Tuesday, March 31, 2015

8 comments MMQB Review: Peter Talks about the NFL Teams that "Control" the Draft Again Edition

Peter King interviewed Roger Goodell in last week's MMQB. Goodell, who is ALWAYS available to be interviewed tried as hard as he could to say nothing of substance. Peter also detailed the rule changes that will be introduced as a response to the Ravens-Patriots playoff game where the Patriots confused Baltimore about who was and was not an eligible receiver. Peter also talked briefly about an underrated U2 song, which is an oxymoron like calling a Bruce Springsteen album underrated. This week Peter talks about how the extra point could change (and the NFL isn't even changing it based on something the Patriots did that pissed off an opposing team, which is a shock to me), provides interesting (to him) quotes from head coaches at the league meetings, and doesn't seem to understand athletes don't write what appears on The Players' Tribune. That changed my opinion of the site and perhaps Peter should stop referring to essays on this site "written" by a certain player, as he does several times in this MMQB.

We’re exactly one month out from round one of the NFL draft. There’s a lot to cover this week, including:

Suddenly, the Saints—who are not finished making over their team—own the 2015 draft

The Browns have plenty of draft ammo—that is, unless the NFL takes some of it to smite GM Ray Farmer

Just what parity needs: the Patriots with three prime selections in a six-pick span

Peter does this shit every year. Every year he writes about what team "owns" the draft or "controls" the draft because of all the picks they have. A few years ago it was the 49ers, it was the Patriots before that, and then the Browns controlled the draft one year. I understand it's fun to talk about, but just because a team has a bunch of selections doesn't mean that team "controls" the draft or is going to make smart picks/moves with those picks. The Saints OWN the draft, you know? Sure, they have no cap room, but they have a bunch of picks, which means they don't even have to worry about those being smart picks. The Patriots have "prime" selections in the draft, like they had in the past when they missed on players they drafted in prime spots, while hitting on 7th rounders like Julian Edelman or a 3rd round pick like Logan Ryan. It annoys me because these teams still have to smart in making decisions with these picks. But yet, every year Peter talks about which team "owns" the draft and then forgets about it a year later. At some point I want Peter to realize having a bunch of picks doesn't mean a team "owns" or "controls" the draft.

But first, the biggest change to NFL scoring in the 95-year history of the league is coming. If you don’t like it, get out of the way.

Peter King obviously likes the change to the PAT. He's been advocating for the PAT to be eliminated or changed for a while now.

Last year, in a general session at an NFL meeting, the league’s 32 teams agreed—almost unanimously—that the point after touchdown was passé. Had to go. Too automatic. And so eight days ago, when the competition committee gathered in Phoenix to go over potential rule changes for the 2015 season, the committee was stuck on the PAT fix.

These are NFL problems. How do they fix the PAT, which isn't really broken, but just isn't as exciting as the NFL wants it to be?

There was nothing the group thought it could sell that would get the required 24 votes from the teams. (A rule change needs a three-quarter vote to pass.)

Thirty of 32 teams said they wanted the PAT to change, as teams, one by one, had a chance to advance their own solutions. But the opinions on what the new rule should be “were all over the map,” one competition committee member told me in Phoenix. “That’s the problem now. No one can agree, and now we have to come up with a compromise that’ll get 24 votes in May.”

All 32 NFL teams can agree that they do like money, then they would decide it would be fun to have 10 preseason games and would increase the regular season to 20 games and ask the union if it was fine if the NFL players all played under one year contracts.

This is the most likely compromise to be advanced, and the most likely way the league will amend how teams can score after a touchdown:

Teams will have a choice whether to go for one or two points after a touchdown, from different distances.

If the offensive team chooses to kick for one point, the scrimmage line will move from the 2-yard-line to the 15-yard line, making it a 32- or 33-yard attempt.

If the offensive team chooses to go for two points, the scrimmage line will be either the 1-and-a half- or 2-yard line. There was much debate about making it the 1, the 1-and-a-half or the 2. The feeling about putting it on the 1 was that it could turn into too much of a scrum/push-the-pile play, or a fluky puncture-the-goal-line-with-the-ball-and-bring-it-back play by the quarterback. Putting it at the 1-and-a-half or leaving it at the 2 would increase the chances of a real football play with some drama.

