Tuesday, July 22, 2014

10 comments MMQB Review: Peter Comes Back from Vacation Firing on All Socially Aware Cylinders Edition

Two housekeeping notes...first off, Peter King is back and Gregg Easterbrook is back. Summer will be over, which means I will hopefully be able to get the post rate up to 5 per week. Also, I'm still filling spaces in the fantasy football league and will give it a few more days. Otherwise, there may be as many as five spaces open in the league for those that want to join. I will post the information once I make sure those who played last year don't want to participate this year. 

Peter King has returned from his month long hibernation/coffee binge to continue writing MMQB and do a tour of NFL training camps. He did come back for one week during his vacation to do an all-CFL edition of MMQB, which I didn't cover here, mostly because I don't know enough about the CFL to refute anything Peter wrote. It also prevented me from using the "Canadian issues" tag on a post, which is always a sad state of affairs. This week Peter talks about the Buffalo Bills, all this hope NFL teams have, inexplicably ranks the NFL teams before training camp begins and continues to write the Adieu Haiku much to my chagrin. What I find interesting is Peter used the tag "Cam Newton" for this MMQB. Being a Panthers fan I was interested to see what he wrote about Newton thinking it had something to do with his new Drakkar Noir fragrance or anything else of interest. Well, there's really nothing. He has a sentence about how Newton is recovering from surgery and that's pretty much it. Not sure I understand his use of that tag since he doesn't really talk about Newton. Peter also tagged "Chris Snee," and doesn't have much of a discussion on Snee. He has at least more than one sentence about Snee though.

Let's dive back into the world of caffeinated and turkey burger eating world of Peter King!

Sunday night was precisely what the NFL wants out of the preseason. The night of the first practice of the NFL summer simply couldn’t have gone better. Hope was for sale everywhere on the St. John Fisher campus here, the same way it will be in 31 other camps starting with the Giants today in New Jersey, and there were thousands of consumers, happy to buy that hope.

Fools! They are all fools! They will spend their money, waste their time, and lose their voices cheering for a team that will go 6-10. Meanwhile Roger Goodell counts his money.

One guy called me over to show me the Ralph Wilson tattoo he just had etched on his arm this off-season, in tribute to the late Hall of Fame owner of the team.

Oh, so the Ralph Wilson tattoo wasn't a tribute to Joe Montana?

There was the promising quarterback (the Bills hope), Manuel, getting the benefit of the doubt from the adoring crowd. He’d missed six games last year due to injury, and never played as well as the Bills had hoped, and he enters this summer with a giant question mark over his head.

This is as opposed to the vast array of rookie quarterbacks who enter the NFL, get injured for almost half the season, and then still manage to prove there are no questions about their ability.

Speaking of Watkins, he’s the belle of the football here.

SEE WHAT PETER DID THERE?

WARNING: THIS IS REAL PROFESSIONAL SPORTS WRITING, AMATEURS WHO CAN'T HANDLE THE USE OF PUNS NEED NOT APPLY.

And they love GM Doug Whaley for overpaying to move up to get Watkins in the first round last May. To move up five spots in the first round, from nine to four, Whaley paid next year’s first-round and fourth-round picks to Cleveland. 

No, they love Dough Whaley for moving up and getting Watkins. They don't love that Whaley went and overpaid for Sammy Watkins. Besides, who is to say it was an overpay? I don't know that I recall Peter calling the Falcons moving up to get Julio Jones as an overpay. It's certainly worked out pretty well for the Falcons.

The Bills, following the lead of the Super Bowl champion Seahawks, played loud tunes—U2, Macklemore, Eminem, Black Eyed Peas, House of Pain—for more than half the practice. 

Were the Seahawks the first team to play practice with loud music or something? I feel like I recall other NFL teams practicing with loud music, but Peter is obsessed with the fact Pete Carroll plays loud music while his Seahawks team practices. Peter seems to think this is some magic elixir that helped the Seahawks win the Super Bowl. And quite frankly, I would be very de-motivated to practice hard if I heard some U2 or Black Eyed Peas coming from the sound system. Still, I remember other teams practicing with loud music prior to the Seahawks. I feel like Peter is trying to tie the loud music into winning football games.

