Tuesday, May 12, 2015

7 comments MMQB Review: The Pros v. Cons List for Suspending Tom Brady Edition

Peter King described depression and possibly being bi-polar as "character issues" in last week's MMQB. He later apologized, but the fact he continues to write inconsiderate things such as this in MMQB when he should know better is alarming to me. Apparently to anyone else that matters, it's just something that happens to everyone. How could Peter mistakenly have called depression a "character issue" and then changed it once everyone pointed out how wrong it was? It's obviously something he believes. He's like Roger Goodell in that way, he wants to see public reaction before apologizing or making a decision, because he's incapable of understanding what the proper thing to say/do might be. Peter also talked about the Buccaneers pick of Jameis Winston in last week's MMQB and revealed the Buccaneers thoroughly investigated the incident in Tallahassee, they just didn't talk to the alleged victim because they already knew what she would say. Not that they are searching out information to support a conclusion of course. This week Peter talks about the potential Tom Brady suspension (Peter is part of the Wells Report!), Dante Fowler's injury, and chronicles the joking jokesters that U2 know how to be. They are like precocious kids out there playing pranks on the public.

Before we get to some real news—the heartbreaking loss of the first defensive player picked in the draft, by a team that desperately needs him—I want to tell you what a lousy cheater (he said tongue-in-cheek) Tom Brady apparently is.

Well, Peter gets out of the way real quick which side he believes on this very, very important "deflating footballs" issue. Everyone has to have a side. If you don't have a side, then that's a character issue. Of course none of what Peter thinks matters now that Lord Goodell has handed down his punishment.

So, if a home-team ballboy was doctoring the footballs in any way before the game, that’s not something that could happen on the road. Brady, of course, is suspected of having the balls doctored for him in the AFC title game, and it’d be na├»ve to think that this was the first game in which two longtime club employees messed with the footballs for Brady.

But if John Jastremski or Jim McNally have done any funny business with the balls over the past few years, the results sure don’t show it. Some telling numbers for Brady in the nine regular seasons between 2006 and 2014:

Home Games Road Games
Passer Rating 100.2 99.7
Passing Yards per Game 271.8 274.3
TD-to-Interception Differential Plus-96 Plus-96

Wouldn’t you figure that if Brady was getting such an edge by having footballs doctored before home games—and by the simple factor of home-field advantage—that, more probable than not, he’d be markedly better at home?

Perhaps Brady would be better at home if the Patriots had been doctoring footballs all this time. That makes sense. But, the issue at-hand isn't whether the Patriots benefited from doctoring the balls at home or not, but the accused act of doctoring the footballs. It's irrelevant really whether the Patriots benefited from the act when it's the act itself that is a violation of NFL rules. Man, talking about deflated footballs is so boring and pointless.

That’s what you’d figure. And you’d be wrong. I’ll get to more of the confusion on Page 2, after the stunning story of the weekend.

Okay, let's calm the drama down a bit. A rookie getting hurt and being ruled out for the season in his first mini-camp is a sad, unfortunate story. "Stunning" though? Eh, probably not. A mini-camp is basically practice and players get hurt in practice often. Unfortunate? Yes. Stunning? Not unless there isn't much else to talk about so Peter wants to ramp up the drama in MMQB.

Thirty minutes into his first practice as a pro football player Friday afternoon, Jacksonville pass-rusher Dante Fowler tried to speed-rush right tackle Watts Dantzler. As Fowler juked to the outside, Dantzler nudged him—it was little more than a soft block, but caught Fowler a little off-balance—and Fowler went down in a heap.

Stunning. Unfathomable. An NFL player hurt his knee in practice. I'm sure Peter would characterize Fowler's ACL injury as a "character issue."

On Saturday, I asked Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley how he has handled his team, his star rookie

I'm not trying to be cruel here, but why the hell would Peter write "star rookie" in reference to Dante Fowler? Fowler has not played a down in the NFL. He's not a star and I think he would tell Peter that he isn't a star yet. He's a rookie who may or may not be any good. Given Jacksonville's recent draft history, the odds seem pretty good that Fowler would not be very good. It's okay to acknowledge the injury without calling Fowler names like "star rookie" that he hasn't even come close to earning yet. Let's back off the drama, which I know is a difficult thing for Peter King to do.

