Friday, November 13, 2009

6 comments Peter King Answers Mail and Hands Out Award...Neither of Which I Approve Of

I have always thought that Peter King's weekly opus to half of the teams in the NFL, MMQB, deserves a longer mailbag than it traditionally gets on a Tuesday. I don't get why it is usually only one page long, unless Peter has something he wants to talk about, in which case it gets a little bit longer and goes to two pages. I would think either way he could fill up an entire mail bag simply with the mail he gets from his MMQB. I guess I would be wrong.

We get an extra bonus this week when Peter picks his mid-season All-Pro team. I think we would all be more shocked if I DIDN'T have a problem with some of his picks. Criticizing mid-season or postseason awards is always difficult for me because sometimes my brain turns to mush when trying to think of the best players at each position, but I will soldier on.

Everyone remember to update your College Pick 'Em teams for tonight's game at 8pm. My comeback has been delayed yet again and I will be beginning that comeback this week.

First let's examine Peter's mail bag and see what, if any, important facts he has to share with us.

A couple of weeks ago, I was on a talk show in Kansas City after Larry Johnson ripped coach Todd Haley on Twitter and twice used a gay slur, and the town was aflame with Johnson anger.

"Aflame with Johnson anger." I like how Peter uses a sentence that can be 15% construed (if you try really hard) as a stupid joke about homosexuals by using slang for a men's private parts (Johnson) and slang for a homosexual man who makes his sexuality widely known (a flamer) to describe how Kansas City was feeling after this incident. Mike Piazza probably wrote Peter in anger at this sentence.

But one of the hosts, Chris Hamblin, set me straight. Johnson's biggest problem was that he'd taken a slap at Chiefs fans, saying when this all blew over, they'd go back to their $5-an-hour jobs, and he'd go back to "cakin' it,'' and the callers were pasting Johnson for days for his backhanded slap.

I bet Peter didn't get what was wrong with this statement. Peter's snobby elite response to this quote by Larry Johnson probably was:

"Yeah, that's what is going to happen right? Larry Johnson will go back to playing football and people who work blue collar jobs or don't earn 6 figures per year will continue to do their job so I can regal them with stories of my travels and what a headache it is to stay at 5 star hotels who don't serve coffee in the morning. I don't see the problem. The people appreciate hearing about my problems because it reminds them that even those who don't have problems with money in any type of fashion, still face stress from long lines at Starbucks and from people who run stop signs."

It's not a shock that Peter King completely missed the comment made by Larry Johnson where he basically threw how much money he made in the face of the Chiefs fans. Peter hasn't ever really been cognizant that others don't make as much money as he does. He complains to us every week about his minor problems in the world, which to him are major enough to write and bitch about every single week, but to the rest of the world these problems are just small parts of life. Peter just strikes me as the elitist type.

That's the biggest part of why Johnson, who used to be the Chiefs' best player, got fired by the team Monday. If the fans are flooding the talk shows and saying they're not going to buy tickets and will stop buying Chiefs merchandise, you can bet they were sending even angrier missives to the team offices.

If Chiefs fans were smart they would refuse to buy tickets and Chiefs merchandise until the team decides to put a competitive team on the field.

The other two parts of what turned out to be a fairly easy decision involve money and his role on the team. Johnson's $4.55 million base salary was guaranteed by the team once he was active for the first game of the season, so the Chiefs were going to have to pay him the $2.14 million he had coming for the last eight weeks. What they save is $500,000. That's eight games of the pro-rated per-game roster bonus he was due to earn.

Let's be honest and say what Peter King is paid to say, but he doesn't choose to say for some reason. Regardless of whether Larry Johnson had offended Todd Haley and the Chiefs fans with his comments, if it did not make financial sense and sense from a performance perspective then Larry Johnson would still be on the team. If the team owed him more money this year than they wanted to swallow and if Johnson was in the Top 10 in the league in rushing yards, he would still be on the team and making a scripted apology to Chiefs fans and to Todd Haley. Hence, because the team is going nowhere and Johnson was playing crappy, he was sent packing.

