When last we left foot-long sub architect, Peter King, he was heaping praise on Russell Wilson’s deep (so deep) balls, telling Jared Lorenzen to lay off the carbs while explaining why his own diet went to shit, giving baseless speculation on the Browns drafting another quarterback in the first round next year, and letting Peyton Manning off the hook for a preseason unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after he killed Jimmy Graham for it the week before.
But what about this week? Labor Day is no day of rest for shitty Peter King takes. Let’s watch as he lionizes Roger Goodell for changing the NFL’s policy on domestic violence only after receiving overwhelming public scorn. PK then lets anonymous GMs badmouth Michael Sam, even though Peter got loads of shit for doing just that before the draft. PK AIN’T CARE! READ ON.
Right off the bat we learn that recent events have changed PK’s plans. He was totally gonna hold Goodell’s feet to the fire for clear hypocrisy in regards to the NFL’s stance on domestic violence, but there’s no time for that now. A player has been arrested for the very crime being discussed!
I was planning to address the Roger Goodell about-face on domestic violence later in the column, but the Ray McDonald arrest at 3 a.m. Sunday in San Jose, and the 49ers defensive tackle being charged with felony domestic violence, changed all that.
Why would that change your plans? How does a player getting arrested for domestic violence alter in any way how Goodell has handled the issue up until now?
News item: Goodell toughens NFL’s domestic violence policy.
Newsier item: Forty-Niner tests it immediately.
Newsiest item: Peter King forbids ever discussing Roger Goodell’s mistakes. They never happened! Hey, look over there! Something exciting! Stop paying attention to this! WHY IS THIS NEWS?
“Felony domestic violence is a serious charge in any jurisdiction,” said Kim Gandy, president and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, in a phone interview Sunday afternoon, hearing the news for the first time. “The fact that they are discussing this as a felony says to me the law-enforcement investigators believe it is serious. I expect the commissioner to respond definitively and assertively.”
Gandy was one of six national authorities on domestic violence who helped Goodell shape his decisive new policy
Decisive, in that Goodell decided to act one way on domestic violence arrests then had to act another way when it became clear he fucked up royal.
first in a lengthy phone call in mid-August and then in a meeting at the league offices in Manhattan on Aug. 21. The MMQB has talked to three of the outside experts called on by Goodell, and all were encouraged by the tougher policy on domestic violence laid out by Goodell: a six-game ban for a first offense (though with some wiggle room for “mitigating factors”), and a year-to-lifetime ban for a repeat offender.
And that’s nice, but let’s not act like Goodell had any intention of getting this right until the public forced his hand.
“We are looking into it,” league spokesman Greg Aiello said Sunday. That was the only statement—but it seemed clear that the league may not wait for final court adjudication in the case.
To recap: if it’s a player arrest that hurts the league’s image because it reminds fans of recent mistakes made by the league brass, you can expect the NFL to bring the hammer down before due process is carried out.
If, however, it’s a league owner getting a DWI, well then, it’s supposedly only fair to let the legal process play out. Innocent before proven guilty and all that.
Fuck the NFL. I feel dirtier giving this league my business every week.
The league’s Personal Conduct Policy opens the possibility for discipline before the courts rule if Goodell feels there is an “immediate and substantial risk to the integrity and reputation of the NFL.”
Look, I have no sympathy for Ray McDonald. Make an example out of him, for all I care. BUT YOU HAVE AN NFL OWNER WHO HAD A DWI SIX MONTHS AGO AND YOU’VE YET TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. You can’t just fast track punishment for players and hope we’ll just forget that anything happened with Jim Irsay.
If McDonald did indeed lay his hands on a woman in the tenor of these times, he has just made the biggest mistake of his career—and at just about the worst time possible.
THE TENOR OF THESE TIMES. Lofty language, Petey. I don’t know what the fuck that’s supposed to mean, exactly, but it sounds kind of nice. A more helpful phrasing would be RAY MCDONALD PUT HIS HANDS ON A WOMAN AT A BAD TIME BECAUSE ROGER GOODELL SERIOUSLY FUCKED UP ON SCALE THAT CREATED NATIONAL NEWS AND NOW NEEDS TO MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF SOMEONE. But don’t let me tell you how to write your column. That hopelessly vague bullshit works just fine.
Goodell obviously views this issue as one the NFL has to take a lead role.
So obvious in fact that it took months of very negative press for Goodell to notice the importance of it. Obviously.
