Tuesday, May 21, 2013

9 comments MMQB Review: Peter Regales Us with Stories of Him Walking

Peter King continued to talk about the Rams' 2013 draft last week in MMQB. He also suggested NFL teams allow reporters in their draft war room, even though NFL teams have nothing to be gained and everything to lose by allowing reporters access to their draft process. Peter also marveled at what a game baseball is that the #3 pick in the 2010 MLB Amateur draft would actually make it to the majors and have such a big impact. That Manny Machado sure came from nowhere didn't he? This week Peter talks about Tom Brady's wonderful offseason, feels really bad for David Garrard for some strange reason (he's 35 and a millionaire, my sadness for such people can only go so far), and tells us a riveting story about he he walks, yes WALKS, around New York City. Peter only glosses over Bruce Irvin being suspended four games for violating the NFL's drug code. Otherwise it wouldn't matter what Peter thinks about Irvin's four game suspension, but Irvin had a few red flags coming out of West Virginia University, Peter indicated in his April 29 MMQB that drafting risky guys is a move NFC West teams would make, and Peter criticized the Lions last week in MMQB for taking a chance on Titus Young. Oh well, MMQB is only so long and Peter has to get his travel notes, his thoughts on baseball and his opinion on "The Office" into the column somewhere. It's not like this is a football column or anything.

Considering what a transcendent talent Tom Brady is, the career he's had, and that he turns 36 in 11 weeks, this statement he made to me over the weekend is significant: "Going into my 14th year, I have never had more confidence in how I am throwing the football. I've never felt better throwing the football."

Even without Wes Welker? How can Brady ever feel confident without Welker on his side? Isn't Brady's career supposed to turn to shit without Welker?

I'm waiting for the day a quarterback tells Peter King, "I feel like shit. My arm takes a longer time to recover now after I practice and I just don't feel good throwing the football."

It's almost like great quarterbacks are very confident people and put in the work to get better, no matter their age. The day a quarterback tells Peter how his skills have diminished, then I will be interested.

Were those shudders I just felt coming out of Orchard Park, Florham Park and South Florida?

You heard those shudders a decade ago when the Patriots started dominating the AFC East. At this point it is just business as usual for the rest of the AFC East. They try to beat the Patriots and hope for a season good enough to get a Wild Card spot.

Brady doesn't talk much in the offseason, 

Especially since he trains in California away from the Patriots team. One more reason that Tom Brady isn't a true Patriot and why the Patriots can't win a Super Bowl. If Brady would just train with the team instead of starting the offseason in California then the Patriots could win the Super Bowl again.

Remember when it was a semi-big deal that Brady worked out in California last year (I think it was last year)? What happened to that?

Brady said, "Friendship and support from friends and family is so important to succeeding in life. We take friendship for granted. 

This is a quote where Brady is clearly referring to Wes Welker. I'm surprised some Boston sportswriters haven't jumped all over this quote to make a big deal out of it. I can see Dan Shaughnessy immediately sitting down at his typewriter (you know he uses a typewriter and has an intern transcribe his column into the computer) and starts writing a column about how Tom Brady just said Wes Welker took his friendship for granted. Dan will do anything to stir up shit. 

Good for him -- and while we're on the subject of good deeds in New England, here's another one: A 33-member contingent of current and former Patriots, and coaches and staff, got on buses from Foxboro Saturday morning for the 150-mile ride to Newtown, Conn., to hold a football clinic for the kids of Newtown. Owner Robert Kraft, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, tight end Rob Gronkowski and captains Jerod Mayo, Devin McCourty and Matthew Slater were on hand. The coaches and players ran eight stations that 400 kids rotated through, while their parents watched from the stands. When one kid asked where Brady was, Kraft got him on the phone and passed it around to several kids so they could all say they talked to Brady. A good day, and a good bit of community service by the Patriots.

Have you ever noticed how plugged-in Peter King is to the Patriots' community service events? He's always writing about Matt Light's charity events and he always seems to have specific details about a charity event or community service the Patriots are involved in. I have nothing snarky to say, but just wonder how Peter is so plugged-in to the Patriots in this way. Does he just get himself more plugged-in to what the Patriots do for the community or does the team reach out to him I wonder?

