A varied day in the world of Monday Morning Quarterback:
It's not one of those boring football-only days in MMQB. It's a varied day where Peter talks about himself, annoying traveling notes, and some more things about Peter and his thoughts. It's very varied.
In the wake of Tampa Bay owner Malcolm Glazer’s death, thoughts on his colorblind impact on the game, and on the creeping ageism of NFL ownership.
BREAKING NEWS: People who can afford to own an NFL team are usually older rather than younger!
The disastrous Sean Lee injury for Dallas.
Every other NFL team could afford to lose their best linebacker for the year due to an injury, but not the Cowboys. Their best linebacker is more important than other team's best linebacker because ESPN loves talking about them too much.
The week’s my 25-year anniversary at Sports Illustrated. I reflect on my Johnny Cash interaction at the beginning, Steve Young vomiting perilously close to my shoes in the middle, and me being an ogre of a boss at the end. (Groaning, you skip the 25th anniversary section.)
While Peter's career at Sports Illustrated has certainly been long and impressive (especially to himself), I have heard the story of Steve Young vomiting close to Peter's shoes so many times. The story has been told so many times in one way or another by Peter there's not much else to reflect on at this point.
Players, get ready for a lot of HR talk in the next three weeks.
Not home runs. Human Resources.
How stupid does Peter think his readers are? I think most of his readers know that "HR" stands for "Human Resources." Sure, why would it make sense for NFL players to be talking about Human Resources? Probably for the same reason it would make sense for NFL players to be talking about home runs. I don't know if Peter is trying to be cutesy, but people know what HR stands for and there's no need to write "HR," and then clarify what this stands for, rather than just writing "Human Resources." It's like Peter wants desperately to come off as smarter or like he's educating his readers on every topic he discusses.
The NFL’s executive vice president and chief human resources officer, Robert Gulliver, leads a three-man NFL team into Flowery Branch, Ga., today to meet with all players, coaches and selected executives (owner Arthur Blank will be on hand) to discuss how to improve locker-room culture.
Not Flowery Branch, like the branch of a tree that has flowers on it. Flowery Branch is a city in Georgia. Peter also wants his readers to know Arthur Branch won't actually be on someone's hand during this meeting, but "on hand" means he will be present in the room during the meeting...but not on someone's hand and most likely in a chair.
Today, the Atlanta presentation will be about an hour long, and former Falcon defensive end Kerney—now the league’s vice president of player benefits—and Darius, the former Jaguar, will be there to help Gulliver drive home the point about respecting the guy next to you in the locker room.
And we all know a lecture about being nice to others will probably have a huge effect on grown athletes who play a violent sport where the intent is to hit the opposing player as hard as possible so he falls to the ground.
What can be accomplished in an hour? It’s a logical and skeptical question. “It’s to start the dialogue, to provoke conversation,” said Kerney. “As players, we need to understand we’re all going to be out of there soon and into the real world. If we continuing some of the behavior of the past, we’re enclosing ourselves in the bubble even further.”
In a bubble. But Peter wants us to know that no one is really going to be in a real bubble like the bubble boy from "Seinfeld," but this is a phrase that's often used. Peter wants to be very clear so he doesn't confuse his readers.
Will it work? Can it work? I think the most important element here is the acceptance by coaches and the team leaders—especially the team leaders...Kerney’s message is correct: This abusive and raunch boys-club-gone-wild atmosphere bubble doesn’t exist in the real world. Just because it’s been the tradition is many NFL locker rooms, why does it have to continue?
Because professional athletics are not the real world, athletes are used to staying in the bubble of playing sports and there's no better way to understand how the real world outside of the NFL works than having to live a life outside of the NFL and most of these NFL players won't get a chance to do this until they retire. Anyone who has been to a college where there are athletics knows that even the shittiest of athletes exists in the bubble of playing sports in some way or another. Obviously every athlete isn't like this for the entirety of his/her life, but NFL players are professional athletes who are used to being the absolute best at their sport and the abusive, teasing atmosphere in locker rooms is just part of professional sports. It doesn't have to be, but it's going to be hard to take players out of the athletic bubble while still keeping them in the bubble of athletics. That's why.
