When we last left half-marathoner-to-be Peter King, he was lamenting the loss of Matt Moore’s moxie and bitching about his beloved Acela express.
So what’s on tap for this week? Will Peter awe us with Danny Woodhead’s college statistics? Will he update us on his training for the New Hampshire Half-Marathon? Should Papelbon be Boston’s closer next year? MAYBE. Read on.
SEATTLE — Leon Washington is the gift that keeps giving.
He’s like the Coffee of the Month Club from Seattle’s Best.
ATLANTA — Falcons pull off the upset at New Orleans, and I asked coach Mike Smith about what I figured must have been a raucous, hip-hip-hooray time in the locker room after the 27-24 overtime win.
If you close your eyes and imagine you can actually see Peter King swaying his head back and forth to the stylings of Naughty By Nature. He really can’t get enough of that 90’s station on his satellite radio.
PITTSBURGH — The quarterback America’s rooting for, Charlie Batch, gets his biggest win in years. The quarterback who will be the big story a week from today, Ben Roethlisberger, chops wood. Literally.
“Idle hands are the devils play thing. AND BEN’S MOST FAVORITE MOVIE. HARF HARF HARF!”
This week, [Vick will] face his mentor and local lightning rod, McNabb, in Philadelphia. Go figure how each man will be received when Washington takes the field.
He says that as if it’s somehow difficult to predict.
When I got [Leon] Washington on the phone Sunday night, I was just sitting down to eat dinner after our show at NBC.
“Great to hear from you, Leon, but I just sat down to eat.”
“You called me, Peter.”
Tony Dungy wanted a word with him.
Of course he did. That asshole has something to say to everybody.
“Remember what we talked about at the combine the year you came out?” Dungy asked.
Not to keep you hanging, but in tomorrow’s column, I’ll update you on what Roethlisberger’s been doing while suspended.
He already told us that he’s been chopping wood, but in tomorrow’s column he’ll identify that wood.
Spoiler alert: it’s oak.
1. Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia. Seriously.
2. Charlie Batch, QB, Pittsburgh. Sentimentally.
2. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis. The hiccup at Houston was more the fault of a defense that got steamrollered by Arian Foster. Manning still makes everyone around him better.
Thank god it’s always somebody else’s fault when the Colts lose. And Peyton really does make everyone around him better. Except for when he forgets to make the offensive line better and they cost him a game he deserved to win.
The Fine Fifteen
1. Pittsburgh (3-0). OK, Charlie Batch. You knocked off the Bucs. Now you get the Ravens at the Ketchup Bottle Sunday. That’ll be a bit more of a challenge.
OK, Peter King. You successfuly identified the best team in the league through three games. Now you have to pick out the next fourteen without referencing a condiment. That’ll be a bit more of a challenge.
3. Atlanta (2-1). Beat the Super Bowl champs at the Super Bowl champs. Only loss is an overtime loss to the Steelers. Pretty good recipe for success.
But like most recipes, it could use a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
7. Indianapolis (2-1). You know how you always hear quarterbacks say it takes so long to mesh with new receivers and get good chemistry with them? Not Peyton Manning. He pulls undrafted Michigan State free-agent wideout Blair White up from the practice squad and the kid catches three balls for 27 yards, one for a touchdown, in his first game.
What, you didn’t know that Peyton Manning has full control of the team’s roster? You probably don’t have his phone number either.
10. Cincinnati (2-1). I remember the days when the Bengals played ugly all the time.
I don’t remember the days when they didn’t.
Offensive Players of the Week
Quick note about this category this week. I could name Vick, Sanchez (six TDs, no interceptions in the last two weeks), Kyle Orton and Philip Rivers very, very easily. I thought Rivers was huge in defeat, as was Orton. But I’m going with three other players who distinguished themselves over the weekend.
Thanks for explaining that other people also played well. Were it not for this note I would have never thought it possible.
Jeff Garcia, QB, Omaha Nighthawks. No, I’m not going to make the United Football League a regular part of The Award Section. But Garcia, 40, deserves some praise here for rallying Omaha to victory in the first game in its history, 27-26 over Hartford.
