Quotes of the Week
“It’s as drastic a change as anything I’ve seen since I’ve come back to the league. I’m not bellyaching. I’m really not. I just think these points of emphasis are having different consequences than the league thought they would. They are making calls on plays that have nothing to do with the play, sometimes way across the field from where the ball is. It’s a nice try, but it’s too much. There’s going to be a game decided in a crucial situation by one of these calls, and no one wants to see that.”
—Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, on the new officiating points the league is telling its officials to call.
“GET YOUR S— RIGHT!”
—Bills coach Doug Marrone, ripping into his team after player fights marred a second straight day of training camp work on Thursday.
“Where have you gone, Spergon Wynn? A franchise turns its lonely eyes to you.”
—ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi, after Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel took turns playing poorly while auditioning for the starting quarterback job last Monday in Washington. Spergon Wynn is one of the multitudes to have started, and failed, at quarterback for the Browns since their reincarnation in 1999.
“I am most proud of having never missed an assigned game, be it exhibition, regular season or playoffs, throughout my entire career. It really has been a great run.”
—NBA referee Dick Bavetta, who retired last week at 74. He reffed the most games of any official in NBA history—2,635 in the regular season and 270 in the playoffs—and not just by a little bit. He worked 501 more regular-season games than any other ref in league history.
“That kind of creeps me out a little bit.”
—Taney Dragons pitcher Mo’ne Davis, the first girl in Little League World Series history to throw a shutout, on adults asking her for her autograph. She graced the cover of Sports Illustrated last week.
“This is so stupid it’s appalling, and I hope that owner keeps fighting for it and never changes it, because the Redskins are part of an American football history, and it should never be anything but the Washington Redskins. That’s the way it is. It’s all the political correct idiots in America, that’s all it is. It’s got nothing to do with anything else.’’
—ESPN analyst and Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka, on the controversy over the Washington team name, to the Redskins Historian website.
“The league respectfully honored my request to not officiate Washington. I have quite a few friends who are Native Americans. And even if I didn’t have Native American friends, the name of the team is disrespectful.”
—Recently retired NFL referee Mike Carey, who revealed to the Washington Post that he requested in 2007 to be kept off Washington games because he opposed the team’s name. For the final seven years of his career, which ended after the 2013 season, he did not officiate a game involving the team.
Pretty extraordinary revelation. There are 17 crews, and I’ll be interested to see if any current referees will now make the same request that Carey did. My bet is that the league won’t allow an official, going forward, to dictate any terms about his assignments.
Stat of the Week
The Cardinals have to pay linebacker Daryl Washington $7 million of a $10 million option bonus the club exercised in March. Two months after the Cards exercised the option, Washington got suspended for the season for substance abuse.
Talk about an unfair part of the 2011 CBA. The bonus was deferred, but the team will end up paying 70 percent of it—and for a player they are likely never to employ again. Should the Cardinals have had suspicions about Washington? Yes. They should have, and did. But why should they pay $7 million to a player who isn’t playing—and he isn’t playing because he made a personal decision to use some substance he knew was banned by the league?
Factoids of the Week That May Interest Only Me
On consecutive snaps Saturday, Buffalo had a first-and-20, second-and-35, and third-and-40.
Patrick Peterson signed a five-year, $70 million contract extension on July 29, with a signing bonus of $15,361,000. The bonus came in a lump-sum check, not direct-deposited.
He has not cashed the bonus check yet.
He told me, “I just haven’t gotten around to it.”
Peyton Manning has averaged one intentional-grounding penalty for every two years he’s played in the NFL.
In August 1966, 24-year-old Paul McCartney and the Beatles played their last concert as a group at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, an 11-song show.
In August 2014, 72-year-old Paul McCartney played the last concert and last event ever at Candlestick Park in Francisco, a 40-song show.
With age comes endurance, I guess.
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Notes of the Week
How did I miss the fact that Frontier Airlines charges $35 to bring a small carry-on suitcase onto the airplane? Happened to me the other day, Denver to San Diego. Frontier did tell me I could check the same bag for $25. Let’s see: $35 to schlep the bag myself and put it in the overhead, $25 to check it and pick it up in San Diego. Because I was in a rush once I landed, I paid the $35. I understand baggage fees, and I understand the concept of unbundling and paying for exactly what you use. But making travelers pay $35 to carry their own bags is a curious way to get repeat customers.
I noticed the drought in California. Hard not to. I had to do my laundry the other day in San Diego, and stopped by a Laundromat not far from the Chargers facility. Costs for a wash: $4.50. “It’s all water,” the caretaker of the place said. “It was $3.50 earlier this year.”
As the camp trip ends, I am pleased to report that my favorite hotel in the United States, the Arizona Biltmore, has trouble filling the place in August, when it’s regularly 105 degrees or so during the day. (This year it rained hard Thursday night and cooled off the Valley, and it was only about 85 on Friday morning.) The favorable rate allowed me to, in good conscience, stay at the Biltmore knowing I was being a good company traveler. Comparing rates in some of the other hotels on the trail with the groovy Biltmore:
|Spring Hill Suites, Renton, Wash.||$179|
|Westin, San Diego||$179|
|Spring Hill Suites, Buford, Ga.||$139|
|Towne Place Suites, Newark, Del.||$139|
|Hampton Inn, Lewisburg, W.Va.||$129|
|Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix||$109|
|Howard Johnson Motor Lodge, Cleveland||$80|
Tweets of the Week
You can’t just give Sanchez away. 17 of last 23 years, the Eagles’ #2 QB has started at least 2 games. Crucial position.
— Reuben Frank (@RoobCSN) August 24, 2014
Longtime Eagles beat man Reuben Frank, as Twitter speculation swirled that the Rams should trade for Philadelphia’s number two quarterback, Mark Sanchez, in the wake of Sam Bradford’s torn ACL.
Manning deadpanned he couldn’t say what he said to Swearinger, said Swearinger said ‘thanks, appreciate it, good luck to you as well’
— Jeff Legwold (@Jeff_Legwold) August 24, 2014
The ESPN.com Broncos reporter, on the confrontation between Denver quarterback Peyton Manning and Houston safety D.J. Swearinger after Swearinger concussed Wes Welker with a rough hit. Manning got 15 yards for taunting Swearinger.
After the game, Swearinger was asked what Manning said to him that prompted the 15-yard flag. According to the Denver Post‘s Mike Klis, Swearinger testified, “He said, ‘F me.’ ”
Doug Marrone and Jerry Hughes exchanged words. The defensive end didn’t back down when challenged by the coach about fighting.
— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) August 21, 2014
The ESPN.com Bills writer, during a Thursday camp practice. That portends trouble.
Steelers unveil their Cheech & Chong backfield!
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) August 21, 2014
The Steelers beat man for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a few hours after Pittsburgh running backs LeGarrette Blount and Le’Veon Bell were arrested and cited for marijuana possession; Bell was also charged with driving under the influence of marijuana.
Johnny Manziel started losing this job right after the draft when he partied his brains out. Continued losing it right through middle finger
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) August 20, 2014
The Cleveland Plain Dealer Browns writer, after Hoyer got the starting job.