Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

25 Jan 2007

The Week in Quotes: January 25, 2007

compiled by Alex Carnevale

ON THE OTHER HAND, A 'DON'T GET CAUGHT WITH UNREGISTERED BLEEPING FIREARMS' MIGHT HAVE GONE A LONG WAY

"I think even more important than that to me, I know the type of person he is, and Lovie has the same Christian conviction that I have. He runs his team the same way. I know how those guys are treated in Chicago and how they play tough, disciplined football even though there's not a lot of profanity from the coaches. There's none of the win-at-all-cost atmosphere. For two guys to show that you can win that way, I think that's just as important for the country to see."

-- Super Bowl-bound head coach of the Indianapolis Colts Tony Dungy

"I know I probably didn't get a couple of jobs early in my career because people couldn't see my personality or the way I was going to do it. One guy did ask me, you know, in an interview, 'If you get this job, is this going to be the most important thing in your life and are you going to treat my team as the most important thing?' And I said, 'No, I'm not.' I didn't think I was going to get that job, and I didn't."

-- Dungy

"I know Lovie does that. I know Herm [Edwards] does that. I know Mike [Tomlin, the new Steelers coach] is going to do that. Rod [Marinelli, his former assistant who now runs the Lions] is going to do that, so to have that resonate -- that you can be good, that you can win, that you can be successful, and you don't have to live and die and eat and sleep football -- I'm proud of that, too."

-- Dungy, on giving his coaches time to be with their families.

"He's among the finest people I've ever met."

-- Colts QB Peyton Manning, on his head coach. (New York Post)

"I'm not saying my way is the best way or the only way. It's just the way I was raised."

-- Dungy (Boston Globe)

REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD

"It was like 30 years of emotion. I looked over at my wife and she was crying."

-- former NFL assistant Al Lavan, 70, on watching two African-American head coaches come out with wins in their respective championship games.

"After a couple of them were over I felt like, you know, I should have."

-- Dungy, on whether he walked out of interviews in the past. One team asked him if he'd be willing to shave his beard.

"It gives people an opportunity to present themselves, their ideas, their visions. Maybe the rule opened a door for me."

-- new Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, 34, on the rule that forces organizations with a head coaching opening to interview a minority candidate.

"We have guys applying for jobs in different areas, and they have as much chance as a snowball in hell. It's been that way for quite some time."

-- Willie Donerson, the coach at Compton Dominguez High for 24 years.

"It makes me think about the guys who were in the league when I came in. There were some good guys, some guys that were exceptional and never really got the chance to do what Lovie and I have gotten the chance to do."

-- Dungy (Los Angeles Times)

COULD YOU BE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BILL IN THE WORLD ... OH, YES YOU ARE

"Bill was not a wonderful athlete. He was a great help to the coach, telling the others what to do. But he was slow, like his mother ... He knew where he was supposed to be, but it was hard for him to get there."

--Belichick's mom Jeanette Belichick (Baltimore Sun)

"I'm glad that creepy Belichick is gone."

-- comedian Jerry Seinfeld, in an e-mail to WFAN host Steve Somers.

"Bill was only 9 or 10 years old and he'd be breaking down film. Steve [Bill's dad] would go over it and tell him this could've been better or that could've been better. But usually there was very little room for criticism. He understood football at a very young age, even his father was surprised."

-- Jeanette Belichick

"I probably wouldn't say two words to him. I definitely wouldn't."

-- San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, on the possibility that Belichick will coach him in the Pro Bowl.

"I was pretty disgusted with Belichick. I've interviewed him on my MSG show. It's hard. It's really hard. I don't think he does it on purpose. I just think he doesn't know any better. I just thought it was unprofessional."

-- talking head Boomer Esiason, on Belichick's postgame interview with Solomon Wilcots.

"You're very happy for him. He deserves it. It sure didn't come easy for him."

-- former Baltimore Colts coach Ted Marchibroda. Belichick drove Marchibroda and the assistants to work everyday. (Indianapolis Star)

"I'm surprised you didn't strangle him."

-- Esiason, in an answering machine message to Solomon Wilcots. (Newsday)

SOMEONE'S LOOKING FORWARD TO SIXTEEN ALL NEW EPISODES OF 'LOST'

"It's just so disappointing for the season to end up the way it did. It's like a plane when it crash-lands -- there's just no easy way down. You just hit and crash and it's all over. You're a few yards away or a few minutes away or a play away from having an entirely different result, and it just didn't turn out that way."

-- Bill Belichick

"I don't think there was, to be honest with you, a lot of emotion or energy left to express anger. Everybody put their energy into their playing, and we played hard. We played against a good football team. And in the end we came up a play or two short."

-- Belichick

"I appreciate the opportunity to be on. You guys are great to work with and the support from the fans has been awesome."

-- Belichick (WEEI)

"There are a lot of people that don't coach football and aren't with the team and they probably spend 21 hours of their day following it, watching it, wanting to be a part of it. I love what I'm doing. I don't really worry about the pressure, just try to go out there and be competitive and do a good job and win. So it's disappointing today, after yesterday's game, but in the big picture, do I love football? Do I love what I'm doing? Do I love the team, the organization, the support that Mr. Kraft has given us, the players and their effort and their cooperation? Yes to all of those. That's why I love coming to work every day."

-- Belichick

IT'S HEARTWARMI -- COME AGAIN?

"I think if they [the Saints] get to the Super Bowl, you'll see a lot of talk of rebirth, but the numbers just aren't there, in terms of people living there and in terms of the business there."

-- Forbes magazine editor Michael Ozanian (Jacksonville.com)

"We want the Saints to succeed in New Orleans, but the business community, especially, has to step up and continue to support them. We already have the best revenue-sharing plans in sports, and that helps teams like New Orleans in a small market."

-- Joe Browne, NFL executive VP

"Pull the team out or guarantee revenues to the owner."

-- Mark Rosentraub, a Cleveland State University professor.

THE REAL FUN BEGINS NEXT WEEK

"It's very satisfying. I have this piece of paper in my locker room that had probably 10 analysts, and they picked the other team both games. Like, 12 out of 12 picked the Saints to come in here and beat us. I'm really happy that we proved a lot of people wrong. But, more importantly, we proved ourselves right."

-- Bears DE Adewale Ogunleye (Boston Globe)

"The Bears should try to manage the situation. Lovie should address it the first part of the week, and Tank should address it and then say that's it for the week. I would recommend they get it done one time."

-- Ravens media director Kevin Byrne, on the Tank Johnson situation.

"The Super Bowl was a piece of cake for me. I couldn't wait to see all those guys. It just takes an hour of your time. I'd say embrace it. Who knows, maybe a star will be born on media day."

-- former TE Shannon Sharpe (Chicago Tribune)

SAVANNAH STATE COLLEGE ALUMNI UNITE

"You think we'll get a 30 rating for this?"

-- CBS talking head Shannon Sharpe. They didn't get a 30 rating for the Colts-Patriots AFC Championship Game, as it scored a 26.4. (New York Times)

"That's my thing."

-- Shannon Sharpe, on "his admiration for Judges Judy, Joe Brown, and Mathis."

"I'm not supposed to be phonetically correct or enunciate perfectly."