There were other reasons to be excited. Running back Bryce Brown, supposedly a spare part acquired in a trade with Philadelphia, ran like he had rockets in his shoes.

Who the hell said that Bryce Brown was a spare part? Peter is doing a lot of editorializing early in his return to writing MMQB. Bryce Brown has played pretty well in the games where he was actually given a shot to get more than five carries. It's not easy backing up LeSean McCoy. Where does the idea Brown was a spare part come from?

The Bills haven’t made the playoffs in this century. They’ve had nine straight losing seasons. Imagine not winning 10 games in the past 14 years. Fourteen!

They never should have fired Wade Phillips. Huge mistake. 

This is a better team than most if not all of the teams the Bills have fielded since their last playoff season, 1999. It’s a group that can win now if the quarterback plays at a B-plus level.

Considering Peter just got done telling us that the Bills haven't won 10 games in 14 years, (Fourteen!) it may not be saying much that this is the best Bills team since 1999. It just may mean this team could win 9 games this season.

In other words, Dareus is a total mess.

Asked how troubling it is that Dareus didn’t report to camp in shape given how many strikes he already has against him, Marrone would say only: “He’ll be in shape, ready to play.”

Got that rookie contract coming up soon. Gotta pull a Trevor Ariza and bust your ass for a season to get a long-term deal, then Operation Shutdown/Smokey and the Dareus Bandit can continue.

Manuel feels it.

“At Florida State, we were so used to winning, it was customary. When I got here, you could just feel it, how much they want it. First day of camp, a Sunday night, you see the stands packed, you hear them for over two hours … People say Buffalo’s this, Buffalo’s that, Buffalo’s cold. To me, if you win, it’s the best place on earth. Like Tallahassee. It’s a college-town atmosphere here.

I think Peter King would say that the Bills have been playing as an NFL team at a college football-level over the past 14 years.

All you have here is the Bills.

Well, and the Buffalo Sabres.

Obviously the Sabres too.

You just said (looks back at transcript), "All you have here is the Bills" and then said "obviously" there are the Sabres too. It must be not that obvious the Sabres are there too, because you just completely forgot about them. That's like saying all the Broncos have his Peyton Manning, then saying obviously there is Demaryius Thomas and Von Miller too. It makes not of sense.

But if the Bills win, it’s a whole different city.’’

Football is more popular than hockey. Got it. I'm going to need to move on before I make an FSU joke.

So we’ll see if Manuel and Watkins can hit the ground running together. The first team period was a start. Said Manuel:...So on draft day, I’m out at a restaurant with my father in south Florida, and when I saw on TV that we made that trade and drafted him, I jumped out of my chair. C.J. Spiller calls me right away and says, ‘We got our boy! We got our boy!’ Because we’d been talking about it since January. My phone went almost dead, because 18,000 people called me at one time.

That must be a hell of a call waiting backup. I get irritated when one person tries to call me and I'm already on the phone.

(Note: This hasn't happened since approximately 2003)

It’s going to be great to watch him grow.”

And he is going to need to grow, because the history of sub-6'2" wide receivers drafted in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft isn't illustrious.

Standing in the end zone, Whaley smiled. “They love me now,” he said.

And tomorrow? They’ll still love him. It’s hope season for seven more weeks, for 31 other franchises. Just the way the NFL wants it.

(Roger Goodell rubs his hands together excitedly, then doesn't suspend an NFL owner after he confesses to stabbing a woman to death while drunk because "we will wait for all the facts to come out"...then Goodell hands out a one game suspension to a player for repeatedly violating the dress code)

The Fine 15, Pre-Camp Edition

Now this is odd. A Fine 15 some 46 days before the season starts. But there’s nothing like a little controversy to sell papers.

I guess it's nice to see Peter is at least being upfront about putting a pre-Camp Edition of the Fine 15 (and is it "Fine 15" this year and not "Fine Fifteen"?...I ask because "Fine 15" sounds like a movie Marvel will make in 2025 with every single one of their licensed superheroes in it) in MMQB to get some feedback, positive or negative, and get eyes to read MMQB. I can imagine the dip in readership from when Peter writes MMQB to when he has guest writers is pretty vast.

