So, how many more days of the grand masters will there be? How many more Sundays of Tom Brady, 37, shaking his finger at reality and saying, “Not yet,” and going out and running an uptempo offense in a game the Patriots had to have—and in this case, beating the last unbeaten team in football and throwing for his 50,000th yard?
37.5 more Sundays, Peter. That's how many more.
How many more Sundays of Peyton Manning, 38, controlling fields full of players 10 and 15 years younger?
28.3651 more Sundays, Peter. That's how many more.
How many more days like Sunday in Denver, where he set a career mark for passing yards in a game (479) and threw his 500th touchdown pass—and 501st, and 502nd and 503rd—against the only other unbeaten team in football before Sunday?
Zero more Sundays because that's an oddly specific sort of day that Peyton Manning can never recreate unless he finds a way to throw a negative touchdown pass (I'm sure Rex Grossman could teach him how to do this) so that he can once again throw his 500th through 503th career touchdown pass.
Sunday was a highlight day in the NFL’s 95th season. It may turn out to be the year’s most scintillating set of games. The Bills shocked the Lions 17-14 at Ford Field in the last game of the 55-season Wilson ownership era, just a few miles from where Michigan native Ralph Wilson is buried. Dallas beat Houston in overtime, in a rivalry contested (stupidly) as often as presidents are elected in America.
Excellent comparison. Saying "contested every four years" was way too much straight to the point and not elaborate enough.
The drama was best in Foxboro. It often is.
The best drama is always on the East Coast. It's closer to where Peter works and lives and Foxboro is close to New York City, the epicenter of anything important that happens in the entire world, so naturally a little bit of that drama and super-specialness will bleed down to Foxboro.
I love how the media creates stories to discuss. Over the past week it was all, "Is the Patriots' dynasty over?" as the media gnashed it's teeth and wondered if the assumption they made was true and now the media is jumping all over the "Tom Brady ISN'T done story" as if it wasn't something of their own partial creation in the first place.
On Sunday night, the Patriots forced the issue from the first snap with a no-huddle look that attacked Cincinnati—a look a couple of Bengals said later they were ill-prepared for.
Because why would the Bengals be prepared for a no-huddle look that the Patriots will often show to gain rhythm? That would be madness!
This is the way offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels wants to play football now. In Wright, the Patriots finally have a tight end who knows the offense well enough to play significant time and become a downfield receiving threat.
The narrative a week ago was that the Patriots gave away protection for Tom Brady in exchange for a rarely-used tight end and a draft pick. This week after a win the rarely-used tight end is now a downfield threat who perfectly complements Rob Gronkowski. I'm struggling to keep up with these ever-changing narratives.
It was clear that the goal in this game, from those who play alongside Brady and those who sit in the stands, was as much support group for Brady as it was to get a win to retain AFC East supremacy. “We wanted to make Tom Brady look like Tom Brady tonight,” Gronkowski said forcefully later.
I think Bill Simmons has the rights to the "This was a game where the fans helped the team on the field pull through and everyone was united as one" bullshit, but I think he's too busy on the golf course enjoying a paid vacation to care that Peter has stolen it.
In Denver, Manning has more weapons and a better line than Brady, and Sunday was what we’ve come to expect from Manning: ridiculous production for a 38-year-old playing after four neck procedures. There is something so metronomic about Manning’s play. It’s like you’re going to have to drag him out of the game because he’s so good at it and because you can’t quite picture him doing anything else.
Yes, I certainly can't imagine Peyton Manning doing anything other than being a quarterback. God knows he rarely takes part in any off-the-field activities like doing commercials or hosting "Saturday Night Live" or anything like that. I can't imagine Peyton Manning doing anything but quarterbacking, unless I watch a commercial break during any NFL game, in which case I can imagine him being a pitch man for products after he retires.
What’s the end game for Manning?
World domination, then living the rest of his life in a 50,000 square foot mansion on top of a mountain where the only activities he will participate in daily are orgies with the 25 people helicoptered in daily, along with enough Papa John's pizza for a lifetime. You know, the usual.
How many more days will there be like this one, when two of the best quarterbacks of this, or any, generation, put their team on their backs and dominate an unbeaten?
Seven days. There will be seven more days, Peter.
