Tuesday, July 14, 2015

8 comments MMQB Review: Nothing Noteworthy Has Happened in the NFL Over the Last Month Edition

The last time Peter King wrote MMQB prior to going on vacation for a month he was preparing to freak out over Russell Wilson becoming a free agent. In that time we have learned that Wilson will still continue to pretend he wants to be a baseball player, is not having sex with his girlfriend and has a direct line to God. So that's nice. Peter wrote he isn't convinced the Seahawks and Wilson will split, but prepared for it to happen. Now that he's back from vacation, Peter writes this week about Ken Stabler's Hall of Fame chances (which is important to discuss immediately now that Stabler had died), thinks the Redskins should change their name now that the Confederate flag was removed from the South Carolina state capitol, finds Bono to be pensive, and reveals Roger Goodell's random pointing at a map means the NFL wants to play a football game in Brazil now.

Oh, and Peter wants to make it clear he will not fire Andy Benoit for not enjoying women's sports. If Benoit didn't enjoy U2 or Allagash White, that would be a completely different story. His ass would be fired then.

Well, saddle up. Time to get back on the football merry-go-round.

Join the parade, Peter. You are the one who has been gone, not your readers. The football world does still spin when you aren't around.

The NFL’s still slumbering, with most teams away for another week or so. I’d like to thank my Monday column subs over the past month—Jenny Vrentas and Robert Klemko and Andrew Brandt of The MMQBand long-snapper/American icon Nate Boyer of the Seattle Seahawks—for allowing me to research my Beernerdness section so diligently and to go to bed early on four straight Sundays. I could get used to that.

Yes, but you must continue to work in order to support your family. Just a working class guy. That's all Peter is. He's got to pay the mortgage in that New York penthouse somehow.

This is my 32nd season covering pro football, and 19th writing this column. So many compelling stories on the way.

This is the most compelling offseason since at least last offseason.

We’ll have time next week to get to some of the nitty-gritty camp issues, and we’ll hit the Tom Brady appeal hard when that verdict comes out.

Peter is going to tap the ass of the Tom Brady appeal so hard when it comes out, it's going to need three alarm clocks to wake up so it can gather it's clothes and go back home before the morning comes. 

But the two things that struck me over the past few days were the death of Ken Stabler and the continuing story that never goes away—but should—of the Washington team name controversy. Let’s lead with those this week.

After a month off from writing MMQB, Peter leads with a story that has been in the news for two years and commentary on a quarterback who played three decades ago. IT'S THE MOST COMPELLING OFFSEASON I CAN RECALL!

Ken Stabler, the Oakland/Houston/New Orleans quarterback who is doubtless one of the most colorful characters in NFL history (just read this 1977 Sports Illustrated story if you’ve got any questions), died last week of colon cancer. He was 69. Most of his football friends had no idea he was that ill.

In the wake of his death, a fervent debate has been re-ignited: Should Stabler be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

If an athlete's death re-ignites the conversation on whether he should be in the Hall of Fame or not, then that athlete should not be in the Hall of Fame. It's not a hard-and-fast rule, but I feel strongly about it. We all die. It's sad, but the fact Stabler died shouldn't have an impact on his football career from 30 years ago just because it's sad he died and he was a colorful character.

Stabler, to me, is a borderline candidate from a very difficult time to judge the worthiness of quarterbacks because stats of quarterbacks from 40 years ago can be so misleading. I’ll give you some of the arguments I’ve heard over the years and in recent days, and then give you my thoughts.

One month off from writing and a discussion about the Hall of Fame leads MMQB. I wish these compelling stories on the way would hurry up and get here.

Argument: Stabler’s on the seventies all-decade team, so that should merit inclusion on its own. The Team of the Seventies, as voted by the Pro Football Hall of Fame voters at the end of the decade, actually had Roger Staubach as the number one quarterback, with 13 votes. Terry Bradshaw and Stabler were next, with three votes apiece. Right or wrong, nine players from the first and second teams of that group are not in Canton. I’ve never thought that because you were voted to an all-decade team that it should be an automatic ticket to the Hall.

This is like the "Jack Morris has the most wins over this arbitrary subset of seasons so he should be in the Hall of Fame" argument that has been made.

From 1973, when he took over the starting job, Stabler quarterbacked the Raiders to a 50-11-1 regular-season record over five years. That five-year stretch is easily his biggest argument for enshrinement, and if he ever gets in, I’d point to that and say, “You’ve got to be pretty good to win 50 out of 62.”

When the biggest argument for the Hall of Fame (an individual achievement) is mostly on his team's achievement then that is a sign of a shaky Hall of Fame argument.