-- Sharpe

SLOWER NICER HAPPIER

"In the NFL, talent isn't everything. It couldn't have been any more evident than in that game Sunday. The best coaching wins and getting guys who are coachable. It doesn't matter if you run a 4.4 (40-yard dash). What matters is if you run a 4.7 where and how you're told to do it."

-- Bengals QB Carson Palmer

"But the thing we continue to find is they've got to be constantly policed and corrected ... They long for that from me to be that way to be, I guess, the hard-ass all the time in certain areas. So we'll make sure I give them what they want. They do crave discipline."

-- Bengals coach Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Enquirer)

"The most important thing for me is to show them I'm not a bad person. Coach Bruno has been saying that NFL people know I can play, but there are the off-the-field issues. I've never had any real problems with the law. I made what I thought was a little mistake but it was a really big one and a dumb one and I know that now. I feel I have something to prove, and I'll do the best I can. I want to get back on that field. I've been missing it."

-- former Florida Gators DT Marcus Thomas, who was dismissed from the team last season and is entering the NFL draft.

I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO THE ONE AFTER THAT, HE'LL BE GREAT

"Everybody can speculate it would be him or me. At this point, I don't know, other than that it's a decision he made and I'm looking forward to the next coach."

-- Terrell Owens, Cowboys WR, on Bill Parcells' retirement from coaching.

"I said yes, OK? I don't know how I can answer you any clearer."

-- Jerry Jones, on whether or not Owens will be back.

"He was a great coach. A coach of his stature will be greatly missed. Jerry [Jones] gave him the option when things settled down in his head to do what he wanted to do. It was very admirable of Jerry, especially of a coach of his stature."

-- Owens

"I feel like this year, I was underutilized. Even though I didn't play up to my standards, I admit that for obvious reasons. But I feel like if I can be put in a better situation, I can help the team win."

-- Owens. Parcells referred to him as "Your Highness" in meetings. (CowboysPlus.com)

YOU KNEW IT WAS COMING

"The one thing you do know when you change is you don't want to go backwards. I think some people think you have to go backwards. I don't believe that. Now you might become a little younger, but that doesn't mean you can't be a good football team."

-- Chiefs head coach Herman Edwards (KCChiefs.com)

"I really don't care if we're in the top five in offense. I really don't. That's real good, real good stats that you can put up when you don't go to the playoffs. We've got this circus out here and it makes everyone feel good. But I'd rather go to the playoffs than have the top offense. I'm not about stats. I'm about winning and getting to the playoffs. That's what I'm about. I think every player knows that in this organization."

-- Edwards

"Is it on me? Put it on me. Did the players struggle a little bit? Yeah, they struggled because I'm the new head coach. I'm not going to pat them on the back when they score touchdowns. They're supposed to score touchdowns. And when we stop them from scoring I'm not patting them on the back."

-- Edwards

"I do it in my way and I think the players now that they've been with me for a year they understand. They understand that when I say, it's OK, it ain't OK. When people hear me say, it's OK, it ain't OK. When I tell you OK you've got issues. I'm telling you in a nice way. I think they understand that."

-- Edwards

THE REST

"With the volume of things [the crime lab] has passing through, they really don't have the time to take an intellectual jaunt as to what he was carrying around."

-- Ed Griffith, spokesman for the Miami-Dade state attorney's office on the magical Michael Vick marijuana bottle that could. (Miami Herald)

"NutriSystem was a perfect fit for my wife Mary Anne and I. We are both very active seniors who needed a weight loss program that could fit into our busy lifestyles. The foods taste great and are easy to travel with. We still can't believe that we can eat Blueberry Muffins and Double Chocolate Chip Almond cookies while shedding pounds. I'm back to my playing weight and feel 10 years younger!"

-- former Dolphins head coach Don Shula

"I know Jeff and I know how he is. After the way he played -- what was he, 6-1? -- and then he won a playoff game. He's not going to be happy being a backup again. He's way too much of a competitor for that. He should be going to the Pro Bowl the way he played. He knows that. Now, you want him to be a backup, and get paid like a backup. That's not going to happen."

-- unnamed former Jeff Garcia teammate

"The best value for high-quality players, if you pick right, is the second half of the first round."

-- Patriots owner Bob Kraft

"Fit-wise, it couldn't be more perfect. I could care less about money. I'm a loyalist. They were good to me at a time the game of football wasn't."

-- Patriots FB Heath Evans on returning to the Patriots in 2007.

"At the college level, you can get away with natural ability. At the next level, you've got to know what you're doing and take care of yourself and be ready week to week. I took that advice to heart and said, 'Thank you.' It's a business. It's a fun game you've been playing all your life, but you have to be at the top of your game."

-- Boston College OG Josh Beekman (Rivals.com)

"Watching our [film] and some of the things that have happened, we're ready for some breaks ... They have all these computerized statistics, you would think they could figure that out a little bit better. For anything to come down to a coin flip, that's pretty prehistoric if you ask me."

-- Bucs coach Jon Gruden, on the coin flip that will determine whether his squad gets the third or fourth pick in this year's NFL Draft. (St. Petersburg Times)

"It is important that the NFL and its players continue to be leaders on the issue of illegal and dangerous performance-enhancing drugs in sports. These latest improvements will help ensure that we continue to have a strong and effective program. As we have done in the past, we will review and modify the policy on an ongoing basis."

-- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, on the new drug testing policy. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

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Posted by: Alex Carnevale on 25 Jan 2007

87 comments, Last at 29 Jan 2007, 6:39pm by Chippy

Comments

1
by Tball (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 1:54pm

I don't get what Boomer was bothered by. I just looked at the interview on YouTube. Wilcox asked about the losing the 18 point lead and Belichek said they made more plays than we did. Wilcox asked about fatigue from the Chargers game and Belichek simply said both teams played a hard fought game. His standard vanilla answers. What is disgusting and unprofessional about those answers?

2
by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 1:54pm

If the Bears take Kevin Byrne's advice, does that mean Mike Lupica will start calling Lovie Smith a giant egotist? That's what happened the last time, after all.

3
by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 1:58pm

Anyone else find it funny that the Michael Ozanian Saints quote is on a jacksonville website? Read between the lines...

4
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 2:05pm

I like DunGy's approach. I think theRe are a lot of coaches who coUlD lEarn somethiNg from that. I don't know how many hours per day Belichick puts in, but if you aren't winning Super Bowls, I don't think you can justify a 140-hour work week. (And even if you do, to me, that's too high of a price to pay.)

I think that when you're in that position, football should definitely be important, and the success of the team should be important, but it shouldn't be the most important thing in your life, especially not if you have a family.

5
by OMO (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 2:06pm

Re: #1...I think BB's rep is playing here more than what he said.

Much ado about nothing. Just saying.

6
by OMO (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 2:08pm

Slick.

Just think...he's already put in an 8 hour day and it's ONLY NOON!!!

7
by Adam H (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 2:14pm

So Dungy is on the Steve Spurrier work week? Admitting that is really gonna bite him in the ass if they lose.

8
by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 2:15pm

"With the volume of things [the crime lab] has passing through, they really don’t have the time to take an intellectual jaunt as to what he was carrying around."

Horatio letting the work load get on top of him? He needs to take a leaf out of Belichick's book.