What I wrote in MMQB last week when discussing this same issue:

c. Moving the extra point back to the 15-yard line. (At least.)
d. Narrowing the goal posts.
e. Making the line of scrimmage for the extra point or two-point conversion the one-yard line.

Obviously "c" and "e" can't both happen,

Well, apparently both "c" and "e" can happen. I can't believe I underestimated the NFL like this. Here is what else I said on this topic:

Also, moving the extra point back to the 15-yard line essentially takes the two-point conversion out of play, unless the NFL wants a rule which says if a team is going for two then they get the ball on the 2-yard line and if a team is trying an extra point then they have to try it from the 15-yard line. That seems dumb to me.

My feelings on the dumbness of this rule still stands. Perhaps it makes sense and I'm just not used to it. The 32 or 33 yard field goal is still fairly automatic, as NFL kickers still make this fairly regularly. Since NFL kickers do miss these then the intended effect the NFL wants will occur. The PAT isn't automatic, but it is kind of dumb to me that a 33 yard field is worth 3 points and a 33 yard extra point is worth 1 point.

Maybe I'll get used to it. I think it's funny that I said both "c" and "e" could not happen at the same time and that seems to be the option the NFL owners have chosen.

The defensive team would be able to score two points by either blocking the PAT and returning it downfield to the end zone, or by intercepting the two-point attempt and running it back, or recovering a fumble on the two-point play and returning it all the way.

Maybe these plays should be worth 1.557 points to the defense, just to drive Gregg Easterbrook crazy with the choice to use over-hyperspecificity. 

Again, that’s not certain. Anytime you ask 24 teams to agree on anything, there’s a chance it won’t happen.

Which means zero new rules would ever be passed. Congress thinks this is a great idea.

There always will be those who don’t want the scoring system to change, because of tradition, or the attitude that football’s not broken, so why fix it? But the PAT is broken. The current system of scoring was invented by the lords of college football in 1912—six points for a touchdown, one for an extra point, two for a safety, three for a field goal—with the two-point conversion added by the NFL in 1994. Now the PAT cries out to be fixed. It’s simply not a competitive play anymore.

This is as opposed to the kickoff, which is now a more competitive play as kick returners now more and more watch the ball sail over their head and trot off the field as another commercial break begins.

Fifteen teams have not missed a PAT this decade. Tennessee hasn’t missed one since 2005, Kansas City and San Francisco since 2006. The Patriots and Broncos, combined, are 436 for 436 since 2011. Doing nothing would be the mistake.

The extra point should probably be changed. Maybe this will fix the problem the NFL has with the extra point being a competitive play and encourage teams to go for a two-point conversion more often.

The Saints will be a headline act. I don’t believe it involves Drew Brees, because I think the Saints are committed to at least one more season of Brees at quarterback. But I hear New Orleans wants to be even more active before the draft, and that could mean dealing stalwart guard Jahri Evans for a third- or fourth-round pick. Or it could mean signing or dealing defensive end Cam Jordan. As of today, the Saints are the biggest power players in the draft. They’re the only team with five picks in the first three rounds. They have 13, 31, 44, 75 and 78. So actually they have five picks in the first two-and-a-half rounds. That gives aggressive GM Mickey Loomis the ammo to start to remake his team.


You want to pick in the top nine. Here’s what a few football people at the league meetings are thinking about the breakdown of this draft: Nine prime picks, then eight or 10 really good prospects, then maybe 30 or so of the same player.

And when has group-think about how many good players are in the draft and where the best place to draft the difference makers for a team ever been wrong? It's why Tavon Austin is the difference maker he is and how Dion Jordan is racking up sacks in Miami.

The top nine: quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, defensive tackle Leonard Williams, wideouts Kevin White and Amari Cooper, pass-rushers Dante Fowler and Vic Beasley, offensive tackle Brandon Scherff and cornerback Trae Waynes. After that, beauty starts to be in the eye of the beholder. I had one GM tell me: “The 17th pick on our board might be the 53rd pick on another team’s board—and that could be a team we really respect.”

