Wednesday, June 17, 2009

19 comments MMQB Review: Peter's Book Club

I am back and have not paid attention to sports at all, except for seeing my certain favorite baseball team's slide back into mediocrity, so I am refreshed and completely behind what is going on in the sports world. I just hope I am not a little rusty. I am glad Fred went ahead and covered the baseball portion of MMQB because I am going to cover MMQB and Peter's Tuesday mailbag today.

Every year Peter recommends books to the readers of his MMQB, and it is much like Oprah's Book Club, except for the fact as of last week Peter had not read every book he was going to recommend. You may ask how Peter can recommend a book he hasn't read? Welcome to the world of Peter King.

I'm mostly going off Favre watch for a week (I can just feel the disappointment out there)

This is a bold face lie, we get an entire paragraph on Favre later. If Peter knows his readers hate hearing about Favre then why in the hell does he continuously update us on Favre's every move? That doesn't make sense to me.

to talk about some other quarterbacks, Donovan McNabb and Mark Sanchez most notably, and one of the left coast teams I've largely ignored this spring.

Since Peter probably considers Cleveland to be a left coast team, that is a lot of teams he has ignored. Everyone knows this team he is going to talk about will be Seattle anyway, so he may as well say it. They are one of the few West Coast teams Peter talks about.

A lone paragraph on Favre first: He'll be on HBO tonight with Joe Buck on his new show, Joe Buck Live, and it's a good get, obviously.

A lone paragraph on Favre? That's it? I am assuming there will be more information on other quarterbacks, not named Sanchez or McNabb, who are actually playing in the NFL later in the assumption will be wrong.

I'm sure Buck will press Favre about why, and Favre will say it's not about revenge against the Packers. You have to decide if you believe that or not.

How biased and ignorant can you be? Favre said his comeback last year was about sticking it to the Packers. This year he is joining their division rival and we are supposed to think it is about anything else? You would have to be stupid to think it is about anything else.

Want to know why the Patriots are playing hardball with the Vince Wilforks of the world? Because soon they're going to have to pay very big for Tom Brady. Brady's due $14.5 million, total, over the next two years. Peyton Manning's due $29.8 million over the next two. Now McNabb's in line to make exactly $10 million more than Brady in 2009 and '10 combined. You tell me how laughable that is.

Considering McNabb has recovered from major injuries several times and played well last year and Manning has never suffered an injury major enough to make him miss NFL action...and Tom Brady is coming off serious knee surgery, excuse the Patriots if they are not running out giving Brady more guaranteed money.

Remember "team player Tom Brady," the guy who did not want a huge contract like Peyton Manning because he understood the value of having a good team around him? Is Peter King saying this good guy is gone now?

At any league meeting or Super Bowl, you're bound to see Goodell, at 5:15 a.m. or some similarly early hour, dripping with sweat in the fitness center of some hotel. Now we'll see if all the sweat equity pays off. In three weeks, he and close to a dozen community leaders in Seattle will attempt to climb the 14,411-foot peak at Mount Rainier to raise --they hope -- more than $1 million for the United Way.

The United Way...but why? None of that money is going to Dr. Z?

If this was Peter's charity he have people donate money so Peter could pay someone to climb Mount Rainier and all the money would go to one person.

Speaking of the Seahawks ... It's funny in this game. We tend to believe so strongly in everything we see now that we forget what we saw a short time ago.

We, we,, it's you, you, you. I have not forgotten about the Seahawks in any fashion. They had massive amounts of injuries last year and their quarterback was also injured for part of the year. If they don't have those injuries there is a chance the Cardinals don't even make the playoffs last year. Don't lump everyone in with yourself on this issue. It annoys me when sportswriters do things like this. No one has forgotten the Seahawks...especially since they got the best defensive player in the draft.

Early on, Bradley knows he's going to have to get top pick Aaron Curry to rush the passer better than he ever did at Wake Forest.

Oh my gentle Jesus...I thought we were done with the feeble and pathetic argument that Aaron Curry could not rush the passer. I still don't see how this can be a major criticism of Aaron Curry. He wasn't in a scheme that allowed him to rush the passer, it's not his fault.

Curry never was put in position in college to rush the passer, but you don't pick a linebacker fourth overall in the draft and tell him to eat space or drop in coverage. You tell him -- at least in some obvious passing downs -- to go get the quarterback.

Which he will be able to do. It's not like he is paralyzed and can't run. He hasn't been asked to do that previously, but it doesn't mean he can't. This is such a weak criticism of a linebacker in a 4-3 system.