"Tom House, pretty soon after the season, said basically, 'All right, Tommy. Get to work.' That's the one thing that helps me move forward. There's nothing we can do about losing the championship game to the Ravens. It sucks. You move on. But, with Tom, I think I've learned some things this offseason that are really going to help me.''

I said, "Be specific -- give me one thing, or two things you feel are going to help you this year.''

Damn, Peter. Back off Brady. If you quizzed every athlete like this you may actually be able to see through some of the bullshit you get fed at draft time or during the season.

"One thing,'' he said. He paused. "Well ... I hate to ... well done is better than well said. I'd rather not say. I want people to watch and see if they notice.

I bet Brady has changed his throwing motion and throws the ball sidearm to his receivers now. Defensive coordinators will never see that coming. A quarterback that throws passes sidearm and submarine style? It's the new Wildcat!

(Insert Tim Tebow throwing motion joke here)

The Patriots are 39-9 in the last three years, but they're not measured by the regular season. They haven't been in a long time. The measure comes in the postseason, and losses to the Jets, the Giants and the Ravens have ended their last three years in crushing ways. Brady's doing what he can to up the ante this offseason, apparently. 

Well, he says he is doing things to up the ante. It's not obvious until the games actually start.

Is the defense doing the same? The receiver group? Belichick the drafter?

Call them up then, Peter. Find out what SPECIFICALLY DAMMIT they are doing to up the ante in this offseason. Then they will avoid the question and Peter will back down immediately and ask them about their latest community service event.

Without a franchise pass rusher or corner this season, the Patriots are likely to be as dependent on Brady as ever. Or more.

I'm sorry, so we know the Patriots don't have a franchise pass rusher or corner during the 2013 season? It's May and we know they lack both of these players? We may as well not even play the 2013 season.

How do you not feel sick for David Garrard?

Because he has achieved his financial and personal dream by being a starting quarterback in the NFL and he is only 35 years old?

Twenty months ago, a week before the 2011 season, Garrard was Jacksonville's starting quarterback. Out of the blue, two hours after he was introduced at the team's fan luncheon as the starter, then-coach Jack Del Rio called him in and cut him, preferring to go with rookie Blaine Gabbert.

Nine months ago, before the 2012 season in Miami, Garrard was leading in the quarterback derby with rookie Ryan Tannehill until the veteran QB needed arthroscopic knee surgery. Rather than wait for him to get well, Miami cut him, handing the job to Tannehill.

Last week, again looking like he had a good chance to be a starter, this time with the Jets, his balky knee kept ballooning after even slightly strenuous workouts. With a wife and three young children back home in Jacksonville, Garrard decided to stop fighting his physical shortcomings. He quit.

There are relative levels of feeling miserable for someone. In the realm of sports, I feel bad for Garrard. In the realm of life and every other realm I don't really feel that bad for him. I don't, and I won't, ever feel sick for him. Feeling sick for someone should be reserved for life-threatening diseases or decisions that have to be made.

"You a little heartbroken?'' I asked him Saturday.


But Garrard was an adult about it. "You always hear, 'Play 'til the wheels fall off,' '' he said. "Not me. I've got a wife and three beautiful kids who rely on me. I want to be there for them, and as healthy as I can be. I knew if I kept trying to play, it wouldn't end well. I knew it was going to come to an end sometime -- now is just earlier than I thought. But it's tough.''

My God, some perspective. Who invited David Garrard to speak in this week's MMQB? Perspective is usually not allowed in these parts of the Internet. Peter likes to say he is "sick" for an athlete who retired early and then get all high-and-mighty about gun control by using the same language to describe the latest gun-related tragedy. No perspective is allowed.

Other than the obvious, Garrard has one other regret. He said, unlike the perception from last August in Miami, he didn't injure himself at the pool with his kids. He said he was struggling with his knee during Dolphins training camp, and his needing arthroscopic surgery -- which caused the Dolphins to cut him -- was from normal wear and tear of training camp, exacerbated by a pivot on the deck of the pool.