So what's the point, Peter? Every single year NFL teams value players differently from other NFL teams. Some players aren't even on a team's draft board, while another team values that player as a first round pick. I don't think it's news that different teams have varying values for different players. It's how Mike Mitchell goes in the 2nd round of the draft.

Todd Gurley is the draft’s fascinating player. Every year, draft prospects injured the previous college football season go back to Indianapolis, site of the combine, to have their surgeries re-checked before the draft. This year, the re-checks will be April 17 and 18 in Indy, two weeks before the draft. Gurley tore his ACL on Nov. 15 and had knee reconstruction by Dr. James Andrews on Nov. 25. So he’ll be drafted five months after surgery. The book on Gurley is he’ll be good in 2015 and tremendous in 2016. It’ll be interesting, particularly with the devaluation of running backs in recent drafts, to see who picks Gurley, and how high. I think he’ll be gone by the 25th pick.

One (Me) would think if running backs are being devalued then some enterprising team might not mind selecting a player who can highly contribute in another year. After all, teams select wide receivers and other position players while expecting to put a year or two into that player's development and aren't bothered by doing this. So accordingly, what's the issue with waiting a year for a guy who shown potential to be a franchise running back? If a team can draft a wide receiver and hope he contributes in a year or two, what's wrong with doing that with a running back...even if the position is being devalued?

New England could be a big power player late on day two. The Patriots have their own picks in rounds one and two, 32nd and 64th overall. Then they have their own at the end of the third round, a third-round compensatory pick, and a pick at the top of the fourth round from the Logan Mankins trade last August. They have the 96th, 97th and 101st overall picks. Don’t be surprised to see Bill Belichick/Nick Caserio flip one of those for, say, a prime 2016 pick.

Okay, Peter. Thanks for the breaking news. The Patriots may trade some picks for a pick in the 2016 draft. Would that mean the Patriots will "own" the 2016 draft? If so, consider me to be really impressed.

The Browns and Falcons could lose mid-round picks this week. Cleveland GM Ray Farmer has admitted texting coaches during games, a violation of league rules, and the Falcons have admitted piping in extra crowd noise at the Georgia Dome. Doubt either rises to the level or a first- or second-round pick for a penalty, but I believe both teams will be docked a pick or picks for the violations. The league still has a while to go on the Jets-Patriots tampering case.

With how long it takes the NFL to investigate some things, I was surprised the punishment came down prior to the 2017 NFL Draft.

Ten Questions. Ten [Occasionally Insightful] Answers by Coaches.
Some of the most interesting stuff I heard from coaches at the league meetings in Phoenix:


Q: Maybe a torturous one—If you have Jimmy Graham on second-and-goal at the end of the Super Bowl, is your call different?

What kind of question is this? The Seahawks have one of the best running backs in the NFL and that little fact didn't change the call, why would hypothetically having Jimmy Graham get Pete Carroll admit this would change the call?

Carroll: That’s not a torturous question. We didn’t have him! So it’s no big deal. Now, if we were in the situation again, he presents an extraordinary dimension to your offense, and we’ll see how it will unfold for us. We’re looking forward to his factor down there. It’s obvious. Forty-something touchdowns the last three years or whatever it is. [It’s 35.] There’s only a couple of guys who have scored more touchdowns than he has, and one of them is Marshawn Lynch.

So................yes, having Jimmy Graham would have changed the call?

Q: You’ve explained why you called what you called rationally several times. Is your fan base okay with it now?

Yes, the entire Seahawks fan base is okay with it now. Every single Seahawks fan has been polled and they are all perfectly fine with the play call.

Carroll: I might have mentioned it—I don’t know if it was captured or not—we knew we were going to throw the ball down there. If it was gonna take all four plays to score, we knew we were gonna throw the ball down there. That was because of the clock situation. We had prepared for that for years. So it was not a difficult situation. The fact that all the focus goes to it—yeah, that’s what it is. I gotta live with that and with our fans and all that. What I’m feeling from our fans? They’re ready to get going.

Every single one of them. Even Macklemore.