1. Seattle.  I like the approach of the coach and the defense

Well, that and they just won the Super Bowl with an absolutely stifling defense and lost almost zero key players on that defense.

3. San Francisco. If I trusted Colin Kaepernick as much as I trust Russell Wilson, 1 and 3 would be reversed.

It's the backwards hat and tattoos isn't it? Hey, Russell Wilson is getting divorced. That shows he makes commitments that he won't work hard to uphold and once he's achieved something he takes it for granted. I mean, doesn't that sound like a sentence that is going to be in an article written later in the Fall if the Seahawks start out 2-4?

4. New Orleans. The rich get obscenely richer, and Brandin Cooks wins offensive rookie of the year, and the defense stays stout.

Hey, maybe they will even manage to win their division this year or will eventually earn this #4 ranking as opposed to having it handed to them! Welp, guess there's a bounty on my head now.

(There is a statute of limitations on bounty jokes. I think we are about at that point. Just wanted to check though.)

5. Indianapolis. I’m buying the Luck hype,

No fucking way, Peter! YOU? You buy the Luck hype? I can't believe it. It's not like you have been up his ass since he was drafted in the NFL. You know what, it's not even hype. He's the real thing. My snark aside, it's unfair to call it hype at this point.

plus he gets back one of the great young tight ends in the game—Dwayne Allen. 

Let's slow the roll here. Luck has hype, but Dwayne Allen is one of the best tight ends in the game? Let's see how he does after missing nearly the entire last season before going back to his 2012 season (his only season in the NFL) to issue "great, young" proclamations.

6. Denver. Having a hard time getting That Game out of my head.

Don't worry, it will be out of Peter's head when the Broncos are 10-1 and Peter writes a story about how Peyton Manning feels even better than he did last year and the sky is the limit for this Broncos team.

9. Chicago.  Marc Trestman’s acing chemistry class. He’s got Jay Cutler kumbaya-ing in the cafeteria at Halas Hall. And who’s covering those Olajuwon-sized receivers and tight end Martellus Bennett?

Hey! Only Joel Embiid can be compared to Hakeem Olajuwon these days. I'm sure there is a copyright somewhere regarding this.

10. St. Louis.

Presented without comment. I'M JUST KIDDING!

#10, huh? I'm not saying it won't happen, but these writers have been drinking this Jeff "8-8" Fisher Juice for so long I'm not sure they even know how to stop. The Rams are fantastic on defense and they have an offense that could be very good if Bradford is healthy. Maybe they are the #10th best team in the NFL, but they are in a very tough division.

Might not show up in the record, but the Rams are going to be hell to play, and they’ll be a playoff team if Sam Bradford plays the way he was drafted to play.

Read that sentence and try to tell me Peter's relationship with Marvin Demoff doesn't come into play when he discusses the Rams. "It may not show in the record." He's already making excuses even if Fisher doesn't make the playoffs this year. For what Jeff "8-8" Fisher gets paid to coach the Rams, the team's talent sure as shit better show up in the record. Fisher gets paid enough for that to happen.

I don't dislike Sam Bradford, but as many times as Peter has bashed QB's like Andy Dalton, E.J. Manuel, and Geno Smith (and they weren't even #1 overall picks), how many years has the "IF Bradford can play well" dance been written? It's been since he's been in the league. Yes, he could play great, or he may not. At what point will it be known if Bradford is going to play like a #1 overall pick? I can see the Rams making the playoffs, but I don't believe they will make it in 2015. That's not what Jeff Fisher does as a coach, despite the media's constant talking him up. He's simply not the coach that his reputation and salary claims him to be. It drives me crazy and my distaste for how Peter talks about the Rams over the past three years as a sleeping juggernaut frustrates me. I don't hate the Rams, but Jeff Fisher is a more dressed-up Wade Phillips when it comes to making the playoffs.

