Monday, November 2, 2009

17 comments MMQB Review: Brett Favre and Peter King, A Love Affair Renewed

I hope everyone enjoyed the most anticipated weekend in the history of sports. Brett Favre, the man who has one less Super Bowl ring than Ben Roethlisberger and is tied with Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson, or as he is better known, the single greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL simply because he plays the game like a child would, returned to Lambeau Field to face his tormentors and the team that did him wrong, the Green Bay Packers. Even NBC cancelled their Sunday night game to focus on Favre (ok, that wasn't the real reason). Good won in the end and Brett Favre went away victorious.

Now that this game is over, there is really nothing left to look forward to this NFL season and pretty much for the rest of the 2009 year. I have written WAY too much already, I will let Peter King do the rest. If you are one of those people who hates it when I bash Brett Favre and Peter King's relationship, you may want to skim the first part of this.

I remember the first time Brett Favre mentioned the V word in the summer of 2008.

(Brett Favre) "Peter are you a virgin?"

(Peter King) "Brett, I have two kids. That's impossible for me to be a virgin."

(Brett Favre) "I see the way you look into my eyes and I can feel the burning that you feel for me. I know it's true, because only someone who hasn't experienced true passion can look at me like that. Are you a virgin, Peter?"

(Peter King) "Again Brett, I have two that should answer your question."

(Brett Favre) "I will never talk to you again if you don't tell me the tru---"

(Peter King) "Yes, yes, yes, I am! The kids are Dr. Z's. I knew I loved you before I met you. I have been saving myself for you all my life."

(There is the reason I do not write romance novels everyone. It makes "Twilight" look like fucking "Romeo and Juliet." On a related note, I watched "Adventureland" this weekend and found out it was Virgil who said "fortune favors the bold." Yes, I found out who Gregg Easterbrook was quoting when he wrote "fortune favors the bold" while watching a coming-of-age Kristen Stewart movie.)

Favre was officially retired but making noise about playing again. The Packers were on record as moving on with Aaron Rodgers, and now Favre wanted to play for the Vikings or Bears, with Minnesota his first choice because he knew their coaches and the offense well.

Does anyone else remember Peter King during the summer of 2008 and 2009 when Brett Favre was retiring/unretiring? Remember how Peter pretended like he didn't know where the fuck Brett Favre wanted to play or at least he claimed he didn't know for sure if Favre wanted to play for the Vikings? Sure it was assumed Favre wanted to play for the Vikings but Peter, as far as I can remember, during the summer of 2008 NEVER reported that Brett Favre's first two choices were Chicago and Minnesota...despite the fact he had the knowledge this was true. This is EXACTLY why I write about Peter King on a weekly basis and will continue to do so until I decide to stop or he retires. I know Peter King isn't a gossip columnist but I know he holds back on information about the NFL he should really share with the world, you know if he actually attempted to be an NFL reporter of some type. I can't take him seriously when I can't believe anything he writes when it comes to certain NFL players.

Peter King values his friendships in the NFL more than he values doing his freaking job. In a time when there was a Favre frenzy (summer of 2008), Peter King had very solid information on what Favre wanted to do and he never revealed it to the least that I can recall. If he did reveal the information, he merely hinted at it rather than treat this information like it was as solid as it truly was. Peter seems to have kept Favre's little not-so-secret to himself. I know friends mean a lot in this world and we should all sit in a circle and thank God for all the friends we have, but Peter King's job is to report football news and report it with the veracity the news deserves if he knows his information is accurate. I would argue he failed to do that here.

Believe it or not, but I respect Peter King in a way. What I don't respect about him is that he lets his personal relationships shade his journalism, which really is basically journalism malpractice in my mind. I know it is so hard not to do this, but Peter King has done it time and time again. He shades stories one certain way and leaves out important details he was told so he can half ass his job as an NFL Insider and still keep Brett Favre as a friend.

"You realize that half the kids in Wisconsin will rip the Favre posters off their walls and burn 'em in their fireplaces if you play for the Vikings,'' I said.

"I don't think it'll be that bad,'' he said.

Sixteen months later, it was. And Favre shrugged, basically.