Q: Are you worried about Andy Dalton’s play in the playoffs?

It's not entirely certain who is asking these questions, as these are things that Peter King "heard" at the league meetings, but this sounds like a question that Peter would ask. The only way this could be a more obvious Peter King question is if there were a reference to Brett Favre in the question or if he managed to bash Josh Freeman in the question by comparing Dalton's play in the playoffs to Freeman's play with the Vikings.

Lewis: What worries me is our poor performance on defense in the playoffs.

The Bengals have given up 31, 19, 27, and 26 points in the playoffs with Andy Dalton as their quarterback. Obviously the defense hasn't been great, but this could have something to do with the six interceptions Dalton has thrown in these playoff games and the overall poor performance of the offense.

We do know, in order for us to be successful, which we can’t even talk about the playoffs because we haven’t gotten there, but the first thing we do, we have to take care of the ball and play better on defense. … We feel Andy’s our quarterback, and we signed him long-term, and we feel good about him … and we will continue to get better with the pieces around Andy. Andy has done a lot of things so far as a pro that not a lot of people have done. We need to keep playing better around Andy, and that will be helpful to Andy.

Can you say "Andy" a few more times? I'm not entirely sure who you are talking about.


Q: What do you do to fix Jay Cutler?

More draw plays, take the ball out of his hands with a chance to win the game because there is a 15% chance he will commit a turnover, and of course, more punting on fourth-and-short.

Fox: I think he got to the point that he lacked confidence a year ago. To build that back up is going to take time, daily. It takes trust like any relationship. I think he and [offensive coordinator] Adam Gase having a relationship from back in Denver [is helpful] so I think it starts there. Footballwise, there are things you can do in coaching to minimize some of the exposure.

See, I wasn't kidding. Run the ball, run the ball, draw plays on third down and don't take any chances because SOMETHING NEGATIVE MAY OCCUR and that would be terrible. 


Q: What do you think of Marcus Mariota’s football IQ and his ability to transition to the NFL game?

Whisenhunt: Very high. I think he has very good spatial memory. You say, what’s spatial memory?

Hell fucking no, Peter King isn't asking what spatial memory is! Peter is the one who asks the questions around here! Peter is the one who will use big words and then condescend to his audience by telling them to look the word up. Of course Peter knows what spatial memory is and the next time you ask him a question it will be "Can I at least have the shards of my teeth back?" after Peter curb stomps you for condescending to him. Peter condescends, he is NOT the condescendee.

Like, Oh yeah, that was in this game at this time. Those are the kind of things, to me, that are important for that position. You have to have a memory that can see everything and remember it, because when it happens in a game, then you have to come over and communicate that on the sideline, then you have to have a plan of how you’re gonna adjust to it. That’s what the really successful ones do. So he exhibits that type of quality. We still have a little bit more classroom time with him, but he’s been impressive. He does a lot of things that, no matter what offense you run, transition well to the NFL game.

What's it matter that Whisenhunt thinks highly of Marcus Mariota? Chip Kelly is obviously trading up and selecting Mariota according to the sports media, so Whisenhunt shouldn't even waste his time trying to evaluate Mariota's skill set.

Q: Anything you’d do differently at the end of the NFC championship game?
McCarthy: [Pause] That’s part of your scheme evaluation.

Not sure the "pause" notation is necessary since McCarthy had not started speaking yet. Everyone pauses before they start speaking so they can hear the entire question. Or at least, most people pause before speaking.

Personally I’ve gone back and watched the TV copies a few weeks back, just one more time. So as a coaching staff we’ve kind of moved past that. We’re actually starting to put in our installation for 2015.

I take that as a no.

Your spatial memory has not done you wrong, Peter.

“It’s NFL free agency … That’s not a big story.”
—New England coach Bill Belichick, on losing cornerback Darrelle Revis to the Jets in free agency.

Let Peter tell you about the time he interviewed Bill Belichick and saw "The Art of War" on Belichick's bookshelf...

