Tuesday, January 15, 2013

10 comments MMQB Review: Peter Misses Being on Road, But the Road Doesn't Miss Him Edition

Peter King was very disappointed in last week's playoff games. I am sure he was much happier with this weekend's Divisional playoff games because there were two that went down to the last minute and were win by a field goal and the two other games that were well-played. Peter also didn't understand why Eddie Money is ruining his great legacy by doing GEICO commercials, as well as defended Scott Pioli because Peter thinks Pioli is a pretty good guy even if he wasn't a great general manager. Why would Chiefs fans make personal attacks on Pioli if he isn't a good general manager, but is a good guy? Being a good guy is what being a general manager is all about, right? This week Peter talks about the meeting up of Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis in a playoff game, says he misses traveling despite the fact he constantly bitches about traveling, and desperately managed to shoehorn a Brett Favre reference into the column. It doesn't take much for Peter to bring up Lord Favre and like any good worshiper of Favre, he found a way.

Ray Lewis was sick Saturday night, 90 minutes after the Ravens had stunned the Broncos here, and he was waiting in a stadium anteroom to be connected with Deion Sanders for an NFL Network interview. "Flu?'' someone asked him. He nodded in the midst of a coughing jag, said he'd had it all week, sounding like a Contagion victim.

Which is a very good movie Peter King might add. There wasn't much levity and no Meryl Streep appearances, but otherwise a good film.

Most often it's a handshake, a few whispered words, a hug, and one is off to his team bus and the other off to his life. This was longer. This was one of the greatest linebackers of all time, in the last month of his football life, and one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, after one of his toughest losses, who had to say goodbye to Lewis.

And saying this one of the toughest losses of Peyton Manning's life is saying a lot. He's had quite a few tough playoff losses. There is good news though. John Fox didn't have to use those last two timeouts at the end of regulation and get out of his comfort zone by being aggressive. As Vince Lombardi always said, "It's better to rely on the flip of a coin in overtime than to rely on one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history with two timeouts in his pocket playing a home playoff game." It's very, very important to stay in one's comfort zone and not risk doing something aggressive that could lose a playoff game.

Ray Lewis in, Peyton Manning out. Colin Kaepernick in, Aaron Rodgers out. Tony Gonzalez in (more importantly to a very fidgety fandom, Matt Ryan in), the ridiculously charismatic Russell Wilson out. Tom Brady in, Arian Foster out. No Brady-Manning XIV this weekend, but who won't watch Lewis chase the Brady hurry-up offense.

There's no question mark at the end of this sentence. Apparently "...who won't watch Lewis chase the Brady hurry-up offense" isn't a question but a statement.

And Seahawks-Niners III would have been a San Francisco treat, but I'll take the NFL's fastest-rising star since Tebow,

Good job shoehorning that Tebow reference into this column Peter. God knows there haven't been any rising stars other than Tebow over the last year (I can name five off the top of my head) and your audience probably isn't tired at all of Tebow coverage. Way to know your audience.

The championship weekend lineup's pretty good, even without Manning.

Even without Manning? It's going to be hard for these conference championship games to be any good if the media can't hype up the matchups with easily found and somewhat contrived storylines, but I guess we should just watch the games and hope they are enjoyable. Really, without Manning we should probably cancel the playoffs, but it's too late for that now.

Not much is different for the Ravens from the 23-20 loss last year in the title game, other than the two men who had forgettable last minutes of the game, kicker Billy Cundiff (shanked a 32-yard field goal attempt) and wideout Lee Evans (had the winning touchdown pass chopped out of his hands), are out, and Justin Tucker and Jacoby Jones are in.

Not much is different? The Patriots and Ravens aren't completely different teams, but some important things have changed. The Patriots have run the ball well this year with Steven Ridley and have Brandon Lloyd as a deep threat now. The Ravens didn't have Bernard Pierce to help share the load with Ray Rice last year and Torrey Smith has become an even better wide receiver and deep threat. The two teams aren't dramatically different, but I wouldn't say "not much" is different since the Ravens and Patriots defenses have a different look about them in terms of personnel, in addition to the offensive personnel changes the teams have seen.

So the seventh conference title game in the Belichick-Brady Era sets up to be a dramatic game, even without the specter of it being -- for the third straight week -- Ray Lewis' last football game. "He's like the godfather of football,'' Vince Wilfork said.