Peter fails to say this, but it's the truth. This decision had 30% to do with his comments and 70% to do with the fact it worked for the Chiefs financially and performance wise to get rid of him for the comments.

Johnson will straighten up and fly right for some contender now, after he clears waivers today at 4 p.m. Eastern time. Adam Schefter presented a compelling and logical argument for Johnson to sign with Pittsburgh last night on ESPN, and I couldn't agree more -- the Steelers need a power back in the wake of the absolute crumbling of Willie Parker as a useable runner,

You didn't really expect Peter to name a non-East Coast team to be the favorite to sign him did you? If Schefter had reported another team that needs another running back, like the Seahawks or the Packers (they actually need offensive linemen more), he would not have agreed and gone with an East Coast team as the favorite. I am actually more shocked he didn't mention the Patriots would go after Johnson. That seems to be Peter's fall back team when it comes to naming where a player may go.

-- Get well soon, Willie Yarbrough. The 70-year-old driver of the Madden Cruiser is recovering from recent brain surgery and is on the road to recovery. I got to know salt-of-the-earth Yarbrough on a cross-country trip with Madden almost 20 years ago, and a better man I'll never meet.

"Salt-of-the-earth" means "hardworking and doesn't make a whole lot of money" to Peter. For those of you who watch 30 Rock he reminds me of Alec Baldwin's character who thinks that anyone who isn't rich and from a big city is just a blue collar person incapable of doing any wrong. It's a bizarre form of complimentary condescension.

-- I know anytime I make a comment about guns or politics I'll get creamed by half of my readers, and so I knew there'd be a dustup when I made the incredibly controversial statement after the rampages at Fort Hood and in an Orlando office park late last week that we need to do something about the easy availability of handguns in this country.

I love it when Peter uses his football based MMQB to talk about politics or another topic he is interested in and then watch him get defensive when readers write in about the content of what he wrote that was off the topic of football. Peter seems to believe he can just write whatever he wants that is unrelated to football and not get any comments about the topic he broached.

Peter always seems to think, "I was shocked at how many of you disagreed with what I wrote about X topic. I know anytime I bring up a topic like that everyone gets all worked up over it. I wish my readers would just take it easy. Can't I bring up non-football topics in my football column and expect no one to comment on them?"

No Peter can't...especially when he makes such hard and fast statements as he did about gun control in his MMQB this week.

Let's watch Peter take a question and then use the "Look! Something shiny!" way to get off the topic because he doesn't know enough about gun control to talk about it sufficiently.

Kevin in Arizona: "Peter, the answer to handgun violence is not more laws against them. When you outlaw firearms, only outlaws will have them. Look to D.C. or the UK for the perfect evidence. Handguns are illegal and the crime rate is terrible. Go into a firearm dealer and ask them how many times they've been robbed. I love your column but hate your politics.''

PK: Obviously, the shooter at Fort Hood had his legally purchased, non-military-issue handgun for a while. But the easiest thing to do is throw your hands in the air and say there's nothing we can do about these things. We should try. It's a tough issue, but we have to grapple with tough issues all the time in America.

Here it goes:

We're doing it now with health care.

Look! Something shiny!

Is it sensible for 43 million Americans to not have health care? No. So we're trying to find a way to insure every American.

...and we are now off topic.

Is it sensible for a nut to shoot up a military base? No. So we should see if there's anything we can do about it. I'm not advocating banning guns. I'm advocating having a thoughtful discussion on whether we can do something about the proliferation, and easy acquisition, of handguns, and whether making it harder to acquire them would eliminate even one of these bloodbaths.

...and we're back. So by saying, and I quote Peter's words from this week's MMQB,

"Senseless, senseless incidents. I will not go quietly into the night on this one. America needs to do something about idiots with handguns. How many more Fort Hoods and Orlandos do there have to be before our political leaders have the guts to severely restrict access to murderous weapons?"