9
by Mr. Beefy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 2:16pm

“I’m not supposed to be phonetically correct or enunciate perfectly.�

– Sharpe

Yes, reading, writing, and rhetoric are way overrated. :).

10
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 2:27pm

Re 1

I agree that "disgusted" is over-the-top. Belichick obviously wasn't in the mood to be interviewed at that moment, and he gave rather terse responses (even by his usual standards) so it would end quickly.

I'm not a Belichick fan AT ALL, but I can't really fault the guy here. His team just lost the most exciting game of the year. Maybe he deserves a few minutes to himself. Denny Green knows about that.

11
by Zac (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 2:29pm

I don't understand the first title. That's about Tank Johnson, right? Then all the quotes under it are about Tony Dungy.

12
by Frick (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 2:35pm

If you consider that a HC is a "face" of the franchise you have to take into account that speaking to the media is part of the job demands. From my understanding, Belichick will answer serious questions about football with decent answers. Questions designed for a soundbite get a terse reply. While it might be the most media friendly way to reply, it isn't unheard of. As has been mentioned, how often do you see the losing coach interviewed on his way off of the field? Give the guy a chance to vent and collect himself, he can answer the questions at his (mandatory?) press conference after the game.

I don't think Dungy was saying he works Spurrier hours, but he doesn't work 20 hours a day every day of the year. I remember a story when I was still lived in Indy when Dungy and several of the Colts went to a high school game to watch his son play.

13
by dryheat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 2:35pm

I had no idea that prehistoric man had coins, let alone the idea of flipping them.

14
by Randy S. (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 2:36pm

11 - I know how those guys are treated in Chicago and how they play tough, disciplined football even though there’s not a lot of profanity from the coaches.

So Lovie doesn't swear at his players. Now re-read the first title.

15
by ToxikFetus (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 2:40pm

13: That was my thought as well. If anything, they might use knucklebones.

16
by emcee fleshy (atl/sd) (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 2:48pm

"It is important that the NFL and its players continue to be leaders on the issue of illegal and dangerous performance-enhancing drugs in sports."

Illegal or dangerous is fine.

3- Yes, I've been saying for years that Jacksonville needs a second NFL team.

17
by Ch V Kalyan (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 2:50pm

1, 10:

I completely agree with you. BB cannot talk. For all critics who were unhappy with his Colts postgame sideline chat, please go and watch the Jets postgame conference. It was like watching a snail crawl!

BB has ZERO skills in front of the camera and it does not depend on whether he won or lost the game, he is always the same!

18
by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 3:24pm

11:

Maybe it's about Mike Doss?

19
by Harris (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 3:24pm

If New Orleans can't support a team, why should New Orleans keep a team? The league doesn't owe these cities anything. It's a pretty story to keep the Saints in town, but at some point that has to make business sense and if it doesn't, then Benson (or somebody else) has to move the team.

20
by crack (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 3:27pm

1,10,17 I think part of Boomer's exasperation come from him having been the interviewer in that situation. I love BB's press conferences. I love the way he seems to be in more pain from the questions than anything in the game. If I were interviewing however I don't think I'd enjoy it near as much.

21
by Geico Caveman (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 3:30pm

RE: 13

Sorry we didn't get the memo to you sooner.

22
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 3:33pm

#19: Depends what "support" means. New Orleans can perfectly support a football team. They sold out of season tickets, after all. They probably can't support a $110M salary team, but that's a different issue.

then Benson (or somebody else) has to move the team.

Unless there's a fair revenue sharing program, with a salary cap and a salary floor based off of total revenue, aren't you just going to eventually run out of places to move the team?

Yeah, right now we're talking about Buffalo, New Orleans, Jacksonville, etc. - but how long before it's Minnesota, Cincinnati, and several other teams? The disparity between the large market and small market teams is just going to keep getting bigger.

23
by Insancipitory (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 3:34pm

20, do you think it'd go differently if the interviewers asked perceptive questions that weren't covered in his NFL approved pack of all purpose Head Coach Cliche Flashcards? I have no idea. I suppose if they made a run at asking such kinds of questions at somepoint, I'd be able to venture a guess. But they don't really seem to be in any sort of hurry.

24
by bravehoptoad (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 3:37pm

It's not all that unusual for coins to pre-date the development of writing (writing being an essential prerequisite of history, which is a written record of events.)

So, the Patriots have lost three straight to the Colts. When does the media start talking about how Manning is "in Belichick's head?" About how Belichick is a great coach unless he's playing against Manning, when he "just chokes?"

Gads, I hate the mainstream media sometimes. I'm so glad for FO.

25
by RowdyRoddyPiper (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 3:40pm

I think this same Boomer Esiason who was disgusted with Belichick mentioned that if Manning couldn't win this, he should look into a condo in A-Rod country. Stay Classy Boomer.

Not a Belichick fan at all, but the interview was so innocuous that for anyone to be disgusted by it shows a complete lack of perspective. Also Belichick bailing on a handshake from Manning seems a little worse, but the fact that he was being shielded and hurried off the field leads me to believe he wasn't really paying attention to his general surroundings.

The whole thing is a tempest in a tea-pot. Just like LDT getting upset that a few players were mocking the lights out dance at mid field. Maybe it's a lesson in Karma. Didn't MSU plant their flag at mid field in 2005 after beating ND and then collapse in horrible fashion in 2006? Just sayin'.

26
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 3:41pm

Re 16

Not sure if you were kidding or not. What he was getting at was that Jacksonville and New Orleans are the two most talked-about candidates to move to LA at the moment. Presumably, if NO moved to LA, Jacksonville would not.

27
by dgc (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 3:45pm

RE: 11

I think it really only applies to the first quote where Dungy is comparing himself to Lovie and how both of them aren't the yelling kind of coach. Just imagine the quote with the title added at the end.

28
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 3:45pm

When does the media start talking about how Manning is “in Belichick’s head?� About how Belichick is a great coach unless he’s playing against Manning, when he “just chokes?�

Clearly, you haven't read this article of sheer awesomeness.

New England has now lost three consecutive games to Indianapolis. And last night's game was the only one that was even remotely close. I hesitate to be the millionth person to say this, but the Colts have the Patriots' number.

29
by bsr (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 3:50pm

"I know how those guys are treated in Chicago and how they play tough, disciplined football even though there’s not a lot of profanity from the coaches. There’s none of the win-at-all-cost atmosphere. For two guys to show that you can win that way, I think that’s just as important for the country to see.�

– Super Bowl-bound head coach of the Indianapolis Colts Tony Dungy

Has Tony met his GM? You know the guy the frequently blows up in profanity laced tirades in the press box, roughs up Jets employees, encourages opposing player injuries, and uses his position on the competition committee to alter rules to the benefit of his team. No, none of that "win at all cost" atmostphere in that organization. None at all.

30
by Jody (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 3:59pm

#24: It’s not all that unusual for coins to pre-date the development of writing (writing being an essential prerequisite of history, which is a written record of events.)

really, when and where? The Lydians (1200-600s b.c.e.) of Asia Minor are credited with the invention of coin money. Sumerian writing can be traced to 3500 b.c. Salt, grain, shells, colored rocks were all used as media of exchange, but the use of coins was not until millemia after writing had developed in Mesopotamia, China, Egypt, and South Asia.
However, my students will get a laugh out of Gruden speak.