11. Arizona. Might not show up in the record, but the Cards are going to be hell to play,

(Looks back up at his previous rant) Ummm....my point still stands about Marvin Demoff and Peter King though.

and they’ll be a playoff team if Carson Palmer plays close to the way he played in his prime.

And when will that be again?

13. Cincinnati.  Deep and talented, but let me be the 4,672nd guru to say in the last six months, “It all comes down to Dalton.”

Everyone who reads this blog knows I understand a team wins games and it can't be thrown on the shoulders (positively or negatively) of the quarterback. I do think it's important to know Andy Dalton has more playoff appearances than Sam Bradford and Carson Palmer combined and he's only been in the NFL for three years. I think it's important to think about this while reading Peter's unbridled hope for the Cardinals and Rams, while throwing the Bengals season entirely on Dalton's shoulders and ranking the Bengals lower than Palmer and Bradford's team.

Speaking of media favorites...how about some Chris Kluwe discussion? I agree with Kluwe's crusade while also finding some hypocrisy in his actions and justification for his actions. They don't make him a bad person, but it does make me question the messenger a bit.

Now, Kluwe has written for the site in the past, and he is a smart and engaging person, and he fiercely defends the rights of the oppressed. But I do not see how he justifies poking fun at strength coach Tom Kanavy, who formerly worked at Penn State, by cutting out the seat of his pants and, in an apparent joking way, saying he was a Penn State victim and telling Kanavy to stay away from him while his buttocks were exposed. Kluwe said on Twitter, in justification, that “over half the team” chided Kanavy about the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia, some of them cruelly. That makes no sense to me. It’s justifying what you did the same way gang members do—everybody else was doing it, so why single me out?

(Vomits into a trash can) Peter is 100% correct about this. Kluwe is suing the Vikings because of comments he disagreed with that his special teams coach made and he thinks his opposition to the special teams coach's position meant Kluwe was released by the Vikings. The same mob mentality that he is accusing the Vikings of participating in is being used by him as an excuse for why he made a fairly inappropriate joke in the locker room. The whole "everyone was doing it" mentality is a justification for homophobia in the locker room. Yet this is the same excuse Kluwe used to explain why he pretended he was a Penn State victim with his butt exposed. And no, this isn't highlighting the Penn State programs for their failures, this is pretending to be a victim of pedophilia. Everyone has said/done things they regret or can be taken in the wrong context. It's just if you are going to throw stones, be sure you don't use the same justification explaining your actions those you are throwing stones at are using as well.

Kluwe so stridently fought for the right side on other issues, like gay marriage, and it’s just so sordid to join the crowd in making fun of a pedophile.

Peter King with this fucking editorializing. There is no "right side" of gay marriage. The "right side" is a complete opinion and I don't like it's being classified as "right" or "wrong." That's Peter though. Once a tidal wave of momentum arrives on a social issue he's willing to catch that wave and ride it in like he's been there all along. He did it with the Redskins name too. Once there was a backlash, then he made his stand and stop using the Redskins name. I hate the use of "right" or "wrong" on social issues. Peter needs to stop it and talk football. This discussion can be had without using such subjective terms.

In 2012, Kluwe had the best net punting average (39.7 yards per punt) in his eight-year Viking career, and his third-best gross average, at 45.0 yards. He wasn’t a bad outdoor punter, as the investigation suggested. In fact, over his last two seasons, he had a better punting average—45.83 yards per punt—than when he punted indoors (45.30). So, at the end of the day, this is a story that’s not going to paint anyone with a glory brush.

But Kluwe was expensive and he was a punter. NFL players get released for money reasons all the time, especially when they play a position like punter where a replacement making 50% of the previous player's money with 85% of the production can be found. Kluwe very well could have been cut for valid, football-related reasons. 

“They need to change the name. In this day and age, it’s just not right.”

—Jordan Wright, the granddaughter of the late Washington owner George Preston Marshall, who named the team the “Redskins” when he moved the franchise from Boston to Washington in 1937, to longtime football writer Len Shapiro, in a piece he wrote for Leesburg (Va.) Today. Thanks to Pro Football Talk for pointing out this piece by Shapiro.