For a clue, recall my summer conversation with Manning. He’s not looking years into the future, as Brady has been. He’s taking it a year at a time. “I’ve heard Drew Brees and Tom Brady say that they have this target, like, ‘I’m gonna play until I’m 45.'” Manning said in training camp. “I’m not in that position, I think because of my neck injury.
Or it could be because Manning chooses not to target a specific date at which he plans to retire. It could be the neck injury too I guess.
But I think the smart way to handle it is, every March, I do this physical and we take a look at it. It’s the perfect time, because it says, ‘Hey, everything looks good.’ And also kind of allows me to go, I still want to go through a lifting, off-season schedule again. I do my neck check, but I do my heart check as well, my desire check.
Hence the daily orgies with 25 other people in a 50,000 mansion on top of a mountain. It all makes sense now. It's not an orgy, but a desire check.
I like it when my heart says, Hey, let’s keep this going. I’ve been encouraged.”
I like it when my heart talks too, Peyton. It has so many interesting things to say if you just listen to your heart. Especially when it's calling for you. Just listen to your heart, really there's nothing else you can do. Peyton doesn't know where's going and he doesn't know why, but he will listen to his heart before he tells football goodbye.
That’s good. Watching what we watched Sunday can’t get old.
It gets old if you are a fan of the team Peyton Manning is playing on that specific Sunday.
The Niners have their version of Brady/Manning.
His name is Frank Gore. And with the team in crisis mode over the last eight days, he’s come on strong.
He's the John Stockton version of the Brady/Manning for the 49ers.
“So how do you think I’ve looked?” Gore asked from the Niners’ locker room after his second straight 100-yard game keyed San Francisco’s second straight win Sunday.
Like you’re carrying an anvil in each shoulder pad.
Which would be completely illegal to do. Let's clear that up right away.
I asked Gore about the controversy swirling around Harbaugh. FOX’s Jay Glazer reported Sunday that no matter the outcome of this season, it would be Harbaugh’s last with the team.
I'm sure Gore was 100% honest with Peter in giving the answer to this question.
That follows the reports coming from Deion Sanders and Trent Dilfer that multiple players on the Niners don’t like playing for Harbaugh.
Can we rewind for about 10 years and wonder how the sports world has changed that Trent Dilfer and Deion Sanders are reporting something that is taken for the truth? 10 years ago I wouldn't have believed anything Deion Sanders said.
“Are there guys in the locker room who have a problem with Jim Harbaugh?’’ I asked Gore.
“We don’t think that way,” Gore said.
“As a football player I feel coach loves me. He’s a winner. He loves the game. We love the game. We’re a family, and we’re all football.’’
Jim Harbaugh loves coaching, which is why he is an NFL head coach. Other than that, it's the non-answer that is to be expected from a veteran who wants to make sure he keeps a job and keeps getting the football, so he won't go out of his way to piss off the coaching staff.
On the Niners’ side, they don’t want to make Harbaugh the highest-paid coach in football, or close, shy of his winning a Super Bowl. So if he does that this year, who knows? Maybe CEO Jed York and GM Trent Baalke can swallow hard and make a long-term deal and make it work. But the odds are stacked against that now. And an alternative such as Roman or defensive-line coach Jim Tomsula (who led a 38-7 win over Arizona as interim coach in the final game of 2010) would make for a peaceful life around the Niners’ facility.
Right, but would they be as good at coaching as Jim Harbaugh seems to be? He does thrive in chaos, but maybe that chaos is how the gets the most out of his football team, while other head coaches may not be able to get as much out of the 49ers team with a peaceful life around the facility.
I covered Bill Parcells with the Giants, and he and GM George Young never got along famously. But they won. Owner Wellington Mara knew about the dysfunction, and he didn’t like it, but he liked Parcells, and he liked winning.
Winning is the best. If "winning" were a vaccine it could prevent and cure dozens of diseases, because winning cures nearly everything. Think the 49ers have dysfunction now? Imagine if the team was losing and the players didn't like Harbaugh.
How does Kyle Orton walk onto a new team with a new offense he hasn’t run, start a game six weeks later against a hot defense, and find a way to win on the road?
Because he's not a bad quarterback to have as a backup and spot starter?