On Thursday—with Russian troops pouring into Ukraine, with a presidential news conference that day discussing crises in Iraq and Syria, with ISIS creating an international scare, with a cease-fire in Gaza holding perilously, with Ferguson, Mo., still simmering—NBC led “The NBC Nightly News” with Goodell’s re-write of the domestic violence policy.
DID THEY CALL IT “DECISIVE”? IF NOT, JUST MORE PROOF OF THE MEDIA’S CLEAR ANTI-GOODELL BIAS!
What was so impactful to Goodell and to those in the league who worked on this issue was the staying power of the outrage after the commissioner suspended Ray Rice of the Ravens just two games for an incident in which his then-fiancée was knocked unconscious in an altercation with Rice in February.
Wait, there was outrage? YOU DON’T SAY! I thought it was just Goodell’s Solomonic wisdom at work. You didn’t mention anything about outside influences.
Five days after the Rice decision, CNN led its morning newscast with a panel ripping the league over the light sentence.
“That’s my Rog, owning the headlines.”
Five days. In his letter to owners last week, Goodell recognized the outcry, and the league’s role in society that he underestimated.
Holy shit. It’s not that Goodell suspended Ray Rice for fewer games than your average positive weed test will get you sidelined, it’s that he “underestimated the league’s role in society”. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT AMERICAN LOOKS TO THE NFL AS A MORAL COMPASS TO LEAD THE WAY! HOW COULD I HAVE BEEN SO BLIND?
Goodell wrote: “The public response reinforced my belief that the NFL is held to a higher standard, and properly so.
“Why y’all gotta be so hard on us?”
Much of the criticism stemmed from a fundamental recognition that the NFL is a leader, that we do stand for important values, and that we can project those values in ways that have a positive impact beyond professional football. We embrace this role and the responsibility that comes with it.”
The outcry didn’t mean that the NFL is a cynically run, morally bankrupt institution. It means, in fact, the opposite: that the NFL is a beacon of responsibility! Lofty positive spin.
In his early fact-finding, Goodell talked to experts inside and outside his office—mostly outside. “When we talked,” said Gandy, “he said, basically, that he wanted to educate himself. He was genuine in wanting to understand the causes and wanting to know the best role for the league. At one point, we were talking about law enforcement, and he said to me, ‘Why isn’t everyone angry at the judge and the prosecutor in the Rice case? We actually did something, rather than nothing.’ I said, ‘These are your fans who are angry. They are not fans of the judge and the prosecutor.’”
Seriously, Roger Goodell is openly whining at the notion that the public isn’t more angry at the legal system than the NFL. “NO FAIR! IF THE COURTS HAD JUST SUMMARILY EXECUTED RAY RICE, I WOULDN’T HAVE HAD TO MAKE A DECISION ABOUT HIS SUSPENSION!”
One more point. One of the late additions to the letter Goodell sent to owners was trying to leave the league some flexibility on a hard-and-fast six-game ban for first offenses. Aggravating factors—assaulting a pregnant woman, for instance—could make the sanction harsher. But there also is no guarantee that the ban could be as long as six games.
So I think any confirmed assault will merit more than two games, but there’s no guarantee every one will be at least six.
So the new policy isn’t even as strong as the initial reports suggested? What courage and leadership, you guys.
Well, enough about this incredible hypocrisy. Let’s talk about Alex Smith’s new deal. Is it smart?
Alex Smith’s deal: Smart for him, smart for the team.
Peter then launches into an imaginary Q&A session in which PK rhetorically asks himself questions about Smith’s new contract. It includes this heated schizophrenic exchange:
Q: Why such love for a game manager?
A: You mean the game manager who put up 44 points in the playoff loss at Indianapolis last year, who completed 30 of 46 passes for 378 yards, with four touchdowns and no picks—and ran for 57 yards too? The game manager who put up 38, 28, 45 and 56 points in four late-season games last year, with 12 touchdown passes?
Peter King is having a message board argument with himself and, frankly, he sounds pissed. How dare Peter King call Alex Smith a game manager to Peter King? He’ll show him(self). Alex Smith happily accommodates PK’s need for quotes to such an extent that Peter once called him MENSCH OF THE YEAR so he’ll be damned if his inner monologue says something unfairly negative about the Chiefs quarterback.
Most notable about cutdown weekend, when 704 men lost their jobs and/or were assigned to various practice squads: There were no shocks. A couple of surprises, but can you honestly say it was a stunner to see Michael Sam cut? Champ Bailey? Nate Burleson? No.
Were you even mildly shocked by any players who were cut this weekend? Then clearly you’re a plebeian. PETER KING FORESAW ALL THE CUTS!
