"I don't want to retire. Nobody loves their job more than I do. Nobody loves playing quarterback more than I do. I still want to play.''
-- Peyton Manning, at the announcement of his departure from the Colts.
"He is the man I want, period. I want Mr. Manning with the Titans, and I will be disappointed if it doesn't happen.''
-- Tennessee owner Bud Adams, to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean on Sunday.
"The Baltimore Colts are releasing Peyton Manning.''
-- NBC anchor Brian Williams, on the network's Super Tuesday coverage last week.
"Did I personally want [Brett] Favre INJURED? Absolutely and categorically NO! Did I feel like we, the Saints, had a better chance of being in the Super Bowl with Favre on the sideline? Of course. Would the Patriots and their fans have probably been excited to see Eli [Manning] on the bench with his foot up whispering that he was done? Would players on the sideline have made comments to that effect? Right or wrong, I'm guessing yes. Probably every Saints fan, player and coach got an adrenaline rush when thinking Minnesota might be in trouble. I said what many people were probably thinking, though maybe I said it in a way that sounded a bit too excited. I do regret saying it, though.''
-- Former Saints defensive end defensive end Anthony Hargrove, now with Seattle, in a statement to SI.com's Don Banks. After a high-low hit by the Saints sent a hobbled Favre to the sidelines in the NFC Championship Game two years ago, Hargrove was overheard on the Saints bench exclaiming, "Favre is out of the game! Favre is done! Favre is done!''
"If I'm hurt against the Saints the last couple of years, I'm suing the Saints.''
-- Former NFL quarterback Steve Young, now an ESPN analyst, in a network roundtable discussing the Saints bounty story.
Impact of Peyton Dept.:
How Indianapolis fared in the 13 seasons it had Peyton Manning, and in the two bookend seasons -- 1997 and 2011 -- that were the pre- and post-Peyton years:
Colts record in 13 seasons Manning played: 141-67 (.678)
Colts record in season before and season after Manning: 5-27 (.156)
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played the storied Apollo Theater in Manhattan Friday night, with Tom Coughlin in attendance.
I had a terrific time in Arizona over the weekend, watching three ballgames at three fairly new ballparks -- Goodyear Ballpark (home of the Reds and Indians) in Goodyear, 25 minutes west of Phoenix; Camelback Ranch (home of the White Sox and Dodgers) in Glendale, not far from the Cardinals stadium; and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick (home of the Diamondbacks and Rockies), about a half-hour northeast of downtown.
Spring training is so much different than it was 15 years ago. The size of these new stadiums is amazing. I bet the Salt River Fields complex -- not even including the minor-league and practice fields -- is the size of Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City. A huge place. The food is another amazing thing. At the Camelback stadium, I had soba noodles with eight kinds of vegetables right out of a huge wok. At the Goodyear park, I had a chicken taco -- a damn good one. At Salt River Fields there's a martini bar, four kinds of Leinenkugel beer from Wisconsin, a strawberry kabob covered in chocolate and a taco bar.
The tickets seemed like cover charges for the food and drink.
Two other points about Salt River Fields. The game Saturday night was sold out; we had to pay $25 apiece to a scalper for $8 outfield-grass tickets. And driving out of there, we passed a cautionary yellow road sign that read, "WILD HORSES.''
All in all, even with the stream of Rams-Redskins trade news and Peyton-related news on a weekend I'd love to have gotten away from it all, it was a fun time in a different world of baseball.
While in the Valley of the Sun, my brother-in-law Bob and I had a late lunch Saturday with a major-league pitcher. I'll give you eight clues who it was.
1. He played his high school baseball in New Jersey.
2. As a major-leaguer, he has struck out Derek Jeter and David Ortiz.
3. I have coached the daughter (first name Emma) of this pitcher's high school baseball coach, in New Jersey travel softball.
4. He has a lot of problems with the authenticity of the movie Moneyball.
5. Evan Longoria, Miguel Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Kevin Youkilis and Joey Votto are a combined 0-for-25 against him.
6. Felix Pie, Brent Morel, J.J. Hardy, Mike Aviles, Kyle Seager, Brendan Ryan and Billy Butler are a combined 16-for-19 against him.
7. He majored in Economics at a decent four-year college.
8. He has won his baseball team's fantasy football league title for the past two seasons.
Answer in Ten Things I Think I Think.
From resident Hoosier Angie Six's blog post about what Peyton Manning meant to a person who, formerly, never liked football:
"I love Peyton because he understands how Hoosiers tick. You show up, you work hard, you don't draw unnecessary attention to yourself. You don't brag or trash-talk. You do things the right way, the quiet way and believe that one day you'll be respected for it. That's the Midwestern way. I love Peyton because he can laugh at himself. I love Peyton because he's a perfectionist. I love Peyton because he orchestrated some of the most thrilling football I've ever seen. I love Peyton because he led us to a Super Bowl and gave us humble Hoosiers a chance to call ourselves champions. I love Peyton for all the good he does in our community. But most of all, I love Peyton because he turned me into a fan of the game."
"I give Peyton a ton of credit. Only meeting with teams he's legitimately interested in. Not playing leverage game w/others. Moving quickly.''
-- @BobGlauber, the prescient Newsday football writer, Sunday night as Manning flew to his offseason home in Miami.
"With 38 mill in dead money in 2012, Colts have about 82 mill to build roster. And Freeney counts 19 mill (23 pct). Adios #93''
-- @mchappell51, Colts beat man Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star, figuring that with all the roster cuts of the team in the past few days, Dwight Freeney (No. 93) is almost certainly gone in trade.
"So NY Daily News says Jets have tried to trade Wayne Hunter. For what? Two slices of pizza?"
-- @PriscoCBS, CBSSports.com NFL columnist Pete Prisco.
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