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Peter King Is Neither Rat Nor Hero, But One Word: Sad

By 04.09.12

When we last left chess-piecing sentence builder, Peter King, he learned the starling news that shooting ranges exist just hours away from where Trayvon Martin got shot. He wants to know why aren’t more people talking about this. PK also placed a lot of significance in the fact that John Elway’s dad and Andrew Luck’s dad worked together in the World League 20 years ago.

So what about this week? Do we have Woodward and Bernstein to blame for Peter’s career? Does your coffee smell waft as well as his? Answer: probably not, MAYBE. And does PK know of some things the Patriots could do to look smart? READ ON.

It’s rare that I begin with the Stat of the Week in this column, but there’s a method to my statness.

Clever wordplay, wacky punster. Now let’s hear about how Jeff Fisher leads in the league in meshology with 4.6 daily meshes according to your shared agent.

Part of the method is I’m so damn sick of all the other bounty-related crap that keeps oozing from the NFL’s pores, and I figure you must be too

That’s a feeling, not a method. Peter King must have excelled in science class.

Hypothesis: When mixed together, acids and bases will have a volatile reaction.
Steps: I guess I’m not really into the experiment because I had subpar watery coffee this morning plus voicemails aren’t invented yet so I have nothing of Brett Favre’s to comfort me late at night. I don’t see a practical application for chemistry in my day-to-day life and my guess is that you feel the same way.
Conclusion: I don’t know, I think.

The draft is usually America’s fourth-biggest sport (behind the NFL, major league baseball and the NBA), but the spate of bounty and Peyton Manning coverage has relegated the draft to a lesser pastime.

Wait, why is the draft a separate sport? Because it’s popular? That’s fucking retarded. Does this mean Mel Kiper is an athlete? If so, he probably helped himself by becoming close with every agent.

Stat of the Week

Teams with the most 2012 draft choices in the top 85 overall picks: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Miami, New England, St. Louis (four).

Teams with the least 2012 draft choices in the top 85 overall picks: New Orleans, Oakland (zero).

Were you aware that some teams have fewer high draft picks than others? It’s true! For, you see, teams are able to execute crazy things called trades, where they can swap picks for players, players for players, players for cash, draft picks for future consideration and DeAngelo Hall for a box of Pepper Jack Cheez-Its. Marvelous system, when run correctly. But one of the upshots is that it can create inequality in the amount of draft picks.

Next week’s PK lesson for readers who don’t like football: “Restructuring contracts, or why this dummy is now taking less money.”

The Raiders are actually doing things right, and Reggie McKenzie’s the reason why.

Finally, someone from Green Bay has arrived to implement Doin’ It The Right Wayology! Inexplicably letting Michael Bush walk was just the first step!

Think about it: An 18-year scout finally gets his chance to run a team and pick the players he wants … and he’s hamstrung by the worst cap situation in the league, and one of the worst draft-choice pools in NFL history. And one more thing: Peyton Manning just walked into his division.

Clusterfucks, Reggie McKenzie has them. Best of luck unclustering, sir.

“Never thought, ‘Woe is me,’ ” he said the other night from his office in Oakland. “Not once. Never thought I shouldn’t take the job because of things like that either. It never entered my mind. I just figured, ‘We’ll find players.’ I know how to find players. I’ve been in Green Bay when we found Mark Tauscher and Donald Driver late in drafts, and found Tramon Williams on the street, and signed Charles Woodson in free agency. It can be done.”

Jordy Nelson was stuck up a tree
Aaron Rodgers sold scrap metal to eke out a meager living under an assumed name in Wyoming
B.J. Raji worked as a tester in Taco Bell’s R&D department
Jermichael Finley was being a disappointing dipshit somewhere

Yet the Packers still found them. How? Well, those are things that you would know if you stuff The Right Way.

Also, amusing that Charles Woodson was available because he had left the Raiders. The worst part of taking over the Raiders must be knowing you can’t benefit from the dumb shit that the Raiders do.

I asked McKenzie if he wished he could have the Carson Palmer trade back. Last October, then-coach Hue Jackson dealt first- and second-round picks to Cincinnati for Palmer. “You can beat that doggone story ’til it’s worn out,” said McKenzie. “But I know this: We’ve got a quarterback we think can win the division and take us to the playoffs. Losing a one and a two doesn’t bother me one bit.”

