When we last left Ted Kennedy cadaver stand-in Peter King, he was waxing poetic about the acting ability of Meryl Streep (he wears Versatility on dates with Brett!), and rhapsodizing about the late Ted Kennedy. Mentioning Kennedy, of course, started an instant PoFlaWa here, and will do so again. He uh, er uh, WAS A PINKO!
Anyway, this week in his latest batch of extruded stool, Peter has an announcement that will BLOW YOU AND AMANDA BOWERS AWAY. But before we get to that, an endorsement of something Peter did. Yes, an endorsement!
Though I shouldn’t, I still look forward to SI’s NFL Preview issue more than just about anything in the universe. And it always, without fail, comes two days later in the mail than any other SI issue I ever get, even the Swimsuit Issue, which should really be called the Cardboard Insert Issue. I know what you’re doing, mailmen of America. You think I don’t know you’re reading my issue, then delivering it to me after you got your bloody, filthy hands all over the thing? I’LL BE WATCHING YOU.
Anyway, King does a roundtable in this issue with Carson Palmer, Big Ben, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan, and Aaron Rodgers. And I really enjoyed it. So there. Good article. Lofty article. We can be fair here when we feel like it. Peter King wrote something I enjoyed, and would recommend to others. (By the way, the issue discloses that Peter King’s nickname around NFL offices is Relentless. I assume this nickname stems from his behavior in the face of cancelled hotel rooms and unanswered texts). Now, let’s get on with murdering the poor bastard.
The Most Persuasive Man in Sports sits across from me, in a new air-conditioned viewing room overlooking the Dallas Cowboys practice fields…
IT’S ME! THE DOUBLE GODDAMNED J! AND YOU WILL DROP THOSE PANTIES AND LET ME RUB A TUBE OF JIMMY DEAN ON YOUR TWAT!
(Jerry) Jones motioned to the two coaches’ towers on either side of the fields, with spiral white staircases leading up to windowed booths. “Coach Landry had those built,” Jones said. “That was good for then.”
BUT THAT WAS BACK IN THE FAGGOT AGE! YEEEEHAWWWWW!!!!
Jones was excited about Felix Jones, about a free-agent wideout named Kevin Ogletree, about the Deion-like athleticism of tight end Martellus Bennett, and about the all-business Wade Phillips.
“Oh Wade, you’re such a vigorous young go-getter! When’s your coffee break?”
Jones has been quiet about the (videoboard) issue, mostly, until now. In my conversation with him, he made a couple of things clear: He has no intention of raising the video board, nor does he think he should have to do it under any circumstances. And he thinks it’s important for the aesthetics of the $1.21-billion stadium, and for the commitment that Jones himself made to build the place, that the video board stay exactly where it is.
DON’T FUCK WITH MY FENG SHUI!
“I’ve had one league official tell me when he went through the stadium that it’s the most dramatic fan experience and use of technology he’s seen in 15 years.”
“Mr. Jones, that’s the first time a urinal ever cupped my balls.”
“When [NFL vice president] Ray Anderson was in the stadium, we talked about it,” Jones said, “and he said, ‘No one should pass judgment on the stadium ’til they see it.'”
You see, NFL. The stadium isn’t interfering with the game. It’s the GAME that’s interfering with the stadium. Punters should RESPECT the video board and its aesthetic value, as they would the sun. It’s the greatest fan experience in the world. Let’s not let a football game ruin any of that.
I interrupted him and asked if it really would be a big deal to raise the videoboard from 90 to, say, 105 feet above the field.
“You want the proper aesthetics, but aesthetics is really not the proper word here…
THE WORD I’M LOOKING FOR IS TIXASISHNESS!!!!
”It’d work fine. But ‘fine’ is the operative word.”
Raised that high, the board would merely be gaudy, rather than obnoxious. And that won’t do.
“Logic tells you if they punt the way they’re supposed to — ” meaning, off to the sides ” — the ball won’t hit the board. It won’t be a problem. The board creates something unique. In Green Bay, punters have to account for the snow and the wind. We don’t have that.”
