Monday, December 21, 2009

7 comments MMQB Review: I'm So Tired of Brett Favre Edition

Peter King must be in a deep depression today. Not only did Drew Brees lose this weekend but Brett Favre had his 3rd straight average-to-below-average game. What's an adult man with a massive crush on both of these individuals (ok, mostly Favre) to do when this happen? Write about it in his weekly column of course!

Fortunately, we learn that even in defeat, rather than interview the one of the players from the team that beat Favre, Peter still prefers to get Favre's take on the loss. I don't seem to recall Peter interviewing the losing players and not Favre in the 11 wins the Vikings have this year. So the trend we see is that win or lose, we are getting an interview with Brett Favre in Peter King's MMQB. This shouldn't shock anyone of course, given Peter's massive love for Favre.

Into the gym bag at the foot of his locker in the emptied-out Superdome as Saturday turned into Sunday, Romo stuffed his possessions for the trip home after the biggest win of his young NFL career. Dallas 24, previously unbeaten New Orleans 17. If you saw it, you know it wasn't an upset. On this night the Cowboys were better than the best.

The biggest win of Tony Romo's career wasn't even an upset in Peter's eyes. I wonder what this says about what Peter thinks about Tony Romo's career?

Also, I would like to point out an upset can still be an upset if the "lesser" team plays better than the "stronger" team. An upset is when a weaker team beats a stronger team. On any given day in the NFL, a weak team can play well. So just because Dallas played well doesn't make this victory not an upset. The Saints were at home and were undefeated, this classifies as an upset in my mind no matter who well the Cowboys played.

In the middle of the gym bag, a slightly scuffed NFL football peeked out.

"Game ball?'' I asked.

How astute of Peter. He sees a football inside a gym bag and immediately deduces, using his crack sportswriter skills, that must be a game ball. Even the greatest of detectives have nothing on Peter King.

"Yup,'' he said, and smiled. "I'll be keeping that one for a while.''

Like, forever.

Yes Peter. Like, forever. It's not like he is going to throw the football away in a couple of weeks because it has lost importance in the short of time. He plans on keeping it forever.

Why do I get the feeling I am not reading about a sportswriter having a conversation with an athlete he covers, but instead I am reading a conversation with a 16 year old girl and the star football player she has a crush on. Peter's running out of things to ask Romo, he's so nervous! Run Tony, Run!

We have a tendency in micro-examining this game to make judgments too fast on players at difficult positions to judge -- such as quarterback. A month ago, after two playoff games and 50 starts, Romo, a free-agent from Eastern Illinois in the eye of the constant America's Team storm, either couldn't rise to the occasion when times were big, couldn't win in December, couldn't win in January, was a bad leader because he took occasional quiet trips to Las Vegas, or ... well, does that about sum up the shortcomings of Tony Romo?

And we also have a tendency to make that all go away once that quarterback wins one big game. Neither of these things are fair. The criticism of Romo for choking in December isn't right and to say he has gotten rid of his reputation after playing one good game isn't right either.

There they were, in the crowd of 70,213, and midway through the fourth quarter all the locals were howling at the roof, and it was so loud, as I wrote Saturday night, that you couldn't read sign language...At the start of the fourth quarter, the Saints, trying to win 'em all for the first time in team history, trailed 24-3. Now it was 24-17. Cowboys running back Felix Jones just got stuffed for a two-yard loss by a blitzing Roman Harper, making it third-and-seven at the Dallas 23, with blood in the water...(Forty minutes later, as I walked off the field after the game alongside Romo, the first thing he said, "Loudest game I've ever been in, anywhere, anytime. Incredible.'')

It was loud in the Superdome. That's great. I have a slight issue with domes (in regard to dome noise) and I am pretty sure everyone knows why I have this problem. I feel like there may be some people who don't get it though. The teams that play in domes around the league don't in fact have louder crowds, it's just the noise gets trapped inside the dome and it just seems louder. Outside stadiums can be loud as well, but the noise leaves the stadium and isn't stuck in a closed off space. Hence a dome is louder, not because of the crowd, but because the noise can't escape. I really hope everyone understands this, but I am not sure they do.

As he came to the line, with two wide receivers to the right, he liked the matchup he saw on the outside:
Miles Austin, the deceptively fast emerging star, across from wily veteran Mike McKenzie.

Wily veteran = washed up cornerback who can't cover Miles Austin.

It means nearly the same thing to me.

On the next play, Romo wheeled out of pressure, pirouetting to his left, rolled out and hit third-string tight end John Phillips for 23, and on the next play hit backup wideout Sam Hurd for six more on a simple out pattern at the sideline. Three plays, two minutes, 61 yards, air out of the crowd. Dallas got no points out of the drive because Nick Folk clanked a field-goal try off the right upright, but the defense saved Dallas on the Saints' last-gasp drive.

