Is that a football or a paycheck?Arthur Cox of the San...

Fumbles and follies

December 02, 1990|By Vito Stellino

Is that a football or a paycheck?

Arthur Cox of the San Diego Chargers cost his team aovertime loss to the Seattle Seahawks with a fumble in the fourth quarter and another in overtime last week. It just goes to prove that the Chargers should keep the ball in the hands of Marion Butts, who hasn't fumbled in 236 carries dating to last December.

What's his secret? "Not fumbling is something the coaches stress around here," Butts said. "Coach [Bobby] Jackson told me to carry the ball like you're carrying a paycheck. You see, fumbling the ball is like fumbling a paycheck. If you fumble the ball, you lose a job."

Cox didn't lose his job because he's the best blocking tight end on the team.

The wit and wisdom of Matt Millen

On his San Francisco 49ers playing the New York Gianttomorrow night: "There's nothing worse than playing a big game and not having the presence to enjoy it while you're doing it. I love to play. I love being a part of it. I love being a fan. I love going crazy out there. I'm looking forward to the game."

On living in Los Angeles when he was with the Raiders: "I could never live in California. We tried it two years and it didn't work. I started saying things like 'Wow' and 'Dude.' One night I said, 'Patricia, that was a totally awesome meal.' That was time to call the movers. L.A. cured me of ever wanting to live here. Nobody was who they were. Everybody was somebody else. I was the only guy who was who he was down there."

Nap time

Leroy Hoard, running back of the Cleveland Browns, oreports that he fell asleep during meetings: "It isn't like I went in there with a pillow, put my feet up on a desk and went to sleep. Sure, I dozed off a couple of times, but only for a few seconds. And it was back when we were having those long meetings a couple of times a day."

Changing uniforms

Jim Burt, who signed with the San Francisco 49ers a year agafter being forced into retirement by the Giants: "I've heard and read that the 49ers are arrogant, and when I was playing with the Giants that was the impression I got. But we're less arrogant than anyone else in the league. Take last week as a perfect example. The Rams outplayed us, and we didn't say anything like the weather was bad. When we win, there's no boasting. We're got low-key guys. It's not arrogance. It's just guys going out and doing their jobs."

Just another game

When Wade Phillips, defensive coordinator of the DenveBroncos, was asked whether today's game against the Los Angeles Raiders is this year's Super Bowl for the slumping Broncos, he said, "I hope it's not our Super Bowl because we haven't done well in those."

Father knows best?

Carl Banks, linebacker for the Giants, downplayed his arreslast week for breaking down the front door of his house in a domestic dispute with his wife, who refused to sign a complaint: "I see a lot of guys with wedding bands on their hands, so I'm sure you know what I'm talking about."

The matchup

Cornerback Mark Collins, who has the unenviable task ocovering Jerry Rice when the Giants play the 49ers tomorrow night: "To use the old cliche, he's poetry in motion. I like when they show the highlight films and he's behind people and they slow it down and play the background music. Wow. Then I'm thinking, 'Damn, I've got to stop this person.' "

Dexter Manley is alive and well

On being tired after his first full contact practice in Phoenix"I've hired a masseuse to meet me at the hotel at 8:30 p.m., so I'm ready."

On the lack of fan support in Phoenix: "We've got to get the fans off their you-know-whats. We're not on strike. It's kind of depressing. Why can't they support the Phoenix Cardinals? The electricity from the fans can really run through the players."

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