"There's no question when we selected Andy Dalton we selected him with that in mind -- that he'd possibly be our opening-day starting quarterback.''
-- Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis, to ESPN 101 in St. Louis via sportsradiointerviews.com, on the second-round pick from TCU who's looking more and more like the Bengals' quarterback of the future.
"I know what I'm capable of. All I need to say to teams is, 'Don't judge my future by my past.' Just let me come out and play football.''
-- Plaxico Burress, the former NFL wide receiver, in his first extended interview after his 20-month jail sentence on gun charges, speaking to Aditi Kinkhabwala of the Wall Street Journal.
"I'm still pissed off at Ed Koch that we didn't have a parade.''
-- Former Giants wide receiver and return man Phil McConkey, to the New York Post's Steve Serby at Sunday's 25th anniversary reunion for the team's Super Bowl XXI championship, remembering that New York mayor Ed Koch spurned them after the championship victory over Denver.
"I weep for the future.''
-- The maitre d' at the fine Chicago restaurant in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off,'' the movie that had its 25th anniversary Saturday, when Ferris, claiming to be Abe Froman the Sausage King, snuck into the restaurant under false pretenses. I was going to use, "Bueller ... Bueller ... Bueller,'' but the snooty maitre d' was a little better, I thought.
Hey, when one of the great movies of our lifetime turns 25, it's going to get 91 words in MMQB.
As I put together my list of the top 100 players in the NFL, I struggled a bit when deciding where to put Philip Rivers, who, unlike many of the premier quarterbacks in football, has not only not won a Super Bowl but also hasn't played in one. Super Bowl appearances by active quarterbacks: Tom Brady four, Ben Roethlisberger three, Peyton Manning two, Drew Brees one, Aaron Rodgers one, Eli Manning one, Donovan McNabb one, Rex Grossman one, Matt Hasselbeck one, Kerry Collins one, Jake Delhomme one. Rivers zero.
But I looked at the greatest Chargers quarterback of them all, Dan Fouts, and his zero Super Bowl appearances. And I thought I'd compare his three best seasons in a row to Rivers' past three seasons. I was surprised in many ways how Rivers' period exceeds Fouts' period.
By the way, the '79, '80 and '81 seasons were the only years Fouts threw for 4,000 yards among the nine seasons he played with a 16-game NFL schedule, which was adopted in 1978. Rivers has thrown for 4,000 yards in three of his five starting seasons.
Comparing the best three years for both quarterbacks:
Tebowmania in action:
The first person to line up for a Tim Tebow-autographed copy of his autobiography Through My Eyes at the Walmart in Gainesville arrived 31-and-a-half hours before the scheduled 6 p.m. signing. The store sold 1,000 copies of the book in the first day it was on the shelves. Or, I should say, flying off them.
Had the good fortune of sitting in the field seats at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night/Friday morning, an early celebration of my 54th birthday, with friends from New Jersey, including Bob Papa, the Giants' radio voice and an NFL Network voice. Papa, by the way, is one of the talented few on this planet who can imitate both John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman so that you think you're listening to the Yankees on WCBS radio, not to Papa in the third-base stands at the Stadium.
Anyway, part of the deal is a ridiculously fine meal before the game, which is part of the ticket package. When we walked into the place and looked over the carving stations and sushi bars and cooked-to-order pasta stations, the first question was: What don't we want? I settled for the braised cauliflower and monster carrots, the ziti and salmon in a light lemon cream sauce, two California rolls and four raviolis with the short-rib filling. With a glass of Argentinian Malbec. Sumptuous.
While I grazed the food stations, I looked over and noticed a man in black, his back to the corner (and, of course, why wouldn't he have his back to the corner?): Steve Schirippa, who played Bobby Baccalieri on The Sopranos. New York, New York, baby.
So Papa comes back to our table with his plate of food.
"Just saw the ultimate in New York snobbery,'' he said. "Woman in front of me getting her food. Highlighted blonde hair. Mid- to late-40s. Clad in black. Hamptons tan. Waiting. She says, 'Totally different vibe in here tonight from Sunday. I was here Sunday, and the food was totally unedible.' ''
Unedible. Not inedible.
Then Ms. Hamptons Tan asked for filet, done medium well, and asked for it to be cut open so she could check whether it was cooked enough. The gal at the filet station cut it. Had some red inside.
"That needs to be cooked,'' Ms. Hamptons Tan sniffed.
As for Papa, he said he drew the line at sushi in a baseball park, would eat everything on his plate, then get a hot dog (or two) as the game went on.
Somehow I'm guessing the Tampa Bay Rays don't have braised cauliflower and short-rib-filled ravioli and ziti and salmon in a light lemon cream sauce at their pregame spread.
"I watched 2 games of Pryor, 7-8 of the other QB in draft. Based on those 2 games, Pryor a late round pick at best. Want to see more.''
-- @gregcosell, the NFL Films gametape analyst and executive producer of the NFL Matchup show, on Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who intends to enter the NFL's Supplemental Draft this summer.
"I bet heaven has wifi.''
-- @arianfoster, the 2010 NFL rushing champion, apropos of nothing, Sunday morning.
"LeBron now takes his talents to the coughseason.''
-- @SteveSerby, the New York Post columnist, after the Miami Heat and LeBron James lost the NBA Championship Series to Dallas Sunday night.