But the game would have been so much better if Peyton Manning was in the game. That's just a fact. Somehow, we move on.

NFC Championship Game: San Francisco (12-4-1) at Atlanta (14-3), Sunday, 3 p.m. Okay, we've gotten the obvious storylines out of the way. Tony Gonzalez breaks the 15-year schneid of no playoff wins.

As Tony Gonzalez said earlier this year to Peter King, the fact he had not won a playoff game doesn't affect his legacy. Gonzalez isn't a quarterback so his legacy is secure. I will ask you again to imagine if Terrell Owens said he isn't a quarterback so a playoff victory doesn't affect his legacy. It's a good thing Gonzalez has a good relationship with the media (and Peter King) or else Peter would have found a way to turn this quote around on him.

Now the storyline the world will be bludgeoned with this week is how Atlanta will defend Kaepernick, who appeared indefensible against Green Bay behind the best offensive line in the league.

Considering the Falcons have had trouble stopping the run overall, I would probably worry just as much about Frank Gore and how they plan on stopping him.

Atlanta linebacker Sean Weatherspoon said Sunday. "Sacked him once --and believe me, I consider that a great accomplishment. I thought he was like ... Vince Young. This will be the ultimate test for our defense.''

The Falcons wish Kaepernick was like Vince Young. Then he couldn't throw the ball accurately and he would no longer be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

Four storylines of the weekend:

Manning goes down in flames (with an asterisk).

The asterisk being he didn't singlehandedly lose the game? Or is the asterisk that Manning threw the overtime interception that gave the Ravens good field position, but Peter doesn't want to completely blame him for this?

And while we're at it, Denver coaches, you've got 3rd-and-7 at your 47 at the two-minute warning. Baltimore's out of timeouts. You've got one of the greatest third-down-conversion quarterbacks ever, with two tight ends he trusts implicitly. And you run your third tailback into the middle of the line? Seriously?

It absolutely shocks me that national writers like Peter King are shocked John Fox and the Denver coaches made this decision. It's almost like they ignored how Fox coached the entire time he was the head coach for Carolina. Absolutely he is going to do the conservative thing and not take a chance to not run time off the clock. It doesn't matter if Peyton Manning is the quarterback or God himself is the quarterback. Conservative is always the right approach for Fox. I don't care that Manning said he called an audible to the run, because it's a typical Fox-call. In fact, Fox said himself that audible was his call.

Then, with 31 seconds and two timeouts left at your 20, the game now tied, Manning kneels? Double seriously?

Peter, there is a team in Carolina you could have watched for nine years and seen how John Fox coached. This should not shock you. Fox is a great head coach, but he will always lean towards being conservative. His most infamous quote is "a punt is not a bad play." He should get criticism, but anyone who follows the NFL and is a national writer should not be shocked either. Fox would rather rely on the toss of a coin than his Hall of Fame quarterback to make good decisions with 31 seconds left and holding two timeouts at home in the playoffs. That's the kind of head coach he has been for 11 years. I've seen too many third-down draws and end-of-half kneel downs to expect anything different from Fox.

I don't think Fox lost the game for the Broncos and that's my point. He played to where he his decision wouldn't lose the game for his team, but where one of his decisions also wouldn't potentially win the game for his team. His being conservative only slightly hurt the Broncos, but a head coach can't always play not to lose the game. I don't have as much of a problem with the run calls to give the ball back to the Ravens with no timeouts. I have a bigger problem with relying on a coin flip more than relying on a Hall of Fame quarterback to be able to gain 45-50 yards with two timeouts and knowing Matt Prater is your kicker. Fox didn't lose the game for the Broncos, but he also put them in a position to where they didn't have as much control as to whether they won the game or not.

I'm serious: Either Peyton Manning was injured and the Broncos told no one, or that's Coaching Negligence 101.

It certainly sounded smarter for Fox to make this decision when his quarterback was Jake Delhomme or one of the multiple jokes for a quarterback he trotted out at starting quarterback over the years.

"That was an audible,'' Manning said of the 3rd-and-7 Hillman run. "Don't put that on [offensive coordinator] Mike McCoy.'' Okay. I still don't like it.

Peyton Manning is the kind of guy who would defend his coaches. Jim Caldwell was his head coach for several years and he never once complained that Caldwell was over his head.

