Wednesday, August 20, 2014

4 comments MMQB Review: Robin Williams Died, Which Means Peter Talks More About Philip Seymour Hoffman Edition

Peter King wrote in last week's MMQB that no finality will be determined after one preseason game, as Kevin Durant suggested on Twitter that media members are prone to do, then spent the first part of MMQB stating how Johnny Manziel has closed the gap on Brian Hoyer after the first preseason game. Peter also continued with his worship of words that are coming out of Chip Kelly's mouth and updated his readers on Michael Sam's adjustment to the NFL. I'm sure Michael Sam would just be another NFL player if the media would allow that to happen, which they won't. This week Peter talks about the 49ers new stadium, the Jaguars' future, accidentally tries to share a hotel room with a stranger, and reinforces once again that Philip Seymour Hoffman is the greatest actor of our generation. Peter will shart himself if anyone thinks differently.

There are two words for the 49ers’ new Levi’s Stadium, which opened for football Sunday afternoon: imaginative and cool.

That is actually three words you just used.

Imaginative, because the Niners, when they couldn’t get a deal done with the city of San Francisco for a new stadium eight years ago, decided they could do a couple of things. They could continue to fight to build a stadium in some inaccessible place near San Francisco where they didn’t want to be, or they could look elsewhere, to a place more accessible to the biggest city in the Bay Area, San Jose, and a place much closer to the mega-companies that had come to define the area.

It was imaginative to rip the team away from the city of San Francisco and head to an area with a larger companies who can provide sponsorship opportunities. Who would have ever thought do to this?

The site of this stadium is nine miles from Apple’s headquarters, 11 miles from Google, two miles from Intel, 10 miles from Facebook, four miles from Cisco and six miles from Yahoo. Levi’s Stadium is 45 miles south of Fisherman’s Wharf, but the world is changing—the world has changed—and so why mourn what isn’t?

That's an excellent way to look at it from the perspective of someone who isn't a 49ers fan who hasn't supported the team since they were in San Francisco only to have the team move to an area where they could build the new stadium. I don't know the local politics of this, but Peter's attitude of "Well, everything changes so get the fuck over it" feels sort of like a slap in the face to 49ers fans who supported the team in San Francisco. I wonder if Peter would feel the same way if the Red Sox moved from Boston to Andover. I'm guessing he would feel differently about "the world changing" in that situation.

Cool, because of these things:

The 38,000 square feet of solar panels produce enough energy to run the stadium for the 10 home 49er games each year, making it the only energy-sustainable sports venue in North America.

Better hope the 49ers don't have a home playoff game I guess.

There are light rail stops and bicycle racks just outside the stadium, You can ride your bike to the stadium from nearby San Jose neighborhoods, and my friend, San Jose Mercury News columnist Mark Purdy, said he plans to walk the four miles from his house to the stadium one time this season.

Can you ride your bike from San Francisco?

Another not-my-thing thing, but I realize it’s important today: Levi’s Stadium has four times the high-speed wifi capacity of the NFL’s standard for 2015.

Wait, high-speed wifi capacity isn't Peter's thing? If I remember correctly Peter King has complained about a hotel charging for wifi before. I'm sure wifi that moves quickly is one of Peter's "things" even if he doesn't know it is.

Driving up to the stadium Sunday morning, I thought what a pity it was to not have football in one of my favorite cities in the world anymore. Then I realized that’s an old-man thing to say, and Candlestick was a dump in the truest sense of the word, and life goes on—comfortably, in what feels like a palace, a $1.2 billion venue that is just about paid for in a state that’s supposed to be impossible to create things like this.

Candlestick was a dump, but I'm sure Peter is going to hear from 49ers fans who lived in San Francisco and supported the team since the 1980's (or earlier) who aren't exactly thrilled the team was taken from the San Francisco. The world moves on, that's true, but I'm sure some 49ers have something to say about the team moving to an area of California where it can be closer to a larger variety of corporate interests. Not that San Francisco doesn't have corporate interests of course. San Francisco just wasn't willing to build the 49ers a new stadium. Sorry 49ers fans in San Francisco, the world is changing and money now rules everything, which is totally different from the way the world was five years ago.