Argument: If Joe Namath is in, Stabler should be in. Here’s where stats get screwy and, to me, unimportant. Namath was a more prolific passer (197.6 passing yards per game, to Stabler’s 151.8) but not the winner Stabler was. (Namath: 62-63-4; Stabler: 96-49-1.) Each won one Super Bowl.

Not that Joe Namath didn't deserve induction, but if the argument for Stabler is based on another player getting in the Hall of Fame, then Stabler doesn't deserve induction. Just because the Hall of Fame lowered their standards for one player doesn't mean all players who are up for induction should be held to that lower standard.

Among recent quarterbacks, Kurt Warner had the strangest career—he came from stocking shelves to the NFL and had two bookend great runs surrounding a five-year donut hole mid-career. But Stabler’s career was exceedingly odd. It’s almost a career in quartiles:

1968 to 1972: The JV Years. On the bench behind Daryle Lamonica and George Blanda, mostly. Just two starts in five years.

1973 to 1977: The Golden Years. Leads the Raiders to the playoffs for five straight years, demolishes the Vikings to win a world title in January 1977, and twice leads the league in touchdown passes and passing accuracy.

1978 to 1980: The Divorce. After going 9-7 in both ’78 and ’79 and throwing 52 interceptions over those years, Al Davis trades him to Houston for Dan Pastorini. Stabler never wins another playoff game.

1981 to 1984: The End. Doesn’t have a winning season, and the interceptions keep coming. With how hard Stabler lived off the field, it’s amazing Stabler started 14 games at age 38 for the Saints in 1983.

So Stabler would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame based on five seasons? Otherwise, he was a backup or mediocre quarterback. If Stabler was a boring person and sportswriters didn't even like him that much would this conversation about his being in the Hall of Fame even be happening? I'm betting not.

So that’s five great seasons. Five. Look at his next three. It’s true you can’t overrate numbers and compare the players of the seventies to the players of today by stats. But in the three seasons after those five sublime ones, Stabler threw 80 interceptions. That’s got to count for something.

Stabler threw 83 interceptions during his "Golden Years" with the Raiders. In fact, during his career Stabler threw 28 more interceptions than touchdown passes. Double in fact, during Stabler's "Golden Years" with the Raiders he threw only 20 more touchdown passes than interceptions. I understand it was a different time, but take away those great years with the Raiders and Stabler was just mediocre. Add those five great years with the Raiders and Stabler was still mediocre with a five year run where he somehow managed to throw fewer interceptions than touchdowns.

I believe the Hall of Fame, in the vast majority of cases, has to be about sustained greatness. Stabler was great for five seasons. Some people would say that’s enough, along with the Super Bowl and being the greatest quarterback the Raiders have had. And I think it’s a good argument. For me, it’s just not a winning one.

I don't even think this is a good argument. Joe Flacco is the best quarterback the Ravens have ever had and he's won a Super Bowl. Does that mean he's destined for the Hall of Fame?

But hey, the good news is this is the top story for Peter in MMQB after taking a month off.

When I watched the governor of South Carolina eloquently speak about what a great day it was for the people of the state that the Confederate flag would no longer fly over the state capitol, I thought what a great job the leaders of that state had done in framing the divisive issue.

Yes, the "leaders" of the state that led the charge to take 150 years to remove the Confederate flag and only took it down after people were killed and the backlash against the flag flying over the capitol became too much to bear politically. Perhaps I have a different definition of "leader" than Peter does. It's probably the same way that the rest of the world has a certain definition of "factoid" and Peter chooses to make up his own definition.

A good percentage of South Carolina citizens felt the Confederate flag was a slap in the face to the African-Americans of the state—and to so many others who found the flag an offensive reminder of segregation. And so Gov. Nikki Haley and a cadre of smart political leaders, in the wake of the race-related murders of nine black churchgoers, finally got rid of the flag.

Nikki Haley did a great job of getting her arms around the issue, but it doesn't change the fact it took the murder of 9 people and 150 years to get her to get her arms around the issue. That's not leadership.

Then I thought of the Washington team name and wondered: Why is it taking so long for the right thing to happen in football?

I mean, these are sort of two different issues, but kind of the same. 

Clearly, the name of the team is offensive to a swath of American society, and particularly to many Native Americans...And last week the name was in the news again. A federal judge in northern Virginia confirmed the legality of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s decision to cancel the team’s trademarks, effectively saying the patent office was correct in saying the team name may be disparaging to Native Americans.

And yet, Peter insists on keeping the last name "King" which is disparaging to democracies where there is no monarchy to serve as a figurehead for the rest of the country.