With some help from his friends. With the game in Detroit tied at 14 and less than a minute left in the fourth quarter, Orton needed about 25 yards to put the Bills in field-goal range. He threw a crossing route to Sammy Watkins, but the throw was behind the streaking rookie. Watkins reached back, flipped the ball into the air and toward himself, and hauled it in. What a catch. Gain of 20.
A play that undoubtedly will go unmentioned by Gregg Easterbrook this week and a great example of how a quarterback like Orton doesn't get enough respect from Peter King. Orton needed help from his friends to beat the Lions on the road according to Peter. I guess no other NFL quarterbacks need help from their teammates to win games. And yes, the official Kyle Orton Defender blogger is back. I'm getting the fan club started up again.
“I could get one hand on the ball,” Watkins said from Detroit, “and I knew it was a catch we needed. Kyle put the ball where I could get it all day.
Yeah, he can do things like that when necessary.
Detroit also could be without Reggie Bush (ankle) Sunday at Minnesota. The Lions finished the game with a running back named George Winn on Sunday. He’s on his sixth team in 17 months, and the Lions may have to ride him until Bush and the concussed Joique Bell are ready to return.
I'll feel bad for them once they start their fourth-string running back and their second-string full back.
Owners and prominent club officials will be the first team personnel to take the one-hour Domestic Violence training class that all NFL employees will be required to take this fall …
I will do a two-minute Domestic Violence training class for half of the cost of this one-hour class. It's easy. Don't hit your girlfriend/wife/random girl/any woman for any reason.
I’ve seen enough of Brian Hoyer to know he deserves a legitimate chance to win the quarterback job into the future for Cleveland. He’s been unflappable. His teammates love him. I’m not saying he’ll be a great player. I’m saying he has a chance to be the answer to the question they’ve been asking in Cleveland since drafting Tim Couch in 1999 …
I think Hoyer has won the quarterback job of the future in Cleveland as long as he keeps winning games. I haven't heard anything else about this story, but is Hoyer really going to lose his job to Johnny Manziel if Hoyer continues to play well? For a team that has looked for a starter for the last 15 years I can't imagine the fan base would react well to getting rid of one of the few quarterbacks that has played well for the Browns.
The Broncos cut—arguably—the best kicker in football. Last year Matt Prater kicked a 64-yard field goal. It broke a 43-year-old record for the longest field goal in NFL history (set by Tom Dempsey in 1970 and matched three times since). Prater led the league with 81 touchbacks and converted 100 of 101 kicks (75 extra points, and all field goals but a 52-yarder wide left on Nov. 17). But then he was suspended for violating the league’s alcohol policy; he had a DUI in 2011 and had an unspecified violation this offseason, leading to the four-game ban. The Broncos’ kicker now will be Brandon McManus, acquired from the Giants for a 2015 seventh-round pick before this season. Gutsy move by John Elway. Though McManus has a great leg—of his first 16 kickoffs, 14 went for touchbacks—he’s totally unproven on field goals.
Other than being 5-6 on the season, he is unproven. McManus has never even kicked a field goal before. In fact, he's never even seen a football prior to this past season.
Two major reasons for the move: 1) The Broncos lost trust in Prater, who had to fight to get his suspension reduced to four games at the start of the season; the Broncos didn’t want to be left in the lurch if Prater had another alcohol violation and got suspended for a full year. 2) He was due to make $2.3 million for the final 12 games of the season; McManus’s salary as an undrafted rookie is $420,000—a key factor with some big contracts coming due (Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Pot Roast Knighton) for Denver in 2015. The Broncos save $3.25 million next season with Prater off the books now.
How much is a Super Bowl worth? I'm just wondering. Teams don't miss a good kicker until they have a shitty kicker.
The Rams gave the quarterback job “for the remainder of the season” to Austin Davis.
(Jeff Fisher shuffles the deck chairs on a sinking ship, then signs a contract extension that is handed to him)
I suppose it’s not a “wow” that Shaun Hill had the job taken from him after about 15 minutes, but Davis has played better than anyone in St. Louis thought he would (completion percentages in his three games: 70, 76, 71),
Davis has played pretty well, which has surprised me. I still wonder why the Rams didn't have a better backup than Shaun Hill on the roster for when Sam Bradford inevitably got injured. Actually, with Hill playing so well I sort of wonder why the Rams were even counting on Bradford this season at all and handed him the starting job without much competition for the spot. There is clearly a lot of talent on the Rams roster in certain spots, no matter what Gregg Easterbrook says.
and during the Rams’ bye week Jeff Fisher, who hates quarterback controversies and thinks they distract a team, decided to not make this a temporary thing.