WELP. So much for The Right Way. Have fun winning six games, Raiders fans.

McKenzie said he feels honored to be the first person in almost half a century other than Al Davis to be running the Raiders’ draft.

Basically it’s the first scene in every horror movie where the naive unsuspecting family is thrilled to have gotten this huge Victorian house on the edge of town for cheap before discovering that it’s haunted.

Analyzing who’s picking where, and who’s in control of this draft.

Most asshole pundits wait until after the draft to dispense knee-jerky grades and designations of draft winners that mean absolutely nothing because no one knows anything about how good a draft is for years. Not Peter King, though. He takes it a step further and hands out pointless awards before the draft is even held. That’s why he wins prestigious sportwriting awards and I drink myself comatose.

How smart would the Patriots be to deal No. 31 to a live-for-today team in the top 12 of this draft (Buffalo?) for a first-rounder next year?

I know! It’s not like New England has any pressing needs on the defense to address now or anything. They can just continue to stockpile and improve future picks because nothing makes Peter King giddier than the Patriots doing things that people think of as really, really smart. And sportwriters are impressed with few things more than they are with stockpiling draft picks. Even if the strategy hasn’t helped the Pats all that much in recent years, it’s the learned man’s way of appearing to win the off-season, even when you don’t.

[Sean] Pamphilon betrayed the wishes of a dying man and a former very close friend by releasing the tape; that much we know.

“He is a vile, irredeemable piece of shit who rapes newborns, films it and charges an exorbitant rate on baby rape fetish sites. Those are the facts.

But do I think I feel that maybe there might be more to him? What, exactly? Here are a half-dozen offhand guesses.”

The majority who have responded to me on Twitter (I’d say 60 percent)


have said Williams’ words were so reprehensible that they, in essence, gave Pamphilon sufficient reason to break his relationship with Gleason and release the audio to the public. He’s being seen as a whistleblower the public should applaud, not condemn.

Yeah, the public likes to pretend it likes whistleblowers (snitches with good intentions) but then don’t bat an eye when laws protecting them in corporate settings get relaxed or removed. Also: the public loves sensational quotes and video and doesn’t tend to care much about how it’s acquired.

By blowing the whistle, though, what has Pamphilon accomplished? He has shone a light on a dark story. He has earned a seat at what I expect will be a Congressional hearing on the bounty scandal. But Williams already had been suspended indefinitely by commissioner Roger Goodell. Williams already had said he would not appeal the suspension. The release of the audio didn’t affect the league’s probe, except perhaps to slam the door shut on any chance Payton — an innocent in Pamphilon’s eyes — had to get his appeal reduced. I got the distinct impression sniffing around the probe Friday that the audio corroborated the league’s investigation but did not advance the story.

On the other hand, it gave us quick and easy blog post fodder on a Thursday in April, and I appreciate that.

/ethically unburdened

Mike Silver has a decent point, however.

The mere discussion of what’s legally right is what turns my stomach the most.

Should’ve thought of that before you became butt buddies with Florio.

I’m tremendously conflicted on this story. I’ve thought about it for three days straight, trying to divine what’s right and wrong.

Moral ambiguity ruined the first weekend of the baseball season. Damn you, needless complexity!

I enrolled in college to study journalism in 1975, one year after the Watergate burglary and coverup forced Richard Nixon to resign the presidency. I’m all for the public’s right to know.

Journalism did an important thing when I was young, so that makes me extra journalisty!

J-schools got a big bump in enrollment post-Watergate because a bunch of shithead kids thought they could become important celebrity reporters like Woodward and Bernstein. Pop culture granted journalism a sense of glamor that it never deserved and has been clinging to desperately ever since. I’d love to have observed the moment when super idealist Peter King first decided “fuck this truth and news stuff, I wanna get paid half a million dollars to write about coffee and how much I hate flight delays”. It was probably the first board of county supervisors meeting he attended.

And in the end, I’m tempted to say the more clarity about this story the better, just so the public understands why Goodell acted with such an iron hand. But I can’t get over the way the material was acquired and made public. It’s just not right.

