When last we left embodiment of real-life hell, Peter King, he was detailing the quirkiest game of the year, which was directed by Harmony Korine and included a theremin. He also had 23 thought/facts under the Ten Things I Think I Think subcategory, which is remarkably succinct for Petey. In a surprise twist, Allagash was scolded for saying bottles are sold in Manhattan stores when none are in evidence. FOUL CITRUS TEMPTRESS! STOP LEADING ON PK WITH YOUR PROMISES OF BOTTLED BLISS!
What about this week? Why are the Patriots the best team in the league? THEY JUST ARE, OKAY!? JEEZ! Is the Indianapolis police force on the take? I hope so, because they deserve only the worst for letting PK get away with illegal parking. Oh, did you not realize Peter can do that/ Well, then you need to READ ON.
QBs make their mark on eventful Week 11, for both good and bad
That might be the least helpful headline ever. QUARTERBACKS DO THINGS… WITH VARYING RESULTS!
Eleven main characters from an eventful Week 11 that had its share of drama.
11 main characters? What the fuck is it, Game of Thrones?
1. Baltimore defensive keystone Terrell Suggs.
“Weird night,” he said from the bus leaving the place. “No 52 [Ray Lewis], no Lardarius Webb, no Ben [Roethlisberger], no Troy Polamalu, no Hines Ward. Times are changing. But winning’s all that matters.”
Players can get injured or retire? WEIRD. Also, as a Ravens hater, it brings me joy that Suggs and PK have the same stupid reactions to things.
2. The Gronk, New England tight end Ron Gronkowski, out for a month or so with a broken right forearm, suffered when the Patriots had a 34-point lead over the Colts late in the fourth quarter. There are some opinions on this. Before you freak too freakishly, Patsland, you’ll have Aaron Hernandez and Visanthe Shiancoe this week to sub for Gronkle (the Gronk, Gronkle, Gronkie … all nicknames NFLNet’s Ian Rapoport is trying to patent on Mr. Gronk).
HE ALREADY HAS A FUCKING NICKNAME AND YOU ALREADY USED IT.
About 31 other teams in the league would kill for Hernandez.
But why don’t they? They lack the vital killer instinct of a Belichick or a Greg Schiano. These are men who understand the stakes and know who to hire to dispose of the body.
6. The sixth playoff seed in the NFC. Look at the combatants for it: Seattle, Tampa Bay and Minnesota, all 6-4, and a pair of 5-5s: New Orleans (the Saints may not lose again this season) and Dallas.
A playoff seed is a character? That’s awfully abstract.
[Braces for “the sun” to be listed. And respected.]
8. Norv Turner. We know the odds of San Diego making the playoffs after losing five of six. Not good. Turner and GM A.J. Smith likely had to make the postseason to stay. I’ll be interested to see if club chairman and president Dean Spanos chases Andy Reid, a southern California guy.
This is just empty speculation but it brings me great delight nonetheless. Andy Reid would be the most Chargers hire since their last shitty retread.
The strange case of Matt Ryan and the Falcons. A win’s a win, I guess.
But I watched much of the 23-19 game. Atlanta survived five interceptions by Ryan and won because the Cardinals have the worst quarterback situation known to man. (Cue the Larry Fitzgerald weeping sound effect.)
I like that Peter imagines his column as a hacky sports radio call-in show.
/toilet flushing sound
//GOTTA SAY THE CALL LETTERS. THIS IS K-LOFT, 103.4, THE NUGGET!!!!
10. Robert Griffin III just had a game for the ages. Anyone notice?
It couldn’t have just been the folks in the NBC Viewing Room who saw it. Sure, it can feel like the whole world fits in there. The whole world that matters, that is. But surely there is concern for history in lesser circles.
11. Matt Schaub did too. He threw for 527 yards as the 9-1 Texans survived the 1-9 Jags. This is one strange league.
A good quarterback threw for a lot of yards against a bad team in a game that basically went five quarters? WEIRD SIDE CHARACTER!
The stories of the week:
1. There is no best team in the NFL. I say it’s New England
Because you’re retarded.
but let’s be honest:
So you were just bullshitting? Good.
