Tuesday, January 27, 2015

7 comments MMQB Review: Vocabulary Lessons With Peter King Edition

Peter King named the wrong "Goat of the Week" for the third straight week in MMQB. He also detailed how Russell Wilson and the Seahawks pulled off a miracle comeback with the help of the inept Green Bay Packers. Peter was impressed with an airport coffee shop in Detroit (and he was shocked the best airport in the country would be in Detroit...I'm still not sure why this is shocking) where the ladies at the coffee shop took the time to make sure his Highness properly enjoyed his coffee. Peter wishes other coffee shops and service industry workers would take the same time to give personal attention, except for when Peter is waiting in line of course. When Peter is in a long line, he just wants the conversation to stop so he can get his food/coffee/whatever he's ordering. When it's Peter getting the personal attention, he appreciates the customer service. This week's MMQB is "offbeat" according to Peter King. He talks about an officiating comeback story, discusses the Patriots deflating footballs against the Colts, provides an absurd "Fine Fifteen," and condescendingly teaches his readers a new word. Because occasionally Peter lets his elitist attitude toward the idiot "normals" who read MMQB come through just a little bit.

We interrupt the Deflategate hysteria (I do believe that is not an overstatement) to bring you this incredible factoid

It's a fact, not a factoid. Since Peter will be teaching his readers a vocabulary lesson in slightly condescending fashion later in MMQB, I wonder if he needs a lesson in the definition of the world "factoid" himself. A factoid is:  

"A questionable or spurious statement presented as fact, but without supporting evidence." 

The word does have other meanings with the second meaning also indicating a statement isn't factual. The third meaning is the CNN version with means a trivial piece of interesting information. The word mainly means a statement that lacks fact. Peter uses the word a lot in MMQB and I sometimes wonder if he knows the word's main meaning indicates he isn't exactly spitting out facts.

One player out of 106 active Seahawks and Patriots was not healthy enough to practice when the two teams worked out this weekend. That player, starting Seattle right guard J.R. Sweezy (ankle), still is listed as probable for Super Bowl 49, meaning it’s very likely he’ll play in the biggest game of his young life next Sunday. So, barring someone straining an oblique on the golf course Tuesday afternoon, it is surprising to report in the fifth month of a brutal NFL season that the two teams left standing are ridiculously healthy as they begin final preparations for the game.

See!? An 18 game schedule would absolutely work for the NFL because this season the two Super Bowl teams are very healthy. Roger Goodell thinks that he should just go ahead and ram the 18 game schedule through. It's not like any of the teams who didn't make the Super Bowl are injured or injuries may have helped prevent another NFL team from having a shot at the Super Bowl or anything like that. The Colts didn't need Ahmad Bradshaw and I'm sure the loss of B.J. Raji was no big deal to the Packers. Plus, the Cardinals were just as good without Carson Palmer as they were with him. Why is an 18 game schedule a bad idea.

My point is that an 18 game schedule is still stupid and it sometimes happens the teams that are able to stave off major injuries to key players are the teams that are able to advance in the playoffs.

I dare to defer one of the biggest pre-Super Bowl stories in the 48-year history of the game to page two of the column today. Page one belongs to Bill Vinovich, the Super Bowl referee.

I feel like every Super Bowl there is a story that is one of the biggest pre-Super Bowl stories in the history of the Super Bowl. Whether it is whether Terrell Owens will play or not, if the Patriots can have a perfect season, if the Patriots can get revenge on the Giants for ruining their perfect season, or whether the Steelers can win another Super Bowl. If it's not Peyton Manning trying to secure his legacy by winning another Super Bowl or Jon Gruden getting revenge on the Raiders by defeating them in the Super Bowl, there is always a story that is one of the biggest stories in the history of the Super Bowl.

Vinovich went to work out one day near his southern California home, and when he came home, his back was killing him. “It actually felt like somebody stuck two knives in my back,” Vinovich said from California the other day.

Sort of how many NFL teams feel after having their games officiated by NFL officials.

