When last we left bad gullet person, Peter King, he was explained the old axiom that it takes a village to defeat Peyton Manning. It’s wisdom that’s been passed down by generations and various cultures. But what about this week? Well, Peter has an imaginative new name for the Redskins’ receiving corps and he wants to do genetic testing on the Ravens’ kicker, but first:
Haha. Stow that filth-flarn-filth or else you’ve seen the last holy nugget Tony Dungy will ever share with you until you atone for your sin of imprecation.
Anyway, let’s get going. Much awfulness awaits.
What a day. What a weekend.
Whataburger. What a feeling when we’re dancing on the ceiling.
And it’s not over: Game of the Century(Link) tonight in Seattle
Bad stadium puns right off the bat. Gonna be that kind of week, huh?
Saints (9-2) at Seahawks (10-1), and the only thing up for grabs is home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs when both of those teams view the road as kryptonite.
No, actually, this game does not directly determine homefield advantage in NFC. There are still other teams alive for the top seed and whichever team wins tonight can still fuck it up.
Lots to cover before then, including:
1. If the season ended today, Houston would have the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Question is, who will be coaching Teddy Bridgewater?
Mike Zimmer or PK riots.
2. An officiating snafu roiled the end of the Sunday night game. Just what the NFL wants: Robert Griffin III’s trying to redeem himself, and the Monday morning headlines are all about Jeff Triplette.
Well if the NFL didn’t want that, they should have fired that shithead years ago.
3. Nick Foles will never throw an interception the rest of his life.
And that’s important because Nick Foles will actually live 10 lives and none of them will feature interceptions. When the cities of man are bust dust there will just be Nick Foles and no interceptions.
4. Jacksonville’s 3-1 in the last month. The bronze statue of Gus Bradley outside EverBank Field will be unveiled this morning at 11.
Next to the Tebowtard protest.
6. So You’re Telling Me There’s A Chance Dept.: Tom Brady set the single-season touchdown record of 50 in 2007. After 12 games that year, he had 41. After 12 games this year, Peyton Manning has 41.
I don’t see any villages remaining on the Broncos schedule, so this TD record is a stone-cold lock.
8. The Mike Tomlin discipline for his bizarre or calculated (doesn’t matter which) pas de deux on the field in Baltimore Thursday will be discussed inside 345 Park Avenue today, with a decision likely by Wednesday. I expect a heavy fine, but no suspension or loss of draft picks. What has to happen is real enforcement in the six-yard white-striped “No Fly Zone,” which coaches and players shouldn’t be in during game action. It’s a penalty. Call it.
Don’t make Goodell take a page from Bezos and deploy an armed squadron of sideline drones to each NFL game.
On second thought, no, do it. That must be the way for Schiano to go.
Give me a few paragraphs before we get to the current events of Week 13.
Just get your bullshit filler out of the way. We all could without the rhetorical request for self-indulgence before you do it anyway.
Among the educational experiences I’ve had in 30 seasons covering the NFL, what I did between Nov. 11 and 17 ranks with spending a week in the life of the Green Bay Packers in 1995, being embedded on a four-day Dallas Cowboys pre-draft scouting trip in 1991, and being inside the Denver Broncos team meeting the night before the AFC title game eight years ago; it’s a bit ahead of draft-room experiences in many places, as recent as last April in St. Louis.
“You know, there are a lot of great experiences by MEEEEEEEE in the course of a grand career that I’ve put together for myself if I do say so, which I do. To know how special this is (but really, how could you, peasant?) I must list all the other great things I’ve done that pale in comparison to this new thing.”
Last month, I trailed Gene Steratore’s officiating crew—one of 17 seven-man officiating teams in the NFL—for a week, for a three-part series that will begin Wednesday at The MMQB. I’d have to put this story right behind that Packers week. That week was a trip. Mike Holmgren had to spend 20 minutes one day chastising two rookies for keeping a lion in their apartment and telling them that if the lion wasn’t gone by the next Monday they would be.