Because injuring yourself while playing with your children is one of the most non-noble ways of incurring an injury? "Sorry kids, go play with the nanny. Daddy can't play with you because he wouldn't want to get hurt playing in the pool with you. Getting hurt in practice, that's perfectly acceptable, but if I get hurt playing with you in the pool then that just makes me an asshole."

This year, Garrard said his knee -- which was already missing much of its cartilage, causing bone-on-bone friction -- just never felt right. "I couldn't jog most days,'' he said. "I could barely walk around without it hurting. And we weren't even in the strenuous part of camp yet. I figured, 'No way I can just take every fourth day off.' I went to see Rex [Ryan], and I just told him I didn't think I could do it. He didn't want to hear it. But I just told him what the doctor said -- it's only going to get worse. And that was it.''

How can you feel sick for Garrard? He's being very reasonable about his injury. There are things in life people should and should not feel "sick" for other people about, and I'm struggling to see this as one of those situations. Garrard is 35 years old remember, so it isn't like his career was cut off in its prime. Peter just acted shocked that Tom Brady, another 35 year old quarterback, said he was throwing the ball better than he ever had in his career. So it's not like it is unheard for a 35 year old athlete to have injuries or be forced to retire.

Now it's Sanchez and Smith, perhaps with an interesting summer tutor. That's not the summer job David Garrard had in mind.

Remember after the draft when Peter wrote that he didn't see why the Jets didn't release Mark Sanchez immediately? I think we are seeing now why that would have been a hasty and dumb decision. Not that Peter would ever acknowledge this of course.

I thought all along that Freeney was a reasonably priced gem in this year's free-agent crop. To get a player with his pedigree and experience for $4.4 million a year, and limited guarantees, is very good replacement value for San Diego. I'm already looking forward to Weeks 10 and 15, when Freeney will be chasing fellow AFC South transplant Peyton Manning in San Diego-Denver games.

If Freeney actually ends up chasing Peyton Manning around the field in those games then Manning is fucked. I'm not sure there is a less mobile quarterback in the NFL than Manning (not that it matters when it comes to his ability to play quarterback of course), but Freeney better be rushing Manning and not chasing him. The chasing part wouldn't end well for Manning.

"You will never see me. Somebody else might do some things, but not me. I text, though. I got to the point where I can text, I can call and do those things. So I'm getting pretty good. I really don't want anyone to know what I'm doing. I really don't think what I'm doing is that important. People don't have to know what I'm doing. It's no one's business but mine.''

-- Mike Ditka, on why he will not use Twitter, to the Chicago Sun-Times.

This is today's entry in the category of "Old People Who Proudly Refuse to Use Technology." Mike Ditka doesn't want people to know what he is doing and doesn't consider what he is doing important, but of course, he does want us to listen to his opinion and think that his opinion is important when he is on ESPN's NFL pregame show. He's not important in his own mind until he starts to talk about football. Then he's just a wealth of knowledge.

Jets fans, don't despair. I know you had your hearts set on a healthy David Garrard to be the bridge between 2013 and Geno Smith taking over the job in 2014. But this is the year -- or at least the summer -- of Mark Sanchez. It's doubtful Smith will do enough to win the Jets' starting job before camp breaks in August. Comparing what might have been (the last two years of Garrard, playing for the Jaguars in 2009 and 2010) to what Sanchez produced in his last two years for the Jets:

Age   W-LComp-Att, Pct. Yards (per game) TD/INT differential
Mark Sanchez2714-17 554-996,   55.6  6,357 (205.1) +3
David Garrard3515-15   550-882,   62.4  6,331 (211.0) +13

"Never fear Jets fans! You were fucked with David Garrard as your starting quarterback anyway."

That seems to be the point Peter wants to prove here. There are a couple issues with this comparison. Actually more than couple:

1. Garrard wasn't 35 when he put up those numbers. He has not started regularly in two seasons, so he put those numbers up as a 31 and 32 year old quarterback.

2. The win-loss numbers have to take into account the team around these two quarterbacks.

3. Not only is Garrard's TD/INT differential much better than Sanchez's, but Sanchez threw 100 more passes over the two seasons and still had fewer yards per game than Garrard.