“I don’t trust the lady on GPS. They don’t send you the right way. I hit the button, I go like this, ‘Park Ridge, New Jersey.’ She comes back on, she’s giving me directions. Now I figure out where I am. I say, ‘Thank you very much, I know exactly where I am now.’ She comes back and says, ‘You don’t have to thank me.’ I swear to God, that’s what she said. Then I couldn’t get her to shut up.”
—Giants coach Tom Coughlin, doing battle with Siri recently as he tried to find the site of one of his grandson’s roller-hockey games in New Jersey.

If I were a Giants fan then these comments would concern me more than any personnel moves the Giants make in the offseason or whatever career trajectory Eli Manning's career seems to be taking. Tom Coughlin sounds like an old man when it comes to using technology and talking about "the lady on GPS." It's the little things like this that worry me the most, hearing a quote like this and thinking there's a 5% chance Tom Coughlin may be going senile in some way.

“In theory, freedom sounds great. We all want more freedom. But when I retired and I had all the freedom in the world, the only thing I craved was that structure. It was all I knew. Adjusting to the lack of structure and schedule is one of the biggest challenges of retirement because the real world moves much slower than the football world. Football is week-to-week, and everyone in the real world is working on the fiscal year. You have to slow yourself down because it’s not a sprint. You can’t attack every day like you do in football. You have to pace yourself and find balance. That’s a new concept for me.”
—Former Chargers center Nick Hardwick, who retired at 33 in February after an 11-year career, all in San Diego, in an essay for The Players’ Tribune.

This is the first of a few times that Peter will mention The Players' Tribune in this MMQB. It's disappointing, though I shouldn't be surprised, that many of the players don't actually write those essays found on the site for The Players' Tribune. The "essay" in many cases is really just a summation of an interview the player did with an editor of The Players' Tribune. Now that I know this, I won't say a player "wrote" something on The Players' Tribune, because I'll assume an editor actually wrote it and the essay is more of an interview.

According to cap site Spotrac, here are the most and least active teams in the first three weeks of free agency (the market essentially is dried up now):

The five biggest spenders in total contract value of signed players:

  1. Jacksonville: $172.5 million
  2. New York Jets: $172.0M
  3. Miami: $139.8M
  4. Philadelphia: $117.3M
  5. Tennessee: $110.2M
What else do the majority of these teams have in common? They haven't made the playoffs over the last three seasons. Philadelphia is the exception of course. These teams have 1 playoff appearance over the last 3 seasons to their credit. I'm guessing the reason these teams haven't made the playoffs isn't because they didn't spend enough money in free agency.

The thrifty five in total contract value of signed players:
  1. Minnesota: $9.3M
  2. Carolina: $8.8M
  3. Detroit: $8.6M
  4. Pittsburgh: $6.6M
  5. Green Bay: Zero
What else do all five of these teams have in common? They have all appeared in the playoffs over the last three seasons. They have 9 playoff appearances over the last three seasons. Weird how they do that without spending a lot of money in free agency.

Obviously only broad conclusions can be drawn from a list showing five teams spending money in free agency and five teams who didn't spend money in free agency, but I still can't help but notice that free agent spending doesn't seem efficient when viewed from the perspective of teams who have spent in free agency. Drafting players and developing them is still the best way to win games.

“We obviously have a philosophy,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “It’s kind of like Groundhog Day. I feel like I answer this every year, so I’ll try to be creative and answer it differently this year. But it’s just the way we operate. We do the evaluations. We just stick to our plan. Our number one priority always has been to sign our own free agents. We go into every offseason—if we have 10 conversations, nine-and-a-half of them are about our own guys.”

Free agency is a market where the highest bidder almost always wins. It's not the best place for a team to go looking to plug holes in the roster caused by ineffective drafting or personnel choices. Free agency can absolutely work for a team, but I don't think it's a coincidence the best teams don't spend big in free agency.

Bill Madden of the New York Daily News wrote Sunday that the Tigers owe Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, Victor Martinez, Ian Kinsler and Anibel Sanchez $639 million in guaranteed money between now and the end of their contracts.
Costanza voice: “Is that wrong?”