If the Patriots played Houston or Baltimore or Denver tomorrow, how confident would you be?
Depends. Is this game in Wichita? If so, I would have the UBEREST of confidences that New England would lose to Houston and Denver, though possibly not Baltimore because their defense is almost as bad as New England’s now.
And the AFC is supposed to be the weak conference this year — remember that.
//Changes nothing of his opinion
The NFL has America right where he league wants it: with the clicker in hand, or calling a cable provider asking to buy the Red Zone Channel for the last six weeks of the season.
What the fuck does that have to do with the Patriots being the best team in the NFL? You just trailed off, hoping we’d forget?
Gronkowski suffered his broken forearm Sunday in the 59-24 win over the Colts — and the internet was abuzz Sunday night with news that the injury apparently occurred on the 59th point of the game, the extra point after the final garbage touchdown of the game. Why keep a valuable player in the game at that stage, some asked; others wondered why the increasingly valuable Gronkowski should be risking injury on any special teams unit.
The words “Belichick” and “karma” kept coming back from the ether, and I cannot argue.
It’s true. You can’t argue with bullshit things that don’t exist like karma. Then again, Peter King can’t argue anything. Your case for the Patriots being the best team in the league has so far been astonishment that this season is AWESOME!
Whatever, the Patriots lose Gronkowski for an important stretch (at Jets, at Dolphins, Houston, San Francisco), and from the looks of it, even if they do appear to be the best team in football right now, it’s going to be tough to move past Baltimore and Houston and get a first-round playoff bye in the AFC.
New England soundly defeated the Hollywood movie that is the Indianapolis Colts, so surely they MUST be the best team in the league to lose at home to the fucking Cardinals.
Roethlisberger has no sense when he’ll be able to return. But according to Dr. Clark Fuller, the director of Thoracic Surgery at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., Roethlisberger has to be careful about returning too soon because of damage it can do to nerves in the right shoulder and arm, major blood vessels in the area, and, as Roethlisberger admitted last week, the aorta around the heart.
As opposed to the aorta in his ear.
Fuller said he thought Roethlisberger would miss a minimum of four weeks. “I do remember their coach, Mike Tomlin, not allowing that safety [Ryan Clark] to play in altitude in Denver because of his sickle-cell disease,” Fuller said. “That is a good sign, to me. I believe he won’t risk the health of Roethlisberger.”
But if Troy Polamalu wanted to play through his 3,000th concussion, that’s cool.
It was a classic Steelers-Ravens game. Ray Rice, 20 carries, 40 yards. Just 511 total yards of offense in 126 plays … everything a battle.
Like the battle to force yourself to sit through that shit.
I was surprised to hear what he said when I asked him what this win, even against a depleted Steelers team, said about the Ravens. “It doesn’t say nothing,” Suggs said. “They got what we want — all the championships. Nothing means anything to us ’til we get those. We gotta catch ’em in the ring race, then we’ll be able to talk.”
Well then it’s a good thing that Terrell Suggs has abstained from ever talking shit, a thing he’s never done.
Andre Johnson goes 14 for 273, and he was not playing Madden. An amazing Sunday in Houston. This is modern football at its Monopoly-money best: Justin Blackmon and Johnson became the first two receivers in a game ever to each go over 200 yards. They combined for 21 catches and 509 yards, for a 24.2-yard average reception. I’m incredulous just writing that sentence. Where will it all end?
Oh my lord. I had never thought of that! What if unchecked receiver stat growth just keeps going? Receivers will put up so many numbers that we’ll run out of numbers. What then? WHAT THEN!?
One other interesting note from Ellenbogen, the chairman of the department of neurological surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He attended a FIFA-sponsored conference on head trauma three weeks ago in Zurich and came away with respect for rules. That’s right: rules. “Rules count,” he said. “When the NFL changed the spot where teams kick off from, injuries went down 40 percent in a year. In soccer, FIFA outlawed elbowing in head-balls, and concussion rates were reduced significantly. When people say all these rules are ruining the game, I say, ‘No they’re not. They’re making the game safer.’ “
Thank goodness. If there’s anyone who I figured played fast and loose with regulations and procedure, it’s the chair of a university’s department of neurological surgery. He was a regular Dr. Nick Riveria before he was set straight by the overwhelming order of the NFL.
