Tuesday, May 24, 2016

0 comments MMQB Review: It's Passe Edition

What do you know? I read MMQB again, so here I am writing. Funny how that works. Peter was up to Peter King-esque types of things the last time I covered MMQB. You can probably guess what those sorts of things were. He lost his phone after putting it down in a crowded airport bathroom, wrote a haiku, and congratulated a horse on his accomplishments. This week Peter reveals Mr. Ed's real name was not Mr. Ed. And yeah, there is still an awful haiku.

So the news of the NFL week starts in Charlotte, where owners begin gathering tonight for the annual quickie spring meeting

For God's sake, use the correct gender-assigned bathroom. We don't need no trouble these days.

(24 hours for these impatient billionaires), and by sundown Tuesday we’ll have three new Super Bowl cities. 

The owners are building three new cities to host the Super Bowl? Who the hell says "Rome wasn't built in a day," because the NFL owners are building three cities in one day.

Super Bowl 54, February 2020: South Florida over Los Angeles and Tampa Bay. The truth is the NFL would love to give the Super Bowl capping the league’s first century to the city where the first Super Bowl was played, Los Angeles. It could happen. But the Rams would really prefer to not be preparing for a Super Bowl in the first season the new stadium in Inglewood is operational.

This is Peter's prediction of who gets the Super Bowl. The Rams agreed to do "Hard Knocks" and kept who the #1 overall pick was under wraps to keep the drama going, so of course it makes sense for them to be able to dictate WHEN they host the Super Bowl over the other cities that just want to host the Super Bowl at any point it is convenient for the NFL to allow that city to do so.

Rules the owners will consider in Charlotte

Video study on sidelines during games. Currently, teams can look at still images on their Microsoft Surfaces on sidelines during games, or on images faxed from the press box the old-fashioned way. Last year, during a few preseason games and the Pro Bowls, coaches and quarterbacks could watch video on the Surfaces, and the players and coaches loved it.

Sam Bradford LOVED being able to watch "Dexter" on the sidelines while the Eagles defense was on the field. He just wished the defense could have done more to stay on the field longer so he wouldn't have gotten constantly interrupted and ended up having to go back on the field. But hey, he's a competitor, so he cherished the chance to be paid. Plus, play quarterback. That was important too.

One hour has been set aside at the meetings so the league can discuss the next wave of research and funding for player health and safety …

One whole hour! These owners have employees who are suffering from early dementia and dying from playing football, but they are kind enough to dedicate an hour to seeing if any of this stuff can be further prevented. I imagine this hour is really like the last session prior to lunch at most conferences. The presenter flies through the slides and gets the attendees out to lunch early, so most of the time dedicated to discussing player health is spent eating cubes of cheese and bitching about there being too much sugar in the tea.

Now this is downright strange. The NFL is investigating the by-the-book Ravens for violating one of the simplest and clearest rules in the collective bargaining agreement: practicing in pads during their rookie minicamp.

It's so strange the public perception of an NFL team doesn't quite match reality 100% of the time. HOW COULD THIS BE?

I would be surprised if the Ravens get docked one of their precious mid-round draft picks; the team has had the most compensatory picks in the league since the system was instituted in 1994. Usually the punishment for such violations is a diminution of spring practice time and a fine for the offending parties—either the team or the coach or both.

Now if the NFL had heard the Ravens were using slightly deflated footballs AND practicing with pads on? That's a heavy fine and loss of a first round draft pick. Or possibly Joe Flacco would be executed in the town square. It's totally up to the Ravens. The NFL doesn't want to appear heavy-handed.

The Washington Post last week published results of a poll of 504 of the country’s 5.4 million Native Americans—in all 50 states and the District of Columbia—that found:

Ninety percent of those polled said the nickname of Washington’s NFL franchise does not bother them. Only 9 percent said the nickname bothered them, with 1 percent undecided or with no opinion.

Seventy-three percent said the word Redskin is not disrespectful.

Okay … but what of the 21 percent, the 106 (approximately) of the 504 Native Americans polled who do find the name disrespectful?

These 21% of people are in what's known as "the minority," which means "not the majority" and we live in a country where, in general, "majority rules." You can always find something that a few people consider disrespectful, which doesn't mean their feelings should be ignored, but it also doesn't mean this minority should be catered to. If the Redskins changed their name, what about the 79% who don't find the name disrespectful. They no longer count? 