“WHAT ADVENTURES I’VE HAD! You should have seen the look on the lion’s face. I joked, ‘Cut already? What a country’ The rookies didn’t get it. Big surprised they didn’t last in the NFL.”
But this week with the officials … this was unique.
This was tantric.
Throughout the week—Monday evening and Tuesday morning with Steratore, Tuesday night with field judge Bob Waggoner, Wednesday with back judge Dino Paganelli, Thursday with head linesman Wayne Mackie, Saturday at the officials’ pregame meeting at their hotel and Sunday at the Ravens-Bears game—I kept saying to myself, I didn’t know that. Well, no kidding. We don’t know anything about the lives of officials or the inner working of the jobs they do.
Also you possess an empty brainpan.
So the Eagles are tied for the lead in the NFC East with Dallas this morning at 7-5—though Dallas holds the tiebreaker — and Philadelphia can thank Nick Foles for that. Since wresting the job from an injured Mike Vick a month ago, the Eagles are 4-0 and Foles has been close to perfect. For the season, he’s a 63 percent passer with 19 touchdowns and no interceptions. It’s December, and that’s right: no interceptions.
Well, no interceptions that have stuck, anyway.
It’s almost as though some interceptions are entirely caused or avoided by sheer luck. WEIRD!
Haha, just kidding, Tom Brady owns throw interceptions if the wind causes it or a receiver runs a bad pattern. NFL sycophants said so!
I wondered if Foles looks at his gaudy stat line, ever, and whether he ever thinks, I can’t throw an interception. Wouldn’t that thought naturally occur to you? It would to me. Maybe that’s why I’m not an NFL quarterback. Well, that, and a few other physical reasons.
Nonsense. If Jared Lorenzen and JaMarcus Russell could, your fat ass has no excuse.
Foles is not an athletic quarterback, which everyone can see.
But this game showed he has the kind of functional athleticism that works even against an aggressive and quick rush such as Arizona’s.
Yes! Blessed with deceptive white man speed. Oh, and racist white man receivers, who PK doesn’t forget to defend once again later in the column.
Foles said he appreciates how magnanimous Vick has been, both in the quarterback room and publicly; Vick has said Foles should keep the job because he’s playing so well. “One of the most dynamic quarterbacks in NFL history is also an incredible teammate,” Foles said. “He helps me every day.” He thinks he’s proven you don’t have to a Vick to succeed in the Chip Kelly offense, and who can argue with him?
Considering that Michael Vick never succeeded in Chip Kelly’s offense, it didn’t really take Nick Foles to prove that.
What? Another officiating debacle?
There’s one nearly every week in the NFL so the cutesy feigned surprise shtick is really appreciated here.
Washington did quite enough to lose to the Giants 24-17 at FedEx Field, and probably would have lost without striped impediments; their receiving corps ought to be nicknamed The Bad Hands People.
But referee Jeff Triplette’s crew had far too big a role in the final Washington drive of the game, and far too big an influence on the outcome.
That’s typical PK equivocation gold. But back to The Bad Hands People. Holy shit, that’s Unfrozen Caveman Sportswriter talk. PK is so lazy he’s devolving.
After the game, in a pool report with a local writer, Triplette said he felt it would have been “an unfair advantage” to Washington to stop the clock and get the down situation straight with his crew and the chain gang.
Good point. You have to send the message that delays to the game will not be tolerant. Oh, except for the 300 TV timeouts.
My biggest question: In the final two minutes of either half, instant replay can buzz down to correct or adjudicate a spotting of the ball. Why not do so in these types of cases, especially when there’s obvious chaos on the field? As for Triplette’s saying stopping the clock would have created an unfair advantage for Washington: Does that mean an officiating crew never can call for a measurement when the offensive team is out of timeouts? It’s a spurious contention by Triplette; yes, it would have advantaged Washington to stop the clock. But two officials on the crew think it’s a first down, and one has motioned the chain crew up the field. Getting order restored and giving clarity to chaos is far more important than the 40 or so seconds the game would been paused to get the situation right. By the crew’s failure to clarify what was going on, Washington’s play-calling was bastardized by the obvious impression that it was a different down than what it was.
