The SEC's streak of seven consecutive national championships isn't dead yet, but on the final weekend of the regular season, only Michigan State can keep it alive. Plus advanced stats, analysis and picks for the rest of championship Saturday.
28 Nov 2008
compiled by Mark Zajack
"When someone plays a prank on me, I take it well. When those guys got the wife involved, she did not take it as well."
-Giants quarterback Eli Manning, relating a prank his offensive line played in him, where his wife, Abby Manning, was duped.
"It was family day at the facility, where guys have their wives and kids come out to visit, and we got ahold of Eli's phone and sent a couple of texts. We said, 'Please come. It would really mean a lot to me.' So she showed up, which was a total surprise to Eli. She had some stuff to do and didn't really want to be there, so needless to say she wasn't thrilled."
-Giants guard Rich Seubert, on the prank.
"We add sound effects to film sessions. If someone got a guy real good, we'll yell out, 'Booooooom!' Or if someone goes down for no reason, we might say, 'This is Sniper Lee. Do I have the shot? I have the shot.' To us, it's comedy. "
-Giants right tackle Kareem McKenzie, on other forms of entertainment for the offensive line.
"You mean 'Triple Ds'? You gotta see him with his shirt off!"
-A couple of Giants offensive lineman, calling out guard David Diehl, on his less than flattering nickname.
"He thinks he's an intellectual. He acts like he reads books, but he's really just one of those guys who carries a book around to make you think that he's reading it."
-McKenzie, on Seubert.
"Let's just say he won't be driving us anywhere anytime soon."
-Giants center Shaun O'Hara, referencing McKenzie's DUI arrest earlier this month.
"That's too easy, though. It's getting old. We get on him for his attitude, too. We call him 'The Angry Troll.' "
-O'Hara, on guard Chris Snee, whose relationship as the son-in-law of Giants coach Tom Coughlin is too easy a target for humor.
"Grey Ruegamer put a dead seagull in the back of my truck. It was the size of a turkey, and it took about eight weeks before the smell got so bad that I discovered it."
-Seubert, on a prank by backup offensive lineman, Ruegamer.
"I found it about a week later, when I was going through my locker looking for my shoes. It was pretty disgusting."
-Seubert, describing another incident that occurred after the linemen held a "pig roast" following a blowout victory over the Seahawks in early October. Someone placed the animal's head inside a bag and stashed it in Seubert's locker.
"We spend so much time together, and you've got to do stuff to break up the monotony. We play jokes on each other, but that's what brothers do, and we also work extremely hard and prepare very seriously. When things are tough -- when things are on the line -- everyone else can look at us and know we're going to do whatever it takes to sell out and come through for this team."
"We've been together for quite a long time now, and it's funny -- I think we're all getting sick and tired of all the praise. If you look back at the numbers, we've been doing this since 2004. Look back at Tiki Barber's rushing stats. We might be playing at a higher level overall, but we're not doing a whole lot different."
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"I don't know what y'all are talking about. I got Time Warner."
"I turned into Flash and stepped on the gas like I was in a Corvette. When I reappeared, I had the ball in my hands."
-Martellus, the superhero, describing how he beat 49ers linebacker Takeo Spikes to catch a 1-yard touchdown.
"I call that my D-town Boogie. That's inspired by some of the local Dallas hip hop artists like Little Will, Tom Tom and Big Tuck. "
-Martellus, describing his touchdown dance.
"T.O. and those guys know I'm the best dancer on the team and they always get mad at my selections in the end zone. They want me to do my best stuff. But they need to be patient."
-Martellus, when told that wide receiver Terrell Owens was laughing at his dance on the sideline. (ESPN.com)
"The score's going to be 27-24. Aggies win. We always beat Texas. It wouldn't be an upset. Well, maybe this year it would be. But we expect to beat Texas, the yellow bellies."
-Martellus, a Texas A&M alumnus, on the upcoming showdown with the Longhorns.
"My brother [Michael Bennett] knocked McCoy out a while back and we call him Cart McCoy now."
"That's legal. Very legal. Colt McCoy, or Cart McCoy, is a pretty good player. But hopefully my brother gets some more hits on him."