At the hospital, his blood pressure skyrocketed. The CAT scan stunned the doctors: The descending portion of his aorta had torn off. This “aortic dissection” caused this huge blood vessel to tear and blood to pour through the area.
“They said it was inoperable,” Vinovich said. “I heard them say, ‘The next 48 hours will tell if he’s gonna make it or not.”

Wow, that sounds pretty severe. So at this point, Peter King will either continue with the story or explain to his readers who he seems to think are morons what "...tell if he's gonna make it or not" means. Because that's a phrase Peter apparently thinks his readers aren't smart enough to understand without him condescending a bit and explaining the phrase. Very lofty of him to do.

They meant, The next 48 hours would determine whether Vinovich would live.

Yes Peter, we understand that's what it means when the phrase "if he's gonna make it or not" is used in front of the words "the next 48 hours." I'm sure that Peter would be shocked to learn his readers aren't complete morons, because he insists on treating them that way. Why would you have to explain what this phrase means? It's obvious.

After 11 days in intensive care and a few weeks of in-home rest, Vinovich felt good, and he sent all his medical records to the NFL so he could be cleared to officiate the season. League physician Dr. Jeffrey Borer, whose job it is to clear officials for duty, not only wouldn’t clear Vinovich for the season. “They said they weren’t going to allow me on the field anymore,” Vinovich said. “Ever.”

This is the part where Peter would explain "ever" meant that the NFL wasn't going to allow Vinovich to officiate another NFL game in his lifetime. 

“How long did it take you to come to grips with that?” I asked.

A few years Peter. Then Vinovich evetually came to grips with it, which is why he isn't an NFL official anymore. Great question.

“Never,’’ he said. “I never gave up.”

Obviously he is still officiating NFL games so Vinovich never gave up. The phrase "if he's gonna make it or not" doesn't seem obvious to Peter, so the fact Vinovich didn't come to terms with the NFL not allowing him on the field, and that's why he is still officiating required further explanation as well.

In 2008, he became a regional supervisor, watching and grading officials. He applied for Pereira’s job when Pereira quit after the 2009 season, but Carl Johnson got it. Imagine if Vinovich got that gig; he probably never would have returned to the field. He decided to continue as a supervisor, but to go back to his other officiating love—college basketball.

Vinovich got four thoracic surgeons to write to the NFL in 2010, saying he was healthy enough to officiate a football game. He took the NFL physical and felt great. Borer still said no. Too risky. “It was like pounding your head against a wall,” Vinovich said. “I’ve got all the information. I just couldn’t get through that wall.”

Peter wants to explain that "couldn't get through that wall" meant that the NFL wouldn't allow Vinovich to officiate a football game again. Also, Peter wants his readers to know that football is a sport, but he isn't talking about what's called football in Europe, which is called soccer in the United States, but Peter is talking about American football that's not soccer. Then I'm sure Peter wants to explain America is the country where he resides as a citizen and is often also called the United States of America. Then Peter would explain to his readers there are 50 states in the United States of America.

Six months later he was back on the basketball court, reffing games on the West Coast. Early in 2012 he re-applied to the NFL, with Elefteriades’ blessing. In May 2012, he opened his email one day to find these words from the NFL: You’re approved for the 2012 season. “I obviously started crying,” Vinovich said. “Very, very emotional.”

Peter would like to explain that Vinovich was emotional in a good way, not in a bad way. The emotions were happy emotions.

Vinovich had Baltimore-New England. In the middle of the third quarter, the bizarre New England formation occurred: Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui lined up at left tackle, eligible. Running back Shane Vereen reported on the field and said clearly to Vinovich: “I’m reporting INeligible. INeligible.” 

“It obviously caught me off guard,” Vinovich said. “I’m not gonna say what the Ravens should or shouldn’t have done. I mean, the easiest thing [for them] to do would have been to call timeout and let them match up.

Peter wants his readers to know that "off guard" means Vinovich wasn't expecting it. Okay, I'm done now.

And yes, the Ravens maybe should have tried to call a timeout, as nearly everyone suggested they do in this situation. It's like a knee-jerk reaction. The Ravens didn't like what they saw, just call a timeout.