I cannot find it in my heart to quite call Pamphilon a rat, but I cannot call him a hero either.

Another swift NO DECISION from ethics arbiter Peter King. He would make an awesome judge. “Enough with these nauseating legal mumbo-jumbo. You all seem so nice. Can’t you both be right?”

Is it possible for Gregg Williams to stand up in front of a group of men, all of whom will know he advocated aiming for knees and wounded heads in fiery speeches, and reach them?

Probably, because every other coach they’ve had has done something close to that.

What about having Williams on your coaching staff, and going into free agency trying to recruit players? Money talks, yes. But will the presence of Williams be a free agent repellant?

No. See how easy that was? Give decisions a try, PK.

Goodell talked with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith during the week, apparently for quite a lengthy conversation. Whether they’ll be on the same page with any player suspension, I doubt. I can’t predict how many players will get suspended, but it seems logical to think middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma will get the lengthiest one and perhaps three or more defensive leaders will get lesser bans. But that’s based on common sense and nothing else. I do know this: Goodell hates bad news occupying front sports pages, particularly when it robs coverage from an event the league loves — the draft — and so I believe Goodell will rule on the suspension appeals today or Tuesday at the latest, and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t rule on the players this week.

I love when Peter gives a caveat about not wanting to guess about news, because you then get no fewer than eight separate guesses. He’s like an addict giving into temptation. “Well, okay, just one drink.” Before you know it, he’s about to pass out on the floor while explaining what he believes Roger Goodell’s inner monologue sounds like.

Joe Avezzano was always in search of another coaching gig, or another country song. And if he couldn’t find a coaching gig here, he’d go anywhere. That’s why he was in Italy when he died of a heart attack while on a treadmill Thursday, preparing to coach the Milano Seamen of the Italian league.

/sees team name
//tries to suppress laughter about a story of a man dying of a heart attack
////writes annoying travel note about bullet train ride to hell

Quote of the Week I

“We’ve got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill Frank Gore’s head. We want him running sideways. We want his head sideways … Every single one of you, before you get off the pile, affect the head. Early, affect the head. Continue, tough and hit the head … We need to decide on how many times we can beat Frank Gore’s head.”

–Former New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, in his pre-game speech to the defense before the Saints played San Francisco

Head affection, Gregg Williams has it.

Quote of the Week II

“This is the most heinous, egregious thing in the history of the this game … Not for one second would I sit in a room and listen to someone say, ‘We’re going to take out someone’s ACL,’ without standing up and saying, ‘What the hell are you talking about?’ ”

— Former NFL defensive tackle Warren Sapp, to Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa (Calif.) Times, concerning Williams’ speech the night before the San Francisco playoff game.

Sobering words of outrage from a guy whose Twitter handle is @QBKILLA

Quote of the Week III

“As much as we love the Brewers, unlike Jesus, they didn’t die for your sins. With regard to beer and brats on Good Friday, let’s just say that’s why God created the three-game series.”

— Milwaukee archbishop Jerome Listecki, telling Wisconsin Catholics to abide by religious teachings and avoid meat on opening day Friday — Good Friday, when Catholics are not supposed to eat meat — at Miller Park.


And now you know why Catholicism didn’t take all that well in the Midwest.

Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me

When is Demetrius not Demetrius? When it’s Demetress.

Ooh, that must be a lady Demet.

Free agent Demetress Bell signed with the Eagles to play left tackle last week. Only when he sat down to dinner with Philadelphia offensive line coach Howard Mudd, Bell explained to Mudd that his first name wasn’t really “Demetrius,” as had been listed as his name going back to high school — and perhaps before. He looked at his birth certificate entering college at Northwestern (La.) State, and saw his name really was “Demetress,” but just never said anything to anyone about it.

I love that this revelation is being made to Howard Mudd, of all people. Mudd probably told him he has no idea what his birth name is and that he only goes by Howard because it was the name on the ID he found on the vagrant he shived while riding the rails back in the ’40s. NAMES IS JUST AN INVENTION OF THE MASONS TO KEEP THE COMMON MAN FROM GETTIN’ UPPITY

(Bell’s life has been an odd one in another way. He was born out of wedlock to ex-NBA star Karl Malone and a fellow resident of Summerfield, La., Gloria Bell. Malone didn’t take an active role in Demetress’ upbringing, talking to him but once, according to a story by the late Allen Wilson in the Buffalo News in 2008.)

