Wednesday, May 9, 2012

4 comments MMQB Review: Year in Review Edition

The last time we left Peter King he was giving Starbucks employee deployment suggestions and explaining to us that Tom Heckert didn't get tricked into trading up with the Vikings to get Trent Richardson, the Vikings just lied about other team's interest in trading up the #3 spot. Today Peter wonders if they give Oscars to SNL hosts, misses Junior Seau, and does his best to absolutely kill as much space in MMQB as possible. It's fine if MMQB is a two page column, there's no need to make extremely long lists and have Matt Light write a portion of MMQB for him just to make it longer. Perhaps Peter King needs some help with deployment of his MMQB nuggets in order to streamline the column a bit.

First up this morning: A history lesson

Peter King: Starbucks logistics consultant, NFL insider, Red Sox fan, beer reviewer, historian.

We'll never see two months like we've just seen in any offseason. Ever.

So Peter means the exact same things that happened over the past two months will never happen again in the same order they happened during the 2012 NFL offseason? Or does Peter mean the NFL offseason will never be this crazy again? I'm not sure the latter is true. This has been the craziest offseason, at least since last year's offseason or the offseason before that. Actually, we should be happy that Peter is busy this offseason. Last year during the lockout he spent his downtime not criticizing the employee deployment of coffee shops but trying to bankrupt car rental companies.

To recap:

To make a long list to kill space:

March 2 -- The NFL says the Saints ran a sophisticated bounty program with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams the ringleader and between 22 and 27 defensive players willing participants.

Yes, a "sophisticated" bounty program.

(Gregg Williams) "Tear Alex Smith's spine out. Try to injure Michael Crabtree. Anyone who knocks a player out of the game permanently gets $10,000 and if you hit one of the opposing players hard enough to where he has to take a play off you get $500. These are easy terms. Knock a player out of the game, you get $10,000, hit a player to where he has to take a play off, you get $500."

(Saints player talking to Drew Brees) "Boy, this is a sophisticated system."

(Drew Brees with his fingers in his ears) "I claim to be the leader of this team, but I have no idea what is going on in this instance. I'm not hearing this!"

In Peter King's opinion, the way Starbucks deploys their employees during a busy day is very simple, but the Saints bounty program was sophisticated.

March 9 -- Within eight hours, the following three stories break: Manning, a free agent, covertly flies to Denver,

Does this count as covertly if people know about it?

March 11 -- Brandon Marshall is accused of punching a woman during a skirmish at a New York nightclub.

In his defense, if you played for the Miami Dolphins last year then you would probably punch someone too.

March 15 -- Mario Williams, the most attractive defensive free agent on the market,

It's clear in the raging Mario/Cortland debate that has millions of pre-teen and teen girls screaming in delight and wearing t-shirts supporting their favorite attractive defensive free agent on the market, that Peter King is on Team Mario. It's really the Jacob/Edward debate for the NFL crowd.

March 17 -- Free agent quarterback Alex Smith, upset the 49ers haven't stepped up to the plate in negotiations, flies to Miami on a red-eye to investigate jumping to the Dolphins.

Unfortunately, the Dolphins had not invited Alex Smith to investigate the team and he was not allowed in the building upon arriving in Miami. In fact, the Dolphins had specifically asked Alex Smith to quit calling them.

March 18 -- Free agent quarterback Matt Flynn signs with Seattle, ostensibly to start at quarterback.

Though there is an outside chance he will be the new Sea Gals cheerleading coach.

March 19 -- Peyton Manning agrees to terms with Denver.

(Peyton Manning) "I want to sign here. I want $20 million per year."

(John Elway) "Great. Done."

(Peyton Manning) "I want Tim Tebow traded."

(John Elway) "Great. Done."

March 27 -- Bill Parcells, seriously considering taking the one-year Saints head-coaching job for his friend Sean Payton, plays golf with Payton and Loomis to see if they'd be able to work together.

Unfortunately, the golf trip ended acrimoniously when it was learned Mickey Loomis had put a listening device in Bill Parcells' golf bag. Sean Payton then claimed he knew nothing of this and left the course after it was correctly pointed out by Parcells that he doesn't have to find out how he would work with Payton since Payton isn't supposed to have any contact with the team for the next year. Parcells declined the offer to coach the Saints, then went home and tried to start new rumors that he would be coming out of non-retirement to coach an NFL team.

April 20 -- Goodell visits Minnesota to tell legislators, in essence, that if they don't approve funding for a Vikings stadium, the team could go to the highest-bidding city (read: Los Angeles).

Get your funds together Omaha, Nebraska! This could be your lucky day.