THAT’S WHY I’M ALSO HIRING FLYING MONKEYS TO BAT DOWN PASSES!
Jones has done everything in his power to make sure pro football doesn’t become studio sport. He has invented the world biggest high-def TV, so that up to 100,000 people can look up and see a vivid picture
“I don’t want people sitting at home and watching the game on TV. I’d much prefer they come here and watch the game on TV.”
— a picture so clear it stunned Tony Romo a week ago. “I looked up at one point, and there I was,” he said. “I said, ‘Whoa! I should have shaved today.’ ”
Whoa! There’s still pussy juice on my chin!
(Richard) Seymour, I’m told, is angry about the deal.
Belichick: “Pray I don’t alter it any further.”
This is a deal for (Al) Davis to try to win now, obviously.
Oh, obviously. Richard Seymour was clearly the last piece of the puzzle there.
Michael Irvin gets a finder’s fee for Jesse Holley, the wideout who beat the competition on Irvin’s reality show to make the Cowboys’ 80-man camp roster. Holley was signed to the Dallas practice squad Sunday.
Little does Holley know that Irvin’s finder’s fee is a chance to stab you in the fucking neck with a pair of scissors.
Talked to Jim Schwartz Saturday.
Did you now? Did he sign your gloves?
“We’re not going to do much that’ll surprise anyone,” he said.
Oh, that sounds like the coach of the Lions, all right.
Move along, folks. Nothing to see here. There was not a single significant move of any sort by the 49ers. Sorry. Harris Barton’s not coming out of retirement. Nor is Randy Cross.
Well, that’s annoying. I was hoping a middle-aged, now undersized tackle would rejoin the club. That would have really given them a boost.
“The truth of the matter is … somebody is going to die here in the NFL. It’s going to happen.”
— Cincinnati’s Carson Palmer, in my quarterback roundtable discussion this week in Sports Illustrated.
I found that comment chilling, to say the least. The other quarterbacks at the table — Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers — didn’t dispute Palmer’s words, and when he said them, the table got very quiet. They know. They feel the same thing happening in this game, too. And the fact that this statement has gotten zero traction in the last four days tells me something that all of us should find frightening:
That no one bothered to read something you wrote?
People read that line and just said, Yup, someone’s going to die. We accept that. Now bring on football, dammit!
So you’re Peter King. Carson Palmer just gave you an ominous quote. It doesn’t get lots of traction in the media. Do you conclude:
A) Sometimes things don’t get picked up for whatever reason.
B) EVERYONE ON EARTH READ THIS SENTENCE AND COLLECTIVELY DECIDED IT’S OKAY IF AN NFL PLAYER DIES ON THE FIELD. WE ARE THE MOST UNCARING NATION ON EARTH.
C) Hey! Ross Tucker just ate my goddamn Utz chips!
I think you know the only logical choice there.
I gathered the five quarterbacks after their Friday round of golf at the celebrity golf tournament at South Lake Tahoe in mid-July. [If you think that was easy, for my next trick I’m going to pull a rabbit out of this MacBook Air.]
If you think it’s easy to call your secretary and have her arrange for you to hang out with five famous QB’s at a golf tournament in a luxury resort, you must not have a solid concept of what real, hard labor is. No wonder you only have a Dell.
It was a loose group.
It defined relaxed.
The light beer flowed,
The handcuffs came out…
and it was the kind of scene you wish could have lasted five hours, not one.
What with the trees and the talk.
“He told me the offense wasn’t simple enough for him. He wants a Pop Warner offense. He limited me in formations and limited me in plays. He’s been on my back all offseason.”
-Fired Buffalo offensive coordinator Turk Schonert, on the constraints he felt were put on him by coach Dick Jauron, in an interview with Buffalo TV station WIVB.
/immediately changes 9-7 prediction for Buffalo to 2-48
Hey, let’s watch Peter try and protect Brett Favre!
The block, of course, was reprehensible, because Favre could have seriously injured Wilson. But it was also one of those things that gets a player closer to his teammates.