The federal trademark cancellations wouldn’t be enforced until the team exhausts the appeals process in the federal courts, but if and when that happens, not having recourse in the federal courts against trademark infringers will make it more complicated for the team to stop the selling of knockoff T-shirts or hats, especially if those goods are being imported from other countries. That sets a dangerous precedent for a league and a franchise that are such excellent merchandisers.

This may be the first time in a decade that someone would copy something the Redskins have done, rather than consciously avoiding copying something that the Redskins have done. 

The league, though it’s highly unlikely top officials want to support a cause on the wrong side of history, will for now continue to help Washington owner Dan Snyder fight the brushfires. But to what end? Why waste all this energy when the name is going to change eventually?

Because Peter, the Redskins and Daniel Snyder don't think the name is going to change eventually. While you are working under the assumption the team name will change, this view isn't shared by the Redskins organization. They aren't being obstinate on this issue because they just enjoy being that way (well, maybe Daniel Snyder is...there's a chance), but Daniel Snyder and some others in the Redskins organization think they are on the right side of history.

Don’t misunderstand: I don’t think the name of a football team carries the societal importance of the Confederate flag. But wrong is wrong, offensive is offensive.

The Confederate flag is not on par with the use of the Redskins team name, but Peter immediately thought of the Redskins name when the Confederate flag was removed from the capitol building, and there is no difference in the offensiveness. So other than Peter linking the team name "Redskins" and the Confederate flag in his mind and thinking offensive is offensive, the societal importance of each are totally different.

And though the percentage of Native Americans who are offended by the team name is possibly not as high as the percentage of African Americans offended by the Confederate flag, what percentage of people offended would be acceptable? Twenty percent? Thirty?

23.9%. That is the acceptable percentage.

Somebody needs to be a leader in the Washington case, the way the mayor of Charleston and the governor of South Carolina were in the wake of the tragedy there.

Leadership would have been removing the flag prior to nine people being murdered and not upon seeing the political ramifications of not removing the flag were worse than the blowback from the residents of South Carolina who still support the Confederate flag flying over the capitol. Nikki Haley did not want the flag removed until she had to take that position. I'm not against her or not criticizing her for this, but it's definitely not what I would leadership.

Club owner Dan Snyder’s not going to be it; Allen certainly is smart enough to be it, but he’s too tied to Snyder, obviously. I doubt Roger Goodell could be the man to do it—now—because the team is so intent on fighting this to the death. It’s a pity.

And of course Goodell could never take a position against what one of the owners want. He'll harshly sanction NFL teams for breaking rules and violating the sanctity of the game, but he's perfectly fine with an NFL team having an offensive team name.

“It was Veterans Day, and I’m a veteran, so I took the day off.”

—Then-Houston quarterback Ken Stabler, in 1980, to rookie beat man John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. Seems that Stabler skipped practice one November day, and the Oilers didn’t know where he was, and he came in the next day as usual. McClain found him at his locker after practice, smoking a cigarette.

These are all fun stories, but imagine the media backlash from writers (like Peter King) if a starting quarterback took off Veteran's Day because he claimed to be a veteran. Johnny Manziel would get killed for even doing one of these things, much less everything that Stabler did. Here is what he would be criticized for if this took place in 2015:

1. Disrespecting the military by claiming to be a veteran even though he has never served in the military.

2. Skipping practice without telling the Oilers.

3. Smoking a cigarette.

4. Not being properly focused while the team was 7-3 and trying to win their division.

5. Setting a bad example for his teammates and then there would be an addendum where the writers would blame Stabler for the Raiders going 18-14 over the previous two years, while pointing to Stabler's below-standard performance during those two seasons.

So this is a fun anecdote, but any type of "character" an athlete shows in 2015 by smoking a cigarette after skipping practice because he claims to be a "veteran" would result in him being chewed up by the media and spit out. Since this happened 35 years ago, it's just a silly way of pointing out what a character Stabler was. The media (and Peter) ignores how they would treat a player who did this type of thing in the present day.

“Snake made Johnny Manziel look like a Buddhist monk.”

—Retired former Raiders beat man Bob Padecky, who wrote a stunning story in the wake of Ken Stabler about the time he went to Alabama to try to interview Stabler … and found himself arrested and charged with cocaine possession. These are the kinds of stories that just don’t happen anymore.

Kenny Stabler may have set this beat guy up for cocaine possession. What a ruse! Classic Stabler!

These stories don't happen anymore for a reason. That reason being the media chokes all the character out of players (see: Puig, Yasiel) and the leagues are more concerned with image than fun (see: NFL throwing flags for TD celebrations).