Just another brilliant move by Jeff Fisher to prevent his team from being distracted by the quarterback situation and focusing on the fact the team is 1-3. But hey, give Fisher a few more years and he is going to turn this Rams team around. It's a team on the rise!
To me this says Fisher and the Rams were tepid believers in Hill in the first place, and chose the other quarterback from Southern Mississippi (there has not been a long line of them since Brett Favre) as their guy for the rest of the year.
This does bring up the question of why the Rams signed a backup quarterback they were tepid believers in to back up the quarterback that is perpetually injured? I guess these are the sorts of things a coaching staff can do when they have excellent job security.
Fisher’s right: He won’t have a quick hook with Davis, but by giving the job to Hill then snatching it back when Hill was healthy, Fisher showed he will be ruled by how Davis plays.
What a decisive move and it really shows leadership. Fisher says he is going to play the better quarterback until that quarterback sufficiently proves he isn't worthy of starting. What's left unsaid by Peter is that Fisher and the Rams put themselves in a position where Davis pretty much has to be the starter because he has proven himself to be competent and there really aren't a ton of other options on the roster. Yep, still harping on the whole "Let's count on Sam Bradford this year even though he has proven he can't be counted on to stay healthy" thing. Even when Davis plays decently, it seems like a crazy strategy to me. I mean, what else are the Rams going to do though? Fire Fisher or suggest he isn't worth the money they are paying him? Not when Fisher has his friends in the national media to watch his back.
Terry Pegula, 63, who has made his fortune in the natural gas and fracking businesses, and wife Kim are likely to be approved in a landslide by the NFL’s 31 owners at the annual fall meeting in New York City. He’s buying the Bills for $1.4 billion, almost $500 million more than their appraised value,
Memo to Scoop Jackson that the Bills sold for way above appraised value in a situation where no racism was involved. I guess fracking pays?
If you rank by TV markets, Buffalo is 52nd (because of its surrounding counties). But if the NFL franchise in Buffalo is worth $1.4 billion, what are the franchises in New York worth? What would the Cowboys sell for?
And you won't hear a peep from Scoop Jackson, because it would require too much self-awareness to notice that the Bills sold for $1.4 billion and an NBA team in a great market like Los Angeles might have actually sold for $2 billion because professional franchises are worth a lot of money, not because racism pays or any other conspiratorial reason.
Talked to three people well-informed about the draft’s move from New York City to Chicago next spring, and all three said the same thing: Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel was the driving force behind Chicago’s bid. “He and the Chicago group were incredibly passionate,” said the league’s senior vice president of events, Peter O’Reilly.
And really, Chicago has no other issues facing the city at this point so I can see how Rahm Emanuel was so focused on getting the NFL Draft to come to the city.
And here is a question from Peter's three question interview with Rahm Emanuel.
The MMQB: Are you concerned with the recent spate of domestic violence incidents in the NFL?
Emanuel: No, and here’s why: I am building the first new domestic violence shelter in the city in the last 10 years—100 beds.
So Rahm Emanuel isn't concerned about the recent spate of domestic violence incidents in the NFL because these victims can all stay in Chicago at the new shelter he is building? Or is Rahm Emanuel just using MMQB to further push his agenda and brag about his future achievements? So Emanuel isn't concerned about the recent spate of domestic violence in the NFL because he has a place for these domestic violence victims to stay if they live in Chicago. Problem solved.
My whole career I have fought domestic violence, and we need to take it out of the darkness. The NFL is addressing it head-on, and we’re going to continue to do that too.
Is the NFL addressing the issue of domestic violence head-on? It sort of seems like the NFL has been behind the curve in regard to domestic violence. I think only a person who is trying to paint the NFL in a positive light would agree that the NFL has addressed the domestic violence issue head-on. Maybe "head-on" to Rahm Emanuel means, "They addressed it when people started to get pissed off that the NFL wasn't really addressing the issue of domestic violence." If so, then yes, the NFL has addressed the issue aggressively.
The Fine Fifteen
At this point I might as well just pick this thing out of a hat. I mean, what do you do with New England? Dallas? San Francisco? Detroit?