4. Seriously, this is supposed to make Jets fans feel better? How?

The Atlanta Falcons do not have a John or George or David or Chris or Daniel or Mark -- six of the 20 most common male names in the United States, according to the 2000 Census -- on their current 90-man roster.

2000 was 13 years ago. Isn't there more up-to-date data Peter could have used? Maybe use the Google machine to look up "2012 popular male baby names" or even "2013 popular male baby names."

They do, however, have players with these first names: Malliciah, Kroy, Shann, Kemal, Joplo, Stansly, Micanor, Saeed, Terren, Levine, Jacquizz, Roddy and Peria.

They don't have a Phillip or a Keith, but they have a Phillipkeith.

Peter is infatuated with pointing out funny names that football players have. Many of these players are minorities, so Peter is basically (yet again) marveling at how minorities name their children funny names. He's the very picture of an upper class white person. I can see him wearing a sweater over a long-sleeve shirt with loafers sipping a independent beer outside of a bar that charges $8 per beer.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

Best thing about living in Manhattan: walking.

Best thing about being any human with two working legs: walking.

I was in a hurry twice in the past week.

Do tell both stories extremely in-depth. We need to hear these stories about you walking. God knows I haven't heard tell of these stories about how a person can walk somewhere.

The first time, I was rushing from my East Side apartment to the SI offices in midtown. It's a walk of about 17 minutes. I didn't have 17 minutes. Midday. Jumped in a cab.

Peter begins a story about walking by jumping into a cab. I think he is confused about exactly what it is that "walking" truly is. Maybe he thinks the act of watching other people walk means he is actually doing the walking himself. I'm starting to think these charity races he runs in just consist of Peter circling the track in a golf cart as those people who are actually running look at him in disbelief.

Big bottleneck at 51st and Lexington ahead. Inched forward through two, three four light changes. Paid the guy. Got out and walked. Aaaargh.

This is how important Peter believes that he is. He just told us a story about he got stuck in traffic and then had to walk to the SI offices. We are supposed to be interested by this.

The second time, I was late getting home from the office. About 5:15 p.m. and Avenue of the Americas (you might know it as Sixth Avenue) was a parking lot.

Wait, hold on a second. 5:15pm is LATE getting home from the office? Next time we hear Peter bitch about his travel schedule and the major inconveniences the life he has chosen causes him, let's all remember 5:15pm is LATE for him to be getting home from the office.

I knew I wouldn't save time in a cab. Walked again.

That's the story. Peter was late getting home, knew he wouldn't save time in a cab, so he walked. That's it. Story over.

I like walking. It's just that, when you're in a hurry in New York, it doesn't matter. Everything above ground is in quicksand.

Now imagine, and I don't want to scare you too much Peter, that you are late getting home and you can't walk home. Walking is great, so what do you do? Give us the answer, with SPECIFIC EXAMPLES of the steps you would take on how to make walking great next week in MMQB.

"Sad to see The Office go and while the cast is spectacular, it hasn't been the same without Michael Scott. Like Curb without Larry David."

-- @RaysJoeMaddon, the Tampa Bay manager, showing his depth of TV education.

Even those who didn't watch "The Office" knew it wasn't the same show without Steve Carell. But no, Joe Maddon is a genius. 

Love how Maddon can multitask. He can figure a way to survive with David Price on the DL at the same time as watching the last episode of The Office.

Again, it really shouldn't be that hard to watch television while also using the great organizational pitching depth the Rays have to cover for Price's spot in the rotation over the next few weeks. The Rays are deep in terms of starting pitching.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1.I think I'd be surprised if when the 50th and 51st Super Bowls are announced in Boston on Tuesday, the sites chosen are not Santa Clara and Houston, in that order.

Let's also remember Peter was probably a little surprised the Jets didn't immediately cut Mark Sanchez after drafting Geno Smith and Peter also thought Joe Flacco wasn't going to be re-signed by the Ravens. These cities very well may be the Super Bowl sites, but what surprises Peter probably doesn't surprise others.

3. I think the early returns on Sean Payton's enthusiasm and verve for the New Orleans Saints job are extremely positive. He's Mr. Positive, from what I hear, instead of Mr. Bitter.