So obvious that even PK has sound reasoning about what should have been done. For shame, Triplette.
The NFL was chagrined last January when 14 consecutive coach and general manager vacancies were filled by white men. So this fall a committee of eight former coaches and GMs was formed by the league to address the issue with league executives Robert Gulliver and Troy Vincent. As I reported on NBC last night, the committee finalized its plan to address minority hiring last week by compiling a double-digit list of candidates for head coaches and general managers, going beyond the usual suspects. In essence, the league will provide the kind of service teams have been buying through headhunting firms: If an owner calls wanting to know whom the top offensive prospects are, the league will have a list of prospects to discuss with them, and will make available the men they’d want to discuss the openings with anyway—such as former coach Tony Dungy or former GM Bill Polian, two of the eight committee members, or any of those who have been in the hiring chair before on the committee.
Good thinkin’, commish! Sounds progressive! Except…
Of course, owners don’t have to use the committee’s recommendation. Who knows if any will? Owners will do what owners want to do.
Ah, so it’s a half-hearted and mostly toothless means to correct a serious problem? I thought the NFL saved those for the concussion issue.
2. New England (9-3). Bill Belichick set the record for “Most Times Over-Praising a Team On a Nine-Game Losing Streak, 21st Century Category” last week in advance of the Patriots’ game against the Texans.
Whatever works. Turns out he was halfway right, as the 34-31 survival show illustrated.
That’s right. If Belichick hadn’t soothed the Texans’ killer instinct through the use of compliments, the Patriots would have been doomed for sure. There’s just nothing he doesn’t think about.
4. New Orleans (9-2). The Saints haven’t won outdoors in seven weeks. They’re playing outdoors tonight, in Seattle. Earplugs optional.
I thought the “Saints can’t win outside a dome” thing was dispelled when, you know, they won a Super Bowl in a non-dome stadium, but who am I to stand in the way of out narratives being recycled?
6. San Francisco (8-4). Niners versus Rams, 2012: St. Louis wins the series, 1-0-1, by a composite score of 40-37. Niners versus Rams 2013: San Francisco wins the series 2-0, by a composite 58-24.
A clearly inferior team can’t consistently beat a stronger opponent? WEIRDLY NUTTY!
12. Dallas (7-5). For years, some in the league have grumbled that the Cowboys have an unfair advantage by playing on Thanksgiving at home every year. That’s true; playing at home in an exceedingly short week when the other team always travels is a big edge, as is what Dallas has now: the ability to give its players four full days off, plus an extra day before playing a Monday-nighter next week at Chicago.
One of the saddest commentaries about the Lions is that they enjoy the same advantage and yet no one cares because it’s the Lions.
13. Baltimore (6-6). Current sixth seed in the AFC. My only question about the Ravens this morning: In the last two games, Torrey Smith has eight catches for 20.9 yards per catch, and Jacoby Jones eight catches for 19.5 yards per catch. Can you explain to me why Baltimore has run 124 plays in the last two games and attempted only 27 throws to these two deep threats?
Because Flacco has mostly struggled with the deep pass this season (going into last Sunday he was 4-for-17 with an interception on throws of 30 yards or longer) and that’s the strength of both of those receivers.
Fuckin’ nutty, am I right?
The Award Section
Usually skim over this section as it’s mainly observations anyone could have from watching highlights of the games, but I include it this week because it contains a…
CEO of the Week
At last, the white collar workers of America get their due!
Laura Sen, chief executive officer, BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. Bucking the trend of monster stores opening on Thanksgiving, Sen was one of a few executives who chose to shutter her 201 stores in 15 states until Friday at 7 a.m. “Call me old-fashioned,” Sen told The Boston Globe. “But I think Thanksgiving is a lovely holiday and not the time to be shopping.” You are old-fashioned, Ms. Sen, and kudos to you for it. Family time on Thanksgiving. What a concept. Is that new?
Isn’t BJ’s a membership-only store anyway? It’s like poor people and random packs of the public are gonna storm the door anyway. Just like PK to adore a rich lady grandstanding for no reason.