The game Josh Freeman played in Carolina Sunday reminded me of a few Eli Manning games we’ve seen over the years. Stink it up for the first 50 minutes, dig a hole, then find a way to coolly get out of it.
By calling mom for help.
“You don’t really have many options,” said Freeman, considering the pass rush and the clock and the need for a touchdown and not a field goal and the physicality of Jackson to fight off defenders to make the catch if he needs to.
I would try to diagram that sentence, but I think attaching a picture of an anus would get KSK blocked by a few more readers’ work filters.
The End of the 973-650-0966 Era
Well, I did the all-time stupid thing Saturday.
Just one? LOFTY Saturday.
Thought I was direct-messaging agent David Canter on Twitter Saturday, asked him to call me, and, much to my terror, found it went to all of my followers. I bet it was up for six seconds before I took it down, but that was long enough to enable quite a few loyal Peter Kingites (and gee, thanks, Deadspin) to post the number all over the place. The final results:
Phone calls received in the five hours between posting and canceling of the number: 373.
Text messages received in that time: 255.
Voicemails from Brett Favre: 0
WHAT A WASTE!
Angriest text message, from the 773 (suburban Chicago) area code: “You ——- skunkheaded ——. Go —- Favre. Have a nice day.”
Love my fans!
Bless you, sir. I hope the Bears win by 80 tonight just for that.
1. New England (7-3). No Gronk for a while, but I’d be surprised if the Patriots don’t score enough to beat the Jets Thanksgiving night. This is a ridiculously explosive team, with a defense that played better Sunday than it had in recent weeks. I had to think about the top of the rankings for some time Sunday night, and the fact that no one can stop the Patriots tipped the scales. In their last three games: nine takeaways, two defensive touchdowns (both Sunday), 47.0 points per game.
No one can stop them? They almost lost to the fucking Bills at home two weeks ago.
2. Houston (9-1). Now for the Three-Game Trip From Heck: at Detroit (Thanksgiving afternoon), at Tennessee (Titans 10-4 in last 14 against Texans), at New England. AFC home-field in the playoffs on the line.
There’s one tough game in that stretch.
5. Atlanta (9-1). Sorry, Falcons fans. Just seeing too much out of this team, especially on offense, that I don’t like the last couple of weeks.
Sorry, Atlanta, Peter King is only impressed if you have a harder than expected win at home against Buffalo instead of Arizona.
6. Denver (7-3). The Broncos have won five games in a row. Scored in the 30s five games in a row. Won the five games by an average of 13.6 a game.
Now, see, this is a little confusing. Petey has been pumping the Broncos all season. Denver was his preseason Super Bowl pick. He spent the early part of their season apologizing for all of Peyton Manning’s struggles. And now all of a sudden he’s dumping them for no reason for the Patriots. Brady must have been one of the people who called him, reigniting his Greatriots boner.
8. Chicago (7-2). With Jay Cutler under center, they’d be in the 4-5 range of these rankings.
So a critical injury is held against the Bears but not your beloved Greatriots? Got it.
10. Pittsburgh (6-4). That was just plain weird, seeing strong-armed (or so we thought) Byron Leftwich wind up, throw bombs downfield, and have them flutter to earth three or five or eight yards short. The Steelers have to survive without Ben Roethlisberger for now, and there’s only a one-game cushion over Cincinnati at the moment.
An injury affecting a player’s ability? ALL-TIME ANNALS OF SUPER STRANGENESS!
Also, the Steelers are totally boned.
12. Seattle (6-4). On his bye Sunday, Russell Wilson went to church and when he left, he told the minister, “Go Hawks!” He went grocery shopping and told his checkout gal, “Go Hawks!” He went to … You get the message. The guy ends most conversations — with the media and with real people — with “Go Hawks!”
“I’m truly sorry your mother couldn’t pull through. GO HAWKS!”
13. Minnesota (6-4). Strap it on, Vikes. Next three foes are 21-7, and two are on the road.
GET YOUR FUCK PARTS READY, FUCK BOYS
Offensive Players of the Week
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington. The best game of a precocious rookie season:
I thought we weren’t supposed to use the word “rookie” anymore?