Nothing really strange happened, but here’s what caught my eye:
“Nothing really strange happened so here’s a list of things I thought were strange:”
Found it interesting that the average age of the Denver Broncos’ final 53 is 25.8. I would have guessed 28.8.
You know Peter King dares baristas to ask him to guess the average age of any given NFL roster then takes the time to hold up the line at Starbucks to see how close his guess was.
Let history show it was a player with the exact dimension of the 6-0, 193-pound Champ Bailey—6-0, 193-pound free-agent Brian Dixon of Northwest Missouri State—who essentially took Bailey’s job with the Saints.
“WEIRDLY WEIRDVILLE! Ahem. I mean, uh… I totally saw that coming. No surprises here.”
5. Fallout from the 2012 draft begins. Check out this ugly 32-pick span between No. 22 and 53:
Revisionist draft history! Wow, look how apparent it is in retrospect that these draft picks were wastes. If only they’d known two and half years ago to travel into the future and read Peter King.
12. Tight end Tony Moeaki: IR in Kansas City, 2011 … IR in Kansas City, 2013 … Waived with an injury settlement in Kansas City, 2013 … IR in Buffalo, 2014. I sense a trend.
And that trend is that Peter is very smug about relaying facts after they happen as though it was inevitable all along, even though PK said nothing about it beforehand.
Just in case any Giants fans are pleased or excited about their team’s preseason record, PK wants them to cut it out because Big Blue had a WEASEL PRESEASON!
I have never seen a more misleading 5-0 preseason than the one the New York Giants just had. Eli Manning completed 49 percent of his throws, Odell Beckham (hamstring) wasn’t healthy all summer, and the passing game looked just as sickly as Beckham. Yikes. Giants have to win a scoring contest with Detroit a week from tonight. I don’t like their chances.
A scoring contest, you say? Not the right strategy by New York. They should have challenged Detroit to a derpy face quarterback contest. Stafford is a worthy competitor, but he’s no Eli.
Alfred Morris, 173rd pick in 2012, by Washington. Alfred Blue, 181st pick in 2014, by Houston. Not saying Blue’s going to have the kind of rookie season Morris had in Washington (1,613 yards), but with Arian Foster’s durability in question and Blue having a great camp, let’s just say I wouldn’t wait until the last round to take Blue in my fantasy draft this week.
“I’m not saying Blue is actually going to do anything, but you should definitely draft this third-string running back on your fantasy team.”
That’s the hot breath of Zach Mettenberger (47 of 68 in the preseason) you feel on your neck, Jake Locker.
Stop breathing on Jake Locker’s neck, Zach. That’s creepy!
Logan Mankins is not surprised (Monday Morning Not Surprised is perhaps a good name for this column) by his trade to the Buccaneers because he understands that’s how the NFL works. He expresses this to Peter in the most PK way possible.
“I have been around a long time,’’ said Mankins, 32, entering his 10th NFL season. “I’ve seen just about everything. So I was shocked, but I wasn’t shocked.’’
The NFL needs more stories like this one.
First draft title for this week’s column: This Week in Positive News: Shut Up, The NFL Is A Force For Good!
Ben Garland, who made the Broncos as a backup guard this season, was a huge Broncos fan growing up and served for two years in the Air Force before making Denver’s practice squad in 2012. He was still on the practice squad the following year. And now, at last, he’s on the final roster. Very happy story and sure to become one of PFT Commenter’s favorite players.
Peter King’s too, because of this:
I was told Garland would call me at 6:30 Mountain Time Saturday night. The phone rang at 6:27.
THAT’S GOOD PHONE HUSTLE!
The Quote of the Week section includes a passage from Roger Goodell admitting how the NFL messed up on domestic violence and vowed to be better.
This is ironically followed with a quote from James Harrison, who was once charged with assaulting his girlfriend and not suspended (GOODELL CARES! OBVIIIIIOOOUUSSSLLLYYY), about his retirement.
Enough about domestic violence, though, because the real crisis is that fans aren’t getting the Tom Brady preseason action they were promised.
Games New England played in the preseason: 4.
Games played by a healthy Tom Brady at quarterback in the preseason: 2.
Series played by Tom Brady, total, in the preseason: 7.
Price paid by fans in Washington and East Rutherford, where Brady did not play quarterback in games: full.
This Week in Travel Bitching has a positive note this week as Peter took a relaxing jaunt to the untouched wilderness of Maine. UBER KUDOS TO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN, THE LOFTIEST OF OCEANS.