Vinovich is aware that some critics—Harbaugh, for one, who thinks the Ravens weren’t given sufficient time to match up; and also Tony Dungy, who felt the same way—didn’t like New England being able to use that play.

I'm sure there is a bucket somewhere that can catch all the tears Saint Tony Dungy was crying over the Patriots using this play in a game when the opposing team wasn't properly prepared.

But he also knows on those three plays, the Ravens had at least seven seconds per play to adjust. So he’s sure he made the right call. “I don’t know how else we could have handled that,” he said. “You’re not going to put the umpire over the ball at that point. We told the Ravens the back was ineligible.”

It was a good move by Belichick and I thought sufficient time was given. What do I know though? I'm not Saint Tony Dungy, image rehabber to football stars.

“Has it hit you that you’re doing the Super Bowl,” I asked, “just three years after you didn’t know if you’d ever be allowed on the field again?”

“No,” he said, “and I don’t think it will until I do the coin toss, honestly. I just want to get that over with, because then it’s just football.”

“No one’s coming to see an official officiate,” Vinovich said. “Trust me.”

Karl Hess is amazed that no one is coming to see an official officiate a game.

I thought the Bill Belichick press conference Saturday afternoon was extraordinary. Clearly, he realized his integrity, and that of his organization, was under fire. He wanted to tell the world there was, in his mind, a rational explanation for the decline in pressure in the footballs during the first half of the AFC Championship Game. He wanted to tell the world stridently that he thought his team and his staff did absolutely nothing wrong. He wanted to tell the world he was proud of his players for continually persevering and becoming the best team in the AFC this season, which the Patriots certainly are. It was passionate and moving and very human.


We still don’t know why New England’s footballs were fine before the game, low at halftime (at least 11, according to Chris Mortensen), inflated to the proper level by the officiating crew, and then fine after the game. So that’s a problem that needs to be addressed. Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk reported Sunday, quoting a league source, that 10 of the New England footballs “may have been closer to one pound below the minimum limit for inflation,” which leads to an important part of the investigation.

(falls asleep reading about the proper inflation of footballs)

A little education this morning, on the parts of this story I think people are missing.

Peter is all about the education in this week's MMQB.

1. The big issue is a six-to-10-minute window of time between when the officials release the ball to the ball boys and the start of the game.

That six- or 10-minute window is key to this investigation. In fact, it’s the biggest key. Did anything untoward happen in that time?

Okay Mr. Football, point to the spot on this doll where the Patriots touched you before the game. Don't be afraid and just show me on the doll where they touched you. No one will be mad at you. Just point.

2. How did the players and teams get such control over the footballs? Why doesn’t the league take control of the football-prep process?

Let’s go back to 2006, to something I wrote just before the start of that season. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, backed by 20 other starting quarterbacks, petitioned the league to allow each team—rather than just the home team—to condition the footballs it would use on offense each week in the way it saw fit.

“Imagine,” Brady told me at the time, “if Derek Jeter were handed a brand-new glove just before the start of every game. Baseball players break in their gloves until they feel perfect to them. It’s ridiculous to [be forced to] play with new footballs. I can tell you there’ve been nights before road games when I have had trouble sleeping because I’m thinking about what kind of footballs I’ll be throwing the next day.”

I get the Derek Jeter comparison or where Brady wants to go with it, but a glove is a personal item that a baseball player uses, so while I get the comparison, I don't think it's apt. It's like if MLB allowed each pitcher to rough the baseball up as he sees fit, because a football is used by every participant in the sport just like a baseball is used by every participant in the sport of baseball. On the other hand (no pun or glove-related reference intended), a glove is a personal item that is only used by one participant. There's the difference in Brady's comparison of a football used by multiple football players to a glove used by one baseball player.

Brady proposed that the visiting team have access to a certain number of the allotted game balls—the number turned out to be 12—so it could prepare them the way it wanted; those balls would be stamped with the visiting team’s name and kept on the visitors’ sideline for use when that team was on offense. The remainder of the balls would be prepared by the hosts to their liking, 12 kept on the sideline for use on their drives and the other dozen in reserve in case bad weather created the need for additional balls. The competition committee approved the plan the next month, and it’s been that way ever since.

