"I always felt like you really do a better job with less time than more time because when you have less time you focus immediately on what's of the utmost importance. Whereas when you have a lot of time to deliberate as to what to do, a lot of times you kind of get off on little tangents.''
-- Former coach Bill Parcells, to ESPN101 in St. Louis, via sportsradiointerviews.com. Parcells says he doesn't think a possible short window of preparation will be crippling to NFL teams if a new labor deal is late in coming before the start of the season.
Parcells on his coaching future, by the way: "It's a young man's game. It's for someone else now.''
"There are thousands of people who were impacted by this great man and we'll all carry pieces of him for years to come.''
-- ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas, who, like so many in our business, was mentored by Tampa sportswriting legend Tom McEwen. Death came Saturday night for McEwen, who was 88.
Ditto ... and I wasn't particularly close to him. But I saw it on every trip to Tampa over the years.
"If I had known in the late seventies it was okay to pig out on human flesh, I would have eaten Guy LaFleur.''
-- NBC hockey analyst and former player Mike Milbury, from Neil Best of Newsday, after Vancouver's Alexandre Burrows wasn't suspended for an apparent bite of a Boston Bruin and then scored two goals in the Canucks' 3-2 Game 2 Stanley Cup victory.
Sad to hear of the passing of Hall of Fame running back John Henry Johnson of the 49ers, Lions and Steelers on Friday, jut six weeks after the death of his friend and former San Francisco teammate Joe "The Jet'' Perry. It's not often that two Hall of Famers come from the same backfield. But what about four? The 49ers, from 1954 to 1956, had quarterback Y.A. Tittle and three backs -- Johnson, Perry and Hugh McElhenny -- all playing in tandem. Amazingly, the Niners in those seasons were a composite 16-18-2.
Anyway, the accomplishments of Johnson and Perry got me thinking about how fleeting statistical marks have been in NFL history. Let's draw a line of demarcation in 1966 and call that the midpoint of NFL history, for purposes of this argument. That was the NFL's 47th season; 2011 will be the 45th season since then. Johnson's last pro football season was 1966, with Houston. (Even though the Oilers were an American Football League team, AFL stats were incorporated into the NFL when the two leagues merged in 1970.) When Johnson retired after the '66 season, he was the fourth-leading rusher in pro football history. How times have changed in statland since. The top five rushers in history after 47 years, and where they rank on the all-time list of rushers today:
1. The game and length of season have changed drastically. In the three years this backfield was intact in San Francisco, the season was 12 games long. Now it's 16. It might be 18 someday soon.
2. There were 12 teams in pro football in 1955. Now there are 32, and for much of the '70s through '90s, most teams believed in the running back-as-workhorse. Not so in the '50s. Johnson played 13 years. He carried 200 times just three times in those 13 seasons.
3. Eight backs carried at least 10 times for the Niners in 1955. San Francisco had 408 rushes. Perry was the only back with more than 100 (he had 156). So huge stat lines were pretty foreign in those days with the Niners ... and with quite a few other teams who spread the running load.
Woman at Starbucks in downtown Seattle, across from the big Westin, gave me the real meaning of multi-tasking Saturday. She cradled her cell phone to her right ear with a scrunched-up right shoulder, engaging in an animated conversation. At the same time, she cradled her iPad in her left hand, using her left thumb to access icons and letters on the screen.
Well, you say ... why wasn't she using her right hand to either hold the phone to her ear or type on the wafer of a computer screen? Because she was holding the coffee she'd just picked up from the barista at the counter in the right hand.
And she was walking. As she got to the front door of the place to leave, no one was walking in or walking out, so no one could get the door for her. She'd have to do this on her own. Deftly, she turned and backed into the door, pushing it open with her rump, and then walked up the street, never breaking stride. At the corner, when she stopped for the DON'T WALK sign (they are serious about not jaywalking in Seattle), she managed to get a sip of coffee.
Checking email, talking on the phone, walking briskly, drinking coffee, simultaneously. Wonder what she does in her spare time.
"Losing I believe.''
-- @ochocinco, Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, responding to this tweeted question by @JMonser: "u and carson palmer are really good friends, so what is it about the bengals he hates so much?''
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