/definition of insanity is expecting Peter King is stick with any inane stance from week to week
14 of 15, 200 yards passing, four touchdowns, no picks; 12 rushes, 84 yards, in the 31-6 rout of the Eagles. I talked to a long-time NFC East executive Sunday night, and he said: “I am not happy this guy’s in our division for the next 15 years. In fact, I’m pissed.”
“That tears it. I’m boycotting Subway and not just ’cause it tastes like ass.”
Special Teams Players of the Week
Julian Edelman, WR/PR, New England. Weaving and sprinting and feinting his way through the Colts’ punt team, Edelman, with the Patriots trailing early in what appeared destined to be a shootout, took an Indy punt 68 yards for a second-quarter touchdown. Just because it didn’t turn out to be a shootout doesn’t negate the beauty of Edelman’s return.
Why would it? What straw man are you arguing with?
Goat of the Week
Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis. The mantra around the Colts all week, entering their game at explosive New England, was they couldn’t turn it over. Give the Patriots any freebies, and the Colts had no shot. We can debate whether it really would have mattered in New England’s 59-24 win, but let’s be honest here: Luck handed it over four times, leading to 21 New England points.
Again, you’re only debating your own desire to fellate Luck. We all saw him play like dogshit. No one else is having inner turmoil coming to grips with it.
Quote of the Week I
“At this point, talking about the playoffs seems inappropriate.”
— San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers, after the Chargers fell three games behind Denver Sunday with their second loss of the season to the Broncos.
“LET’S TALK ABOUT FILTHY HARLOTS HAVING BABIES OUT OF WEDLOCK INSTEAD! THEY OUGHTA BE STONED!”
Stat of the Week I
Shawne Merriman, who had his first sack of the season Thursday night for Buffalo, averaged 13.2 sacks per year in his first three NFL seasons. He’s averaged 1.2 sacks per year in his last five seasons.
He also averaged a shit load of steroids injected during those first three seasons. Connection? MAYBE.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
The quarterback coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Clyde Christensen, has tutored Peyton Manning and now Andrew Luck, but he has been around defensive greatness in his life too. For two years in college, when he was a backup quarterback at the University of North Carolina, he roomed with Lawrence Taylor in a Chapel Hill dorm.
DEVELOPING NUGGET: PERSON WHO HAS BEEN AROUND FOOTBALL FOREVER HAS MET NOTABLE FOOTBALL PEOPLE!
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
Three of them:
Oh boy! Triple the bitching!
Nov. 14. Step on the Hertz bus at O’Hare. Andy Williams and a chorus are warbling. “Ding dong, ding dong … It’s the most wonderful time of the year … ” Christmas carols eight days before Thanksgiving. Why, America? Why?
Okay, that’s actually annoying. I assume we’re going in order from least to most pointless objection.
Ten-letter billboard, huge, on I-65 south on the drive to Indianapolis, somewhere around Valparaiso: “HELL IS REAL.” Yikes!
And yet you still drove to Indianapolis.
And this: There’s a Starbucks in downtown Indy, on the circle surrounding the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, and I pulled up behind an Indianapolis police officer in front of it, put my flashers on, and ran in to get coffee. On my way out, five minutes later, the officer rolls down his window and says to me, “That your car?”
“Yes,” I said.
“MAYBE,” he really said.
“Need your driver’s license,” he said. “I can’t believe you did that, right behind a cop. You parked in front of the hydrant.”
“My God, I never saw it,” I said. “What an idiot I am.”
“You do know which idiot I am, don’t you?”
He took my license, wrote out the ticket, handed it to me, and I said, “Sorry.” I got in the car, and as I got set to leave, the officer got out of his car and gave me the stop sign, walking to the passenger window. I rolled it down.
“Give me that ticket,” he said. “You were just in there for a couple minutes.”
“No, I did it,” I said. “It’s OK. My fault.”
And I started to realize: This man is about to rip up a ticket, for whatever reason, and I’m trying to argue him out of it?
Play idiot much?
Will PK argue with his own rhetorical question? I have a bullet chambered in case he does.