Coming from a Red Sox fan, really? The Red Sox haven't spent huge lately, but they have certainly spent their share of money on contracts. Come on, it's not like Peter's favorite team doesn't spend a lot of money on contracts for their players. They aren't the Yankees, but the Red Sox also aren't a mid-market team either.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think I can now say with certainty that The Other Team in the chase for Sam Bradford—as many have inferred—was Cleveland. The Browns would have been willing to part with a first-round pick in either 2015 or 2016 (I do not know which year) for Bradford, but there were two problems: One, the Browns didn’t have a quarterback to give in return, and Philadelphia was willing to fork over Nick Foles.

The Rams didn't want Thad Lewis? No way. 

Two, Bradford would not have been willing to sign a new contract this off-season if he were traded to Cleveland, and he is willing to consider an extension in Philadelphia. So the Philly deal was really the only one that made sense for the Rams and for Bradford, in the end.

I'm not sure how I feel about the Browns having interest in Sam Bradford. It seems like giving up on Johnny Manziel after one season, while also feeling like not a bad move for the team. I don't see why the Browns would give up a first round pick for a quarterback like Bradford, but there are so many things I don't understand in life. Like, didn't the Browns just sign Josh McCown before they tried to acquire Bradford?

2. I think the Vikings can say a hundred times they’re not trading Adrian Peterson, and I believe they believe they will not. But the Vikings also have to understand Peterson and agent Ben Dogra could be serious about making it very hot for them this summer if they don’t trade him on draft weekend. How could Peterson make it hot? By not reporting to camp. By being a huge distraction that would drive Mike Zimmer crazy. If I were Minnesota GM Rick Spielman, I’d trade Peterson for a second-round pick if I could get it. He’s 30. He is owed $45 million over the next three years.

A second round pick for Adrian Peterson when he is owed $45 million over the next three years? I'm sure there is a team that would take this dive, but best of luck with that turning out well. And I love how Peterson threatens to hold out. How is he going to be a distraction that drives Mike Zimmer crazy? Is Peterson going to show up and photobomb Zimmer's press conferences or interrupt practice by running on the field naked? Sure, Peterson could be a distraction, but the Vikings can simply hold on to him and wait until he realizes he's 30 and the only leverage he has is that he can make life difficult for the Vikings. Plus, acting like an asshole and intentionally becoming a distraction doesn't seem like the best way for Peterson to drum up a trade market for himself.

3. I think the 2014 trades with 2015 draft implications that look the worst are, in order:
a. Buffalo sending a 2015 fourth-round pick to Philadelphia for running back Bryce Brown (2014: 36 carries, 126 yards), now buried behind LeSean McCoy on the Bills’ depth chart.

Except Bryce Brown somehow managed to fetch a fourth round pick for his services when he was buried behind LeSean McCoy on the Eagles' depth chart, so it's not necessarily a status that means Brown can't/won't contribute to the Bills team.

b. Seattle getting only a sixth-round pick, from the Jets, for Percy Harvin.

Seems like it was addition by subtraction to me.

6. I think, after his ignominious performance in 2014, it hasn’t surprised me that the market for Michael Vick is somewhere between grim and nonexistent.

Ouch. Peter King going hard at Mike Vick for being grim and nonexistent. I wonder if Peter has some harsh words for Matt Schaub or Matt Flynn for being grim and nonexistent? My guess is he does not. After all, he justified the Josh McCown signing by explaining what a great teacher McCown is.

7. I think the more I think of New Orleans signing C.J. Spiller—27 years old, making $9.5 million over the next two seasons, 5.3 yards per rush combined in 2012 and ’13 before his lost season in Buffalo last fall—the more I think the Saints made a great deal. I love Spiller.

Especially since the Saints have zero salary cap issues and certainly didn't just re-sign another running back named Mark Ingram this past offseason, so spending $9.5 million over two years on a running back in a draft where there seem to be a variety of quality running backs does seem like a great deal.

9. I think Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano coaching out the last season of his contract—regardless of whatever Pagano or any team official would say—means that something, either major or minor, is amiss. You do not let a coach with 36 wins in three years coach out his contract, particularly if you are intent on him staying and coaching your team beyond this season. 