One conversation between Karl Malone and his kid:

Karl Malone: You know how to drive a rig?
Demetress: What? No, I’m only 6 year o –
Karl Malone: Nice knowing ya.

The Eagles have been a name-change bastion in recent seasons.

In 2006, tackle Tra Thomas — whose official name is William Thomas III and whose nickname was “Tra” — asked to be known by his real name, William Thomas. That lasted two years. In 2008, he asked to be called Tra Thomas again. Tra Thomas is retired now.

Also in 2006, the Eagles signed former Giants cornerback Will Peterson, whose full name was Williams James Peterson Jr. When he arrived in Philadelphia, he told the Eagles he wanted to be known as William James. That’s how he is known today. He is unsigned, having last played for San Francisco in 2010.

In 2008, defensive end Juqua Thomas changed his last name to “Parker” to honor his father, whose last name was Parker and who died in 2005. Juqua Parker left the Eagles last month and signed with Cleveland.

If they’re such a name-change bastion, how come he haven’t gotten an awesome new alias out of Michael Vick in a few years. I demand more Ookies and Ron Mexicos.

Tweet of the Week I

“ColtsFans,roster reshaping exciting n producing a very physical MONSTER!Things have always pointed toward #12 but eval process is OpenMinded”

— @JimIrsay, the Indianapolis owner

Is that another trademark Irsay riddle? It’s got the incoherence down.

Tweet of the Week II

“Padres-Dodgers broadcast returns from commercial, featuring shot of full moon over Petco. Vin Scully: ‘Can you believe we put a man on it?’ ”

— @dombonvissuto, editor Dom Bonvissuoto

“And that the Nazis live on on the dark side of it.”

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think if you think the New Orleans Saints’ signing of three free agent linebackers — two (Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne) for significant money, with Lofton a middle linebacker — had nothing to do with the almost certain impending suspension of Jonathan Vilma for his connection to the Saints bounty scandal, you’re delusional.

Hey look, Peter King responded to Jonathan Vilma’s criticism, only without actually calling him out and four days after I stopped caring.

4. I think the NFL needs to send Warren Sapp to the Rookie Symposium this year — and I’m serious — to explain how a player at the heights a decade ago could declare bankruptcy today. It’s the kind of cautionary tale players can learn from. I can think of only one word for Sapp’s story: sad.

quasi-Big Lead-ish take

If only I knew how to change the M to an S in this gif:

5. I think the funniest thing I heard in the last week was Jets owner Woody Johnson saying of the Jets importing Tim Tebow: “I think Mark will have no problem with this.” All quarterbacks love having a guy come in to take five to 15 snaps per game away from them. It’s amazing more teams didn’t think of bringing in Tebow, because certainly their quarterbacks would love coming off the field three or four times a game.

Uh oh! We’ve got biting PK sarcasm. If this were a tweet, he would added #EyeRoll #SMH

6. I think, as much as I’d love to see it, “Hard Knocks” and the Jets would be a stupid marriage. Not for HBO. For the Jets, if they’re serious about winning.

Didn’t the Jets go to the AFC Championship Game the last time they agreed to be on “Hard Knocks”? As much another Jets Hard Knocks would be awesome, sports trolls can’t miss a chance to decry potential distracting, no matter how limited their capacity to distract. Me-first glory-boyism wouldn’t be tolerated.

8. I think I like how progressive the Jaguars are being under new owner Shad Khan. I like the fact that they’re thinking about what they’re doing instead of just doing what everyone else in the league does.

What have the Jags done except have one of their defensive lineman get slashed in the eye at a club? PK respects the Jags sitting at home having a long good think about how they suck, meanwhile FUCK YOU JEFF IRELAND! SIGN SOMEBODY YOU FAILTARD!

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

a. Good for Bubba Watson, who may never have gotten to Butler Cabin in his dreams but who totally deserved to win The Masters.

