'm a grown-ass man.''
-- Cincinnati cornerback Adam "Pacman'' Jones, responding to my question: "Why should we believe this stop is going to turn out better than previous stops in your NFL career?''
"Walls needed painting.''
-- New England coach Bill Belichick, asked why he had many of the pictures from the Patriots' three Super Bowl seasons removed from the club offices in the offseason.
"Instead of fighting, why don't we work things out over brunch?''
-- Donald Brashear, the New York Rangers' tough guy (and that's putting it mildly), on the "David Letterman Show'' Friday night, as part of Letterman's top 10 list, Things Never Before Spoken At A Hockey Game. Very cute.
The 10 Rangers also carried Madonna to the stage for her Letterman interview on a pair of hockey sticks. "Have you ever ridden hockey players before?'' Dave asked. No, she said.
"Colleges have mastered the art of secrecy. I don't think we get to know everything we need to know about players. Some colleges, I think they know where Jimmy Hoffa's buried.''
-- Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis to me the other day, complaining that Alabama football officials may not have been altogether forthcoming in sharing information on tackle Andre Smith, who he says hasn't complied with all the rehab instructions team medics have given him about his injured foot.
Well, let's be fair here. Smith was the jiggly guy who, unexcused, walked out of the Scouting Combine early, then worked out for NFL teams looking like an advertisement for gastric-bypass surgery. The Bengals had plenty of warning that Smith wasn't a self-starter and, moreover, might become a disciplinary problem once he got paid. Which he has been.
So why'd I use this quote? I love the Hoffa line.
Half of the coaches in the NFC East -- Wade Phillips, Andy Reid -- are teetotalers.
This is not to say Tom Coughlin or Mike Shanahan are heavy drinkers. They're not -- not at all. Coughlin likes a good Bordeaux, Shanahan an occasional Corona. I just find it interesting that in the rough-and-tumble NFC East, the coaches in Philadelphia and Dallas (where quite a few adult beverages are consumed) eschew all alcohol and favor diet cola (Phillips) and water (Reid).
On the sidelines of Carolina Panthers practice Friday afternoon at Wofford College, players were conscious to hydrate in the 91-degree, 88-percent humidity of Spartanburg, S.C. During one break, a defensive player chugged a 12-ounce bottle of G2, the low-cal Gatorade drink, finished it and tossed it to the ground. Walking by, club president Danny Morrison saw the lone bottle littering the sideline and picked it up. Hey, the more you can do ...
I have renamed the travel note -- for the season -- in honor of the travel experience I wrote from the Westin Hotel in Chicago. You may recall it. It's the note about the fellow who tried to cut the 30-person line at the elevator, and I interrupted him, using some salty language. Hope you like the new heading.
This note comes to you from the general manager's office of the Atlanta Falcons, Saturday afternoon about 2:15. Afternoon practice was 75 minutes away. Here was Thomas Dimitroff, one of the most interesting and different football people in the league, inviting me in for some Mighty Leaf Organic Green Dragon tea and tiny chocolate-chip cookies.
"I thought we would have high tea,'' he said.
OK. I must say I have had a few beers and more than a few meals with general managers over the years, but green tea ... this was a first. Dimitroff, a serious cyclist, outdoorsman (he has a sophisticated spinning bike next to his desk) and conscientious citizen (CNN was on in his office, not ESPN) who prefers Boulder over Brooklyn, is conscious about everything he puts in his body.
It was a calm interview. Placid, even. It seemed funny to be drinking green tea and listening to Dimitroff talking about how his goal is to build a defense that's fast, brutal, smart and attacking. You know, words you don't usually associate with green tea.
The Draft Ain't Everything Dept.: There were 10 quarterbacks picked in the 2007 NFL Draft, and to this point, the best passer to come out that year wasn't drafted. That could change this year with Kevin Kolb taking over the Philly job, but as of today, the best guy from 2007 is Matt Moore. Dallas signed him as a college free-agent that year, and Carolina picked him up when the Cowboys cut him. Since then, Moore has shown enough for Panthers coach John Fox to give him the starting job in 2010. Judging the 2007 quarterback products by quarterbacking rating:
"Hey 2011 NFL Free-Agents--->58 degrees at Seahawks' training camp today.''
--@Hasselbeck, Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, early Saturday afternoon, doing some early recruiting for next offseason.
SI Now Live Friday December 13, 2013
SI Now: Dule Hill talks TV, theater and his namesake Kareem Abdul-Jabbar