I can't figure out why Payton would be bitter, but I guess Peter really wants to go out of his way to compliment Sean Payton for having a good attitude after being punished for something he did. Good job, Sean Payton. You presided over a team that put bounties on opposing players and you aren't bitter about getting caught! Peter is impressed with you. What a man of great virtue you have become.

5. I think the Seahawks' six suspensions for positive tests in the last two calendar years -- only five players were sanctioned, because Richard Sherman's ban last year was thrown out due to chain-of-custody issues -- will make the 2014 free-agent period and draft very interesting for Seahawks GM John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll.

Hey, it's the NFC West, they sign and draft players other teams may not. That's what Peter tells us. So why would they care if a few players got suspended?

They'll almost have to draft and pursue Eagle Scouts because of all the recent violations; Seattle will have to show it's serious about acquiring disciplined and mature players.

Why would the Seahawks have to do that? This isn't Boy Scouts, it's football. So is Peter really telling us that the Seahawks are going to pass up on quality football players in free agency or pass up on re-signing their own quality players because a couple of them had a four-game suspension? Maybe if their production dips after coming back from the four-game suspension the Seahawks may not re-sign some of these players, but I don't think they HAVE to show they are serious about acquiring mature players. The Seahawks just have to show they can put a winning team together. All else will be forgiven.

6.I think now we know the free agent with the most pressure on him in September: Cliff Avril. With no Irvin on the field until Seattle's Oct. 6 game against the Colts, Avril will be Seattle's best pass-rush hope at Carolina, against San Francisco and Jacksonville at home, and at Houston.

Carolina and Jacksonville may not be very good next year, while the Seahawks are at home against the 49ers and the Texans have Derek Newton/Brennan Williams penciled in at right tackle on their depth chart right now. So much like how Peter tried to write off the Seahawks last year after Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner were suspended, Peter possibly shouldn't write off the Seahawks pass rush in mid-May.

7. I think -- no, I know --

Seriously Peter, stop---no, really, really stop---doing this. You can edit your document without interrupting yourself.

8. I think, Brandon Weeden, if you're worried about the Browns signing Brian Hoyer to compete for a quarterback job, you're not the guy for the job.

Weeden never said he was worried, Peter. In fact, there is a newspaper article with the heading, "Cleveland Browns QB Brandon Weeden 'surprised,' but not worried about Brian Hoyer signing." I can see how Peter would think Weeden was worried though with that ambiguous title. Plus, in the article Weeden confused the readers on whether he was worried or not with quotes like,

"It's part of this business and if you start worrying about it, that's too much to worry about. That's my mentality going forward." 

Weeden said he hasn't been told what the Browns have in mind for Hoyer, 27, and that it's not his concern.
"I have no idea," Weeden said. "I'm worried about me." 

Browns fans are worried about you too, Brandon.

He re-iterated what he said in March, that he feels he can beat out whomever the Browns put in his path. 

So it sounds to the untrained eye, that eye being my eye, Weeden isn't and wasn't ever worried. I'm not an expert like Peter King though.

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

d. Loved the series finale of The Office. (Don't say I didn't warn you if you've DVRed and haven't watched.)

Peter's enjoyment of the show is now considered a spoiler. I am sure there is probably zero people out there who can't watch an episode of "The Office" without first getting Peter's opinion on the show.

This from a guy who hasn't watched the show in the last two years because the attempts to replace Michael Scott turned it into schlock.

A trusted opinion is what we get from Peter King when discussing television shows. He may not watch all of "The Office," but that certainly doesn't prevent him giving an opinion on the show. Of course everyone knows the show wasn't the same without Steve Carell, so there's that too.

e. If I were tweeting, I'd write: The Office finale > Seinfeld finale.

Well I can rest easy knowing this information.

k. The New Orleans Pelicans: I love that nickname.

Peter King would love this nickname. It's a great nickname for a minor league baseball team.

l. The Charlotte Hornets: I don't get that nickname.

Said Peter King in 1988 when the Hornets started playing in Charlotte using this nickname. I wouldn't expect Peter to get the nickname though. It's not as catchy and doesn't immediately put the fear of God in a team like playing the "Pelicans." I would shudder at having to play any team with a mascot that has a large throat pouch.

o. Coffeenerdness: Rumor has it there's Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf going up in the neighborhood. I can feel the addiction to the vanilla latte coming.