Again, more of Peter presenting points of view that he agrees with in an effort to make a social change related to football. It's not the end of the world he does this, but two years ago (one year ago) Peter didn't seem to have a strong opinion on the Redskins name that he spoke about in print. Now, he's fervently against the use of the Redskins name. "Leading from behind" is what they call it I believe.

Tony Gwynn died while I was away.

Peter wasn't away when Tony Gwynn died. No, not at all. Tony Gwynn died while Peter was away. Gwynn's death must be framed around Peter's absence in writing MMQB.

My favorite Gwynn stat:

Lifetime at-bats versus Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez: 143.
Strikeouts versus Maddux and Martinez: 0.
Batting average versus Maddux and Martinez: .350.


And yes, I know Maddux wasn’t a feared strikeout pitcher. But the man is 10th on the all-time strikeout list and averaged 6.1 K’s per nine innings.

I love Peter King. He looks at a stat that shows Gwynn hit .350 against two Hall of Fame pitchers and he focuses on the fact Gwynn didn't strike out against either pitcher during his entire career. Sure, that's impressive, but why waste time defending Maddux as a strikeout pitcher rather than focus on the fact Gwynn hit .350 against Pedro Martinez and Greg Maddux? That's the impressive statistic.

I saw the Pirates play in Pittsburgh, with my wife and my brother-in-law and his boys, at beautiful PNC Park (“beautiful” or “breathtaking” should be the mandatory adjective every time PNC Park is discussed) in June. The day of the game, I was in line at a Starbucks in downtown Pittsburgh,

There's a shock. I wonder how Peter's sort-of-nutritionist feels about his drinking habits at Starbucks these days?

And who do you think is in front of me in line?

Well, there are billions of people in the world, so I should get this one...was it Carrot Top?

Andrew McCutchen. With his fiancĂ©, Maria Hanslovan, in line with him, McCutchen ordered his drink. I didn’t hear what it was.

BUT DID YOU WRITE DOWN MCCUTCHEN'S ENTIRE CONVERSATION AND THEN TRY TO TRANSCRIBE IT HERE IN MMQB?

I can picture Peter rubbernecking around in line trying in vain to hear what Andrew McCutchen ordered.

"Name for the cup?” the man on the register said.

“Andrew,” McCutchen said.

What? McCutchen didn't say, "Don't you know who I am?" to the man on the register? Peter finds that is an excellent way to get a free cup of coffee.

We ordered, then went to wait for ours next to the reigning National League Most Valuable Player. In cases like this, I always think the famous person should be left alone, because the famous person I assume gets so few chances to be left alone. Thirty, 40, 50 seconds pass.

You know the whole time Peter is standing there he's thinking, "Man, I hope McCutchen recognizes who I am so we can start up a conversation that I can brag about in MMQB."

“Andrew,” the barista called. His drink was ready. He claimed it, and his fiancĂ© claimed hers, and they went over to sit down on a couch in the store. One fellow came over and said hi and shook his hand, and McCutchen was pleasant enough, and that was that, and the MVP of the National League went to sit down and enjoy some private time—

Oh, so that's it? So the summary of these five paragraphs could be thus, "I saw Andrew McCutchen at Starbucks where he ordered a coffee and wasn't bothered by but one man the entire time." I guess that would seem a lot less interesting of a story. I thought this story was going somewhere a little more...umm...colorful, maybe? That's as opposed to "He ordered coffee and then drank it." 

1. I think I’d like my four Guest MMQB writers to take a collective bow. Thanks, Marc Trestman, for education us heathens about the CFL. Thanks, Vernon Davis, for taking us into the world of a holdout. Thanks, Khalil Mack, for telling us how you got from unknown high school player to being a high first-round pick. And thank you, Rich Eisen, for educating us about the Silly Season. I couldn’t have said it better, because there is so, so, so much wasted time and energy spent on the month off from football, which should be a month off from football because nothing at all happens in the month before camps open.

Of course, while talking about how nothing happens during the month off from football, Peter still takes the time to have NFL-related content posted to THE MMQB and still wants visitors to read his site everyday. So he wants there to be a break from football, but also wants there to not be a break from football so his advertisers stay content during the NFL offseason. Nothing happens, but read THE MMQB everyday about this nothing.