Does Green Bay know why Favre shrugged? Because he doesn't give two shits about the Green Bay Packers or it's fans. That's exactly why. The management of the Packers dared to not let Brett Favre have his way and the fans didn't back Favre through every retirement and support him while he tried to screw their he doesn't care about them.

And I asked him if it was worth it.

"Yeah, it's worth it,'' he said over the phone late Sunday night, back in Minnesota, driving home from the airport. "Now people can see why I came back, and why I came back to this team. But I will say I'm relieved it's over.''

Was there any doubt Favre would find this worth it? He wanted to stick it to Green Bay and he did exactly that. Of course it was worth it to him.

He's relieved in many ways, as it turns out. Favre told me he pulled or strained his groin in practice on Wednesday and took it easy in practice for the rest of the week.

And now Brett Favre is "injured" before the game as well. Why would I doubt this injury that seemed to have no impact on how Favre played during the game? It's not like Favre would lie about this or anything, he is well known for telling the truth, so I am sure he wouldn't make up an injury to put a little bit more legend behind his performance.

Now hold on here. A pulled groin? Is this the magic bullet, the injury that starts the 40-year-old Favre's decline? Is this the injury that, with Favre on the doorstep of his historic 300th consecutive start, finally rips him out of a starting lineup for the first time since Percy Harvin was 4?

"I think I'll be fine,'' he said.

Possibly because there is a 35% chance this injury doesn't exist?

I'd argue that there have been three times in Favre's professional life that he's felt more than game pressure -- that he's felt an anxiety based on more than the X-and-O stuff each big game brings. Those games would be the two this year against the Packers, his team for 16 years, and the 2003 game he played in Oakland just 27 hours after his father died.

Maybe it's a coincidence; maybe the three-game sample size is just too small. But three decisive wins, 11 touchdowns, no picks -- I sense a trend.

He can compartmentalize the things that matter and those that don't. It's simple. Or at least it sounds simple.

I guess my argument is not that Favre can compartmentalize things but that he is extraordinarily self-centered and didn't get emotional about playing Green Bay because he doesn't give a shit about the team and it's fans. What's there to be emotional about if you don't have fond memories of Green Bay because you are so bitter management and the fans didn't let you get your way?

I was surprised to see him choke up a couple of times to Pam Oliver on the field, but that happened in part because he'd just left an embrace with longtime Packer director of security Jerry Parins, one of his favorite people. "I knew it'd probably be the last time I'd ever step foot on Lambeau Field, and it got a little emotional,'' he said.

Oh for God's sake! Can we quit paying attention to this man when he talks about retirement? He just does it for attention and to make everyone "appreciate" him. He is such an attention whore he is even stealing the spotlight from HIMSELF here and announcing he may never be back at Lambeau Field. I don't care if he plays football again ever. I don't, I just want him to shut the hell up and quit talking about it. I would bet that 80% of America (and the world) feels the exact same way I do.

One of the things Favre doesn't often show is how much he wants to be liked in Green Bay. But he does. "I hope the people who booed at least watched the way I played today -- with passion, like I always do -- and say, 'That's why we loved him. He lays it out there on every play.' ''

Nearly every NFL player plays with passion. Why does Brett Favre think he is the only one who does this? Favre can't make a two year attempt to screw the Packers by beating the crap out of them in a football game and then expect the Green Bay fans to appreciate how hard he tried to beat the crap out of the Packers. It doesn't work that way. Are the fans supposed to be impressed with how hard Favre worked to get pay back on their team? Someone needs to notify Brett Favre the world doesn't revolve around him.

In the end, Green Bay seems too nice a place to hold a grudge forever. Ten years from now, when his number's retired, Favre will step foot on Lambeau again. I doubt it'll be 80 percent boos then.

That's Peter King's personal plea to Packers fans to not boo Favre in the future. Packers fans will probably also be treated to covert attempts by Peter in his columns to remind them of how much Favre did for the Packers over the years until they do forgive Favre. After all, he wouldn't be Peter King if he didn't let his personal relationships affect his reporting.