Officer: “No, I’ll take it. Just come back and see us. Say nice things about our city.”
Me: “Hey, thanks a lot.”
Say nice things about Indy, the greatest city on the face of the earth, kind sir? Sure thing!
Once again, Peter King is Homer Simpson and the rest of the world is Frank Grimes.
Tweet of the Week I
“Rivers is to turnovers what an ATM is to cash … just keeps giving it away.”
— @wingoz, ESPN anchor Trey Wingo, watching San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers give the Broncos opportunities in Denver.
Please direct me to the ATM that gives away cash.
Tweet of the Week IV
“Anonymous Jets: Mother Teresa “terrible.”
— @NYPost_Serby, columnist Steve Serby, who’s good for one of these per week. Or more.
I hadn’t gleaned that from you including one of his hacky jokes in your column every week.
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think this is what I liked about Week 11:
e. Justin Blackmon, with a preview of the future if Jacksonville ever gets a quarterback worthy of him, with a 63-yard catch.
Wait, so a receiver who has been pretty much useless all season is being held back? I mean, yeah, Gabbert blows, but Blackmon hadn’t done shit before Sunday. I guess I should just be surprised that PK is sticking up for a no-account first-round DUI GLOREEEE BOIIIII.
k. When you beat Joe Thomas for a sack, that’s one you put in your career time capsule, DeMarcus Ware.
To open in the future, after unchecked receiver stats have undone civilization as we know it.
o. You go, Aqib Talib. Great pick. Instinctive 59-yard return for touchdown.
Way to catch a pass thrown 10 yards over a receiver’s head! What refined instincts that guided you toward the other team’s end zone.
2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 11:
b. Jets defense on 4th-and-goal in the first quarter. Two receivers uncovered in the end zone? Who designed that brilliance?
One of the straw men you’ve been arguing with?
d. Ryan Lindley was worse. Significantly.
He’s no Max Hall.
h. Great FOX graphic 26 minutes into Cards-Falcons. “Passing yards: Atlanta 141, Arizona 1.”
Way to present easily cited statistics in graphic form!
k. Michael Turner, who looks like he’s running with cement shoes.
That’s the last time he eats all the mafia’s food.
o. Patriots fans booing Adam Vinatieri. You kidding me? Your team chose not to sign him when he got too expensive. He saved your bacon in gigantic playoff game after gigantic playoff game. Stop it. Just stop it.
Patriots fans acting like assholes? That never happens!
The other day on Deadspin, Kluwe ripped the 44 voters for Pro Football Hall of Fame in the kind of piece I thought was reserved for mass murderers, all because we haven’t elected Ray Guy to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The voters, Kluwe said, were “indolent cows” guilty of “heartless effrontery,” were “selfish, short-sighted, too g——– lazy to learn the subtleties of kicking,” “indolent, slothful, petulant, ignorant and flat-out stupid,” “small-minded,” “UNWILLING TO LEARN” (all caps).
Added Kluwe: “This is a player who pinned opposing offenses back inside their 20-yard line instead of simply booting a touchback, winning the battle of field position before anyone realized there was even a fight.” And he bleated to the selectors: “How dare you tell a man who devoted his life to perfecting his craft that he’s not worthy of admission among the game’s greatest?” A few points from this one lazy cow:
Peter goes on to contend that punters in Guy’s era didn’t try to pin other teams inside the 20 as much as they do nowadays. If Peter were smart enough, he would realize that he’s indirectly proving that Guy changed the way the position is played, but we all know that’s not the case.
Anyway, Kluwe responded, leading to this most PK of tweets:
Will have a @chriswarcraft response to my response to his Guy column, and my response to his reponse to my response, in Tuesday’s column.
— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) November 19, 2012
So don’t think I won’t vote for a punter or kicker (if I’m still on the committee). I believe in special teams’ impact on the game; I have long supported Steve Tasker’s case, because I believe he’s the best special teams player in NFL history, and special teams is worthy of being represented in the Hall.
Fuckin’ Steve Tasker. The prototypical scrap idol. Of course.