4. I think one of the most interesting teams this preseason will be Carolina. Lots of moving pieces there.

This is as opposed to the other NFL teams who didn't have a lot of changes to their roster in the offseason.

A grab-bag of discarded vets (Jerricho Cotchery, Tiquan Underwood, Jason Avant) plus rookie Kelvin Benjamin forming an all-new receiving corps.

I HAVEN'T HEARD THE PANTHERS HAVE SHITTY RECEIVERS! THIS IS NEW INFORMATION TO ME!

The team is in salary cap hell and are actively trying to get out of salary cap hell because in the next 2-3 years they have to re-sign Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, and Star Lotulelei. It's a tough process right now. So there's no money to spend on long-term contracts for free agent receivers who want long-term contracts.

Cam Newton trying to do two important things in the next seven weeks: get his surgically repaired ankle in football shape and bonding with a bunch of guys not names Steve Smith. And finding a new left tackle.

It's funny how the whole "new left tackle" thing gets constantly thrown into the end of any evaluation of the Panthers team as a sort of afterthought. The wide receivers aren't a problem. The fact 4 of the 5 offensive linemen who started in the playoff game last year will either be retired or playing new positions on the line is by far the team's biggest issue. Cam Newton is going to die. The projected right/left tackle is a guy who was playing defensive tackle two years ago. Carolina Medical Center already has a room on standby from September to December with surgeons waiting for Newton's eventual arrival.

7. I think the Washington franchise will have a new team name by 2016.

That name? Daniel Snyder will choose to name them the Washington Indians just to put the onus on the Cleveland Indians to change their team name. Once this backlash died down, then Daniel Snyder will name George W. Bush as the General Manager and talk about changing the team name to the Conservatives, at which point Peter will still refuse to call the franchise by it's team name.

9. I think Jay Glazer will be great at introducing Michael Strahan for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in two weeks, because no one on this earth knows Strahan better than Glazer. It’s cool to see a media person named for this honor.

Is it though? Maybe. Jay Glazer's business relationships with the players he has covered has consistently vexed me. I would say it doesn't affect his coverage, but given his Richie Incognito interview last year I'm not entirely sure that's true. The guy can break NFL news though. I just don't know if it's "cool" to see a media person named for this honor. Granted, he knows Strahan well, but his job is also to be an impartial observer and reporter.

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

b. The World Cup should happen every two years, not four.
c. I agree with Rich Eisen: Ian Darke needs to do an NFL game on TV, for somebody.

Skills at calling one sport doesn't always translate to another sport. There are plenty of examples of this being true.

j. Hey Ed Bouchette: Congrats on winning the McCann Award, emblematic of great writing and great contributions to football journalism, given by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. You are one of the best people in our business, and I know scores echo my sentiments. So pleased for you, and I hope all who have learned so much about the Steelers from your writing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette take a moment to thank you in the coming weeks.

(Bengoodfella opens up his Yahoo email account, copies and pastes this text into a blank email and then confirms these words would indeed fit into the format of an email to Bouchette rather than being placed in a national column where they are less personal and slightly more pretentious)

l. Dustin Pedroia’s just not the same as he was. Either he overachieved when he first came up (I am not a big “overachieving’’ and “underachieving’’ person, because how are you significantly better or worse than the norm over 1,000 at-bats) but, really, the numbers don’t lie. He’s an excellent fielder and absolutely average hitter.

What the hell? So much to discuss here.

1. Dustin Pedroia had 4,029 at-bats in the majors prior to this year. He has been very, very good during the time he had those at-bats.

2. This is the first season during his entire career that Pedroia could be known as a player who "underachieved." He was 7th in the MVP race last year and had a really good season.

3. Peter writes "Either..." but doesn't name another option outside of Pedroia overachieving when he first came up.

4. What is this "first came up" crap? Dustin Pedroia has been great for seven full MLB seasons now. He's 30 and can't be expected to be great every single season. This is some epic writing-off that Peter has done to Pedroia. It's not like Pedroia has been terrible this season, he's just not up to his own standard, which is pretty high.