Four other tidbits from Sunday's games:

We get a full page on Favre and four tidbits on the rest of the NFL games. I guess since New England didn't play and NBC didn't have a game there weren't any other interesting games this weekend. (Sorry Patriots fans, I may quit saying Peter is a Pats fan at some point, but not yet...I know it is insulting to you to count him among your fan base.)

2. Troy Aikman did the game for FOX Sunday, and he thinks Favre won't need much else to leave football a happy man.

You really thought Peter could go an entire two paragraphs without talking about Brett Favre did you?

Two very good tackles -- Chris Samuels and Walter Jones -- are nearing the end, and that shouldn't be something just in small type this weekend.

But Peter will put it in small type in his column anyway...or at least near the bottom of Page 2 of Peter's weekly column after he has talked about the more interesting stories.

The Fine Fifteen

I won't even question the order of this "Fine Fifteen" because that is way too easy...or at least I will try not to question the order.

2. Indianapolis (7-0). I wouldn't be too alarmed about the so-called struggling Colts on the heels of their narrow win over San Francisco. Thirty other teams in the league wish they were struggling like this. Lots of teams are going to be up and down against the San Francisco defense.

Atlanta didn't have a problem putting up 45 points on the San Francisco defense and they are a powerhouse 20th ranked defense in the NFL...but I am sure those numbers are misleading.

7. Baltimore (4-3)
8. Cincinnati (5-2)

If this ranking is because Baltimore beat Denver, please remember Cincinnati only lost to Denver because of a miracle play and the Broncos have a better record than Baltimore. I think Peter is letting his regional bias affect him a little on this pick.

13. San Diego (4-3).
Chargers are 4-0 against teams with losing records, 0-3 against winners

Fortunately they play in a division with two really shitty teams.

MVP Watch

1. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis.

2. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans.

I asked it last week and I will ask it again this week. How is Peyton Manning more valuable to the Colts than Drew Brees is to the Saints? I think they have the same amount of importance to their teams. So why is Manning ranked over Brees in Peter King's MVP Watch?

4. Brett Favre, QB, Minnesota.

It's a "chicken or the egg" argument but where would Brett Favre be without Adrian Peterson? Where would Adrian Peterson be without Brett Favre? I think Peterson could play as well without Favre but I don't know if Favre could play as well with those Vikings receivers without Peterson helping keep the defense honest. It's just my opinion.

"No, Brett Favre did not lay down to give me a sack. Doesn't happen in the NFL, man.''
-- Michael Strahan, on KHTK radio in Sacramento, via He referred to the 2001 play in the Packers-Giants game on which Favre slid toward him just shy of the line of scrimmage and Strahan touched him down and enveloped him with Favre already on the ground, unleashing a torrent of criticism to Favre, accusing him of taking a dive and manipulating the all-time sack record. Strahan still holds the single-season record with 22.5 sacks, set on that play.

It's all Brett Favre, all the time today in Peter's MMQB. I think this has set a new record for Peter King talking about Brett Favre. Also, Brett Favre did take a dive. I have seen the replay maybe 1,000 times and no one can convince me "the ultimate gamer" would just fall down when Strahan was near him for a sack. Favre tries EVERYTHING to make a play and avoid a sack but he just falls down in this situation? Come on, let's not bullshit everyone anymore. Favre took a dive.

Offensive Player of the Week

Brett Favre, QB, Minnesota.

Really, could the day have been any more perfect? Four touchdown passes, tying him with Dan Marino for most four-TD games in an NFL career. Watching the man the Packers kept instead of him, Aaron Rodgers, come up short in the fourth quarter when Favre himself came up big.

This Favre stuff in Peter's MMQB is pretty ridiculous isn't it? I don't know if Aaron Rodgers came up short in the fourth quarter, I thought he did a good job of actually getting the Packers back in the football game but that apparently didn't impress Peter King at all.

I will quit talking about Brett Favre when Peter King stops talking about Brett Favre.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame held two concerts at Madison Square Garden Thursday and Friday, and I was lucky enough to be in the crowd on the second night, the most interesting night of music I've ever seen in person.

The five best songs:

1. "Gimme Shelter,'' by U2, Mick Jagger and Fergie, of the Peas. When Jagger came onstage and the familiar chord began, the Garden went as crazy as I've ever seen a crowd go for a song. I thought Fergie was going to lose her mind gyrating and screaming the lyrics alternately with Mick.