“Goodbye old cold foggy, soggy status quo stadium … Hello most technologically advanced fan experience on the planet.”

I'm sure there are plenty of Californians who are pleased the team has gone from San Francisco to a larger tech-headquarters area of the state where the money flows to a wider variety of higher-paying jobs in the technology field.

I’m not a stadium junkie, and I don’t tour many of them.

It sounds like you aren't a stadium junkie, since only 25% of this MMQB's pages are about a new stadium.

So I don’t know if this is the future of stadiums. But walking around Levi’s Stadium on Sunday morning, I certainly thought it should be.


And I thought how ridiculous it is that the Raiders are playing in the pit they’re playing in, trying to find a home somewhere, anywhere. The San Antonio Raiders? Puh-leeze. Better to relocate to Los Angeles, certainly, if Mark Davis isn’t greedy and he can find a rich financial partner (or buyer) and the city can figure a way to make the business of the NFL work.

Yes, we wouldn't want Mark Davis to be greedy. Maybe he should move the Raiders Santa Clara too! Then the Raiders and 49ers could be roommates!

But here’s a factoid for you: Levi’s Stadium is closer to downtown Oakland than to downtown San Francisco.

That's one more "fuck you" from Peter King to the 49ers fans in San Francisco.

The smartest thing of all would be for the Niners and Raiders, old buddies that they are, to pull a Giants-Jets and share a venue. Why not?

Because Raiders fans smell, will pee on the toilet seat, sit in front of the television all day and then eat all of the food while refusing to replace any of you know the Raiders are always going to have their friends over late on nights when the 49ers have to wake up early the next day.

There haven’t been many days in the Jim Harbaugh Era you wouldn’t want me to bring that up, but this is one of them. The preseason is a bad precursor for truth, and it’s silly to make too much of a 34-0 loss in August.

Upon reading this sentence, weekly readers of MMQB know that Peter King will now make too much of a 34-0 preseason loss. It's his nature to say something is silly and then do that exact thing.

But San Francisco is a lesser run-defense team without defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey (torn biceps) and run-stuffing linebacker NaVorro Bowman (rehabbing from knee surgery). The Niners will be missing two of their three best defensive players—pass-rusher Aldon Smith (suspension) and Bowman—for at least the first four games of the season. Which means the Niners will have to play Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, the stingy Cardinals and Chip Kelly’s Eagles, at least, with a wounded D. That puts pressure on Colin Kaepernick, who is capable of putting up 30 points regularly. But Kaepernick is going to get hit a lot, and when quarterbacks get hit a lot, they’re subject to injury, and the Niners’ backup passer situation is grim. Blaine Gabbert looks as bad as he ever did in Jacksonville, and he’s got a $2 million guaranteed deal to be an insurance policy, and Harbaugh said Sunday there’d be no cavalry on the way; the backup would be either Gabbert or Josh Johnson.

But again, it's silly to make too much of a preseason loss. Based on the 34-0 preseason game, Peter King has the 49ers without competent backups at two key defensive positions (by the way, remember how Peter King has been tickling Trent Baalke's taint for his wonderful drafting?...what happened to all those great draft picks that Baalke made, couldn't they contribute without Bowman or Smith in the lineup?) and has Colin Kaepernick injured with Blaine Gabbert or Josh Johnson starting for the 49ers. Again, it's silly to overreact, but that 34-0 loss leads Peter to believe the 49ers need to shore up their backup QB situation for when Colin Kaepernick inevitably gets injured after he has to put up 30 points per game to make up for the 49ers defense that can't stop the opponent from scoring 30 points in a game. This is not an overreaction at all to a 34-0 preseason game.

