"At this point, talking about the playoffs seems inappropriate."
-- San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers, after the Chargers fell three games behind Denver Sunday with their second loss of the season to the Broncos.
Even if the Chargers go 6-0 down the stretch, Denver would have to go 2-4 or worse for San Diego to win the division.
"In the locker room after the game, the way they were just dancing around and acting. The enthusiasm is so raw. It's just awesome. They are so passionate ... I just love the college game. I love the pageantry. I loved that both teams were in their home uniforms. I thought that was so awesome. I just got a kick out of watching their student body and our student body. I can't wait to hug my mom, shake my dad's hand and kiss my kids."
-- First-year UCLA coach Jim Mora, after his Bruins beat USC 38-28 in the battle for Los Angeles Saturday at the Rose Bowl. Last year, USC beat UCLA 50-0, paving the way for UCLA to make a coaching change and hire the fiery Mora, who felt he was unfairly and precipitously fired as an NFL head coach in Atlanta and Seattle.
"That's the old rule number one you never do. You're in your 15th year, and you kind of just say, 'Who gives a ----.''
-- Peyton Manning, miked by NFL Films for NFL Network's SoundFX show, running off the field after throwing a pass across his body, rolling right and throwing left, hitting Brandon Stokley for a touchdown against Carolina eight days ago.
Manning sounded like a coach often in the miking, gathering his offensive mates at one point and barking: "Let's address this now, so we don't do it at the end of the game and say, 'This is what went wrong.' We've made mental errors on every single play. I don't have to review 'em, right? There's not one thing they've done to stop us, right? Do our jobs better, and we'll execute. All right? Let's go. Hone in."
Shawne Merriman, who had his first sack of the season Thursday night for Buffalo, averaged 13.2 sacks per year in his first three NFL seasons. He's averaged 1.2 sacks per year in his last five seasons.
The quarterback coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Clyde Christensen, has tutored Peyton Manning and now Andrew Luck, but he has been around defensive greatness in his life too. For two years in college, when he was a backup quarterback at the University of North Carolina, he roomed with Lawrence Taylor in a Chapel Hill dorm.
Three of them:
Nov. 14. Step on the Hertz bus at O'Hare. Andy Williams and a chorus are warbling. "Ding dong, ding dong ... It's the most wonderful time of the year ... '' Christmas carols eight days before Thanksgiving. Why, America? Why?
Ten-letter billboard, huge, on I-65 south on the drive to Indianapolis, somewhere around Valparaiso: "HELL IS REAL." Yikes!
And this: There's a Starbucks in downtown Indy, on the circle surrounding the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, and I pulled up behind an Indianapolis police officer in front of it, put my flashers on, and ran in to get coffee. On my way out, five minutes later, the officer rolls down his window and says to me, "That your car?''
"Yes,'' I said.
"Need your driver's license,'' he said. "I can't believe you did that, right behind a cop. You parked in front of the hydrant.''
"My God, I never saw it,'' I said. "What an idiot I am."
He took my license, wrote out the ticket, handed it to me, and I said, "Sorry.'' I got in the car, and as I got set to leave, the officer got out of his car and gave me the stop sign, walking to the passenger window. I rolled it down.
"Give me that ticket,'' he said. "You were just in there for a couple minutes.''
"No, I did it,'' I said. "It's OK. My fault.''
And I started to realize: This man is about to rip up a ticket, for whatever reason, and I'm trying to argue him out of it?
Play idiot much?
Officer: "No, I'll take it. Just come back and see us. Say nice things about our city."
Me: "Hey, thanks a lot."
Say nice things about Indy, the greatest city on the face of the earth, kind sir? Sure thing!
"Rivers is to turnovers what an ATM is to cash ... just keeps giving it away."
-- @wingoz, ESPN anchor Trey Wingo, watching San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers give the Broncos opportunities in Denver.
"Good job today #NYJETS for beating up on Shotty n the #RAMS''
-- @santonio10, injured Jets wideout Santonio Holmes, who watched the Jets' road win against St. Louis and Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer (last year's Jets' OC) from home.
"Sanchez lookin good! Don't let me see 15 back on the field ..."
-- @RealJoeNamath, watching Jets-Rams after an ineffective running play by No. 15, Tim Tebow, in the first half.
"Anonymous Jets: Mother Teresa "terrible."
-- @NYPost_Serby, columnist Steve Serby, who's good for one of these per week. Or more.
"I'm sick about this crap. Philly is my home. I feel like I'm letting my family down"
-- @BrentCelek, the Eagles tight end, after Philadelphia's sixth straight loss, the first six-game losing streak of the Andy Reid Era.