Tuesday, September 8, 2009

7 comments MMQB Review: Bored With the Board Issue

Before we get to the MMQB for today, I noticed something about Peter's MMQB Tuesday Edition in the opening sentence. Someone needs to get this man a freaking editor or someone who is capable of fact checking before a column goes out. I may cover this tomorrow but I couldn't wait until tomorrow to mention this comment he made leading off his mail bag:

When I picked the Falcons to repeat as NFC South champs, I did it because of faith in three people--

The Atlanta Falcons DID NOT win the NFC South last year. The Carolina Panthers won the NFC South last year and they were one missed kick away from being the #1 seed in the NFC. Fact check or hire someone to do this. I don't care if I am being a massive homer here, because I am really not, this is a tidbit of information Peter King should know. This is my entire mission here in just one fragment of a sentence. In his mind, because he likes Matt Ryan, he just wants to recall the Falcons winning the NFC South, which isn't true. The Panthers are going to stink this year, at least acknowledge the one good thing they did last year...or hire a fact checker or an editor so Peter's wishes don't get caught up with reality. Sorry also to Atlanta Falcons fans who read this for my whining, I have no problem with the Falcons, I just want Peter to know which teams won what divisions last year.

Enough complaining, onto his MMQB.

It's just a couple more days until the NFL season starts. A time when some teams will have a magical season and end up in the playoffs and a time when other teams and their fans will realize within 20 minutes of watching the first game their team stinks and the whole year will be a failure. It comforts me to know Peter King will be at our side the entire season to complain about his traveling problems and tell us about his in-depth conversations with Deanna and Brett Favre on what the future holds.

Never one to just sit down and have a story develop without him there, Peter King has heard enough about the Dallas Cowboys massive video board and wants to interview the video board for himself to see if it is really that big of a troublemaker? This video board story can not be complete until Peter sees it for himself and asks the board the tough questions, like does the video board believe coffee should be brewed and ready for guests in all hotels by 6am? What's his stance on overbooking rooms at the Westin? Has it ever had a colonoscopy? If not, would it like to hear about Peter's colonoscopy?

Jones motioned to the two coaches' towers on either side of the fields, with spiral white staircases leading up to windowed booths. "Coach Landry had those built,'' Jones said. "That was good for then.''

"Peter, have I ever told you the story about how I fired Tom Landry? It's a doozy. I will tell you some other day, but I believe if you treat people with enough disrespect, they will just quit their job and you will be done with them. Tom was a little too slippery to fall for that..."

I excused myself for 15 minutes when director of college and pro scouting Tom Ciskowski entered and the two went into salary-cap-and-roster mode.

(Jerry Jones) "Now, Tom I want to keep as many of the players as possible who will provide potential distractions to the team and help to undermine Coach Phillips. Is that possible?"

(Tom Ciskowski) "Sir, we have cut all of those people from our football team. They are no longer with us."

(Jerry Jones) "Well, that's unacceptable. I guess I will have to distract the team by making veiled threats about Coach Phillips job in the media. Dallas fans have little interest in watching a good football team play, they want to see a soap opera on the field as well. Did I ever tell you about the time I pushed Terrell Owens on Bill Parcells? It's a real barnburner. I will tell you some other day, but suffice to say I think I know a thing or two about football since I have won three Super Bowls...Owens was a real smart pickup for this team. Parcells was always kind of a afraid it would hurt team chemistry, but ESPN loved us, which is all that matters to me."

(Tom Ciskowski) "You have told me that story at least 10 times. Can I go make the cuts we discussed now?"

(Jerry Jones) "If you see someone who could make headlines for fondling a waitress or stabbing his cousin, keep him. Just do that much for me."

"We designed our stadium knowing exactly the right place to put the videoboard, and we knew what the league rules were, about it having to be at least 85 feet above the field." Jones continued. "We put it 90. And so of course you would be sensitive to any alterations. You make a $1.2-billion investment, and it's ... it's ...''

In other words, of course the board could be raised. But the gut part of the argument was left unsaid: If Jones complied with the NFL policy, and if Jones spent more money than any single person has ever spent to build an American stadium, and if Jones built the kind of stadium that will get fans out of their mancaves on a nasty Sunday to go watch a 4-8 Cowboy team in some future year, why would he allow the league to raise the video board after one of 25 punts this preseason hit it?