The 49ers are too good, and the coaching staff too smart, to have many days like Sunday in 2014. I wouldn’t worry, yet, if I were a Niners fan. I’d enjoy this era, and this stadium.

(Quick font change I can't seem to fix) 

Yeah, Peter says good luck with Blaine Gabbert as your starting QB. 

Very good young-quarterback weekend—albeit against lesser defenses after the starters were out—for Minnesota rookie Teddy Bridgewater (16-20, 177 yards, two touchdowns, no picks, 136.9 rating) against Arizona, and for Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles (11-17, 160 yards, no touchdowns or interceptions, 95.2 rating) against the Bears. Bridgewater was a little shaky in his first preseason game, and the Vikings seem likely to start the efficient Matt Cassel to begin the season.

No reason to overreact, but I will say I expected that from Teddy Bridgewater. He did have a bad Pro Day, which will be forgotten by guys like Mike Mayock once they need to get back on Bridgewater's good side. One bad Pro Day overshadows everything else Bridgewater did at Louisville for Mayock. 

Granted, it was against backups. That is true. 

The most fascinating situation is in Jacksonville. With two promising performances in a row for Bortles, the draft-day plan to sit this year’s third overall draft pick for most if not all of his freshman autumn now has to be up in the air. I’m told the Jags are still likely to play Chad Henne early in the season, but the plan always was to wait until Bortles was fully ready to take over, having nothing to do with how good or bad Henne played.

Apparently, Peter's source on this issue is every single quote Gus Bradley and David Caldwell have spoken since drafting Blake Bortles. The Jaguars are planning on sitting Blake Bortles for the year or until Chad Henne gets injured. That's the plan and always has been the plan. The idea Bortles is playing well doesn't seem to change the plan, so saying the original plan is still the plan when no Jacksonville GM or coach has given a different indication there was ever a different plan is reporting something that isn't news. Good day, sir. I said, good day!

It’s totally different than what happened with Blaine Gabbert three years ago, when Jacksonville played him before he was ready. Bortles has used the off-season and camp so far to improve his mechanics; he’s not an arm-thrower the way he was at Central Florida.

He throws the football using his mind, not his arm. And Peter knows Blake Bortles is different from Blaine Gabbert because Bortles is ready to play now, based on two preseason games. But don't think Peter is letting what happens in the preseason affect his opinion and cause him to jump to conclusions. He would never do that. 

Much of this is about the mental aspect of the game. My recent 45-minute talk with Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley revealed much of what’s going into Bortles’ head—and into the heads of every Jaguar. “As a coach,” Bradley said, “why do I want to apply anxiety? Why do I want to apply stress? I am trying to slow Blake’s world down, so he can learn everything he needs to learn to be a successful player. The plan is all about getting Blake ready to play.

I understand that Bortles seems ready to play, but until the Jaguars indicate they plan on starting Bortles this season, there is no story here. They are not going to force Bortles into action this season if they don't have to. Apparently this is a very difficult concept to understand for Peter.

Guess what the third and fourth sentences of my conversation with Bortles were, when I asked him how he feels about the Jaguars’ slow-motion plan to make him a franchise quarterback?

Please stop leering at me? You are making me uncomfortable when you stare at my body like that?

It’s hard to be around the Jaguars and not think they’re going to be a good team in 2015.

It's also hard not to think in a division with the Titans, Texans and Colts it won't be a long process to possibly get a Wild Card spot playing in the AFC South. Of course, the NFC West was a shit-show just a few years ago when a 7-9 Seahawks team made the playoffs. So things in the NFL can change quickly...except with the Rams. They need more time for Jeff Fisher to put his master plan together. It seems Peter King believes Michael Sam is the key to that plan, since that's all he could talk about in MMQB when discussing his visit to Rams camp.

Eight quick thoughts from Week 2.