Bradley’s always been an optimistic sort and now has to be the all-is-well conscience of his team and his fan base. I thought he’d be bummed. Short with me, clipped, snippy. He was none of that.

Peter thought that Bradley would cancel the Jaguars season. Much to this surprise, Bradley did not.

“The concern at that time is, ‘How is he?’ I can only imagine what was going through his mind. This kid, his spirit, just unbelievable. He felt bad—but he felt bad for us. He is a pleaser, and his attitude was, Gus, I don’t want to let you down. We were at the hospital and he basically said to me, ‘Whatever we find out, don’t worry about me, I’m good. I’ll come back stronger.’ 

“The doctor told him. And this is what he said: ‘Okay, I am going to come back bigger, stronger, faster. This is gonna make me better in the long run.’ Who says that, as a 20-year-old? An unbelievable mentality.

This star rookie is going to be a star person as well.

The book on him when we studied him was that he was young, maybe a little immature.

Oh, so Fowler is a typical 20 year old? Immaturity, yet another character issue for Fowler in Peter's opinion.

“Maybe the fans, the media, felt Dante was the savior. That is not the way our team looked at it. The draft picks were great additions, but we didn’t look at him, or any rookies, as saviors.

Apparently Peter looked at Fowler as the team's savior, because he just called him a "star rookie" and said the news of Fowler tearing his ACL was "stunning." My favorite team did not have an injury of this magnitude, but both their 1st and 2nd round draft picks had minor injuries in their first training camp. These things can happen when these college guys haven't been on the field since early January at the very latest.

“I’m not one to just say, ‘Next man up.’ I say, ‘Hold on.’ It’s the same thing when [defensive tackle] Sen’Derrick Marks got hurt. I am not gonna downplay it. Paul Posluzny, Roy Miller, they had big impacts and were hurt. And I want those guys to know how valuable they are to us. But there will be a story somewhere on the roster. 

(Peter King perks up) "A story? Like, a narrative that I can drive home in MMQB? Can I take your story, write something that is slightly over-dramatic and then make an insensitive comment in that story, but later apologize for it? If so, I'm all-in on the Jaguars this year. Do you have a gritty, white quarterback I can write about?"

“We all feel bad for Dante, really bad. He was so excited. He couldn’t wait to go out there. And damn, this happens. That is a tough deal for him. Your heart pours out for him.
“But look what we have—Julius Thomas and Clay Harbor and Bernard Pierce new, Denard Robinson and Blake Bortles and so many other enthusiastic young guys. So many good things happening here. I’m not going to lose vision on the good things.”

Yes, the Jaguars may not have the pass rusher they were counting on, but they have two new tight ends, an average running back, a QB-turned-WR and Blake Bortles. What could go wrong? Who needs a pass rush anyway?

I asked Bradley: You had to have a couple of down moments, like, “How can this be happening to us?”

Peter King with the probing questions that no one outside of Jacksonville is really wondering about. 
“Maybe on the way to the hospital,” he said. “But after meeting with him and seeing how he’s handling this, I’m more at peace because I know he’ll be fine. We’ll be fine.”

It's hard to lose a Pro Bowl pass rusher like Fowler. Hopefully, he will make it back to his All-Pro level in time for next season.

And now for the toughest decision of Roger Goodell’s nine years in office.

I feel like Peter writes this sentence every single time Goodell has to make a decision. If the Ray Rice incident wasn't his toughest decision, then how to handle other NFL players accused of domestic violence was his hardest decision. Every decision Roger has to make is tough in some way, but every decision isn't his toughest one.

That’s what this is—tougher than anything Goodell had to officiate during Spygate (Patriots were caught in the act) or the CBA deal (a fairly normal hard negotiation) or Bountygate (Gregg Williams spilled the beans) or cleaning up the Ray Rice mess with new domestic violence strictures.