So basically, while Romo had a good drive and played well, it wasn't Tony Romo who saved this game, it was the Dallas defense? Yet Peter makes it seem like it was Tony Romo who busted out of his fictional December slump, when in fact it was the Dallas defense that should get the credit. This is one of the things I don't like about modern sportswriting. Sportswriters like Peter would rather interview the quarterback and credit him with winning the game rather than focus on the less sexy players on the roster who had more to do with the victory. Give the credit where it is due...and more credit is due to the Dallas defense.

OK, start the e-mails coming now. Texts, Tweets, e-mails, whatever. But here's how I saw last night's Viking debacle: Not Brett Favre's fault.

Wait, you are telling me that Peter King doesn't think the loss last night was Brett Favre's fault? I don't believe it. Usually Peter is so quick to blame Favre, even though he has never done it before. It's interesting how Peter KNOWS what he is saying is borderline stupid, but he still just has to defend Favre. Of course the game wasn't all Favre's fault, but if Peter can blame Aaron Rodgers for not having a pocket presence and getting rid of the ball before the pass rush gets there, the very same thing can go for Brett Favre.

Of course Peter literally loves Brett Favre, so he makes excuses for him like the wife of an alcoholic husband makes when he has had too much to drink and "she got too mouthy" so he had to "set her straight."

Julius Peppers was Deacon Jones and Lawrence Taylor rolled into one dominant force for four quarters. It's the best I've ever seen Peppers play.

Peter has probably seen Julius Peppers play a maximum of 5 games in his career. Just keep this in mind.

But in the middle of the Minnesota ineffectiveness, the NBC cameras caught a semi-heated exchange between Favre and coach Childress. Evidently, it was Childress suggesting that maybe it was time for a relief pitcher. Maybe. (Two weeks ago, I was told Childress had suggested this once before this season, and Favre went batcrap then.)

Brett Favre is a consummate team player. He will do whatever it takes to help the team win as long as he is still the starting quarterback of the football team. Isn't this the lesson the Packers learned two summers ago?

"So I said, 'I'm staying in the game, I'm playing.' I don't know if [Childress' effort] was exactly to protect me, or we had seven points, I'm not sure. That's his call. But we talked it out. We didn't have time, I didn't have time to sit there and say why or what. My response was, we've got to win this ballgame and I want to stay in and do whatever I can.''

Yeah, let's get an interview with Brett Favre about what happened, because we have to hear from Favre win or lose. Our whole freaking world revolves around Brett Favre and what he thinks and does. I would bet there is no one in Peter's reading audience who actually gives a crap about this exchange...except for Peter King.

You will find no place other than what Peter said about Julius Peppers here where he mentions who the Vikings lost to or mentions this game again. Nothing. Do you think if the Vikings had won there would still be no other mention of this game or Peter would have commented about how John Fox is going to lose his job or Matt Moore isn't the answer at quarterback? Probably.

I'm sure there's plenty of blame to go around, and I'm not saying a quarterback should be so sacred that he should never get yanked from a game. But should a quarterback get yanked if he's got pressure in his face on play after play? Only to protect him from injury?

When there is a playoff spot locked up and there is no reason to keep an elderly man in the game? Yes, there is a good reason to pull the quarterback. Favre was getting abused last night and he would rather hurt the team down the road by getting himself injured than swallow his pride and admit he was taking a beating and could get hurt. It's a tough decision to pull the quarterback but the Vikings seem to value Favre and the division has been clinched, so there is no need to subject Favre to getting injured.

I don't know if I would have pulled Favre from the game, but the suggestion isn't as stupid as it initially sounds.

A night earlier, the Saints had shown serious vulnerability, and now, with the gap between the two teams for NFC homefield edge only one game if the Vikings won here, this was no time to yank Favre. This was the time to battle through a bad game, survive, and try to fix what ails the team schematically this week.

What a shock. Peter King sides with Brett Favre on this issue. Peter's obsession with Brett Favre knows no bounds and it is rather embarrassing. I actually believe that Peter King idolizes Brett Favre. I really believe this.

Is Daniel Snyder actually changing?

Time will tell. But talking to those who know him, they're shocked the fiery Redskins owner whacked close friend Vinny Cerrato and hired Bruce Allen -- and even gave Allen the authority of a real, live GM. But I want to see it work for a while.