Maybe you should just skip it this week then?
3. San Diego (4-1). Wait a minute. Best rushing defense in football (Jets) takes the field at Qualcomm on Sunday, and the Chargers basically clinch the game before halftime when their fourth running back, Branden Oliver, runs 15 yards through the defense for a touchdown to make it 21-0, capping a 91-yard drive. Not a good day for the Jets, but the Chargers had a lot to do with it in the 31-0 rout.
Wait, so Peter you are saying the Chargers had something to do with the Jets losing 21-0 at halftime? I can't believe it. I'm shocked to hear this.
4. Dallas (4-1). All those who had the Cowboys on a four-game winning streak after losing their opener, raise your hands. Okay, the two of you out there in Abilene with hands raised, just stop. You’re lying.
"We" didn't know the Cowboys were this good because Peter King didn't know the Cowboys were going to be this good!
6. Cincinnati (3-1). No Bengals jokes this morning, just this bit of reality that coach Marvin Lewis and coordinators Hue Jackson and Paul Guenther must pass on to the players this week: We went to New England, a desperate team. We never matched their aggressiveness. We never fought them. We let them dictate to us. Championship teams don’t do that, and that’s why we’re not a championship team right now.
Mostly it is Andy Dalton's fault of course. After the Patriots loss two nights ago, he STILL hasn't won a playoff game as the Bengals starting quarterback.
15. Buffalo (3-2). I just love the fact that the Bills have been owned by the Wilson family of suburban Detroit for 55 seasons, and in the last game of the Wilson reign, the Bills played in Detroit for the fifth time ever and won a thriller on a 58-yard field goal in the final seconds. Perfect.
I don't get it. How is this perfect? The number "5" is in all of these interesting little factoids and Wilson owned the Bills for 55 seasons? Is that it? No, really is that IT?
Quotes of the Week
“I don’t blame them for hating me now.”
—New Orleans defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who was the toast of the French Quarter last fall and whose unit has been regularly booed this year.
I always wonder if his name was Rob Drysdale if Rob Ryan would still have a defensive coordinator job in the NFL or not.
“You want Joe Buck and Troy Aikman doing your games. Nothing against David Diehl. He’s a helluva kid.”
—Arizona coach Bruce Arians on Buck and Aikman calling his game Sunday against Denver. The Cardinals might have to get used to the number one FOX crew doing some of their games now, instead of lesser ones.
“I quit trusting my gut a long time ago. Son of a b—- has been lying to me forever.’’
—Arians, asked early in the week if his gut feel was that Carson Palmer would play on Sunday.
Chip Kelly better watch out. Peter King may include a "Wisdom of Bruce Arians" feature in MMQB very soon. Who am I kidding? Peter will just include two weekly features with wisdom from both Chip Kelly and Bruce Arians. Anything to kill space.
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
Stayed at a Connecticut hotel Saturday night. Checked in around 6 and turned on the TV to watch the end of Alabama-Ole Miss. During a commercial, I flipped through the 50 channels to see how Nats-Giants was progressing. The TV didn’t have FOX Sports 1. No Nats-Giants then.
What? Why doesn't this hotel have Fox Sports 1? Doesn't this unnamed hotel know who Peter King is? He can't afford MLB.com or any of those other expensive fancy things which will help him keep up with baseball games. Thankfully, this hotel had fresh, free coffee ready to be served at 6am or else Peter would have just burnt the entire hotel down upon checking out the following day.
After dinner I came back to the room. I didn’t want to miss Cards-Dodgers—not if it was going to be anything like the Friday night masterpiece, one of the best baseball games of the year. I flipped through the channels again. No MLB Network. There was HGTV, SyFy, OWN, WE TV, the Hallmark Movie Channel. But no baseball.
Welcome to the world of those who don't have digital cable and can't get every channel known to exist. Cable companies are evil and they refuse to give you the channels you actually want and insist on giving out the channels they want you to have. Welcome to the world Peter, I hope you enjoy what other people go through when wanting to find a channel that's not offered while seeing 40 channels you personally have no interest in watching.
Neither baseball playoff game was on my TV Saturday night.
Doesn't that television know who you are? You are Peter King. You deserve to watch what you want to watch when you want to watch it.