1. Comeback player of the preseason: Mark Sanchez.

Peter is even jumping to conclusions when it comes to handing out preseason awards that don't really exist. But again, Peter doesn't really take what happens in the preseason and prematurely come to any conclusions. He just is naming fake preseason awards prior to the preseason even being over.

4. Quarterback Leadership 101. The quarterback is not allowed tardiness, Johnny Manziel.

Peter isn't going to come to any conclusions since it's only preseason, but this tardiness probably means Manziel isn't as close to taking the QB1 spot away from Brian Hoyer to start the season. After last week's performance, which is only preseason and doesn't count for anything to Peter, Manziel moved up close to a dead heat with Hoyer. But then Manziel was tardy, so Hoyer has increased his chances of starting the season as QB1 now.

7. Storm clouds over East Rutherford. The Giants really looked out of sync on offense, for the second straight week under new offensive coordinator Bob McAdoo. Not sure how you have faith that the Giants will be a serious contender to overtake Philadelphia in the NFC East at this point.

Well, it is preseason, so I'm not sure how anyone can determine what teams are or are not serious contenders for pretty much anything at this point. 

“Points of emphasis” are the three dirty words for defensive players around the league after two weeks of preseason games. But don’t expect the crackdown on defensive clutching and grabbing by the league’s 17 crews to soften once the real games begin in 17 days, league vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said Sunday afternoon.

Then Dean Blandino got back on the party bus with the rest of Cowboys ownership and tried to see if he could get a couple of the hot blondes provided by Jerry Jones to pay attention to him as he explained the finer points of officials calling so many penalties that an NFL game will now last four hours.

“The way the game’s being officiated now is the way it’s going to be officiated when the season begins,” Blandino said from his office in New York. “We have to remain consistent. I knew we’d see a spike in calls when we put out these points of emphasis. But coaches adjust, and players adjust.

That is a fair point. Players and coaches adjust, but the question is whether them having to adjust is good for the NFL game or not.

“Plus, I would say that between 70 and 75 percent of the calls I’ve gotten from teams after their games this preseason are asking the question, Why weren’t there more calls? I had a call today from a team with seven questions, and six were, Why wasn’t a foul called on this play?”

This isn't really proof there could be more calls made, but could be seen as proof that if the NFL is going to open up officiating to less contact downfield then teams are going to find that they believe more penalties should be called regarding penalties downfield. Teams always think they didn't get enough calls, and once the NFL opens up the officiating for more penalties then coaches are naturally going to see more penalties they think should be called.

The league is determined to cut down the amount of sparring beyond the five-yard bump zone. “The jersey-grabbing and holding downfield, especially,” cornerback Joe Haden of the Browns told me the other day. “That’s what they’ve emphasized to us.”

I thought that was a penalty anyway? So the NFL has decided to start calling the penalties that are already in the rulebook? I understand that, but why now? It's not like there has a been downtick in scoring and a little bit of contact between the receiver and the defensive back should be expected.

One assistant coach said recently that if he were advising the receivers on his team, he’d tell them to wear loose, Triple-XL jerseys, to make it easier for defenders to grab. His theory was, why not try to attract penalties if the officials are going to be looking so hard to find the jersey-grabs?

Great, now NBA players and NFL players are going to turn into soccer players and start flopping all over the field when they are touched. I can't imagine how that will get annoying.

Agreed, but however it’s coached, the game’s not going to be as good if, as we just saw this weekend, there are nine more flags, and nine more stoppages of play, in the average NFL game once the real games start.

I hate to agree with Peter King, but I'm not sure how many more stoppages of play I can handle watching NFL games. I already watch my favorite team on DVR because the constant commercial breaks drive me crazy. It's bad enough the kickoff return has almost been eliminated (followed by a commercial break of course) and it feels like there are commercials every few minutes during a game, but now there will potentially be more stoppage time for penalties. I can be patient, and am for expanded replay in the sloooooooooow game of baseball, but I start watching my favorite NFL team play usually about an hour or more into the game having started and I usually catch up before the game is over. It's interesting to see how much stoppage there is during an NFL game and I don't know how I feel about even one more stoppage of play per quarter. Of course, it's not like I'll stop watching.