Again, not every athlete is this way, but it's a difficult culture. I've seen members of a shitty Division-I basketball school throw a punch because he and his friend lost at beer pong and couldn't stand having shit talked to him about it. The team won 5-6 games during the year, so he had to be used to losing, but he couldn't stand to be teased about losing at a stupid drinking game. I had a Division-II football player tell a girl I knew that she is coming home with him that night right in front of her boyfriend. When he came to get her at the end of the night, she did not and he was displeased. This isn't abusive locker room culture, but it's an example of a different mindset at times for some athletes. As we've seen in the case of the Dolphins last season, all it takes is 2-3 players and a team gets bad reputation or there starts locker room problems because of "boys-club-gone-wild." To change this completely would be to essentially change part of the mindset of some athletes starting as early as middle school and I'm not sure that can happen.
I got a bit nostalgic on Friday when I told my crew at The MMQB—we were gathered in New York City for our microsite’s offseason seminar—that Sunday was the 25th anniversary of Sports Illustrated managing editor Mark Mulvoy offering me a job and saying, “I want you to cover the NFL your way.”
Which Peter took to mean, "In a couple of decades I want you to be writing a long football-related column that is often only 50% related directly to football despite the fact there is a seeming 24 hour news cycle of football news. You need to start writing about yourself and what you do and don't like."
It's natural for Peter to talk about himself in a weekly column, but just 10-15 years ago MMQB was 2 pages at the most and now it has bloated into a 5-6 page column where half of it involves quotes of the week, Tweets of the week, a travel note, a fact Peter finds interesting, a stat Peter finds interesting, and usually an interview or discussion of something only sort of related to the NFL. This is before the entire last page of MMQB is dedicated to Peter's own personal thoughts that may or may not be about the NFL. I write about it every week and it gives me more material to write about, so that's a positive.
Either I should get lost, and go where the dinosaurs go. Or I should, as many athletes say, stay till they kick me out of the game.
I’ve opted for the second choice, at least for now. Twenty-five years, 25 memories:
Only 25 memories. But don't worry, we get a page of things that Peter thinks he thinks as well.
First assignment: June 1989. The NFL’s trying to birth a minor league, the World League of American Football, and I’m sent on the road for three days with the new exec of the league, banished Cowboys czar Tex Schramm, as he private-jetted from Jacksonville to Orlando to Birmingham to Charlotte to Nashville scouting for American franchises for an uninvented league. Highlight: I’m sent down the stairs of the plane first when we get to Nashville, and at the bottom of the stairs is the Man in Black, with his right hand out to shake. “Hiyah, welcome tah Nashville. Ahm Johnny Cash,” said Johnny Cash.
Peter loves writing EXACTLY how he perceives other people sound when talking to him, as if they are the ones who talk funny and it isn't Peter whose accent or lack thereof is the one who talks funny. If you are a person who meets Peter, be sure to talk with no accent or he will quote you by writing down exactly how he thinks you sound when speaking.
3. I loved the openness, the bawdiness, the intelligence of Jimmy Johnson. In training camp in 1990 we dined one night and he told me what a living hell the 1-15 season was, and he detailed all the crap that went on all season. At one point Johnson realized how much he was saying and his glare bore a hole through me. “Peter,” he said. “If you f— me on this story, I will squash you like a squirrel in the road.”
Peter swore from that point on he would never fuck someone on a story. Ever.
7. The media … what a difference a generation makes. I traveled in the early ’90s with a large notebook, a few pens and a small computer that most often stayed at the hotel. I’d take notes at a game, do interviews post-game, and go back to the hotel and write my piece for the magazine. When that was done, so was I for the week. The End. Now: I use a smart phone, a tablet and a laptop, daily. I phone, I tweet, I skype, I research the ’net. I do talk shows. I do video chats. The other day I did something called a Google+ hangout with Brandin Cooks and A.J. McCarron.
I like how Peter "researches the 'net." Does he do research on the Internet or is he actually doing research while surfing the Internet? I prefer to picture Peter doing research ON the Internet and typing searches like, "When did Al Gore invent the Internet" and "This Internet thing, tell me more about it, no, tell me everything about it."
