When we last left Red Sox pegboy Peter King, he was returning from South Africa, where he couldn’t find a single barista that could adequately make a triple espresso double Snickers caramel Doritolatte with banana Romo foam to suit his needs. A shame. Ah, but he did find something in Cape Town that all South African tourists can agree on: FREE PERONI GLASSES. I know that’s why I hope to travel the world one day.
So Peter’s on vacation for the rest of this month, which is so unfair. Twenty years ago, he got FIVE months of vacation every year! And now he only gets one? THE GALL. The disgusting gall of this era of history. Don’t the people at Time Warner understand that a good nugget takes TIME to develop? The mind must rest, so that nuggets can be thought, or at least thought that they’ve been thought. Anyway, with Peter away, we are once again compelled to dive back into the King archives to unearth this treasured Klassic King kolumn. Oh, yes. Reader Ken sent in a link to this King column from way back in December of 2000. We were all so innocent back then. We knew nothing of Westin’s diabolical scheme to deny reservations, or people talking too loudly on Acela, or melty Kit Kats. It was a much sweeter time. So genuine. So down to Earth. So, so… FAVRIAN.
That’s right. Today’s Klassic King kolumn focuses squarely on the Land Baron. Read on for an early glimpse at a young and frisky Peter’s courtship with a rugged, swahbucklin’ gunslingin’, quasi-Jack Twistesque quarterback. What were these two like back then? Did they enjoy the trees and the talk? Did they know of nutmeg in lasagna? Did Brett lead the league in smirkiness? JOIN US BELOW…
Packers players’ lounge, 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
Oooh, a dateline! It makes any King column feel like a Tony Scott movie. STARBUCKS COFFEE. INDIANA, PA. 14:43 HOURS.
Brett Favre, fetching a Gatorade from the cooler. “Fifteen questions,” I say. “Fifteen minutes.”
Just give King fifteen minutes. That’s all he asks. Fifteen minutes is all he needs to get the answers to the questions AMERICA id dying to ask. You’ll see. You’ll see just how masterfully King is able to extract pertinent information from a Hall of Fame quarterback. By the end of this interview, King will know the location of the Russian microfiche AND have a pair of signed gloves in his grasp. You watch.
“Fine,” he says. “I can hit some golf balls while we talk.”
ZOMG! HE HITS GOLF BALLS! HE’S LIKE REAL PEOPLE!
And so we head over to the Don Hutson Center across the street from the stadium. Favre drops 70 balls on the AstroTurf, pulls out his 60-degree lob wedge and doesn’t wait for the first question.
Brett doesn’t have time for games. He has REAL time-wastin’ to get to!
“Love this,” he said. “I’m so into golf. Not being able to play this time of year drives me crazy. So I come in here and hit balls.”
Okay, I’m ready now. I’m ready for Peter to begin his interrogation. Do it now, Peter! Get in his grill! Ask him about the Vicodin! Ask him if he’s washed up! GIVE HIM THE HEATERRRRR!
1. Why golf?
Oh, sweet Jesus. You had fifteen minutes. You could have asked him anything. You could have also saved 15% on your car insurance. You could have pressed him for answers like a host at Jillian’s. Instead, we get this…
Favre: “Because no one’s conquered it, ever. The same club you hit perfect one day you’ll shank ’em with the next. Every club’s a challenge. Every shot’s a challenge. That’s why Tiger Woods is so great. He hits so many different shots so…”
Oh, sorry. Fell asleep there. I was just listening to Favre drone on about how hard golf is like every other asshole middle-aged golfer in perpetuity.
Okay, first question out of the way. I get it now. Peter is buttering Brett up. He’s clearly making small talk before busting out the big guns. I know it’s gonna happen. I can sense it.
2. What’s your best day in golf?
Just kidding. Watch as the questions somehow get MORE inane.
3. You play a lot, right?
Like that one.
Favre: “I joined Oneida [Country Club] last year…
You know what I like about Brett Favre? He’s so darn grounded. He wears Wranglers and joins country clubs, just like the rest of us.
”…and was there so much I got to be like Norm from Cheers.
You know, he walks in the place and everybody says, ‘Norm!’
Oh! I totally know who that is now. PHEW!
That’s how much I’m at Oneida. And I’ll put on the Golf Channel at 2 o’clock in the morning and maybe pick up a tip on how to hit a wedge.”
So thus far, here is what we know: Brett Favre likes to golf. So much so, that he goes to the country club frequently to do so. Also, he’s considering buying Dolphins season tickets. MAYBE. POSSIBLY.
4. And now you’re into hunting?
“Would you mind wasting more time by talking about irrelevant matters?”
Favre: “I love hunting. Tell you a story.
Oh, please do.
”Before the Monday night game against the Vikings a few weeks ago, we practiced Sunday morning. Beautiful day. About 60, sunny. Everybody in town must have had the same thought I did — maybe this is the last good golf day of the year — and so Oneida was jammed.
