Tuesday, February 10, 2015

8 comments MMQB Review: Peter Goes to Bat for Darren Sharper's Hall of Fame Rights Edition

Peter King discussed the most controversial and worst play call in the history of the NFL (until the next controversial and worst play call occurs) in last week's MMQB. He also sort of screwed up his "Goat of the Week" again by placing the blame for the last offensive play by the Seahawks on one person. This week in the first offseason MMQB, Peter has Tom Brady explain the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, clarifies that when he said he would resign from the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee if Darren Sharper wasn't on the ballot by stating "rulebook," is still overly-fascination with the urban music Pete Carroll plays at practice and is upset he'll have to drink his piss passing as a beer out of a can from now on. Oh, that beer is Rolling Rock, which interestingly is what I'd rather be hit by then drink the beer.

It’s understandable when a stunning event overwhelms a career-defining event, the way it did in Super Bowl XLIX eight days ago. We spent three or four days piling on Pete Carroll for a call that seemed (and still seems) foolhardy, a decision that cost Seattle a second straight Super Bowl victory and a decision vital to the fourth Super Bowl title of the Belichick/Brady Era. Heck, Matt Lauer of the “Today Show” flew to Seattle and sat down with Carroll for 20 empathetic minutes.

Matt Lauer was probably just trying to get away from everyone at the "Today Show" who secretly hate him. He would volunteer to do an interview pretty much anywhere as long as people stop accusing him of trying to get his co-anchors and NBC network executives fired.

Now it’s day eight, and it’s time for New England quarterback Tom Brady to get his due. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels too. And important contributors Shane Vereen, Julian Edelman,

I think we all know that Julian Edelman got his due already. IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

I am going to isolate on Brady and McDaniels here, but that does not mean the others shouldn’t get a figurative Gatorade bath too.

Peter is going to give Brady and McDaniels a tongue bath. Everyone else gets a Gatorade bath.

It should not be forgotten or in any way overshadowed by the Malcolm Butler interception—gigantic, obviously, in its own right—because when the career of Tom Brady is put in a time capsule, this is the day, this is the quarter, these are the two drives, that should be best remembered. They show perfectly what made Brady a quarterback for the ages. All ages.


I spoke to Brady for an hour the other day, to get his play-by-play on the last two drives. And I spoke to McDaniels alone at length in the crazy post-game scrum. This is their story. It has a Spielberg twist on the final play that just makes it better. 

So by "a Spielberg twist" I'm assuming Peter means it will be an overly-long and very boring twist on the final play. Also, no children will be hurt so that probably ends any drama about that as well.

Brady: “I watched a lot of tape. A lot.

Mostly Brady watched tape of the previous "Walking Dead" seasons in order to catch up before the mid-season premiere, but he did learn a lot about how to avoid pressure in his face and how to escape when in a tight space by watching the show.

Brady: “They’d allowed the fewest big plays of any team all season, and you saw pretty early why you don’t want to go into the Super Bowl throwing up a bunch of posts, a bunch of ‘nine’ routes. [‘Go’ routes.] Richard Sherman picks off the go route every time you throw it. The plan was to exploit other parts of the field—but short parts of the field. Michael Bennett rushes from everywhere. Cliff Avril kills people. They believe in what they do. We countered that by saying, ‘Okay, here’s what we’re pretty good at: Space the field, find the soft spots, be satisfied with the four-yard gain, be happy with the four-yard gain. We were gonna be happy with a two-yard gain.”

I didn't think prior to the Super Bowl that the Patriots could throw these short routes and have success against the Seahawks. The difference is that the Patriots were happy with a short gain. That's probably why the Panthers never really get blown out by the Seahawks, because Mike Shula is ALWAYS happy with a two or four yard gain. That's his dream scenario. In fact, every play he calls is designed to get a two or four yard gain.

McDaniels: “The thing nobody talks about with Seattle is their ability to create disruptive plays.

I wouldn't say "nobody" talks about that. I think anyone who sees the Seahawks play know they rarely miss a chance to get a turnover or cause a fumble.

In fact, I have this thing I do during the first half of our games. I write down on my play sheet what I want to talk about to the team at halftime.

Oh. I'm pretty sure that's a "thing" that most offensive and defensive coaches do at halftime.