Peter is just trying to start a conversation? Does this group of sentences sound like Peter is advocating having a thoughtful discussion about guns? It sounds to me like he does want to severly restrict access to guns, which is pretty much one step away from banning handguns. For fear of getting into a moral discussion, it certainly sounds like Peter is backtracking here. He tends to do this a lot. He will make a public statement about moral issues, often about guns, and then backtrack when he is called on it.

Dan of Sunnyside, N.Y.: "In your column you asked if Titans fans still wanted to fire Jeff Fisher, and while I'm no Titan fan, I think the answer is yes. Pretty clear that it was the owner's decision to start Vince Young, not Fisher's. Also seems pretty clear that the move could/should have been made a few weeks earlier. It's a little weird to give Fisher the credit for the last two weeks when the only reason Young is starting is because the owner had to overrule the coach.''

PK: You're making a false assumption, I believe, at 0-6 and coming off the bye, that Fisher would have made the decision himself. He knew he had no choice, regardless what the owner said. If the owner provided a spur to Fisher's hindquarters, fine. But to say Fisher would have kept KerryCollins in blindly just because he didn't want to play Young ... that's just wrong.

Peter believes Jeff Fisher would have put Vince Young in the game despite the fact he absolutely refused to make a quarterback change until Bud Adams spoke up about it. I believe that if Bud Adams had never spoken up there is at least a 50% chance Kerry Collins would still be the starting quarterback for the Titans.

I like Peter's ability to pick-and-choose when he is able to tell the future. He feels very strongly this reader is wrong and feels like Jeff Fisher would have replaced Collins with Young. Of course he has no proof of it, but that doesn't lessen his confidence.

Orly Keren of Toronto: "I know your thoughts on Brett Favre have been made clear, but this has to be said: Two years ago the Packers were one bad interception away from the Super Bowl (albeit Brett's fault), and they decided to hand the reigns to Aaron Rodgers. Two years later, we missed the playoffs once and are likely heading there again after a stunning loss to winless Tampa Bay. Management clearly made the wrong choice, but Brett's drama aside, they must be realizing this right about now.

I'm talked out about this topic, but I can't actually believe this person from Toronto actually believes the Packers made the wrong decision in keeping Rodgers over Favre. Rodgers would have been a free agent by now and would be leading a different team for the next decade at this point, while the Packers would have to draft another quarterback in the event Favre actually decides to stay retired. No one said it would be easy for the Packers to move on from Favre. The Packers made the right choice.

In fact, let's compare the numbers of the two quarterbacks for this year. Please keep in my one quarterback is 14 years younger than the other and Favre plays for a team that won it's division last year so he has a better team around him:

Favre: 68% completion percentage, 1,925 yards passing, 16 TDs, 3 INTs, 106.0 rating. If he kept it up at this pace this would be the best year (arguably) of his career...and he is going to the Hall of Fame one day.

Rodgers: 63.1% completion percentage, 2,255 yards passing, 16 TDs, 5 INTs, 103.3 rating.

So basically Aaron Rodgers, who this misguided person thinks should have been kicked to the curb in favor of Brett Favre, is one step below Brett Favre's numbers this year and Favre is having a near career year in a Hall of Fame career. I will restate it. Brett Favre is having one of the best years in his Hall of Fame career and Aaron Rodgers is still nearly playing as well as Favre is.

It's the defense stupid. Like Minnesota has one and Green Bay doesn't. Peter will never, ever mention this because this person writing in has complimented his BFF Brett it is up to me to mention relevant facts like this.

Green Bay was on the right track in 2007, almost making the Super Bowl, and then changed the quarterback, had a bad year while Rodgers grew, and now is having a mediocre year as Rodgers has some good days and bad.