I'm sure it gives those who hate the Patriots and want to see Brady/Belichick executed at halftime of the Super Bowl more ammunition knowing that Brady was part of the push to allow each NFL team to provide their own footballs. It's a decade-long conspiracy! And naturally, Manning's involvement meant he would never over or under-inflate a football so that he could throw it better. He's above that.

3. And about Bill Belichick’s or Tom Brady’s legacy and Hall of Fame status …

Too early. Way too early.

There’s just too much that can happen before then, in all ways. Let’s see where this story ends up.

So Peter is saying that neither Belichick or Brady's legacy and/or Hall of Fame candidacy can be judged prior to either of them being eligible for the Hall of Fame? I refuse to believe this should be the case. Let's make a judgment on their legacy and whether either should be in the Hall of Fame right now. It's much more fun that way.

Requiem for a sportswriter.

Paul Needell died after a long battle with multiple sclerosis Saturday. He was 57.

Peter then has four people eulogize Paul Needell in MMQB. I won't cover much of this because it's hard to be snarky about dead people. Except Joe Paterno. Apparently he's free game.

Roger Goodell, former Jets PR intern, current NFL commissioner. “Frankly, it is difficult to speak about it now.

Because Goodell hasn't seen the videotape of Needell's death. Is he dead? Roger Goodell doesn't know because he's not making a snap-judgment based on someone's word that Needell's heart has stopped beating. Bring the tape, then Goodell will say for sure he will speak about Needell's death.

I was a wide-eyed intern, and he taught me a great deal about the media business—a world to which I was admittedly unaccustomed. Most of all, he taught me about respect.

(Goodell suspends Josh Gordon for drinking beer and smoking pot, then gives a two game suspension to Luke Kuechly for murdering an entire family)

The love of his family over the past few years is the greatest testament to Paul Needell. What a special guy. He will be missed.”

Assuming he is dead of course. Goodell still needs the videotape showing Needell as indeed dead and he'll be locked in his office all day so if the information goes to someone else then he isn't responsible for that person's actions and what they do with this tape. A supervisor can't always be responsible for the actions of his employees, unless that supervisor is an NFL coach or any other NFL-affiliated person that isn't Roger Goodell. Those people are responsible for everything their subordinates do.

This comes from Jim Steeg, who for years ran the Super Bowl and big NFL events:
“Back in the seventies, the Dolphins were going to play the Raiders in Oakland. They practiced at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday, and in the locker room Larry Csonka found laying there the Raiders’ game plan for the next day’s game. He gave it to [Dolphins offensive line coach] Monte Clark to give to Don Shula, which Monte did.

“The next day the Dolphins got beat by the Raiders. Csonka went to Monte and asked, ‘How did we lose? We had their game plan.’
“Monte’s response: ‘I gave it to Don and he threw it in the trash. He said, ‘We do not cheat!’ ”

Sure...I bet Don Shula didn't grab that game plan out of the trash. I bet he's just embarrassed he used the game plan and then the Dolphins didn't win the game.

The Fine Fifteen (Or Two) 

A quick list, seeing that only two teams are still alive and very little has changed in the rankings since last Monday.

If you read my MMQB Review every week, then you would know that I have advocated Peter just stop doing the Fine Fifteen every week during the playoffs because not much has changed on a weekly basis and the rankings serve little purpose since many of the teams won't be playing any more games during the season.

So that's fine that Peter isn't doing the Fine Fifteen this week, but why in the hell is he doing the Fine Fifteen with just two teams? He's going to rank them equal to each other because he hasn't made his Super Bowl pick yet. What's the point of this exercise?

T-1. Seattle (14-4).


T-1. New England (14-4).

Sometimes I believe Peter has a contest with himself to see what is the most inconsequential item he can include in MMQB.

“I would not say I’m the Mona Lisa Vito of the football world, as she was in the car-expertise area.’’
—New England coach Bill Belichick, channeling a memory of “My Cousin Vinny’’ during his rather amazing news conference Saturday, during which he said he wasn’t a great expert on the science of pressure in footballs (the way Marisa Tomei, playing the Ms. Vito character, was in identifying the characteristics of different brands of tires in an Alabama courtroom).