How can Major League Baseball put its showcase games on channels that don’t make the cut on a 50-channel cable system at a hotel?
While that is a good question, I am not sure MLB can make sure every hotel in the United States (and it's kind of random how hotels specifically should carry these games) carries the games they want to showcase. MLB and Fox Sports want you to demand cable companies carry MLB Network and Fox Sports 1, so this is one way to do this. Yet, I'm not sure MLB is worried that every hotel in the United States carries the games. After all, Peter could easily have gone to a sports bar to watch the games. So I do agree with him in principle and it's a lesson to MLB that they need to get these two channels in more homes. I think it's smart to put these games on a channel that guarantees anyone without digital cable could watch. Still, what makes the 50-channel cable lineup at a hotel isn't for MLB to decide and this goes to show how cable companies are evil and don't give a shit about the needs of their customers because they will continue to assume no other company will come along and give customers the specific channels they want at a lower price. It will happen one day...just never forget how evil cable companies are.
Jim Schwartz told Bills players in OTAs that he wanted to be carried off the field if he beat Lions. They did and he was.
— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) October 5, 2014
Good thing Jim Schwartz got back at the Lions for firing him due to his being a bad NFL head coach. He must feel good about himself that proved the Lions wrong that he wasn't a good NFL head coach by coming back and beating the Lions with the Bills when he was not the Bills head coach. He proved he is a good defensive coordinator. That'll show 'em.
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think this is what I liked about Week 5:
e. Jay Glazer’s unequivocal report that Jim Harbaugh absolutely will not return as Niners coach in 2015.
So Peter likes the decision that Harbaugh will absolutely not return as 49ers coach or he likes the unequivocal report coming from Jay Glazer? It's a little confusing.
j. Eli Manning, who kept telling everyone the Giants’ offense would be fine, and no one believed him, and he’s turning out to be right.
I believed Eli Manning when he said the Giants' offense would be fine. I know Peter believes that because he didn't think the Giants' offense would be fine this means no one else shared this view, but that's not true. I'm not sure if I am noticing it more or Peter is just doing this type of thing more often, but he seems to be using terms like "we" and "nobody" to refer to when he is wrong about something and he is assuming everyone was wrong too.
k. The legitimate lift Odell Beckham Jr. provided the Giants in his first game.
This is as opposed to the illegitimate lift another receiver gave his team? I feel like Peter has been reading a lot of Bill Simmons lately. Maybe Bill Simmons is ghostwriting this MMQB! The "we" and "nobody" references along with the bizarre use of "legitimate" in a situation where it doesn't need to be used tips me off.
n. Luke Kuechly tormenting Matt Forte.
Forte had 166 total yards on the day, so if he got tormented by Luke Kuechly then Bears fans probably want Forte to be tormented a lot more often.
o. Jordan Matthews, the Eagles’ rookie receiver, who plays like an instinctive vet.
He plays like an instinctive doctor who specializes in working on animals?
r. Philip Rivers, who somehow gets better as he gets older.
Actually, a lot of athletes get better as they get older. If this wasn't true then every athlete's best season would be his/her rookie season. Uh-oh, I'm getting hypercritical now.
s. The New England offensive line. No unit took more guff last week (70% of it justified),
Another Bill Simmons trademark is giving a random percentage that can't be proven or disproven. I'm 76% sure that Peter King is in the process of reading Bill Simmons' entire column archive.
2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 5:
a. The Bengals coming up so, so small
They played a very motivated Patriots team on the road. They don't get a mulligan, but "we" didn't think they were really the best team in the NFL did "we?"
f. Logan Mankins, beaten on a stunt for the crucial safety by Saints pass-rusher Junior Gallette.
See? Trading Logan Mankins was a brilliant move for the Patriots. They got rid of a highly-paid, highly-drafted glory boy in favor of undrafted free agents who care about the team. Just a week ago the trade of Mankins for Wright and a draft pick was a bad move, but now it's genius.
q. The Jets, who lead the league is disappointment after five weeks.
Yes, they do lead the league is disappointment. It's almost as disappointing as easy-to-fix typos in MMQB.
The sports world is better when the Kansas City Royals are winning playoff games and the bottom-feeders in college football rise up.
Gregg Easterbrook thinks the NFL season is more interesting when the Chiefs are winning games. There most be something very interesting about Kansas City. Is it the barbeque, the history of mafia activity or some other reason I can't quantify from not having lived in the area?