This is some major inside information. So teams that want their head coach to continue coaching for them DO NOT fail to re-sign that head coach to a new contract prior to his contract running out? Are you sure about that, Peter? It seems counter intuitive to learn that an NFL team might offer a coach they wanted to keep a new contract prior to his old one running out, but this is just another example of the great information MMQB provides.

Ian Rapoport reported a new deal won’t get done, and longtime Colts beat man Mike Chappelle reported Pagano turned down a one-year extension. Something just doesn’t feel right about it.

It could be the Colts don't want to pay Pagano the money that he wants to coach the team. Maybe the Colts think Pep Hamilton is a better coach or perhaps Pagano is a bit frustrated he was saddled with Trent Richardson for most of the season.

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

b. College Basketball Fever Dept.: New Jersey Institute of Technology travels to Flagstaff, Ariz., to play Northern Arizona for the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
c. When NJIT and Northern Arizona meet, I mean, you can throw the records out the window.

Yes, let's mock college basketball tournaments because they aren't as relevant as the NCAA Tournament. That's the mature thing to do.

d. I also agree with Dan Shaughnessy: The more David Ortiz talks and writes about not being a PED user (which Ortiz did last week for The Players’ Tribune),

Except Ortiz didn't really write what appeared in The Players' Tribune, but I guess Peter is okay with a fellow journalist not getting credit for what he has written. I'm sure the editors of The Players' Tribune are just the CollegeInsider.com Tournament to THE MMQB's NCAA Tournament, so who cares if they get credit for what they have written?

e. Best piece on The Players’ Tribune, of all of them that I’ve read, was that Nick Hardwick adjusting-to-retirement essay. What a fantastic job of explaining so much about retirement that those of us who never played anything professionally would be able to feel.

Except, again, Nick Hardwick probably didn't even really write this essay. He spoke it and someone else edited and wrote the essay.

f. I like those pieces by the new Jeter site. But (he said, sticking his chest out with some pride) The Players’ Tribune didn’t invent the first-person athlete column. Nor did The MMQB. But our site did a score of them when Jeter was still a shortstop and not a publisher—by Richard Sherman, on multiple topics; by Russell Wilson, on race in the NFL; by journeyman defensive end Austen Lane, a gut-puncher of a piece on what it’s like be cut; by Lydon Murtha, a teammate of Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, on life on the inside of the bullying in Miami. And others. Just to set the record straight.

Were these essays all ghost written by someone else too? If so, I can see why Peter has no issue with an athlete getting credit for something another person has actually edited and written.

g. I really like the Yanks’ top two, Tanaka and Pineda. But is C.C. Sabathia even going to be in the rotation by June?

(Bengoodfella uses his psychic skills) Yes, he will be in the rotation in June.

h. Big, big blow if the Red Sox have lost catcher Christian Vasquez, who I keep reading is a Molina-type defender and arm. 

Peter King thinks this was a huge blow to the Red Sox based on something that Peter King has read about this player, and while he has no firsthand knowledge of this player's abilities, based on what others say it was a huge blow, so Peter is just going to adopt that as the truth based on information he doesn't really know.

I can't believe the Braves traded Andy Marte a few years ago, a guy who I kept reading was just like Aramis Ramirez. 

Not that Boston’s going to have enough pitching to win this year, but catchers can make pitchers better.


l. Is baseball serious? Opening night next Sunday at Wrigley … and game two, another night game two nights later in Chicago? Why torture fans—and, presumably, frozen-fingered pitchers? Luckily for MLB, the long-range forecast is for temperatures in the 40s both nights.

Nope Peter, it is all a joke that is being played on you. Opening night is actually in Bermuda at an undisclosed location between two teams who were last seen playing in the CollegeInsider.com tournament.

p. Tom Brady cliff-diving one day, playing pickup basketball with Michael Jordan the next. How’s your off-season going?

I have a full-time job that doesn't have an offseason and I have to work year around. So my offseason is going terribly because it doesn't exist. #alwaysriseandgrind

r. Coffeenerdness: Why’d you take away the hazelnut macchiato, Starbucks? That was my occasional guilty pleasure. No more.

