When last we left minister of drinkability, Peter King, he was telling us that your draft experience wasn’t complete because you didn’t see the glee in the Rams war room when they were making the picks PK got to witness live while eating catered steak entrees. THE GLEE, PEOPLE, THE GLEE! Petey also dished out a host of excuses that no one cared to listen to about how inaccurate the mock draft he made that no one cared about in the first place.
But what about this week? Do left-footed punters cause returners to self-destruct with confusion? PROBABLY! Is it too soon to credit PK’s underappreciated mock draft for all the Ravens draft success? Not at all. PK would also once again like to assuage readers by letting them know he’s trying really hard not to be biased and that should be good enough for you. READ ON.
It struck me during the draft, while watching the Rams go hard after Tavon Austin and Alec Ogletree, that there are four kinds of draft strategists in football today:
Oh yeah, it’s all the draft thoughts that had to wait a week until Peter was finished gushing about super fun it was to sit in on the Rams war room, where he ate swordfish, watching coaches awkwardly high-five and smeared his ejaculate on the white board (thanks to the color, none were the wiser!)
• Those who mostly sit near or right where they are high in the draft (Pittsburgh, the Giants, Green Bay, Cincinnati, among many others) and let the draft come to them.
• Those who enter the draft with an eye on specific players and use picks as capital to go buy the objects of their affection (Atlanta, St. Louis).
Demitroff and Demoff! The true renegades of the sport! Sure, the DO IT THE RIGHT WAY brigade in Green Bay, Pittsburgh and New York practice patience, but sometimes that’s not good enough. That is, if you’re a GM that PK likes. If not, you’re just a reckless non-factor.
• An amalgam of those two ways of drafting (Baltimore, Minnesota, Seattle). Drafts are snowflakes, and they decide what to do after they set their boards.
Only they see the true beauty of the draft. Each draft its own beautiful, unique snowdraft. While all the rest are like, “Bahh, my draft board is all set. See you guys in the preseason.” It’s these three teams (who might or might not be franchises that PK was granted access to going into the draft) who had the foresight to say “wait a minute, maybe we can continue to assess our boards up until and through the draft.” Truly, no other teams do this.
• Board-users (New England, San Francisco) married to nothing other than maximizing picks as value, unafraid of either going after a player they love (Pats: Jerod Mayo; Niners: Eric Reid) or, in the Jimmy Johnson way, trading down often because future picks are currency to get players they want.
Trent Baalke and Belichick make the board their bitch. They stockpile picks! Nothing makes football writers gush waterfalls of cum like stockpiling picks.
It’s easy to say a team had a good draft when the first three picks come in the first round. But they weren’t 8-11-9. They were 23-25-29, and if the Vikings hit on two of them, they will have had a great day.
Because top 10-ish picks are extra firsty! They never bust! These were sub-first picks (albeit in a year when everyone including PK said the difference in talent between the fifth and 25th pick was minimal. So no pressure on Rick Spielman, who took the time to tell PK he made dinner with Manti Te’o, even if that didn’t materialize into anything.
It’s too early to say who was right on this draft day, and there is no one correct draft philosophy.
But four years from now, we’ll be able to talk like it was totally obvious all along. That’s the beauty of the draft!
The Ravens probably get it right more than any other team — or at least have gotten it right a lot recently — by reading the board, fishing around for pre-draft mock drafts they trust might have some kernel of truth to them, then not being married to any pick anywhere.
LULZ at Peter King thinking Ozzie Newsome is using dipshit writers’ mock drafts to compile his board.
“Says here Peter King has us taking Manti Te’o at the end of the first round. Take him off our board. Oh wait, we were never gonna take him in the first place.”
It’s early, I know, but the Rams and Niners could own the ’14 draft.
IMPORTANT: two teams prematurely own this thing that will be impossible to evaluate even once it actually happens.
Steve Spagnuolo gets to rehab his reputation in a good spot.
Great decision by Spagnuolo to join the Ravens as a special assistant to defensive coordinator Dean Pees and head coach John Harbaugh. He’ll help them, and they’ll help him. Spagnuolo has coached the 4-3 defense in his 14 previous NFL seasons, with the Eagles, Giants, Rams and Saints. Now he’ll see the 3-4 from the inside.
His role will be amorphous: advising Pees and Harbaugh (who he’s known for years; they were on Eagles staffs together), and likely looking for ways to incorporate some pass-rush schemes into what the Ravens do. Remember: It was Spagnuolo’s Giants defense and ever-changing pass rush that frustrated the Patriots and helped the Giants win the Super Bowl against the 18-0 Patriots five years ago. Good move for both sides.