Peter needs to take off his fucking blinders. "Rodgers has some good days and bad..." yet his statistics are still not that far off the statistics of Brett Favre. I thank God I am not Aaron Rodgers, I would be writing in to Peter King and every other moron who thinks the Packers should have kept Favre and telling them these facts about the smaller-than-expected differences in regard to statistics between myself and Favre...until eventually I would completely forget to prepare for a game and be benched.

What interceptions were to Favre, sacks are to Rodgers.

Granted a quarterback has control over sacks to an extent, but Rodgers can't nearly control the sacks he takes as much as Favre can control the interceptions he used to throw so prolifically. That's my position and I will only change it if someone could convince me a quarterback taking a sack is under his control more than a quarterback throwing an interception is under his control.

Everyone knows the Packers problem is the offensive line and the move to the 3-4 defense. Can we acknowledge this and lay off Aaron Rodgers?

Now that I am sufficiently worked up, let's go to Peter's midseason awards.

Lots of new faces on the midseason All-Pro team, and lots of tough choices. Hard to leave off Adrian Peterson, because I believe he's the best running back in football, hands down.

Peter just wants to start off by giving us an example of how his midseason awards will have zero logic and reasoning behind them. Please adjust expectations accordingly.

"Hey everyone, this was not easy. In fact it was so hard and my choices make such little sense I didn't even include the guy who I think was easily the best running back in the NFL as the best running back in the NFL. It's so difficult to do, I don't even agree with my own opinion."

WR Vincent Jackson

At 6-foot-5, he plays jump ball with cornerbacks and wins.

I am not disagreeing, I am just saying the justification for this selection is that he is tall and can jump.

RT Michael Oher

Rookie who can't be intimidated. Quick feet. Will get stronger.

Don't tell Gregg Easterbrook that. He thinks Oher should be benched. Forget Bill Simmons running an NBA franchise, I want to watch Gregg Easterbrook get handed the reins of an NFL franchise. It would be like giving a 16 year old who just got his drivers license a tank for his birthday.

TE Dallas Clark

Indy G.M. Bill Polian: "I'd argue he's our MVP."

I would argue that as long as Peyton Manning is throwing the ball to Dallas Clark and Jim Sorgi isn't, then Peyton Manning is the MVP of the Colts.

FB Heath Evans

Sledgehammer for New Orleans' run game until injured in Week 7.

How effective of a fullback is Heath Evans for the Saints?

With Evans: 154.5 yards/game (6 games)
Without Evans: 115.0 yards/game (2 games)

This makes me wonder why the fullback has gone by the wayside in the NFL over the past couple of years? I know teams still use fullbacks because they can seen as a liability in the passing game, but with the modern athlete able to do so many things well (like block and catch) I don't see why the fullback has gone out of fashion like it seems to have done.

DE Jared Allen

NFL's most disruptive defender had 71/2 sacks in two games against Pack.

I respect Jared Allen. His season statistics look like this: 10.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 safety and 34 tackles. His statistics against Green Bay look like this: 7.5 sacks, 1 safety, 1 forced fumble, and 12 tackles.

That means in the 6 games Allen has not played against Green Bay he has 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 22 tackles. Those aren't horrible numbers but I don't think you can name Jared Allen to an All-Pro team as a defensive end when he is averaging 0.5 sacks per game against every team the Vikings have played that isn't the Green Bay Packers. He is a great defensive player but his numbers are too lopsided this year for me to consider him as an All-Pro defensive end.

FS Darren Sharper

As many interceptions (seven) as 17 teams.

I agree with Rulebook, I think this is your defensive player of the year so far. Of course we all know that Peter King will disagree with this assessment given his new crush on Jared Allen.

SS Brandon Meriweather

Starting to play with the instinct of Rodney Harrison.

Well, if he is playing with the instinct of Rodney Harrison then say no more. He's the pick simply because of that.

In reality, it is a tough choice to make here. As well as Meriweather, Chris Hope could also have a case, as could Adrian Wilson, and potentially so could Dawan Landry. Personally I would probably go with Chris Hope, but I don't consider it a shock that Peter goes with the Patriots player.