Gay Zorro lives!
He threw the winning touchdown pass to ex-Packer Robert Ferguson, a 12-yarder, with six seconds to go, in front of 23,067, a sellout, at Rosenblatt Stadium, the longtime home of the College World Series. “That’s the way to start a franchise,” coach Jeff Jagodzinski said.
Right before interviewing for a job with another franchise.
Lots of NFL folk in this game. Garcia (23-39, 226, three touchdowns, no picks) outdueled Josh McCown (22-25, 264, 2-0). Ricardo Colclough’s punt return and Ahman Green’s runs helped set up the winning score. Colclough, Nick Griesen, Stuart Schweigert and Cato June were among Omaha’s leading tacklers.
It’s a veritable who’s who of players I stopped thinking about years ago. Keep in mind, Peter could have named Mike Vick as one of his offensive players of the week (very, very easily, I’m told), but then he wouldn’t get to prattle on about the fucking UFL.
Special Teams Players of the Week
Kevin Huber, P, Cincinnati. Of the many great special-team performances Sunday, why pick a guy who averaged 38.2 yards per punt? Because Huber, a second-year punter from two miles away from Paul Brown Stadium — from the University of Cincinnati — dropped five of his six punts inside the 20, including two gems…That is the unseen story in so many games, the field-position the punter hands the offense.
Because, as you know, punts are typically taken during commercial breaks.
I bet I’ve heard Jones say “quite candidly” 300 times. He loves saying it.
“Quite candidly, I fucked a stewardess in the ass last night.”
Tweet of the Week
“Wow. From his Wikipedia page: ‘Kareem Michael McKenzie (born May 24, 1979) is literally human garbage for the New York Giants …’ ”
— NJ_StevePoliti, columnist Steve Politi of the Newark Star-Ledger, 63 minutes after the Giants lost to Tennessee, and McKenzie, the Giants’ right tackle, committed two personal-foul penalties for New York.
That’s good research, Peter.
Politi’s spot on. There’s a Wikipedia sports terrorist out there.
The next thing you know they’ll be constructing a mosque adjacent to Eli Manning’s Wikipedia page.
In the last seven days, I’ve been on Southwest, AirTran, the Amtrak Acela (twice); I’ve been stranded in Baltimore for four hours, been in Houston, in Manhattan … and I have these five questions:
This has to be good. Let’s see if I can answer them.
1. Why does Southwest have different seat belts than every other airline?
Southwest flies the Boeing 737 exclusively. Other airlines fly this plane as well, but they typically fly a similar model from rival AirBus, or other Boeing models. For more information, check out Wikipedia. UNLESS THAT’S WHAT THE TERRORISTS WANT!
2. Why, when a child is crying that endless, bloodcurdling cry on an airplane, does a parent over and over say “Shhhhhh, shhhhhh,” instead of taking the baby out of the seat, putting the child over his/her shoulder and rubbing or gently patting the baby in the back — anything to change the dynamic or to try to coax a burp out of the poor kid?
Unlike you, Peter, babies cry for reasons other than gas.
3. Why could I find the New York Post, New York Times, New York Daily News, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Investors Daily at the Hudson News outlet in the Baltimore-Washington International Airport … but not the hometown Baltimore Sun?
Because Hudson News is a national chain that sells popular national newspapers at airports across the country. Also because who the fuck reads the Baltimore Sun? If you’re desperate I’m sure there’s a vending machine somewhere. Pick up a copy of the Cumberland Times-News while you’re there.
4. Why, if a flight is scheduled to leave at 10:15 a.m. out of Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport, and your plane backs away from the gate at 10:15 a.m. and gets out to the runway on a cloudless, windless day (last Thursday), and it isn’t the morning rush hour or the afternoon rush hour, does it then take 32 minutes to get up in the air? Atlanta’s infamous for this, in all weather.
It’s probably a mixture of incompetence and understaffing. You may not have heard, but there’s quite a shortage of air traffic controllers out there.