Yes, we get it Peter. If someone didn't get the reference in the original quote then the explanation you gave of "My Cousin Vinny" as the film where the reference comes from would then explain that a character in the movie was an expert on cars. If someone really cares enough to find out who played the character then they could use the Google machine to figure it out. What I'm saying is everything doesn't require an explanation.

“The energy is sort of sucked out of you. You do feel deflated … Awwww, shoot. Oh well.”
—Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, describing in a bit of a double-entendre his feelings about the sudden end of the Indianapolis season while being interviewed at the Pro Bowl.

I don't care what anyone says, I think Andrew Luck slipped up intentionally here and then was all "Awww, shucks" after saying it. He meant to do it and you can't convince me otherwise. Well done, Andy Luck, well done. 

“Everybody’s talking about Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. When is Robert Kraft going to come up and explain why, if they are found guilty of this, why do these things keep happening in this organization?’’
—Former Carolina GM Marty Hurney, now a talk show host in Charlotte, to Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

While possibly a good point, it's overshadowed by the fact Marty Hurney still wonders if the Patriots taped Panthers practices. It's been a decade, let's try to move on and focus on more important things like Hurney spent $80 million on running backs in a league where the running back is being devalued. I do think Hurney has a point, and not just because I'm one of the last great defenders of Hurney's legacy as the Panthers' GM, but because I would expect another owner to come out and explain why these things happen in his organization. That's probably why Robert Kraft did come out and speak on Monday, while standing by his coach and quarterback.

Ernie Banks, one of the best baseball players of all time, and a man who never had a bad day, died at age 83 Friday night. He was to Chicago what, a generation later, Ripken was to Baltimore and Jeter was to New York, and

what David Eckstein was to Anaheim and St. Louis.

Between 1955 and 1960, my rudimentary knowledge of baseball history would suggest that the four best baseball players were Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Ernie Banks. (Stan Musial would have belonged on the list in 1955, but not by ’59, when he was 38 years old.) Here’s how the power numbers matched up in those six seasons, which were 154-game seasons:

Player, Pos. Games HR RBI MVPs Gold Gloves
Ernie Banks, SS 152.3 41.3 115.5 2 1
Mickey Mantle, OF 148.3 39.3 98.2 2 0
Willie Mays, OF 152.0 35.7 101.8 0 4
Hank Aaron, OF 152.6 34.3 112.3 1 3

Isn’t that a surprise? Prime years for all four players, and Banks with more homers and RBIs than the other three. There’s the Wrigley Field factor, to be sure, but interesting numbers nonetheless.

Isn't it a surprise that Peter's cherry-picked data goes to prove the point that he wanted to prove? Who would have thought that could happen? What a shock.

Mantle was 23-28 years of age during this sample.
Banks was 24-29 years of age during this sample.
Mays was 24-29 years of age during this sample.
Aaron was 20-26 years of age during this sample.

I would argue that neither Mays nor Aaron were in the prime of their careers during the time that Peter has cherry-picked. Both players put up better numbers after 1960 than they did during the time Peter is claiming was the "prime" of their careers. But yes, Banks was a great baseball player, but no, you can't sell me on 1955-1960 being the prime of Mays and Aaron's careers just so you can prove a point you want to prove.

Banks was good late too: At age 39, his 505th career homer came off Tom Seaver, and his 506th and 507th came off Steve Carlton.

Banks was good late in his career. Well, he was good for his age, but from age 32 to the end of his career he was essentially a shortstop who could hit home runs, but didn't get on-base above .320 and couldn't hit above .276. He was still great, but he essentially became a home-running hitting shortstop who was good at fielding as well. It makes him a Hall of Famer obviously, but he definitely peaked during the years Peter cherry-picked and fell off after that.

I love the idea that’s gaining steam in Chicago: The Cubs, as a rightful tribute to Banks, should schedule a single-admission doubleheader once every year. Call it “Let’s Play Two Day.” What do you say, Theo Epstein?

