"I've watched Andy [Reid] try so hard with his family over the years. He cares so much about his family that it's a hard one. You see a man that really cares, and sometimes what happens happens in life, and, you know, as he and I discussed it's like life throws you curveballs. The thing to do, and I've always felt this and I think Andy feels the same way, is you gain from loss, you gain from tragedy. I always think that there's no way today I would own an NFL team if I hadn't lost my dad when I was nine and it was shocking. It made me stronger. There's choices to be made when tragedy happens. You can become stronger and even more focused and learn from it and treat life as a challenge, or you can bow down. And Andy is somebody ... He said to me, 'I'm going to hit that curveball and hit it out of the park' on the field and off the field. That's the message he wanted me to have."
-- Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie on Sunday afternoon, breaking down at times while talking about Eagles coach Andy Reid after Reid's 29-year-old son, Garrett, was found dead in a Lehigh University dorm room at training camp Sunday morning.
"I was asked by a reporter earlier this week if I would allow my child to play football. I don't know, I would probably be reluctant. But if my kid can learn what I learned from this game, I'd let him play. I think it's worth the risk.''
-- Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin, in his emotional 27-minute acceptance speech in Canton Saturday night.
"All of it. I'm very, very average."
-- Cincinnati tight end Jermaine Gresham, asked by Cincinnati Enquirer beat man Joe Reedy what he has to do to improve this season.
"Thinking about going into porn. I got to earn a living. I'm being serious. I mean, that's what I would do."
-- Miami wide receiver Chad Johnson, asked by a reporter what he would do if he got cut by the Dolphins this preseason and had to find another job.
"I went home and my mama told me, 'DeMarcus, I'm your No. 1 fan, but you dropped too many interceptions last year.' "
-- Oakland cornerback DeMarcus VanDyke, to Oakland beat scribe Steve Corkran.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony Saturday night brought back to the fore the never-ending Canton debates that we can't seem to get enough of. Case in point: My Twitter feed was chock-full of vitriol when I said I haven't supported Denver running back Terrell Davis, despite his 2,008-yard rushing season, Super Bowl MVP, league MVP and amazing seven 100-yard rushing games in eight postseason starts. What about Gale Sayers? That was the biggest question from fans. Both had careers wrecked by knee injuries, and it's valid to wonder why, at least in my eyes, Sayers -- who played 10 fewer games and rushed for 2,651 fewer yards and never won a title or a regular season MVP -- deserves it and Davis doesn't.
First, the numbers:
|Terrell Davis vs. Gale Sayers|
My rationale is pretty simple, and it's beyond the salient facts that Sayers had a pretty impressive career for numbers and honors, being named All-Pro five straight years (Davis three) and to the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1995. I simply believe Sayers was spectacular as a rusher and return man, as explosive and shifty and hard to tackle as any other player in history, including Barry Sanders. And you can add that Sayers is the only player to average 30 yards per kick return in NFL history, and he scored six touchdowns in one game as a rookie.
Sayers had five outstanding seasons, Davis four (three truly outstanding ones and one very good one).
I look at Sayers and see a transcendent back, one of a kind, whose career was cut short by two knee injuries. I look at Davis and see a terrific back, not one of a kind, whose career was cut short by knee problems as well.
As I say whenever I discuss the Hall, I'm one of 44 voters. It's just my opinion. Maybe the other 43 feel differently, but apparently not enough of them do. Davis hasn't made the finalist list in the five years he's been eligible since retiring in 2002.
White Sox GM Kenny Williams, father of 49ers wideout Kyle Williams (see above), got some puzzled looks when he hired Robin Ventura as manager last October. Turns out he got the inspiration to make the Ventura hire from visiting with San Francisco GM Trent Baalke and coach Jim Harbaugh. Ventura, you may recall, didn't have any previous professional managing experience.
"I haven't told anybody this,'' Williams said by phone from Chicago the other day, "but in talking to Trent Baalke and coach Harbaugh, and watching the dynamics of how their organization works, sometimes they think out of the box, and that can take you from a bleak situation to a solution. Talking to them, and listening to some of the things my son's told me about the way they operate -- that helped give me the courage to make what some people thought was an unorthodox move.''
At one of our hotels in the South the other day, a Marriott TownePlace Suites, there was a breakfast buffet. I'm a Cheerios, Shredded Wheat or oatmeal guy in the morning, preferably with some blueberries or some other berry. No Cheerios. No Shredded Wheat. No oatmeal. No blueberries. No berries of any sort.
There were, however, three kinds of grits: creamy, bacon and a third I don't recall.
"Love coach Reid my heart breaks for him and his family. Please keep them in prayer.''
-- @LarryFitzgerald, the Arizona wide receiver, upon learning of the death of Garrett Reid Sunday.
"reporters always warn fans not to draw conclusions from preseason games, then we draw conclusions from preseason games."
-- @kentsomers, beat man on the Cardinals for the Arizona Republic, reporting from the press box during the Cardinals-Saints preseason affair Sunday night and, presumably, drawing conclusions on the local club as we all were.
"'Heard @FranklinMissy is a fan of mine. Now I'm a fan of hers too! CONGRATS on winning GOLD! #muchlove' ... I just died. Thank you!''
-- @FranklinMissy, Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin, after she won gold in the 100-meter backstroke, retweeting a message from teen idol Justin Bieber.