Quotes of the Week
“I was a kid who made some goofball decisions. That’s been part of my journey. Maybe it’s part of the whole Johnny Football deal that I’m trying to get away from. I’m trying to show people I’ve grown up, and I’ve learned from my experiences. I feel like you’re a stupid person if you continue to make the same wrong decisions. I don’t want to hear, ‘Oh, anybody in his situation would have been doing the same thing.’ I’m 100 percent responsible for my actions.”
—Johnny Manziel, the Texas A&M quarterback who wants to be the first pick in the draft to the Houston Texans, in an interview he clearly hopes will be image-altering with John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
“Bob McNair and Bill O’Brien. Those are the two guys I really want to meet.”
—Manziel, to Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star Telegram. McNair owns the Texans. O’Brien coaches them. This was in response to a question about whom the famous Manziel really wants to meet.
“So many paid their rubles to see the home team win. Not this game. Not tonight.”
—NBC hockey announcer Doc Emrick on Saturday, when the U.S. hockey team beat Russia, 3-2, in Sochi.
“In light of the Incognito/Martin story, people would have you believe that you have to be some raving lunatic to play in the NFL, wound so tightly that the slightest spark will insight an insatiable inferno. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I’m 48 years old now and about the least confrontational person you’ll ever meet. My fists have never found purchase on the flesh of another man’s face. I’ve never been in a fight. Yet I succeeded for many years in the trenches of the NFL, in which there are several confrontations on every play. It can be done—through focus, effort and discipline, not through unbridled rage and hair-trigger emotional outbursts. I’m left with this conclusion about the Dolphins organization from the coaching staff on down: They were either complicit, incompetent or, worse, both.”
—Former NFL guard Mark Schlereth, in an excellent column written for ESPN.com about how, from his experience, he feels what happened in Miami is more of an outlier than common.
Stats of the Week
Combined compensation for commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Network czar Steve Bornstein in fiscal year 2013: $70,244,000.
Combined compensation for Super Bowl quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson in 2013: $25,526,217.
Florida State closer Jameis Winston’s first outing of the baseball season Saturday in Tallahassee, in a 4-1 victory over Niagara University:
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
So now that LA-loving Steve Bornstein is leaving NFL Network this year, isn’t it time for NFL Network and NFL.com to leave the city that has no team and might never have one, Los Angeles, and come east?
I am still trying to figure out why NFL Network and NFL.com are based in Culver City, Calif., and not in either Mount Laurel, N.J. (home of NFL Films) or Manhattan (home of the league office).
I don’t buy the it’s-good-for-business-to-have-a-West Coast-presence thing. You mean it’s good for business to be 3,000 miles away from the capital of the capitalism world, New York? Let’s say the whole operation was moved to One Sabol Way in Mount Laurel (yes, that’s the address of the huge office park that contains NFL Films). On a Monday after a big weekend, Eagles quarterback Nick Foles or Giants receiver Victor Cruz could be in studio to dissect big wins on the set, and they could cycle through NFL.com to be grilled by one or two of the writers on site. Let’s say the Ravens are the hottest team in football, with the best defense. On Tuesday, the entire Haloti Ngata-led defensive front comes in to do the car wash on TV and the website.
This would be possible because of the proximity of the players to Mount Laurel, as opposed to the proximity of Culver City to the rest of the NFL. Take a look.
Culver City to:
San Diego 129 miles
Santa Clara, Calif. (S.F.) 345 miles
Oakland 371 miles
Tempe, Ariz. (Cardinals) 393 miles
Denver 1,028 miles
Seattle 1,137 miles
Mount Laurel to:
Philadelphia 17 miles
New York City 83 miles
East Rutherford, N.J. (Giants) 83 miles
Florham Park, N.J. (Jets) 88 miles
Baltimore 119 miles
Asburn, Va. (Wash.) 179 miles
Foxboro, Mass. (N.E.) 282 miles
Pittsburgh 321 miles
So: seven teams and the league office are within 330 miles of Mount Laurel. One team is within 330 miles of Culver City.
I just don’t get it. Never have.
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
Worst part about going someplace warm for three days and flying back into New York in February: When you return, you fly low over inlets and small fingers of water that are either frozen or ice-capped, and you get off the plane and walk back into the freezer and think there is no way spring is coming. Ever.
Tweets of the Week
“According to Dolphins OL ‘fine book,’ being subpoenaed by the FBI carries same $ penalty as a failure to bring candy & is equal to 10 farts”
—@brian_mcintyre, the NFL reporter.
“Greg Cosell: Sammy Watkins best WR prospect since A.J. Green, Julio Jones.”
—@caplannfl, NFL analyst Adam Caplan, on the universally respected Cosell’s opinion of the Clemson wide receiver.
“Dempster is a real character. Wore a t-shirt around the clubhouse with a picture of Shakespeare. ‘This **** writes itself’ it said.”
—@peteabe, Boston Globe Red Sox beat man Pete Abraham, on pitcher Ryan Dempster, who announced Sunday he was walking away from a contract that would pay him $13 million in 2014 for physical and family reasons.
“Without a space program that discovers, tracks & deflects killer asteroids, our extinction is assured by one. Have a nice day”
—@neiltyson, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.