Quotes of the Week
“I’m the best corner in the game! When you try me with some sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you’re gonna get!!!”
—Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, to FOX’s Erin Andrews, moments after the Seahawks finished off San Francisco on Sherman’s pass deflection.
“Tom Brady owes me his house. I’m the reason why he’s married to who he’s married to. I’m the reasons for a lot of that, because they overturned that call.”
—Oakland safety Charles Woodson, on NFL Network’s GameDay First pregame show Sunday, harkening back fondly to the day 12 years ago when the Tuck Rule helped start the New England run of three Super Bowl wins in four years.
“I was destined to do this.”
—New Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer, in his introductory press conference Friday.
“It will haunt me for the rest of my career, a breakdown in the most critical time. That’s going to haunt you forever.”
—Chargers safety Eric Weddle, on the coverage breakdown that contributed to Peyton Manning converting a game-turning 3rd-and-17 pass to wide-open tight end Julius Thomas in the AFC divisional playoff game eight days ago, to San Diego radio station The Mighty 1090.
“That’s my dog. Cash that check, baby!”
—New England cornerback Aqib Talib, on cornerback Marquice Cole, who went back and forth between the Patriots roster and unemployment this season, before the Broncos signed him Monday to fill the hole left by the injury to Chris Harris. Cole was ripped by Patriots fans on social media for being a turncoat, which is so logical, seeing as how they thought he should stay unemployed rather than make $42,000 for being on the Broncos for the championship game and then, if Denver advanced, either the $46,000 losers’ share or $92,000 winners’ share for being on a Super Bowl team.
“Perhaps some of you might ask the question, ‘Who is Jim Caldwell?’ I’m from the Midwest, from the heartland, a small town in southern Wisconsin, Beloit, and it’s right on the state line. I know one time my dad referred to Beloit as a poke-and-plumb town. He said, ‘If you’re driving in your car, by the time you poke your head out the window to see where you are, you’re plumb out of town.’ So, it’s a very small, little town. But I am also a husband. My wife, Cheryl, of 37 years has certainly been with me for quite some time. We grew up together in Beloit, so we’ve actually dated since we were 15 years of age. You can do the math on that one. We are the products of a very tough and gritty, hard-nosed, blue-collar community. That’s who we are. My father worked in the automotive industry for 35 years. The UAW took care of my family. My mother was a nurse’s aide and climbed her way up to an RN and then she had an opportunity to work in an area that she loved in geriatric care. She was a supervisor of a nursing home toward the end of her career. I am also a brother. I have an older sister and I have a younger brother. My younger brother is in his 34th year in the automotive industry and they both live right down the road in Fort Wayne, Ind. I am a father. Cheryl and I have four children—Jimmy, Jermaine, Jared and Natalie. They are 32, 34, 30 and 28, so we’re at the other end of the spectrum of a lot of families. But nevertheless, they’re fine people and we’re certainly proud of them. We also have a daughter-in-law and in the spice of life, we have two grandchildren.
“… [Regarding players] we have to make certain that we have a service and a commitment to service to our community and to our fan base. I think that’s a huge part of it. One of the great descriptions I’ve ever heard about a person is velvet and steel, that an individual should be, particularly guys that play this game, like a piece of steel wrapped in velvet. So, on the field you’ll find a hard-nosed, tough, fast, physical individual. But then out in our community, you’ll see them as caring, as kind, as cordial as you’ll ever see a human being. That’s the combination we’re looking for, civility and toughness.”
—New Detroit coach Jim Caldwell, introducing himself at his first press conference with the Lions.
That, folks, is how you tell people who you are, and the kind of people you want on your team.
“Why do they call it Happy Hour when what it is, is people drinking and bitching about their jobs? I never got that.”
—Tight ends coach Mike Pope, formerly of the Giants. He was released from his job last week, as you read in my tribute to him above.
I just liked the quote, and I couldn’t find any other place for it, so here it is.