6. I think Russell Wilson did a nice job in his story for Derek Jeter’s new website, The Players Tribune, writing about domestic violence, admitting he was once a bully (evidently a pretty serious one) and asking fans/readers to contribute $2 to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Russell Wilson is a reformed bully! He's the John Stockton of reformed bullies.
I like when players sign their names to important causes; so many of them (Michael Jordan and the aforementioned Jeter most notably) never make prominent public stands on such issues. Wrote Wilson: “Domestic violence isn’t going to disappear tomorrow or the next day. But the more that we choose not to talk about it, the more we shy away from the issue, the more we lose.”
Kudos to Wilson for taking a public stand, but I hope Peter understands that being a bully in school and domestic violence are two separate issues with two separate traumas for the victim. Not to mention, it's not exactly difficult to take a public stand against domestic violence. I'm pretty sure every athlete would take a stand against domestic violence if asked what they thought about it. Still, it's good that Russell Wilson is asking readers to donate money.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
g. My lord: Kent Tekulve threw out the first pitch at the Pirates’ wild-card game 26 days after undergoing a heart transplant.
Unnecessary italics! That's another trait of a Bill Simmons column. I really think Bill is ghostwriting MMQB during his three week ESPN-paid vacation.
h. Madison Bumgarner looks like the next Jon Lester to me—the next power-pitching, big-game lefty. What a game he threw in Pittsburgh.
Ah yes, Madison Bumgarner is the next Jon Lester. It's impossible to compare Bumgarner to a pitcher who didn't play for the Red Sox I guess. That's another trait of Bill Simmons' writing. He only compares athletes to athletes who played for his favorite team. Also, Lester got hit pretty hard in the Wild Card game against the Royals. Maybe that wasn't a big enough game for him. I'm really starting to wonder if Bill Simmons isn't ghostwriting this MMQB.
i. How about Giants relief pitcher Hunter Strickland, he of nine major-league appearances, walking into the opening game of the National League Division Series at Washington, bases loaded, Giants up 2-0, bottom of the sixth, two outs, and facing one of the best-hitting second basemen in the game, Ian Desmond.
Maybe someone should tell Ian Desmond he is one of the best-hitting second basemen in the game. He has played the position in five games during his career and played shortstop during the entire 2014 season. But no, way for Peter to throw out that baseball knowledge he thinks he has. Ian Desmond is the Dustin Pedroia of good hitting second basemen, except Desmond plays shortstop.
Not to mention, Desmond isn't a bad hitter, but I think Peter is overemphasizing the amount of home runs Desmond hits as signifying he is a good hitter. I mean, he's okay, but Desmond only had a .255 average with a .313 OBP. His strikeout to walk ratio was 4.25:1. So he's good at hitting home runs, which is apparently what impresses Peter the most.
j. The Giants have some grind-out-at-bat guys, befitting their manager.
This is analysis.
n. Great stat from Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post Distpatch: The Cards have 28 postseason victories in the last four seasons, 11 more than any other team in baseball.
That's why they are America's team and there is no way anyone can hate them for being the most successful and best team with the greatest, most knowledgeable fans in baseball over the last four seasons. How can you hate a group of people who can't wait to tell you how special they are?
s. Coffeenerdness: I was doing so well in the off-season, controlling the coffee intake. But now I’m back to the equivalent of five cups a day. The demon is the mid-afternoon cup, which I always feel with the 3:45 a.m. wakeup. Shouldn’t I be smarter than an afternoon cup of high-test by now?
Yes, a thousand times over. You should be smarter.
The Adieu Haiku
The Patriots live.
Those reports of their demise?
The only reports were coming from you and your friends in the media. You helped write the narrative after one bad Patriots loss and then changed it around after one big Patriots win.
1. Writing in italics for emphasis.
2. Saying "we" a lot and indicating because he was personally wrong then everyone else was wrong.
3. Only comparing an athlete to a Boston-area athlete.
4. Going on about what a great player Tom Brady is and how the fans rallied around him like they KNEW he needed the help.
5. Giving out an arbitrary percentage that can't be proven or disproven.
6. The use of the word "legitimate" in a situation where it doesn't need to be used.
Bill Simmons, is that you?