Fourteen minutes into overtime, Manning had a 2nd-and-6 at the Denver 38. He rolled right, looking for good friend and first-down security blanket Brandon Stokley, and he slightly pivoted to throw back across his body. Now, raise your hand if you thought what I thought when Manning's arm was in motion and he looked to throw back across his body ... Brett Favre, 2009 NFC title game, aiming for Sidney Rice, and Tracy Porter steps in front of him and picks it off.

The fact Peter would draw a parallel to the Favre throw against the Saints a few years ago was correctly called in the comments on Saturday. In fairness, nearly everything that happens on the football field reminds Peter King of something Brett Favre did. His obsession with Favre runs deep.

He had plenty of help, but the fact is, Manning's a 9-11 playoff quarterback with one Super Bowl victory who turns 37 in March, and he knows there aren't going to be many more chances.

9-11 in the playoffs. He won a Super Bowl ring in the playoffs when he didn't have a passer rating above 82 in a single playoff game. That's part of Manning's legacy.

Keep these things in mind after Kaepernick's eighth NFL start, the 14-point rout of the Packers, in which he set the NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback (181) in a game:

• Blaine Gabbert was chosen 26 picks ahead of Kaerpernick.

Keep this in mind as well...much of Kaepernick's success is contributed to the fact the 49ers coaching staff is being smart and playing to his strengths and putting him in a position to succeed. I won't argue Blaine Gabbert is great or can even be considered in the same breath as Colin Kaepernick, but he also wasn't given a chance to succeed like Kaepernick has. Kaepernick is a great example of what good coaching can help a young quarterback achieve.

No quarterback GQs it like Matt Ryan. When I met him one night at the Scouting Combine in 2008, he wore a dark suit, blue Oxford shirt, and dress shoes. Yesterday, after the biggest win of his life, he wore a suit, thin tie with tie clasp. Par for his course. The theory is, as with many quarterbacks these days, Ryan represents the company, and he wants the public to see the best side of him.

Good to know. Somehow I have lived my entire life without knowing this information.

In the past, he'd still watched college basketball and the occasional SportsCenter during January. No more sports. No more newspapers, websites or talk radio either. He spent the last two weeks being blissfully unaware of his surroundings.

"What'd you watch instead?'' a few scribes wondered in a small cluster with the natty Ryan Sunday.

What the fuck is a "natty Ryan" you may ask? Glad to tell you. Natty is defined as:

"marked by up-to-dateness in dress and manners;"

It appears Peter King is fixated on Matt Ryan's appearance.

He seemed embarrassed for a second. "TMZ, a little bit,'' he said. "The NFL's so big, it's hard to completely ignore it, but I tried."

But he liked the sports ban. He liked not hearing the public outcry about do-or-die for this current iteration of the Falcons. "Sometimes,'' he said, "it's good to be naïve."

So because Matt Ryan watched "TMZ" instead of football he won a playoff game. It's an important lesson to all you kids out there. If you can find a bullshit reason why something worked for you, then share it with the world so everyone else can feel better about their own stupid superstitions.

"I'm happiest for Matt,'' said Gonzalez. "People talk about the pressure for people to win a playoff game, and when they'd mention me, I'd think, I'm on the bottom. Matt Ryan needed this, and he went out and did it.''

Well, at least Gonzalez is consistent in stating that a quarterback needs to win a playoff game and the fact he had never won a playoff game never reflected poorly on him. One point for consistency and two points for honesty.

On Tuesday, at a CBS Super Bowl media event, Newsday's Neil Best asked Bill Cowher if he planned to coach again one day. "Yeah,'' Cowher said. "It would be a challenge, but I think that's probably why I would get back into it, because of the challenge.''

On Saturday, on The NFL Today, on CBS, Cowher said: "Contrary to reports, I have no plans on coaching. I plan on being with one team, and that is this team here at CBS."

That's what I love to see: a man dispelling a rumor about himself that he started.

Bill Parcells perfected the art of interviewing for open positions and then denying it strongly until he took the position and it seems Bill Cowher is trying to perfect the art of refuting reports that he starts with his own comments.

Fine Fifteen

1. San Francisco (12-4-1). Seahawks held the Niners to 13 points in each regular season meeting. That's a good reason San Francisco breathes a sigh to be facing Atlanta in the NFC title game -- even if it's on the road -- instead of playing Seattle at home in Candlestick Park.