Hunkered down last week and did some writing for 1.5 days in one of the prettiest places I’d never seen: the coast of Maine 90 minutes north of Portland, on the Pemaquid Peninsula. Thanks to the Bradley Inn there for a swell time, and to the Atlantic Ocean for being so beautiful, and to the area for being so quiet and unspoiled. I can’t believe I spent the first 18 years of my life in Connecticut and my New England experiences included only one trip to Maine that whole time—an American Legion baseball game in South Portland. I’ll be back in Maine for another sanity break, and soon.
I can see Peter typing a thank you card to the Atlantic Ocean and trying to throw it in the surf like GOB on “Arrested Development”.
Peter King has thoughts he thinks he thinks he’ll think if he gives it a thought.
The first is a list of logical football reasons that the Rams cut Michael Sam. Peter King would sooner let you talk shit about Alex Smith before you dared say a disparaging word about the Rams. He also makes sure to note that the Rams handled Sam perfectly the entire time he was associated with them. Playoffs don’t look good but they’ll get the Nobel Peace Prize for sure.
Then there’s this shit:
I think NFL teams are seeing ghosts on Michael Sam, who, as of midnight Sunday, was still on the street looking for a practice squad to join. If a team plays a 3-4, as many do, he’s not a fit. But Sam is a 257-pound defensive end in a 4-3 system who has a chance to create a little havoc and a chance—a chance, I say, not a sure thing—to be a growth stock for teams. But I talked to three team architects over the weekend.
They’re concerned about the circus coming to town with the first openly gay player trying to make an NFL roster.
FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU
NAME THESE PEOPLE, PETER. Not only are these assholes granted anonymity, but Peter gives them an incredibly vague description (“team architects”) so there’s no use in even trying to guess at who Peter’s source is. Is it a GM? Is it a scout? Is it Andrew Luck sitting on a street corner with blueprints and a T-square in his hands? Who the fuck knows? But this serves the interest of no one. It just lets a few assholes stir anxieties about homophobia for the sake of Peter getting a scoop.
What circus, exactly? A little ESPN story about shower habits? That’s been the big controversy of the last four months with Sam. He’s had two press conferences, peaceful and uneventful ones, and met the press briefly after each of the St. Louis preseason games, as any player would be subject to doing. And that has created exactly zero problems for the Rams. Point is: If you scout Sam in the preseason and like what you see, don’t go looking for ghosts. Bring him in, subject your coach to six or eight questions about him, let Sam talk to the group, and then the big controversy will disappear. End of story.
THE CIRCUS YOU ARE CREATING BY LETTING THESE FRONT OFFICE PERSONNEL SAY THESE THINGS OFF THE RECORD! YOU ARE COMPLICIT IN CREATING THE VERY ARGUMENT YOU ARE FEEBLY TRYING TO KNOCK DOWN! HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE YOUR PLACE IN THIS?
3. I think if you get the crew of veteran ref Bill Vinovich or rookie ref Craig Wrolstad, you’ve got the best chance to avoid a ticky-tack game this weekend. Wrolstad’s guys had a six-flag game (Washington-Tampa) last Thursday, and a 13-flag game the week before in Denver against Houston. Vinovich’s crew had a combined 21 flags in its last two games—Saints-Colts and Pats-Giants.
The NFL: two of our games might not be maddening penalty fests this weekend! BACK TO FOOTBALL!
I think Tom Coughlin, who turned 68 Sunday, had this reaction when I told him in camp he was one win from passing Paul Brown and two from passing Joe Gibbs on the all-time NFL victories list: “Wow. Really?”
No gripes here. Just a truly awesome quote, Pete.
On to the non-football-related nugget dump as I unscrew the top on this bottle of whiskey:
The Red Sox made a trade involving a marginal player who doesn’t matter but guess what? That player has no played on all the teams in the AL East! Crazaaayyyyyy! Anyway, it takes about 20 minutes for my eyes to ungloss from the boredom.
In other news, Starbucks’ drip coffee game still can’t be touched, son:
g. Coffeenerdness: There is no better drip coffee in the universe, at least for me, than the Italian Roast at Starbucks. That’s an exclamation point driven home to me every morning with a jarring cup.
Just when you thought anyone might get out of this alive, Peter King is making hop puns.
h. Beernerdness: Had the pleasure of experiencing the Maine Beer Company’s IPA while up north. One of the hoppiest I’ve had, which made me very hoppy.
Hop off a bridge, shithead.
i. Happy Labor Day, everyone. I’m going to celebrate this great day by working.
“I’m gonna call six more GMs and let them tell me how little they want to sign Michael Sam in exchange for Peet’s in the press box next time I have to cover one of their games. I’m an award-winning journalist!”