“I’m very upset. Would you be upset? I was, particularly.”
—New Orleans coach Sean Payton, on the second unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty of the game on tight end Jimmy Graham for dunking the football over the goalpost in the Saints-Titans game Friday night.

Payton should be more than upset. He should fine Graham, and do something else to punish him, for such a juvenile act.

Suspend Graham? Should he be suspended for committing two unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties? Isn't this the point where the franchise quarterback and leader of the team (but only the offense, Brees knows NOTHING about what happens on defense...NOTHING at all) should pull Graham aside and say, "Hey Jimmy, you gotta stop doing that shit. You are hurting the team." I mean, Sean Payton shouldn't have to deal with this. Would Peyton Manning or Tom Brady allow one of their teammates to consistently get 15-yard penalties for dunking the football after a touchdown? I hate to go the whole "Would Brady/Manning..." route, but in terms of leadership, I think this should be a Drew Brees intervention. He's the leader of the team and the offense. I don't know why he doesn't tell Graham to just stop it...if Brees does and Graham doesn't listen, then that's a whole new set of issues.

Whatever you feel about it, it’s a selfish, team-defeating act that you know will bring a penalty flag and a 15-yard sanction against your team. Graham has to grow up. And if he won’t, Payton has to do something about it.

While I agree, I think this situation is where the team leadership should step in and prevent Sean Payton from having to deal with this issue. Since Graham is hurting the team, it would be nice if one of the team leaders would say something to Graham. This situation is a great example of why teams have captains. It seems petty for the coach to get involved and since the player is hurting the team, the team leadership can take care of the issue.

Chip Kelly Wisdom of the Week

I posted this on Twitter, so I apologize if some of you see it twice...remember a few weeks ago when Peter King was breathlessly reporting about how Chip Kelly thinks too much pressure is put on draft picks to produce and be great early? Well, here is Chip Kelly talking about Marcus Smith, the Eagles first round draft choice this past May.

Coach Chip Kelly said he saw “bright spots” from Smith against New England, but that there were also moments when he looked “overwhelmed” and that the team needs to get more out of him in general.

“Marcus got a real extended look,” Kelly said, via the Philadelphia Daily News. “He’s got a burst. He’s got some speed coming off the edge. But if you’re going to play that many plays, we’re going to need more production out of you

It would be nice if these quotes were Chip Kelly's Wisdom of the Week, but that would involve Peter acknowledging that everything Chip Kelly says isn't to be written down on a tablet and presented throughout the world as the great truth. Kelly didn't throw Smith under the bus, but remember these are quotes after two preseason games. Of course Chip Kelly thinks rookies are under too much pressure to product immediately, but he's looking for his first round draft pick to make plays and increase his production. It's almost like Kelly is putting pressure on Smith (the Eagles 2014 first round pick) to perform well immediately or something. That couldn't be true, because it would mean Chip Kelly doesn't abide by his wisdom-filled statements at all times.

Kelly spoke last week about the importance of players on the 90-man roster taking advantage of whatever chances they get during practice and preseason games:
“We’d love to get more reps but we are also not going to be on the field for four hours. As we say, ‘Don’t count your reps. Make your reps count.’ When you’re out there, take advantage of them.  Your answer can’t be, ‘Well, I’m not playing well because I didn’t get enough reps.’ If you only get three reps, make those three reps the best reps you can.’’

Is this wisdom really? It sounds like a thing that a head coach would say. I think the whole "wisdom" thing with Chip Kelly has gone overboard, especially when some of his wisdom is advice he doesn't follow himself. 