31
by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 4:02pm

Re 13:
Well, it brings to mind Ditka's "nickles like manhole covers" statement regarding the McCaskeys.

Re 29:
You know, for fans that defend BB all the time, you guys sure have a mad-on for Polian. Oh and before everyone else mentions it - Polian has never gotten a rule changed or added, it was just emphasized.

32
by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 4:07pm

Can they just outlaw those stupid sideline interviews and give players and coaches (especially losing teams) about 15 minutes to compose themselves before asking dumb questions? BB was a little rough around the edges, but he always is with those types of questions. Now should he be more "media friendly?" The NFL would probably prefer that. But based on his history, what did Wilcots expect? a hug, a pat on the ass, maybe some tongue?

Far worse, however, is being asked, as you're marching to the locker room for halftime, down by 21, with your QB's left eye bulging from its socket and your star LB's leg broken in to seventeen pieces, to have some knucklehead ask: "Coach, tough first half. Any adjustments you plan to make for the second half?"

What any sane coach would not give to be able to switch places with Jack Nicholson for the next thirty seconds: "Well, let's see, you ignoramus... I plan to drink about a pint of bourbon between here and the door and then ream these slackers a new colletive exhaust pipe. After that, we'll see if we can pick up Ryan Leaf on waivers, or if he's not available, Johnny Unitas's decomposed corpse. 'Cause either would be better than what we have right now, yo know what I mean? And if we can get Jimbo's broken leg set in a fast-curing, reinforced concrete cast in the next fifteen minutes, I expect him to suit up for the second half--bombed out of his mind on Percocet, but then aren't we all?-- and sack the other QB about fourteen times. Those adjustments sound good to you, pretty boy, 'cause they're about all I have right now?"

The whole process is insane: they ask a QB who was pummelled, over and over what went wrong, and he finally says "hey, I'm trying to be a good team mate, but we had some protection problems." and he's f-ing raked over the coals for it for the next year (at least). Yet when people who have just lost are surly or terse, they're also criticized. I suspect if a losing coach smiled and said "oh heck, we're all right and we'll be just fine and dandy the next time," he'd be crucified for that as well.

I think Manning, who is way media friendly, had it best in the week 16 interviews when he was silent (reportedly) for about three minutes after a dumb question about the run D undermining the rest of the team and finally said, "So if I say nothing, are you gonna print that, too?" Basically, they can be set up with questions for which there is no painless response... including silence. I know they're paid millions and I know they're on TV and despite what Charles Barkley says, they are in some sense role models, but please, reporters, just back off a bit, okay?

I mean maybe Herm really has the key and free-associative babbling is the only right response. After a while, they'll stop asking him questions.

anti-media rant over.

33
by Daniel (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 4:13pm

32 Amen to that, Bobman....

34
by firestar (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 4:13pm

#4:

I work in the computer industry and the hours CAN'T get much worse. Many are overworked and not allowed to ARGUE about it. Still, WITH good salaries A certain amount of it is tolerable. Can't see myself spending the rest of my life working these SUPER long hours with nothing but a BOWL of ramenas a reward.

But I'd rather work 140 hours in an NFL front office than an IT cubicle!

35
by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 4:18pm

mactbone, you speaketh the truth, but Polian doesn't get widespread abuse here IMO, just a handful of posters.

There's a good article this week on Polian by one of the guys at NFL.com (Carucci?) and he pulls no punches--Polian is a fiery guy who can rub you the wrong way. A great guy to have as a friend, and not a good guy to have as an enemy. Carucci clearly likes him, but is not blind to his potentially abrasive flaws. Frankly, he sounds like most of the people I like best: opinionated, and usually right so he can back it up.

Polian's weekly interviews on the Colts website are really a case study in balance--he rarely says anything negative about anyone or anything and most readers, if they didn't know who was speaking, would read a few interviews and conclude that the guy was eminently fair and reasonable. The most controversial thing he said in recent memory was that the low score in the Indy/Balt game last week seemed wrong for the NFL (my words) or maybe disappointing from a fan's perspective might be a better way to characterize it, and that NFL fans seem to want more scoring and maybe the Comp Committee look into ways to change that. Would that benefit HIS team? Probably. Is it inherently evil? No (this is a business trying to maximize profits, after all). Would other teams benefit as well? Yup. Yet a few posters predictably pulled out the "Polian is whining to the press and refs again" card. "First he got the rules changed to help his team" (WRONG) "and now he wants to do it again" (WRONG).

36
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 4:18pm

19: Selling out the stadium is support. The other things will take time. Anyone with a sense of reality can see that.

30: I agree with you here. None of those are "prehistoric".

37
by Abarine (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 4:19pm

Being as the Bucs beat the Browns in regular season play, that really should be the tiebreaker instead of the coin toss. All things being equal, the Browns were (sadly) the worse team.

38
by Randy S. (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 4:44pm

32 - But based on his history, what did Wilcots expect? a hug, a pat on the ass, maybe some tongue?

Maybe Wilcotts was talking to Suzy Kolber before the game, and the Namath interview came up.

39
by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 4:56pm

Re BB's Interview:
Has Wilcots actually said anything? I think it's a bit unfair to put this on him. As soon as they cut to the studio Boomer (and the guy on the far right, Marino?) had their hands in the air and Boomer said "What?" Then, during that night's news, the local station aired that again. So somebody thought it was a big deal. Considering we didn't hear about this last year, I have to assume that either BB was more gracious/warm/talkative last year, or Boomer's reaction has caused all of the scrutiny.

40
by dryheat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 5:05pm

In reality, isn't getting a rule changed and having a rule that is not enforced to the letter becoming "emphasized" tantamount to the same thing? I chuckle when I here "Polian didn't get a rule changed, just emphasized". If Mayor Bloomburg decides that all jaywalking in NYC is going to be punished to the fullest extent of the law, didn't he in effect "change the rules". Semantics, people.

That being said, I have no problem with what Polian (The biggest A-hole in the league IMO) said after the Baltimore game. If you can secure the slightest bit of an edge for your team, why not do it? Who knows -- Maybe that questionable PI call on Hobbs doesn't happen without Polian's friendly suggestion? To me, it's no different than Shanahan's or Belichick's games with the injury report -- an attempt at a small competitive advantage. And yet Colts fans will defend one and blast the other, and Patriots fans will inversely act the same way.

41
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 5:06pm

I know T.O. is a moron (especially in light of his recent Parcells comments), but the media is really exposing their T.O. hate by blaming him for Parcells leaving. They do realize that this is the (ummmm...) fourth time that Parcells has quit? Where those other times T.O.'s fault too?

I sometimes get the feeling that Carson Palmer treats Chris Henry like Michael Jordan treated Toni Kukoc. Palmer just rides him and rides him and hopes that he will end up making a play in a big spot (or not getting arrested).

The Gruden quote is hilarious.

42
by bsr (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 5:08pm

#31 - I really have no problem with Dungy and do believe him to be genuine. However, him saying that there is no "win at all cost" atmoshpere in the organization is incorrect. Maybe that is true about his coaching style, but certainly not true about all management in the organization. Whether you want to categorize it as "rules emphasis" or whatever it doesn't change my point.