If only Favre had pulled a deer rifle on Wilson. Then the bond could have been strengthened even further. You see, people, reprehensible acts are build chemistry. I don’t know what chemistry is, or even how it’s pronounced. But man, if you just take out a dagger and shove it into the eye of an opposing water boy, you have it in spades. If only Donte Stallworth were still allowed to play, the Browns would go 11-5.
I was in the Vikings locker room after the game, and the players clearly appreciated that Favre was blocking for Percy Harvin instead of ole-ing a phony block.
“Way to move us back 15 yards, Brett! We love you!”
It’s like a pitcher in baseball who “protects” his teammates by hitting an opposing batter.
No. No, it’s nothing like that. Pitchers hit batters as retaliation for the other team’s pitcher doing the same. Brett Favre wasn’t retaliating for anything Wilson did on that play. You see how that makes sense?
It might not make sense to people on the outside,
No, it doesn’t make sense in any context.
…but it’s part of the culture of the locker room. And Favre won over a few guys the other night by doing that.
Then the team I root for is aggressively retarded.
Think Josh McDaniels doesn’t carry Bill Belichick in his hip pocket every day?
Along with a piece of Bit-o-Honey!
In the team meeting room of the Denver Broncos are two huge pronouncements on either side of the video screen. They say the same thing.
DO YOUR JOB.
Did it have a Belichickian seal on it?
Two reasons why I’ll be looking to fly AirTran this season after returning from Dallas to Boston the other day on the off-the-beaten-track airline:
1. Ninety stations of free XM radio on board. Listened to Dan Patrick for two hours. Nice to see you’ve got all those ads, Dan. Love the Matthew McConaughey spot. “Beef. It’s what fer dinner.” And I didn’t know you had a 1967 car.
You know who else has a 1967 car? My friend “The Graduate,” which is a movie I talk to sometimes!
2. WiFi. My first Internet-on-the-airplane experience — $5.95 for a two-hour, 30-minute segment from Dallas to Baltimore. Not sure long-term whether that’s a good thing or bad. Got a lot of net-surfing stuff done, but I could have been writing instead of i-chatting about [Hideki] Okajima with Jon Heyman. Not to mention the salt-and-cracked-pepper kettle cooked potato chips. A pleasant flying experience, AirTran — and that’s a rarity these days.
SOMEONE OWES AIR TRAN AN APOLOGY. From January 2000:
Made it out alive late this morning, on something called AirTran.
Didn’t hear you praising their kettle chips back then, you ungrateful bastard!
Two personal points underscore the value Mark Richardson had to football in Charlotte. In 1989, I went on a trip for Sports Illustrated to several cities exploring franchises in the proposed new minor football league run by departed Dallas executive Tex Schramm.
My goal: to steal an errantly thrown football from any goddamn kid that got in my way.
In Charlotte, Mark and (Panthers owner) Jerry Richardson met our traveling party, and Jerry went to meet with Schramm at length. Mark took me out for a bite to eat and we ended up shooting pool until the wee hours.
And then, the oral sex.
Level-headed, very smart, sharp dresser.
No Uggs on that fellow!
I think, regarding the Vick penalty, that Goodell got it right. He has to go with his gut on this.
Or, he can reinstate Vick at the end of July, take a month or so to deliberate the length of the suspension, and then decide what is fair. That defines gut decision.
I think the thing that interested me most in the 80 minutes we spent with Goodell the other day was his comment about the future of football outside the United States. “The experience we’ve had over there [in London] … has been extraordinary … We’re going to continue to feed that, frankly. And we are considering the idea of playing multiple games in London as early as next year. And I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that we might have a franchise in London at some point in the future.” I’ve said it forever: When the current crop of owners thinks there’s no lucrative market left in the United States, they’ll turn to Europe or Mexico.
I think the London Jaguars has a nice ring to it.
Sure does! Just like Cape Town Cowboys, or Beijing Dolphins.
A window into the contract negotiations for a first-round draft choice. We see interaction between Katie Blackburn, the Bengal negotiator, and Alvin Keels, the agent for first-round pick Andre Smith. When the scene showing Smith signing the deal last week was shot, the kid looked like a house. Clearly overweight. You got the feeling he was going to be no help to the Bengals for a few weeks, until he lost 30 or 40 pounds. And when Smith signed, Keels shook the rookie’s hand and said something that I’m sure made owner Mike Brown retch when he saw it. “Congratulations,” Keels said to Smith. “You are now a multi-millionaire.”