Everyone there WAS Norm!
It played so slow I only made nine holes. Wasn’t much fun, going so slow. We had to be at the hotel for meetings at 7 o’clock, so I decided to hunt for a couple of hours. I’ve got a tree stand about 45 minutes from here.
And that is where I go to DISAPPEAR. Few people know this, but Brett is actually the author of the Morning Porch twitter feed. He goes into the tree stand and spends a moment in awe of the majesty of nature.
Slowly, the deer sniffs at a lilac. The earthy dirt smells faintly of cumin.
Two butterflies dance a tango in the meadow. This is where I shall do one on ones with Terry Bradshaw.
Bees take the nectar into their hungry bellies. We are the now. SPLASH.
I got in it about 3:45. I had a bow with me. Within 10 minutes, a beautiful eight-point buck came right underneath me. I hit it right in the back. It ran off, and I waited a minute, then I found it, laying up against a tree. I dragged it out of the woods and put it in the truck. Blood all over the back of the truck. And I got to the hotel right on time. I’m a mess. People wonder what’s happened to me. I’m like: ‘It’s been a great day. Touchdown passes at practice this morning, golf in the afternoon, and an eight-point buck a couple hours ago. How was your day?’
WHAT A MAN.
5. Have golf and hunting taken the place of your old vices?
“Hell no. Ever hunt while on cocaine and Ambien? Makes me want to jack off, it’s so hot.”
Favre: “Even if I wanted to party — and I don’t — when would I squeeze it in?”
I’m too busy being EVERYMAN.
6. Who should be president?
This is the sixth question. There are nine left to go. By question 12, it’s possible Peter will be asking Brett if the three-point shot in basketball is a good idea.
Favre: “That’s one question I ain’t got a clue about. Democrat, Republican, who gives a crap? We should all be thankful to live in America.”
Who cares who gets to be President? Just be glad you live in America, even if the office ends up being occupied by some sort of fascist alien squid.
7. What’s your favorite TV show?
Holy shit. Really? Brett, what’s your favorite TV show? What’s your favorite color? Do you read magazines? What would we do without recycling? Don’t you think firefighters EARN their money? If monkeys had boxing gloves, would they be cuter, or more frightening? YOU ARE A LEGEND. THAT IS MY QUESTION, EVEN IF IT IS NOT A QUESTION.
Favre: “I don’t remember the last time I watched prime-time TV.
I’m too normal and golfy to watch CBS!
”I watch The Learning Channel…
That’s how I learn!
”…the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday I watch National Geographic on CNBC. I like Boyd Matson. Now, you asked me about the damn presidential crap in Florida, that’s been preempting my National Geographic show.
Damn Presidential CRAP! What the heck hell shuck darnation is this gunk doin’ gummin’ up my show? REAL AMERICANS DON’T CARE ABOUT THIS POLITICAL CRAP! I WANNA SEE ELK!
“That pisses me off…
He swears! I do that! THIS MAN SHOULD RUN FOR OFFICE.
The other day, I saw a real good show called The Kingdom of the Snake. [My wife] Deanna said, ‘I’m not watching a show on snakes.’ I said, ‘Well, I’ll go in the other room, then.'”
Don’t like snakes? Then I’m outta here, YOU PIT VIPER WHORE.
8. Why are you such a good player when it’s cold? (The Packers, with Favre quarterbacking, ran their record to 26-0 Sunday when it’s 34° or colder.)
The following answer is now hilarious in the wake of the 2007 NFC title game.
Favre: “Hey, I get cold, too. I freeze my rear end off. But I always think, ‘If it’s going to be cold, the receivers’ hands are gonna be cold. Maybe I’ll take a little something off the ball, make it a little more catchable.’ I concentrate more. I’m more into it mentally.”
”But I think it’s also because I don’t let it bug me.”
”The other night, we’ve got two or three inches of snow on the driveway. I go out to shovel in shorts and clogs.”
I don’t let no cold get to me. I’M AMERICAN.
”I’m out there for two hours. I guess I could pay somebody to do that, couldn’t I?”
I guess that’s what fancy folks would do. But not me. I done did that all myself. Hey, did I mention all the guys at the country club love me?
”Deanna at one point calls out to me, ‘You probably ought to put some pants on.’ “
FUCK YOU, HARLOT. I WILL WEAR SHORTS AND WATCH SNAKES AND YOU CAN GET BREAST CANCER IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT.
”Probably. I’m too lazy. Anyway, if you’re gonna get adjusted to this weather, you’ve got to brave it.”
Unless you’re old and it’s December in New York and you don’t really like playing for Eric Mangini.
9. What’s your best prank of the year?
Six more questions like this.
Favre: “Had to be when I pulled down [special-teams coach] Frank Novak’s pants after practice one day. Classic.”
That is the BEST prank ever! Did you do a Sling Blade impression while you were pulling the pants down? You couldn’t have. Too genius. Too PERFECT.