And frankly, it really doesn't matter. Whether Polian is an ahole or not really doesn't mean anything about Dungy, Manning, the Colts as a team or their ability to win the SB. Sometimes you need guys like that in your organization. But can we just lose the "aww shucks we did by all being great guys" storyline.

43
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 5:10pm

#40: That specific rule has been emphasized in previous years, as well. Really, saying Polian got the rule changed is giving him far too much credit. After the low point of scoring in 2003, I'd bet that they were thinking the same idea anyway.

44
by dryheat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 5:16pm

DISCLOSURE -- I am a 33 year old white male.

How significant is the fact that both head coaches are excellent coaches and even better men happen to be black? Did anybody really think that black coaches lacked some quality that was preventing them to make the Super Bowl? In 2007? Is this the same crowd that thought that Peyton Manning was an average quarterback until last Sunday evening, and that if the Pats won that he'd still be considered an average quarterback.

I didn't even realize that A) there was a chance of an black-on-black coaching matchup, and that B) that a black head coach had never been to the Super Bowl before until the nimrods at NFL Total Access beat me over the head with in for a good twenty minutes last Friday. I suspect that I'm in the majority.

And that, I think, is the real socially significant aspect involved here.

Are we going to have to go through this same thing a few years down the road when a Super Bowl-winning team has a black kicker or center?

45
by zip (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 5:17pm

#4, #34

Nice!

46
by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 5:41pm

37
Wow, they DON'T use head to head for this stuff? That's the first tiebreaker for the post-season (success) so why not use it for after the season futility as well? It's just logical, and seems more fair than a coin toss.

And to all non-Pats fans, it's truly impressive how defensive and pissy some Pats fans get when they're no longer in it. Far as I know, nobody (since dryheat brings up Colts fans, I might as well use that too)-- No Colts fans ever said anything to denigrate BB's character as a human being (such as "a-hole"). He's terse and surly in media events and that's part of his persona. He's also known for being (and I just learned this this season) expansive and erudite when discussing football minutae with outsiders, but most media talking heads don't want that--they want the easy "so what happened coach, in ten words or less?" And with that, and injuries or other "internal team stuff" he clams up. You either get the vanilla cliche-speak of some coaches or silence from BB. And he dresses as if he doesn't give a shit. That doesn't make him an a-hole and I don't know anybody who says that. It makes him appear to be a monomaniacal professor, and I know plenty who say that, but to me it sounds like envy and praise, not denigration.

I was actually defending him above, but apparently that was not clear when I suggested the media get the hell out of their faces. The media makes so much out of it and we're suckers for continuing the conversation. Like right now. After the last game, I thought BB was pretty short with Manning and I was a tad surprised (Manning looked like an older brother consoling a grumpy little brother by patting in on the tummy--it was actually poignant and funny. I suppose he was expecting at least a grudging return of respect.), but this all came after BB hugged--HUGGED--Dungy, which also surprised me in a good way.

All the crap they talk about BB and Mangini's post-game greetings... it's just filling airspace til the next game.

Yet, the a-hole term came out twice above in discussing Polian. bsr started it in 29 (no name-calling) and like a hungry pack of wolves who have nothing better to do, others jumped on. Bsr, I'd like some backup better than rumors for the "profanity laced tirades in the press box" (since I NEVER f-ing curse, it would f-ing offend me if someone did it when angry)... and "encourages opposing player injuries." That last one is particularly galling if true.

One thing I will say against Polian is the story of the Jets employee, and he publicly apologized. People make mistakes, make amends, and move on. Sounds like he let his temper get the best of him, a-holish behavior, no doubt about it, and even worse for somebody in charge who sets the tone for the whole organization--but if a 65 year-old guy pushes me against a wall, I think I'd be giggling too hard to worry about being threatened.

47
by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 5:48pm

44 dryheat, or a woman coach? It's probably your age. I'm 42 and pasty white, I suspect that to people just ten years older than I am would have found this color barrier impossible to break when they were learning the game. It was a huge deal when Doug Williams played and won in 1985 or so--not in reality, but in people's perceptions. I can easily imagine guys like my dad (he's 78) pontificating 30 years ago that a black QB isn't as smart as white QBs and would never win the big one. Probably the same for a coach. You and I are beneficiaries of our times in this regard--we (I assume) grew up without a priori views that one group of people are inferior.

But for a long time, it was just taken as fact. And all the talk proves that we're not out of the woods yet. (I assume the disparity of minority players to coaches, about 78% to 14% IIRC also has something to do with it.) I'll state flat-out that I can't imagine a woman coach or player. Will I be proven wrong in 50 years? Maybe. Might be kinda cool. And that's all they'll talk about THEN too, when our grandchildren are having a similar discussion on the FOMB.

48
by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 5:55pm

#32- Bobman, I'm with you. The media just pokes and pokes at the losing players and I can't stand it either.

That coach that is the opposite of the tirade was Steve Spurrier though. He seemed kind of peppy in those losses and they bashed him for THAT just as much as they bashed a Denny Green for Merv-ing out after the Bears MNF game.

Those pencil neck reporters love to play Monday Morning quarterback in every aspect of the game.

49
by dryheat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 6:05pm

No Colts fans ever said anything to denigrate BB’s character as a human being (such as “a-hole�).

You CAN'T be serious? I'm willing to bet I can find several examples of BB being called EXACTLY that if I search a few threads (Although, you're right in the respect I can't say for certain if a Colt fan didn't. The fact that Polian is GM of the Colts is co-incidental. I'd think he was the biggest A-Hole in the league if he were the GM of the Bengals or 49ers). But if that's what you took from my post, it's unfortunate, because it Just as you were defending BB. I was defending Polian's behavior in this instance. However, my impression of him, based on every quote I've ever heard out of his mouth, is that he is an 100% unadulterated a-hole. Some people are. It's a personality type.

For the record, I'm an a-hole as well.

50
by Towelie (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 6:08pm

Hold on a second man....Tony Dungy is black?

51
by bsr (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 6:11pm

#46 - Attached is an article that mentions the incident in the press box where Polian was calling for Flutie to break a leg. Its 14 paragraphs down or so. I randomly pulled the article off of a google search for "polian" and "flutie". I didn't bother to even read the rest of it so don't know what it says. Frankly, I don't think it is even that galling, as I have probably said stuff just as bad in the heat of the moment.

Also, I wanted to note that I did not call him a ahole in #29. I said he may or may not be an ahole in #42. And really I am not on a anti-polian agenda here. I just find the holier then thou storylines disingenious as Polian, strikes me as one of those "win at all costs" type of guys.

52
by dryheat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 6:14pm

Oh, and just as I think Polian is the biggest A-hole in the NFL, I also suspect that Tony Dungy might be the finest example of a human being on the planet. Let's not turn yet another thread into an irrational Colts/Pats pissing match.

53
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 6:32pm

Pretty much all on-field questions are stupid. Before the game, during the game, after the game.

I don't think they use in-depth tiebreakers for draft picks because they don't want to make it too easy for teams to manipulate the draft order. I doubt teams actively throw games to move up in the order (almost all of the teams picking high don't need to work hard to lose games, as I'm painfully aware), but it wouldn't be a stretch to see a team give up an extra TD the last week, or something along those lines.