Back in the day you prayed something you found out on a Friday would hold until it got to peoples’ mailboxes six days later. Now that thing you found out will probably be on the internet in six minutes by someone else if you don’t rush to get it up first.
Back in the day, Peter didn't have to hear all this negative feedback about what he writes and he, like other sportswriters, could bask in the glow of receiving awards from their friends and colleagues while fully knowing that their shit don't stink. It's not that way anymore to his dismay. Then there are guys like Bill Simmons who partly made his name bullying and criticizing sportswriters using the Internet, but now he thinks there is just a meanness on the Internet by those who criticize sportswriters.
9. In 1995, Mike Holmgren, the Green Bay head coach, let me spend a week inside the Packers. That was fun.
It's when Peter first met his football soulmate Brett Favre. What a bunch of tender and loving days those were.
Brett Favre farted in quarterback meetings a lot.
It's great to know. Amazingly Favre's farts smelled exactly like what a child playing the game of football smells like.
What a memory he had. He’d be looking up at the ceiling, seemingly not paying attention, and QB coach Steve Mariucci would say, “Brett, what are you looking for with this protection?” Favre would just spit out, “Strongside ’back. C’mon Mooch. Gimme something tough.”
Favre had a great memory or it could just be that he was really paying attention even though it didn't look like it. That wouldn't be a fun story to tell though.
11. Maddest a coach ever got? One time Bill Parcells told me we were through—he was coaching the Jets, and thought I told another writer something out of bounds—and that lasted about six or eight months. Now we talk a lot. I guess Bill Belichick got mad after some of my coverage of Spygate in 2007. I’m not sure, though. He hasn’t talked to me since.
Peter must think that if he links every possible NFL Draft prospect who doesn't have an exact position to the Patriots and state that they will figure out how to use that player then Belichick will forgive him. Either that or Peter is trying to get back in Belichick's good graces by becoming super-besties with Scott Pioli.
Then Peter recounts the story of Steve Young almost throwing up on his shoes after the Super Bowl victory over the Chargers. It's a good story, but not the first or even fifth time I have heard it.
18. I’ve covered a lot of fun games, but for some reasons I’ll remember the game New England won to set the record for consecutive NFL wins (19) in 2004, because that story contained my favorite SI line.
HERE'S MY FAVORITE THING I'VE EVER WRITTEN!
(The list of good lines is a very short one, believe me.)
You are being so modest about it that it's tough not to believe you. I mean, you are spending part of MMQB recounting your 25 years at Sports Illustrated. It's all very modest.
You guys know how I feel about having a separate column for a lot of the stuff Peters puts into MMQB. It goes for his 25 years of remembrances as well. Peter has his own web site now. I think there is a good "remembrance" column he could write for that site.
In a quiet moment in the locker room after New England beat Miami to earn the record, I got Belichick about as celebratory as you’ll hear him. And I wrote, “ ‘It’s great to be in the history books,’ said the man who has read them all.”
This is the perfect Peter King line because it has just the right degree of loftiness about a topic (history) in it with the right amount of the admiring tone that I find Peter has for his subjects at times.
19. Best interview: Brett Favre edges Peyton Manning, Richard Sherman, John Randle and Jimmy Johnson.
Not a shock. Peter has probably talked to or interviewed Favre about as much as Randle, Sherman and Johnson combined.
I’ll never forget what Favre told me about his post-football life. This was in 2000. I asked him where he’d be and what he’d do in retirement. “I’ll be down in Hattiesburg [Miss.]. You’ll never find me. You know the ‘Where are they now?’ segments on ‘Inside the NFL?’ They’ll do one on me, but they’ll have to get Robert Stack, like on ‘Unsolved Mysteries.’ I’ll disappear.”
Oh yeah, and Favre has definitely disappeared. I guess it's all relative. Most people who "disappear" go out of the spotlight completely, but for Favre "disappearing" means he sticks his head up to remind the world that he does indeed exist. Fortunately he is using his webcam to talk about football and not show everyone pictures of his penis, as he has been prone to do in the past.
Who knows what he's up to now? It's not like anyone has reported on what Favre is doing these days. His idea of disappearing isn't quite mine. Also notice in one of those columns that Favre won't commit to coaching next year. It seems he enjoys the attention of people wondering about his future no matter what he does.