May 2-- Within two and a half hours, the NFL planet shakes.

Despite the fact there were no casualties, no injured and no survivors due to the NFL planet shaking Kayne West blames Barack Obama for the destruction, saying Obama "doesn't care about black people...born in the United States." West then went back to spending most of his free time reminding everyone he is still alive by being photographed publicly with Kim Kardashian, who is now offering group passes and family discounts for celebrities or athletes who want to have sex with her.

One: Goodell suspends four players for their roles in the bounty scandal, including a one-year ban for middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma ... Two: Junior Seau is pronounced dead in his San Diego home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.

I have two cracks for this one: First the completely inappropriate and insensitive one that I really don't mean, but only share because I am 10% of a terrible person...

Boy, Seau took the news about Vilma being suspended badly, didn't he?

Now for my real crack...

Hundreds of thousands of Saints fans protesting the news of Payton, Vilma and other Saints coaches/players being suspended, while also mourning Seau, completely miss the possible connection between these two events. Saints fans then began mourning Seau while protesting the bounty punishments.

I don't know what it all means. Maybe this is a freaky year. Surely there won't be a player the status of Peyton Manning getting whacked and then wooed in free agency. Surely there won't be another story with the legs of the bounty scandal.

Yes, there will NEVER be another story like the bounty scandal. That's some great short-sighted thinking right there. The bounty scandal will NEVER be topped. Peter should keep believing that and then 1-2 years from now when something even more interesting and news-worthy happens he will forget he ever said this.

I just don't believe we'll ever see two months in an offseason when, day after day, week after week, the NFL obliterates the NBA, the NHL and major league baseball.

This won't happen other than any other offseason when something exciting happens concerning the NFL and it obliterates other sports news.

You can't have it both ways, folks. If you want the explosive, brain-rattling hits to continue unabated, there's a good chance we'll see more players wrecked as they leave football, and years after that.

That's a good point. We as fans are such hypocrites. I like hypocrisy though and think it fits my personality well.

But I am saying it's a logical avenue to explore, and the league can't wait five or eight or 10 years to have a conclusive study of enough deceased players' brains in order to say it's time to get serious about player safety.

That's another good point, Peter. Maybe next time when you and Roger Goodell are eating lobster you can bring this up. Assuming it doesn't get in the way of other lunch conversations of course.

And no more discussion of an 18-game schedule. Please. Simple logic says that's the dumbest idea of the Goodell Era.

Next to "Bring Your Grandmother to Work" day and then scheduling this day for a Sunday.

Fletcher didn't know Seau well, but he knows the type of person he was -- driven, brave, not one to ask for help.

I dislike cliches like this. If London Fletcher didn't know Seau well, then he didn't know what type of person he was simply because he was an NFL player. It may sound like a nitpicky thing to point out, but this cliche can be used for the negative too and then people get offended by the implication. It usually goes like this...

"I don't know that guy, but I know the type of person he is (then begins to stereotype the person based on age, race, religion, etc)."

How about we never use the "I don't know him, but I know him" cliche anymore?

You take the decision out of guys' hands,'' Fletcher said, "and that way, maybe some of them will be helped. If players have to go seek counseling on their own, lots of guys won't do that. Men in general, we're wired to hold things inside.

Which is why counseling does seem like a great idea, but may end up not being as effective as the NFL would want it to be. Even if the NFL makes counseling mandatory, they can't guarantee the players will get out of it what they should get out of it.

It's not manly to be vulnerable and ask for help. For me, now, I can tell you I'm going to seek help if I feel I need it. That's what Junior's death has taught me.''

This is probably a good move, but if the player isn't as open to receiving outside help as London Fletcher may be then there is a chance the counseling won't help. This doesn't mean this is a bad idea though.

Actually, it's the first of two D-Days. Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives will debate and then vote on the proposal for a $975 million, fixed-roof stadium next to where the Metrodome stands in downtown Minneapolis. On Tuesday, the Minnesota Senate will vote. The vote must pass in both bodies for the stadium to be built. If it passes -- and the smart political money says it will pass, barely -- the new stadium will be ready for football in 2016.

(insert joke about the old Vikings stadium not having seen a real football team play during the 2011 season)

The Vikings will be the prime candidates to move to Los Angeles, following the Lakers and North Stars out of town.

At which point Bill Simmons will buy season tickets to the Vikings games and write 3-4 articles a year where it suspiciously sounds like he is slowly becoming a Vikings fan.

And the politicians are in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't position.

Which is apparently an unusual position for a politician to be in?