I am pretty sure this is the song played in continuous rotation in Hell. I like Mick Jagger and love the Rolling Stones, (yeah, I know I like a lot of old bands but I like new bands leave me alone, I just like music) but I am not a big U2 fan and I pretty much would rather get two root canals than listen to Fergie and The Black Eyed Peas.

Tweet of the Week

"Just noticed this on my Packers credential: It's Green Bay home game No. 4. Of course it is.''
-- @LATimesfarmer, Sam Farmer, NFL beat writer for the Los Angeles Times, Tweeting from the press box at Lambeau Field Sunday.

Believe it or not, I have actually left some references to Brett Favre in this MMQB out of my MMQB Review this week. It was just a whole lot of Favre for five web pages.

Not including every mention in the introduction story about Favre which counts as only 1 mention even though it was an entire page long, Peter King mentioned Brett Favre 6 other times. That was AFTER he wrote a page long story about Favre, not the Vikings, but Brett Favre.

d. And in the category of Best Performance By a Running Back in a Game No One Saw, the nominees are: Chris Johnson, Tennessee, for his 24-carry, 228-yard game against Jacksonville; Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville, for his 177-yard performance with a sick 22.1-yard average carry; DeAngelo Williams, Carolina, for his 158 yards in an upset of the Cardinals; and Steven Jackson, for his 149-yard day against Detroit in the Rams' first win in a year. The envelope, please ... And the winner -- Chris Johnson.

Anyone who reads what I write on this blog on a regular basis knows I hate it when sportswriters talk about "games or players no one saw." It's just shorthand for saying, "we as the media didn't pay attention to these games, so we will just assume that no one who is a fan of the NFL knows about this because we as the media are the ones who set the agenda for what people see and don't see and like and don't like." Unfortunately this shorthand is also fairly true.

g. There is no better defensive player in football than Jared Allen.

What happened to Darrelle Revis the one and only MVP cornerback in the NFL?

The league hasn't finished its investigation into the charge by Raider assistant Randy Hanson that Cable struck him and broke his jaw in August, and on Sunday, ESPN's "Outside the Lines'' show had a compelling report by Colleen Dominguez of a history of abuse against women by Cable. The coach admitted he struck his first wife years ago, but denied he was a serial abuser and said he never struck a girlfriend in recent years, as she alleged in the report.

Oh, he has never struck a girlfriend in recent years? Well that makes all the difference in the world then when I consider whether he is a good person or not. Carry on with coaching the Raidersthen...

As well as being a shitty head coach who is deteriorating the fan base, Tom Cable is also a shitty person who smacks around women. Al Davis has really outdone himself this time. If only there were qualified coaches available in the unemployment line...

4. I think a lot of Eagles deserve praise in the 40-17 rout of the Giants.

So a lot of Eagles players deserve praise for beating the Giants by 23 points? Peter King, Master of the Obvious and Lover of the Gritty, Unshaven Quarterbacks.

h. I really like FOX's pregame show going to Afghanistan next week. I don't care what the reason is -- anything to show those overseas we're thinking of them and supporting them, regardless of our political beliefs, I'm behind.

Here's a question I have. Can the FOX pregame show stay in Afghanistan for the rest of the season? I watched about five minutes of it Sunday and promised myself I wouldn't subject myself to a pregame show again. I say a lot of things negative about Bill Simmons, but he is pretty close to being dead-on about NFL pregame shows.

b. Are you kidding, FOX? The moment the game of the year ends and Brett Favre is hugging his way across the field, we hear Thom Brennaman say: "We send you to bonus coverage.''

You do what? You send us to Carolina 34, Arizona 21? For God's sake -- FOR WHAT?!!!!!! What you should be sending us to is Pam Oliver for a live interview with Favre instead of making people wait.

Peter King still hasn't realized the entire world is not as obsessed with Brett Favre as he is. It's actually quite sad. I actually agree that FOX probably should have kept it to the Packers game, especially after they made such a big deal of the game, but it also doesn't shock me that Peter King is pissed off FOX didn't allow Favre to bask in the glory of his victory after the game.