Josh McDaniels: "I have this thing I do prior to a game. I choose for our offense to practice plays I believe will work against the opposing team's defense and then I put together a group of plays that we will use during the game to score points. The offense then practices these plays during the week. I call it a 'game plan' and it's a very effective way of using strategy to beat an opposing team."

In 72 offensive plays in Super Bowl XLIX, New England did not fumble.

Well, the Patriots are good at not fumbling anyway, but point taken.

In the regular season, Brady was among the most deliberate quarterbacks in the league in getting rid of the ball, at 2.39 seconds per pass drop, according to Pro Football Focus. On second down he took 1.01 seconds to dump a slip-screen to Brandon LaFell on the right side. Gain of four. Third and 14.

Brady: “Would this have been a four-down situation here? I don’t know. The way it worked, Sherman had Gronkowski. Danny had a deeper incut. He was the go-to guy, but they squeezed him on defense, so I couldn’t go there. Now LaFell … He had a deep comeback. When you wait for a guy—what does he run the 40 in, and what can he run 25 yards in? Maybe 2.8 seconds, three seconds? You have to wait for him.

Translation: Brandon LaFell is a lot of things. Fast is not one of those things.

So I have to make the calculated decision. I had the ball quite a while there.

Me: “Well, 3.48 seconds, to be exact.”

Okay Peter, take a step back for a second. Let's allow Tom to tell the story. Gregg Easterbrook does not approve of your hyperspecificity.

Brady: “Probably the longest time I had all game. Julian was the last option I had on the play, and there he was, in the middle.”

Edelman caught it, bounced off Kam Chancellor, and gained 21.

Peter leaves out the part where it looks like Edelman had a concussion based on the hit he took from Chancellor. Which is fine, but it's fun how he leaves that part out.

Now, for the only time in his last 18 plays, Brady errs. Edelman runs a quick fake post on Simon, pirouettes to the left, leaving Simon in the dust, and turns to Brady—who throws a line drive too high. Too hard, and too high. But a lesson to him. And a lesson to McDaniels.

McDaniels did does a thing that he will usually do during a game, which is make notes and remind Tom Brady after the drive is over to not throw incomplete passes.

Brady: “There’s a mental part to a football throw and a physical part. The mental part is being decisive. Every throw is risk-reward. When you’ve played for 15 years, you have what I call ‘no-fear throws.’ Josh calls them that too. You’re confident, you know you’ve got it, and you just rip it. Some other throws, just before you let the ball go, you’re still not quite convinced that’s what you want to do...Josh has done such a good job trying to break down the mental blocks. Some of those decisions go right up to the time before the ball leaves your fingertips. On that one, it was, like, yes yes yes, NO! On my two interceptions in the game, the first one I should have called time because I just didn’t like what I saw, and then it was too late when I made the throw. Dumb throw.

I mock Gregg Easterbrook because his solution to everything seems to be, "Just call a timeout," but when an offense is in the red zone and the quarterback doesn't like what he sees then calling a timeout would be a smart move. Every time the defense or offense may see something they don't like, that's not always the best time to call a timeout.

Thomas and Amendola were on the end line, Thomas to Amendola’s right, and Brady threw hard to the outside of Amendola, away from Thomas. Touchdown. Seattle 24-21.

Brady: “Earl was indecisive, thank God.”

Russell Wilson says God had nothing to do with the touchdown because he was too busy trying to concoct ways for the Seahawks to score points on the next possession. God can only cheer for one team, Tom Brady!

Before the drive started, McDaniels said to Brady: “I got some things I’m gonna go with. I’m gonna pull ’em from everywhere.”

You know, if the Patriots still had Tim Tebow then they wouldn't have to pull 'em from everywhere. They could just let him drop back in the pocket and create the magic the Patriots would need to win the game.

Second-and-10 at the Seattle 32, 4:05 to play. Field-goal range. But no settling now.

Brady: “So K.J. Wright walks up to Gronk. We know it’s man. Same coverage Wright had on the touchdown pass to Gronk earlier. So if you’re K.J. Wright, you’re thinking, ‘I don’t want to get beat on a TD pass again,’ and he plays him high.

You'd think the NFL would drug test these players or K.J. Wright would know better than to play in the Super Bowl high. I guess not.