5. Why don’t more of us take the train, and why doesn’t Washington invest in the rails across the country to give more of the country, and not just the northeast corridor, the pleasure of the Acela, with speeds up to 150 mph between Boston and Washington?
A ONE-WAY ticket from Union Station (DC) to Penn Station (NYC) on the Acela leaving this Friday at 6 am costs $135, with a travel time of 2 hours and 46 minutes. A one-way ticket on the Bolt Bus leaving on the same day at 8 am (scheduled to arrive at noon) costs $21.
Maybe you meant to ask why more of us don’t simply expense the cost of our exorbitant train tickets.
Please go to our website, http://www.runpeterkingrun.com, for the story if you’ve missed it, and for a more important reason: to contribute to my causes for the race, Feed the Children and Wounded Warrior Project. I’d really like all of you to feel the pride of funding one semitrailer full of food and home supplies for 400 inner-city families somewhere in the United States … and it costs $7,500 per trailer to do that.
Oh, I’ll donate. Assuming you’re willing to run the whole thing in a pair of these bad boys.
At this point Peter starts regaling us with the story of how he got to go for a run with fellow Nutmeg Stater, and former Boston Marathon champ, Amby Burfoot. I’ll skip over that whole passage, save for this one little taste.
When we finished, I had a kick left for the last 300 or 400 yards, and I felt good about that. We got a coffee in the Starbucks at the Sheraton — the same hotel that houses the marathon runners every April — and now I was the running nerd, needing affirmation from one of the greatest American runners ever. I didn’t know how to ask it, so I just blurted it out:
“What’d you think of me as a runner?”
“You look smooth, comfortable,” he said. “In eight miles, I never heard you breathe.
“I was supposed to breathe?!”
You’ve got a very economical stride. You don’t look like you’re working hard. You’re smooth. You’re an athlete.”
Peter King: Athlete
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think this is what I liked about Week 3:
c. What a run by Rashard Mendenhall, his spinning, pirouetting move against the Bucs.
I’m pretty sure a piroutte is nothing more than a gay spin.
k. The Saints’ decisiveness in bringing in some kickers this week for auditions. Can’t hold the seat forever without performing, Garrett Hartley, not after missing gimmes.
They haven’t made an actual decision yet. But they’re certainly thinking about it.
2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 3:
b. If you won’t trust your kicker, Dallas, and you certainly don’t when you won’t let David Buehler attempt a 46-yard field goal and instead go for it on fourth-and-two, then why didn’t you cut him last week and sign a trusted vet?
With all of these “trusted vets” out there waiting to be signed it makes you wonder how guys like Buehler and Hartley got their jobs to begin with. I guess when he says “trusted vets” he means “guys who have been previously deemed too ineffective to contribute.”
c. When Eli Manning looks at his ridiculous left-handed interception in the red zone in the film room today, he’ll puke.
Eli’s mom told him it’s more polite to call it “upchucking.”
e. First Drew Brees interception in 261 days and 242 attempts. Come to think of it, there’s a lot to like about that stat — and the fact that the Saints’ first turnover was in the ninth quarter of the season.
That’s good list makin’, Peter.
f. You’re staring down your targets, Jimmy Clausen.
10. I think these are my non-NFL thoughts of the week:
g. I’m not saying my wife and I went to a nice restaurant in New York the other night or anything, but when she put her purse on the floor by her chair, a server hustled over, picked up her purse and put it on a velvet footstool.
The menu was made of rubies!
i. Missed The Office the other night. I thought Michael was off the show. What’s the story? Does he have one more year?
Come on, that’s not even a thought. Here.
j. A big thanks to Liz Melby and the bartenders at the Harpoon Brewery in Boston for the runpeterkingrun.com fundraiser Thursday night. A more selfless, generous group of people you’ll never meet, and my media panel (Albert Breer, Ron Borges, Ian Rapoport) and I are grateful for the hospitality. And the Raspberry Hefeweizen, of course.
Drew will be back next week, God willing.