“A lot of new faces in the locker room and a lot of new coaches. I think the changes are for the good.”

—San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, to Charles Whissan of the Nevada Appeal, on all the turnover among the 49ers.

I'm not sure what Peter finds to be noteworthy about this quote. When and why would Kaepernick ever say that the changes in the locker room and the new coaches are for the worse? This is standard athlete-speak (go back to how the media chokes character out of players...Kaepernick got criticized for his tattoos and backwards hat, think he would be dumb enough to say he misses Jim Harbaugh?). Any change is a good change. That's what most athletes will say until the point they shouldn't say this anymore.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

Five vacation highlights from a vacation spent fairly close to home over the past three weeks:

1. Running along the Charles and around Fenway Park and down tree-lined Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. No doubt: prettiest five-mile city run in America—and I am spoiled because I get to run in Central Park.

"I am spoiled because I get to stalk women on their phone while they are running in Central Park."

There, I fixed it.

3. Seeing U2. Saw them in Boston the other night. Unique show. The combination of a huge screen nearly the length of the floor at TD Garden and the graphics and the overall setup was reminiscent of those cartoony line drawings in “Juno.”

Peter says the U2 show was unique, then states the overall setup of the show was reminiscent of drawings from a movie. So it was a unique show, except for the part where the show wasn't unique.

A more pensive Bono, I thought, in this show.

A pensive Bono, huh? Not precocious? I wonder what was wrong with Bono since he was so pensive. Perhaps he's realized his fan base consists mostly of middle-aged men, people who forgot to delete the latest U2 album off their iTunes account, and fans of Apple commercials.

One of the biggest cheers of a raucous night came when Bono thanked Tom Brady for his charitable work for Bono’s (RED) initiative to fight AIDS and other diseases.

I'm surprised they cheered Bono for this. Usually the fans in Boston would boo Tom Brady for helping to fight AIDS. It's good to see the mention of Brady during the show didn't deflate the crowd, though I'm not sure how a show with a pensive lead singer and drawings from "Juno" can be seen as raucous. I wasn't there though, so I clearly don't know.

4. Hitting PNC Park. There’s a big difference between a Friday night Pirates game in 2015 and one, say, three or four years ago. I know. I see a game in Pittsburgh most years with family, and the game I saw against Atlanta a couple of weeks ago was mostly packed. No spreading out over a few seats anymore. So good to see excitement for baseball in Pittsburgh, a downtrodden baseball town for so long.

The Pirates have been pretty good for a couple of years now. The excitement being back isn't new for this year.

Florio was referring to the July 4 hot dog eating contest on Coney Island in New York, which I despise. 

No one gives perspective like Mike Florio. Few sportswriters support each other across mediums like Mike Florio and Peter King. Florio writes about parts of MMQB on Pro Football Talk and Peter King mentions Mike Florio as much as possible. It's an NBC brotherhood thing, surely. 

In a country where 16.2 million children daily do not get enough to eat (according to an agency called No Kid Hungry) because of financial constraints, adult human beings force hot dogs down their throats in a “Competitive Eating” contest. Gag me.

Gag you? Gag you with what? Food? What an insensitive asshole you are, Peter. You want to be gagged with food when there are 16.2 million children DAILY who don't get enough to eat?

And it’s celebrated on TV, and people write about it. Think about it, people. Think about watching on television a contest of people over-eating grotesquely. It’s sick.

No one has to think about it, because they can just watch it on television brazenly being celebrated. So sick. Now let Peter tell you about how much coffee and beer he drank this week, while mentioning a delicious dinner he had with Donnie Banks.
Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think my first thought when I read the sheriff’s report on the Aaron Kromer altercation with “boys” at a beach in Florida was, “What was Kromer thinking?” An arrest report from the sheriff’s office in Walton County, Fla., on Sunday claimed the Buffalo Bills’ offensive line coach—and last year’s Bears offensive coordinator on Marc Trestman’s ill-fated staff—was apparently angry that three boys used beach chairs belonging to Kromer.

According to the sheriff’s report, the boys said Kromer confronted them, and Kromer threw a fishing pole belonging to the boys into the water. Then he pushed one of the boys to the ground and punched him in the face, the report said. That boy, according to the report, “stated Kromer also told him if he reported him to the police he would kill his family.” This is very unlike the Kromer I know.

