"Some people will never understand the feeling of what it means to be an Auburn man. But I'm lucky enough to be able to raise my right hand and be able to say, 'I can.' "
-- Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, part of a poem he read at a ceremony unveiling his statue on the Auburn campus Saturday. Auburn had statues of its three Heisman winners (also Pat Sullivan and Bo Jackson) commissioned for campus.
"He beat Robert Griffin 59 to 24, he beat Andrew Luck in the Fiesta Bowl, he beat Landry Jones, he beat Ryan Tannehill. I like Brandon Weeden, as you can tell. I would find something for him to do.''
-- ESPN analyst Jon Gruden, on Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden.
"I ain't going to say I was sad because the only thing they remember is that pass. You gotta go back and look at the rest of the games. I wasn't getting no balls, and you had to make some of these plays where some players were open and he is not making the throws. But I don't want to talk bad about Tim, but hey, I am happy we got Peyton."
-- Denver wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to WQXI in Atlanta, via sportsradiointerviews.com, talking about the loss of Tim Tebow and the addition of Peyton Manning.
I don't want to talk bad about Tim? Imagine what Thomas would say if he wanted to be really critical of Tebow.
Interesting that the pass to which Thomas refers is so easily wiped away, minimized, forgotten, whatever. There are Hall of Fame receivers who don't have the kind of electric, scintillating, once-in-a-career moment Thomas had when he caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from Tebow on the first play of overtime to beat Super Bowl contender Pittsburgh in the playoffs in January.
Demaryius, the day you retire, ESPN will replay that 80-yard touchdown pass five times. You'll have to have an incredible career for any play you ever make to eclipse that forgettable, meaningless touchdown that made the earth shake on the field in Denver that day.
In other words, a little gratitude toward the departed thrower of that biggest reception of your NFL career might be nice.
"People need to hear how far-gone this league has gotten and how far removed we have taken ourselves as a society to care about lives less than we care about winning f------ football games. It's unreal to me, man. It's just a sport ... It's exhausting to try and explain why this is wrong to people. There are mothers I've talked to who lost their children because of concussions suffered in youth football. When I listened to the [Gregg Williams] audio, all I can picture are these mothers bawling their eyes out and being so irate that these people don't care about their kids.''
-- Former Saints tackle Kyle Turley, to Alex Marvez of foxsports.com, on why, even though he is a close friend of Steve Gleason's, he supported the release of Sean Pamphilon's audio tape with the inflammatory pregame speech by then-Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams from last January.
This from the mind of the great Gil Brandt:
Amazing the bust factor at linebacker in the last 10 years. Brandt tipped me onto this, and he's absolutely right: Look at the top 10 picks in the draft from 2001 to 2010. Six have been linebackers (if you count Terrell Suggs as a defensive end). The six are A.J. Hawk, Ernie Sims, Keith Rivers, Jerod Mayo, Aaron Curry and Rolando McClain. One of the six has made a Pro Bowl -- Mayo -- and he's made just one. Rivers was traded to the Giants for a pittance of a fifth-round pick on Friday. Curry was dealt from Seattle to the Raiders for a seventh-rounder last year. The Eagles gave up a fifth-round pick for Sims in 2010; he's an unsigned free agent now. Hawk and McClain have been pedestrian at best in Green Bay and Oakland, respectively.
One Pro Bowl linebacker picked in a decade in the top 10 of the draft. Contrast that to defensive linemen: Twenty-six were picked in the top 10 of the draft from 2001 to 2010 -- obviously counting Suggs as a defensive end -- and those 26 have made 29 Pro Bowls.
Boise State defensive end Shea McClellin, from the tiny town of Marsing in southwest Idaho, grew up on Chicken Dinner Road.
"She is gone ... The unsinkable ship ... Lost in the depths ... All around check their watches 2.20 a.m. -- exactly.''
-- @TitanicRealTime, a living history invention by The History Press, with real-time tweets as though they were being sent exactly 100 years to the minute after the ship's ill-fated voyage ended in a sunken ship 100 years ago Saturday night, at 9:20 Eastern (2:20 a.m. Sunday England time).
"Yanks home opener. Elevator door opens and there's Ben Roethlisberger. Sure, why not?''
-- @TylerKepner, ace baseball writer for the New York Times, at 10:14 a.m. Friday, almost three hours before the first pitch of the Yanks home season opener, versus the Angels.
''Sounds like an article from The Onion.''
-- @Andy_Benoit, an NFL writer for the New York Times and CBSSports.com, responding to a ProFootballTalk.com item on Vince Young still seeing himself as a starting NFL quarterback.