Here's what I don't like about the media and I guess Peter King in this situation. The board was an issue 17 days ago. The NFL has come out and made a policy on the board, some people agree with the policy and others disagree with the policy, but it doesn't matter, the rule was made and it's all over now. Can we move on to other issues since the NFL season is less than a week away?

The board is huge, we get that, the stadium is awesome, we get that as well. I don't need 1/5 of a football column dedicated to a discussion on a video board.

And this is where Jones will lose some people.

He lost me so many years ago...

"Logic tells you if they punt the way they're supposed to -- '' meaning, off to the sides " -- the ball won't hit the board. It won't be a problem. The board creates something unique. In Green Bay, punters have to account for the snow and the wind. We don't have that.''

Ok, why is it logical the punters punt off to the sides of the field? Sure, a lot of punts go that way, but maybe the punter wants to punt to the middle of the field for some reason? Or he means to punt to the side and it hits his foot wrong and goes to the middle of the field. Logic isn't always intimately involved with the NFL and it's games.

But you can't equate something God-made with something Jones-made.

Yep. Good point Peter.

Jones has built a monument to live sports. I know lots of Giants fans who, on a crummy day, would much rather eat their tickets to Giants Stadium and stay home and watch on TV. Jones has done everything in his power to make sure pro football doesn't become studio sport.
I get it, I really do. I just don't think fans are going to pay for a ticket, brave traffic and go to a football game to watch the game on a much bigger television set. Maybe I am wrong, but I still think the team's success and other features of the stadium will attract fans to the stadium more than the board. If it is raining outside, I am not sure I believe fans will go to the stadium three years from now just to stare at a huge video board.

He has invented the world biggest high-def TV, so that up to 100,000 people can look up and see a vivid picture -- a picture so clear it stunned
Tony Romo a week ago. "I looked up at one point, and there I was,'' he said. "I said, 'Whoa! I should have shaved today.' ''

Tony Romo looks mildly retarded. I just wanted to use that tag again. I miss it, I really do.

Five thoughts on the Seymour trade to Oakland for the Raiders' first-round pick in 2011:

I would expect nothing less than a minimum of 10 thoughts from Peter on the trade for Richard Seymour.

1. In the last six drafts, here's where the Raiders have picked in the first round: 7, 4, 1, 7, 7, 2. If the trend continues, the Patriots will have no worse than the seventh pick in the 2011 draft. For a ninth-year defensive lineman who turns 30 in four weeks and who has missed eight games due to injury in the last two years ... well, let's just say Seymour would have to morph into Reggie White (who had 88 sacks after turning 30) to make this deal worth it for Al Davis and the Raiders.

Oh, I see how it is now. When Richard Seymour played for the Patriots, Peter King was wondering how the Patriots were going to afford him and Vince Wilfork after this season since they are both still good players who have expiring contracts. Now that Seymour plays for the Raiders he is a washed up 30 year old lineman whose best days are behind him. One minute Richard Seymour is a great leader and a part of one of the best defensive lines in football according to Peter King and the next minute he is not even worth a 1st round draft pick? It's amazing what going from the Patriots to the Raiders will do for your perceived skill level.

2. Seymour, I'm told, is angry about the deal. He lives in Foxboro, has children he may have to relocate to new schools as the school year dawns and has to get acclimated to a new defense (and an awful team) a week before the opening game.

Wouldn't everyone be angry about this? He is leaving a great, incredibly well run team for the worst run team in the NFL where coaches are punching each other. I would be furious if I were Richard Seymour. A smarter team, meaning not the Raiders, would have worked out a contract extension before trading for a player, but the Raiders are rebels and don't see the need for this little formality.

This makes me wonder how the hell Bill Belichick gets his players to buy into the "team" identity idea when he has made it very clear when he is done with you, you are gone. I know it is like that in every other NFL city but few teams have such a great "team" identity as the Patriots and yet they still are able to get that "team" identity and get rid of players in this type fashion.

It makes me believe Belichick is a witch and can put spells on players.