Quotes of the Week
“I’m sounding a bit like a broken record, but sometimes you gotta gut out a win, however ugly it is.”
—Andrew Luck, Indianapolis quarterback, after winning ugly over the Titans 22-14.
A trite sentiment from a source who admits to saying it all the time? QUOTE OF THE WEEK!
“There will be an RG4.”
—Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III, assuring reporters about his reproductive organs two days after he was kicked hard in the testicles, accidentally, by San Francisco pass rusher Aldon Smith.
And with him, RG4-12 jokes by hacky Twitter parody accounts of future generations.
Factoids of the Week That May Interest Only Me
The Denver Post has hired a Marijuana Editor.
Ricardo Baca, a blunt-speaking man
will be in charge of covering the rollout of the new recreational marijuana law in Colorado on Jan. 1. In an only-in-America Q&A last week, Baca was asked by the Post, which sounds like a hip joint, if he plans to have a pot critic covering the local reefer scene.
OH HO HO, loogit all the wacky tobaccy puns. These far-out Wavy Gravies and their ganja! Shine on, you lofty diamonds.
His answer: “We are absolutely hiring a freelance pot critic. And a freelance pot advice columnist. And a freelance video game writer.”
What a country.
When marijuana is legalized, are we gonna get a Weednerdery section from PK?
Missouri won the Southeastern Conference East title this season. Auburn won the SEC West.
Auburn, Ala., home of Auburn, is southeast of Columbia, Mo., home of Missouri.
Say you drew a straight line north from Auburn, then a straight line west, to get to Columbia. The East champion would reside 445 miles west of the West champion.
Yeah, sometimes locations of teams don’t adhere the name of the division in which they reside. FUCKIN’ NUTTY! Good thing the NFL has nothing like that! I mean, other than Dallas being in the NFC East despite being west of St. Louis.
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
Didn’t travel for Thanksgiving. Had the quietest Thanksgiving in some time, writing half the day and eating/footballing the rest. I did duck out just before 7 a.m. to buy a couple of newspapers in Manhattan, and I saw something I’d never seen before in my two years living on the East Side: A light changed to green on Second Avenue, and by the time it was red again (maybe 35 seconds), no cars had passed. That’s when you know it’s a holiday in the city.
Or an apocalypse.
As for me, I worked 14 hours on this site and ate my dinner while frantically writing some bullshit or making a GIF of Tony Romo looking stupid. I will be thankful for death.
Tweets of the Week
“What’s left of what used to be the NFL sucks.”
—@DennisDMX, former Monday Night Football announcer Dennis Miller, late in the early games Sunday.
You know, Roger Goodell is such a nice man that he’ll leave you time for one last obscure reference as he chokes the life from your body.
“If Manny Ramirez is called for unnecessary roughness after the play, is that just Manny being Manny? #FOAud”
—@FO_ASchatz, Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders, after the Denver center (not the former home-run-hitting outfielder) was called for a personal foul against Kansas City in the closing stages of their game Sunday.
As bad as this joke is, it might have been at least excusable when Ramirez debuted in the NFL. Which was seven years ago. So not only was a lazy, tired gag made by a Masshole who shares PK’s love of the Red Sox, but it’s the millionth such shithead to do so.
“The problem with quotes on the internet is that you never know if they’re true. -Abraham Lincoln”
—@Lecrae, the hip-hop artist and record producer.
I am not sure exactly why, but I find this tweet perfect.
It might be because you find the most lazy and hackneyed Twitter jokes to be side-splitting. MAYBE.
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think this is what I liked about Week 13:
a. Justin Tucker, in 32 career games including playoffs, has made 93 percent of his field goals (63 of 68). That says two things: Tucker should be DNA tested for the clutch gene.
A much better chromosomal defect than the Peter King gene, which is just another name for cri du chat.
And the NFL needs to do something to make field goals harder.
Because it’s not like there was a game that nearly ended in a tie yesterday because of multiple missed field goals yesterday.
But I’ll play along. Let’s release rabid dogs at the snap on FG attempts. Does the kicker nail the football or the dog? DEPENDS ON HOW MUCH YOU WANT IT!
b. I believe I’ve made that point before.