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

We walked into the lobby of the Holiday Inn Express, with the Tuesday USA Today and Cleveland Plain Dealer on the counter for those checking out. One problem. “We don’t have any reservations for you,” the front-desk gal said. We checked with our travel agent. Seems the reservation was made for Aug. 18, not Aug. 11. Next Monday.

Rest assured that travel agent has either been murdered, or if he is lucky, simply fired at this point. No one messes up Peter's travel schedule and gets a second chance to do it again. Peter does not enjoy staying in a crappy hotel at night. Do you know who he is? 

Of course, this is the part where I would remind Peter that he is traveling in an RV. It's almost like one of those RV's thingies could be used for sleeping purposes in a pinch. 

With no rooms available, our intrepid tour manager, Andy DeGory, got on the phone and found us rooms at the nearby Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge.

The carpet on the floor stopped. The floor for the last half of the hallway was just cement. The place smelled. Just get in the room, just get in the room … How bad could sleeping be for 90 minutes? I thought. I put the key in my door and opened it.

And there was Brett Favre standing in the room. Reunited again. It feels so good.

The room looked trashed—either under construction or trashed. It was dark; I couldn’t exactly tell. And this voice from inside, weakly, waffled: “I’m … in … here.” Like some dying ghost.

Uh-oh Peter, just leave the money on the nightstand when you are done. And here Peter thought it was going to be a bad night, but when he gets to his room the HoJo has set him up for a little night time entertainment/activity.

Whoa! I closed the door. I went to the lobby.
“Might be a good idea when you give me the key to a room that there won’t be another person in it,” I said.
“W-w-w-what?” the front-deskman said.

Well there you go, HoJo Motor Lodge, you have lost Peter King's recommendation and he will now bash you in MMQB. On a side note, your coffee was delicious and Peter appreciates the light scent of honey that was prevalent in all nine cups he drank.

“Can you just give me a room? Any room without a person in it?” I said.
He did, and I went to another room at the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge, so happy to be at the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge, and praying that no living thing would be in the room.

Except Chip Kelly. It would be nice if Chip Kelly were in the room so that he could impart some of his wisdom to Peter in this extremely difficult time.

So I wouldn’t give the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge on the southern fringe of Cleveland a very high recommendation this morning.

I don't know. It sounds like the guy/girl who was in the room Peter was originally assigned was having a good enough time of it.

Ten Things I Think I Think

2. I think I have no idea why so many saw Santonio Holmes as toxic. He’s been mildly disruptive in his NFL career, but not a cancer. I think the Bears made a good signing there.

In his NFL career, Holmes has a marijuana possession charge, was benched twice by Mike Tomlin, served a four game suspension for violation of the substance abuse policy, benched by the Jets for arguing with a teammate, had an incident at a nightclub that led to the Steelers trading him, and has 46 receptions over the last two seasons. I don't think he's toxic, but he has become a fairly unproductive, injured player who had quite a few "mild" disruptions in his NFL career. A lot of teams just didn't think his production was worth having him on the team taking up a roster spot. I think I understand it. Of course, he could still be productive with a non-shitty QB throwing him the ball, so there's that too.

3. I think I have one name to keep in mind as the Pro Football Hall of Fame senior committee gathers this week in Canton to nominate one old-timer for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, class of 2015: Mick Tingelhoff. Think of Tingelhoff’s greatest accomplishment: For the last 358 games of his 17-year career—99 preseason games, 240 regular-season games, 19 postseason games—Tingelhoff started.

99 preseason games? And I think the preseason is too long now? That's almost six preseason games per year compared to only about 14 regular season games per season during Tingelhoff's career.

7. I think this was the reaction of one scout upon leaving the Broncos-Niners game: “Very strange. San Francisco looked tired. I wonder if they’ve been beating themselves up in practice. They were just off. But it’s a classic case of not putting too much stock into preseason games. If they had to play a game tomorrow, they’re still one of the top three or five teams in football. I would worry about the backup quarterback situation though.”

