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?
30 Jan 2009
compiled by Mark Zajack
"To the players and coaches who worked so hard for our team, I appreciate their efforts. This is going to be a very good football team. I respect the tough decision that was made to move in a new direction. I wish the players and the organization the very best as they move forward."
-- Former Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards, exiting with class. (ESPN.com)
"I'm excited about the opportunity to join the ESPN team and offer my insight as a former player and head coach. I'm going to be truthful with my opinions on all the issues that take place on and off the field of play."
-- Herm, accepting an analyst gig at ESPN, before my tears were dry. (SI.com)
"You're asking the wrong guy. I'm not what people say or think. When [my son] played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I couldn't have told you 10 people on the team."
-- CBS analyst and father Phil Simms, on whether his son, free agent quarterback Chris Simms, would be a good fit with the Bears. (Chicago Sun-Times)
"I do it for all the bald men above 40."
-- Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu, when asked why his hair so long. (KYMA.com)
"I ain't too happy about it."
-- Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison, sharing his feelings on what he said was the Steelers' game plan to drop him into coverage much of the time instead of rushing the quarterback.
"That is what we've been doing all week. We're not going to change it now. There's nothing I can do."
-- Harrison, who said his comments were not a smokescreen.
"We all know that he doesn't like talking to the media, so we try to give him as hard of a time as we can every time we know that he's got stuff to do."
-- Steelers linebacker James Farrior, on Harrison's, uh, lack of media savvy. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
"When you're born you come out with a Terrible Towel in your hand."
-- Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, on the obstetric oddities within the Pittsburgh area. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
"Dick is a fundamentalist. I am a fundamentalist. His Xs and Os are my Xs and Os. We are very similar. Dick makes the complex simple and the irregular regular. I subscribe to those same theories."
-- Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, a William & Mary alum, discussing defensive philosophies that he shares with Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.
"I am a Frost guy. The guys look at me a little cross-eyed sometimes when I quote Frost, but oh, well. You can blame William & Mary for that."
-- Tomlin. (Associated Press)
"They told me it was going to be crazy, but I just thought it was going to be a lot of media. Then that he-she gave me candy and I figured out what they were talking about. I think it was some Mexican dude in a dress, and he tried to get me to talk Spanish."
-- Arizona safety Aaron Francisco, who had the pleasure of meeting Joel Bengoa, a reporter from Telemundo Sports Network, who wore a red evening gown, a blonde wig, and lots of makeup. (Associated Press)
"10 minutes left? That's the longest 20 minutes of my life, they said there was half an hour left about, like, three hours ago."
-- Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, upon hearing the 10-minute warning for the end of the media session. (SkySports.com)
"I had a little blackout on impact. Once I was on the ground, I came to. [Teammate Troy Polamalu] asked me about 25 questions that I had no answer for."
-- Steelers safety Ryan Clark, on his collision with Ravens running back Willis McGahee in the AFC Championship game.
"He asked me if I had a concussion and I said: 'How would I know?' I was dizzy, a little groggy. Head injuries make you emotional. Or maybe I was just happy we won the AFC championship."
"That was the first time I ever had a concussion test. You know what's funny, you take the test when you're fine so that way they can compare the answers. I did better after the head injury than I did before."
-- Clark. (Reuters)
"Man, that was awful. I kept telling them I can't do this. They kept telling me I could do it. I just made a fool of myself. I hope I have a better time Sunday."
-- Steelers long snapper Jared Retkofsky, on getting a salsa lesson from professional dancer Renee Sapp during media day. (NewsDaily.com)
"I remember the coach, he was like 'Do you know the three-point stance?' I was like 'No, but I can tell you how to steal a Buick Regal.'"
-- Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, on starting to play football in eighth grade, as a way to get some structure in his life and deal with the unsolved murder of his mother.
"Sometimes on Christmas, on Mother's Day, when I got drafted, when I signed a new contract -- those days I wish I could be like 'Here Mom, here's your Mercedes Benz outside,' or 'Here's your new house. You don't got to live in the projects anymore. You don't have to go to the grocery store with $20 to try to feed three kids.'"
-- Dockett. (Yahoo Sports)
"I can assure that if I get a touchdown, I will get a fine."
-- Dockett, alluding to what would be an excessive touchdown celebration if he scores on Sunday.
"Give Obama a high five and go get some tattoos together."
-- Dockett, describing the perfect ending to his ideal Super Bowl scenario in which he scores, is named MVP, is awarded the Cadillac Escalade, goes to Disney World and then the White House. (KYMA.com)
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