"Who knows if I'll do it next year," said Favre, who is in his second year coaching at the high school. "I really don't know. It's been a lot of fun. I enjoy it. It's easy and it's not too time-consuming."
I imagine Favre's wife, Deanna (and I know her name, which pisses me off), wakes up on a Saturday and spends the first two hours of the day trying to get Favre to commit to whether he will be mowing the grass next week or pay someone to do it.
"It's too early in the week to say what I will do. I enjoy it but I'm also getting to the point I have other interests outside of mowing grass for two hours during the week. I really don't know what I'm going to do or not. I'm just focused on breakfast right now. The time is going to come soon when I stop mowing the grass though. Be sure to ask me every single weekend until I decide I won't ever mow my own grass again."
I can never get him on the phone anymore. He’s disappeared, except to coach the offense for the local high school football team.
Again, my definition of "disappeared" isn't necessarily the same as Peter's definition. Favre certainly poked his head up around draft time this year and has done so in the past as well. I'm sure Peter is hurt he can't get Favre on the phone. More importantly, why is Peter trying to call a retired NFL quarterback? Does he often call Troy Aikman or Joe Montana? I just don't know why he would be calling Favre, other than to just speak with him, which totally proves Peter is obsessed with Favre.
21. Smartest professional decision I made in these 25 years: listening to Steve Robinson, the first editor of the magazine’s website, in 1997 when he asked me to empty out my notebook on Monday morning with whatever I wasn’t writing for the magazine that week. That’s how “Monday Morning Quarterback” was birthed.
It started that way and has turned into the behemoth that it currently is which now doesn't have a lot to do with whatever Peter wasn't writing for the magazine that week any more than it has to do with Peter's thoughts during the week.
The Glazers have hired five coaches. Dungy turned the franchise from sad-sack losers to annual contenders. Gruden finished the job. Raheem Morris largely failed, lasting three years. Greg Schiano didn’t have a long-enough chance (two years), but he failed too.
You like how Peter points out how his boy Greg Schiano didn't have a long-enough chance with the Bucs, but Schiano had only one more year than Raheem Morris (who had no experience as a head coach) and his career winning percentage with the Buccaneers is worse than that of Morris? At least Morris had one winning season. But yeah, Schiano just needed more time.
NFL ownership is aging. Four teams in the last eight months have had a transition in ownership with the death of principal owners.
The youngest owner who passed away was 85 years old. These aren't exactly spring chickens running around. So the lesson is that older owners die.
Of course, in many of the places where owners are aging, teams have strong family plans in place. Dean Spanos is a well-respected presence at league meetings for the Chargers, as is Art Rooney II for Pittsburgh, Katie Blackburn (Mike Brown’s daughter) for the Bengals, Michael Bidwill for the Cards, Jonathan Kraft for the Patriots and Stephen Jones for Dallas.
I'm just happy there is no ownership succession plan in place for my favorite team. It makes me feel very confident. 77 year old owners with a history of a heart condition generally make it to age 100 though, right?
Arthur Blank is very bullish on expanding the NFL’s borders.
My Q&A with the Atlanta owner:
The MMQB: What’s the short- and long-term future of the NFL in Europe?
Blank: The games in London, I think are a tribute to the NFL, a tribute to the fans there, the quality of the game—and I think that it’s proved conclusive that fans will come out when they see the real players playing games that are really meaningful, as opposed to NFL Europe...The approach that the international committee and the commissioner have taken is, ‘Let’s do London right, and then move from there to potentially somewhere else.’
I can't imagine how there would be logistical problems with NFL teams playing football games across the ocean in Europe and then having to come back to the United States to play the very next week. Or would every team that has to play in Europe get a bye the week after?
I’m sure there are wonderful cities in Europe, and elsewhere.
There are wonderful cities in every country, but that doesn't mean every wonderful city in every country needs an NFL team.
The MMQB: Is it more likely there would be a franchise in London or that there would be six to eight games a season?
Blank: I think it will lead to [a team]. I think it will start with an increased number of games. That will be translated into a very successful series of games, and eventually, I think a franchise. And maybe more than one.