Like I just wrote, Peter writes that Goodell is making his toughest decision quite frequently whenever a new scandal breaks.

This is why Goodell should spare the rod:

1. Brady’s one of the greatest players of all time, an NFL golden child and ambassador for the game. There is no definitive proof in the Wells report that he ordered footballs to be doctored to his advantage.

The second sentence is absolutely a reason, while the first sentence should be irrelevant. If it were true, golden children should be punished for breaking NFL rules too. It's clear that the NFL didn't factor Kraft or Brady's favored status into the punishment at all.

2. Robert Kraft is a favored-nation owner, and he’s helped make the league a juggernaut.

Son of a bitch. Peter King is terrible at making "Pro versus Con" lists, isn't he? If Goodell spared the rod for this reason then he would be showing favoritism, which he obviously shouldn't do.

4. The league knows Brady will appeal any punishment that would take him off the field. Given the NFL’s recent record in appeals that happen outside Park Avenue (Ray Rice won, Adrian Peterson won), and given that there’s no smoking gun, I wouldn’t put much money on Brady having to miss any games. A suspension keeps the story in the headlines. The NFL always says it wants people to pay attention to the action on the field. Well, a suspension for Brady would put the attention, for multiple months, on a likely Brady appeal.

This is another terrible reason to not punish Tom Brady. There are valid reasons to not suspend Tom Brady, but the fact the NFL may be embarrassed a little upon appeal is not a reason to not punish Brady or the Patriots if Goodell thinks they did something wrong.

The other three reasons that Peter gives are valid reasons to not suspend Brady or punish the Patriots. Why would Peter put three reasons in here on why Goodell should spare the rod that basically fall under the category of "The NFL shouldn't punish Brady in order to avoid bad publicity and show favoritism"? Granted, those are reasons that Goodell probably would want to use, but Peter doesn't have to suggest these as valid reasons to not punish Brady and the Patriots.

This is why Goodell should come down hard:

1. As commissioner, he can’t treat the best player in the league any differently from the 53rd man on the roster if there’s been a rules violation.

2. It doesn’t matter that Kraft is a cornerstone owner.

Neither of these reasons should be a part of the discussion at all. I think the fact Goodell should treat the Patriots and Brady just like he would any other NFL franchise and player goes without saying.

3. Brady should have handed over his phone, with a Brady/Patriots lawyer on hand to figure which texts/emails/calls are applicable to this case.

Hand over his phone?

As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talkreported Sunday, 

Apparently Peter's editor is on vacation. "Pro Football Talkreported." I love how Florio and Peter King lean on each other so strongly. "PFT" takes tidbits (nuggets, if you will) from MMQB every Monday and reports on them, while Peter will quote Florio if given the chance. It's some strong NBC synergy right there.

high-level staffers in the NFL office—and presumably Goodell—handed over cell phones to be forensically examined during the Robert Mueller investigation into whether anyone in the league office saw the Ray Rice domestic violence video before it aired on TMZ.

Yeah, well "presumably" Goodell doesn't mean this really happened. Also, Goodell has a private line in the NFL office where the Ray Rice issue was probably discussed. I doubt Goodell had the Ray Rice video texted to him on his private phone, as opposed to it being emailed to him or discussed on the private line in his office. It's a different situation for Tom Brady in that he doesn't have an office where he can make phone calls. His private line is his cell phone. Therefore, it's his private property, while Goodell could have used league property (office phone or computer) to view the Ray Rice video or have it emailed to him. I doubt Goodell handed over his cell phone. "Presumably" doesn't convince me.

5. The other 31 teams are watching to see if Goodell treats the Patriots with most-favored-nation status, or like any other one of the NFL franchises.

I guess I'm stupid, because I don't get why Goodell would treat the Patriots differently from another NFL team. Is this a real thing that was being discussed?

But I keep coming back to the fact that there’s just too much gray area here, and too much doubt. I’d slap the Patriots with something, but not a potential season-altering suspension for the franchise quarterback.