3. This is a deal for Davis to try to win now, obviously. But how many more desperation deals can one team make? Last year, it was $55 million for Javon Walker (who's been a total non-factor), $72 million plus two draft choices for DeAngelo Hall (cut midway through his first Raider year), $39 million for Gibril Wilson (cut after one year), and $50.5 million for Tommy Kelly (a starting defensive tackle still). This offseason, the Raiders made Shane Lechler the highest-paid punter in history, more than doubling the previous record, and gave cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha more guaranteed money than Tom Brady or Peyton Manning in their current deals.

I believe in his "MVP non-QB edition" column John Lopez referred to the Jaguars as the worst run NFL team. I argued it was the Raiders. Not that anyone was arguing with me at the time, but is anyone still arguing with me?

Regardless of talent level, the Raiders are a 5-11 team at best and traded a 1st round pick for a pending free agent player. What a horribly run team.

Ted Thompson
's really good at this job, but he's got to be cringing, having put the semi-wasted top pick of a couple of years ago, Justin Harrell ( back), on IR; he couldn't have made an impact on the three-man front anyway. And last year's second-round QB, Brian Brohm, was cut and signed to the practice squad. What a comedown.
I have two thoughts on this:

1. How the hell did Brian Brohm pass through waivers? Is he really that bad of a quarterback? I would never have thought so.

2. This shows you how much more teams coddle 1st round draft pick quarterbacks. Brohm was drafted in 2008 and they cut him this year. If he was a 1st round pick, as many expected him to be, do you think he would have been cut? No, the team would have stuck with him on the roster, made excuses for him and given him every chance to succeed. Having Aaron Rodgers around definitely helped the decision work out well, but if Brohm was picked just a few spots higher, as many expected, there is no way he gets cut after the first year. Unfortunately he was a 2nd round pick, so off to the practice squad he goes.
JACKSONVILLETackle Tony Pashos ($4.34 million salary) and DB Brian Williams ($4 million) whacked, and sorry, I'm not buying that those were football decisions alone for a franchise that tarps the upper deck.

Sometimes it confuses me with the stuff Peter is willing to believe and not willing to believe. He believes that Donovan McNabb, a known semi-whiner who does not like to be given any competition at his quarterback spot, was perfectly fine with the Eagles signing Mike Vick...but Peter doesn't believe the cutting of Tony Pashos was a football decision alone when the Jaguars drafted two offensive tackles in the first two rounds this year.

OAKLANDRaiders cut a fourth-round pick, Slade Norris. They paid defensive tackle Terdell Sands a $1.9-million bonus last spring and cut him Saturday. That's just the cost of doing business in Oakland. Jeff Garcia? You've got to be kidding me. If you're afraid of giving JaMarcus Russell some competition, you've got the wrong starting quarterback.

The Oakland Raiders. The worst run professional sports team? They just cut their best quarterback. I am going to go ahead and get caught up in the moment and say they are the worst run professional sports team.

Quote of the Week I

"The truth of the matter is ... somebody is going to die here in the NFL. It's going to happen.''
-- Cincinnati's Carson Palmer, in my quarterback roundtable discussion this week in Sports Illustrated.
The other quarterbacks at the table -- Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers -- didn't dispute Palmer's words, and when he said them, the table got very quiet. They know. They feel the same thing happening in this game, too.

Come on, let's say what this really was. 5 gritty, white NFL quarterbacks in the company of Peter King. This wasn't a roundtable, this was "The Bachelor: Peter King Edition" where he chooses which white NFL quarterback he is going to make excuses and do PR work for after Brett Favre retires.

I can't say I necessarily disagree with this statement overall. I have to agree the defensive ends in the league are freaks of nature now. Players have been paralyzed and severely injured already. The NFL is just a hit away from having a player die. I am not sure what the NFL can do about it...I don't know if they can protect the QB any more than they currently do. It feels like the NFL flags a player for a mere accidental elbow to the quarterback's head but when a "legal" bone crushing blindside hit comes in, it is just part of the game. What I am saying is the blindside hit could do more damage to a player than a hand to the face after the ball has been thrown, but the hand/arm to the face gets a penalty for roughing the passer and possible a fine later in the week.