Three cheers for the Matt Stafford of golf!

c. I love The Masters. That’s where the stands behind a green are not called “bleachers,” according to CBS, but rather “the patron observation platform.” Riiiiiightt.

Leave The Masters alone. They let a black guy attend this year.

e. That, people, is the ultimate thing you’ve got to cross off your sporting bucket list. The Masters. So much fun. In part because they don’t sell a zillion tickets. You can watch the tournament, walk from hole to hole, and not be crowded unless you’re following the lead group or it’s day four and there’s only one story that everyone’s watching.

“What’s that? YOU’VE never had the vice president of a sports marketing firm give you free tickets to the Masters despite the fact that accepting them is monstrously unethical, but that’s okay because I went to journalism school after Watergate. That’s too, too bad, really. I suppose it’s possible to enjoy the tournament on the television, if one must.”

f. Peter Hanson can putt.

Generic golf observation can be observed.

g. Congrats on the first goal of your NHL career, Stephen (kid brother of Brian) Gionta, to beat Ottawa Saturday in the New Jersey Devils’ season finale. And congrats, Ilya Kovalchuk, on your 37-goal season. Knew you had it in you.

h. Devils 48-28-6. Red Wings 48-28-6.

Whoa. Two teams in different conferences finished the regular season with the same record? Get out. That never happens.

I can’t even tell the point of that. Is PK trying to build a fate boner because the Devils and the Red Wings are destined for a rematch of the ’95 Final? That might be too muddled even for PK.

m. This is why Joe Maddon is so good. In the first two games of the season, Jeff Keppinger and Matt Joyce batted cleanup, and Tampa Bay beat the Yankees twice, scoring 15 runs. Joyce batted ninth in game one. Keppinger batted seventh in game two. Egoless team, chess-pieced well, with a terrific pitching staff (which helps).

Holy shit, chess-piece as a verb? So, so awful, but at least it distracts from goddamn baseball commentary.

n. I really want to see Bully. And I will. But I’m not looking forward to the two weeks of depression that would be sure to follow.

Of course PK wants to see it. It’s a forcefully DEEP AND MEANINGFUL movie about a problem that gets written about in The New York Times. We’re gonna have a three-week ponderous national conversation about bullying, as though no one knew it was an issue before, and it will be fucking horrible.

p. Red Sox closer ERA: 63.00 (Aceves, Melancon).

q. Orioles, Mets: 6-0. Red Sox, Yankees: 0-6.

Oh my GOD! That’s, like, less than a five percent sample of the entire fucking endless baseball season. Back up the truck, AL East powerhouses, it’s the O’s year!

By the way, didn’t the SAWX start 2-10 last year, only to rebound and claim the best record in the AL by July, then collapse again in September. How are you overreacting to –

Oh shit.

PK has me spending time shooting down his idiotic baseball commentary. I’ve truly lost.

s. RIP, Blair Kiel. I didn’t know him, but those who did say he was a good and decent man. Gone way too soon.

Blair Kiel, we didn’t quite hardly knew ye, but the people who knew ye said you were lofty, so anyway one word reaction: sad :(

t. Coffeenerdness: Easter morning, Starbucks Italian Roast. Not a better coffee smell in the world than that wafting through the home.

Easter coffee hunt: FOLLOW THE WAFT, KIDDIES.

u. Beernerdness: Hate to be boring, but I found a place in North Jersey that sells Allagash White, so that was my beer of choice this week.

It took him a while, but PK finally found one of the 8,000 places you can buy Allagash outside of Maine and that super hooked-up bar in Manhattan. Congrats.

There aren’t many beers I’ve had that are as good in the bottle as on tap — and I’d still prefer this one on tap, with a lemon — but Allagash White is very close.

Nothing helps three days of wrestling with the moral quandary of released bounty tapes like getting wasted on citrus beers. For the record, it’s better that PK obsesses now over Allagash, a fairly respectable wheat beer from a good brewery, than how he used to with Peroni, which is Eyetie piss drink. Still, about how many times will he find it in a random locale before realizing Allagash is everywhere. Minimum six?

TAGSFJM STYLEfun with peter kingxmas ape

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