Gronk sells the go route, and runs the stop route. Gronk knew it. Later, he told me, ‘As soon as the ball was snapped, I knew you were throwing it to me.’ Gronk’s a tough matchup. I’ve seen it for a long time. You put two guys on him, we got three wideouts single-covered. We’ll win those, somewhere. Big fast, unbelievable hands. He’s got vacuum hands.”

Plus, it helped that pretty much any time a linebacker is covering Gronkowski he has the advantage.

Vereen on a quick snap, up the middle for seven. Seattle was tiring now. This was the 15th round of a 15-round donnybrook, and the Seahawks were on the ropes. Brady to LaFell—with no one covering him—for seven.

Really Bill Simmons? LaFell had no one covering him? How could the Seahawks run a defense without anyone covering a receiver? This is not something the Seahawks should do. 

Brady: “After the last drive, I went to the sidelines and told Josh, ‘Josh, come back to that call. Please come back to that call.’ I knew even before the call came in what it was going to be. I knew how it was going to play out. Earl in same place. Simon in same spot. Only this time, they ended up blitzing, really a max blitz, creating one-on-one with Jules.

Stop me before I blitz again! Blitzing never works. If the Seahawks had just run a simple four man rush, surely they would have ended up stopping the Patriots from scoring a touchdown here and then gotten a pick-six on the next play that would have won the game for the Seahawks. Surely, this would have happened.

Edelman pushed off Simon, mildly, on the slant, then pirouetted again, just like last time. Only this time the throw wasn’t 115 miles an hour, and it wasn’t high.

Unlike K.J. Wright, who was still playing high.

Touchdown. New England 28, Seattle 24.

Immediately, McDaniels pointed at Brady. The NFL Films cameras captured Brady pointing at McDaniels. The message from each man was simple.

Brady: It's the Super Bowl and we are now winning. I hope God doesn't help the Seahawks win the game.

McDaniels: I wonder if any good head coaching jobs will open up next offseason? Would anyone suspect anything if Bill Belichick got in a fiery car crash next offseason if no good jobs do open up? Wait, do I even want this job without Brady as my quarterback? Man, what a difficult decision for me to make right now. Fortunately I don't have to make that decision right now. Speaking of decisions, I haven't eaten anything and I am really hungry. What should I eat after this game is over? Oh, here comes Tom pointing at me and yelling. I guess I better focus.

"Yeah Tom, great throw!"

McDaniels: You executed the play exactly how it should have been done.

Brady: You trusted me on the same play again—and this time I didn’t let you down!

I like my fake conversation better. Also, why wouldn't Josh McDaniels trust Tom Brady to run the same play again? Is there any reason Tom Brady couldn't be trusted to throw the ball on the same play again?

Brady: “I had a nice moment with my wife Tuesday morning.

Earmuffs for the children!

Monday was taken up with getting home, and I finally had a chance to sleep Monday night … We woke up Tuesday, and, now, she’s woken up twice next to me after Super Bowl losses, and [for those] I was like, ‘The game’s today, right? What I just had was a nightmare, right? That didn’t really happen, right?’ And this time, I just looked at her and it was, it was …”

Pause. Three, four seconds.

Me: “What happened? What’d you say?”

I always love Peter's interview style. It makes Billy Bush look like a hard-lined investigative reporter. I imagine Peter has his head in his hand staring lovingly like he's just entranced with what the interviewee is saying, no matter who he is interviewing.

Brady: “It was just special. Just pretty special.”

Peter King: What do you mean special? As special as you are, you little rascal? (starts tickling Tom Brady's tummy)

One of the most important things facing Roger Goodell this offseason (you mean there’s more?) is to clear the police blotter of the nagging cheating scandals/problems that have surfaced in the last couple of months.

And obviously "clearing the blotter" doesn't mean Goodell will deal with the scandals/problems that he personally has created over the last couple of months. Plug those ears and keep walking...

New England is cooperating with the investigation by Ted Wells and Jeff Pash into allegations brought by Indianapolis GM Ryan Grigson that one or more footballs the Patriots used in the AFC title game were significantly underinflated. There’s no timetable for the investigation, but I wouldn’t think a decision is imminent; it took Wells 14 weeks to finish his probe into the Miami bullying scandal, and he’s been on the job here only two-and-a-half weeks.

Ted Wells is an attorney. There's no way he's speeding the process up. The longer he keeps "investigating" the more money he racks up in hourly fees he can charge the NFL. Why speed things up when you are getting paid?

