"Junior obviously had been facing demons for at least 18 months. That's no longer speculation. People can take pills, run their car off the road and that's a cry for help. He was crying out for help. Yet he was too proud to ask for it. What I'd like to see done ... There is no exit strategy from the NFL. It's 'You're done.' You don't even get an apple and a road map. What needs to happen is mandatory counseling. In 15 years as a middle linebacker, I never would have thought of seeing a counselor. I saw one in my divorce, and I just called my counselor today. It can't be optional, because macho players are taught to be invincible and they're not going to do it. Make it mandatory.''
-- Former Junior Seau teammate and veteran middle linebacker Gary Plummer, to Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group, with one of the best ideas I've heard to come out of this tragedy.
"I have never been around a man with more love and passion for the game of football than Junior Seau, and he lived life the same way. Junior was always fun to be around, always positive and made every person who knew him feel like he was their best friend. You never heard one negative word come out of his mouth. Junior just had this energy that followed him around wherever he went, almost like theme music. It was like he never had a bad day. As a young linebacker, Junior was my hero growing up and once I had the opportunity to meet him I saw that he was everything I hoped he would be and more. Getting the chance to play alongside of Junior Seau, the greatest linebacker to ever play the game, made my dreams come true. I am absolutely devastated to hear this news. Today I lost my hero, my friend, my buddy."
-- Zach Thomas, the former Dolphins linebacker and teammate of Seau.
"I pray to God please, 'Take me! Take me! Leave my son!' But it's too late, too late."
-- Junior Seau's mother, Luisa, shortly after her son's suicide Wednesday. Her highly emotional reaction, played for hours Wednesday, was extraordinarily painful to watch.
"I won't give you the vision on what I think his role will be in the offense. But I would just say that to the best of my knowledge, I believe that what Coach (Ryan) said is he can play anywhere from one to 20 snaps, somewhere like that. And I would say what coach said is 100 percent correct. As far as how we'll use Tim or what we'll do with Tim that way, we're going to keep that to us right now.''
-- New York Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, mum about plans for Tim Tebow in the team's offense this fall. It won't be much of a secret. He's going to play Wildcat quarterback, some running back and some personal protector on the punt team -- the spot between the center and the punter -- at the very least.
Someone has to tell me this: Why is the train station in downtown New York called Pennsylvania Station and the train station in downtown Newark called Pennsylvania Station and the train station in downtown Baltimore called Pennsylvania Station ... while the train station in downtown Philadelphia is called 30th Street Station, and the train station in Pittsburgh is called Union Station?
Scurrying to Wikipedia already this morning, are you?
Three other Acela comments this morning, after a round-trip to Washington Friday and Saturday:
1. The coffee is still pathetic.
2. The Wi-Fi stinks. If you're going to install Wi-Fi covering six train cars, it ought to cover six train cars of people using laptops and tablets. Amtrak's is so glacially slow that you give up on the Wi-Fi and wait to get to your destination.
3. It's the only way to go up and down the East Coast.
Stanford tight end Coby Fleener, the 34th pick in the draft, wrote a story about me for a class at Stanford ... and he got it published in the Peninsula Press in the Bay Area.
Story behind the story, if you care: Fleener, in his fifth year at Stanford, is a master's student in communication. His professor for a class called Specialized Reporting and Writing, the one who assigned Fleener to interview and write about a member of the news media, is Gary Pomerantz, who covered the Redskins for The Washington Post when I covered the Giants for Newsday.
Fleener has already accomplished one very big thing with the publication of this story that's essential to journalism: He's made an uninteresting person sound interesting. You've got a future, kid, if this football thing doesn't work out.
"I feel like Sonny Corleone at the toll booth.''
-- @untouchablejay4, Ravens pass-rusher Terrell Suggs at 1:36 a.m. ET Saturday.
For one of three reasons:
1. He suffered an Achilles tendon injury last week that will require surgery this week.
2. He had a rough Friday night.
3. He feels bad about leaving his Super Bowl-contending team in the lurch.
"Really proud of the way Eli handled the big stage. Think I'll get him a present to celebrate. Maybe a banana lol"
-- @JustinTuckNYG91, Eli Manning's teammate and Giants defensive end, after watching Manning in a rather blue skit poke fun at his manhood.
"Albert Pujols is not even taking batting practice. He was essentially told by #Angels MGR Mike Scioscia to not even pick up a bat today."
-- @MikeDiGiovanna, Angels beat writer for the Los Angeles Times, at 4 Anaheim time Saturday afternoon.
You can't tell me the Angels aren't sweating over Pujols a little. Not that he's finished; but, "My God! We have 9.8 years of this guy's contract left!"
One-hundred-eighteen plate appearances. One home run. When Scioscia benched him Saturday, he was five for his last 47 (.106 BA, .128 slugging percentage, .253 OPS), with one RBI, over a two-week period. Fans booed him at the Big A Friday night. Not overwhelmingly, but there was more than a smattering. What an amazing story.