Oh, did the world not rush to fix something based on your vague and unhelpful gripe? What gall!
e. Bill Belichick Is Not Playing Dept.: Stevan Ridley (2012 rushing yards: 1,263), fumbler, was a healthy scratch for New England at Houston.
For it’s only Grumblelord who possesses the ruthless competitive fire and disregard for running backs that would have him bench a running back who has four lost fumbles in six starts. No other coach would dare! Mike Shanahan surely wouldn’t have Ridley’s balls clips for such errors.
n. Best decision Chip Kelly’s made this year: Giving Riley Cooper another chance.
Oh my God, this fucking dipshit. PK left Chip Kelly’s career for dead at the end of September. He’s finally coming back to praising Kelly only after it’s become obvious that his team is going to vie for a playoff spot and the nicest fucking thing he can say about him is that he kept a racist asshole on the roster in the face of public pressure to release him. Never mind that the main reason Cooper survived that incident with the team is because it coincided with several other injuries to Eagles receivers, most notably Jeremy Maclin. Cooper has had a fine season, but he’s on pace for just under 1,000 yards receiving in a Top 10 passing offense. He’s not irreplaceable by any stretch.
2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 13:
b. Arizona left tackle Bradley Sowell. He was a vacation for the Eagles’ Trent Cole and Brandon Graham.
At least PK got his name right this time.
e. Arizona CB Jerraud Powers, you cannot interfere in the end zone. But you know that. If you’re going to tamper, at least try to disguise it.
Here, Jerraud Powers, not only will I tell you something anyone who has ever watched football could inform you, but I’m also going to give you advice your position coach would never even need to remind you. Glad we had this talk. I’m sure it helped.
f. The first half of Tennessee-Indianapolis, which I think is still going on.
g. It took one hour and 38 minutes.
Says the asshole with a rambling column that takes hours to trudge through.
By the way, is a little more than an hour and a half really abnormally long for an NFL game? He waxes poetic about four-hour Red Sox-Yankees games. Surely he can endure a slightly long NFL game, especially when it’s going on at the same time as multiple other contests.
h. Catch the ball, Heyward-Bey.
Now that a millionaire sportswriter just barked at him in print like a sports radio caller, there’s no way Darrius Heyward-Bey doesn’t immediately correct his career-long struggles with catching passes.
4. I think if you want to measure the value of a good coach, look at what Gus Bradley is doing in Jacksonville. In the last month the formerly winless Jaguars are 3-1. They’re feisty on defense, imaginative on offense and the thing you notice is even though they have nothing to play for, they play as though a playoff spot was on the line. Owner Shad Khan has to be thrilled with the hire.
Yessir, it’s just the kind of finish a team needs: one that hurts draft position and creates unreasonable expectations for the following year. “Look, they won five of their last seven! This team has turned a corner!”
5. I think we all thought Darrelle Revis had enough time to rehab and play well this season. We all were wrong. He’s trying to gut it out, but to see Ted Ginn school him for a touchdown Sunday … not the Revis we’ve known.
After spending the last three weeks smugly instructing the res of the media that they buried Greg Schiano too early, this is the only mention of the Buccaneers in this week’s MMQB following a lop-sided Tampa loss that clinched a losing season for them.
Worry not, if the Bucs prevail next week against Buffalo, PK will be back on the train calling them a team no one wants to face the rest of the season and a possible danger to the Saints and 49ers in following weeks.
6. I think I don’t see how Peyton Manning’s not the MVP as we speak. But it’s not over. Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Calvin Johnson and Tom Brady can still contend. And perhaps Tony Romo and Nick Foles, but they’d have to have a blistering December.
Worth repeating that Peter King openly complained that Adrian Peterson was so good last year that he forced PK to vote for someone other than Pey-Pey. Looks like Petey won’t be denied this year, but just in case someone wants to give him flak for that, he tosses out lip service to six additional starting quarterbacks of winning teams.