Some fear voting for the bill and getting voted out by the Tea Party types.

Those assholes always watching out for excessive spending.

Some fear voting against it and getting voted out by the Vikings fanatics.

Those assholes want their NFL team to stay in Minnesota.

How about the politicians do this, and I realize this is a crazy idea, but perhaps they should find out what the people who voted them into office want and then do that? It sounds silly to listen to your constituents and address their concerns by working towards alleviating them, but it may just work. Perhaps if these politicians worried less about being re-elected and more about voting how the people who elected them into office want them to vote, they would get re-elected anyway. I realize I am just speaking nonsense.

Then Matt Light has a part in MMQB where he writes about being an NFL player. He has retired, so Peter saw fit as to allow Light a farewell address to the MMQB reader(s).

But a closer look will show the Ravens have three things going for them in Suggs' absence: Pernell McPhee, Paul Kruger and Courtney Upshaw.

Backups? On the current Ravens roster? What a novel concept!

how fortuitous does it now look that they traded down to the 35th overall pick ... and Upshaw, stunningly, was still there?

That's at least 22% fortuitous.

the Ravens were already thinking about giving the precocious McPhee more playing time this year anyway.

He sure does look precocious. He's like a 280 pound Dennis the Menace.

Surely Upshaw as a rookie won't be able to be as productive as Suggs as a vet,

Well yeah, obviously...and don't call me Shirley.

That's why Upshaw should be one of the most significant rookies in the league this year. Instead of the Ravens being able to take their time with Upshaw this year and patiently teach him the defense and his role in it, now they'll have to do the teaching more rapidly, and the pressure will be on him to produce early.

Don't forget about Sergio Kindle. If he is over his injury issues, he could contribute some as well.

"Junior obviously had been facing demons for at least 18 months. That's no longer speculation. People can take pills, run their car off the road and that's a cry for help. He was crying out for help. Yet he was too proud to ask for it. What I'd like to see done ... There is no exit strategy from the NFL. It's 'You're done.' You don't even get an apple and a road map. What needs to happen is mandatory counseling. In 15 years as a middle linebacker, I never would have thought of seeing a counselor. I saw one in my divorce, and I just called my counselor today. It can't be optional, because macho players are taught to be invincible and they're not going to do it. Make it mandatory.''

-- Former Junior Seau teammate and veteran middle linebacker Gary Plummer, to Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group, with one of the best ideas I've heard to come out of this tragedy.

Again, this is a great idea. What is the NFL going to do to a player who needs counseling AFTER he has left the NFL? They can't make that mandatory unless they plan on holding the player's pension hostage or something like that. For current players, would there be heavy fines for not attending the counseling? That seems like the best idea, but these NFL players need help after they are done playing, as well as when they are actively playing. There's no way to force current NFL players to seek counseling after they have retired from the NFL.

Someone has to tell me this: Why is the train station in downtown New York called Pennsylvania Station and the train station in downtown Newark called Pennsylvania Station and the train station in downtown Baltimore called Pennsylvania Station ... while the train station in downtown Philadelphia is called 30th Street Station, and the train station in Pittsburgh is called Union Station?

Scurrying to Wikipedia already this morning, are you?

Oh no, Peter. Most people have better things to do. You are one of the few people who worry about things like this.

Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway??!!

Stanford tight end Coby Fleener, the 34th pick in the draft, wrote a story about me for a class at Stanford ... and he got it published in the Peninsula Press in the Bay Area.

This is a story which Peter included primarily so we would know someone wrote a story about him. That's just my guess. Quick question...does being the subject of an interview by an NFL player like this in any way affect Peter's coverage of Coby Fleener? You would think it has to, right? Fleener is a part of the sport that Peter covers for a living. This probably isn't such a big deal, but allowing Fleener to interview seems like the sort of thing that could affect Peter's coverage of Fleener. Maybe he's just developing sources to break news about when Andrew Luck finally gets the facial reconstructive surgery he so desperately needs. I can't emphasize this enough. He's one ugly looking guy.

(That's the last time I mention Andrew Luck's attractiveness, I promise...I hope)

7. I think you should pay attention to one undrafted player if you play fantasy football: Jeff Fuller

But Fuller wasn't signed by the Colts or Patriots and Gregg Easterbrook has taught me to only pay attention to undrafted free agents that are signed by those two teams.

In October, Fuller, of Texas A&M, was a legitimate first-round prospect. Then, as the 2011 season progressed, he seemed to drop more balls than he caught, he lost confidence, and bombed at the Senior Bowl.