I'm sure Theo Epstein makes scheduling decisions like this for the Cubs.

In Russell Wilson’s three seasons as starting quarterback for Seattle—he has started all 55 regular-season and post-season games since being picked in the third round by the Seahawks in 2012—he and his teammates have played 10 games against quarterbacks who have won at least one Super Bowl. The Seahawks are 10-0 in those games.

I know, I know—give credit to the defense for being so dominant and for holding Peyton Manning to 14 points per game and Brees 11 and Rodgers 17. The Seahawks defense has been terrific in the past three years, leading the league in scoring defense in all three seasons. But Wilson has not been just an innocent bystander here.

Peter knows, Peter knows. Point out a big reason that the Seahawks are 10-0 against quarterbacks who have won at least one Super Bowl as being the Seahawks defense, but don't forget that Russell Wilson is a winner and that should count for something too. Sure, the Seahawks defense has put him in good position against these great teams and didn't make him score 30 points to win, but wouldn't it be cool if that part could be ignored?

One more Wilson morsel that will drive the quarterback-wins-is-a-meaningless-stat crowd to drink: Wilson’s 42 victories in his first three NFL seasons, in regular- and postseason games, is six more than any other quarterback in NFL history.

I'm not of the "QB wins are meaningless" crowd, I'm of the "Let's not get carried away and put Russell Wilson in the same class as other elite quarterbacks because it's completely possible he's just a great quarterback who has won a lot of games" crowd. 

New England’s five Super Bowls in the Belichick-Brady Era have been decided by 3, 3, 3, 3, and 4 points.

It's almost like there is a thin line between winning and losing which is why stating Brady needs another Super Bowl victory to cement his legacy is probably a stupid point of view.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

Four hours and 56 minutes. That’s how long the flight was from New York to Phoenix on Sunday morning. That is also how long I had to smell the over-ripe woman in the seat behind me.

Whatever this was, it was five hours of my life I will not remember fondly. Well, I guess I should look on the bright side. It’s an easy, though odoriferous, travel note of the week.

Then realizing he had not talked down to his audience in a few pages, Peter decides that he just used a big word which most of his moronic readers didn't know and can now use at parties. It's his job to use his elitist attitude and well-educated nature to teach his readers big words.

You should look on the bright side too: Now you have a fun word to share with friends, who will be so impressed if you use “odoriferous” instead of simply “stinks.”

Thank you for the vocabulary lesson, Peter. Now that you have used the word "odoriferous" I have learned the word and will impress my friends with this knowledge. Because I, like most of your readers, am not educated enough to already be using that word in a sentence.

Ten Things I Think I Think

3. I think the most stunning bit of news in Rick Gosselin’s always-superb ranking of the 32 NFL special-teams units in the Dallas Morning News was this: Green Bay finished 32nd, and had one of the worst seasons by a kicking unit in some time. In the NFL this season, 61 kicks or punts were blocked—and seven of them happened to the Packers.

What's stunning to me is that the two teams at 31st and 32nd both made the playoffs. That seems...interesting to me that two teams who are so bad at special teams could make the playoffs. Of course, the team that was 31st was Carolina and they were only better than the rest of the crappy teams in the NFC South, as their losing record showed. So they were more of a playoff team by default.

6. I think by the NFL putting all three London games next season (Weeks 4, 7 and 8) at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time, we see the league’s reasoning—and for East Coast fans, I do not mind it at all: There is a real chance to create a fourth Sunday window for a game for FOX (once) and CBS (twice).

I love football, but I really worry that opening a fourth timeslot on Sunday for games isn't in the best interests of the NFL. Of course, I also think putting an NFL team in London (without me knowing how exactly this would work) is a bad idea too. So no one probably cares what I think, because money.

And you know what the teams like about it? All six teams—the Dolphins, Jets, Jaguars, Bills, Chiefs and Lions—will be able to return home no later than 4 a.m. local time on Monday, if they so choose. The following week will be a bye week, but the players will be able to be off that week at home if the teams wish, and the coaches will be able to treat the post-London week as if it were a borderline normal post-late-Sunday week entering the bye.

