CLAY MATTHEWS III
The Packers' linebacker, who had six sacks in his first two games, is the grandson of Clay Matthews Sr., a defensive lineman for the 49ers in the 1950s, and the son of longtime NFL linebacker Clay Matthews Jr. But there's no need to call him "the third."
DAN PATRICK:What music do you listen to before a game?
September 24, 2012
CLAY MATTHEWS: It's a mix. It can go anywhere from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Michael Jackson to Rihanna. We had Boyz II Men playing before the game [against the Bears last week, won by the Packers 23--10]. I think it really calmed us down. The quiet before the storm.
DP:How much fun will it be to watch tape of that game?
CM: I think we'll have a good time watching it. Anytime you get a victory it's enjoyable, especially with the defensive performance we had.
DP:Does Bears quarterback Jay Cutler say anything to the defensive players during the game?
CM: No, nothing to me. We keep it cordial on the field. I don't think he had enough time in the pocket to make some of the plays after which you're allowed to throw some taunts at the defenders.
DP:Did you take personally the criticism of the Packers' defensive play in Week 1 against the 49ers [a 30--22 loss]?
CM: San Francisco is a great team. Our defense hadn't been playing well [going] back to last season. But this is a new year. I thought we did some good things in Week 1. But they came in here and beat us. Fortunately we were able to turn it around and get a victory [against Chicago].
DP:What do you say to people who tell you they've picked the 49ers as the favorite in the NFC?
CM: That's all right. That's why we play the game. [Otherwise] you could just go ahead and anoint them Super Bowl champs. Hopefully we and some other teams will have something to say about that.
DP:You're Clay Matthews III. Why don't you go by CM3?
CM: A lot of guys have been calling me CM3 for a while. But I take pride that I'm not an individual. I take pride in the Matthews name. I don't need a III on my jersey. I think we'll stick with MATTHEWS.
DP:Do you talk to fellow USC alum Mark Sanchez? Sometimes he seems like he needs a friend.
CM: He had a good game [in Week 1].
DP:Yeah, but in New York it all comes back to Tim Tebow.
CM: That's how it's going to be. [Mark's] doing a good job of handling that situation. I'm sure there's going to be a [time] when he'll throw an interception or have a down game and they'll call for his head. The New York media are tough. It's hard to play out there. [Mark] got them to two championship games. Hopefully he's got them on the right track.
DP:He's reportedly going out with Eva Longoria.
CM: He's been linked to a number of good-looking women. Maybe I need to be his friend. Be that third wheel.
DP:Last time I saw you was at the Super Bowl; you were wearing a purple sweater. You can't do that when you're in the same division as the Vikings.
CM: You know I looked good. That's a power color. Just because you can't pull it off doesn't mean I can't.
When you take over at Duke or Kentucky and you win, that's a good coaching job. But when you take over at Connecticut and win three national championships? To me, it's the best building job in college basketball history."
—JIM BOEHEIM, Syracuse coach, after longtime rival Jim Calhoun announced his retirement
Heat guard Ray Allen told me that his decision to leave the Celtics was partly prompted by Boston's acquisition of Jason Terry. "I still felt like I had a lot of basketball left in me," Allen said, "so I wanted to go someplace where they're at least going to try to make me a priority." ... I asked Michael Irvin whom he would have taken first in the draft, Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. "If I'm playing wide receiver, I want Luck back there," Irvin said. "If I'm just a fan, I would want RG3." ... Hall of Famer James Lofton weighed in on the logjam of receivers who have yet to reach Canton. "Andre Reed, Cris Carter and Tim Brown, I think they'll all get in," Lofton said. "Maybe you're going to have another wing with a lot of receivers. You don't have running backs dominating the way they used to." ... Brewers announcer Bob Uecker told me three of his 14 career home runs came off Hall of Famers (Sandy Koufax, Gaylord Perry and Ferguson Jenkins). Apparently those pitchers weren't happy. "I homered off Perry," Uecker said, "and he told me it was the worst day of his life. Not just his baseball life. His whole life."