Besides, it really doesn't make that much of a difference. At best, you've identified players who are more likely to turn out to be good NFL players; at worst, you're picking out of a hat. In fact, you might even make the argument that teams are better off picking outside the top 5 so that they can save money.

If Polian ever attacked me, I'd take the opportunity to demonstrate what I think does and does not constitute roughing the passer.

54
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 6:38pm

Re 51

Last year, when Patriots backup quarterback Doug Flutie scrambled around during the last play of a 40-21 Colts win at Foxborough, Polian said, "Break his leg."

He said that according to... someone apparently. I guess according to the writer, Tom Curran.

I've seen the "break his leg" quote before, but I've never seen anyone other than Tom Curran as its ultimate source. This would be the Tom Curran who was the Patriots beat writer for the Providence Journal at the time of the alleged utterance.

I'm not necessarily saying its made up, but with no other source, I'm not convinced by one quote from one writer who has an obvious bias.

55
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 6:41pm

54:
I didn't phrase that last part quite right. I should have said "obvious potential bias."

56
by Brandon (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 6:48pm

Bill Polian didn't even bring up the PI stuff to the competiion committe after the 2003 season, Mike Martz did. Polian of course had an opinion on it, but that is what the competition committe is for, right? Jeff Fisher publicly said it was going to be discussed anyway after the season because of the low scoring, and that the AFC Championship game was not the catalyst for it. Now if you think Polian is an a-hole because he gave an opinion on an issue because he is a member of a committe designed to do that, then you're a little off. MIKE MARTZ ultimatley raised the issue, not Bill Polian.

Oh, and because some Boston beat writer says Polian said something, I guess that is proof positive huh?

57
by Patrick (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 6:51pm

46, I think the rational of not using head to head as a tiebreaker is a team would greatly benefit from losing and since the basic principal of sports is being rewarded for winning, you shouldn't reward a team for losing. Actually, I think the NFL should go to a lottery system for top picks.

47, 44. Being white, I have no idea what it is to be black in US. However, I think it would a profound moment to see someone like yourself take a major step, where people sharing a commonality have never been before and especially with very poor history of race relations in this country as context. This is one of the reasons JFK is one of the most beloved Presidents; he broke the Irish and Catholic barriers.

58
by Moridin (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 6:52pm

Re 28: Pat, that article needs to be directly linked somewhere on this site. Heh, laughed my ass off.

59
by bsr (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 6:55pm

#54 - That is a pretty strong accusation you are making about a journalist. I would be the first one to say that journalists, especially sports journalists, blow things out of proportion or purposely quote people out of context to because it makes for better copy, but I have never seen many just outright lie. Additionally, this is a pretty well publicized story and I have never heard Polian to refute it.

60
by Harris (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 7:21pm

#22

I suppose you'll eventually run out of places to move teams and we'll have consolidation, but is a league where Aaron Brooks can't find a job such a bad thing?

In all seriousness, how much help are the big market franchises supposed to give small market teams? Do you really expect Chicago, for example, to give Indy, for example, enough money to be both profitable AND outbid the Bears for free agents?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but if Green Bay can find a way to keep a viable football team, then I don't have much sympathy for the whining coming from owners in much bigger cities.

61
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 7:41pm

Re 59

As I said, I didn't say I absolutely thought he was just making stuff up. People mis-hear stuff all the time. I once got accused of calling a clerk at a grocery store a bitch, when I'm quite certain I did not. However, I don't doubt that she honestly believed I said it.

As you say, it was a very well publicized story, and Polian never refuted it (or at least never felt the need to). But I've never heard anyone corroborate it either. If he said this in the press box, there would have been other people around who also heard it.

I don't think I'm off-base mentioning that this writer has a potential bias, either. That makes the lack of corroboration more important.

62
by JAT (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 7:42pm

#59 - bsr, Curran is the only one who has ever reported this. If Polian supposedly said this in a crowded press box, why was Curran the only one to hear it? Why has no other reporter ever confirmed Curran's account? Look, I'm an admitted Colt's homer, and I do think Polian is a jerk (but great at what he does), but there is no question in my mind that Curran has had an agenda.

63
by DenverMatt (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 8:03pm

RE #56 and #40 - whoever raised the issue first, and whether or not Bill Polian is an A-hole (I get the impression he is but haven't seen enough of him to be conclusive), that emphasis was good for the game. In my opinion the Colts win the 2003 AFC championship game with referees who call blatant fouls that are ALREADY in the rulebook. I compare it to the NHL - do you think the game is better with every team playing the nuetral zone trap? I think that style of defense (and refs not calling obstruction, hooking, etc. - existing rules) almost killed the NHL.
Now I wouldn't say PI in the league was that extreme - but I do like to see the recievers given a chance to move/make plays. And you can't accuse me of being biased - my team is built around defense and has the best corner in the league.

64
by bsr (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 8:18pm

#61 & #62 - Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean the story hasn't been confirmed. In all likely hood it has. Afterall, newspapers to have a habit of fact checking, especially when reporting on topics that can be viewed as slanderous as in this case. This wasn't just some internet blogger. It was a respected journalist working for a good sized newspaper. I feel fairly confident that it is accurate and unless Polian comes out to dispute it there is no reason to even question its authenticity.

65
by bravehoptoad (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 8:19pm

Re: 28

Holy crap, Pat, that was wonderful.

Re: 30

All right, substitue "coin-like media of exchange" for "coin." What, you can't flip shells and colored rocks?

66
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 8:38pm

#60:

Hey, the only reason Aaron Brooks had a job is because it was the Oakland Raiders (I'm not also convinced that Aaron Brooks is uniformly bad, but that's another thing. I am, however, convinced that the Raiders so-called offensive line is a bad thing).

Anyway, I think you're slightly missing the point: if you think that the Bears shouldn't have to give New Orleans money, that's fine. Get rid of the salary cap, and you can ditch revenue sharing entirely (and watch football tumble down the drain). New Orleans won't be able to field equivalent teams, but hey, that's what you want when you say they shouldn't be able to outbid Chicago for free agents.

In some sense, it's not New Orleans leeching money from Chicago. It's Chicago saying "we want to have an equal sport as well as keep the players happy." You have to remember: part of the reason that football profits are skyrocketing is because it's a good on-field product, for the most part. So in some sense, yes, the Saints are entitled to that money, because they helped make it.

This was always going to be a problem when football switched from DGR to total gross revenue for the salary cap. It was an absolute given that revenue sharing would have to increase.

If you're a pure capitalist, though: From a more practical standpoint, though, trust me, the Bears, Redskins, Eagles, Patriots aren't complaining. They make more money by keeping a salary cap and sharing revenue than they do without a salary cap.

67
by Rick (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 8:55pm

re:24
So, if Team A beats Team B 6 or 7 times in a row, and the QB of Team B generally looks like crap in at least half of those losses, god forbid any pundit should credit the coach of Team A for having done a good job, because perhaps in the future Team B will beat Team A 3 times in a row?

Is that your point?

It's all well and good that Peyton Manning is having a good offseason (well, at least 2 of the 12 quarters that Indy has played thus far) but I really think that some people here need to watch some of those tapes of Colts playoff games in earlier years. Check out the 41-0 loss to the Jets in 2003, the 24-14 loss to the Pats in 2004 (which wasn't that close and Peyton threw 4 picks), and the 20-3 loss to the Pats in 2005.