But if Goodell/the NFL think the Patriots did something wrong and wanted to punish them, wouldn't a season-altering suspension be the way to go? Why would the NFL punish the Patriots/Brady, but make sure the punishment didn't really hurt them? That sort of ruins the point of punishing them doesn't it? I think the loss of the draft picks was exceptionally harsh, but it's clear the NFL wanted to send the message that they weren't entirely sure how to punish the Patriots or how severe the deflating of footballs really was. Go big or go home, that's what the Patriots did.

Peter King must have been an awesome father: "I'm going to punish you for your actions. You should not have stolen a car and then try to run over a policeman. There are a lot of people I had to pay in order to get this to go away. But, I want you to learn a lesson, but not have it affect your life in a negative way. I understand you have a really great beach trip coming up that you were looking forward to, so you can still go to it. I'll slap you with something, but not a temporarily life-affecting punishment of course."

My call: I’d give Brady one game, two tops, for failing to turn over his cell phone and the evidence within. This is too important to rely on half-truths and maybes.

I don't care if Brady gets suspended, but if Brady had evidence on his phone that proved he was a part of the plan to deflate the footballs and willingly participated then wouldn't this punishment send the message that obstruction of the investigation will get you a lesser penalty? The next time a player has evidence he did something wrong in his possession, he can just refuse to provide it when requested and then he gets 1-2 games instead of a heavier suspension. I just think the NFL should have come to a decision on whether they think Brady was part of it or not and punish him accordingly. It seems they think they did that. None of this bullshit "Well, we are going to suspend you based on information you didn't provide that we have no idea means anything or not because it was your personal property."

The Ravens safety, who always had a knack for being in the right place at the perfect time—and who could knock your block off too—retired Thursday. He didn’t play in 2014, and his 2013 season (with the Jets and Texans) showed he stayed a year too long. But that’s not what you should remember about Reed. What I’ll remember is one of the most instinctive players I’ve ever seen. Rarely was he out of position; most often he was in a better position because he could feel what the quarterback was aiming to do at the snap of the ball.

After all the teeth-gnashing from Peter several weeks ago about the Pro Football Hall of Fame letting a pure safety in the Hall of Fame when Troy Polamalu retired, now a real pure safety has retired.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, when Troy Polamalu retired, the voters for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which has moved glacially in admitting safeties, are going to have a touch time over the next five years, with Brian Dawkins, Reed and Polamalu joining a cadre of good safety candidates.

Oh, "good" safety candidates. Are these "good" safety candidates that happen to be the best players at their position in NFL history? Hopefully if Peter votes for any of them to be in the Hall of Fame he thinks they are better than "good."

Imagine my surprise …

…when, footnoted on page 34 of the Ted Wells Report was a story I’d written nine years ago about Tom Brady and Peyton Manning successfully petitioning the competition committee to allow every team to condition the footballs it would use on offense the way that team wanted—instead of being subject to the ways the home team wanted to prepare football. Before 2006, the road team had no say in what kind of football its quarterback would be using. It’s in the report to show how concerned Brady was about getting the footballs to be prepared just so … and the lengths to which he and Manning went to get the job done.

It's shocking to Peter that he actually managed to write about the NFL long enough in MMQB that he would be quoted in a report about deflated footballs. If Peter had known nine years ago that an article he wrote would be used as evidence against Tom Brady then he never would have written about it in MMQB. He would have just done what most sportswriters do when they sit on information they don't care to report, which is write "Heard about this issue with Brady wanting footballs more deflated a few years ago" on Twitter and then go about their lives. I think that's my favorite sportswriting move, where a sportswriter claims after the fact to have known something but never reported on it for whatever reason.

This was just one more brick in the wall in the case Wells and his crew built against Brady—about how he was so driven to get the footballs exactly the way he wanted them. Not sure I take it very seriously, but it does provide a glimpse into Brady’s state of mind about how important grip on the football is to him.