Not, Congratulations. You’re now an NFL player. Or, Congratulations. Now let’s get out there and earn it.
Not, “Congratulations, from now on, you’re flying Air Tran any damn time you want.”
And when Brown saw Smith after the signing, he was characteristically blunt. “You’re not in good shape, from what I hear. You’ve got to get your nose to the grindstone,” Brown said. Great stuff. And of course, two days after signing, Smith broke his left foot.
And this is the part where Punter shoots himself in the face.
(Mike Zimmer’s) a smart, forceful, no-nonsense teacher (you see it over and over again through the lens of the NFL Films cameras) with an excellent defensive approach. I hope some owner sees him on this show and says, “That’s the kind of guy I’d like running my team.” I’ve known Zimmer for a long time, and I can tell you, he deserves a shot at the next level.
Because I know him!
(Paul Zimmerman) eats like a horse. What an appetite! He finished a huge cheeseburger and some fries, then began to pick at my Kung Pao chicken, and still had room for a good slab of the bread pudding. Just before Linda put him in the car for the trip home, I reached out to shake his hand and wished him well. He grabbed my hand and pulled me close to him and put his left arm around me and bearhugged me. He tried to say something to me, but I couldn’t understand. Never has he done that. If you know Zim, you know he’s not an emotional sort.
Usually, if he likes you, you beats you with a chain and says you’re overrated.
But he was Friday. Powerful moment. It’s hard to say what all he’s taking in, but whatever it is, he’s feeling emotions he’s never felt before.
“Love? I can’t chart that!”
How did I spend my last Sunday of freedom?
From your horrible, slave-like job that any red-blooded American man would kill for?
Read the Globe, the Herald and New York Times.
Why wasn’t Brett Favre on Page 1?
Spent 45 minutes on the elliptical trainer. Took a nap on the couch. Wrote a lot. Made a bunch of phone calls. Listened to “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” on NPR. Watched Jon Lester dominate the Pale Hose. Ate a terrific bowl of pasta.
Wrote some more. Tweeted. Wrote some more. Went to bed.
Incredible. It’s like a Hemingway novel. So concise. Not a wasted sentence. It’s a masterpiece, not unlike Peter’s “Day without driving” itinerary from months ago. This. This is prose. If you think this is easy, Peter will pull a naked picture of Favre out from his Macbook Air, of which he has several.
Coffeenerdness: There might not be a better cup of coffee in the world than Starbucks Italian Roast.
Peter one week ago: “Most of American coffee is swill.”
Peter this week: “The greatest coffee in the world is our most mass-produced variety!”
Haven’t had it in some time, maybe a year. And just the smell of it brewing Sunday was fantastic. Dark and delicious.
Like Derrick Mason’s chocolatey glutes.
Here in Boston, we had about 6 weeks of summer. Now it’s autumn. Got down to the low fifties overnight. God, you owe me a summer.
God to Peter: “MOVE THE FUCK OUT OF BOSTON, RETARD.”
OKAY, NEWS NEWS NEWS!
I’ll be starting a new column this week.
GTFO! Will there be poorly sequenced bullet points?
The column will last through the end of the playoffs and will be posted on SI.com each Friday. It’s going to be a look ahead at some aspect of what I find compelling about the weekend’s games, along with a few other departments. You’ll be able to plow through it a little easier than the Monday monster, though. The Friday column will be 1,000 to 1,200 words.
In advance of the first one, I’ve got a job for you: Name the column.
Friday Morning Loftiness
Fuck The Westin
A Weekend In The Deer Stand
Live From Dr. Z’s Feeding Tube!
Peter’s Kit Kat Break!
What’s With All This Traffic?
And That’s What I Read On The Train
I’ll take the best suggestion you send by Wednesday afternoon, and that’ll be the name of the Friday preview column this year.
What a country. What a democracy.
What an ass. And no, I’m not gonna FJM that column.