From Banta-Cain to Buddha

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Some stuff is too bizarre to make up. For instance, check out this passage from the transcript of 49ers coach Mike Nolan's meeting with reporters today:

Reporter: "Is it a coincidence at all that Tully Banta-Cain might be up [active] for this game when you're playing the New England Patriots, his old team? Or is that just a function of the schedule?"

Nolan: "We didn't plan on Manny [Lawson] getting nicked. And that's really why it works out that way. What's that green thing you've got there?"

Reporter: "It's a Buddha."

Nolan: "It's a Buddha?"

Reporter: "Yeah, I got it in Hong Kong. A little fat, happy laughing guy."

Nolan: "Are you a Buddhist?"

Reporter: "Yeah, why not? We've all got to believe in something."

Nolan: "You know, Wade Philips used to say when they called him a guru one time he looked at himself and said, 'I think I look more like a Buddha.' "

And so it went. By the way, Nolan listed Banta-Cain's odds of playing at better than 50-50.