Starbucks should continue to make the hazelnut macchiato in every Starbucks in the United States, just for Peter King, because who knows when Peter is liable to wander into any Starbucks in the United States. In fact, baristas at Starbucks should only be trained on how to make coffee-flavored drinks that Peter King likes. Everyone else can just get used to it.

v. Just when you think you’ve seen every possible horrendous thing done by human beings, a pilot crashes a jetliner into a mountain on purpose, and 150 die.

He was actually the co-pilot, but point taken.

The Adieu Haiku

Yo! Trade Adrian.  
Forty-five mill’s too much for
a back who’s thirty.

These haikus are the sportswriting equivalent of a turd sundae as dessert after a four-course meal of expired lettuce, rancid meat, and squirrel testicles for an appetizer.


Chris said...

Minor point but I think Peter might have missed a word when he was busy not editing his column. I'm pretty sure he meant to say the NFL would take picks to "spite", Farmer, not smite him like a God smiting a city of people.

Also I don't think Peter did this intentionally but his brief blurb about the gernamwings plane crash sounded like Peter thought he was the real victim of that crash. Technically he didn't witness anything at all, he heard about the crash on the news after it had happened. I don't think Peter meant it intentionally but he does have a tendency to think before he writes, especially when it comes to human tragedies i.e. Ivan Maisel

Chris said...

oops missed a word. I meant he has a tendancy to not think before he writes

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, I missed "smite"! That would have been a great joke too. The NFL thinking they are God to the point they start smiting people.

He did use the word "seen" which I wouldn't normally worry about him using, but he does have a tendency to make a crisis about him or make bad comparisons in the moment. I do wonder what went through Peter's head when he Tweeted out that stuff about losing his daughter for five minutes in a grocery store.

Matt DiFilippo said...

(Pause) I would guess newspapers have been doing the ghost-written first-person athlete's article since before Peter was born. Christy Mathewson "wrote" a book over 100 years ago. Apparently Peter perfected the process, or he's showing his usual sense of perception.

Slag-King said...

(Pause) Mike McCarthy is staring at me dumbfounded at my stupid question.

How did Peter become a journalist with those questions? They are just pathetic and something a 3rd grader would ask.

Are you worried about Andy Dalton's play in the playoffs?

(Pause) (Marvin is struggling to keep a straight face) It's not Andy's fault that the team loses (actually it is all his fault). It is not his fault that he throws 6 ints because he is throwing to receivers who have no business being in the NFL (Brady would have tossed 15 TDs with both shoulders and elbows broken to the no-name receivers).

What do you do to fix Jay Cutler?

By taking him to a dr and have him undergo vasectomy.

Ben, you know of any good football teams in the Carolinas?


Bengoodfella said...

Matt, I thought it was really weird that all these athletes started writing columns that were well-done on The Players' Tribune. I would think, "Man these athletes have a lot to say and they do it so well." I guess that's why. The barrier between the media and player wasn't so wide.

Slag, I don't like giving credit, but Peter came at Roger Goodell decently hard...at least compared to how he usually does. Then he lobs the usual softballs and weird questions that are statements to McCarthy.

I'm not jumping off the Dalton train, but (a) I'm glad he's not my team's quarterback and (b) I have one foot off and there is no way Marvin Lewis isn't concerned about Dalton's performance.

I think that Fox can get Cutler to play more conservative at the QB position. I know, I'm an optimist, but Delhomme wanted to sling the ball like Cutler does (not to the extent and there is a big talent difference) and Fox got him turned into a ball control guy. My question is whether the Bears fans will like it if Cutler is turned into a ball control QB.

Get ready for some draw plays!

Anonymous said...

I love when Peter all of a sudden becomes a fan-site message board poster. "We need to trade Adrian Peterson, he's owed $45M over the next three years and he's 30 years old. Let's trade him for a 2nd round pick!" Hey dumbass, you just explained exactly why it will be very difficult for Minnesota to trade him for a 2nd round pick.

Bengoodfella said...

If those are my options and Todd Gurley is available...I'm taking Gurley 10 out of 10 times. Just my opinion. I wouldn't trade a 2nd round pick for him.

It is hilarious how he does some rosterbating though.