5. Quit being a drama queen about this. Pedroia isn't having a great year. This happens and it's never happened to him on this level. Don't act like his entire career has been a facade because he's having one season that isn't up to his usual standard.

m. And after watching the World Series last year, in which David Ortiz was un-retireable, how is he hitting .250-ish and getting waylaid by the Danny Duffys of the world?

Well, he is 38 years old. He is getting on-base at a near .350 clip and has 20 home runs. Sure, Danny Duffy maybe struck him out, but he's just not hitting for a high average. Let's calm the sadness down just a little bit.

o. Coffeenerdness: I’m not very good at keeping my Macchiato agreement, drinking three a week. Now that I’m going on this camp trip, I see more Macchiatos and fewer iced coffees in my next month.

Oh no, Peter's sort-of nutritionist is going to be pissed off.

p. Beernerdness: My three favorite beers from vacation: Starr Hill Brewery (Charlottesville, Va.) Northern Lights IPA, one of the most flavorful IPAs I have ever tasted. Had it with a turkey burger at Boylan’s in Charlottesville, Va., on a warm June day, my first-ever trip to the Virginia campus …

This is a really good beer. I'm not sure I would have it with a turkey burger though. I'm not sure how it pairs with a turkey burger. That's like having a darker beer while eating a salad. Seems wrong to me.

q. If we don’t act against the Russian separatists for the downing of the Malaysian airliner full of innocents, when exactly would we act against anyone for anything?

Peter is very socially aware this week. He's like an 18 year old during his first semester of college. If Peter continues along this track he'll be protesting the treatment of cattle and boycotting big companies (except Starbucks of course) because they turn the American public into mindless idiots who only want to purchase products that show just how addicted to our comforts we are.

t. Good to be back. You’ll have me for the next 47 weeks, and I hope I can give you more than 10 things to think about this season.

Every single week you give me more than 10 things that I think about. Granted, probably not in the way that you think you intend, but I do think about a lot of what you write and it makes me wonder.

The Adieu Haiku
NFL camp time.
So optimistic out here.
League of hopes and dreams.


I'm still waiting newly socially aware Peter King's response to his BFF Tony Dungy's comment that he wouldn't have taken Michael Sam in the draft because "...things will happen." It's a test of Peter's new social awareness against his love of treating his friends kindly whether they deserve it or not.

I still don't see the purpose of the "Adieu Haiku" but at least Peter didn't link the Bruce Springsteen song "Land of Hopes and Dreams."

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely spot on on Kluwe and his hypocrisy. I have heard quite a few Sandusky penn state jokes, but none were as tasteless and seemed to go to as much effort as Kluwe's.

His justification seemed rather similar to Lance Armstrong's defense of his PED use. Not comparing the two situations obviously, but both of them used the Everyone else was doing it defense. As much as it makes one sound like an overbearing mother, just because everyone else was doing it doesn't magically make it right.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills because I want to agree with Kluwe. He makes it so hard for me though. I've covered it here before, but he was a punter who had a bad season in 2012 and was making more money than the average punter makes. The Vikings released him and used a punter who was about average last year for a lower cost.

Jeff Locke is who replaced Kluwe, and he was a rookie last year, so the odds are fairly high he will improve this year...at a lower cost. I understand Kluwe was great in 2011, but the NFL is a "what have you done lately for me?" league and so I'm not sure Kluwe's lawsuit is winnable unless he has a smoking gun that proves the Vikings released him due to his beliefs.

Now as far as what you are talking about (I got off topic), Kluwe claimed he was mocking the rape culture at PSU. That's weak. By posing as a child rape victim he's mocking the victim. If I tear my clothes and dress like a woman who is a rape victim would it come off as I am mocking our rape culture or victims themselves?

I thought it was hilarious that Kluwe's defense was exactly what any other player in the locker room would say when confronted with his own homophobia. Blame it on the group, not on the individual, and it leaves the individual blameless. Kluwe is a smart guy, I'm surprised he doesn't see this.