But what if they have long lines and one time an employee at the Coffee Bean and Teal Leaf gets Peter's name wrong? What will happen is the wrath of Hell, brought by Peter King, will come down on the establishment.

The Adieu Haiku

Three-four, or four-three?
For Freeney, that's the question.
Hey dude: Just get sacks.

I don't know how he does it. Somehow "The Adieu Haiku" gets more pointless and boring every week. How do you regress from something that is already this pointless and boring?


ZidaneValor said...

The Charlotte Hornets: I don't get that nickname.

Let me Google that for you, Mr. King.


While the Hornets name had no meaning for the city of New Orleans, it does have significance to native Charlotteans.

According to the Mecklenburg Historical Association, British general Lord Charles Cornwallis called Charlotte ''a hornet's nest of rebellion'' after city residents drove the British out of the area in 1780.

Ericb said...

"7. I think -- no, I know --"

This is a historic event. Peter doesn't think he thinks something but claims to actually know something. You're scaring me Peter. Don't go out on a limb like that again.

Oh and Peter, I don't know how far you live from your work but there is this amazing thing in NYC called a subway. 6th Avenue (you might know this as the Avenue of the Americas) even has it's very own line!

Bengoodfella said...

Zidane, I didn't even know that and I grew up 10 miles from Charlotte. That really makes sense actually, especially given the idea a team goes into the TWC Arena as visitors and are entering a hornet's nest. It used to be that way, but now most away teams get a friendly greeting from a small bobcat rather than a hornet's nest or rebellion.

Snarf said...

Is it just me, or was Bobcats one of the most uninspired names in pro sports?

Bengoodfella said...

Snarf, it was a stupid fucking name. The owner was Bob Johnson, hence the name. The colors were part orange, which is stupid. Then Michael Jordan bought the team and he's terrible at his job.

I refused to attend a Bobcat game. I'm glad the Hornets name is back, now hopefully the team will embrace what little history the Hornets had. It's usually about MJ though.

Ericb said...

Um Peter, I don't know how far you live from your office but if you don't like walking they have this wonderful thing in NYC called a "subway." 6th Avenue (you would know this as the Avenue of the Americas) even has its very own line!

jacktotherack said...

Peter's humble-bragging about walking reminds of the dipshits I know on Twitter or Facebook who have to let everyone know how much they ran or whether they went to the gym or whatever. Peter is doing this shit all the time in his articles.

Peter, despite all your attempts to deceive your audience into thinking you are physically fit and enjoy exercise, we are not fooled. We all know you are a fat fucking entitled shithead who guzzles down 50,000 calories worth of lattes every day. Notice in both scenarios in this column Peter only resorts to walking when traffic prevents him from flopping his fatass into the back of a cab. Yet we are supposed to believe this is one of the most enjoyable things about living in New York??

What a piece of shit. Just bitch about how much traffic sucks, don't try to frame it as "Oooh, I just love to walk, I walk everywhere. Well, at least whenever traffic jams prevent me from having to do as little physical activity as possible." No one fucking cares Peter!! You can literally walk ANYWHERE!! This isn't specific to New York.

Sorry for the rant, but I just can't stand people like this.

Snarf said...

While the walking discussion was annoying, I think the most annoying part was that 5:15 was considered getting home late.

Bengoodfella said...

Eric, there are common people on the subway, so Peter has no interest in going there. Can you imagine the stories he would tell of a ride on the subway.

Jack, it's enjoyable when he has to walk only every once in a while. If he really started to have to walk everywhere he went around his neighborhood or walk to his office I have a feeling he would complain about it.

I'm with you about the walking anywhere thing. I don't live in a large town and I could walk quite a few places. It's obviously not NYC, but the bragging about walking on the streets of NY is like a Facebook post or something like that. I have a friend on Facebook who does exactly that. I know how much she ran and how much weight her husband lost. It's kind of annoying.

Snarf, yeah that was bad. I read that part while I was sitting at my desk at 7:20pm. I guess that's the state of affairs when you are at that point in your career like Peter is.