Quotes of the Week
“I’m not naïve. I know this is a huge deal and I know how important this is. But my role as of right now is to train for the combine and play in the N.F.L.”
—Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, to John Branch of The New York Times, in announcing he is gay Sunday night.
“Even with Stan Kroenke buying that stadium land, I would be surprised if there is an NFL team in the Los Angeles area in the next five years. I think the Rams will get a deal done to stay in St. Louis.”
—Sam Farmer, football writer at the Los Angeles Times, and the journalist most plugged into the future of the NFL in Los Angeles. You’ll hear his analysis of the NFL-in-LA situation on this week’s The MMQB Podcast With Peter King when it’s posted on Monday.
“Doug! We whipped their a–. That s— wasn’t even close.”
—Russell Wilson, 90 minutes after the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, to teammate Doug Baldwin in the Seattle locker room, as captured by Sports Illustrated’s Scott Price in his insightful game story in the magazine last week.
“Guys feel like, ‘If I can do this, it keeps me away from maybe Vicodin, it keeps me away from pain prescription drugs and things that guys get addicted to.’ Guys look at this as a more natural way to heal themselves, to relieve stress and also to medicate themselves for pain. Guys are still going to do it.”
—Free agent safety Ryan Clark, in comments to ESPN about teammates on the Steelers using marijuana.
“He had a rare ability to illuminate the varieties of human ugliness. No one ever did it so beautifully.”
—A.O. Scott of The New York Times, on actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was found dead of a suspected heroin overdose on Feb. 2 at age 46.
“Greatest actor of his generation,” Charlie Rose said the other day when we spoke, and I absolutely agree.
“All of his saves have come in relief appearances.”
—Ralph Kiner, the Hall of Famer slugger during one of the hundreds of Mets’ games he broadcast during his five decades in the booth with the team. Kiner died Thursday at 91. He was folksy, to say the least, and second in malaprops in baseball history to only Yogi Berra.
Stat of the Week
Actually, this stat is eight days old, but I fear too many of you missed it. My number of the week is 281.
That’s 281 minutes, or the time it took two fellows to make the eight-mile commute from Penn Station in Manhattan through the turnstiles at MetLife Stadium for the Super Bowl last week, and then back to Penn Station at the end of the game.
Four hours, 41 minutes.
If the game is ever to return to New York/New Jersey, the league and the home site are going to have to do something about the insanity of the train situation that made the commute miserable for so many people. You cannot ask a region used to driving to a stadium that seats more than 80,000 people to not drive at all—or to charge people $150 for very limited parking passes that would have allowed them to drive.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
Pete Carroll, players’ coach. That was one of the storylines, and rightfully so, of Super Bowl week. I saw one aspect of it, as the Pro Football Writers of America’s pool reporter for Seahawk practices on Wednesday and Friday before the game. The music. Much has been made of Carroll playing loud music from the start of practices to the end. But I noticed one thing—and you will too, when you see these playlists:
|“It Takes Two,” Ron Base & DJ EZ Rock||“The Pretender,” Foo Fighters|
|“Fly Away,” Lenny Kravitz||“Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” Jay-Z|
|“September,” Earth, Wind and Fire||“Fast Lane,” Bad Meets Evil|
|“Bad,” Michael Jackson||“More Bounce to the Ounce,” Zapp|
|“Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” James Brown||“Last of a Dying Breed,” Ludacris|
|(Something by Timbaland, I missed the name)||“Danza Kudoro,” Don Omar|
|“She’s a Bad Mamma Jamma,” Carl Carlton||“Big Pimpin’,” Jay-Z|
|“Billie Jean,” Michael Jackson||“We Ready,” Archie Eversole|
|“Hypnotize,” Notorious B.I.G.||“We Own It,” 2 Chainz|
|“Sail,” AWOLNation||“Give It To Me,” Timbaland (feat. Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake)|
|“Face to the Floor,” Chevelle||“Atomic Dog,” George Clinton|
|(Four others I didn’t catch)||“Hold Me Back,” Rick Ross|
|“Can’t Hold Us,” Macklemore and Ryan Lewis|
|“Ambitionz Az a Ridah,” Tupac|
|“Lose My Mind,” Young Jeezy|
See? Sort of Hip Hop Lite Wednesday, and more hard stuff Friday. That’s because the dynamic of the playlist changes at the end of the week. Seems that Carroll programs the tunes early, with a nod toward the players’ tastes by Friday.
“On Friday, I’ve got to give it to the fellas,” Carroll told me.
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
The most annoying thing about air travel, February 2014 Edition, from a Delta flight last week: The guy in front of you who not only reclines his seat completely so it’s in your face, but is a bulbous guy who then falls asleep with his two meaty hands (meatier than “Man Hands” in Seinfeld) stretched behind his head over the seat and into your airspace.
So I bit them off and spat them out on the floor.
Tweets of the Week
“Our coaches and players knew all along about this and noone said anything. Just show the amount of respect we have for our family.”
—@Kentrell_Mizzou, defensive teammate Kentrell Brothers on former Missouri teammate Michael Sam Sunday night.
“Hats off to you Michael Sam, that takes some guts.”
—@J_Martin71, embattled Miami tackle Jonathan Martin.
“Today is National Grown Men attack high school kid on twitter for not signing w/their school! I hate seeing those stories.”
—@GeoffSchwartz, the veteran Kansas City offensive lineman, on the day of one of the worst media creations in sports history, National Signing Day for top high school football prospects.
“That big dumb Texas Tech fan getting shoved is what happens when fans think they’re still on Twitter. Racial slur or not, he deserved it.”
—@ItsCrab, Tampa Bay tight end Tom Crabtree, after a big, dumb Texas Tech fan allegedly directed a racial slur toward Oklahoma State basketball player Marcus Smart, prompting a shove from Smart.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun. –Albert Einstein.”
—@bigfresh, a web design firm in Bellingham, Wash.
“With drops factored in, Aaron Rodgers was league’s most accurate QB this season. Accurate on 79.3% of passes.”
—@PFF, the Pro Football Focus Twitter account.
I think that’s great … and I’m sure it is a hugely impressive number. Does accurate mean “catchable?” And I need context. Anyone else close?