Why would Peter King want to watch any of a football game he hasn't seen one second of? That would only allow him to actually write a MMQB with full knowledge of the important and interesting games of the day. He has no interest in actually covering the entire NFL. He wants to watch Brett Favre get interviewed so he could write about Favre in his MMQB. Peter has no interest in football when it conflicts with his interest in Brett Favre.

e. Throw it downfield, Matthew Stafford. Bombs away, Calvin Johnson or not.

Great advice Peter. Encourage a rookie quarterback to throw the ball downfield with impunity regardless of whether his receiver is covered or not. Let's encourage bad habits in a rookie quarterback so we can turn him into another Brett Favre who just heaves the ball down the field into coverage.

8. I think this is my one leftover note on football in Europe, which I think is going to happen in our lifetime; I mean, I think there will be an NFL franchise there.

Peter goes on to quote a person who is from London who says the NFL is a niche sport in the United Kingdom much like how Premier soccer is a niche sport here in America. Seriously, the NFL should not put a team in London in the next 10 years...even then I don't think it is a great idea.

d. Seems to me the toughest thing to figure in the college top 10 is where to rank Boise State, Iowa, TCU and Cincinnati. Iowa has the great win at Penn State, and I suppose all that matters is the W. Cincinnati has blown out a bunch of teams outside the top 20. TCU has won on the road at Clemson and BYU. Boise's got one quality win, but that win looked a lot better Saturday.

How can there be any debate? Boise State should be ranked above TCU and Cincinnati at the very least in my mind. They beat Oregon who just beat USC. I know that's not all there is to it, but I just don't see how TCU and Cincinnati can be ranked above Boise State.

g. I really like FOX's sideline guy, Ken Rosenthal, on TV. He's smart and cool.

I call him a leprechaun. I don't know why I do that. It seems like he just pops up on the television reporting about a topic near the baseball field and looks smaller than everything around him. He just reminds me of a leprechaun for some reason.

h. "The Cleveland Show,'' as spinoffs go, should last as long as "Saved By The Bell: The New Class.'' Now, if there was a Brian spinoff ...

It sounds like Peter doesn't like this show. He does realize "Saved By The Bell: The New Class lasted 7 seasons doesn't he? So if he doesn't like "The Cleveland Show" this comment doesn't make sense. Actually he was probably too busy fawning over Brett Favre to do any research on this.

The sound you heard this weekend was Peter King and Bill Simmons burying me at picking NFL games. This is brutal and I am losing all credibility with myself at this point in thinking I know how to pick NFL games.


KentAllard said...

Brett, Brett, Brett

For we members of the Jamarcus Appreciation Society, there is a more pressing issue. After Sunday's game, Jamarcus QB rating has soared to 48.3, while the treacherous Derek Anderson has seized control with a 36.2. Our Jamarcus is seeing history stolen from him while we watch. Sadly, I think Anderson has the chops to stay in the 30s all year, maybe even the seemingly unreachable 20s.

RuleBook said...

MVP Watch

5. Jared Allen, DE, Minnesota.

g. There is no better defensive player in football than Jared Allen.

Darren Sharper

Edward said...

Personally, I think TCU has every right to be ranked ahead of Boise State (and also that they're both top-five teams). TCU beat Clemson at Clemson and crushed BYU at BYU. The Mountain West is also a tougher conference than the WAC, so TCU running the conference table is more impressive than Boise State doing so.

Right now, I'd rank the top ten:
1. Florida
2. Alabama
3. Texas
4. TCU
5. Boise State
6. Cincinnati
7. Iowa (ONLY because they're undefeated, Oregon is probably a better team)
8. Oregon
9. LSU
10. Georgia Tech

AJ said...

number of times he said FAVRE - 40 and that doesnt include using the words "he".


Martin said...

The EPL is a niche sport in a country of 300 million people. American football is a niche sport in a country of 60 million, counting (Scotland and Wales as the united Kingdom. I'm convinced that Peter has no idea that this might make a difference.

Bengoodfella said...

I apologize for forgetting about JaMarcus Russell this week. Perhaps I should start a JaMarcus Russell Watch so we can update it from week to week. I find it hard to believe Anderson could display the consistent awfulness that Russell is able to put forth from week to week.

