Possibly the closest Super Bowl matchup in history also poses the question: how much does it mean when certain aspects of an NFL team improve dramatically in the second half of the season?
01 Feb 2007
compiled by Alex Carnevale
"He probably didn't say anything because he's so nice."
-- Frost School sixth-grade teacher Mary Anne Gough, on Tony Dungy's silence when they incorrectly labeled a plaque dedicating the school's library to his mother as "Cleo May Dungy Library." His mom's name is spelled Cleomae.
"This is great for our city, because we're losing jobs and people every day. Tony's story is really giving us a shot in the arm that we desperately need."
-- Jackson, MI High School AD Russell Davis
"Tony Dungy is the talk of the town. He's all people are talking about -- no matter where you go. It doesn't matter if you're old or young, it's exciting for all of us."
-- Mayor Jerry Ludwig (Daily Herald)
"That's when we began to bond. When he was dating his then-fiancee Lauren, he would talk about her and how special she was. I told him I needed to meet her, and he took me to his church and introduced me. Later he said, 'Donnie, this is the one.' I said, 'Are you sure, Tony? You haven't been talking to her long.' He said, 'Yes, I'm sure. She's the one.' Sure enough, he married her and they've had six children together."
-- Donnie Shell
"Tony was released at the end of his career by the New York Giants, but head coach Ray Perkins was so impressed with Tony's intelligence as a player that he asked him if he wanted to stay on as the defensive backs coach. So Tony called Chuck Noll in Pittsburgh to get his advice, and Chuck said, 'Well why not just come here?' So we hired him at Pittsburgh and he was my position coach for six years at the end of my career."
-- Shell (Superbowl.com)
"My dad used to always tell me something Chuck Noll once said: 'Pressure is something you feel only if you don't know what you're doing.' That means a lot to me. I've tried to live that way."
-- Colts QB Peyton Manning
"The point spread is ridiculous. These two teams are even. The Bears won 15 games this year. I really don't see one team having a great advantage over the other."
-- Peyton (Superbowl.com)
"It has really brought me closer to the fans. Someone will stop me at any airport and ask, 'Would you sign this melon?' I value the things that have come from those commercials."
-- Manning, on his endorsement deals.
"Brian Urlacher is a guy I will always know where he is. You just can't help it. There are certain guys like that."
"You are not going to fool Peyton Manning. He knows where to go with the football before it's even snapped."
-- Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher
"He'll get on you. For one, he knows what everybody on defense is supposed to be doing, so if anybody makes a mistake he's going to get on you fast and that's what a leader has to do."
-- Bears linebacker Lance Briggs
"He's the quarterback of our team, a kind of guy that doesn't get rattled, a fiery kind of guy. We need him out there. I don't know what we'd do without him. I'm just glad he's on my side of the ball."
-- defensive end Adewale Ogunleye, on Urlacher (FortWayne.com)
"It's probably a nice thing to do, but planting trees is not a quantitative solution to the real problem."
-- Ken Caldeira, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution at Stanford University, on the NFL planting a bunch of trees in Florida under the guise of negating the negative effect on the environment from the game.
"If you plant a tree (CO2 reductions are) only temporary for the life of the tree. If you don't emit in the first place, then that permanently reduces CO2."
-- Caldeira (Washington Post)
"They're probably going to be more educated, because they have more money. They're more likely to be male. Hispanics also don't seem to identify as much as NFL fans."
-- Max Kilger, chief behavioral scientist at market research firm Experian Simmons, on the demographics of NFL fans.
"Part of it is that football in the Latin community means soccer, so that's going to be a big difference between Hispanic and non-Hispanic. Also, there aren't really any Hispanic stars in the NFL, much like Yao Ming has been a hit with Chinese fans in the NBA."
"There does seem to be some effect, they do somewhat over-index, meaning NFL fans are maybe 10 percent more likely to visit McDonald's or Burger King than the general population, but the preference of McDonald's over Burger King is about the same. So you do see some lift. Whether it's due to in-game advertising or not, it's difficult to say."
-- Kilger (Media Life Magazine)
"He's really coming into his own as of late. He's a lead athlete, but he comes across as an Everyman."
-- Steve McDaniel, who teaches sport marketing and media at the University of Maryland, on Peyton Manning's marketing appeal.
"He has this all-American, guy-next-door image. He's the guy who you want to pal around with. Brady's more of a glamour boy."
-- Jim Andrews, "editorial director of the IEG Sponsorship Report, which tracks corporate sponsorships."
"He's willing to look kind of silly, a little goofy. There are some athletes who wouldn't do that."
-- McDaniel (Baltimore Sun)
"We have a long standing policy that prohibits this kind of mass out of home viewing. It's not only NFL policy, it's also copyright law."
-- Brian McCarthy, NFL spokesman, on folks in Indianapolis and Chicago who wanted to screen the Super Bowl in public venues.
"And we simply explained our policy and they understood."
"We have sent numerous cease and desist letters over the years to establishments that were looking to bring in mass quantities of people to an unusual set up."
-- McCarthy (AP)
"I said, 'But you've only been dating three or four weeks. He said, 'I don't care. I know what I want. She's what I want.'"
-- John Reaves, former NFL QB on new Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin.
"He is very decisive. He goes for it, where his father tends to go over it and over it."
-- Robin Kiffin, Lane's mom. (San Jose Mercury News)
"The players are the first ones to know whether a guy has got it or not. If they believe in a coach, they'll play hard. But if they don't, they'll be the first ones to shut it down. I think they'll know Lane has got it."
"Gosh, I'd never throw Eugene under the bus, because he brought such a light and energy and a positive force to our team, but that was dumbfounding, and you couldn't think of 100 different fables from Aesop's to explain what happened."
-- Jamal Anderson, on Eugene Robinson's solicitation of a prostitute before the 1999 Super Bowl.
"I don't want to be the center of a story with two historic black coaches in the game. I don't want to be a side story. I know that I probably will be, but I don't want to add to it or anything else. They'll just have to write without me."
-- Eugene Robinson (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"No, no, no. Don't want to hear that name this week."
-- Indianapolis linebacker Gary Brackett.
"I don't want to get the married guys in trouble."
-- Adewale Ogunleye, on taking the single guys out on the town. (New Jersey Star Ledger)
"First of all, he's one of the brighter guys I've worked with anywhere."
-- NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth, on Bryant Gumbel. (WFAN.com)
"It was less play-by-play and more of a conversation. More like talk radio if you will. When it's 31-10, you are doing talk radioâ€¦and that's what Bryant does at his best."
"I definitely think we need to keep it in place. It's good that guys like Mike Tomlin have gotten an opportunity to be a head football coach. I think Mike would have gotten an opportunity still, but I think (the rule) may speed up the process a little bit. Whenever you can get in front of someone, it's good. And the Rooney Rule allows you that opportunity."
-- Lovie Smith, Bears coach.
"It keeps your skill set bigger than a steady diet of football."
-- NFL films editor Pete Staman, on editing the Ringling Brothers Circus DVD. (Herald Tribune)
"It knocks down all these rednecks out there who say that blacks cannot win, or cannot play quarterback or cannot be a head coach."
-- Gale Sayers, on the Super Bowl coaches. (Bloomberg)
"I got it when I was 2 years old. I was a very, very bad kid, to say the least. My mom gave me the name. Some of my friends heard it and started teasing me. I love it. I've been called that for 27 years."
-- Booger MacFarland (Superbowl.com)
"Imagine me on media day. I'd come out naked. I'd come out in a towel, or something."
-- Bengals WR Chad Johnson (ESPN)
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35 comments, Last at 03 Feb 2007, 3:06pm by Alex