While obviously threatening to kill his family and acting this way isn't acceptable, let's never forget (old man rant) that some teenagers are entitled individuals who probably need to be punched in the face at least once a year. Perhaps that's just my experience. Kromer needed to be the adult in this case, but there are so many teenagers (and I deal with kids 18+ and up everyday) who have absolutely no concern for authority or adults. They think they can do or say whatever they would like and there are no repercussions. The entitlement factor is quite high in some teenagers, as established by their parents that they are indeed entitled to certain things. Kromer was still very much in the wrong, but I have experience where some semi-adults 18+ and up think they can say what they want and act as how they see fit. Kromer needed to be an adult, but some kids just need to be fucked up every once in a while as a reminder that it can happen.

Kromer supposedly was much bigger than this kid. I wouldn't defend him because he was out of line, but in general, sometimes when you are young you need to get punched a time or two to straighten you out. That's my (terrible, possibly) point. I'm sure the kid isn't blameless and the fact Kromer was so much bigger goes to the idea you don't want to screw with people bigger than you (if that was indeed the case). I know I acted like a jerk on a few occasions when I was younger and if anything had happened out of it then I would have been seen as more blameless for the incident than the other party because I was a kid. I have no point other than Kromer was out of line, but kids can be assholes...which everyone probably knew already.

2. I think it’s hard to fathom why the two football players who lost a total of three fingers in July 4th fireworks accidents (Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and Tampa Bay cornerback C.J. Wilson) would be so entranced by fireworks when the risk in handling them is so great.

It's shocking to Peter King that professional football players wouldn't appropriately weigh the costs and benefits of handling fireworks. Professional football players in their 20's are so well-known for making great decisions, because they certainly don't feel like they are invincible or anything.

If I’m the Giants, I’m supporting Pierre-Paul at his time of crisis, hoping he signs his one-year free-agent tender contract, though they’re not certain how much production they’ll get out of him this year. For now, the best idea for the Giants is to not pressure Pierre-Paul into anything; he’s got to learn how to live without his lost index finger before he worries about Steve Spagnuolo’s new defense.

I think it's great the Giants are going to point a finger at Pierre-Paul and give him a hand when he certainly needs it. The Giants should give Pierre-Paul their digits in case he wants to send out a feeler and claw his way back on to the team.

3. I think of all the stories about Stabler I read over the weekend, this tale by John McClain about Stabler’s 1980 season in Houston was most stunning:

“In November, the Oilers went to New York to play the Jets at Shea Stadium. Stabler partied into the wee hours, blowing curfew and infuriating his coaches. Early Sunday morning, Stabler’s teammates saw him struggling to get out of a cab about the time they were preparing for the pregame meal. Hung over from his night on the town, Stabler was awful in the first half, throwing four interceptions—one returned for a touchdown—and the Oilers trailed 21-0 at halftime.

“In the dressing room at halftime, coach Bum Phillips was addressing his players, and some could hear Stabler throwing up in a bathroom area. Finally, Stabler emerged, sobered up and wiping his face with a towel. He told his teammates he was ready to go. Stabler threw four touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, including one to Richard Caster to make it 28-28.

Again, this is a situation where the sports media today would kill Stabler for playing a game hungover, and then point out that no matter whether the Oilers almost won the game or not, Stabler cost his team the game in the first half. Sportswriters like Peter King love relaying these stories, yet if this happened today then it would create a 24 hour news story with hot takes galore.

I’d love to know how an event like that would be covered today—and what a 2015 NFL head coach would do if his starting quarterback did something like that the night before a game. It’s virtually unimaginable.

It's not so much what a head coach would do, but how would fans and the media react to this happening? Johnny Manziel has a few beers at a bar during the week or attends a sporting event and the media eats this up.

5. I think I counted six “Free Brady” T-shirts at Fenway Park on Saturday night … and one “Fire Goodell” shirt.

So Peter is saying that Red Sox fans support Tom Brady? Whaaaaaaat? Very unforeseen.

This #5 point was the second in a series of points made by Peter about the Patriots deflating footballs.

4. I think there’s a pretty good news blackout over the Tom Brady sanction.

6. I think my feelings about the ball-deflation findings haven’t changed: I don’t think the Wells report proved Brady directed anyone to deflate footballs.

7. I think sometime in the next two weeks you’ll see the league come out with a new policy on measuring the pressure in footballs before, during and after games.

All four of these points are about the exact same topic and part of the same discussion. Why are they in four separate numbers of the outline? All of these thoughts should be under one number. Peter puts all of his non-football thoughts under #10, and these are all thoughts that have very little to do with each other, yet Peter puts all of his thoughts on the Patriots deflating footballs under four separate numbers in his "Things He Thinks." This probably only annoys me, but it does annoy me. He separates out similar thoughts on the same topic over several numbers in his outline, yet combines thoughts on different topics under one number in his outline.

8. I think the league is serious about considering playing a game in Brazil.

(Roger Goodell is blindfolded, spun around four times, and then points out a country on a map) "That's the country where the NFL will be expanding next!" 