I personally don't give a crap if the Redskins change their name or not. I'm not Native American and have no real feelings one way or another. I try not to tell others how they should/should not feel. I'm offended by things people say or do, but it doesn't mean my minority opinion should be the majority or catered to. More importantly, and I think this is important, many of the same people writing about the Redskins team name change are more prone to favoring the name change given their political affiliation.

The media is more liberal, so it makes sense that a more liberal point of view (changing the Redskins name) would be over-represented when talking about the potential name change. But I can't emphasize enough how little of an opinion I have about this issue. If Native Americans really find it offensive, change it. If Native Americans don't care and the Washington Redskins organization doesn't want to change it, leave it as it is.

The NFL’s Incredible Shrinking Stat: touchdown numbers for running backs.

Adrian Peterson has 97, and there’s little doubt he’ll become the 10th back in history to rush for at least 100 touchdowns; in fact, this year, he could catch Jim Brown, number five on the list with 105.

But after that, there’s a long fall to the number two active touchdown runner: The Colts’ Frank Gore, 33 years old, enters the season with 70 career rushing touchdowns. Number three on the active list is DeAngelo Williams, with 57.

Hmmmm...I am proposing there is a causation issue here.

The decline in emphasis on the running game is making the touchdown run passé. Find an offensive category in NFL history with only two of the top 50 players of all-time being active today.

I won't argue the emphasis on the running game has declined, but couldn't this statistic be the result of teams going away from a one running back system, more quarterbacks being considered "running" quarterbacks and the evolution of players who are considered goal line backs?

Here is an example and it may be a bad one. You can judge. Jonathan Stewart has 36 career rushing touchdowns. Cam Newton has 43 career rushing touchdowns. Mike Tolbert has 33 career rushing touchdowns. Maybe this is a special case, but does Stewart's 36 career touchdowns mean the touchdown run is becoming passe or when it gets to "1st/2nd/3rd-and-goal" short situations there are a variety of players in the Carolina offense that could get the carry? There isn't just one running back that gets the ball on the goal line. This is true for several NFL teams that don't have Adrian Peterson or another stud running back.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis has 42 career rushing touchdowns. That's more than Brian Westbrook, Christian Okoye,and Gale Sayers. He has often been used as the goal line back for the Patriots/Bengals. Brandon Jacobs is 47th all-time on the rushing touchdown list with 60 rushing touchdowns. Mike Alstott is 50th with 58 career rushing touchdowns, while Warrick Dunn is 73rd with 49 career rushing touchdowns. It's possible use of the running game is declining, but rushing touchdowns are often shared by multiple running backs. So I don't think a decline in the emphasis on the running game can be the only cause here.

Jon Runyan, appointed the NFL’s vice president of policy and rules administration (head of on-field discipline) last week, has had an interesting life. Fourth-round pick of the Houston Oilers, 1996. Many battles royale with Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan. Voted the No. 2 dirtiest player in the NFL by Sports Illustrated, 2006. Voted to two terms in U.S. Congress out of south Jersey starting in 2011.

My favorite factoid about him: During one phase of his career, Runyan would stop at a Starbucks drive-through on the way to games and order nine shots of espresso in a venti cup. And, of course, he’d sip it in the hours before a game. I bet he was a rip-snorter in first halfs.

Yes, Runyan probably did fart really loud all through the first half.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

Two notes about air travel:

• Been stuck in a couple of long TSA lines (58 minutes at LaGuardia in April, but nothing approaching two hours) at American airports this spring, and I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the complaints about the inconvenience. That’s modern travel today. We live in a dangerous world, and you’re just going to have to accept getting to the airport two hours before your flight as a rule now. The alternative to significant inconvenience, I’m afraid, is much worse.

Given the fact Peter has a weekly section of MMQB dedicated to complaining about travel inconveniences, his condescension towards those who complain about waiting in line to get through security at an airport probably says more about him than any comment I could make would. It's nice how Peter understands know that even small inconveniences at the airport are worth the trade-off of ensuring each person flying through that airport stays safe. I wonder how long this message sticks with Peter?

• I was on an American Airlines flight from Kansas City to O’Hare the other day. A man walked down the aisle and into the row of his seat, and he bumped his head hard on the area right below the overhead bin, causing the underside of the bin to fly open. The guy was okay, looked at the yawning under-bin with wires hanging out, and figured he should probably just leave it alone. The flight attendant came by and said she’d alert maintenance. I’m thinking, Why don’t they just try to close the hatch themselves, before calling maintenance? But, you know, everything in the world can’t be left up to me. So we waited, and all the passengers boarded, and it was maybe 15 minutes before a maintenance fellow showed up. He took one look at it, carefully moved the under-bin piece back into place, made sure none of the wires would be pinched, and then closed it with a click. Took him seven seconds, max. But then, of course, “the proper paperwork” had to be filled out and signed off. Yes, the paperwork. The captain came on and said we’d be underway as soon as “the paperwork” was complete. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Fourteen minutes. “We’re just getting the paperwork completed, and we’ll be underway.” All in all, it was a 31-minute delay, to snap a bin shut and dutifully record it in some logbook.

