Peter King Celebrates 20 Years Of Loftiness

06.01.09 9 years ago 62 Comments

When we last left Back Bay-dwelling douchesipper Peter King, he was busy spoiling “The Office,” failing to understand the meaning of the word “tampering,” and revealing the existence of the dreaded Boston Izzo.

So what does Peter Peter Sphincter Eater have in store for us this week? Will he find decent coffee in Britain? Will he find an Amtrak quiet car that will finally enforce its policy? Will he indulge in more of Pam Whiteley’s signature buttermilk biscuits? The answer lies within…

Top of the morning to you, and here are the topics of the morning as we flip the calendar to June:

Austin Wood is my hero.

And somewhere out there, Mitch Puin gently weeps in his room. How soon you forget Mitch’s heroics, King.

Matt Millen may be on the verge of getting another job. Aren’t you Lions fans shaking your heads in amazement?

Incredible that someone that incompetent would be employed at multiple places. It would be like if, say, Sports Illustrated and NBC both hired a vacuous swag-moocher who spent 90% of his work day writing about being stuck in traffic.

Drew Brees is on an incredible run that you have no idea about.

He hasn’t used his car in 24 straight days!

I have nothing new to report on those column favorites, Brett Favre and Mike Vick.

And yet, here you are, still talking about them. “Nothing to report on Mike Vick and Brett Favre this week, folks. Nope, not gonna talk about them at all. Maybe Brett planted gardenias yesterday, maybe not. My gut feeling? He did.”

Randall McDaniel was really good.

Yes, he was.

I have an anniversary this morning. It crept up on all of us.

It’s been 35 years since Jack Bowers and I first went to Johnny Rockets. I know! I’m as stunned as you are.

The Austin Wood story’s a good one.

It’s an AMAZING story. One day Wood was pitching for Texas. And his pitching coach walked up to King and said, “Look, see that kid? He’s gonna be good one day.” ASTONISHING.

I’ll save it for Stat of the Week/Hero of the Week, an invented column department for this one day only. Ever hear of Austin Wood?

No. But if he’s anywhere near as interesting as Amanda Bowers, I think we’re all in for a treat.

He’s a college pitcher from Texas with a very sore arm this morning. Let’s begin with the other nuggets of the day, opening with …

The Matt Millen job fare.

Let’s open with a typo, shall we?

In the wake of NFL Network losing Gruden, the channel has considered a few options of analysts to pair with Bob Papa. One is Brian Billick, the quick-on-his-feet former Ravens coach who had a successful debut on FOX last season.

Billick? Okay. I guess he’d be all right.

Another would be a three-man booth, with Papa, Marshall Faulk and Joe Theismann, who, presumably, would walk to each game if the network would give him the gig.

What? WHAT?! Someone out there is seriously considering this? GAHHHHH!!!!

/runs to medicine cabinet
/opens everything
/ingests everything

I can’t even begin to fathom the horror that would be a booth of Theismann and Faulk. You’d have to sever your own head prior to watching.

Millen has already signed with ESPN to do college football games and analysis in the Monday night road studio. If he adds the Thursday duty, he’ll be busier than Cris Collinsworth was in the second half of the season. Imagine doing the Monday night gig, then leaving Tuesday morning for the site of the Thursday-nighter, doing the Thursday game, and then going directly to the college game on Friday morning.

OMG what a horrible workload! It’s as if he’s working in a Filipino sock factory! WON’T ANYONE LET POOR MATT MILLEN HAVE THE DOWNTIME HE SO CLEARLY DESERVES?

In the 89-year history of the National Football League, only one player has thrown for more yards in a three-year period than Brees has thrown for in his last three years. This is Drew Brees we’re talking about, not any of the very famous quarterbacks I’m going to show you in this chart:

That’s right. We’re not talking about overrated passers like Warren Moon here. We’re talking about Drew Brees, who you may not have even heard of until today. Do you know who Drew Brees is? Well, Peter will tell you in the Austin Wood section.

Players and team officials question me each year about the Hall’s picks. Always. But (Randall) McDaniel is one guy no one panned.

Know who panned him as a Hall entrant? Paul Zimmerman. And if my Google Fu were better, I’d show exactly where Dr. Z said he wouldn’t let McDaniel into the Hall because he didn’t like his footwork. Crotchety old bastard.

Happy Anniversary to me.

You don’t mind if Peter takes a quick detour away from football to talk about himself, do you? It’s so rare that he does such a thing.

Finally, a personal note. (As if I haven’t thrown enough “personal notes” and full-fledged “personal columns” at you in this space over the last 12 years.)


I don’t keep a lot of what I write, or the covers I’ve had at the magazine over the years. I’ve just never been that kind of “file it away you’ll be glad you did someday” guy.

Notable exception: Peter’s black book of baristas who have wronged him. HOUSTON STARBUCKS, DO A BETTER JOB FROTHING YOUR FUCKING MILK.

But the current cover, the June 1, 2009 edition of the mag with Tom Brady on the front and my story inside, is one I’ll keep.

Under my mattress!

Because that date –today — is my 20th anniversary at the magazine.