Peter doesn't take his own reporting that Brady was concerned about the right ball pressure seriously? Here is what Peter wrote,

“Imagine if Derek Jeter were handed a brand-new glove just before the start of every game,” says Brady. “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.”

So last February, while having dinner together in Miami Beach, Brady and Manning decided to approach their fellow quarterbacks about petitioning the NFL competition committee to change the rule. 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.

This isn't proof one way or another about whether Brady knew footballs were being doctored against the Colts in the playoffs, but I think it does give a glimpse about how important this issue of footballs being the way he wanted them was to Brady. He couldn't sleep thinking about a football that wasn't in the manner he liked it. Not shockingly, Peter doesn't believe his own reporting.

“For the balls to have been deflated—that doesn’t happen unless the quarterback wants that to happen. I can assure you of that. Now the question becomes, Well, did Bill Belichick know about it? This whole comment by Roger Goodell based on the Saints when Sean Payton got suspended for the year, and he said, ‘Hey, ignorance is no excuse.’ That’s gonna come back and haunt [Goodell] again. It haunted him during the whole Ray Rice situation. And now it’s going to haunt Roger Goodell in terms of what the punishment is for the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick. If ignorance is no excuse, and it wasn’t for Sean Payton, and I think it’s going to be severe. Now twice under Bill Belichick—and possibly a third time—they’ve cheated and given themselves an advantage. And to me, the punishment for the Patriots and/or Bill Belichick has to be more severe than what the punishment was for the New Orleans Saints.”
—Troy Aikman, on radio station KTCK The Ticket in Dallas, on what he thinks the sanction in the Patriots’ case should be.

I'm not entirely sure that Troy Aikman is getting the point here. The suspension for each individual as handed out by Roger Goodell shouldn't be based on ignorance, but the "crime" that the individual is guilty of. Personally, I consider intentionally hurting another athlete and receiving money in return is a bigger danger to the NFL than some deflated footballs. Obviously Troy Aikman doesn't share my perspective, but regardless of how/if Belichick cheated, he's not tied into the deflating of footballs at all. Ignorance may be no excuse, but in terms of severity I think it's more egregious that Sean Payton wouldn't know what his own defensive coordinator (and half of the Saints team) was doing, as opposed to Belichick not knowing what one player and a few equipment managers were doing. Payton's ignorance required not knowing what one of his employees and the Saints defensive players were doing, while Belichick's ignorance was not knowing what Brady was (allegedly) doing. Plus, intentionally hurting another football player is worse than deflating footballs if you ask me.

Why The Dante Fowler Loss Hurts So Bad Dept.:

In the past eight years, the leading sacker for the Jaguars has had 7.5, 4.5, 3, 5, 8, 3.5, 7.5 and 8.5 sacks.
Uh, 3?!

Peter, there is no guarantee of what Fowler would have produced this year in terms of sacks. He could have 2 sacks or he could have had 15 sacks. Either way, there's no telling. Don't act like Fowler was good for double-digit sacks because that's just pure speculation. Fowler could be a bust as a pass rusher. He may be an All-Pro. The point isn't that the Jaguars are missing out on his guaranteed sack production, but that the Jaguars have to wait another season to see what his sack production will be.

Peter calls Fowler a "star" and then acts like the loss hurt so badly because Fowler was guaranteed a certain amount of sack production.

Then Peter calls out Walt Anderson for losing track of the footballs during the Colts-Patriots playoff game.

The day before the game, Colts GM Ryan Grigson emailed league officials with a warning for the following day. He said he wanted the officials to watch for the Patriots to possibly be using balls that were deflated below the 12.5 psi minimum limit. The next day, the number two man in the NFL officiating department, Alberto Riveron, met with game referee Walt Anderson and told him, according to the Wells Report, that “concerns had been raised about the game balls, and Anderson should be sure to follow proper pre-game procedures.”