I have a hard time believing the 49ers would rather play a road game than have to face the Seahawks at home. The Seahawks are a good team, but a road game versus a home game for the NFC Championship? Seems to me like a home game wins every time.

3. Baltimore (12-6). A bit unfair, but true: Joe Flacco, seven playoff wins in five years; Peyton Manning, nine playoff wins in 14 years. Flacco tries to make it eight Sunday against the Patriots.

Anyone who reads this blog knows how I feel about Joe Flacco, but is this really unfair? I realize Manning went up against Brady a few times, but is it really unfair to mention Flacco has seven playoff wins in five years and Manning has nine playoff wins in 14 years? This isn't an overwhelmingly telling statistic, but it does tell us a little something doesn't it?

7. Denver (13-4). Everything seemed to come so hard for the Broncos Saturday. I'll always think Peyton Manning should have loosened up the secondary more with deep throws.

No way. The expert announcers said repeatedly that Peyton was doing well by taking what the Ravens defense was giving him. He's unstoppable. The Ravens show they are defending the run, he set up the pass, the Ravens show they expect pass, he audibles to a run. He's an unstoppable machine who never needs to throw deep. Plus, it's not like there is anything wrong with Peyton's arm, at least until we find out later this offseason he couldn't throw the ball more than 20 yards in the air without pain.

8. Green Bay (12-6). Not to be a sports radio host or anything, but watching the Green Bay defense look so powerless and feeble Saturday, I wondered if Mike McCarthy would seriously think about replacing Dom Capers as defensive coordinator.

How about replacing the Packers defenders who couldn't get to the quarterback or contain Colin Kaepernick?

13. Chicago (10-6). The Bears have had more coaching interviews in 2013 than wins in 2012. By my count, it's 13-10.

Because doing a thorough coaching search to make sure you have the right guy for the position isn't smart. Make a decision and make it quickly, Chicago Bears organization, so that Peter King and his fellow sportswriters can have something to write about. Thinking about the right candidate and ensuring a certain guy is the right choice for head coach should always be second to Peter's next deadline.

15. St. Louis (7-8-1). TheRamsversus NFC West this year: 4-1-1, plus-30 in point differential.

Keep hyping the Rams up for next year, Peter. It's not like you and Jeff Fisher share an agent or anything, so it doesn't seem fishy at all when you write overly positive about them. Is Gregg Williams' son, the defensive genius belting out those defensive play-calls in Training Camp, in the running for any head coaching vacancies? Oh wait, he got fired because nobody like him? That's no problem, I am sure the NFL good ol' boy network will keep helping him fail upwards like they have helped Todd Haley do.

"The Seahawks are my new favorite team."

-- Brett Favre, in a text to Seattle kicker Ryan Longwell, sent Tuesday, a couple of days after the injury in Washington to Steven Hauschka on Jan. 6. Longwell is a close friend of Favre's, and was one of the three Vikingswho flew to Mississippi to persuade Favre to return to the Vikings for one last season in 2010.

Here's a nice shoe-horned Brett Favre reference for everyone to enjoy. Nothing interests me less than to hear what Brett Favre has to say about pretty much any topic. Peter's obsession with Favre is never-ending.

Also, what is up with Peter's punctuation in this MMQB? This is the second or third time he has had words run together in the final copy of MMQB. That's basic spell-check shit that Sports Illustrated should have corrected before MMQB gets published. 

Offensive Players of the Week

Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore. 

It was a 3rd-and-13 pass to tight end Dennis Pitta that flipped the field. Instead of the Ravens having to punt from the back of their end zone in overtime and giving Peyton Manning a short field to work with, with only a field goal needed to win the game, Flacco hit Pitta for 24 yards. And by the time Baltimore punted, the Ravens pinned the Broncos at the Denver 7 ... and soon, Manning would throw the interception that put a dagger through Colorado's heart.

Again, you all know how I feel about Joe Flacco. In no way was I ever confident he could convert this third-down and I didn't trust him all game, but that throw to Dennis Pitta was a thing of beauty. Obviously it was also a great catch by Pitta, but the way Flacco recognized the coverage and throw the ball perfectly over the defender's shoulders into Pitta's arms was so nice. I think I will go back to completely not trusting Flacco this upcoming week though. I thought he could have a great game against the Broncos, but I'm not so confident this week.