-Martellus, on whether his brother's hit on McCoy was legal. (Dallas Morning News)
"Oh, so I ain't got it no more, huh? I ain't got it?"
-Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens, post-game press conference comment directed to Dallas Morning News' Jean-Jacques Taylor, who had written that T.O. was washed up before Sunday's game.
"The demise of Terrell Owens has been overly exaggerated."
-Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips, perhaps suggesting we find an appropriate level of exaggeration.
"This morning we were having breakfast and there were some newspapers laying around. One of them had an article that said T.O. wasn't doing any good any more, but you could see he's still got it."
-Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
"Jerry simply offered to cut me a check, if I can write something else that gets T.O. inspired to have another 200-yard game this season."
-Columnist Jean-Jacques Taylor, presumably paraphrasing what Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said to him after the game. (Dallas Morning News)
"They didn't want to do anything special to take him out of the game. They ran a lot of coverages, but nothing that said, 'We're going to take him out.' They're one of the first teams in a while that decided to do that and we tried to take advantage of it."
-Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, on the 49ers defensive gameplan against T.O. (Dallas Morning News)
"I'm going to defend Nate and say that Nate's better than that. Nate's a good football player. Nate can cover T.O."
-49ers head coach Mike Singletary, defending cornerback Nate Clements, after T.O.'s 213-yard performance, which included a 75-yard touchdown and also gains of 52 and 45 yards.
"He did not today. But I'm not going to sit here and make excuses for him. 'Maybe we should've given more help?' No, I totally disagree with that. I just think we did a bad job and I'll leave it at that."
-Singletary, on leaving Clements on an island against T.O.
"(Owens) got off today, you know? I'm not taking anything away from him. But I still have confidence in what I can do against anybody."
-Clements, clearly not taking anything away from Owens, during or after the game. (Mercury News)
"It's like Groundhog Day. The same old thing keeps on happening over and over again."
-Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips, on the latest of his team's last-minute losses.
"We just can't catch a break. "
-Chargers defensive lineman Jacques Cesaire.
"We all knew what happened in Denver. We were excited about it. We knew it was our chance to get back within striking distance."
-Chargers safety Eric Weddle, on the lost opportunity to gain a game on Denver after they had lost earlier in the day.
"We just need one of these things to go our way -- just one. You can't sit here and say this team is not playing good ball right now. We have improved. We lost two close games to two really good ball clubs. We know we can get rolling if we can just fight through this."
"It seems like our fans aren't coming to the game, so it's fun when the other fans come in and start hooting and hollering -- you know what I mean? At least someone in the dome is yelling."
-Rams guard Richie Incognito, on the Bears fans coming to St. Louis.
"We know how our fans feel about us, and that's fine. It's nice to have the other fans here. At least they cheer."
"Our fans get in their seats and they don't know how to cheer, when to cheer. We get the other team's fans coming in, and they cheer real nice for us."
-Incognito. (Chicago Sun-Times)
"Anybody else want another quarterback?"
-Rams head coach Jim Haslett, referring to quarterback Trent Green's four interceptions and 37.4 rating, after weeks of criticism aimed at quarterback Marc Bulger. Bulger left the game in the first quarter with a concussion. (Belleville News-Democrat)
"I think this was a game, one game."
-Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards, on the 54-31 loss to Buffalo.
"54 points is 54 points."
-Chiefs safety Jarrad Page, who has clearly spent too much time with Herm.
"He made some plays, but he gave some up."
-Herm, on the performance of quarterback Tyler Thigpen, who had three touchdowns and three turnovers. (Kansas City Star)
"He was with us last year and . . . we still went 4-12."
-Herm, asked if he regrets the trade that sent defensive end Jared Allen to the Vikings, now that the Chiefs are on pace to set a record for fewest sacks in a season. (The Arizona Republic)
"No offense to women, but men don't wear panties."
-Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards, responding to the NFL fining him $25,000 for hits against Tampa Bay two weeks ago.
"We chose to play this game. We don't cry when we get cracked unexpectedly."
-Edwards. (International Herald Tribune)
"I guess if you're from Hostess Twinkies it would be."
