"The honeymoon has lasted shorter than a Kardashian honeymoon.''
-- FOX play-by-play man Joe Buck, late in Saints-Packers, after the real-ref officiating crew called New Orleans return man Darren Sproles down by contact when he clearly fumbled, causing the boos to rain down on an officiating crew the Lambeau Field crowd greeted warmly before the game.
"You always have costs for the short term, but you sometimes have to experience that to get to the right place in the long term. And that's sometimes a painful thing. We are sorry to have to put our fans through that, but in the short term it's something you have to do to make sure you get the right type of agreement for the long term."
-- Commissioner Roger Goodell, after the settlement between the league and the regular officials.
"Sanchez is still the answer.''
-- Jets coach Rex Ryan, after the 34-0 home loss to the 49ers.
What's the question? Who's getting yanked in the next couple of weeks as Jets quarterback?
Geno Smith, the West Virginia quarterback, is about the same dimensions as Robert Griffin III (6-foot-3, 215), but not quite as mobile. As far as production, Smith is matching, and exceeding, RGIII early in his career. The stat line for Smith -- first for his starts in the 2012 regular season, then for his stats in all games played in 2012.
I spoke with two veteran personnel men Saturday night after Smith's incredible eight-touchdown, six-incompletion game against Baylor. "It's early,'' said one general manger whose team will be scouting quarterbacks this fall. "I haven't seen him in person yet. But I saw most of this game [against Baylor] and what's impressive is his downfield accuracy. He doesn't have the mobility Griffin has, but he has very good arm strength, and when he leaves the pocket, he can make people miss.''
Another scout said it's way too early to tell whether Smith has passed Matt Barkley of USC atop the quarterback boards of NFL teams. "But I know when he went to the Manning camp in Louisiana in July, he impressed everyone with his play and his presence,'' the scout said. "He's the kind of guy who takes control of a huddle and gets guys to play for him.''
The problem with asking NFL people in late September about prospects is that they're going largely on 2011 opinions and maybe some hearsay from friends out on the road. It'll be November before we know if Smith has really taken the pro league by storm.
Each week, thanks to play-by-play game dissection by ProFootballFocus.com, I'll look at one important matchup or individual performance metric from one of the Sunday games.
So how did the 49ers attack the Jets without Darrelle Revis on Sunday? It turns out San Francisco decided the best way to beat the Jets was to run the ball and let New York implode on offense. That was smart. The 49ers ran the ball on 44 of 68 offensive plays, and those 44 runs yielded 245 yards, a 5.6-yard average.
As for the cornerbacks on those 24 pass plays, ProFootballFocus.com charted Antonio Cromartie to have had a very good game, targeted four times and giving up no completions. Revis' sub, Kyle Wilson, gave up four completions and was targeted eight times -- but Wilson was beaten on three of the four plays he didn't allow a completion; Alex Smith overthrew his intended receiver on those three attempts. Backups Ellis Langster (12 snaps) and converted running back Joe McKnight (two snaps) were not targeted by the Niners.
In short, it won't matter how bad Wilson plays in the future, and clearly he was the weak link among the corners on Sunday. If New York doesn't stop the run better than it did Sunday, the loss of Revis will be relatively unimportant and their season will go up in flames.
When the negotiating team for NFL officials and league negotiators finished their work last week in the Times Square offices of the law firm Proskauer Rose in Manhattan, the weary group passed another group of men and women in business attire, headed into the law firm for what appeared to be high-level meetings of some kind.
"Who are they?'' one of the members of the NFL Referees Association asked an attorney.
"The NHL guys,'' the attorney said. "They're next up."
The agent for baseball writer extraordinaire Peter Gammons is former Bears first-round defensive end Trace Armstrong.
My five favorite NFL hotels:
1. Cambria Suites, Green Bay. Good hard bed, good TVs, excellent location -- eight-minute walk from Lambeau.
2. Omni Severin, Indianapolis. Quiet, short walk to Lucas Oil Field, Starbucks in the lobby, close to downtown restaurants. Indy Westin's golden too.
3. J.W. Marriott or Harrah's, New Orleans. Tossup. Both a brisk walk to the Superdome. Both have great rooms and are quiet, despite being in the din of the New Orleans craziness.
4. Four Seasons, Seattle. Not to go all tres-chic on you or anything, but I've managed to sneak in here on a couple of low-rate weekends. Views of Puget Sound and a 15-minute walk past 13 coffee shops on the way to the football stadium.
5. Cincinnatian, Cincinnati. Got to know this place writing about Boomer Esiason ages ago, interviewing him in his room the night before a game. "It's so quiet here,'' he said. "I love it." That makes two of us.
I'm not a Hamptons guy. It's beautiful out there on the eastern edge of Long Island, but before Saturday -- when I went out to slog through a road race -- I'd only been there a couple of times in my life. So I'm behind in the glitterati standings.
Anyway, the place is utterly beautiful, as you'd figure. But friends tell me it's supposed to be a nightmare of traffic and party animals from the Fourth of July to Labor Day. How can it be worse than 43 minutes to crawl through six miles around Bridgehampton, which is what it took on Saturday in the early afternoon? It's Sept. 29, an overcast day, occasionally spitting a misty rain, humid and 62 degrees. No beach traffic. Imagine if it had been a nice day, and imagine if it had been a month earlier. I just wonder: How do the locals take it?
"Mark Sanchez is the most popular quarterback in Sadomasochism Fantasy Leagues."
-- @StevePoliti, the columnist of the (Newark) Star Ledger, after the 49ers dropped an easy interception in the second half against Sanchez -- who was awful Sunday.
"I hate bye weeks!!!''
-- @LaMarr Woodley of the Steelers, who had the unenviable early (except to rehabbing James Harrison and Troy Polamalu) Week 4 bye, on Sunday morning.
"The difference between Shawn Hochuli and his dad is that Shawn doesn't wear an extra small shirt."
-- @MikePereira, the FOX officiating consultant, watching Shawn Hochuli work a college football game, California versus Arizona State, on Saturday. Ed Hochuli, the dad, the muscular lawyer/referee, worked Bengals-Jags Sunday and is featured in this week's SI.
"After catching a few hours of sleep, the #Packers game is still just as painful. #Returntherealrefs''
-- @GovWalker, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, last Tuesday.
I see the man who won the battle in 2011 to rid Wisconsin of many of its union rights supported the NFL Referees Association, and from the look of the internet last Tuesday, I'm not the only one who noticed the irony.
In 2011, Walker advanced a bill in Wisconsin to deny unions in the state the ability to bargain collectively for pensions and to peg public employees' raises to the inflation rate. In 2012, the NFL officials' union bargained for lucrative pensions and for salaries above and beyond the inflation rate.
Hmmm. I am missing something here. Help me on this one.
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