Defensive Players of the Week

Rob Ninkovich, LB, New England. With the Pats holding a 24-13 lead in the third quarter but pesky Houston driving, Ninkovich, this Patriots generation's Mike Vrabel-esque big-playmaker, leaped high to snare an interception from Matt Schaub.

Off-topic though...I read on Twitter a comment that said Matt Schaub is good enough to get his team into the playoffs, but not good enough to win too many games in the playoffs. I think I have to agree. He's right on the cusp of being considered elite, but he isn't there, and he doesn't have an attribute (like running ability) that can take him from being just outside of elite to elite. Maybe I'm not making sense. He isn't a great passer like Tom Brady, but he also doesn't have the running ability of Aaron Rodgers. It's like trying to build an NBA team around Joe Johnson. With the right players it gets you far, but he's just below elite to where he can't get you to where you want to go.

In fact, earlier this year in one of my "...Pets' Heads" weekly roundups I mentioned I didn't think Alex Smith could win a Super Bowl for the 49ers. I even did a whole listing of quarterbacks in the past 25 years that won the Super Bowl and didn't believe Alex Smith fit. I think Jim Harbaugh felt the same way and knew he would need to make a change at quarterback to get past where he wanted the 49ers team to go. I didn't think Smith should lose his job due to a concussion, and still don't, but I can't argue with the results. Kaepernick has speed that allows him to bring another element to the 49ers offense and Harbaugh knew if he stayed with Smith the 49ers would be good, but possibly not good enough.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Trindon Holliday, PR/KR, Denver. Holliday was a revelation for the Broncos after being picked up on waivers from Houston and handed the kick and punt return duties. Saturday was his 11th game for Denver, and his 90-yard punt return for touchdown in the first quarter was his third touchdown return.

I think that is what was so impressive about the Ravens defense and disconcerting for the Broncos defense. The Broncos scored 35 points, but 14 of those points came on special teams. So if Holliday didn't make history it isn't even a close game. 21 points should be enough to win a game of course, but it wasn't, and it wasn't entirely the fault of the Broncos offense.

Goats of the Week

Rahim Moore, FS, Denver.

Peyton Manning, QB, Denver. For the throw he'll be beating himself up about all offseason, the across-his-body, very weak throw that Corey Graham intercepted in overtime Saturday.

That was a terrible throw by Manning, but I think Rahim Moore is higher in the pecking order. If Moore does his job then the game may never go to overtime. In an alternative universe where Jacoby Jones gets tackled by Rahim Moore don't forget the Ravens offensive linemen would have to run down the field and get set before Flacco could spike the ball. I'm guessing that would have at least taken 15-20 seconds off the clock. Simply not even making a play on the ball and waiting to tackle Jones after he caught the ball was better than trying to make the interception. It was just a terrible play by Moore and the very reason Manning was in a position to throw the interception to Corey Graham.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

I have this reaction to getting back out on the NFL road for the playoffs after a season mostly in the NBC studios: Road, I've missed you.

We don't miss hearing about how annoying the road is though, Peter. Think about your readers who have to hear about how every little luxury isn't perfectly laid out at every single hotel you stayed in during a road trip. Think about us before you go back on the road and get hysterically upset at the idea of there being no coffee at exactly 6:00am every morning.

First Taurus rental in years. Nice space-age control panel with SiriusXM Radio ... 

But Peter, the big question is whether you took the time to put gas back in the car before you turned the rental car back in? Or did this rental car company screw you out of money by overcharging you for gas that you were too lazy to pump on your own?

"We should be arriving in 15 minutes,'' the pilot said on approach to the Atlanta airport. "Temperature in Atlanta is 63 degrees." ... In the span of one evening and a morning in the air, I've gone from five layers in Denver to my Winnipeg Jets polo walking into the Georgia Dome. Stupidly, of course. Put the darn thing on Sunday morning forgetting that the Atlanta Thrashers turned into the Winnipeg Jets, and a couple of media folks gave a look like, "You couldn't have worn something a little less offensive here today?''

Ah, it's just the South who cares, right Peter? Everyone in the South is too busy being racist, beating their wife, trying to seduce their sister, and owning 10 guns to worry about what some Yankee-boy is wearing at a football game. Nobody in the South even likes hockey, so Atlanta wouldn't be bitter about losing the Thrashers.
1. I think this is what I liked about the conference semifinal weekend:

a. Saturday. Wow. Incredible theater in Denver, and Kaepernick runs wild in San Francisco. That was about six straight hours of captivating football.