NO! Peter King says the 49ers should panic, though of course he's not putting too much stock into preseason games.

8. I think if Peyton Manning made playing quarterback any easier, he’d be sleeping.

I think the Seattle Seahawks would have something to say about this comment.

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

a. Such a sad week.

Deep thought alert!

b. Robin Williams’ death by suicide drives home what a serious illness depression is. 

Who knew depression was so serious? Peter didn't. This is a wake-up call to everyone that depression is really, really serious. Peter gets sad thinking about how serious depression is. 

For all those who suffer from it, and for those who don’t always realize how hopeless depressed people can feel, I hope Williams’ death causes a re-examination of depression specifically and mental health in general.

Yes, now there should be a re-examination of mental health, after Robin Williams commits suicide. Maybe the rash of school shootings should also cause a re-examination of depression and mental health in general as well. Considering Peter is very concerned about the gun aspect of the school shootings, perhaps he should have considered the mental health aspect of the shootings. Many of those shooters probably weren't exactly right in their head. But since this is America, I'm guessing the fact a celebrity killed himself will drive the importance of mental health home more than anything else.

c. Tremendous story by Richard Corliss in Time magazine, on the death of Williams and appreciation of his life. What a terrific job, too, considering news of Williams’ death spread around dinnertime in New York on Monday evening, and Corliss’ brilliant elegy was in my mailbox on Thursday morning.

There was 15 pages in "Time" about Robin Williams. 15 pages. I am always afraid of coming off as insensitive, but that's a bit excessive. He's a celebrity. Good for him. There has to be better and more important news to spend 25% of the magazine space covering.

I realize we live in a celebrity-obsessed society, so I realize 15 pages of Robin Williams will sell more magazines than anything else I actually subscribe to "Time" to read. It's seemed excessive and it doesn't surprise me that Peter King eats it up.

Not had enough hero-worship from Peter King about Philip Seymour-Hoffman? Good, here's more!

d. At the time of his heroin-overdose death in February at 46, Philip Seymour Hoffman was, in my opinion, the greatest actor in our country. On Friday, I went to the last movie in which he played a lead role, a German spymaster named Gunther Bachmann, in “A Most Wanted Man.” The premise is interesting—that disagreements and rivalries between international spy agencies helped Mohammed Atta and associates hatch and develop the plot for the 9/11 attacks on the United States in Hamburg, Germany. After 9/11, Hoffman’s character is chasing a Chechen man identified by sources as a probable terrorist, and his search for him and for a money-launderer far more dangerous, and his butting of heads with rival spymeisters makes a for a taut, fast story. And as I sat there and watched the chain-smoking, hard-drinking Hoffman do some of his best work, I thought how sad it was that we won’t see 20 more examples of the man’s brilliance on the screen. 

Philip Seymour Hoffman is the greatest actor in our country, at least until another actor dies, at which point Peter will anoint that person as the greatest actor of his generation. Also, it is sad there won't be 20 more examples of Hoffman's brilliance on screen, but these are the things that happen when you use drugs to excess. There are probably a million other people who are more worthy of Peter's sympathies that have something to give to society, but because those people don't pretend to be someone else on a screen then Peter doesn't give a shit about these people.

Robin Williams dies, and Philip Seymour Hoffman gives us two hours of what we’ll be missing over the next quarter-century. What a bummer.

Yes, a true bummer. It's also a bummer for Hoffman's/Williams' children that they no longer have a parent around and it's a bummer for the hundreds of other people in the United States who suffer from depression or use drugs and won't be eulogized except with a small paragraph in a newspaper because they can't pretend to be someone else for money very well.

John Feinstein thinks Philip Seymour Hoffman shouldn't be in the Acting Hall of Fame because Hoffman was too much of a pussy to not die from using drugs. 

h. Thus, you’re wrong if you think the Ice Bucket Challenge is a bunch of mularkey. It’s working, to raises awareness and research money.