Is Daniel Snyder changing by not making poor hiring choices and having no clue about what he is doing in running the day-to-day operations of the Redskins? He just hired Bruce Allen who has already failed as a NFL General Manager before in Tampa Bay. No matter what position it is, what the responsibilities are or who he fired, I don't know if this is a good move. I certainly don't think this is proof that Daniel Snyder has changed in any fashion.

Rodney Harrison said it best on "Football Night in America'' Sunday night:

Is Peter talking about where he said, "The Panthers have no chance to win this game tonight?" (referring to the Sunday night game against the Vikings). Well, he did say this before the game last night.

Great analysis by Rodney Harrison by the way. I am sure he made this assumption based on watching Carolina play against New England last week. I have no doubt that is the only Carolina game he watched this year. I actually doubt that Rodney Harrison watches any football games. He just watches highlights of games and then makes "bold statements" based on those games.

But the Browns have looked lively and breakneck in the last two games, beating two suspect teams, Pittsburgh and Kansas City (and that's putting it kindly in the case of the Chiefs).


Todd Haley and Scott Pioli are geniuses! Can't you FEEL the Chiefs turning it around?

Quote of the Week I

"Pretty fun. I'll bet you all counted us out too.''

-- Oakland coach Tom Cable, to reporters, after JaMarcus Russell came off the bench to throw the winning touchdown pass in the final minute of another stunning victory by the Raiders, 20-19 at Denver.

(Bengoodfella silently pondering what the hell is going on)

Maybe the Raiders should never start JaMarcus Russell and just let him play the 4th quarter of all the games.

Quote of the Week II

"These shoulders that I have on my body, you can put the earth on it. Just to let you know: I bounce back.''
-- New England wide receiver Randy Moss, who had a strong bounce-back game in New England's 17-10 win at Buffalo -- five catches, 70 yards, one touchdown -- after accusations of dogging it last week.

With all due respect to Randy Moss, the fact he got motivated and played well this past Sunday only goes to further prove to me that he gave up the Sunday before that. I know Randy Moss doesn't get this, but if he gets motivated and plays well, that only goes to show he can play well when he wants to.

Defensive Player of the Week

DeMarcus Ware, OLB, Dallas.

Remember how Peter King called Julius Peppers "Lawrence Taylor and Deacon Jones wrapped into one" and that is why it was not Brett Favre's fault the Vikings lost the game last night to Carolina? How come if Peppers played so well and affected Favre so much he wasn't Peter's Defensive Player of the Week? I would just think if the loss wasn't Favre's fault because a defensive end played like two Hall of Fame defensive ends combined, that would make that player the Defensive Player of the Week. I mean right? Or am I missing something?

Or else maybe Peppers played just good and the loss was partly Favre's fault because he didn't show a great pocket presence and avoid the rush? I'm rambling but Peter doesn't bring up the fact the Vikings can't win if they can't run the ball, which makes Favre's MVP candidacy go to shit, and Favre didn't do a whole hell of a lot to avoid the pass rush last night, even when he could avoid it. He just forgets to mention these two minor points.

Goat of the Week

Jermon Bushrod, T, New Orleans.

Not to harp...but Bryant McKinnie got pulled from the game because Peter said what a force Julius Peppers was...and McKinnie wasn't even the worst tackle of the weekend? Look, Peppers played fine and Ware had a much better game in my opinion. He should get this fictional award. Peter King can't talk up how great Peppers played and how poorly McKinnie played and totally discuss why the Vikings lost because of that and not anything Favre or the rest of the team did, and then say another defensive ends played better and another tackle played worse. It just doesn't make sense to me.

He just can't admit Favre played poorly and he can't admit the Vikings defense got the ball run on them. Which isn't supposed to be happen from all I have heard.

There haven't been many games played by left tackles in 2009 worse than the one Bushrod threw out on the floor of the Superdome.

Other than the performance that Peter thinks help cause the Vikings to lose an entire game?

3. (tie) Brett Favre, QB, Minnesota, and Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans. I tie these two because they're coming off poor games brought on, in part, by leaky play by the tackles.

In two out of the last 3 games for the Vikings Adrian Peterson has been totally shut down by the opposition's defense and the Vikings have lost because the Vikings couldn't throw the ball effectively. Someone please explain to me how this makes Favre more valuable than Adrian Peterson. If Favre was so valuable to the Vikings couldn't they have won both of those games without Adrian Peterson playing well?

d. "If I was a fan,'' Jonathan Vilma of the Saints told me, "I'd say [the Vikings] were a fun team to watch, with Favre and all that speed. But as a player, I can tell you how tough they'd be to prepare for, with all those weapons.'' We'd love to see you have the chance, Mr. Vilma.