Don't even get me started on the whole "sex with an underage girl" thing he put on Twitter. For a guy who feels like he's in the right, he's certainly firing off comments like he's gotta stay on the offensive.

Anonymous said...

I can understand him being bitter about getting cut, I really do but the proof is in the pudding and his stats at that point didn't warrant his contract.

I agree about his joke. He was basically insulting an innocent victim of rape and I don't find that funny. I got worked up when I first heard about it because I have a friend who struggled for a long time with issues pertaining to abuse she received as a child.

I think my thing with Kluwe's lawsuit is most of the evidence seems circumstantial at best. And maybe I haven't been paying enough attention but if there was a widespread belief that the team did release him because of his views why have no other vikings players come forward to back up his story?

Snarf said...

Also, it's pretty weak that Peter's best defense of Kluwe as a good punter involves comparing him to his own career numbers and not that of the league. Zero analysis on how his contract ranked, etc.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I have to be honest...I wouldn't probably get too up in arms about Kluwe's actions re: the "joke" he was making since I'm sure shit like that happens in the locker room all the time. It doesn't excuse it, but I certainly expect that type of behavior. So I wouldn't get normally worked up over it since I figure it's typical athlete asshole behavior, but Kluwe is pointing the finger at the Vikings for being homophobic and making jokes about homosexuals, yet he makes jokes (regardless of whether he intended to or not) about rape victims? It's in bad taste and it makes me wonder if he's not just accusing others of taking part in similar behavior he would take part in given a different situation.

That may or may not make sense, but the fact Kluwe took part in his behavior makes me wonder if he just took part in mocking a completely different subset of people, while being mad the Vikings made comments about homosexuals.

Part of the reason the Vikings players may not step up is he's throwing accusations at them through Twitter. I don't know if I would want to be on his team with some of the flame throwing he does at times. I do probably side with him on this issue, but he seems more interested at times in watching the team burn than actively changing minds about homosexuals in an NFL locker room.

Snarf, I have ignored Peter's defense of Kluwe's punting numbers since last year at this time when Peter used those same numbers. He won't use context and comparisons to other punters that year or mention his salary because it doesn't help Kluwe's case.

Kluwe made $1.6 million in 2012. Locke made $451K in 2013. But Peter isn't going to mention Kluwe's performance relative to other punters, because it doesn't help his case. Kluwe's contract was also up after the 2013 season.

Eric Long said...

Funny thing. I live in Minnesota,so I hear a lot about this Kluwe thing, and apparently Kluwe is contemplating filing a civil suit for $10M in damages. His own lawyers are apparently trying to talk him out of it. I think Mike Priefer did everything Kluwe said he did. I also think that if Kluwe was still the Vikings punter, he would be laughing right along with his shitty homophobic jokes and making rape jokes of his own. What a hypocrite. I'm so sick of hearing about this story.

Anonymous said...

Peyton Manning was once released. PEYTON MANNING. Why in the flying fuck can't Chris Kluwe be released? The Chiefs just released Brandon Flowers a couple months ago, and he's infinitely more valuable than Kluwe. This business of suing an NFL team for getting released is beyond ridiculous. The NFL is a cruel world in which almost everyone gets released at some point. Give it a fucking break.

Bengoodfella said...

Eric, I'm not an attorney but I heard about that $10 million in damages and thought that was just a case of him shooting high fully knowing it will be reduced at some point. I think the Viking ST guy is an asshole and there's no excuse for Kluwe's actions, so it seems there is no "right" side here and I'm not sure Kluwe can prove he was released due to his stance on gay rights.

Steve Smith was released this offseason. Why? It didn't save Carolina money, he was still performing at a good level, his contract wasn't too much for the team to bear. They just didn't want him in the locker room at this point. Not because he's a bad person, but they want to give other players a chance to lead. That's it. It was non-football related. Manning got released too. Just so the Colts could start Andrew Luck. I mean, NFL teams release players for good reasons and almost no reason sometimes.

Anonymous said...

The Vikings all released ryan longwell, who had a Much better career than klume.


I'm really tired of klume, enough already.

Bengoodfella said...

NO! Kluwe was the first semi-productive player to ever be released!