The best chance is a future Pro Bowl. A fact-finding team from the NFL went to Brazil this off-season and studied sites and found heavy interest in the NFL and also found—thanks to the new stadiums built when the country hosted the World Cup in 2014—plenty of stadium sites that would be good fits for an NFL game, in terms of stadium size and sight lines for American football.

I'm not against the NFL being played in other countries simply because I love America and it's favorite sport so much. I feel like there are several places in the United States that could use an NFL team, I don't like the idea fans only get 8 home games a year and one of those could be taken away, and expansion into other countries hasn't really worked in most of the major professional American sports. Take away hockey succeeding in the United States and Canada (though there have been issues with hockey in certain American cities) and there has only been one city in a foreign country that has successfully supported an NBA and MLB team over time. That city is Toronto with the Raptors and Blue Jays. MLB left Montreal and the NBA left Vancouver. There's not just one reason for why these cities didn't work out, but this was expansion into North America, much less expansion into London or taking the game to Brazil. Who am I to question the NFL though?

9. I think, on the subject of international football, there’s another interesting twist in the wake of the league’s agreement last week to play at least two games per year beginning in 2018 in the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium scheduled to open in 2018 in North London. The league could look for another London stadium to play games in beginning in 2017, with the deal with Wembley Stadium ending after 2016. The league could continue to play some games in Wembley, but it is interested in exploring other London sites too because Wembley has limited dates available in the fall. So the league will explore using Twickenham Stadium, an 82,000-seat rugby venue on the outskirts of London, for occasional games beginning in 2017. 

Roger Goodell wants the NFL to take over the world, but there is a huge difference in finding fan interest in the NFL for three games a year in London and actually having the fan support to put an NFL team over in London. There may be interest in three games per year with different teams each time, but is there interest in the NFL or is there interest in supporting an NFL team? Because there is a difference in Londoners supporting the NFL and Londoners supporting an NFL team. It's like the difference in taking care of your sister's children for a week during the summer and actually having children of your own to take care of. Who am I to question the NFL though?

The NFL’s obsession with football on the continent is not going away—not when the league sells 250,000 tickets for three London games now, and not with rising TV interest in Europe. By the way, this will be the first season a package of two games per Sunday will be on TV, live, throughout Germany. The NFL would consider a game or two in Germany, but only if the local TV response is good.

Oh great, now the NFL is going to Germany. At a certain point, the NFL is going to be asking NFL fans to support a team in their city while only getting to attend six games per season, plus those all-important preseason games that the NFL makes the fans pay full price for. How about that as a great idea? How about the NFL takes those pointless preseason games overseas and force this huge fanbase overseas to pay full price for tickets to a shit exhibition game and no longer tie season tickets to the purchase of full price preseason tickets? That sounds like a great idea to me.

I'm very protective of regular season NFL games being played in a team's home stadium. Next thing you know the NFL is going to want to play playoff games overseas in a desperate effort to expand.

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

a. I can’t figure out which weekend sports moment was better: the second-set tiebreaker in the Wimbledon’s men’s final between two incredible athletes, or the Andrew McCutchen come-from-behind, walk-off homer in the 14th inning for the Pirates over the archrival Cards. If I had to pick, I’d take the tennis, which—and I’m not tennis authority—

We know the second that Peter says he doesn't know much about a topic, he'll then make a definitive statement about said topic. Look no further than any of his comments about the NBA. Peter is not a tennis authority, but here we go...

is about as good as the sport gets.

"I know nothing about tennis, but I know tennis doesn't get better than what I just watched. Sure, you may claim I need to know something about tennis to state it doesn't get better than this, but that's silly. I'm Peter King. I just write shit and that makes it true."

b. And Serena Williams’ mastery of her game … I doubt there is a more dominant athlete in any sport today.

Peter is no authority on tennis, but he knows Serena Williams is the most dominant athlete in any sport today.

"I know nothing about colleges, but I doubt there is a better university in the country than the University of Phoenix."

How can you claim to not be an authority and then make a definitive statement on the topic you aren't an authority on?

c. At least now we know what your word is worth, DeAndre Jordan.

He had not signed anything and changed his mind. It's fun for laughs, but Peter is lying in pretending that if he made a verbal agreement to join Fox Sports, and then "SI" made him a better offer and Peter decided not to leave, that he would say, "Oh, well my word is my bond" while passing up more money and going to a place he doesn't want to be.

f. If I were the NHL (which is tough, because leagues are not people), I’d expand to Seattle and Quebec City, and eventually move the Arizona team to Las Vegas.
g. Seattle would be a great NHL town. And Quebec, come now. Do you even have to ask?