One paragraph. It took one paragraph for Peter to go from "A little inconvenience is worth knowing you are a safe" to "I have no patience for any type of the delay that prevents me from getting to where I want to go in the fastest manner possible." I know Peter is railing against the paperwork involved, but just like TSA agents being present at security, this is about addressing and documenting a potential threat to the plane's security. It took one paragraph for Peter to turn away from his thought that the alternative to a significant inconvenience is much worse than that inconvenience.

It does sound ridiculous to have such a delay for a small issue. Peter misses the key issue here. The issue isn't whether the flight attendant can close the bin or not. Of course she could. Does Peter know where these wires attached to? Perhaps these were wires for the air that passengers can turn on during a flight, were part of the plane's lighting system or even were just wires that are required for some of the emergency buttons to light up. That's the point, that Peter has no clue what these wires do. One minute he's preaching patience through security, the next he just assumes wires hanging down from the under-bin can just be fixed by a flight attendant. It's just another day in the life of Peter King. He doesn't need to follow his own rules.

Ten Things I Think I Think

2. I think the four strangest things about the Bovada.com win-total over-unders for the 2016 season are:

c. Only five teams with a double-digit projection: Pats, Pack, Panthers, Steelers, Seahawks, all at 10.5.

Gregg Easterbrook would be PISSED if he saw these projections. I'm sure he would write, "How can a team win 0.5 of a game?" and then continue his ridiculous criticisms of these over-unders for the next two years until he mysteriously stops mentioning them like he never even brought it up after a reader points out why these over-unders do in fact make sense. 

d. Bovada likes Jameis and the Bucs, and the re-made Jags: 7.5 wins each … which is more than the over/under for the Eagles, Saints, Dolphins and Lions (7 apiece).


5. I think I did note that Brock Osweiler told our Jenny Vrentas he holds “no grudge” with the Denver Broncos, and while I’m not accusing him of not telling the truth, I retain the same feeling I’ve had since he left the Super Bowl champs for a lesser team: Something happened in Denver that Osweiler didn’t like and that led him to leave—the late-season benching perhaps. But something.

I would think the Brinks truck of money that the Texans backed up to Osweiler's door would make him feel better, but I guess not. Perhaps Osweiler is upset he spent four seasons on the bench, played fairly well when he got a chance, and then got benched for a noodle-armed quarterback who managed to throw for 539 yards over three full playoff games, while riding his defense to a Super Bowl victory and leading his offense to the worst performance by a winning team ever? Nope, I'm really not bitter, these are just the facts. I guess the fact the Broncos were historically bad offensively in the Super Bowl, then the team waited around for the well-past-his-prime quarterback who led the team to that historically bad performance to make a decision about retirement rather than give a "fair" contract offer to his backup who had waited four years for the opportunity and feels like he had proven he could do the job had something to do with the decision by Osweiler.

Maybe. That could be it. 

9. I think this will show my age. But no matter how quiet the Giants are about what Janoris Jenkins said to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post last week, about having five children with four women, none of whom is his wife, they cannot be happy with it. Said Jenkins: “When they were going with me, they understand, ‘OK, he’s a football player. He’s gonna have multiple women.’ That just comes with dating a football player.”

The Giants knew about Jenkins' children long before they signed him to a free agent contract this offseason. Isn't it weird how the Rams drafted Jenkins and Peter didn't really have much to say about the Rams drafting him when he has five children with four women? So the Rams, a team which Peter has significant ties, draft Jenkins and Peter goes out of his way to show the support system the Rams have in place for Jenkins to meet his parental obligations. The Giants sign Jenkins as a free agent and now all of a sudden Peter "shows his age" and thinks the Giants can't be happy about all these children he has. The Rams draft Jenkins, Peter shows how they have the support system for him, the Giants sign Jenkins and now all these kids are an issue. Weird how that works isn't it?

So, monogamy is either highly unusual or just wrong for a football player? 

Come on Peter. Jenkins' comments are dumb, but we all know how much ass professional athletes get. They travel all the time, they have money...it's not the high point of morality, but after covering sports for this long you have to ask this question?