Peter is still not-so-secretly praying for that New Orleans-Minnesota NFC Championship Game.

e. Tom Cable says he'll start Charlie Frye at quarterback Sunday if he's healthy, recovered from getting a head-shot at Denver. What a crazy situation. I don't blame Cable, but how odd it is that you're waiting, waiting, waiting for JaMarcus Russell to show you something, and he shows you a great deal in driving the Raiders to the winning touchdown in Denver ... and now he's back at No. 2.

JaMarcus Russell has had multiple opportunities to show he is the best quarterback on the Oakland roster and has failed multiple times.

g. Aaron Rodgers, 26 of 48, 383, three touchdowns. Ho-hum.

I feel like a proud father. I can't help but cheer for him every time I watch him play. That being said, it is absolutely ridiculous that Peter King doesn't discuss the day that Ben Roethlisberger had yesterday. That should be the lead story of MMQB in my mind.

7. I think this is what I liked about Week 15:

a. Jonathan Stewart running for 100 yards against the Vikings defense for the first time in 37 games with two backup tackles in the game and a left guard playing left tackle.

Ok, I made that one up. Peter should have written that though or at least acknowledged this fact. Of course if he acknowledged this fact then he would also have to acknowledge the Vikings got beaten last night and really he would just rather think they didn't play well...and didn't actually get beaten.

I would also like to apologize to Ivn. He asked a fantasy football question and I gave bad advice. I would have suggested Stewart for your Fantasy team but DeAngelo Williams was healthy all week and there is no way I thought Carolina could run the ball on the Vikings. So instead I suggested Forsett against Tampa Bay or Hightower against the Lions. I'm a dumbass.

d. Bad, bad decision by Mark Sanchez, throwing into triple coverage with a minute to go in a crucial game against Atlanta. His third pick of the day sealed the 10-7 loss.

First off, he is a rookie so everyone needs to quit acting like he should really know better than to make dumb passes. Second, just because a young quarterback starts the year off hot doesn't mean he is going to be great for the rest of his rookie season.

e.Four interceptions by Matt Hasselbeck. Boy is he going downhill fast.

What happened to Hasselbeck? Are we sure that isn't Tim Hasselbeck playing instead of Matt?

c. You go, Elin.

Email, text or call her...or perhaps just don't give your 2 cents on this issue at all. I would bet Elin Woods doesn't read Peter King's MMQB, so there was no point in writing this sentence fragment.

Here's the note from Linda: "Things have been moving right along. Paul is stronger every day and just as determined to improve. He has started 'restraint therapy' ... using his weaker hand/arm and NOT using his stronger hand/arm. Five hours a day five days a week ... but Paul is really working on it seven days a week ... kind of spreading the hours out! This is in addition to his 3 days a week at Kessler. We hope that everyone is having a wonderful Holiday Season ... and wishing all of you a HEALTHY 2010!''

You can find more Zim coverage and a cool photo of him on Linda's blog.

I hope Dr. Z gets better. I miss his contributions to CNNSI.com.

I also hope next time Peter King gets a fundraiser together some of the money goes to other people rather than just Dr. Z.

h. Book one: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel football writer Bob McGinn's superbly researched The Ultimate Super Bowl Book. In game after game we thought we knew well, McGinn sheds the kind of light that only a deft student of the game can. He has a chapter, 10 to 12 pages, on each Super Bowl game.

I'll give you an example of the knowledge McGinn conveys, using the Giants-Patriots game two years ago as an example, talking about what McGinn correctly saw as the factor in the game that most influenced the outcome: defensive pressure by the Giants' four-man front.

Is there anyone who follows NFL football that DOESN'T KNOW the key to the Giants winning that Super Bowl game was the pressure from their front four defensive lineman which allowed the linebackers and secondary to not have to cover the Patriot receivers as long? The book may be good, but I don't know if this counts as insight. I am sure this book has more insight but what Peter thinks qualifies as brilliant deduction, the fact the front four of the Giants got to Tom Brady, and that is what caused the Giants to win the game has been discussed and copied by other NFL teams.

Actually that book sounds like it is a lot like Peter King and his weekly MMQB. It is supposed to be good but there really isn't a lot of great insight. The only insight we is the fact Brett Favre has never been responsible for losing an NFL game, Derek Jeter is the greatest baseball player of his lifetime, and Elin Woods is smart to leave Tiger. Peter's MMQB is like Tiger Beat, US Weekly, and a bad baseball magazine wrapped into one neat weekly column.

7 comments:

KentAllard said...

A few years back, someone did a scientific analysis of Michigan's stadium in Ann Arbor, often derided as one of the quietest stadiums in college football. What he found was the way the stadium was constructed caused sound to be more or less sucked out of it, so even if 10s of thousands of fans were screaming, it still wouldn't sound as loud as, say a dome.