A few years ago, I began highlighting some books the week before Father's Day, hoping to give you an alternative to the tie or the dozen golf balls for the man who has 300 of each. This year, I've scaled it back to five books -- books I can heartily endorse because I think every one is special.

He was also going to heartily endorse two of these books without even reading them. If everyone recalls, last week Peter stated he could not put his Father's Day MMQB out a week early because he had not read two of the books he was going to recommend. The fix is in.

I'm concerned about how little I've read the last few years. Maybe it's e-mail, maybe it's the voluminous easy sites that magnetize you to them four or five times a day when 10 or 15 years ago I'd have sat down and read something of substance.

Just to be clear, reading email, Twitter, columns on web sites, and anything else Internet related is still actual reading and should count as reading...but I see what Peter is saying in regards to reading novels and other books.

(I read 5 books on my vacation and one of them was by KC Joyner and he was trying to do sabermetrics for football and it is a pretty good book. I did notice that Gregg Easterbrook had written a blurb on the back of the book which made me nervous...then the first chapter was about how the LT is overvalued because LT sack totals and rushing yards per attempt are dependent on the rest of the offensive line. If the rest of the line is good then the LT will be attacked more thereby causing him to have more sacks against him...or something like that. So Joyner says because LT are a subset of the entire OL it is overvalued. I would have liked to seen numbers on how many turnovers were caused by sacks against the LT vs. the rest of the line. My bet would be that a sack against the LT is more likely to cause a turnover than a sack when coming from the middle against a Center or Guard. I digress...)

I'm not going to get into Peter's book recommendations, but I will say I would read Jeff Pearlman's new-ish Roger Clemens book. As usual for Pearlman, it is great.

"When we were looking at taking Mark, I studied all the great generals to see what those men were like early in their careers, see how they reacted. It's all about how they reacted in battle, what happened when the action was really live. You see that in Mark, his calm.''-- New York Jets owner Woody Johnson on rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez, who agreed to a five-year, $50-million contract with the team on Wednesday.

I realize you get excited about your players, particularly about the man you believe is the next long-term quarterback in franchise history, but that is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard an owner say.

It was a dumb comment, but obviously Peter has not re-read some of his older columns or anything he has written about baseball. Then he would have new standards for the dumbest things he has ever heard anyone write or say.

"I love Favre and I think he's been a phenomenal talent for a long time. But when I think about it now, I say, 'Stop it already.' I don't mind that you still want to play football, but do you want to play so much, and do you want to get back at Ted Thompson so much, that you're willing to go back into Lambeau and hurt those fans who supported you for so long?''

-- Michael Irvin, to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, opining on Favre's desire to return to pro football, in part, Irvin thinks, for vengeance against Green Bay GM Thompson.

What other reason would Brett Favre come back to the NFL and play for? He is going through a lot, surgery and all, to get back to the NFL and it is not because of his extreme love for the game. Peter needs to quit being so blind and biased. Let's think about this for a second. Favre wanted to play for the Packers but they had already moved on because he retired previously, so he demanded a trade and admitted he played last year to show Ted Thompson he can still play. This year he retires again and then tries to come back to play for the Vikings who play in the same division as the Packers and play them twice a year. He is putting the Packers fans in a position to have to cheer against Brett Favre. I just think it is an asshole thing to do and if any other quarterback in the league did it, Peter King would publicly verbally rip that person a new asshole...but he doesn't because it is Brett Favre.

That's not the first time I've heard Young talk about not wanting to play football anymore. When he missed the plane to Philadelphia as a rookie and got disciplined by coach Jeff Fisher, he went into a funk and had to be talked into even playing in the game against the Eagles. Dude: You're a professional football player. There are ups. There are downs. Face them. Take them.

What's the difference in Vince Young saying he doesn't want to play football anymore because he doesn't have the passion and Brett Favre saying he did not want to play football anymore because he doesn't have the passion? Is it different because Favre is more accomplished or played longer? Either way they are expected to be team leaders. I personally don't see a huge difference in Vince Young not having the will to play and Favre not having the will to play anymore...except for the fact Young is less talented and is not expecting to be handed the starting QB position.

7. I think the Rex Grossman signing in Houston says one thing to me: The honeymoon's over for Dan Orlovsky as the walk-in, no-doubt backup to Matt Schaub.

That ladies and gentlemen is the back up quarterback situation for the Houston Texans. Not only is that pretty useless information for any Texans fan, but will also be the last we will hear about Houston from Peter for a long time. I hope you enjoyed your Texans insight from the master insider, Texans fans.