The establishment Giants owners, the Maras and Tisches, have to be gagging at the thought that for their football-playing employees, it’s expected that traditional families are passe.

I'm sure Steve Tisch, a man who has been married then divorced twice and has children with both of his ex-wives, is really up in arms about how traditional families are now passe. And who can forget this little fucking nugget from THIS VERY MMQB?:

u. To Laura King and Kim Zylker King: Happy First Anniversary! I hope the next 74 years together are as great as the first was.


Whatever will Peter's overlords at NBC think about him showing off how a traditional family is now passe? I'm sure whoever employs Peter's daughter is gagging at the thought of their employee giving the middle finger to the idea of a traditional family. Peter is just a clusterfuck of contradictions and lack of thought sometimes.

And what the hell is up with Peter using "passe" several times in this MMQB? Is this his word of the day or something?

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

c. Chris Sale is 9-0, and he’ll have two more starts before June 1. Imagine being 11-0 through a third of the season. Dare we mention Denny McLain?

You just did. Also, Peter will write "dare we mention Denny McLain" and then point out exactly why his own thought about mentioning Denny McLain in relation to Sale winning 30 games is probably not necessary. 

d. Denny McLain’s the last pitcher to win 30 games in a year (31-6, in 1968), and he won his 11th game on June 16, 1968. So there’s that. Not saying it’s anything but a remote possibility for Sale, because McLain started every fourth day. Generally, Sale starts every fifth or sixth day.

Also, the most games Sale has started in a season is 31. So he would have to essentially win every start while also getting a decision in every start he makes to win 30 games. It's hard enough to get a decision in every start, much less win every start. So yeah, 30 games isn't happening. Dare you mention Denny McLain though? 

j. Mr. Ed died in 1970. I have a quiz for you: Do you know Mr. Ed’s real name? I mean, it wasn’t “Mr. Ed.” Mr. Ed was Mr. Ed’s stage name.

Plus, and this is a very important point, it's a horse. So the horse didn't even know it had a stage name. Why would anyone assume "Mr. Ed" was the horse's name simply because it appeared on a show called "Mr. Ed"? I don't assume Hugh Laurie's name is "Gregory House" because he appears on a show called "House."

(Peter King) "Here is a nugget of trivia for you: The direwolf on 'Game of Thrones' is not named 'Ghost.' In fact, that direwolf's name is 'I'm a Special Effect.' I bet you didn't know that."

k. Real name:

“Bamboo Harvester.”

Though a horse named "Mr. Ed" did publicity shots after Bamboo Harvester's death in 1970. So Mr. Ed's real name actually was "Mr. Ed" for a period of time. 

l. Not much of an NBA guy, as you all know.

And, as you all know, this means an observation about the NBA will immediately follow this comment. Peter can't not make an observation about the NBA without first distancing himself from the sport completely so his readers know just how stupid his following observation truly will be. 

But has any team ever been set up for a draft the way the Celtics are? They pick 3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58. There are 60 picks in the draft.

The odds of the Celtics ever using all of those picks is very, very, very low. Not to mention, the best two players in the draft also happen to be positions of need for the Celtics, so they are stuck with a perceived fall-off in talent after the first two picks, as well as a group of guards to choose from that doesn't appear to be an immediate need for them. Plus, the Celtics don't have depth issues. They have a very deep team, but they need a player they can build the team around and don't necessarily need more players. 

n. The Knicks once owned the seventh, ninth and 37th overall picks in the draft. Traded them all away.

Eh, not really. The Knicks never owned these specific picks in the 2016 draft. They owned two first round picks and a second round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, but it's not like they traded away the 7th, 9th, and 37th pick in the draft knowing those were the picks they had. The Knicks traded the 7th pick in 2011 in the Carmelo Anthony trade by allowing the Nuggets the option to switch 2016 first round picks. The Knicks traded the 9th pick in 2013 to the Raptors and the 37th pick has been through three teams and now I have a headache. My point is the Knicks didn't think they would be picking so high (low?) in the draft, so they didn't exactly trade these picks knowing where they would be picking in the 2016 NBA Draft. Still, it's awful team planning. No doubt. 

The Adieu Haiku

Ed, Wilbur: both dead.
Werder, don’t you dare change that
Twitter avatar

King, please for all that is wonderful and great in this life, in the name of the traditional family that you believe others want so badly even though they don't live the life of a traditional family and neither do you, stop writing haikus.

Dare to change that haiku.