Finally, I’m disappointed in Kluwe. I like him. He’s the kind of independent voice football, and all of sports, needs. His column in Deadspin is beyond mean-spirited things. It’s the kind of thing you’d pen to read at the trial of the men who dismembered your mother with an ax.
“Kluwe is the kind of independent voice that sports needs, except when he says things I don’t like.”
6. I think Cam Newton is playing nothing like an entertainer or an icon, though his defense didn’t help him down the stretch in the loss to Tampa Bay, allowing four long drives in the last 25 minutes of the game.
Afraid that a direct dig at Cam will get him called a racist again, PK instead buries it with a grudging admission that Carolina’s defense does him no favors.
8. I think I am so, so sick of the debate over elite quarterbacks. How meaningless is this stupid debate about who is elite and how many quarterbacks should be in the elite category? Every time I hear another question asked about elite quarterbacks I want to stick my finger down my throat.
Finally, we’ve found Joe Flacco’s purpose. He’s the key to PK weight loss.
9. I think, and I’ve got my NBC hat on here, you’ll enjoy Cris Collinsworth’s idea on the Thursday night Pats-Jets game on NBC. John Madden’s going to introduce the game, focusing on his Thanksgiving tradition of football, family and food, and NBC, which has a Thursday night game for the next decade, will inaugurate the John Madden Thanksgiving Player of the Game. Collinsworth’s idea, executed by game telecast director Drew Esocoff. I’m looking forward to seeing Madden’s ode to turkey and football.
Oh, not just his NBC hat. Everyone knows PK is a good company shill. But also his Allagash hoodie, because PK can do his shilling with a few in him.
10. I think these are my non-NFL thoughts of the week:
a. Congrats to Cornell wideout Luke Tasker, son of Steve, for a great senior year at Cornell: 75 catches, 1,207 yards, 16.1-yard average. Chip off the old special teamer.
The son of gritty special teams white guy who plays for an Ivy? Woof. That is almost scientifically engineered for maximum fluffage by dickhead sportswriters.
b. Personal college football note of the week: Take a bow, Dick Ebersol. You’re the one who always believed Notre Dame could get back to the top of college football.
That NBC hat is stapled onto PK’s head, apparently.
d. Good luck editing the Washington Post to my old neighbor in Boston, Marty Baron. Very good newspaper man.
“Be sure to credit me and Rick Reilly for all your scoops!”
g. Coffeenerdness: Woman in the Indianapolis Airport Friday, in front of me in line at the Starbucks in the rotunda/lobby before the security gates, was just finishing some kind of frappucino, a huge one, and got to the front of the line. “Grande pumpkin spice latte, with four extra shots.” So … you’ve finished a 16-ounce frap, loaded with caffeine, and now you’re getting a pumpkin drink, which normally has two shots of espresso, and now you’re getting six shots. Wow. I wonder if she’s been to sleep since.
Don’t confuse that with concern. Those are words of admiration.
h. Beernerdness: Had the pleasure of the Strand Brewing Company’s (Torrance, Cal.) 24th Street Pale Ale, a tan ale, filled with malt. Bitter, but a very easy drink. Liked it a lot.
No need to call it an easy drink. There are no foodstuff that PK has difficulty consuming.
i. All this talk about Twinkies makes me want one. Like, now.
Can’t imagine why it takes PK three weeks to waddle through a half marathon
Now, for San Francisco 17, Chicago 13 tonight at Candlestick. It’s likely I would have picked the 49ers if Jay Cutler were healthy as a mule. But with an Alex Smith-Jason Campbell matchup, I’d be very surprised if Chicago could muster enough offense to win. Not because at his peak Campbell isn’t a good enough player to win a shootout against Alex Smith; but because Campbell has practiced with the first unit of the Bears for exactly four full days of his life. It’s hard to go up against a defense of San Francisco’s pedigree and pressure if you’ve only been practicing with the guys you’ll be playing with for a week.
WELP. Now we know that Alex Smith isn’t playing, either. So cancel that shootout that Peter King assumed that Alex Smith could initiate somehow.
The Adieu Haiku
So no more Twinkies.
No! Oh the humanity!
I’ll miss Ding Dongs too.
Lofty news, fatty
You got your damn Twinkies back
Hope you choke on ’em