How did Peyton Manning get a reputation as a player who underperformed in the playoffs? He earned it!

68
by Clod (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 8:59pm

CONTEXT PEOPLE!

Dungy is very obviously talking about his and Smiths COACHING STAFFS. Not there respective "organizations".

69
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 9:06pm

#67: The 20-3 loss to the Patriots wasn't actually a bad performance by Manning. His receivers were dropping balls left and right, Edge was gaining absolutely no yardage, and his defense completely screwed the pooch in the second half. Aaron's written about that game several times.

How did Peyton Manning get a reputation as a player who underperformed in the playoffs?

By losing to the Jets in the 2002 postseason. That's the only 'really bad' one. Even the loss to the Patriots the next year isn't a big deal. They did win the Super Bowl, y'know. It's not like the Patriots were the Detroit Lions.

70
by Gus (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 9:10pm

RE: The Belichick interview.

For the record my comments--not in this thread--on the reaction to Belichick's interview were definitely anti-media, not anti-Colts. To my way of thinking, it's just been blown out of proportion because it was a nationally televised game and not everyone is familar with Belichick's style of "dealing with" generic questions. Some people may say he came off as a sore loser, but he acts the same way when the Pats win and someone asks him something trivial.

66: Aaron Brooks is turnover prone, but if he had a decent offensive line he could definitely be an NFL starter. He'd just be more a placeholder than a long term solution. The guy does have an arm.

I'm predisposed against Brooks because I have to hear from my esteemed father that he thinks Brooks is a good QB based on the one frickin' game he saw him play last year (that's right, 3-13 Saints vs. the Pats). Meanwhile, Dad also thinks Tiki Barber is/was a mediocre back because of the fact that...Tiki is not very big? I dunno, Dad is a hopeless football fan sometimes.

I digress. Boomer Esiason's reaction was like listening to Joe Buck after the Randy Moss "mooning" in Green Bay, only Esiason was less justified. 'Disgusted,' Boomer? Fuck off. Pardon my french.

71
by Tom (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 10:41pm

I always looked at the low revenue teams as loss leaders for the league. Sure they don't make as much money as the high revenue teams, but they keep people interested. The Saints must have been worth a lot of money to the league this year, with them becoming America's Team.

72
by pete (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 11:18pm

Re: Tony Dungy's comments on Lovie Smith

Let me get this straight...
There is no "win-at-all-costs-atmosphere" surrounding a coach with players who:

Have had three (3) incidents with law enforcement, possibly violated parole, had their home under surveillance for several months before getting their door kicked in by 5-0, and lied about being present when his "friend" and bodyguard, the former armed robber, was killed in a nightclub possibly backing him up two days after said police raid.(Tank Johnson)

Participated, in part, in the beating up and allegedly using an ethnic slur against someone because the target was using a laptop in a Denny's restaurant.(Ricky Manning Jr.)

Remember that coach Smith's team also includes such stalwarts of the community as Olin Kreutz (slams free weight against teammate's head, no stranger to anger management classes) and Charles Tilllman (Typical jump last on the pile, shove after the whistle, convinced the local media he's better than he is DB). All the while, our coach Smith has had little or nothing to say concerning such issues.

Look, I don't expect him to have a team of choirboys, but if I hear one more platitude about what a great and "Christian" guy he is I'm going to hurl. The Tank Johnson episode proved that, in terms of discipline off the field, he's no better than anyone else and that he and his organization are willing to at least accept some, if not all, costs. If you put him in that holding cell AKA the Cincinnatti Bengals he wouldn't look any better than Marvin Lewis. Don't let that calm demeanor and southern drawl fool you. At home and around friends he may be full of Christian conviction. I think his team, however, is a little less convinced.

73
by Travis (not verified) :: Thu, 01/25/2007 - 11:48pm

How did Peyton Manning get a reputation as a player who underperformed in the playoffs?

By losing to the Jets in the 2002 postseason. That’s the only ‘really bad’ one. Even the loss to the Patriots the next year isn’t a big deal. They did win the Super Bowl, y’know. It’s not like the Patriots were the Detroit Lions.

Manning's first two playoff games, while not "really bad," weren't particularly good either. In the 19-16 loss to the 1999 Titans (a below-average pass defense according to DVOA), Manning went 19-43-227, and the Colts' one TD (a Manning 15-yard run) came against a prevent defense (the Colts trailed 19-9 late in the 4th and had no timeouts left).

Manning's performance in the 2000 Miami loss (23-17 in OT) was probably better than his statistics (17-32-194-1) would indicate. Miami had the best pass defense in the league, the Colts defense allowed Jay Fiedler to drive the field on the last drive of regulation for the tying TD (and 204 yards from Lamar Smith on the game), and the idiot kicker missed a 49-yarder that would have won the game in OT.

74
by Eddo (not verified) :: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 12:19am

72: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's not get out of hand here.
Yes, Tank Johnson is an idiot. Should the Bears have let him go last offseason? That's debatable. At that time, he had had one arrest (getting caught with weed, I believe). A crime, yes, but using drugs for recreational use is nothing new among athletes, and certainly not something I'm prepared to get judgemental over. Would you part ways with a friend if he/she was caught with weed? I'd assume not.
The gun trangression is another stupid thing on Johnson's part, but I still don't think the Bears should have cut him at that time. There's something to be said for sticking by an employee (if you will) when he clearly needs help. In the offseason, Jerry Angelo, Lovie Smith, and the rest of the Bears organization should get involved in some sort of rehabilitation for Tank Johnson. Cutting him midseason is not the answer.
Ricky Manning did a despicable thing, and I can't defend it. Again, you have to expect his teammates and coach to stand by him, 1) because that's what teammates do (unless you're T.O.), and 2) they've most likely only heard details from Ricky Manning's perspective, so they're most likely uninformed. And I don't recall any Bears players defending Manning's actions, only saying that the league kind of screwed him over (not that I agree with the players, here, I'm just saying).
Hypothetical: you get in a drunken fight at a bar, and you end up having assault charges brought against you. Would you expect to be fired or have everyone at your workplace shun you?
In regards to Kreutz, I assume you're referring to the whole FBI shooting range incident with Fred Miller. That was between teammates, who since have worked out any differences they might have had. If anything, you could argue that Lovie Smith could have actually contributed to the fixing of the situation (here, I have no proof, but you also can't prove Lovie didn't sit those guys down and mediate).
For Charles Tillman, your whining seems like sour grapes. Tillman does like to talk, but he often comes across as intelligent, not some braggadocio who has the media wrapped around his finger. He even has his own charitable foundation set up in the Chicago area (see link in name for website).
Overall, I agree that Lovie could have probably handled the Tank Johnson situation a little better, but in my opinion it always seemed like he was publicly sticking up for his player. I guess I generally prefer that they hadn't signed Manning in the offseason, but when they signed him I hadn't heard of his transgression (not saying the team hadn't, however). Kreutz has a fiery personality, but I don't recall any arrests. And I've never heard anything about Tillman being anything short of a law-abiding citizen.