20 years? King has been there 20 years? Oh, Christ. That’s two decades of, “I had lunch with Paul Tagliabue the other day, and he told me the key dealmaker for the player’s union is GENE UPSHAW.” I wonder what King was like 20 years ago. Hmm… I really wonder…

/scratches chin
/wavy lines
/wavy lines
/wavy lines

King: Oh my God! You guys! I just moved to Montclair, New Jersey! You people in the suburbs never told me just how lovely it is out there, with the trees and the talk! Hey gang, call me nuts, but I think Jerry Rice could end up one of the all time greats! Driving Miss Daisy, now THAT is the picture of the year. Why can’t I see it at the Nutley multiplex? EXTORTION, THAT’S WHY. What is with all the traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel? SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE. Oh my God, who made this coffee? It’s disgusting! You people should really take a cue from the makers of General Foods International Coffees when it comes to brewing. I’m really liking this Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians! Jack Bowers just had a daughter! Good for you, Jack! Classless move, slapping a cop like that, Zsa Zsa Gabor. You should be ashamed of yourself. You can’t pay cops enough.

/wavy lines
/wavy lines
/wavy lines

Oh, man. That’s unpleasant to consider.

A few weeks before I got hired at SI, Pete Rozelle resigned as commissioner.

“What? You people hired Peter King? I fucking quit.”

I was at the meeting where Rozelle resigned in Palm Desert, Calif.

And what I remember vividly about that day was that they didn’t put out any free coffee for me before 8AM. HYATT PALM DESERT, YOU HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO BEFORE I CONSIDER STAYING WITH YOU AGAIN.

Think of those names that were the heaviest of hitters 20 years ago: Rozelle, Walsh, Brown, Landry, Hunt, Mara, Schramm, Finks, Donlan, Kemp, Upshaw, McDonough. All 12, dead.

But if we hold a $150,000 silent auction, we might just get them up and living again.

I think back to when I was hired, and I remember thinking what a plum job this was.

But now it’s just so HARD!

Mulvoy told me I’d be responsible for some NFL stories in the offseason, and maybe a story or two in other sports, but I’d be able to enjoy the offseason.

OH NOES! Now you don’t get seven months off a year! Matt Millen feels your pain, brutha.

In the first couple of years, I bet I had 10 weeks in the offseason when I didn’t have an assignment, including vacation. What a life!

Good life! Lofty life!

No TV, a little radio, no internet, no cell phones. I wrote my “Inside the NFL” column for the magazine each week during the season, and maybe six or eight times each offseason.


I think in some ways we beat horses ’til they’re long past dead today.

But again, I have NOTHING to report about Brett Favre and Michael Vick.

In some cases, the pressure to be first causes those of us in the news business to react too quickly. The Boston Herald’s false Spygate report comes to mind. That concerns me.

Brett Favre just told me he’s definitely retiring! This time it’s for real!

When Brett Favre has thrown this spring to high school receivers near his Sumrall, Miss., home, one of the wideouts has been a 6-foot-1, 195-pound Division I prospect with Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Louisville chasing him.

But again, I’m not going to talk about Brett Favre this week.

Pretty good pedigree too. The wide receiver in question: Steve McNair Jr., the son the former MVP quarterback.

Sweet holy Jesus, McNair’s kid is about to play COLLEGE BALL? Was the child conceived in a moon bounce?

From lfitzgerald11, better known to you as Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals,

But close friends like me refer to him only by his Twitter handle.

tweeting to Oprah Winfrey over the weekend…


Absolute gut feeling: Boldin stays in Arizona and gets a new deal done, quietly, around Halloween.

“In some cases, the pressure to be first causes those of us in the news business to react too quickly… That concerns me.”

I think I wouldn’t be bothered so much by the news of Eric Mangini sending his rookie class on a 10-hour bus ride to Hartford to work at his weekend football camp for underprivileged kids — if he and his coaches hadn’t flown there. There’s something about that that’s just wrong.

Especially if they flew Continental.

Favre is flying very far under the radar and hasn’t been heard from all week, and I hear the Vikings don’t even know his plans, though they’re anxious to find them out.

You see, Brett is mysterious. He’s a riddle no one can solve. He’s like a stroke…

I think someone has to tell Reggie Bush that this thing with Kim Kardashian just might not be forever. Google the story about her engagement ring.

I’m too busy to do it for you now! If only it were 1989 again!

Mariano Rivera is not only the greatest relief pitcher of all time, but also one of the 10 best pitchers of all time. What an amazing specimen and competitor.

Isn’t Peter King supposed to be a Red Sox fan? All he seems to do is compliment players on the Yankees. “Derek Jeter. What heart.”

Coffeenerdness: Not to get all touchy-feely on you, but there is something about walking into a Peet’s and just breathing the air.

Smells like… drywall.

That’s what espresso smells like in Italy.

I’ve been to Italy, King. And not to sound all uppity, but when I went, the first thing I thought when I visited was NOT: “Say, this country smells just like a goddamn Peet’s.” Jesus. Way to piss off yet another entire European nation there.

You know there’s just something about walking into a P.F. Changs and breathing the air. One whiff, and you are suddenly in the rice paddies of the Hunan Province.

You go, Daniel Schlereth.


The son of ESPN’s Mark Schlereth, the former Bronco and ‘Skin guard, made his major-league debut as a lefty reliever for Arizona Friday night in Phoenix, getting the Braves out 1-2-3 (Brian McCann, Garret Anderson, Casey Kotchman) Friday night with a very nervous dad in attendance, then followed it up with a second shutout inning Sunday. Careful, kid. You’re going to give your father a heart attack.

And we can’t have him having a heart attack. HE STILL OWES KING FOR THAT FREE MEAL AT CAPITAL GRILLE, YOU LITTLE SHIT.

(By the way, Drew Brees is a very good QB who plays for New Orleans. Now you know.)

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