So, for eight or nine minutes, from 6:30 until at least 6:38, Anderson and his officiating crew lost track of the footballs. Hours after being warned that “concerns had been raised about the game balls,” for the first time in his 19 years as an official—according to Anderson—he couldn’t find the game balls for a period. And even with properly checked backup game balls on hand, Anderson didn’t use them. He used the footballs that had gone missing for eight or nine minutes.

This is pretty shoddy work by Anderson. One would think since he was even warned to follow the procedures that he would have done that and used the backup game balls.

There’s no guarantee that McNally deflated 13 footballs in the 100 seconds he was inside the bathroom. But it’s clearly the most likely scenario raised by the report. And if Anderson had used the alternates, there’s a good chance none of this ever would have happened.

While I agree that "this" would never have happened, one important fact that Peter is missing out here is the Patriots would still potentially be using deflated footballs (allegedly) during games. So if Walt Anderson used the backup footballs then the Patriots would not have gotten caught, but "this" still happened. The problem isn't the Patriots got caught deflating footballs (again, allegedly), it's that they were (allegedly) deflating footballs in the first place. The act, not getting caught in the act is the issue. If the Patriots weren't caught, that which they are accused of doing would still have happened and could have happened again in the future. Say Walt Anderson does use the backup footballs, reports back to his superior why he used the backup footballs and the NFL starts an investigation based on Walt Anderson claiming the footballs went missing and Ryan Grigson's concern. Guess what? Welp, the story goes right back to where it is now.

If Tom Brady is suspended for four games—Vegas oddsmaker Bovada.com lists the over-under on a possible Brady suspension at 3.5 games—there might be a little something extra motivating Brady upon his return, courtesy of the team that turned him in to the league before the AFC Championship Game.
This would be his first game back: at Indianapolis, Sunday night, Oct. 18.

Great, just what we need. More hype for a Patriots-Colts matchup. Unless Brady wins an appeal, this is what the public will be stuck with. I bet the Colts are thrilled a pissed-off Brady and Belichick are coming to Indianapolis this year and it's the very first game which Brady will be eligible to play.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think it’s all well and good to get your draft picks on the field and have them run around and get into the swing of what you’re doing on offense and defense. But the more you ask your players to go 80 to 90 percent, with or without pads, the better chance there is of injury. Everyone knows that, of course. But, in the wake of season-ending injuries to the first-round pick of the Jags, Dante Fowler, and third-round pick of the Broncos, Jeff Heuerman, just hours into their professional careers, it might be time for teams to re-think exactly why they’re having players cut hard and try hard on May 8 and May 9. I’m not saying it’s wrong. I am saying if I ran a team, I’d ask the coaches whether we wanted to hold off on any real football activities until training camp—and if they said no, I’d want a good reason why.

Because I can imagine Peter having the intestinal fortitude to stand up to his coaches like this in his hypothetical job as an NFL head coach. I think the reason why that would be given by this coaches would be, "We want to see our rookies at full speed as soon as possible and it's hard to figure out which tryout players we want to make an offer to if they are playing at half-speed."

2. I think it’s fine to have strong opinions about the Ted Wells-Tom Brady case, and it seems most of America does. But keep in mind the following points:

b. Tom Brady may be innocent. But in this case, he certainly should have offered to have either a neutral party or his agent or attorney present when the relevant Patriot-related emails and text messages were examined. I know Wells does not have subpoena power. And I know the precedent of having Brady, a named plaintiff in the 2011 case that was the precursor to the new CBA, hand over his cell phone is not something the union or Brady would ever have wanted to establish. But if there was nothing in the phone other than the texts and calls to John Jastremski, and it could have helped exonerate Brady, I’d have surrendered it if I were him.

"I mean, sure Tom Brady doesn't want to help set the precedent that NFL players will turn over their personal cell phone anytime the NFL requests that they do so. He could have exonerated himself if there were texts that didn't apply to the investigation and if there were texts that implicated him then he would be honest and I'm sure Roger Goodell would appreciate that."