No, because you are the one asking.

j. Somebody please take the pins out of the Joel Embiid voodoo doll. Man, is that horrible luck for Embiid, lost for another year with that foot injury.

Big men with injuries in college. When will NBA teams start to learn?

Embiid couldn't even get through one year in college basketball, how was he going to make it through an 82 game schedule in the NBA with back and foot injuries? Back and foot injuries are the worst for a big man, much less a young big man. I never quite saw the draw of Embiid due to these injuries. I guess it was all the potential.

l. Wait until next year, Sox fans. Nothing’s changed about this team since April 1. Not nearly enough pitching.

Welp, Peter's brother-in-law is selling those Red Sox season tickets again. Who wants them? There's no way he can cheer for a losing team like the Red Sox. Peter completely understands.

o. While I was on vacation, Andy Benoit of The MMQB got in social-media hot water in the midst of the Women’s World Cup excitement for tweeting that he had no interest in women’s soccer, and no interest in any women’s sport for that matter. Many of you were furious with Benoit for the anti-woman stance.

It wasn't anti-women, it was anti-women's sports.

My response: I am a women’s sports supporter; my two daughters played lots of sports growing up, and I had more fun at their softball and field hockey games in high school than I remember having at my own high school games. I loved watching the Women’s World Cup games. I was in a group of people—including Benoit and our staff—during one of the early-round games, and I asked that the TV in the room be put on the U.S.-Nigeria game over Game 6 of the Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals (though the soccer game was over when the basketball game was still in the first quarter).

This would mean a lot more if Peter hadn't repeatedly stated how much he despises the NBA. Though of course this doesn't stop him from making definitive statements about the NBA.

But I’m not going to tell Andy what sports to like, and what not to like. He’s one of the best analysts of the inner game of football today, and that’s what he’s being paid to do—analyze football. There may be some of you who say that because of Andy’s stance you’re going to stop reading him, or stop reading our site, and that is your right. But I won’t punish one of our staff members because he says he doesn’t like women’s sports.

Way to hold your ground, Peter. I don't think Benoit should be punished for his opinion, but using the logic that Peter uses here, let me try something out. Say I get paid to analyze politics. I'm a political reporter and I Tweet that I don't like baseball because I find that the influx of Hispanic players are ruining my enjoyment of the game. Do you think I would be punished for my stance on baseball? I'm not paid to analyze baseball, and it's simply my opinion that Hispanic players have added a flair and attitude towards the game I don't enjoy. Does that mean I should be punished and would I be punished?

I don't know the answer to this, but using Peter's logic for defending Andy Benoit, because I'm not paid to analyze baseball it is fine for me to hold an opinion on baseball that is slightly offensive. I mock Andy Benoit, yet I don't care about his opinion enough to think he should be punished. It's just interesting that Peter seems to believe because Benoit isn't paid by THE MMQB to analyze women's sports then his stance on women's sports aren't within the realm of punishment.

p. Coffeenerdness: Madness of Starbucks Dept.: Often, I bring my reusable cup to Starbucks. Often the barista will take a small cup as a receptacle for the three or four shots of espresso for my drink, depending on the size, pour the shots into my cup, then toss the small cup away. You’re supposed to be eliminating waste, not causing more of it.

Then stop going to Starbucks every single day and ordering this drink. It's an easy solution. If they don't change their behavior and it bothers you, then change your behavior. Or just continue to bitch about it in MMQB because you want to bitch about it. You know, either way.

q. Beernerdness: My top four new beers from my time off:

Crux Half Hitch Imperial Mosaic Pale Ale (Crux Fermentation Project, Bend, Ore.). One of the best noses I’ve ever experienced in beerdom. It’s a strong pine smell, with some citrus and lots of strong fruit. And the taste is good too … just be careful. It’s 9.5 percent alcohol content. Half a beer sometimes is just fine.

Holy crap, grow a pair. One beer at 9.5% alcohol shouldn't get you drunk or even tipsy.

t. Hope to see many of you at the Boomer Esiason four-miler in Central Park Saturday. It’s for a great cause—the fight against cystic fibrosis.

You can find Peter trailing behind a group of women trying to listen to their cell phone conversations, while writing down as much of it as he can.

The Adieu Haiku

Something I don’t get:  
Players who love fireworks.
Let pros handle, please.

Yes, let the professional firework handlers take care of setting them off. You know, those people who have gone to school to handle fireworks. 

Something I don't get: The Adieu Haiku. 


Ericb said...