I think it's a little bit of mularkey and that some people do it just to dump ice over their head. I did participate but only because I got challenged to do so. It wasn't so bad and it did lead to two people who didn't want to do it paying $200 (total) to the ALS Foundation. So some good does come of it.

i. Coffeenerdness: Very nice coffee in the Levi’s Stadium press box. Peet’s. Not sure the blend, but it’s dark, and it’s good.

Great. My life is now more complete knowing this.

n. Thanks, Michael Beschloss, for reminding us that Roberto Clemente, had he lived, would have turned 80 today.

Thank you for being the only person with the memory to remind "us" that Clemente would have turned 80 today. Fortunately the only holder of his information is generous enough to share it.

The Adieu Haiku
Peyton is ageless.
The best man on field Sunday,
and he’s 38.

Let's see, Peyton Manning is 38 years old and is still playing at a high level. If this were baseball then the articles that state "Peyton Manning may be on steroids" would already be written. But it's Peyton Manning so of course he doesn't use steroids. Steroids are only used in baseball and only used to hit a lot of home runs.*

*And no, I don't believe Peyton Manning uses steroids. I think it's funny how much speculation would go into an athlete who still plays at the top of his game at the age of 38 in baseball. It takes almost nothing these days, other than to hit home runs, for some enterprising sportswriter to write a "I'm not saying he is on steroids, but I will strongly hint at it" column.


Snarf said...

There haven’t been many days in the Jim Harbaugh Era you wouldn’t want me to bring that up, but this is one of them. The preseason is a bad precursor for truth, and it’s silly to make too much of a 34-0 loss in August.

Upon reading this sentence, weekly readers of MMQB know that Peter King will now make too much of a 34-0 preseason loss. It's his nature to say something is silly and then do that exact thing.

You know that if San Francisco is successful this season, he will let us hear it about how WE wrote off the 49'ers after a couple of poor preseason showings.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that Peter shits himself constantly about how easy the extra point has become, but doesn't seem to have the same indignation about the passing game becoming so easy. What has a bigger impact on the game, easy extra point tries, or the NFL tightening up on defensive holding and illegal contact to make throwing the ball even easier? Peter can't stand things being easy for Jay Feely, but something that makes Andy Dalton's life easier is no big deal.

On the same note, I would really like to thank the genius in the league office who decided the passing game still wasn't easy enough. Numerous times this weekend I saw 3rd-and-forevers converted into 1st downs because of defensive holding or illegal contact. This is going to ruin the game if it continues into the regular season. The league just can't make things tough enough for defensive players. The big problem according to the league is extra points, though. We need to make things tougher for kickers and easier for QBs and WRs. Am I the only one who sees a problem here? Who cares about an extra point? What I care about is a third down being converted because of a chintzy defensive penalty.

Anonymous said...

The Chip Kelly thing -- already strange -- really took a strange turn this week. That quote is the epitome of empty coach-speak. I played football through high school and probably heard that line or something close to it nearly a hundred times. It's actually the kind of quote that I'd expect a writer/analyst to either ignore or mock. Strange days, friends . . . strange days.

Bengoodfella said...

Snarf, I bet Peter does take a page from Bill's book and point out how no one knew the 49ers would recover from a bad preseason to have a great season. Who knew?

Anon, that is an interesting point. I guess Peter doesn't think about them on the same terms because passes aren't 99% complete. That's my best guess. I don't want to panic about these defensive holding or illegal contact, I really don't, but I'm feeling a little bit of sort of a reverse from the NBA during the 90's when the game became physical and the NBA worked hard to open up offenses again. I don't want to watch long NFL games. I love the NFL, but I already can barely make it through a game on television. It's so long and there are so many commercial breaks. I hope they ease up when the season begins.

Anon2, I agree. I feel like Peter's "Chip Kelly Wisdom of the Week" is sort of pointless right now. It's not very interesting to read.