Peyton Manning

Offensive player

Matt Schaub

I still don't completely get the logic that the most valuable player in the NFL who is a quarterback is not also the best offensive player in the NFL. I mean, I sort of get it, and it would be boring if Peyton Manning won both awards, but it just sort of defies logic slightly for me...but if I think really hard, I get how Manning could be more valuable than Schaub but not the better offensive player.

Defensive player

Jared Allen

Devastating edge player has 10 1/2 sacks, three forced fumbles.

Unfortunately he has only been devastating against the Packers so far this year. Against all the other teams the Vikings have played he has been pretty much just a normal defensive end. As described above, I don't see how he is on the All-Pro team as a defensive end, but more so, I don't see how he is the Defensive Player of the Year because he has played a team with a porous offensive line twice and racked up 70% of his sacks against that team. The winner should be someone else.


Brett Favre

From May arm surgery to phenomenal 16-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Ok, here we go...Peter's obsession with Brett Favre continues. Brett Favre had arm surgery in the offseason and he played a full 16 games last year. What the hell did he come back from? He did not miss any time last year and had offseason surgery just like many NFL players have in the offseason. What makes him so special that his offseason arm surgery qualifies him as a comeback player? I know he is old and it was a tough surgery but he didn't really comeback from anything.

There is no way in Hell that Tom Brady doesn't win this award. None. Hell, let's even compare the statistics of the two players:

Favre: 68% completion percentage, 16 TDs, 3 INTs, 106.0 rating, while "coming back" from playing a full 16 game schedule last year and he now has the best running back in the NFL on offense with him.

Brady: 65.8% completion percentage, 16 TDs, 5 INTs, 99.2 rating, while coming back from major offseason knee surgery that caused him to miss the entire year last year.

First off, Brett Favre did not comeback from anything other than offseason arm surgery. I would argue any offseason surgery that did not prevent that player from playing in any games the year before should preclude that player from being considered a "comeback" player. If you never left, there is no way you can come back from anything. Second, Tom Brady came back after major knee surgery and he actually missed 15.5 out of 16 games last year. He actually had something to come back from.

Peter's infatuation with Brett Favre is really a problem. There is no way in my mind Tom Brady doesn't win this award.


Gregg Williams

Defensive improvement has given New Orleans much-needed balance.

The Saints are currently 16th in the NFL in yards allowed per game, 16th in passing yards per game, 19th in rushing yards allowed per game, and 17th in points allowed per game.

The Broncos with the guy who should be the winner of this award, Mike Nolan, are 3rd in the NFL in yards allowed per game, 7th in passing yards per game, 8th in rushing yards allowed per game, and 3rd in points allowed per game.

I am not denying the good job Gregg Williams has done in New Orleans but if you believe these numbers New Orleans still has an average defense, while Mike Nolan has done a much better job improving the Denver Broncos defense this year. I think he should be the winner for this mid-season award.

I would feel better if Peter King would just stop letting the little biases he has affect how he does his job. We know that really can't happen though. I think he is better known at this point for his biases than he is for his writing prowess.


AJ said...

Wow, Farve for comeback player of the you said, he played all 16 games last year!!!! Where/what is he coming back from?? He played the whole season, there is no comeback. This may be the stupidest thing he has ever said, and that is saying a LOT!

Brady wins this stupid award, and it's not even close.

Oh man, so many things to say about gun control and how clueless King is on anything outside of Farve. There are LOTS of restrictions on guns...and you would know that if you actually went to buy one. However, there are ZERO restrictions on buying a gun from the black market...and there in lies the problem. You can not control/regulate something that exists outside of the laws. There is a reason it's called a black market. And you also can not control/regulate how a person with a gun (or any other weapon) will act...for we are not robots that all think the same and act the same. Don't people realize that if you eliminate guns that people will come up with others ways to kill people???

Oh, can anyone tell me how those killings stopped on that Army base? (I know the answer, but I'm not sure King does...or if he could understand my point).