Tell me no more. I'm drafting him first overall in my fantasy league this upcoming season. Actually, I have one more question...when he does catch the ball, does he tend to fumble a lot? If so, I'm drafting first overall and then trying to re-draft him later in the fantasy draft.

That plus he'll be catching the ball from his college quarterback, Ryan Tannehill,

Which should help immensely since this was the same quarterback throwing him the ball at Texas A&M when he seemed to drop more balls than he caught?

Maybe the dropsies will be terminal for Fuller. But if he catches the ball well in training camp, he's absolutely an NFL-caliber receiver.

At least he has Ryan Tannehill throwing him the ball in training camp that throw to him at Texas A&M. That kind of familiarity will help him drop passes more efficiently.

d. Very good to see the Nationals and the Orioles relevant.

I see no reason why the Orioles won't stay relevant. Things don't change quickly in MLB do they? Last year at this time the Indians were 22-10.

h. Funniest thing I've seen on "Saturday Night Live'' in memory was Peyton Manning coaching football to young kids on a field in Manhattan in a United Way ad spoof, and abusing them ruthlessly, to the point of punishing one by stashing him in a portable toilet. On Saturday night, Eli Manning wasn't as funny, but I don't recall a guest host playing more roles than Eli played the other night.

Eli is the Meryl Streep of sports SNL hosts. Such an acting chameleon.

j. Had the pleasure the other night of being with former Sox pitcher Bill Lee at a Red Sox game for a few innings. He's started making wine now, "Spaceman Red,'' in Napa Valley, which is fitting for a man of his varied tastes. Still a big baseball fan, with a twist. When he saw Cody Ross of the Red Sox wearing a think hood under his cap, Lee said, "What's he doing wearing a burqa?'' When the A's took out very effective starter Jarrod Parker in the seventh, Lee sneered, "Quality start,'' with disdain.

Kids these days! Always pitching well and then getting pulled from the game by their manager.

l. Coffeenerdness: Can you vary the baked goods, Starbucks? Are we fated to looking at the same doughy, tasteless scones for the rest of our lives?

If you hate the place so much, then stop going there. Stop bitching about how terrible Starbucks' food and service is. It isn't like Starbucks serves a product you can get nowhere else. There are plenty of other coffee shops. Go to those.

m. Beernerdness: Lucky enough to find Starr Hill Amber Ale ("The Gift of Great Beer'' is on the label, and I don't doubt it) from Crozet, Va., in D.C. over the weekend. Bold and full of flavor, like a strong Cabernet,

Beer that tastes like wine. What's so bad about that?

and eminently drinkable.

Which is convenient since that's how you are supposed to consume it.


Anonymous said...

I do hope that's the last time you make a comment about Andrew Luck's attractiveness. I'm not sure why you would comment on a player's attractiveness to begin with, but you're opinion is totally nuts. Luck is extremely attractive, so you're just raising questions about your vision or psychological health. And if the photo in your twitter profile is of you, you need to be a lot more cautious in bringing up the issue of attractiveness at all. Clearly you have reason to be jealous of Luck on this account, so better to just not draw attention to yourself.

rich said...

I'll take this one Ben (I know you don't want to talk about Luck's fugliness anymore).

First of all, who cares why or how often Ben brings up Luck's looks? It's not your blog, so if you don't like it, move on and don't read it. You don't pay a penny for it, so either stop complaining about what Ben wants to write about or start donating money.

Second, the fact that you feel the need to comment on Luck's attractiveness after saying that you aren't sure why someone would comment on a player's attractiveness is one of the most asinine and functionally retarded things of all times.

If you feel okay commenting on Luck's attractiveness (going so far as to hold your opinion as fact), then who the hell are you to tell Ben that he can't a) write about it as well and b) have a differing opinion.

When anyone thinks that their opinion is right and any differing opinion is "raising questions about [Ben's] vision or psychological health" is hypocritical at best and ignorant at worst.

I think Luck looks like he did 18 rounds with a tag team of Tyson and Ali. If you disagree, that's your prerogative, it doesn't invalidate the fact that other opinions on a purely subjective matter are also valid.

Third, to then go on to talk about Ben's attractiveness destroys any semblance of an argument you may have even had.

To argue that:

1) Ben shouldn't comment on Luck's attractiveness and

2) Luck is attractive and to think otherwise is "nuts"

while then

1) commenting on Ben's attractiveness and

2) Strongly inferring that Ben is ugly

is one of the most poorly executed arguments ever, which, for the record, includes every argument ever made by Jemele Hill, Steven A Smith and Captain Douchebag himself, Gregg Easterbrook.

