"That's Ripley's to me. Maybe I got hit in the head or something. I don't remember that.''
-- Jets coach Rex Ryan, responding to a report in Sunday's New York Daily News that several receivers came to him to complain about offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. "Ripley's,'' for those of you younger than I, refers to "Ripley's Believe It or Not!'' It's a former comic strip documenting some incredible things that readers wouldn't normally believe.
"We're just focused on being better tomorrow than we were today. That's how we're judging success here.''
-- San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh, on his surprising Niners, who ran their record to 4-1 with a stunning 48-3 dismantling of Tampa Bay.
"About as miserable a feeling as we've had around here in a long time.''
-- Giants coach Tom Coughlin after the G-Men lost to Seattle, a team that lost its starting quarterback early in the third quarter.
If you're around 30, and you're reading this, you're probably a big NFL fan. And if you're not a student of history, you might wonder, rightfully, what's with all the hue and cry about Al Davis. I mean, since 1995, when the Raiders moved back to Oakland after spending 12 years in Los Angeles, this is how they compare to another struggling AFC franchise:
The Raiders have had a prolonged period of badness, to be sure. Now the question is: Has Al Davis laid the groundwork for a new generation of Raider greatness? Too early to tell, and I would be surprised if Jason Campbell can be a long-term great quarterback. But they play with a spirit that makes the old Raiders proud. They're fun to watch.
"Do your job'' is a statement Bill Belichick, via multiple NFL Films mikings, has made a part of the vernacular in New England.
"Do your job'' is something Bill Parcells used to say all the time coaching the Giants, with Belichick on the staff. (As in, "Just do your job and shut up,'' and variations of that theme that he'd say to his players.)
"Do your job'' is something Al Davis used to say when Parcells would call him and talk about what was going wrong with whatever team he was coaching at the time. It would be Davis' effort to get Parcells to get everyone on his team to take accountability, including players and coaches.
So the next time you hear Belichick say that statement, know that it had its birth with Al Davis.
It's with heavy hearts that my wife and I leave Boston after 32 very enjoyable months in the city's South End. We're moving to Manhattan. The work's there, and rather than commute back and forth on the train every Friday and Monday for nearly half the year, we just figured it'd be smarter for us to be located where most of my job takes place.
Five things we'll miss: Walking 28 minutes to Fenway Park ... Our neighbors who became good friends in the building at the corner of Shawmut and Waltham ... The South End restaurants (Picco in particular). I remember when we moved there Tom Brady told me, "You'll love the restaurants there. They're incredible.'' He was right ... Running along the Charles River last year with my half-marathonmeister, Roberto Portocarrero ... Walking everywhere in a tremendously walkable city. The one thing we really got used to was going two and three weeks without driving, a culture shock after New Jersey suburban life. Walking, particularly in a tremendous neighborhood like the South End, was a good leisure activity in itself.
Five things we won't miss: Hmmmm. There aren't five. We won't miss the wind (surprisingly strong year-'round) ... We won't miss the litter -- though I have a feeling we'll be heading into a new era of litter in New York ... The fact that April 10 felt like March 3 in the world we were used to ... But I can't think of much else. Boston was a terrific time in our lives. You've got a great place, Mayor Menino.
We'll be back early and often. I'm not giving up the family Red Sox tickets; I just won't go as much. I always wondered what it would be to live in the place that was The Big city when I was a kid growing up in Connecticut, and now, happily, I've found out.
"Thank you Mr. Davis for always being you -- the Brooklyn kid, the maverick ... the guy that DIDN'T want the merger. You were one of a kind."
-- @RealJoeNamath, and that may confuse you.
Wasn't Davis the one who pushed for the merger as American Football League commissioner in 1966? No. The NFL pushed for the merger because of how aggressive the AFL was in trying to poach draft choices -- like Davis did when he stole and signed Lance Alworth for the Chargers in 1962. Davis grew to think the AFL shouldn't merge because it would continue to grow more powerful and be a better TV game because of the exciting brand of football so many of its teams played. In fact, though, the large-market NFL teams at the time (Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington and New York) would have been able to get higher rights fees for its games, so how much longer the AFL could have flourished without the merger is unknown.