Has anyone fallen so quickly from Pro Bowl quarterback to worse than JaMarcus Russell than Derek Anderson. May God and the Browns allow Brady Quinn to be the QB (even if it will cost them money in the form of a bonus to him).

Rulebook, if Peter had a clue and wanted to argue that point, he would say that Jared Allen makes Darren Sharper good because of the pressure he puts on the QB. I am not arguing that, because I agree with you. This is IF Peter King had the ability to argue on this point.

Edward, I can accept your argument. I think I have Boise State bias a little bit because I am under the impression in my head they are a better team than TCU, even though it may not be true. I will tell you that I agree both TCU and Boise State are top 5 teams and both should get a BCS bowl if they both stay undefeated.

I should probably respect Iowa more, but I am not going to. I would put them below Oregon and I also believe in my crazy little head that Georgia Tech would beat them.

AJ, it's brutal isn't it? It was like a MMQB dedicated to Brett Favre. Peter probably was able to write this one in just under a minute because the words just came so easily for him.

RuleBook said...

Rulebook, if Peter had a clue and wanted to argue that point, he would say that Jared Allen makes Darren Sharper good because of the pressure he puts on the QB. I am not arguing that, because I agree with you. This is IF Peter King had the ability to argue on this point.

That would be a really bad argument since Sharper plays for the Saints now.

Bengoodfella said...

I can go one of two ways with this Rulebook:

1. I can pretend I KNEW Darren Sharper played for the Vikings but Peter King had forgotten this so I was trying to make the point that Peter King DOESN'T KNOW Darren Sharper has changed teams. Therefore Peter King is the idiot, not me.

2. I can smack myself in the head with a stapler (I just did this) and wonder how I had a brain cramp and thought Darren Sharper still played for the Vikings, even though I know he signed with the Saints in the offseason. Then I would regret typing too quickly and not thinking about what I am typing.

Which one should I go with you think?

AJ said...

I would go with choice 1, since it is completely reasonable.

Bengoodfella said...

Yeah, I was making fun of Peter King and that's why I wrote that. That's my final answer. Last night I am pretty sure Darren Sharper got another interception.

Now that I am brainstorming, I think it would be fun to give Peter King a list of 10 players and see if he can name which team the play for. It wouldn't even be a hard quiz, I would actually include guys like Darren Sharper in there. I don't think he could go 10 for 10.

Fred Trigger said...

He could ace it if it went like this:

1. Tom Brady
2. Wes Welker
3. Randy Moss
4. Brett Farve
5. Peyton Manning
6. Vince Wilfork
7. Matt Light
8. Brandon Merriweather
9. Ty Warren
10. Mike Vrabel (just to see if he realizes that he plays for a team not on the east coast now.)

AJ said...

By the way, thanks for the beating in fantasy football this week...

AJ said...

Oh and I'm heading to Vegas this weekend...Anyone want to place some bets?!?!?! We are pooling our money and placing it against the Lions.

I'll make sure to have a diary of our trip when I get back. It will probably be EPIC and be totally different then everyone else's trip to Vegas.

Bengoodfella said...

Fred, I think Peter could ace that exam and maybe only that one. I was thinking of names he wouldn't know and I think I got a decent mental list together of guys who are veterans and actually play but I don't think Peter would know which team that player is on.

The only bet I want to take this weekend is the Panthers won't cover the spread against the Saints. I don't even know the line but I am NOT saying the Panthers will cover.

AJ, I am sure your Vegas trip is going to be super epic, be sure to give us a two part synopsis of what happened, how many original and cool things happened and how late you stayed up. If you do see someone famous that would be pretty cool.

Your essay has to be at least 10,000 words.

cardrunners said...

Brett Favre is leading the league in passer rating and his team has lost only 1x this season with a new team. I dont think being indecisive is a crime, and Im a lifelong Packers fan and still pulling for Favre to succeed.

rakeback said...

Brett Favre is slapping around every NFL defense he faces this year, and I havent read one experts take that suggested he isnt the MVP so far. 24 touchdowns and 3 interceptions is just absurd.

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