"Yes, the "leaders" of the state that led the charge to take 150 years to remove the Confederate flag and only took it down after people were killed and the backlash against the flag flying over the capitol became too much to bear politically"

Actually it's only been up for about 50 years. Most of the Confederate flags flying in southern state capitals were put up in the 1960s in the wake of civil rights and desegregation. I doubt they could have gotten away with in in the 1880s and 90s when the Civil War was recent history and most Union Civil War veterans were still alive.

Bengoodfella said...

Eric, well I don't live in the south so I didn't know that. Okay, I live in the south but didn't grow up near South Carolina. Fine, I grew up 25 miles from the SC border and I'm stupid.

I'm glad she had the flag removed, but I'm hesitant to give her too much credit. She saw the winds blowing and changed her mind. I guess that's okay, but I won't give her the benefit of calling it "leadership." I'm still stupid and should have known that.

Chris said...

While he didn't display very much tact in doing so Andy Benoit's opinion is one quite a few people hold about women sports, and it generally isn't from a sexist point of view. The prime example is the WNBA. WNBA players are certainly not lacking in talent but since the NBA has a vested interest in the WNBA it makes the poor decision to try and market the NBA as it's just watching Lebron James, if Lebron were a woman!

I know that I would be fired immediatly if I mouthed off to a customer like this but if I were that barista I would be so tempted to say are you the CEO of Starbucks sir? No? then don't tell me how to do my job.

Slag-King said...

As for Andy Benoit's tweet, I think Peter is overstating how many people wants Andy fired. The reason I think that is what if Jenny Vrentas tweeted that she detests men's sports and could care less about them. The only reason she writes football columns is that it is a job for her and she likes the human elements rather than the sport. Would people be calling for her to be fired? I somehow doubt that.

So Peter thinks that Joe Namath should be a Hall-of-Fame despite not having stellar career numbers because he was first?!? First of what? First flamboyant player? First to predict that his team would win the Super Bowl? I am not sure I understand Peter's case for Joe Namath.

As for the Redskins' name, why no outrage for Chief Wahoo for the Cleveland Indians--that is an insult if there ever was one. How about the Florida State Seminoles? Chicago Blackhawks? Illinois Fightin' Illini, etc? Some Native Americans are offended that their tribal name is used as a mascot or used to identify a school or sports team. I think Peter's outrage is too selective and too wishy-washy, depending on where the winds of popular opinion blows.

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, actually someone wrote a "Why is it okay to make fun of the WNBA?" column and it made me think. I hate the WNBA and will mock it, but I'm not mocking all of women's sports, simply that certain one. I think that's the difference there. I don't consider what Benoit tweeted as sexist, but it's just a dumbass comment. There have to be some women's sports worth watching.

Peter has brought this up at least 3 times in MMQB. Stop going to Starbucks. It's the company's policy to poor drinks that way. Why? I don't know. If it bothers him that much, don't go there anymore.

Slag, I think was the subject of mockery more than anything. I'm not sure anyone wanted Benoit fired more than they wanted a further explanation. I wish I had thought of that when I wrote this post, but I believe the calls to have Benoit fired are exaggerated too.

Namath won a Super Bowl and brought swag to the NFL. That gets him in apparently.

Personally, I think the FSU Seminoles and the "Tomahawk Chop" are as bad as the "Redskins." I think the Braves will eventually change their name, but I don't see it as offensive. But what FSU does with the Indian planting a burning spear at midfield and the "chop" both make me cringe.

Snarf said...

Worth noting that the FSU mascot has been handled through consultation with the Seminole tribe. Makes it a bit different.


Anonymous said...

Re: Starbucks, Peter has gone on about this before, and it's ridiculous. I'm sure Peter is very good at leaning over the counter and needlessly chatting up the barista. I'm making a not-unreasonable assumption that Peter's reusable cup is 16 oz. or larger. A guess on my part, but I don't think he has a 12 oz cup. In any case, the cup that fits under the portafilter has to be about 4 inches tall or less. Peter's beloved reusable cup simply doesn't fit under the spout of the portafilter when they make his triple-quadruple shot. I know Peter is a big-picture guy and these kind of logistical details may be too small for him to comprehend, but no one has yet developed an espresso machine with a high-mounted spout to fit Peter King's coffee cup. Again, this is supposition, but I think made with reasonable basis.

Bengoodfella said...

Snarf, oh. Okay, I guess that's different then. It still makes me cringe a bit.

Mr. Guy, I do think the cup is 16 oz, but it's a grande size if I'm not wrong. Grande is 16 oz and tall is 12 oz, so if it doesn't fit under the spout then that makes sense. I wonder if someone has emailed this information to Peter...