-Lions head coach Rod Marinelli, who hates "soft" attitudes and perhaps "soft" desserts, on whether having a national audience on Thanksgiving could be a negative thing.
"For me, personally, the only time that would get me [down is], if I didn't try as hard as I could try. If I didn't prepare, if I didn't believe in them and if I didn't come to work ready to go every single day, upbeat and positive, because who wants to look at a leader that's a grouch or a pouter?"
"When the time comes, I will do damage."
-Redskins running back Shaun Alexander, when asked if he was disappointed that he didn't get in the game against his former team. Alexander was cut a few days later. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
"He's just been The Boss Man since he's been here. That's it."
-Redskins cornerback Fred Smoot, on the nickname of defensive tackle Ryan Boschetti, signed to fill Shaun Alexander's roster spot.
"Coach Zorn, we call him Jay-Z, that's about it. Nothing to talk about."
"He's just D-Hall. Sometimes your name dictates you never getting a nickname. If your last name was Jackson, first name Kurt, your name gonna be...."
-Smoot, describing how some names, like cornerback DeAngelo Hall don't necessarily lend themselves to creative nicknaming. For example, the hypothetical, "K-Jack."
"That's my guy man. I call him Sugar, because you ever look at his ankles? You know, down south, when people got big ankles and diabetes, we call it Sugar. He got Sugar."
-Smoot, just when it was getting too predictable, describing the nickname of rookie wide receiver Malcolm Kelly.
"Devin? Man, call the police, because he's [flipping] crazy. He'll be jumping over here in a minute, losing his damn mind. Devin ain't got no name. He's special. Point blank."
-Smoot, on the other rookie wide receiver Devin Thomas. (Washington Post)
"I have no clue. Honestly, years ago I used to say I don't think about it, I don't worry about it, and I'd lie. Right now, it matters to me, but I don't worry about it. I've just learned that hey, me worrying's not gonna make him get well faster, all it's gonna do is make me take more Zantac."
-Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache, on linebacker London Fletcher's availability.
"Maturity. And just realizing you have this stomach where it's up in the top of your throat, and you've got heartburn and everything else. You're thinking, 'This is really, really foolish,' because I'm worrying about things I can't control. I was worrying about mice turds, and there's just mounds of elephant dung around. And you realize, watch out for the big stuff and don't worry about the little stuff. Don't worry about those little things, because they're not gonna stay with you as long as the big stuff does."
-Blache, how he keeps his cool.
"He's always been a favorite and he's earned that. I mean, that's something you earn, the respect of your players. And that's the one thing that's great about this business, guys know who the phonies are and guys know who the real guys are. Because you can't hide it. You can fake and fool anybody for a short period of time. I always tell the guys, they can go sit at the bar and BS that girl down the bar for an hour or two. But when you have to deal with them over a period of time, everybody, who they are, surfaces."
-Blache, on the return of defensive tackle Ryan Boschetti.
"Was I prophetic or what? He'll outlast me. There'll be a point in time, you guys will be interviewing Boschetti and you'll say, 'Hey, remember when Blache used to be in coaching with you?' He'll survive....He fits us. He represents who we are. Blue collar, hard-nosed, though, might not be the prettiest, but we'll fight you till you put us under....And the one thing you know, you're gonna get every ounce of Boschetti he's got. There won't be anything less."
-Blache, who nicknamed Boschetti, "The Cockroach" during training camp.
"I was just so excited when they called me man, because I really felt like if there was one team I wanted to come back to it was these guys. They kept me in the playoff hunt, which is awesome, you know what I mean? And I'm a hard guy to get rid of. I knew they'd get me back. I knew they'd take me back. You know what, in this game, people will stay stuff about you, you're gonna get [dunged] on one day, and then the next day you're gonna make the play to save the game. That's the way this League is. So if I get an opportunity to play on Sunday, whether it's this Sunday, next Sunday, the Sunday after, hopefully I can do something to contribute to a Skins win. That's it."
-Boschetti, aka - "The Boss," aka - "The Cockroach," with a message of thanks. Happy Thanksgiving, TWIQers.
8 comments, Last at 01 Dec 2008, 9:50am by Theo