(gets angry comments from the attorneys who read this post)

Jerry Rice … Now, this is a strange one. Rice, clearly defending Joe Montana as comparisons between Montana and Tom Brady mount, has been critical of the Patriots for cheating. (Join the outside-of-six-northeastern-states club.) Now comes Rice’s admission, on an ESPN feature in January, that he used Stickum during his NFL career on his already-tacky gloves. Stickum was banned by the league in 1981, and Rice’s NFL career began in 1985. As he said in the ESPN piece: “I know this might be a little illegal, guys, but you put a little spray, a little Stickum on [the gloves] to make sure that texture is a little sticky.”

I know, baseball writers are shocked that previous generations of athletes were doing whatever they could in order to gain an edge over their opponent. They all thought cheating started with the Steroid Era, so I'm sure football writers are just as confused about Rice's comments. You mean other generations of football players tried to gain an advantage by engaging in some cheating? Unconceivable. The modern generation of players are the only ones who will try to cheat, so how can heroes from a prior generation turn out to be cheaters as well?

And one more thing: Rice should tell us which cheating is allowable and which is reprehensible, since he knows so well.

That's an easy one. It's fine for Rice to cheat a little and it's not fine for other teams/players to cheat.

On Darren Sharper

So some media people, and quite a few fans, picked up on my note, and the reaction was intense: How can you consider a man sitting in jail, accused of drugging multiple women and raping them, for the Pro Football Hall of Fame? I wish it had been that civil. But of course it wasn’t.

Yeah, people are the worst when it sounds like Peter King is Tweeting that he would resign from the Hall of Fame voting committee if Darren Sharper weren't considered for induction. People are very uncivil when it sounds like Peter capes up for an accused rapist. What's wrong with everyone else?

Here is what Peter Tweeted.

As usual, Peter misses the point. A lot of the reaction wasn't that Sharper was on the list, but Peter appeared to feel very, very strongly that he would up and quit the Hall of Fame selection committee if Sharper weren't included on the ballot. It's not that I disagree with Peter, but it's the way he went about stating his point. Peter seems to think it's the policy that people primarily had the issue with. I'm not sure that's true. It was that Peter was really, really strong on the point that he wanted Sharper on the ballot. It seemed a bit overboard to me and I bet it seemed that way to others. Of course, Peter misses this point completely.

To clarify the way the Pro Football Hall of Fame works, we have a bylaw that says we can consider only football-related factors in determining a candidate’s worthiness for election. For example, when Lawrence Taylor was up for election 16 years ago, we were allowed to consider the fact that Taylor missed four games once for a drug suspension, but we weren’t allowed to consider his drug use or his other off-field transgressions, of which there were many. I can’t tell you whether some voters considered the other things; I can just tell you that I considered Taylor as a football player only. He was enshrined on his first season of eligibility, 1999.

Again, Peter is missing the point. I understand that Sharper can't be kicked off the ballot for transgressions off the field. That's clear. What isn't clear is why Peter can't seem to get that basically saying, "If Darren Sharper isn't considered then I quit!" can be taken the wrong way as really fighting for a player to be on the ballot when that player has been accused multiple rapes. It sounds like Peter is really fighting for Sharper when less "stand my ground" language would have proved the point.

Maybe you would say: Don’t complicate things! It’s obvious that a very serious crime, such as murder or rape, should bar a candidate from the Hall. Obvious to whom? There are 46 voters for the Hall of Fame. Do you want to leave it up to the conscience of each individual voter as to what constitutes a crime serious enough to ban a person from the Hall?

You are still completely missing the point.

Maybe you would say: Don’t complicate things! It’s obvious that a very serious crime, such as murder or rape, should bar a candidate from the Hall. Obvious to whom? There are 46 voters for the Hall of Fame. Do you want to leave it up to the conscience of each individual voter as to what constitutes a crime serious enough to ban a person from the Hall?

And still missing the reason people were upset with you on Twitter...regardless, do I want it up to the conscience of each individual voter to decide what constitutes a crime serious enough to ban a person from the Hall? Well, these are the same individual voters who are deciding which players should be in the Hall of Fame or not, so if they can figure out between Marvin Harrison or Tim Brown are Hall of Fame wide receivers then I would hope they could also figure out if murder or rape are serious enough crimes to remove a player from Hall of Fame consideration. Quite frankly, if an individual voter can't make a decision about the seriousness of rape or murder, then I don't need this individual voting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame either. I think Sharper should be removed from the ballot, but how does it make sense that I can trust Peter King to figure out which players get the privilege of entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but I shouldn't expect him to make a decision on whether rape or murder is serious enough of a crime to remove a player from the ballot entirely (assuming there was language that allowed this to happen, which there isn't, so it doesn't matter)?