I still don't see how the NFL is going to do games in London on a permanent basis. The logistics of it seems odd to me. If there were a permanent team in London, then every team who plays in London can't go on a bye immediately afterwards playing in London can they?

8. I think it’s just a matter of time before a youth football player crossing the goal line, or a youth basketball player hitting a big shot, or another young athlete doing something great, follows that act with a crotch-grab. Well, they’ll say, I saw my favorite player, Marshawn Lynch do it; I’m following him. Lynch would be so proud, I’m sure.

Peter King is clutching his pearls at the idea of a kid grabbing his crotch like Marshawn Lynch did. Lord have mercy! It's like that scoundrel Randy Moss and how he pretended to moon Lambeau Field after scoring a touchdown a few years ago. What if "the kids" pretended to moon someone after hitting a home run or scoring a touchdown? Good thing Moss is nowhere to be found now and isn't employed as a member of the media. Because that would be embarrassing if there were other examples of professional athletes making gestures that weren't emulated by children and then that athlete ended up working in the same industry as Peter.

9. I think I’ll say one thing to you, Seattle fans, pre-emptively: Don’t tell me I’m a Marshawn Lynch hater.

I'll say one thing to you pre-emptively. It's "preemptively" (oh yeah, the English lesson goes both ways) and if you are talking about Marshawn Lynch still then this point #9 should be up with point #8 and not as it's very own number.

But do not try to defend a man who has something going on in his head that tells him to grab his crotch on national TV after he scores a touchdown. It is demeaning, and you are demeaning yourselves as one of the best groups of fans I’ve encountered in 31 years covering the NFL by defending the indefensible. 

Hey, and if anyone knows anything about defending the defensible then it is Peter King. This is a guy who has been able to defend Roger Goodell in some ways over the past year.

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

a. I bow this morning to the six full-time SI photographers laid off the other day, all of whom I’ve worked with, all of whom take such great pride in their work—Al Tielemans, Bill Frakes, John McDonough, Simon Bruty, David E. Klutho and Robert Beck. A sad day for us.

Maybe there would be more money left over at Sports Illustrated if they had not invested a lot of their money in a micro-NFL site and pay well into six figures for Peter King to run said micro-NFL site. There may be more money left to pay for some full-time photographers if SI wasn't sinking funds into a micro-NFL site.

c. Ichiro a Marlin. Now that’ll take some getting used to.

He was a Yankee before that. That was less weird than Ichiro being a Marlin?

g. Just catching up on the last episodes of “The Newsroom” this season, and it’s the best this show has ever been. By far. Olivia Munn hit a few home runs down the stretch,

Okay, one more time.

What Peter means by "hit a few home runs down the stretch" is that Olivia Munn was very good at playing her role towards the end of the series. She was not playing baseball, but it was a phrase Peter used to point out how good Munn was at the end of "The Newsroom." Peter doesn't need his less haughty fans to get confused, so he needs to explain these things to them.

h. Can’t “The Newsroom” come back? Why is it ending?

Perhaps because it was never that good in the first place and Aaron Sorkin knew that?

i. Ernie Banks’s death reminded me of George Costanza in “The Opposite,” when his life goes up and Elaine’s down. George enters the restaurant, sees his pals and in a cocky voice, sing-songs: “Greetings and salutations. It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame! Let’s play two!”

Yes Peter, everything in life can be brought back around to "Seinfeld." Everything.

j. Klay Thompson scored 37 points in a quarter the other night. That’s got to be one of the great sports feats of recent times. Looks like such a happy guy.

Thanks for the helpful input, Peter. It doesn't sound juvenile at all.

Peter saw a puppy on the road yesterday riding a bike. That's a great feat for him to achieve. The puppy looked happy. His tongue was hanging out. Peter likes puppies.

Good to see different teams winning in the NBA.

It's good see different types of dogs out in public. Peter likes it when he sees different dogs on the street.

k. Thursday: Celtics win by one, 90-89, at Portland. Friday: Celtics win by one, 100-99, at Denver. I know nothing about the NBA, but with all the draft picks they have in the next couple of years, maybe the Danny Ainge/Brad Stevens Celtics are on the right road.