Oh, goodie. I can't see how this idea would fail at all. I'm not against the NFL expanding overseas, but I'm afraid of the NFL trying to hard to expand their product they end up diluting the product. For example, I don't know how many more NFL teams there needs to be. 32 teams is a lot of teams and there are only so many good quarterbacks to go around.
Then Peter re-prints commencement addresses given by some athletes, celebrities, politicians and I generally skip over those.
“I call Twitter the microphone for morons.”
—Denver GM John Elway, at a NFL event, the career development symposium, Saturday at Penn’s Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia.
I call losing more Super Bowls than you win a little disappointing for a Hall of Fame quarterback.
I don't really, I like to get chippy when people bash Twitter. Plus it's not like Elway (@johnelway is his Twitter handle) is too good for Twitter. He just bashes the technology he uses, that's all.
“It is completely unacceptable that Daryl has once again put us in this position. We all know what the consequences are and will deal with them.”
—Arizona GM Steve Keim, in an unusually strongly worded statement condemning linebacker Daryl Washington, one of his best players, for being suspended for the 2014 season. Washington said he tested positive for marijuana.
Wow, that is strongly worded. Washington did know the consequences of marijuana use and he should pay the price. If only he could find a way to convince the Cardinals he has "a problem," then hit up rehab for a month, be a wealthy owner and writers like Peter King would feel bad for him.
“It’s a war. It’s on. I have no respect for him no more … You can’t be acting like a little girl out there … a little b—-.”
—Red Sox DH David Ortiz, on Tampa Bay pitcher David Price, after Ortiz was hit in the back by the first Price pitch he saw in 2014, the first time they faced each other this season, on Friday at Fenway Park.
Cool baseball drama.
I'm sure if A-Rod or a Rays player said this about a Red Sox player then Peter would feel like it is "cool baseball drama." It's cool drama until Peter decides he doesn't like the messenger.
So if there were nine taunting fouls in 2012, and if 43 such fouls could have been called in 2013, imagine what happens when officials are ultra-sensitive to make such calls in 2014. Either players will get see the quick trigger fingers the refs have and cut it out early this year, or there will be an epidemic of taunting calls this fall.
Mike Mitchell would have gotten called for 43 taunting calls all by himself, followed by him getting beaten for a touchdown.
Roger Goodell takes a trip every year to Silicon Valley to meet and talk to innovators in the technology, TV, social media and academic set. On one of his first such trips, he met with Steve Jobs, the Apple boss, who had one word of advice for Goodell: “Wifi.”
When you hear owners and club presidents and league officials say they’re intent on enabling all fans able to use their smart phones inside all NFL stadiums, you can trace that advice to Jobs.
Or I could trace that to the fact airplanes, restaurants, Starbucks, hotels and every other place where consumers will choose to go have wifi and eventually NFL stadiums were going to get wifi. Steve Jobs died over three years ago and all NFL stadiums don't have wifi yet, so clearly Goodell listened to the advice not-so intently or wasn't in a hurry to get wifi in every NFL stadium.
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
I have heard of flight delays and I have heard of emergency landings, but what happened on a US Airways flight from Los Angeles to Philadelphia last Wednesday sets an American aviation record for incredulity. Lucky for all of us, Chris Law, a 30-year-old NFL Network producer—he handles Rich Eisen’s podcast and produces programming about fantasy football, the draft and the combine—was in row 10 of the plane and was an eyewitness, and nasal witness, to airline history.
Yes, thank God he was there or else I wouldn't get the chance to read about someone complaining regarding how frustrating it is to travel. There is no where else I can go to hear complaining, so it's just a stroke of luck that Chris Law was on this flight.
“I fly US Airways all the time,’’ Law said over the weekend from Virginia, where he was attending a bachelor party. “I have status with them.
I wouldn't have been so sarcastic in the last paragraph if I had known this story was being told by someone who had status. RISE UP PEOPLE! CHRIS LAW HAS STATUS WITH US AIRWAYS AND THEY DID THIS TO HIM! IMAGINE WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO PEOPLE WITHOUT STATUS! ARM YOURSELVES IMMEDIATELY!