I don’t. The voters for the Hall of Fame should consider what a player did on the field, and the influences of a coach on the game and how many games he won, and the contributions that other figures have made to the sport. Beyond that, the slope is far too slippery.

I agree with this. You know, Peter is probably right. If he's not smart enough to understand how threatening to resign from the Hall of Fame committee if Darren Sharper isn't on the ballot can be taken by the general public, I probably don't want him making decisions on the severity of any crime. So that's a good point. If Peter is thick enough to miss the issue some on Twitter had with him, I probably can't trust his decision-making overall.

On the passing of Dean Smith

In those days, the media’s access to teams wasn’t as tightly controlled as it is today (I am assuming it’s the same after a Final Four as for a big NFL playoff game). And a few reporters, including me, learned the North Carolina team would be leaving the next morning, pretty early, on the plane back to Chapel Hill. So a few of us went out to the airport. Not much security then; we went right out to an outer tarmac, where the players were waiting to board the flight home. I talked to James Worthy for a couple of minutes, and then saw Matt Doherty, another one of the players, and went up to speak to him. It was early, and I assumed most of the guys had been up much of the night celebrating. No matter. They had to get home. “Dean,” one of the North Carolina staffers told me, “wants his players back on campus for afternoon classes. If they’ve got a Tuesday afternoon class, he wants them there.”

Jim Boeheim wants you to know he doesn't give a shit if you think his program is dirty. Also, he thinks college basketball players should stay in school longer and if you ask him about one of his current players and whether that player should go to the NBA then he'll feel free to bad mouth that player and tell you how unprepared he is for the NBA. Always looking out for #1.

“Other than my parents, no one had a bigger influence on my life than coach Smith.”

—Michael Jordan, on the passing of Dean Smith.

Phil Jackson and Scottie Pippen stare quietly out the window while drinking coffee, feeling a little blue, wondering if they had not come along what people would think of Michael Jordan had he not won an NBA title or only had a couple NBA titles. 

LeGarrette Blount had 107 carries, including regular-season and playoff games. Shane Vereen had 104, Stevan Ridley 94 and Jonas Gray 93. Of course, Blount and Gray and Ridley were on the Patriots’ active roster only part of the season, but it’s a startling number, to see how New England divvied up the work in the backfield, and to see no one had to be a Pro Bowler to get the job done.

That has to be the least-accomplished world championship backfield in the Super Bowl era. Just goes to show you that you can field a great team without employing a great running back. 

Yes, a team just needs a Hall of Fame quarterback, four running backs who each have their own different attributes that make them valuable, and use a 2nd and 3rd round draft choice to grab two of these running backs. That's all. 

Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me

This is 10 days old, and my apologies for not getting it in the column last week. But below is the playlist from Seahawks’ practice on Wednesday before the Super Bowl. Coach Pete Carroll plays a mix of mostly hip-hop from start of practice to the end. His players (and even coaches; you should see quarterbacks coach Carl Smith moving to the music) love the fact that, instead of piped-in phony crown noise, they get to hear what they might hear in their cars driving home after practice.

I am remembering two other times when Peter King has written about the practice music that Pete Carroll uses. I get it. He uses interesting music that the players like at practice. This story was interesting the first time, repetitive the second time and now it's well-known so you can move on to something else.

Also: On Friday, a Snoop Dogg song, “Drop It Like’s Hot,” was playing at a loud decibel level early in practice—with Snoop Dogg on the sideline, a guest of the team, watching practice. (Snoop loves the Steelers, but he also loves USC, where Carroll used to coach, and the two became friends when Carroll coached the Trojans.) As the Snoop Dogg song played, Carroll jogged over to the rapper and they hugged.

After Carroll left, I went up to Snoop and said, “Must be strange, listening to your music at a Super Bowl practice, with you in the house.”

Yeah Peter, I'm sure after 20 years of success in the music business it's not weird at all for Snoop to hear his music played at all sorts of venues. I know Peter probably did not know what else to say, but hearing his music playing is just the state of being for Snoop.