RuleBook said...

- With Evans: 154.5 yards/game (6 games)
Without Evans: 115.0 yards/game (2 games)

For further emphasis, here is the rushing defense rank of the teams they played in those games:

First 6 games: 17, 10, 14, 32, 13, 5 (average for all 6 teams combined is 114.8 ypg)
Last 2 games: 24, 23 (average for both teams is 122.8 ypg)

So not only do they have fewer rushing yards without Evans, but the teams that they have played since Evans have worse rush defenses.

- His statistics against Green Bay look like this: 7.5 sacks, 1 safety, 1 forced fumble, and 12 tackles.

And this is why I am very much looking forward to watching Ware against GB this week...

- Chris Hope could also have a case

I am going to repectfully disagree with you here. Hope has played all 8 games this season, and he very much has had a hand in the Titans having the league's worst pass defense. From what I have witnessed this season, he has been burned numerous times. I'd probably go with Wilson, but I can't complain about Meriweather.

- I'll be blatantly honest: I'm not familiar with many of the league's nose tackles work this season (since their impact is rarely seen on the stat sheet). I do, however, watch every Cowboys game. I am not necessarily arguing with King's or anyone else's All-pro picks at DT, but I have been thoroughly surprised that Jay Ratliff is not on more lists.

Dan said...

King explained choosing Favre in this Tweet:

Re Comeback to Favre sted Brady: 'Comeback' doesn't have to be from injury. Favre back from both injury and semi-retirement.
3:49 PM Nov 10th from TweetDeck

Nice gig Favre's got there. He gets out of training camp while he jerks the Vikings around, then gets comeback cred for coming back from "semi-retirement".

Bengoodfella said...

That Brett Favre comeback player thing was just absolutely horrible. This very well could be the dumbest thing he has ever said. It's Tom Brady all the way...especially considering there were rumors he may miss part of this season because there were problems with an infection after the surgery.

Peter King doesn't really understand the gun control issue. That's why he started talking briefly about healthcare. I don't think the regular gun market is the problem, it is the illegal gun market...and that is a tough market to control. He doesn't exactly get it. He makes tough statements and then tries to backtrack when he is called on it. We all know how the shooting was stopped at Fort, it was an Army base so guns were everywhere so there was really no way I know of to restrict people's access to guns.

Rulebook, I went into the Heath Evans argument thinking I was going the other way, but it just showed me how much New Orleans a "spread" offense actually needed a FB in the offense to run the ball better. I thought it was interesting.

Jared Allen should not be the Defensive Player of the Year. Unless he gets better numbers against non-Packers teams in the 2nd half of the season.

You can disagree with me on Hope. I have only seen a couple Titans games and I was basing it on memory, so you probably know more about that than I do. Like I said, Meriweather wasn't a horrible pick, but it just didn't shock me he went with him.

I forgot about Jay Ratliff. I forget about players when I am doing lists like this. I am a little surprised he didn't get picked over Franklin.

Dan, I read that Tweet which directed me to Peter's article...which caused me to be outraged. I find his explanation to be extraordinarily crappy. I don't know how he should get credit for coming out of semi-retirement while his Vikings teammates go through training camp. Like AJ and I said, he played 16 games last year so he didn't miss any time and players have surgery in the offseason all the time, so that was nothing special in itself. I think that was an egregious inclusion on Peter's part.

RuleBook said...

Do you think King reads Easterbrook?

From his picks column:

If the 49ers are losing because they added a really good player, Michael Crabtree, to the lineup out of nowhere, then I would say the 49ers were a house made of toothpicks. Which is to say: I'm not buying they're 0-3 with Crabtree because of Crabtree.

Bengoodfella said...

I noticed that and didn't know who to side with. There is no right choice in that argument. I say he does read TMQ though...maybe just for a laugh. Again, I can't defend either of those two, but I believe Peter is right about the Crabtree Curse.