Before we board, I see this lady with a full-grown dog. I have never seen a full-size dog on a plane in coach. This dog had a service tag on it, and the lady looked healthy, fine. But whatever. I get on the plane, everyone boards, the lady and her dog go in back.
This story is long, but the dog starts shitting everywhere and the shit stinks. The plane has to land and Hazmat has to come on the plane to take care of the issue.
(Speaking of which, and I know I will regret putting this idea out there, but I feel like this is the plot of a movie. Terrorists plan to get on a plane and want to avoid going through the detectors, so they have a dog crap all over a plane, Hazmat comes in, but it's actually the terrorists, and take over the plane on the runway and shenanigans en sue ...I'm just saying this is a terrible, terrible idea but it came to me and I have no doubt Bruce Willis would be in this movie somehow)
Now back to Chris Law: “So we land. We stay on the plane. Hazmat is actually five guys in orange vests.
I'm pretty sure they wouldn't suit up completely to face the impending crisis of dog shit on a plane.
“But when we were in Kansas City, she and the dog got off. It was clear this dog was ‘serving’ no purpose. The woman was walking fine. The dog had its own seat. So when she got off, it was like a walk of shame. Her and the dog walked off. People were clapping when she got off the plane, maybe 10 or 15 people clapping. Some people were pretty pissed off. Two people missed their cruise to Greece. People missed their connections. A lady sitting near me was getting honored by a charity that she runs in Hartford that night, and had to make a speech there, but she never made it.
Is that normal? She runs a charity and is being honored by that charity. So she is being honored by...herself? I don't know, really. It seems odd to me to run a charity and then be honored by the charity you run. Maybe it was for longevity of service or something.
I will never, ever, ever complain about anything related to travel for the rest of my life.
At least until next week.
Peter would have absolutely had a shit-fit if this happened on a flight he was on. Peter would have eviscerated this woman in MMQB and then demanded the airlines personally apologize to him.
Red Sox losing streak reaches ten. It's like watching one of your good friends, normally sober, get drunk and puke on his shoes.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) May 26, 2014
That sounds exactly like something Bill Simmons would Tweet. I wonder which person stole this manner of speaking from the other? It has all the identifiers of something Bill Simmons would say or Tweet. Very weird.
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think the most meaningless, dumb story of this offseason is the constant, unending, logic-defying debate over who is the Jets’ starting quarterback, and that anything done before the battle is joined once training camp is a tangible factor in who will win the job—Geno Smith or Michael Vick.
Peter then takes up #1 and #2 "things he thinks" in talking about the Jets quarterback situation. Yeah Peter, I sure do wish some people would stop discussing this meaningless, dumb story. If only more people would follow your lead in not discussing it by discussing it.
Speaking of dumb, meaningless stories...Peter hasn't bashed Josh Freeman in a month, so here goes:
3. I think there’s an incredible story out there, waiting to be written about Josh Freeman. It could be called: “How to ruin your football career in just 18 months.” In the span of the past year and a half, Freeman:
Threw for 4,065 yards at age 24 in 2012, appearing to be one of the best young quarterbacks in football for a young Tampa Bay team.
Had his work ethic questioned in Tampa, where he was mostly scarce on game-planning Tuesdays, a day very few if any starting NFL quarterbacks take off.
Was benched by coach Greg Schiano in Tampa.
Was signed by Minnesota last October.
Completed 43 percent of his passes, a laughable figure, in seven games in 2013.
Got cut loose by the Vikings after the season.
Got signed April 21 by the Giants, who planned to give him a chance to win the number two job behind Eli Manning.
Got cut by the Giants on Friday.