It was six hours of captivating football since the Broncos-Ravens game went into overtime. This is not including some of the second half of the Packers-49ers game. It was fun to watch Kaepernick do his thing, but the outcome of the game wasn't really in doubt, so I wouldn't say the game was captivating. 

f. Joe Flacco's complete and utter disregard for caring about his contract -- at least publicly. Refreshing.

I don't completely get this comment. Flacco has been having his agent speak for him most of the time in regard to his contract. That's his job. His agent spoke up again on Monday about Flacco being elite. Flacco does care about his contract, which is why his agent is politicking for him to be considered an elite top-five quarterback.

l. Tony Gonzalez getting the monkey -- "no, it's a gorilla'' -- off his back, finally winning a playoff game in his 16th starry season.

What gorilla on Gonzalez's back? He has said to Peter King directly, he doesn't think winning a playoff game changes his legacy nor does it affect him negatively in any way if he never won a playoff game. I don't know how much clearer Gonzalez could have been in talking with Peter King about this. Yet, Peter still thinks Gonzalez got a gorilla off his back.

2. I think this is what I didn't like about conference semifinal weekend:

b. Houston releasing Trindon Holliday in Week 6. All he's been since is the most productive return man in football, with four touchdowns.

That didn't really happen this past weekend. I will allow it, but this seems more like something Peter wouldn't like about Week 6 of the NFL season. Wait, that's right. Peter didn't say anything at all in Week 6 about the Texans releasing Trindon Holliday.

f. Denver turning more arch-conservative than Bill O'Reilly Saturday.

For the 100th time, this is John Fox's M.O. Since Peter has covered the NFL for Fox's entire 11 year head coaching career, he has to have noticed Fox's conservativeness prior to Saturday.

i. Matt Schaub's inconsistency. Not time to throw him out -- particularly after signing him to a new contract in September -- but time to worry about his play.

Schaub is going to be 32 years old at the start of next season. He probably isn't changing or getting any better. He is what he is. If the Texans are worried about his play, I have a feeling his play won't improve as he gets closer to his mid-30's. The best option might be to put more talent around him on offense.

3. I think I liked what Cris Collinsworth said the other night on Showtime's Inside the NFL. Clearly uncomfortable with what he saw in Washington keeping a hobbled Robert Griffin III in the Wild Card playoff game against Seattle eight days ago, Collinsworth proposed this for every NFL sideline: "I think there should be two doctors. I think there should be a team doctor and there should be a players' doctor that is voted on every team.

I like people who have ideas. This isn't a terrible idea, but Robert Griffin insisted on being in that game and I am sure his Redskins teammates weren't going to stop him from being in the game if Griffin insisted he could play. So the player doctor would probably have allowed Griffin to go back into the game because that's most likely what Griffin and the Redskins team wanted. Like I said, it's not a terrible idea, but I don't know if the players have a doctor of their own then it would have prevented Griffin from going back on the field.

8. I think it would be hard for me to go to the office today, or anytime soon, if I were Mike Zimmer.

There has to be a reason Zimmer hasn't gotten a head coaching job or gotten to interview for many open positions. I don't know what it is, but there has to be a reason. It seems Zimmer is one of the media's favorite head coaching candidates and they are going to push for him until he is hired.

h. Coffeenerdness: Thanks, Caffe Fiore, in my daughter's Seattle neighborhood, for the great latte Thursday morning. Excellent espresso. Jolting.

Caffe Fiore, a company that isn't able to speak or hear the praise Peter King is sending, says "thank you."

j. Re the Baseball Hall of Fame: I'm just a fan of the game, so I can't tell you my vote would be qualified for anything but an argument at a bar. But I'd probably have voted for Mike Piazza and Craig Biggio, at least. It does bug me when guys who've drawn suspicion for using PEDs but never had anything proven-- like Piazza -- get nixed despite having a good Hall of Fame resume. What country are we in anyway? And I've just always loved the speed, the consistency, the approach to the game that Biggio brought for so many years.

k. But ... and this is a big "but" ... the voters, at least most of them, know things I don't about the players. It's their province, not mine.

These voters don't necessarily know anything about these players. Guys like Murray Chass are just guessing like the rest of us. The only that Murray Chass knows is that he has a high-horse and a Hall of Fame vote, so he'll be damned if he isn't going to vote based on his own preconceived notions.

