Quotes of the Week
“It’s terrible. It’s not fun. As great as it is to win, it’s lousy when you lose any game. Sunday Night Football is a big game and a big environment. To come here and come up short hurts and stings. But how many teams have ever gone undefeated given the history of football?’’
—Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith, after his team suffered its first loss of the season at Denver Sunday night. The loss meant there are no undefeateds left in football this year.
“Please move away from the windows and the front row of the press box. Severe weather is approaching.”
—A warning in the press box at Soldier Field Sunday, as a series of black clouds approached the stadium.
In other words, Those windows in front of you might get blown out. We’d like to keep you scribes around for the second half.
—Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano, asked Friday if the club had buyer’s remorse over trading its top draft choice in 2014 for Trent Richardson in September.
The trade was two months ago today. While I am not ready to say it’s a debacle of a deal, Richardson has not done well in either making people miss or powering out of the grasp of tacklers at the line of scrimmage. Richardson has played eight games for the Colts now (96 carries, 272 yards, 2.8 yards per rush), and on Thursday in Nashville the Colts seemed to be transitioning to the hotter hand, incumbent back Donald Brown.
Here’s what would be alarming to me if I were Pagano: Richardson has gone four straight games averaging fewer than three yards per carry (2.6, 2.5, 0.4, 2.8). He has not had a 20-yard run as a Colt. His longest run in the last month is eight yards.
“We’re going to stay patient,’’ said Pagano. “His numbers will come. His yards will come … We miss a block here or there and a guy is sitting there free in the hole. I don’t know if he’s snake bit, I don’t know what the heck is going on. We’ll get it fixed. We’ll get the holes there. He’s making the right reads, he’s doing all the right things, he knows what to do. He played great without the ball, protection-wise.”
Eight games is too early to call the Richardson trade a terrible one. But it’s not too early to start thinking it.
“I don’t think it will ever go away. Just that little chip. It’s not anger or resentment or anything like that. But it’s a little chip.”
—Saints quarterback Drew Brees, to me, on how he’ll always carry the feeling of the 2012 league sanctions over the Saints’ bounty scandal with him.
Listen to my podcast with Brees:
“Everywhere we went for the next couple of years, people booed us when we ran out on the field.”
—Former Cowboys defensive tackle Bob Lilly, on fans around the NFL booing Dallas players in the years following the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
Lilly’s quote is from a one-hour Bob Costas special Wednesday at 11 p.m., on the NBC Sports Network. No Day For Games: The Cowboys and JFK.
I haven’t seen the show, but I’ve heard very good things about it. I recall last year Gil Brandt, who was the Cowboys’ chief scout in ’63, talking about what it was like for a Dallas team to fly to Cleveland the day after the assassination. The Cowboys were to play the Browns that Sunday. “The bellmen wouldn’t take our bags,’’ said Brandt. “I never have seen that. But we were from Dallas, the city that killed the president.”
The killing of the president is one of my first vivid memories. For those too young to remember it (meaning most of you), I’d recommend getting educated about it this week. It was quite an extraordinary time in the country, an extraordinarily sad time.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
Number of Green Bay starting quarterbacks over last three games: 3 (Aaron Rodgers, Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien).
Number of Green Bay starting quarterbacks over previous 371 games: 3 (Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn).
Stat of the Week
Peyton Manning is an equal-opportunity passer. Look at his four main targets through 10 games. He’s thrown to the four between 62 and 92 times, and completed between 45 and 61 balls to each. The details:
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
I have five:
1. Sat next to noted astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on a plane from Grand Rapids to LaGuardia Thursday morning. (Yes, you can actually fly Grand Rapids to New York nonstop.) I thought, “What can I say to one of the smartest men in America?’’ We were on our way to some small talk—he commented on the unkempt state of my backpack—when, about five minutes after takeoff, he fell asleep and was out for the entire flight. Doubtless had we spoken he’d have left me with one of his gems, like: “I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday, and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.” (Follow him on Twitter: @neiltyson.)
2. Thought I’d have a chance to try one of the autumnal Michigan brews during a meal stop at Ruby Tuesday’s in Grand Rapids. Bell’s Brewery, maybe, from nearby Kalamazoo; the Winter White or the Octoberfest, maybe. Nope. Largely chain beer, except for one Brooklyn selection. There’s a thriving Michigan beer culture, and none of it here. Why, Ruby Tuesday’s? Why?
3. Killed two flies in my room and relocated a ladybug from the room desk in the Chicago O’Hare Marriott over the weekend. What’s that all about?
4. Wasting too much plastic with all those tiny water bottles, Delta.
5. Passed a nut shop in the O’Hare terminal Saturday advertising toffee-covered nuts, calling them “luxurious.” Synonyms for “luxurious’’ in my online dictionary: opulent, extravagant, palatial. Never really thought of a toffee-covered nut as opulent or palatial, but maybe that’s just me.
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Tweets of the Week
—@NatePlay60, after Washington, and its celebrated quarterback, fell to 3-7.
“Marcus Mariota in 2013: 25TD, 0 INT.
“Nick Foles in 2013: 16TD, 0 INT.
“Think Chip Kelly’s offense works?’’
—@nfldraftscout, Matt Miller, NFL writer for Bleacher Report, on Saturday night.
“Badgers with 323 rushing yards in one half? Must have a good fullback … #IMightBeSlightlyBiased’’
—@JJWatt, the Houston defensive end, on Saturday. Derek Watt, his brother, is the 6-2, 227-pound starting fullback for Wisconsin, which had a productive day on the ground (finishing with 554 rushing yards) in a 51-3 rout of Indiana Saturday.
“President Kennedy 50 years ago today was at home in Palm Beach-attended church, watched @ChicagoBears v @packers, screened film ‘Tom Jones.’ ”
—@BeschlossDC, presidential historian Michael Beschloss, on Sunday, documenting how John F. Kennedy spent the last Sunday of his life 50 years ago.