It's Peter's typical, "I know nothing about the topic I will opine on, but here's a conclusion I have reached based on my limited knowledge about this subject and I expect it to be taken somewhat seriously because it's an opinion coming from me" mention in MMQB.

r. Love Phoenix in the winter. I just wish they wouldn’t have sent the Coyotes away this week. Would have loved to have stolen a night with the pucks with Rick Gosselin.

What do you say, Theo Epstein? Is there a way you can get the NHL to build the Coyotes' schedule around the times that Peter will be visiting Phoenix? In fact, make it a doubleheader.

The Adieu Haiku

Welcome to Phoenix!  
And a week of Deflategate.
Really hate that name.

If you hate that name then don't use it. Peter used "deflategate" two other times in this MMQB. Peter has some control over the coverage of the Patriots deflating footballs and what his writers for THE MMQB refer to it as. Sometimes Peter acts like he has no choice about which stories to cover and how to cover them. 


Chris said...

The constant use of maybe is one of the many things that annoys me about Peter's writing(that and his general elitism.) Good way to hedge your bets saying maybe Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens are on the right track that way you won't ever have to admit to being wrong if one or both get shit canned in three years because you never actually had a definitive opinion.

Also where has Peter been for the last few years? The warriors have been pretty good for the last few years. Of course who cares. Peter is so smart he doesn't actually have to follow the NBA to know everything about it.

Snarf said...

Saw this on KSK:

"“One player out of 106 active Seahawks and Patriots was not healthy enough to practice when the two teams worked out this weekend.”

So out of all the active (i.e., healthy) players, they were all healthy? Earth-shattering news. Sure, they’re all healthy once you leave out inactive players like Dominique Easley, Stevan Ridley, Aaron Dobson, Jerod Mayo, Alfonzo Dennard, Bryan Stork, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Jordan Hill, Brandon Mebane, Taylor Price, Paul Richardson, Anthony McCoy, Zach Miller, and Stephen Schilling. But both teams are just as healthy as when the season began!"

Slag-King said...

So Peter chortles and titters like a schoolgirl in response to Jason Gray's column, but is offended by Lynch's actions? Methinks he doth protesteth too much.

Ericb said...

Adding a regular fourth game for 9:30 am Eastern time sounds like a really stupid idea. Sure it might be tolerable for fans in the Eastern and maybe Central time zones but pretty much writes off audiences in the Mountain and Pacific time zones. Who is going to wake up to watch a 6:30 or 7:30 am game? And would the NFL be stupid/cruel enough to have a west coast team play 6:30 am pacific time game in London? If they make this the regular time slot for London games does this mean that a potential London team will never play a team from the western half of the US?

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, Peter will watch one Warriors game and make a comment about them, then state he isn't an expert so ignore him. It's how it goes.

Snarf, wow. That's an excellent point. I wish I had focused more on what Peter said and not that healthier teams often make the Super Bowl. That's quite a list.

Slag, haha. Great point. It's hilarious to make jokes about balls, but grabbing your balls is just out of line.

Eric, that is true. An early 9:30 game ensures the west coast won't see those games. You ask so many good questions. I have the same questions. I have ZERO idea how a team in London works logistically.

Anonymous said...

One more Wilson morsel that will drive the quarterback-wins-is-a-meaningless-stat crowd to drink: Wilson’s 42 victories in his first three NFL seasons, in regular- and postseason games, is six more than any other quarterback in NFL history.

Why would that drive that crowd to drink? Does he think that they would be vexed by such a thing?

I think Wilson sitting at the top of that list vindicates the "QB wins are crap" crowd.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I would agree. The fact Wilson is 10-0 against Rodgers/Brady/Brees tells me that QB wins is an overrated stat. I don't say that to take anything away from Wilson. He's great. He's great in a different way than Brees/Brady/Rodgers are great. I would rank Wilson high in a ranking of NFL QB's, but I would rank him much lower in terms of being an elite QB. That may not make sense, but I think he's a great QB, but not even close to elite.