The Adieu Haiku

Peyton and playoffs.
Nine and eleven. That hurts.
But numbers don't lie.

I don't know why Peter started doing haikus. I just don't know why. Maybe he was desperately looking for a signature way of ending MMQB and thought a Japanese poem was the best way to go about ending it. I think the best way to end it is to just not do a haiku. Any other way would be acceptable. 


Snarf said...

Peter seems like the kind of person who would wear a Winnipeg Jets polo to a football facility. I don't expect him to wear an NFL team's jersey or anything, but a standard NFL polo would work or a shirt and tie if he wants to get crazy. Just screams "look at me I like an out-of-the-way Canadian hockey team, I'm so cool" to me personally (I have nothing against hockey or Winnipeg Jets fans). I know it's not really connected, but it makes me think of his comments regarding a cricket (was it cricket?) match in England that he attended with his brother. He opined why Americans couldn't be as civil as English sports fans, completely forgetting that Soccer Hooliganism is a thing. Again, not sure why they're connected in my mind, but they both come off as very deuchey to me, much of that having to do with Peter himself.

As far as ending his columns with Haikus, I think you're right... literally almost anything could be better. Even Greggggggggg's "next week in TMQ" style joke is worlds better.

JimA said...

Any other way would be acceptable.

Maybe a resignation?

As far as the Jets shirt goes, I guess it is hard for a football reporter who doesn't seem to know a lot about some football teams to keep track of hockey teams, even when he works at the network that owns the NHL's television rights.

FJ said...

By far my favorite part of these pieces is when you rag on PKs travel complaints. I attracted attention on the bus tonight by cracking up at this...good work:

"But Peter, the big question is whether you took the time to put gas back in the car before you turned the rental car back in? Or did this rental car company screw you out of money by overcharging you for gas that you were too lazy to pump on your own?"

rich said...

I'll take the NFL's fastest-rising star since Tebow,

How much of a star can you be if you can't even unseat Mark fucking Sanchez during his worst season to date?

Manning's a 9-11 playoff quarterback with one Super Bowl victory who turns 37 in March

So the guy has been to the playoffs 12 times in his career after being drafted by a team that could best be described as "fucking pathetic."

12 Playoff appearances, two SB appearances and one SB win... I can think of about 28 teams in the NFL that would kill for that kind of production out of their QB.

No quarterback GQs it like Matt Ryan.

Other than the QB who Peter loves to hate: Cam Newton. Every post game presser I see him do he's wearing, at the very least, a tie. Can't comment on his footwear though, so maybe he's wearing a pair of Nike's or something.

Flacco has seven playoff wins in five years and Manning has nine playoff wins in 14 years?

To be perfectly honest, I don't think it means that much. The biggest problem with Peyton is that his teams typically get bye weeks, Flacco has some first round wins on his record.

That's not saying winning in the first round is easy and anything to scoff at, but playing a team in the first round is a crap shoot. Sometimes you get a clearly overmatched team (like the Indy/Min were this year) and sometimes you hit a team like Seattle who played on the road despite having a better record.

By the time you get to the second round, you're talking about a team that hasn't played in two weeks playing a team that was good enough to win a playoff game.

The other thing is that while Manning has never been fantastic in the playoffs, if you put him on a team with a defense with (at least) three future HOFers he wouldn't win more? I mean Ed Reed doesn't shit himself in the prevent like Moore did.

my Winnipeg Jets polo

What? Why does... what connection does Pete have to Winnipeg? He's from Boston right? He's a big Red Sox fan... but he follows the Winnipeg Jets?

Joe Flacco's complete and utter disregard for caring about his contract

I don't think Flacco is elite (not even close), but he's one of those QBs who is good enough to win with. He has all the leverage in the world, so why would he give two shits about his contract? If Matt Flynn can hit paydirt after one game, Flacco would get a top tier QB contract if he hit the open market. At worst he gets franchised and makes roughly a gazillion dollars next year.

Bengoodfella said...

Snarf, I believe it was cricked that Peter was referring to when he made the comment about the civility of American fans. I can see him wearing a Winnipeg Jets polo too. It just seems like something he would stroll into a room wearing. It's random enough and listless enough for him to wear.

Jim, good call. NBC does have NHL rights. I don't know how sad Atlanta was to lose the Trashers but I have a hard time believing he did that out of a coincidence, especially considering he isn't even a Jets fan. He is a Devils fan.