10. Last movie you saw?
So, do you, uh, like stuff?
How about that weather? Heard we might get rain.
Favre: Men of Honor. Robert DeNiro and Cuba Gooding Jr. Great movie. They both deserve a damn Oscar.”
They are our Bogarts.
11. How’s it having a baby daughter, Breleigh?
“Oh, it’s just like the last daughter was. Only I’m not drunk this time.”
12. What’s on the CD player in your car?
Favre: “Tim McGraw. ‘Everything I Want,’
Ah. Probably should have guessed better.
“We’re friends. We’ve got a lot in common.”
Of course you do. You’re so NORMAL! And down to Earth. And wildly rich beyond the imaginations of most any blue collar American.
13. Why is there green writing on your underwear?
Wait, what? Was that really a question?
13. Why is there green writing on your underwear?
It was! Holy SHIT. Hey Brett, why is there green writing on your underwear? And why does it smell like bubble gum? Can I keep it? Can I sleep with it under my pillow? Will you call me and leave a message so I can save it and listen to it while holding the underwear, feeling its soft cotton touch between my fingers?
Favre: “Damn Hasselbeck and Wuerffel. [Matt, the backup quarterback, and Danny, No. 3.] I come in one day and they’ve autographed my underwear. One cheek’s got ‘With love, Matt Hasselbeck.’ The other’s got, ‘All the best, Danny Wuerffel.’ Still I wear ’em all the time.”
IN THE SNOW.
”One of my best pair. One of my only pair.”
I’m so fucking normal, I don’t even need underwear. Let’s see that fancy, underwear-wearing Jeff Garcia top THAT.
”Bottom line is, the more money I get, the worse I dress. Money’s not too big a thing with me. I don’t even have an ATM card.”
But I do know Tim McGraw. He’s a great golfer.
15. You want to finish your career here?
Favre: “Definitely. If in two years, say, they want to trade me, I’d probably walk away. Retire.”
But if they want to trade me eight years? FUCK THAT. Where’s the fucking loyalty? I will keep playing, and I will make them rue the day they traded me when I throw Tracy Porter the easiest pick of his fucking life.
And when you retire?
Oh, I’ll probably just be out shoveling snow in my underwear with Tim McGraw. You know. NORMAL SHIT.
Favre: “I’ll be down in Hattiesburg. You’ll never find me.”
Unless you go to Hattiesburg. Or you’re in LA and have a camera on you.
“You know the HBO ‘Where Are They Now?’ segments on Inside the NFL? They’ll do one on me, but they’ll have to get Robert Stack, like on Unsolved Mysteries. I’ll disappear.”
King nine years later:
So if you want to plant an idea in King’s mind, you need to perform the Inception nine years in advance.
Fifteen minutes became two hours. That’s how it usually is with Favre.
It’s true. Time did slow down to nothing while reading his thoughts.
I think this is why I like Johnson’s teammate, rookie tackle Chris Samuels: Samuels has had an excellent rookie season, but success and his $10 million rookie signing bonus haven’t changed him much as a person. After moving into a new home in Virginia recently, he was offered an electrical feature that would allow him to turn off lights, his stereo and TV with switches by his bedside. Cost of wiring and installation: $1,200. Samuels said no. “Are you kidding?” he said. “I can get up and turn my lights off by myself.”
No one is more impressed with thrift than Peter King. Do you not bother to buy underwear? Don’t want to install fancy light fixtures? Shit, don’t even want to live in a house? You sir, are clearly an All-Pro. Peter would like to buy you a Shock Top.
I think NFL officials could speed up the replay process a bit. The league says the review will take 90 seconds, max, but from the time Detroit head coach Gary Moeller threw the beanbag signifying his call for a review in the third quarter Sunday at Lambeau to the time the ball was next snapped, three minutes and 39 seconds elapsed — for a play that wasn’t overturned.
Holy shit, I just remembered someone let Gary Moeller temporarily be the head coach of an NFL team.
Montclair High Field Hockey Video Note of the Week: One of my NFL scouting contacts, a veteran of the road, asked the other day how he could get a copy of the MHS highlight video. The great piece of film production, all nine minutes of it, was a highlight of our banquet. “Instead of that cheesy Yankees video when I renew my subscription to the magazine,” he said, “could I have a choice of the Montclair Field Hockey video or a Montclair High Field Hockey fleece?” I think he’s onto something.
Oh, you made that up.
Coffeenerdness: Good effort on the egg nog latte, Seattle Grounds. (That’s the espresso place in Green Bay.)
Good effort, but not quite good ENOUGH. Where is the nutmeg, I ask you? Better luck next time, assholes.
When “Dark Angel” promos come on press box TVs during FOX games, every male eye turns to Jessica Alba and a hush falls over the crowd. “I vote for her for offensive rookie of the year,” one press box wag said Sunday.
It’s funny because sportswriters are old and disgusting and creepy.