75
by methuselah (not verified) :: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 4:17am

Pete's ego is as large as my prostate

76
by Chubby D (not verified) :: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 2:41pm

#69 - HEY HEY HEY!! Just because we have one playoff victory in 49 years, and have the worst GM in sports, and the worst five year record in the history of the NFL, and were beaten by Arizona this year, thats no reason to go pickin' on the Lions!

By the way- last year, on Thanksgiving, P-Man and the Colts beat the Lions 35-0 without breaking a sweat. I think Polian even had a TD run in the game...

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by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 2:52pm

thats no reason to go pickin’ on the Lions!

Wait: you need a reason to pick on the Lions?

78
by Matt Millen (not verified) :: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 5:19pm

Hey leave us alone, we're trying our best!

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by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 8:25pm

Just for the record, a white non-Hispanic coach has never beaten a minority coach in the Super Bowl. Yay, all hail 2-0 Tom Flores.

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by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 8:25pm

Re #78
Yeah, and that's the scary thing.

81
by pete (not verified) :: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 10:35pm

Re: #74
You raise some good points, Eddo. I wouldn't have cut him either. But that dosen't mean he gets back on the field quickly, either. Instead of studying game plans of "meaningless" games I'd had him with a professional intensly working with him on his myriad of issues. Regarding "Peanut" Tillman, living here in Chicago gives me the view that local media has conferred upon him a level of playing ability he has yet to earn (e.g. Steve Smith making him look like the Saints' Fred Thomas).
I'm not saying that Lovie Smith isn't a good person. It's just that such a statement shouldn't go unchallenged. He's had opportunities to show off that "Christian Conviction" and he's come up a little short. BTW, Lovie Smith had to be dragged literally kicking and screaming before he'd admit to anything in the Olin Kreutz incident. In comparison, Dungy has demonstrated class and dignity when going through personal and professional losses. Other coaches and players ought to take note.

Re: #75
If your prostate is that big, don't make any plans for Easter!

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by Eddo (not verified) :: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 12:54am

81: pete, I think we are mostly in agreement over Tank Johnson. I think he was incredibly stupid to go out to a club the weekend immediately after he was busted, but how much could the team have really stopped him? I can't really speak to that.
And that leads to another decision by Lovie/the organization: how long to keep Tank off the field. I think had Tommie Harris not been on IR, Tank may still be suspended. Yet the coaching staff is making the decision knowing full well this may be their best chance at a championship, and in the "win now" mentality of the NFL, they may not be employed long enough for another one. Win-at-all-costs? That's one way of putting it. I'm generally of the opinion that 95% of off-the-field incidents are overblown by the media. Sure it's amusing that nine Bengals have been arrested in the last nine months, but most have been more "minor" offenses. Like I said before, if you or I got caught with unregistered firearms or got a DUI, we would most likely receive no punishment from our employer (well, I'm fairly certain I wouldn't, I can't speak for your employer :-P).
Re: Tillman. I agree that Steve Smith made him look awful in the playoffs. I also put some of that on (a) the coaching staff for believing he could handle Smith one-on-one and (b) Chris Harris, who was absolutely terrible at giving true safety help in that game (as well as the Rams game this year, where Tillman was visibly upset that the safety help was not there). And last year, Tillman was overrated. He still can't cover smaller, quicker receivers in man coverage. However, he is rather good at playing good, physical zone coverage AND at manning-up with bigger, more physical receivers like Burress and Colston. I think he has been as good as Vasher this year. I also can't say I've seen him do any more "piling on" than other players, either.

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by Eddo (not verified) :: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 1:00am

Oh, and one more thing regarding Lovie Smith. I don't believe Lovie himself has ever spoken of "Christian conviction." He's referred to his players as "character" guys, but of course he'll defend Tank Johnson and Ricky Manning. He's not going to say, "Sure, we have some real a-holes on this team."
I actually felt bad for him when the Tank Johnson thing blew up. So many local columnists (especially Rick Morissey) kept shouting "hypocrites" in regards to Lovie and the organization, yet you can be sure if he had not defended his player, they would have questioned that, too.
(Morissey, by the way, even brought up a situation where, last year, a Fox Sports intern leaked some information that a Bears official told him in private. The team complained to Fox, and the itern was fired. Morissey seemed to think this was the absolute worst thing ever, and that it showed that the organization that would defend Tank Johnson would just "turn its back" on this Fox intern. So yeah, Chicago sportswriters generally suck.)

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by Bobman (not verified) :: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 3:13am

dryheat, just spoke with Polian AND Dungy and they agree: you're an a-hole. Then again, they said I was, too, and that cannot possibly be true. Come to think of it, they looked a lot more like my kids than Polian and Dungy....hey, wait just a minute here. (If you put together everyone on earth who called me an a-hole you could populate a small country.)

And Gus, your Francais really sucks.

Regarding Manning's, I mean the Colts' loss to NYJ in the playoffs, keep in mind the field was slippery as he tried to defend Pennington's passes and he had a nagging injury preventing him from effectively tackling the TWO 100 yard rushers on the Jets. It also kept him from effectively opening holes for Edge, resulting in only 13 yards rushing on 9 carries. While it was nothing to brag about in terms of QB performances, he was probably one of the better Indy players that day. Not saying much, I know.

For the record, as a Colt fan since the Unitas era, I personally wondered if Vanderjagt was right. Glad to say I now think he was wrong. But 41-3. You never erase a blot like that, even with a SB win. It's still there, lurking in the back, like a murder committed long ago that everyone has forgotten. Doesn't mean you didn't do it and it wasn't pure evil. Who knows--maybe it was all Herm's superior coaching skills.

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by Kris H. (not verified) :: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 12:00pm

I root against the Pats and Belichick every chance I get.

But I do admire what, to me, seems to be his unspoken rebellion against the media ocean the NFL inflicts on its players and coaches.

I don't understand why they make these guys hold press conferences right after a grueling, emotional, gut-wrenching game. I don't understand why players and coaches tolerate asshole questions they are subjected to, probably every week if not every day.

For example, one of the field reporters for NBC, some pasty-looking guy, is asking every player these aggressive, almost taunting questions, like asking Manning, basically, "you've choked in every postseason appearance; why will this year be any different."

I'm just sick of the dumb-ass questions reporters ask these guys. If they asked questions that revealed some kind of cool, insider knowledge of the game, that'd be one thing. But asking BB, "how do you feel about losing a game you were winning 21-3?," is just stupider than stupid.

There is just this kind of aggressiveness to the questions sports reporters ask, and I really wonder what constituency they think this is pleasing. I'm a football fan and I hate it. Do casual fans like it? Is that the point? Covering sports the way the National Enquirer covers Michael Jackson?

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by Chippy (not verified) :: Mon, 01/29/2007 - 6:34pm

Wouldn't like, everyone in the world know, if you were issued the first Social Security card? And, wouldn't you be inclined to just like, whip it out and say, "Lookie here, 000-00-0001."

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by Chippy (not verified) :: Mon, 01/29/2007 - 6:39pm

And another thing. Say a guy went out with a pick, and accidently got it stuck to a big magnetic rock when he was prospecting, thus discovering magnetism. If the magnetic rock was big enough, and he couldn't loosen his pick, and it was just stuck there, a la Excalibur, would it just suddenly drop off to the ground when the earth reversed its magnetic poles?