FJ, didn't mean for you to attract too much attention. You know, if Peter was on the bus with you he would comment about how you are laughing too loud or too involved with your phone. The rental car thing always makes me laugh because my ex-roommate ran a Hertz rental company branch and he would always come back with hilarious stories of the stupid things people did with the car and thought they wouldn't get charged. The most popular was not putting gas back in the car...just like Peter King didn't do.

Rich, I have a hard time hating on Peyton's record in the playoffs. Yes, he hasn't had much success in the playoffs, but I would enjoy for that kind of production. I think we expect him to win more playoff games and at some point a really smart person is going to do research to show why Manning is 9-11 over his career in the playoffs.

That is a true point. Peter did a similar thing with Tom Brady and Joe Flacco in this week's SI. Brady is good enough to get his team a bye week, while Flacco doesn't always help his team get a 1st round bye. So therefore Flacco has an extra game to play each year, which to his credit he does win.

I'm torn in defending Manning in the playoffs. He hasn't ever had a great defense behind him, though his offense has always been fairly loaded. If I could present a good defense of Manning it would be that his defense consistently lets him down in the playoffs.

I don't get the Jets polo either. I'm a pretty strict "no other teams but my own" type of fan. I have a N.C. State shirt I run in and a Yankees hat I do yard work wearing. That's about it. Peter is a big Devils fan and has said so repeatedly. Don't get the Jets polo at all.

I think Flacco does care about his contract, but he realizes winning will fix it. I don't think Flacco is elite either, but I can't argue with some of the decisions he has made in these playoffs with the football. The bottom line is that Flacco knows as long as he does his job, the contract will come.

jacktotherack said...

Peter King is a fatass, aging hipster. The signs were always there but the Winnipeg Jets polo is the final straw.

Robert said...

One thing that kills me every single freaking week - a haiku isn't just a poem that's 5-7-5. There are other elements that are necessary. Seasonal and naturalistic elements, juxtapositions. Merely being 5-7-5 does not a haiku make.

It annoys me every single time. Then again, if PK won't do research about football, how can one expect him to do research on poetry.

Eric C said...

I really would have liked to see Seattle/GB II. That would have been a fun game to watch.

Brett Favre, 2009 NFC title game, aiming for Sidney Rice, and Tracy Porter steps in front of him and picks it off.

Peter also thinks that when Peyton kneeled down, it was identical to a kneel down Brett Favre did on November 1, 1999 against San Francisco. UNCANNY.

In the span of one evening and a morning in the air, I've gone from five layers in Denver to my Winnipeg Jets polo walking into the Georgia Dome.

Obvious answer, Brett Favre gave it to him. The polo.

Houston releasing Trindon Holliday in Week 6. All he's been since is the most productive return man in football, with four touchdowns.

Not for nothing, but the guy spent a year on the practice squad. Also, there is this little tidbit:
KR/PR Trindon Holliday scored two regular-season touchdowns, but fumbled once every 8.2 touches after joining the Broncos.

Just sayin', he fumbled in the last three regular season games he played in. There's a reason fast players get cut.

waffleboy said...

Why is everyone so surprised that Peter would wear a Winnipeg Jets polo? You know he didn't pay for it, and there is probably no human being in the Western Hemisphere who loves free stuff the way Peter King does. Shoot if they made them big enough, Peter would wear Juicy Couture sweats to work...Okay, I'm going to have to go scrub my eyes out with bleach to get that image out of my head. Sorry about that

Bengoodfella said...

Jack, Peter would be very offended to be called a hipster. He considers himself more of a high class elitist who only tries the finest of coffees and beers.

Robert, I didn't know that either, though I don't include haikus in my posts other than to mock Peter. Screw the "defined" version of what a haiku is supposed to be. Peter does what he wants.

Eric, your "uncanny" made me LOL, which I generally strictly prohibit myself from doing.

I didn't know he fumbled in the last three regular season games he played in. I know he returned a kick for a TD against Carolina and he went to LSU. The fumbling issue does strike me as somewhat important.

Waffle, that is a good point. I should be disappointed in myself that I actually was surprised at something Peter did. I should just expect it. Even if the Jets aren't his favorite hockey team, it's free shit, which Peter doesn't turn down...unless that free shit is coffee. Otherwise, if the free coffee isn't world class tasting he wants none of it.