Also, what does Peter have against Dan Orlovsky? He made a comment about the Texans signing him in the first place and now he is busting his chops for not having the backup job sealed up in mid-June.

8. I think I knew it was getting to be summer vacation for football players yesterday when, after 1 in the afternoon, Kerry Rhodes of the Jets Twittered that he wondered if he should get out of bed yet.

Wasn't it just last week that Peter was railing the NFL for making the players work too hard for too long? I just wanted to be sure Peter was contradicting himself here. NFL players work hard but they are not overworked in any fashion and I think the fact Kerry Rhodes has nearly the entire next month off should help prove that.

Peter King needs to shut up and think about his audience more often.

i. Coffeenerdness: Settled into a good routine here in Boston at night, working or TV-watching in the last couple of weeks before vacation, and brewing a small pot of Peet's Major Dickason's Blend decaf. That's some great coffee. Sounds like the script for a commercial.

Do you need a vacation if your work consists of you traveling places all year, working AND watching television, and drinking coffee? It doesn't sound like you need much of one to me.

I think I am just going to miss Peter so much.

"So you know I was a Drill Sergeant for three years and a Drill Sergeant Leader. My thought is that with all these in-shape super-hard NFL players, we should take a couple of them, work them out and do a two or three day In the Life of a Basic Training Soldier.

This quote is from Mike McGuire. Do we really need these overworked players having to do any more work in the off season? I think not. They are already so overwhelmed in their "off season." Also, I really doubt any NFL players would do this. I could be wrong, but maybe it would only be Ray Lewis who volunteered.

That would be awesome. I talk with my wife all the time about what I would do to them and see just how good of shape they are in.

I think they are in good enough shape to do it, but there is a large difference in training to play in the NFL and basic training. I don't know if this would be that brilliant of an idea, but of course Peter thinks it is absolutely insanely brilliant.

k. Mike McGuire, NFL Network programmer. You've got a retirement job, Mike.


Let's look at Peter's Tuesday mailbag.

The Brandon Marshall story is starting to smell like the Jay Cutler fiasco, with one exception: The Broncos are clamming up. During the Cutler thing, Josh McDaniels was an open book, talking to me four or five times at length about everything -- how he had nothing against Cutler, how he didn't offend him (in his view), about how he wanted Cutler to be his quarterback. But Monday night, I texted McDaniels, who is a big texter. Nothing. Texted his assistant and got back that the coach is laying low and had nothing to say for now. Texted Marshall, who's also a texter. Nothing. So this one's going to be contested below ground, it appears.

Either that or they don't like Peter King at all anymore.

Didn't everyone say that McDaniels should have handled the Cutler situation a little better and kept it more private? It seems that he is doing that with the Marshall situation.

What do players have against Josh McDaniels?

Brett Favre's interview with Joe Buck hit all the notes we thought it would. He's going to play if healthy -- and if the Vikings will deal with all the distractions, which I'm sure they will. I credit Buck for asking him everything, except perhaps the question about whether he was coming back to stick it to the Packers.

So basically Joe Buck asked him a bunch of softball questions? I think the one question everyone wants to know was not asked. I am not sure how that is good journalism. People want answers from Favre and if a journalist gets an interview with him I think he should ask him whether (or why) he is coming back to stick it to the Packers. Of course Favre would lie like he always does, so it doesn't matter if the question was asked or not, but I would still like the question posed.

Steve of New Berlin, Wis.: "In all honesty, do you think Favre's coming back for spite or for the love of the game? I'm a 40-year-old former Favre fanatic and shareholder of the Packers. I taught my son to look at Favre for what is good about sports. Now I'm ready to take all of his stuff and pitch it. Most Packer fans I've talked to believe it's out of spite. He's shown us his true colors and in my opinion doesn't care about Packer fans. His upcoming signing with the Vikings proves that.''

Sounds to me like this is a group of accurate sentences. Let's let Peter King defend Favre.

I think Favre is doing this more because he wants to play football than because he wants to stick it to the Packers. Not that he doesn't feel some of that emotion, for sure. But I believe it's more that he wants to play for a coach (Darrell Bevell) who was one of his all-time favorites, and in a system he knows by heart and on a team that has a legitimate chance to contend for a Super Bowl if the quarterback plays well.

I wonder if Peter actually believes what he is typing write now or he is such a lover of Brett Favre and all things Favre he is just so used to making excuses for him. If he loved football so much then why did he not tell the Jets he wanted to play football again? Why did he retire again? It doesn't make any sense. If Brett Favre loved football so much he would have never let the Jets release him. It's not like he was a free agent or getting paid a small amount of money. He was going to make around $11 million if he had told the Jets he was playing again this year.