Stats of the Week
In Peyton Manning’s last 10 quarters played, Denver punter Britton Colquitt has had a pretty easy job. Manning, in the last game of the regular season against the Raiders, left at halftime with a 31-0 lead. And in his two playoff games, Colquitt has watched the Broncos win twice with some long drives. But he hasn’t gotten on the field much. Once, to be exact. The tale of his tape in the last three Denver games, with Manning at the controls of the offense:
|At Oakland, Dec. 29||5||0||4||1|
|San Diego, Jan. 12||8||0||3||1|
|New England, Jan. 19||8||1||2||4|
Thus, in Manning’s 21 possessions over the past three games, Denver has scored 15 times and punted once.
Let the record show that, for the $11 million he earned this season from the Seahawks, and for the first-, third- and seventh-round picks the trade cost Seattle, this was Percy Harvin’s 2013 output:
Seattle games: 18.
Harvin games: 2.
Number of Seattle offensive plays: 1,087.
Number of offensive plays for Harvin: 38.
Number of Harvin offensive touches: 5.
Offensive yards by Harvin: 47.
Harvin touchdowns: 0.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
This is “Golden” Tate, of Kirkland, Wash., and he is responsible for his owner, 20-year-old Chris Foss of Kirkland, winning two tickets to the NFC Championship Game Sunday.
Tate is a 3-month-old golden retriever, named after Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate. When Foss and his girlfriend got the dog recently, they debated three names: Earl (Thomas), Russ (Wilson) and (Golden) Tate. “We both love the Seahawks, and we both love golden retrievers,” Foss said Saturday. “Earl and Russ were good names, but he is a golden retriever, and they catch so well … it seemed pretty natural. Golden Tate.”
Foss has a No. 51 Bruce Irvin jersey, and he draped it on Tate, who stayed still long enough for the picture. “It was kind of cute,” Foss said.
Foss posted the photo on Instagram on Friday, also known in Seattle on game weekends as “Blue Friday” with a TGIBF (Thank God It’s Blue Friday) hashtag. Smitten with the cute-as-a-button photo and the dog name, the Seahawks found Foss and gave him two tickets to the game. He took his dad.
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Notes of the Week
I have three:
1. The Minneapolis airport hit a symphonic home run Thursday afternoon. As I was passing through connecting for a flight to Denver, a woman played a harp. Beautifully, I might add. “Ode to Joy,” I think.
2. The AFC media hotel over the weekend was the classic 122-year-old Brown Palace Hotel. Six presidents have stayed here. And The Beatles. And I thought: I have been here before. I was … 32 years ago, when the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News brought me in for a job interview when I worked in Cincinnati. Very cool place, with a big atrium lobby and a grand staircase up from the lobby to all floors. Thirty-two years. That’s the record between stays at a hotel for me.
3. Traffic in Denver is insane. It’s underrated nationally. It took me 90 minutes at rush hour Friday afternoon to drive 14 miles from the southern ‘burbs of Denver to downtown. Crawled along as though I was on the Garden State Parkway, headed south for the shore, on a July Friday afternoon at 5.
Tweets of the Week
“It’s sad that one player can make me dislike a whole team… #richardsherman”
—@KevinBossman, former NFL tight end Kevin Boss.
Judging by my Twitter mentions, Kevin, you’re not alone.
“Will never forget loud curse by John Schneider in GB Draft room when Buffalo took Marshawn Lynch ahead of us in ’07. Now he’s got him.”
—@adbrandt, The MMQB’s Andrew Brandt, after Lynch ran for a pinballing touchdown in the NFC title game. Brandt was a Green Bay executive at the time, and Schneider a club scout.
“Geno Smith intercepted at the airlines. Damn.”
—@MartysaurusRex, Bears tight end Martellus Bennett, after Jets quarterback Geno Smith was removed from a Los Angeles-to-Fort Lauderdale flight, either for not turning off his headphones before takeoff or continuing to speak on his phone and delaying the flight—the matter is in dispute.
“My eating habits are horrible. Favorite restaurant is Waffle House. How sad is that?”
—@StephenKing, the writer.
Get the scrambled eggs with cheese, and the raisin toast. I beg you. Might be the best breakfast of all time.