A few minutes later, Snoop introduced his son, Cordell Broadus, to me. Cordell is a vaunted high school wide receiver from Las Vegas, and he signed last week to attend UCLA. He was polite and quiet when we met.

Cordell was probably confused by Peter asking him what his favorite U2 track was or Peter asked him what movie he thought Meryl Streep most embodied pure class in.

“You’ll be writing about him someday!” Snoop Dogg said.

He just did, Snoop. 

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

I was walking my daughter Mary Beth’s 11-year-old shepherd/lab mix Lucy on the East Side of Manhattan early Friday morning when a man, looking slightly deranged, approached us. He leaned down to the level of Lucy’s snout and said, a few octaves too loud: “GO BITE A MAILMAN!” He then walked on as though nothing happened.

Only in New York, kiddies. Only in New York.

No Peter, only everywhere there are crazy people roaming the streets. Not just New York, but nearly every city with weirdos who populate it.

If it weren't for Adam Vinatieri then Tom Brady may not even be in this discussion of best QB ever. If a few other positive things happened then the Patriots could have 7-8 or Super Bowl victories. If a few negative things happened then the Patriots could have lost five Super Bowls. It's not weird, it's just football.

Ten Things I Think I Think

2. I think that was a very impressive opening press conference for new head coach Dan Quinn in Atlanta. Now if he can just find a pass-rusher and great cover corner, he’ll be able to start playing defense the way he did in Seattle.

He might need more than one pass rusher if he's trying to put together a defense like the one he had in Seattle. Also, he will need much better safeties and better linebackers.

3. I think Peyton Manning’s playing football in 2015. Of course, by now, every one does. That’s assuming his arm, neck and legs pass muster in a team physical a month from now.

I'm not entirely sure what this means. Peter thinks Manning is playing football in 2015, unless he doesn't pass his physical. So doesn't this mean Peter expects Manning to pass his physical? That is sort of understood, right? It's like saying, "I expect the Patriots to make it to the Super Bowl next year. That's assuming they make the playoffs of course."

4. I think Marshawn Lynch is probably playing football in 2015. But that means he’ll have to be happy with the money he’ll make this year. And that is going to be a tricky process. Under almost any circumstance, Russell Wilson’s average salary in 2015 will be roughly double what the Seahawks would pay Lynch, and Lynch is not going to be fond of that. Lynch is due $7 million in salary and roster bonus this season, and the team is likely to re-do the deal to make Lynch $3 million or $4 million richer in 2015. But would that be enough, particularly when Wilson will be starting a new deal that will average something in the neighborhood of $21 million a year? 

Yes, yes, yes. The Seahawks should totally give Russell Wilson a contact worth $21 million per year. I see no reason they shouldn't do this immediately. You know what? Make it $23 million per year just to make sure Wilson stays happy and guarantee the entire contract amount for the sake of showing some goodwill.

6. I think teams thinking of signing Greg Hardy will have to consider what the NFL sanction against him will be under the league’s new domestic violence guidelines, even after his case was dismissed on Monday because his accuser did not make herself available to testify. Hardy, who is on the commissioner’s exempt list, is one of the best pass-rushers in the league and is expected to be a free agent. The NFL said on Monday that his status “remains unchanged until we fully review the matter.”

I can't wait to see what a great pass rusher Greg Hardy is once he gets paid. I don't know if he will still be elite or not. All I've heard him talk about is getting paid and I think he's also slightly crazy, so I wouldn't want to be the team that pays him.

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

b. Had a wonderful time Friday night in New Haven, Conn., having pizza at Modern Apizza (thanks for the great recommendation, Ron Vaccaro; fantastic and fast pizza and Italian Cabernet), then watching Yale beat Dartmouth 81-66. My niece Katie’s husband, Jon Cormier, is the son of Dartmouth coach Paul Cormier, and so we had a mini-family-reunion for the evening. The outcome could have been better for the group, but I was so impressed with the effort and skill of these players, and it was fun to watch a game as a fan. One basketball note: Yale can really shoot threes.