Matthew Edwards of Spring, Texas: "Does Rex Grossman really scare Dan Orlovsky? As a Texans fan, Grossman scares me. BOTH of them scare me. Wasn't there anyone better to replace Sage Rosenfels?''

I was shocked the Texans paid legit money -- a $2.4-million bonus -- for Orlovsky, a guy there wasn't much competition for out there.

Peter King hates Dan Orlovsky. Maybe Orlovsky should retire and unretire a few times to make Peter love him.

Brian Faulkner of Clifton Heights, Pa.: Why wouldn't the Patriots let Brady and his high payroll go and promote some unknown QB? With the system in place they would still be successful. Your thoughts?''

Sort of a dumb question.

Belichick views Brady as a selfless offensive coordinator on the field, and barring some ridiculous scenario I cannot envision, Brady's going to be a Patriot for the rest of his prime.

Apparently Peter can't envision a contract scenario where other players at the same position who are less accomplished are getting paid as much as or more than Tom Brady and Brady wants more money...or as I call it, the exact same scenario that Peter himself brought up Monday in his MMQB.

And remember one thing: With the prospect of a capless 2010, the Patriots, who are one of the highest-revenue teams in the league, won't be worried about what they have to pay to keep Brady.

So what was the point to even bring up the Brady contract situation in regards to Peyton Manning and Matt Cassell yesterday? Did Peter not feel right not mentioning Tom Brady only once in his column? So our NFL insider sees a potential problem on the rise with how much Brady is getting paid because of the Wilfork situation, doesn't think Brady will leave the team and thinks the Patriots will pay whatever it takes to keep Brady. He sort of contradicted his own story after one day...and he gets paid to do this.


KentAllard said...

I'm ex-Army myself, and I do think NFL players would struggle with some of the drills. And the soldiers who excel at their drills would get killed in an NFL training camp. Completely different skill set. The same scenario would be true for football players and ballet, but PK has developed this weird military fetish.

AJ said...

I'm wondering about this capless 2010 thing...I mean won't there be a cap back in place in 2011? And if so, signing a deal in 2010 will effect the cap in 2011...right?

I mean unless Brady gets paid $40 mil in 2010, his salery will count against some sort of cap in 2011.

Fred Trigger said...

I think they would struggle with some of the drills, as well, but I dont think they would have a problem with the physical fitness portion (i.e. running, pushups, basically any type of PT)

Bengoodfella said...

Kent, I did not want to sound like I was insulting any military personnel, but I think both parties would struggle at each other's drills. You are right, it is a completely different skill set and purpose for each exercise. Fred is right in that either side won't have problem with the PT part with pushups and all of that.

Peter does have a bizarre military fetish but I am not going to insult him for that simply because I wish more people would have a military fetish sometimes.

AJ, my understanding is that 2010 will be capless and the union will fight a cap from that point on. That's my understanding at least, that the union will not want a cap after the genie has been let out of the bottle. I don't particularly like this idea but I can see them fighting for it. I just hope they don't go for a BS luxury tax like the NBA has.

I can't see a scenario where the NFL gets rid of the salary cap though. So the Patriots would be hoping there was no cap in 2011 so that way Brady doesn't push them hard against the cap.

AJ said...

Well good game NFL if there is no salery way some of those teams will be able to compete..

Wait, this may be a good thing, we dont need 32 teams anyway...

Bengoodfella said...

Yeah I know. I am not completely against competition so I don't really have a huge problem with no salary cap, but one of the things I really like about the NFL is the salary cap and how teams manuever around it. It evens the playing field and lets the teams who know what they are doing succeed. An uncapped NFL makes me nervous.

The Casey said...

Just because they can't compete doesn't mean they'll go away. When's the last time one of the 3 major sports contracted a team? They would just move the teams around (OKC, LA, Mexico City, maybe?) until they had a big enough fan base to compete financially.

AJ's thought would be interesting. What if the Pats paid Brady $50 mil in 2010, and then the league-minimum for the next 5 years, or whatever? I realize that's a big risk if he gets injured, but that could be a cap boon.

Bengoodfella said...

That's a brilliant idea. If I were a player I think I could go for that. Of course if they give Brady $50 million and then there turns out to be a cap, then the Patriots will be redoing the deal, but it really makes sense.