Quote of the Week III

"I like it. I like it. I mean, it's man-eat-man out here.''
-- Minnesota tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, on the illegal crackback block administered by Brett Favre on Houston safety Eugene Wilson last Monday.
If you can't trust the opinion of a man who is too stupid to cover up his private parts when national news cameras are in the locker room, who can you trust to give an opinion?
Cue Peter King making more excuses for Favre's illegal block...
The block, of course, was reprehensible, because Favre could have seriously injured Wilson. But it was also one of those things that gets a player closer to his teammates.
It's funny Peter King has gone from a discussion on how a hit may kill a player on the football field at some point in the future a couple of paragraphs ago to making excuses for an illegal block that actually could hurt someone, just because it helps team spirit...of course it is different when Brett Favre is the one making the crackback block.

I was in the Vikings locker room after the game, and the players clearly appreciated that Favre was blocking for
Percy Harvin instead of ole-ing a phony block. It's like a pitcher in baseball who "protects'' his teammates by hitting an opposing batter. It might not make sense to people on the outside, but it's part of the culture of the locker room.

That's fine, but couldn't have Favre at least made the block a LEGAL block and not one of the crackback variety? Everyone remember what a huge deal the Travis Johnson hit on Trent Green was made by Peter King? Peter was texting Green to make sure he was ok and Green was just livid over the situation...now the roles are reversed, throw in a little Favre action, and now this illegal block by Favre was just a way to show his team he supports them.

In baseball it is fine to defend a teammate by throwing at another player, but not at his head. Same rule applies here. Favre should have thrown a legal block. Peter needs to quit making excuses for him.

Then Peter King doesn't compare Brian Hoyer to Tom Brady, but compares Brian Hoyer's college stats and measurements to Tom Brady's college stats and measurements. It's one of Peter's favorite things to do, not compare players by comparing players statistics to each other.

WiFi. My first Internet-on-the-airplane experience -- $5.95 for a two-hour, 30-minute segment from Dallas to Baltimore. Not sure long-term whether that's a good thing or bad. Got a lot of net-surfing stuff done, but I could have been writing instead of i-chatting about [Hideki] Okajima with Jon Heyman. Not to mention the salt-and-cracked-pepper kettle cooked potato chips. A pleasant flying experience, AirTran -- and that's a rarity these days.

So he did enjoy his AirTran experience? Thank God, I was concerned about this. We can't have an airline not having good Wi-Fi and serving crappy chips. Peter is the Ralph Nader of the sports world. Quality assurance is his guarantee.

2. I think, regarding the Vick penalty, that Goodell got it right. He has to go with his gut on this. He has to give Vick some penalty for being a serial liar; I thought four weeks would have been more just, but Goodell went with two because he's convinced Vick is serious about trying to save his own skin and is not snowing the commissioner or Tony Dungy.

It's good to hear that the commissioner thinks Mike Vick is out to save his own skin and doesn't think Vick is lying when he says he is contrite. We all know Vick would never lie to the commissioner repeatedly, since Goodell is basically giving Vick the suspension as a punishment for lying repeatedly.

4. I think I still can't get over how great middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans played last Monday against the Vikings. In 41 minutes, he had 16 tackles, a sack, two tackles-for-loss and a forced fumble. Ridiculous. The Texans have to make sure they sign the looming restricted free agent. He's the heart and soul of that defense.
I still can't get over the fact Peter didn't seem to know how great DeMeco Ryans was until this past Monday when he watched Ryans play. I guess I have to remember he only saw Ryans because Brett Favre was also playing.

5. I think the thing that interested me most in the 80 minutes we spent with Goodell the other day was his comment about the future of football outside the United States. "The experience we've had over there [in London] ... has been extraordinary ... We're going to continue to feed that, frankly. And we are considering the idea of playing multiple games in London as early as next year. And I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility that we might have a franchise in London at some point in the future.'' I've said it forever: When the current crop of owners thinks there's no lucrative market left in the United States, they'll turn to Europe or Mexico.

I am not against football overseas but I just don't like all the logistical pain in the ass stuff that goes along with it. I can't see there being a team overseas permanently, and if so, how the heck that is going to work? There is a difference in flying across the United States to play a game and going to a country regularly to play a game. I think logistically it would be tough to have a team in England.

8. I think for those Bears fans worried about my pick of Chicago to make the Super Bowl, relax. I've been right on my predictions a lot. The last time was 1994.

