Quotes of the Week
“We’ve had our chances. Twice. More than twice, actually. I still have plenty of chances to do it. What I’ve learned is it’s really, really hard to win the Super Bowl. I didn’t get that perspective early, winning three out of the first four years I played. What I like about this franchise is we’ve got a shot every year. I love the fact we were in the AFC title game last year, the Super Bowl the year before that, and 14-2 the year before that. Can we win this year? It’ll be determined by our level of commitment, the mental toughness. We’ll find it out before the season. How committed are we?”
—New England quarterback Tom Brady, to me, on the Patriots’ eight-season Super Bowl drought, after winning three in four years.
Read more from Brady, including his first public comments on Aaron Hernandez, Tuesday in our recurring 3Q series, featuring a three-question interview with an NFL person of interest scheduled to post each weekday at 3 p.m. ET.
“I never asked. This is my personal life, and if I want to do something with my family, I’m going to do it.”
—Jets coach Rex Ryan, to Steve Serby of the New York Post, on not informing the team that he was going to be running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Ryan ran with the bulls two straight days earlier this month, the first with his son Payton and second with his wife, Michelle. He said he’d rather make good family memories than think about the dangers of doing it.
“Amber hosted a full hour of ‘NFL Total Access’ in full-on labor. And she was very focused doing it.”
—Ronit Larone, senior coordinating producer of studio production for NFL Network, on Amber Theoharis working the full hour of the NFL Total Access show Wednesday with co-host Paul Burmeister and guests Willie McGinest and Warren Sapp. Less than five hours after signing off, with her show makeup still on, the 34-year-old Theoharis delivered a healthy girl by Caesarian section.
In No. 2 of this week’s Ten Things, I’ve got more on a fairly wild and wooly story for you.
“I hope they do well. They better not win a championship without me because I’ll be really pissed.”
—Recently retired Chicago middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, to Dave Dameshek of NFL.com, about his hopes for the 2013 Bears.
Well, at least the man’s honest.
“The American League is not the Taliban!”
—Jerry Seinfeld, to Steve Somers of WFAN in New York. Seinfeld, a big Mets fan, went to the All-Star Game and got ticked off that the crowd booed the introduction of the American League team.
Stat of the Week
Promissory note about the first seven days of The MMQB: We’ll write something—a story, some column notes, an interview, video, or something else—on every one of the 32 teams. And I’ll be more egalitarian about coverage than I normally am with the regular Monday Morning Quarterback column. Andy DeGory of The MMQB tallied up how many words I wrote in the news sections of my first 23 Monday columns (not including things like Quotes and Tweets of the Week) of this year, and it brought home how I’ve got to do a better job covering all the teams.
I’ve written approximately 91,220 football words in my dispatches—only 129 about Miami, 192 about Dallas, 370 about Houston, 501 about Tennessee, 553 about the Giants, 622 about Carolina, 628 about Cincinnati, 738 about Kansas City, 948 about Pittsburgh and 952 about New Orleans. Those are the teams I’ve short-shrifted.
Conversely, there have been 13,740 words on the Ravens, 7,346 on the Niners (figures; they were in the Super Bowl), 5,044 on New England, 4,545 on the Jets, 4,444 on Oakland and 4,163 on St. Louis.
Watch our site, and call me on it if your team isn’t being covered. I’ll listen.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
I think it interests Bill Parcells too.
In April, Parcells had his left shoulder replaced. (The damage in the shoulder dated back to an old football injury.) At the time of the surgery, good friend Sean Payton called him.
“I’m sending you something,” Payton said.
“No! Don’t send me anything,” Parcells said.
“No, I’m sending you something. Don’t worry about it,” said Payton.
Via overnight delivery, a large box arrived for Parcells. Inside was the Game Ready Injury Treatment System, a gizmo that combines intermittent compression and cold therapy in the same durable sleeve, attached to a portable generator. Players in all sports use Game Ready to hasten recovery time—and it’s even used on horses. Parcells learned the mechanics of the device and began using it on his shoulder. Approximate cost of Game Ready: $4,700.
“That thing is good,” said Parcells, who is still a month or so away from getting back on the golf course in Saratoga with his friend Dan Henning, a fellow summer Saratogan.”It’s really helped my rehab.”
Sean Payton: pretty good friend right there.
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
This Week’s Sign We Have Officially Gone Off Our Rocker As a Society I:
A 20-ounce bottle of smartwater at JFK International Airport costs $3.99. Smartwater, according to the ingredients, is “vapor-distilled water.” In other words, water.
This Week’s Sign We Have Officially Gone Off Our Rocker As a Society II:
I bought the water.
That was, of course, before the 30ish woman in the center seat next to me on the 5-hour, 10-minute flight to Los Angeles Friday sat down, said hello, took out a case of about 30 foam curlers, and began brushing her shoulder-blade-length hair and rolling it up with the curlers. The whole process took about 30 minutes.
Really: Who does that?
I got brushed by flying hair only twice during the entire process, so I guess it wasn’t that bad.
So Oxnard is about an hour north of Los Angeles on the Pacific Coast, and if you look really hard, you can find one of the best little beach bars—incredibly reasonably priced, cash only, no food, chock-full of locals—I’ve been to. If you put $10 down at The Rudder Room for a Miller Lite and a Heineken, you get enough change back to leave a good tip and have a little left over. At which California bar with a view of the sunset can you say that?
Tweets of the Week
“We are who we are. Sports don’t make us smarter.”
—Nate Newton, a veteran of both the Dallas Cowboys and prison, to @AlbertBreer of NFL Network, on the lessons from the Aaron Hernandez story.
“Peter King just uttered the phrase, ‘I’m in this’ while explaining why he thinks he can be the foreign policy Republican candidate.”
—@chucktodd, the White House correspondent for NBC and MSNBC political show host.
I flatly deny that, Chuck.
Oh. You mean the other Peter King. Got it.
“No sports tonight is extremely disturbing. I don’t know what to do.”
—@geoffschwartz, the Kansas City offensive lineman, tweeting at 11:19 p.m. ET Thursday, the last day of the All-Star Break for the 30 major-league teams, on what was quite possibly the slowest day of the year on the American sports calendar.
A suggestion, Geoff: pick up Whitey Bulger, the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction life story of the gangster on trial for his life in Boston these days, by Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy of the Boston Globe. I know I pumped the book last week, but it’s so vivid and, at times, disturbing that you’ll want to sleep with the lights on if you read before bed.
“So the rumors are true. I’m going back to STL!! Is anyone as excited as I am? NOPE!”
—@willwitherspoon, the former and current Rams linebacker, breaking the news on Twitter that he signed with the Rams as a free agent.