Did Josh Freeman break up with one of Peter's daughters? Did Freeman insult Peter in some way? I just wonder because Peter goes out of his way to bash Freeman and he even slightly deceives his reading audience to make Freeman seem worse than he is. Peter states Freeman completed a "laughable" (I like the editorializing, as if giving the number isn't good enough) 43% of his passes in seven games in 2013. As Peter documented on a near-weekly basis, Freeman didn't play after his one start with the Vikings in October and he only started four games all season. Yes, Freeman did complete 43% of his passes, but that was only in four starts and even during the season where he threw for 4065 yards he only completed 54.8% of his passes. So he was a fairly inaccurate quarterback who threw for a lot of yardage in 2012 and it's not like his star was completely on the rise. If Peter can get past his rage towards Freeman he would remember the Bucs didn't give him a new contract prior to the 2013 season because they wanted him to prove he was worth a new contract. He did not prove this and now he's out of the NFL again. End of story. He isn't the first or the last 1st round pick to perform poorly in the NFL and I have no idea why Peter picks on Freeman like he does.
4. I think it’s easy to say Sean Lee is injury-prone and leave his latest bit of terrible news—he suffered a torn ACL last week when he was jarred by rookie offensive lineman Zack Martin at a non-padded Dallas workout—at that. But with DeMarcus Ware and Lee gone for 2014 (Ware was cut in a cap move), and defensive tackle Jason Hatcher not re-signed, I cannot see any way new defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli can make a strong defense out of what he has left in Dallas. Talk about pressure on Tony Romo. He certainly was looking forward to not having to outscore every team he played this fall. Now, the Cowboys’ only real chance for the playoffs seems to rest on just how high-scoring the offense can be.
But it will always be Tony Romo's fault when the Cowboys lose a game. Always.
5. I think Arizona GM Steve Keim (see Quotes of the Week) is justifiably fuming over the year-long suspension handed to Daryl Washington, the best player on his front seven...In March, Keim essentially handed Washington a $10 million option bonus to trigger his contract for 2014. Now Keim has to feel altogether double-crossed, and it’s certain the team won’t allow Washington to keep that money without a fight. Arizona also could move on from Washington, figuring a player the coaches cannot trust (suspended for 20 of 32 games over a two-year span) is worthless to them.
Here is a great example of Peter treating a player who has had drug/alcohol issues purely from a "What does it mean in terms of football" point of view, rather than the "I wish this guy could get the help he needs" point of view. When it's an owner who gets detained for an alcohol/drug-related violation then Peter hopes this guy gets some help, but when it's a player who may or may not have alcohol/drug-related issues then Peter looks at it from a pure football standpoint and talks about how the coaches can't trust the player or feel double-crossed. Seems fair.
8. I think if Will Hill can blame second-hand smoke for his positive drug test—the league suspended him six games for the positive test last week—I can blame second-hand pizza for my weight.
Hill is probably thinking of an excuse, but second-hand smoke is a real thing and second-hand pizza is not. It was just last week that Peter bitched about a bar in Tennessee allowing their customers to smoke because it was bothering him while he ate. I get that Hill is using an excuse but it's interesting Peter makes this joke since second-hand smoke bothered him at a bar just over a week ago.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
b. Holy cow, Edwin Encarnacion. You’re the most dangerous hitter in baseball right now. Encarnacion hit two homers the other night—16 for the month of May—that traveled the length of three homers in any ballpark in America. Wow.
So who is the first sportswriter who wants to speculate, but not come out and actually say it, that Encarnacion is using PED's?
h. Coffeenerdness: So I’m weak, and I just had a five-latte week. Just don’t tell the nutritionist.
Hopefully Peter's sort of-nutrionist is illiterate and stupid like Peter assumes the rest of his MMQB readers are and can't read what Peter just wrote in this MMQB. Otherwise she probably knows Peter had five lattes. Besides, someone who negotiates with a nutritionist about how many lattes he/she can have during the week probably isn't very serious about their goal of losing some weight.
The Adieu Haiku
Freeman, cut again.
How were so many so wrong?
Two words: work ethic.
We get it, Peter. Josh Freeman sucks and you think he sucks and everyone thinks he sucks. He's lazy. It's understood. Why do you harp on Freeman so much as if he is the only first round quarterback to ever not play up to expectations in the NFL? I must ask this because I'm not sure I've ever read one sportswriter so pointlessly down on a quarterback like King is down on Freeman. Freeman wasn't even a top-5 pick and it's not like he was terrible his entire career. Yet, he draws Peter's ire to where Peter talks about him in MMQB whenever possible, just to remind his readers that Josh Freeman is indeed a lazy, useless, money-stealing asshole.