So either Brady is screwing over other players by giving his personal cell phone over, and setting a precedent for doing so, or not handing over the phone and potentially implicating himself further. Peter King would have certainly handed his phone over. Sure he would. I believe that.

c. You honestly think Roger Goodell wants to put the screws to Tom Brady? Are you crazy? He wants another scandal for his scandal-plagued league? Sheesh. Where does this stuff come from?

Plus, why would Goodell want to have to make the toughest decision he's ever made since the last time he had to make a tough decision?

6. I think Jon Stewart (man, will he be missed) had a great riff on Deflategate the other night on “The Daily Show.” Stewart, a Giants fan, said what the fans of most teams would say when it came to their feelings about Tom Brady: “If you think I would not chastise you if you had committed these acts while in my team, the New York Giants, uniform, that would be correct.”

Maybe something is wrong with me because I probably would chastise my favorite team as much as I have chastised the Patriots. Either way, I'm totally ready to move on and talk about other NFL topics.

8. I think the outcry over Frank Clark isn’t over, Seahawks. It’s going to have to be addressed how the investigation before drafting him left out so many of the people who claim to have been there the night he allegedly struck a girlfriend last fall.

This coming from the sportswriter who interviewed Jason Licht in last week's MMQB and accepted, "We had all the information we needed from her deposition" as to why the alleged victim of Jameis Winston wasn't interviewed by the team when doing research on Winston. I guess Peter could have pushed a little harder there, but he prefers to point out how the Seahawks need to address how the investigation into Frank Clark left out so many people who claim to be there the night he allegedly struck this woman. It's easier to be tough when he isn't presently interviewing the person he wants to be tough with.

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

b. Another great story, from Kate Fagan of ESPN.com, about the suicide of a depressed college student-athlete from New Jersey. Let me say it really hits me, and deservedly so, for wrongly calling the mental-health issues of Randy Gregory, the ones that helped push him down to late in the second round of the draft, “character flaws” in this column last week. 

Peter didn't "wrongly" call the mental health issues of Randy Gregory a "character flaw." Well, he did wrongly state it, but he wasn't being wrong when he said it. He seems to have truly believed it or else he wouldn't have written it. Only after he was criticized did he realize, "Oh yeah, depression ISN'T a character flaw," which is a realization only the most tone-deaf, logic incompetent person could come to. At a certain point, some of the shit that Peter King has said of late (comparing Ivan Maisel's situation to losing his daughter in the grocery store for five minutes, depression being a character issue, asking a soldier how many people he has killed) has to accumulate to where a simple "I was wrong and made a mistake" isn't sufficient and his ability to understand what other logical people understand as appropriate comments to make should be questioned.

Depression is no character flaw. It’s a serious health issue.

And just last week you wrote it was a character issue. It is obviously something Peter believed that needed to be corrected. Doesn't this reflect on him as a person negatively in some way that an apology won't easily correct?

Fagan does a tremendous job of fleshing that out, and teaching people like me about the reality of depression.

WHY DOES PETER KING NEED TO BE TAUGHT THE REALITY OF DEPRESSION? He's almost 60 years old. Shouldn't he know the reality of depression and that it isn't a "character issue" already? This isn't a situation of "Boy, that isn't something I knew" like a gap in knowledge is acceptable, but is a situation of "You obviously have something wrong with you to believe depression is a character issue."

If I wrote, "College Athlete X suffered bulimia issues in college, so that's an instance of where he couldn't control himself. One has to wonder if this lack of self-control will show up in the NFL," then that is not an example of me making a mistake. That would be an example of my lack of knowledge and sensitivity about the topic I'm discussing.

It becomes more of an issue of sensitivity and simply being stupid when talking about a topic that no gap in knowledge can magically fix. Now Peter has done this sort of thing three times in the past two months, while those who normally criticize these types of comments say, "Well, he apologized" as if there isn't a deeper problem present.

d. One of the best “Tonight Show” scenes I have seen happened the other night. Jimmy Fallon took U2, all in disguise, into the Grand Central subway station, and these disguised four guys started playing “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” like they were some subway band playing for quarters, and most bystanders just walked on by.

They were awful diguises. I'd like to think I could have figured out it was them, because it looked U2 in disguises.