I was once in attendance at a close college basketball game at a small school, where they packed 3,000 people into a gym that would hold 1500, and thought I would go deaf from the volume of the noise. There are a lot of factors that go into how loud an events seems.

The stuff Peter raves about concerning his friend's Super Bowl book was the low point for me. I'm dumb and no little about football, but it was easy to see the biggest reason for the Pats' loss was Tom Brady having to flee for his life from the gangbang Giants' rush (featuring Domer Justin Tuck, BTW). If I was McGinn, I'd call Peter and "thanks for making me look like a moron."

Dubs said...

Peter's coverage of the Vikings sucked obviously, but let's not forget how terrible of a coach Childress is. I agree with Favre on this one. You can't pull your starting QB in a close game. Adjust your blocking schemes, change your play calling if you want to protect the QB, but don't just pull him.

The loss puts the Eagles one game back of the Vikings. The Vikings IMO really need a bye week and at least 1 home game, so wins are still very important, even though they clinched the division.

I just think that at some point Childress and his terribleness will cost the Vikings in the playoffs. (or, please, please, please let it be a 4 int game by Favre)

Bengoodfella said...

The study is exactly right. I am pretty sure everyone gets why domes are louder, I just had to make sure because I feel like some people believe crowds in domes are louder (I am talking to any Minnesota Twins fans), when this isn't true.

There is a reason Cameron Indoor Stadium is hard to play in, other than the 100 or so near fire code violations that involves the students being so close to the action and that is because it is a small gym and there is a small, tightly packed crowd in there.

I am pretty sure some people won't buy that book based on Peter telling us what he learned from it.

Dubs, agreed. If I were the Vikings I am running that ball on Carolina and forcing them to stop the run. They really can't do it and will wear down as the game goes along. It's ok to be with Favre on this, I just partially agree in that if Favre gets injured that doesn't bode well for Minnesota. I am glad they didn't pull him from the game.

Simply put they should have doubled Peppers and made someone else beat the offensive line. On offense they should have actually blitzed Moore more often and made him make decisions quickly. There is no reason Steve Smith should not have a safety on him at all times.

I kept hearing all night about how EJ Henderson being hurt affects the Vikings but they still have to defend the run better than that. It's not a one person thing. I think Childress came in with a much more simple game plan than he should have.

I could see Childress losing a playoff game for the Vikings because I haven't been terribly impressed with what I saw. There is no reason an effort to get Harvin the ball more wasn't made.

AJ said...

Well they added some boxes to Michigan Stadium, and now it sounds very loud in there (you know, when we aren't getting killed). So it wasn't that the people all of a sudden cheered louder, it was because the stadium was built in a way that didn't allow noise to stay in that much.

Childress will not be why the Viks lose in the playoffs, it will be because Brett gets WORSE AND WORSE as the season goes on, just like he did last year, and just like everyone thought this year. Everyone was wondering if he could play at a high level the whole year, and we are getting our answer. I would have benched him too, maybe put in a QB that can run around and make some plays since the D Line pressure was so high.

Bengoodfella said...

AJ, I have been to a few stadiums were it sounds very loud but it just doesn't seem as loud on the field and all because the noise is escaping. I figure this is all common sense but it all depends on the way the stadium is built.

Last night, I thought the Vikings could have done some things to slow down the Panthers pass rush and they didn't do it. Favre wasn't completely off during the game or anything, he just wasn't as crisp as I have seen him in the past. I blame it on the running game. Again, how can he be the MVP if his success throwing depends solely on the running game? His O-line didn't help him but that's part of the game. Peter King talks about pocket awareness, well Favre needed some of that.

I am going to be very interested to see how the Vikings play next week. Perhaps they peaked a little too early?

Martin F. said...

How would P.King know if a book was well researched? His own research for the columns he does is for crap, and only the awkward ramblings of the fact-phobic TMQ keep him from being the shitmeister of researched facts. Seriously, he makes it seem as if HE, P.King, had no IDEA that the D Line pressure was the key part of the Giants Super Bowl win.

Really Pete? Did you even WATCH the game, or were you too busy shoving your fat face full of food and bitching about the coffee? Everyday must be like fucking Christmas for this moron. Something new everyday!

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, he pulled an incredibly bad excerpt from that book to use as an example. Anyone who watched that game saw one of the biggest keys to the victory was the O-line pressure the Giants brought. The research for MMQB involves a phone conversation with a player and then a few references to coffee and what person dared to irritate him as he traveled.

Peter watched the game (hopefully), but I am guessing he didn't pay too much attention.