7. I think, somehow, I don’t get the same excited feeling I had about the Dr. Z NFL Films piece two weeks again and the Steve Gleason: A Football Life last week when I hear this week’s NFL Network special is about the wacky ’90s Dallas offensive line.
Wacky? More like FUCKIN’ NUTTY, am I right?
8. I think this is all you need to know about the New York Jets’ quarterback situation: Geno Smith’s last touchdown pass was three days before the first pitch of the World Series. That’s 43 days ago. He was not replaced as the starting quarterback at any point during those 43 days. And as of this morning, he is still the starting quarterback of the Jets.
Oh yes, how could Rex Ryan be so foolish as to hold off unleashing Matt Simms mania on an unsuspecting populace? No way they don’t win out if he starts.
9. I think if you’re wondering what Brett Favre will be doing Friday night,
Nope. Moving along.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
b. Happy wedding, Drew Rosenhaus. Is it possible you are seeing there is more to life than football? Good luck.
c. I guess this means you’re a restricted free agent now.
This sounds like swinger code. Does this mean you get to bang Drew Rosenhaus if you give up two positive comments about his clients? And now I’m nauseated.
d. Watched Oregon-Oregon State Friday for a bit. Thought I was watching a game played by Crayola Crayons. The big box, with all the burnt oranges and colors so bright you’ve got to wear shades.
SO FUCKIN’ NUTTY
f. If you’re a high school quarterback, or a skill player on offense, and you’ve seen TV specials and stories out the wazoo on Peyton Manning praising Duke coach David Cutcliffe and using Duke facilities for his rehab, and then going back there again this year with brother Eli, Wes Welker and Victor Cruz … all of a sudden, you have to think, “Maybe I should consider Duke.”
Oh yeah, if you’re a top high school quarterback prospect you had better tell those SEC schools to fuck right the hell off and head your ass to Durham on the strength of one good season and the fact that Pey-Pey happened to use their shit when it was unoccupied.
g. I can see Carlos Hyde being a Trent Baalke draft choice. Perfect physical Niners back.
Only if he falls to a point where Baalke can take him after wasting three picks on washout receivers.
i. Only 113,511 at the Big House. Thinking that should on my bucket list. Covered a game there; never sat in the stands.
Oh noes, you only got to experience a thing you wanted to see because you were sent by your inexplicable magical dream job that you totally don’t deserve. Make sure you remedy that at once.
l. Coffeenerdness: In the midst of a jillion Manhattan Starbucks shops, here comes Ground Central, on East 52nd. Very good espresso. Hope it can survive.
Me too! I know if anything needs our support, it’s yet another Starbucks franchise backed by endless corporate resources. Truly nothing engenders hope like a good underdog story.
m. Beernerdness: Beer of choice on Thanksgiving: Brewmaster Jack’s James Happy Blonde Ale, with a chunk of the malt grown in Hadley, Mass. I had three bottles and gave away two, which put me in misery when the second pint was finished. Absolutely delicious. Bold and smooth, a perfect taste. I love that Brewmaster Jack beer. Tiny little brewer in Northhampton, Mass.
Can totally see Peter staring daggers at the person he gave a beer in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner. Meanwhile, everyone else is making polite conversation. Someone notices Peter is distracted and asks him the matter. “Nothing,” he replies through gritted teeth. Later, he raids the beer recipient’s wallet or purse and takes whatever amount is contained within. PK doesn’t even have to justify it to himself, it just makes total sense.
n. Pope Francis Quote of the Week: “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”
o. I think the new Pope is trying to get me back in the pew every Sunday.
Appealing toward your empathy for the poor is a great way to guilt Peter into spending an hour of his week in church while still doing nothing for poor people.
p. Headlines you see only in New York, this one from Wednesday’s Daily News about a reputed gangster acquitted of ordering a hit on a police officer: “Mob goon beats rap in cop slay.”
Because organized crime only exists in New York, you see.
The Adieu Haiku
Chaos at FedEx.
A ref’s job: control the game.
Jeff Triplette didn’t.
The Bad Hands People
The people who have bad hands
Why are their bad hands so bad