Basically, if you're so naive as to think your opinion is the only valid one and every other opinion is wrong, you are a childish imbecile who is unworthy of the oxygen that enables life to exist.

Great, you think Luck is attractive and Ben is ugly? Fantastic. Make a blog and write all about it, I'm sure all of 2 people will give a shit about it.

Just remember one simple fact: just because you think something is true, doesn't make in a arguable, objective fact and that if someone disagrees with your opinion they are not automatically of poor psychological health.


rich said...

Now that I've done that onto the fun part:

March 2 -- The NFL says the Saints ran a sophisticated bounty program

Oh and then within three days a QB flew covertly, an NFL player beat his gf and a free agent signed.

Ya, it's totally been like 4 years since the 2008 offseason which saw the Patriots get slammed for "Spygate," Favre retiring and then going to the Jets and Vick claiming bankruptcy after just going to prison.

Ya, I can totally see how Matt Flynn signing with the Seahawks was just riveting.

March 27 -- Bill Parcells, seriously considering taking the one-year Saints head-coaching job

Ya, it's almost like the time in 2008 when he went to Miami to run the team.

Seriously, PK completely forgets that the 2008 offseason was fucking incredible.

perhaps they should find out what the people who voted them into office want and then do that?

This is what I love about this situation - it's either Minnesota foots the entire bill for the stadium or the Vikings leave.

Why the hell hasn't anyone asked why they need an 850M football stadium or at the very least, said "we'll cover x%, but we aren't funding it all."

while the train station in downtown Philadelphia is called 30th Street Station

Well fuckwad, it's 30th street station because... it's at thirtieth street. Shocking I know.

Now, why are there so many Penn Stations? Easy, Pennsylvania Rail Road called most of their stations "Pennsylvania Station" so wherever they built rail lines there's likely a "Penn Station."

Not exactly rocket science (God I feel awful for actually knowing that).

That plus he'll be catching the ball from his college quarterback, Ryan Tannehill,

No he won't. Tannenhill isn't going to start. Of course that assumes the Dolphins aren't run by a moron, but the meer fact that Tannenhill was drafted 9th overall by the team... ya... maybe they are that dumb.

It isn't like Starbucks serves a product you can get nowhere else.

Jesus Christ. He's bitching about the baked goods at a fucking coffee shop. How far into the barrel of stupid shit do you have to go to reach that level?

It's a coffee shop you fat fuck, that's what they do. If you hate their backed goods... don't buy them.

Bengoodfella said...

Well, I will talk about his looks one last time...

Anon, the avatar on my Twitter account is Brian McCann. He is the catcher for the Braves. So no, that isn't me. Though if that was me, I would be much wealthier.

This isn't a fashion or beauty blog, but the jokes from my friends and I have made bled over here. The reason I bring up Luck's attractiveness and the reason I tend to joke about it is...from a purely heterosexual point of view, NFL QB's usually are capable of being the face of products and brands. Eli Manning for watches, Tom Brady for whatever he appears in commercials for of late, Cam Newton for Under Armour, and Mark Sanchez for whatever fashion magazine he appears in. You can see many NFL QB's selling a product and Luck just doesn't seem to have a "commercial" face to sell products or brands. That's all.

I do agree with very much of what Rich said. If you do start a blog about Luck is attractive and I am not, I will be one of your 2 readers. I am not jealous of Andrew Luck, everyone knows I'm super jealous of Bill Simmons...just like every other basement-dwelling blogger on our planet.

Rich, has it been four years since those three things happened in the same offseason. I was trying to think of an offseason where crazy things happened and for some reason thought Favre non-retirement was three years ago. Now that I think about it, it was four years. That's some crazy shit there. A HoF QB changes teams, a Pro Bowl QB goes to jail and Spygate.

I have zero inside knowledge but I think the stadium in Minnesota gets done. I think your idea of splitting a % of the bill and Vikes picking up more will happen. I'm not a Vikes fan, but they can't leave Minnesota. I don't want that to happen.

You didn't use Wikipedia for your Penn Station trivia did you? If not, that is impressive. I feel like I miss out on this stuff living in the South. The only Penn Station I know is Penn Station Subs.

I think even if Tannehill starts, Fuller may not start. Either way, when a WR drops a ton of balls thrown by his college QB in college that doesn't mean he will catch all of those passes in the pros. I would actually argue Tannehill isn't the QB to throw to Fuller. He probably doesn't have a ton of confidence in Fuller.

I don't get Peter's infatuation with Starbucks as it is. I've eaten their baked goods once and they forgot to include the cream cheese with the bagel. I find their coffee to be maybe a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10.