I do have to admit I really doubt any major teams would go away or contract. Even if they did contract, they would contract the wrong team like MLB tried to do to the Twins.

the right reverend said...


i promise im not going to start a flame war or anything.. but can you explain why you think more people should have a military fetish?

btw, my comment a few weeks ago about the braves and your blog "losing its edge" was just a throwaway comment, it was more reflective of my excitement about them than anything about your blog..

ivn said...

"What do players have against Josh McDaniels?"

because he's like 33, hasn't accomplished jack shit, and seems to walk around with that Charlie Weis unjustified arrogance attitude. I don't live in Denver or really know anything about the Broncos but I'd guess the players are pissed that Shanahan was canned and replaced by a kid (so to speak).

Bengoodfella said...

Maybe not a military fetish but I like the fact that Peter takes time to recognize and thank the troops for all that they do. I am not saying we should live in a military state or that we should all be in the military. It's for every columnist who writes like sports are the end-all be-all in life, I wish they would understand what our troops (just in general, not just in the current situation) go through on a day to day basis. I don't think every columnist should necessarily be rah-rah and write as much as Peter does, but he does a great job of corresponding with McGuire and letting us see that the soldiers are people who like sports teams like we do.

I think it is neat he has a pen pal (of sorts) in the military and is able to put it in a sports context. In terms of wishing more writers had a military fetish, I just wish other columnists chose to correspond with soldiers anywhere overseas. It's sort of neat.

I knew that was a throwaway comment and it did not bother me in the least honestly. I was very excited about the Braves at the beginning of the year and you can tell from my preseason predictions, but I think it is clear they are nothing but a .500 team at best. They have a tendency to believe in their players a little bit too much. There should be no reason Garrett Anderson and Jeff Francoeur should be regularly patrolling the outfield.

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, I can understand that. I have been sort of waiting for this type of thing to happen, with the trend to go to younger coaches it is sometimes going to be hard to see players buy into this person as an authority figure. Especially when many of the moves by the person are not excessively popular. I did not think it would happen in Denver honestly. If we put ourselves in the position of the players, if a coach can't command respect overall, I think a younger coach is going to lose his team faster than an older coach might.

It's fallen apart pretty quickly in Denver hasn't it?

AJ said...

Well if you were Marshall, would you want your QB to be Orton? What that team has done is ridiculous, and really only have themselves to blame.

I know they would never get rid of teams, I just think for football with no cap, no one is going to sign with the cheap teams. We all know that the players are all about the money in the NFL.

I do wish they would get rid of some teams in the NBA, but thats a whole nother topic.

Bengoodfella said...

If I were Marshall I would be pretty pissed at how the whole Cutler thing went down. I am sure he feels like they have downgraded at QB.

Yeah, they are looking to expand the NFL, not contract it, but the NFL without a cap would result in massive amounts of money being thrown around to players. It may not result in the teams who throw this money around actually winning but that is beside the point. I am in favor of a cap, but I am sure the players aren't.

I sometimes think the contraction of a couple NBA teams would be a good thing and sometimes I think it would be bad. That is a different story though.

Fred Trigger said...

Ben, I'm still trying to figure out why they moved the Charlotte Hornets. They were pretty popular if I remember (Mourning, LJ, Bogues) not to mention, I distinctly remember lots of kids rocking the Hornets starters jackets (remember those, people?) Seemed kind of silly to me to move them.

Bengoodfella said...

I will give you the shortest answer I can. George Shinn and his constant need to have the city build him an uptown arena despite the fact he insisted on trading away all the popular players.

The Hornets led the league in attendance for many years in a row and that was not going to change, but then they started trading away popular players like Zo and LJ and it was obvious ownership was not committed to winning. They traded Kobe Bryant for Vlade Divac for God's sake. Not to mention George Shinn sexually harassed his employees and knew very little about sports. The city got tired of him demanding a new stadium when he refused to try and keep good players around and behave himself. So he left the city for New Orleans and then the city built a new stadium for Bob Johnson and Michael Jordan, who make George Shinn and Ray Woolridge look like fucking geniuses. I wish they had not moved. I could go on in more detail with graphs and other instances where they screwed over the city but you get the point.

Bengoodfella said...

Ok, one more thing. The arena was originally thought to be too big for the team but they sold out the equivalent of 9 consecutive seasons in a row. George Shinn wanted to the city to build an arena at ZERO cost to him for the privilege of keeping the Hornets in Charlotte, but everyone hated him so it was voted down.

Fred Trigger said...

sorry for bringing up sore memories, ben. I promise you, I really didnt know it was that serious.

Bengoodfella said...

It's ok, I have been over it for a while. I still hate George Shinn though.