The Bears in the Super Bowl? I just don't see it happening. Of course I have been wrong a lot but I think Peter King is drinking too much Cutler-flavored Kool-Aid.

d. Coffeenerdness: There might not be a better cup of coffee in the world than Starbucks Italian Roast. Haven't had it in some time, maybe a year. And just the smell of it brewing Sunday was fantastic. Dark and delicious.

Starbucks has expensive, coffee that really isn't that good. I hope Peter learns this at some point. Of course I shouldn't be complaining, at least he isn't berating a hotel employee this week for not making coffee in the morning early enough or not holding his reservation.

I'll be starting a new column this week. The column will last through the end of the playoffs and will be posted on SI.com each Friday. It's going to be a look ahead at some aspect of what I find compelling about the weekend's games, along with a few other departments.

Cliffsnotes version: Anything Brett Favre does is compelling and the other departments will be "My Coffee Related Complaint Of the Week" and "An Interesting Fact About an Upper Northeast United States Team." This column should end up being 14% about the NFL.

Week 1. It's here. Three days until kickoff.

I sincerely say I am not looking forward to it quite yet.


The Casey said...

I will say this about Brohm. Familarity may be the issue there, as opposed to talent. At this point in the season, most teams have 4-5 QBs that were there at the start of training camp and have weeks/months/years in their system and with their personnel. Brohm doesn't, and I'm guessing that practice-squad guys don't have multi-year deals, so he's likely to be a free agent at the end of the season, when a team could pick him up and use the offseason to get him acclimated to their offense.

Bengoodfella said...

Yeah, it may be. That was crazy to me. The backup is Flynn and Brohm has the same amount of experience as him, I just find it interesting they put him on the practice squad so he could be a FA at the end of this year.

They have no other QB's on the roster, I would think they would want to keep a hold of Brohm this year and give him a chance to be 3rd string QB. I guess not.

I don't know if they gave up on him early or anything but that is crazy to me that one year after being a 2nd round pick he is on the PS.

Martin said...

If Peter knows lots of people who would rather stay home then go to the Giants game, I'm sure there are a few thousands willing to buy the tickets off Stub Hub or some place else. If someone doesn't want to go to a Giants game, they can sell the bloody tickets, Peter, you moron. They don't lose the tickets if they don't go for a game, or sell them to someone. This isn't trying to give tickets away to a Raider game, it's the NY Giants, who sell out their games, have a big ass waiting list, really popular.

And now he's going to have another column each week? Least he isn't Rick Riellying it in for SI.

KentAllard said...

I was high on Brohm, too. I think he will end up somewhere else and succeed, but what do I know?

What Peter doesn't understand in his fellation of Jerry Jones (although someone points it out to him in today's mail) is that Jones only paid for about 15% of the stadium. He stuck the taxpayers with the rest of the bill. What a guy.

RuleBook said...

That estimate by taxpayers is way off. Jones is paying a lot more than just 20%. The technical deal was that Arlington and Jones would go 50/50 up to $325 million each. After that, Jones would eat the rest of the cost. Now you may argue that some behind-the-scenes stuff makes the taxpayers pay much more.

An article about this can be found here. I don't know which side to believe, but this was the first time I'd read that the taxpayers were paying anything other than $325 million.

KentAllard said...

You could be right. But according to the Texas Bond Commission, Arlington is into the stadium for $933 million. And the NFL provided $150 million for stadium construction, which would seem that Jones didn't pay too much of the $1.15 billion bill. Obviously, the numbers are hard to verify without a detailed audit being made available.

Bengoodfella said...

Yeah, exactly Martin. It's pretty easy to get rid of some tickets if you don't plan on using them. The video board is really a short term thing. Not that it is not impressive but I just don't know if a fan will come to a game specifically to see it in 3-4 years. I may be wrong.

I have not and will not accuse Peter King of being lazy. He writes a lot.

I liked Brian Brohm as well. He fell fast and hard didn't he? It wouldn't shock me if he ended up successful somewhere else.

I think we should demand a detailed audit into how much Jerry Jones paid for the stadium. Regardless of how much it is, and it seems like we have divergent information, consequently the tax payers did pick up some of the bill...which I am assuming they had some say on or had a vote on this issue.

The bottom line is that we can't expect an NFL team to ever completely pay for a stadium can we. Can an excuse for the size of the stadium and it's amenities be that everything is bigger in Texas?