That U2, such jokesters.

Then they took off their disguises and started playing like real U2, playing “Desire,” and it was one of those New York moments that if you’re a New Yorker who loves U2 (such as this writer), you ask yourself, Why don’t you have any pull to find out when U2 is going to be in a subway station you’re in once or twice a week?

It was one of those New York moments where it's like, as a New Yorker, you wonder why don't other bands secretly play gigs in other cities like U2 did in New York? One would think that other bands would pull a "New York" and have bands play secret gigs, but only in New York does this type of thing happen. Also, I thank God that Peter King wasn't there to witness this. It's bad enough he talks about U2 all the time, but for him to be at their subway station surprise gig would have caused this entire MMQB to be scrapped for a discussion on the finer points of U2.

f. What, you didn’t know my team was the Montclair Pedroias? Even though my second sacker is Kolten Wong?

No, your readers knew because you have mentioned this at least two other times.

h. Bryce Harper, six home runs in three games. David Ortiz, four home runs in 26 games.

Age difference, 17 years. Sample size, small. Means, very little.

l. Coffeenerdness: New Starbucks in the neighborhood, on the East Side of Manhattan. Been open about 10 days. Walked in for the first time Friday. Big place. Totally mobbed. I counted 78 people in there, at 3 in the afternoon. Either New York is large, or people drink coffee voraciously in the middle of the afternoon, or both.

Only in New York does a Starbucks open and people choose to purchase coffee from them. What a New York moment.

n. For those keeping score at home, I ran five miles in Central Park on Saturday (the 6.2-mile loop, minus the hill at the top of the park) in 45:55. And only a few old ladies passed me.

I wonder if Peter found any women running in Central Park that he could stalk while listening to their conversation?
The Adieu Haiku

Kraft love for Goodell  
overblown, quite honestly.
Partners, not big pals.

But financial partners can be even more important to each other than two people who are pals. The love of making money binds a lot of people together and there are people who aren't necessarily best friends, but very loyal to each other as business partners. So even if Goodell and Kraft aren't close, it doesn't mean very much if they have a financial stake in each other. The haiku was pointless, but the content was naive. I bet "naivety" is Peter King's character flaw.


Chris said...

"Who says this?, as a 20 year old? An unbelievable mentality."

Peter obviously assumes most 20 year old who tear ACL's would fall into a deep deep depression... oh excuse me, they would fall into a deep deep character flaw and never come out of it again. Not to say I'm sure Fowler is bummed he won't get a chance to play at all this season but I would think most athletes would have the mentality of ok just another hurdle for me to clear, and dedicate themselves to coming back strong.

Anonymous said...

He loses credibility with his first statement about home/away record. Each team’s equipment person brings their footballs to the referees before the game. Then each team’s equipment person gets them from the ref and brings them to their own sideline. So it doesn’t matter whether you’re home or away, as long as you know where the bathroom is….

JT said...

If I go into a Starbucks and see that there are 78 people in there I immediately leave and walk down the block to the next one. I don't stand there and count the number of people standing in line.

Snarf said...

I can see Peter yelling at the Starbucks patrons, "Hey, you leaving... Stop! How do you expect me to get an accurate headcount for my column on THE MMQB, NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH SI, if you folks are moving around!?!?!"

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, it also helps that Fowler knows he is young and has a good chance of bouncing back from this. He's too young to know otherwise.

Anon, haha...I never knew this much about football handling until just a few months ago.

JT, Peter is a very busy man who apparently has time to count customers at Starbucks. He was probably hoping he could see something that he would put in MMQB under "Travel Note" or could make a note about a person causing a scene.

Snarf, Peter would freak out when someone was holding another person's place in line while he/she went to the bathroom. At that point he would boycott this Starbucks for the rest of eternity.

Slag-King said...

Better yet, cut in line in front of Peter and watch him go ballistic!

Bengoodfella said...

And then hope that Peter's phone rings, pull out a notebook and take copious notes on his conversation right in front of him.