Yale is 60th among Division-I teams at three-point shooting percentage and 96th in three-point field goals made. They did go 13-21 against Dartmouth, but overall they aren't terribly great at shooting three-point shots. Yale can't really shoot threes, it's just that Dartmouth is 265th in three-point field goal shooting percentage. Dartmouth really can't defend the three.

f. Coffeenerdness: Flat White, you’ve won me over. My grande drink of choice now.

Congratulations Flat White, your existence as a coffee-flavored water now has been justified. As an inanimate object, I know you are excited to learn Peter King has chosen YOU as his grande drink of choice. Prepare for him to drink you 6-7 times per day.

g. Beernerdness: Say it ain’t so, Anheuser Busch. Nine years after buying Rolling Rock and taking the brewing out of Latrobe, you’re taking Rolling Rock out of the classic green bottle at the Newark brewery and making it available only in cans?

How dare you do this Anheuser Busch? Peter prefers to drink his piss-flavored beer out of bottles where he can see the piss-flavored alcohol as it goes down his throat, as opposed to being surprised by the nasty stench of the piss-flavored alcohol as he drinks it out of something best served as the primary construction material at a trailer park.

Best green bottle in brewing! Best bottle in brewing! No! I’m glad it’ll still be obtainable in bottles at its other three breweries, but I fear my local establishments, 10 miles from the Newark brewery, will have Rolling Rock only in cans now. 

Rolling Rock seems like it would fit best in a can. You know, given the taste of it and all.

The Adieu Haiku

Sad with no football?  
The draft’s 80 days away.
So there’s that. Okay?

What is the point of this haiku? It serves no purpose. Much like the "Chip Kelly Wisdom of the Week," which fortunately was put out to pasture by Peter.


Murray said...

Knocking my beloved Rolling Rock. That's cold ben

Bengoodfella said...

Murray, #hotbeertakes.

I don't like Rolling Rock. I'm sorry. Being the human douche I am, I drink more craft beers, but if I drink cheaper because I don't feel like dropping $20 for a 12 pack then I will go with Miller Lite. It probably doesn't taste great to everyone. I never could drink Rolling Rock though.

Ericb said...

Rolling Rock beer, straight from the horse.

Eric C said...

Not for nothing, but Vereen also had 52 catches. It's not like they don't use the running backs, it's just that some are interchangeable.

Anonymous said...

"If it weren't for Eli Manning there wouldn't even be a discussion over best QB ever. Weird."

The Mighty Ducks movies taught us a lot of lessons, but the one I remember most is when Emilio Estevez is telling Charlie Conway about the time he hit the crossbar on his game-winning breakaway, and he says if he had just been a half-inch to the left it would have gone in and Charlie Conway says, yeah but if it had been a half-inch to the right it would have missed the net completely.

The point is, a close call can go both ways. If Adam Vinatieri misses a couple field goals in the snow in 2001 against the Raiders, maybe Drew Bledsoe is back to being the starting QB in 2002 (the indignity of losing to a California team in the snow!). If Malcolm Butler drops that INT and Vinatieri misses those winning field goals against the Rams and Panthers, maybe Brady is 0-6 in Super Bowls. If, if, if.

And when did football become tennis? It's not like Eli Manning was out there defending Brady in those Super Bowls. Guys like Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umienyiora had something to say about that too.

Snarf said...

McDaniels: You executed the play exactly how it should have been done.

Brady: You trusted me on the same play again—and this time I didn’t let you down!

Wait... so is Peter writing Brady/McDaniels fan-fic now?

Eric said...

I think you are burying the lead here. We have an opportunity. Find a way to get Darren Sharper off the ballot and all of Peter's nasty interactions with coffee servers across our fair nation will go unreported. He will no longer write shitty haikus, and we will all be better off... What? You don't think he will really quit? Nonsense! Let's find a way to get this done!

Bengoodfella said...

Eric C, the Pats seem to use their RB's in such a way that they have a running back for each potential matchup. Vereen is a good pass catcher, but he's not the guy they want to pound teams with. It's very specialized.

Anon, I tend to hate "what if's" because nearly every situation can go one way or another and totally change an outcome. And yeah, it was more the defense of the Giants that helped hold the Patriots from scoring 30 points in the Super Bowl more than it was Manning.

Snarf, I'd love to read some more Brady/McDaniels fan-fic so I could mock it.

Eric, that's a good point but I'm afraid Peter would just resign from the HoF committee and would still write MMQB every week. I'm afraid his resignation would not save the baristas from Peter's wrath.