Whoa, he’s THAT Spagnuolo!? I thought he was the one who ran the historically awful Saints defense last year. Thanks for clarifying. It wouldn’t look as good if they hired him.
The historic 50th Super Bowl looks bound for Santa Clara.
A few years ago, when the subject of the site for the Golden Anniversary of the Super Bowl came up, a lot of spots were mentioned: New York/New Jersey, somewhere in Los Angeles, a more traditional site like south Florida or New Orleans. Then the league began circulating the thought that the 50th Super Bowl would be a legacy-type Super Bowl, in a city with much Super Bowl tradition, and the 51st a sign of where the league is going in the future.
Amazing, really, that the most likely venue this morning for the Golden Anniversary Super Bowl is the 48th-largest city in California, Santa Clara.
Haha, stupid NFL. Sure, the new 49ers stadium is supposed to be awesome and in a market people want to visit, but it’s technically located in a small city that adjoins a much larger one. Which is a point no one cares about. Boy, I bet someone got fired for that.
And I’m all for it.
I hope it snows.
/realizes it rarely ever snows there, doesn’t care
The new 49ers stadium is the best place for the game, now that the Dolphins won’t be able to give any assurances to the league that Dolphins Stadium will be refurbished before the game.
The team worked hard to make theirs the greenest stadium in major pro sports. There will be 20,000 square feet of solar panels, a charging station for electric cars, loads of bicycle parking, and a living roof full of green plants.
Finally, a welcome venue for all the corporate partners who bike to the Super Bowl!
And in other news about our new football website …
“Oh wait, did I OUR? Is it Ourslania? Oh, silly me. My mistake. It’s KINGlandia. That makes it MYYYYYY site. MINE MINE MINE.”
Happy to announce this morning that my new football-centric microsite, which we’ll kick off July 22, is adding a couple of strong column voices: Andrew Brandt and Richard Deitsch.
Ooooop. Wrong Twitter handle for Andrew Brandt, who is joining our new football site. It’s @adbrandt.
— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) May 6, 2013
Eh, those are actually not terrible hires. Just means that Peter gets to be the worst part of his own site.
Brandt, the former agent and Packers VP, has been an NFL business analyst for ESPN. He’ll write a column on the business of football once a week, and write longer pieces when good stories come up. Brandt’s a teacher — at Villanova and the Wharton Business School at Penn — and a tweeter. He’s one of the most insightful and fun follows on Twitter.
See what happens when Jay Z gets into the agent business…
— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) May 5, 2013
Deitsch will also write a column once a week for the site, as well as do some longer pieces on the influence of TV in the game we watch.
It’ll be exciting when Peter forces him to write a 2,000 word piece on why NBC’s pregame show is actually more entertaining than the games themselves.
He’ll still do his fine work for both SI and SI.com, but for us he’ll be NFL only. Like Brandt, Deitsch teaches too (at Columbia, as an adjunct professor of journalism), and I’ve loved his take on sports and the media for years. I’d be honored to have this column compared to the great one he writes on the media, and I know he’ll bring his tireless curiosity to us. I’m excited to have both guys on board, and you’ll get to read them starting in late July.
Can’t wait for their hot takes on teams reporting to camp.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me I
The best factoid I encountered this week comes from the always-prescient Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston: This will be Bill Belichick’s 14th season as coach of the Patriots, and he has entered every one with a left-footed punter. The two punters the Patriots will take to camp this year, incumbent Zoltan Mesko and free agent Ryan Allen of Louisiana Tech, are left-footed. Something about the way the ball comes off the punter’s foot, it seems. Thinking about it, it stands to reason that even if it’s only because there aren’t a lot of left-footed punters, a return man might struggle with the trajectory if he sees punts off a righty eight weeks in a row, then has to catch punts from Mesko — particularly when his team can’t practice the lefty stuff without a lefty punter on the roster.
Did Mr. Access bother to ask a return specialist whether that actually affects how they see the ball? It’s not like with a pitcher only 45 feet away. A punt returner is standing at three times that distance. It might not actually throw off anything. But who knows because PK sucks at his job.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me II
The 229th pick of the draft, a mid-seventh-rounder, was owned by four teams (one twice) in 48 hours on draft weekend.
On Thursday night, Minnesota traded it to New England as one of four picks to trade up to the 29th pick in the first round.
On Saturday, New England traded 229 in the deal that brought LeGarrette Blount from Tampa Bay to New England.
Later Saturday, the Bucs traded 229 back to Minnesota when Tampa moved up seven spots in the sixth round.
Ensconced back in the great north woods — where it apparently belonged all along — after traveling to the northeast and then to the Florida Gulf Coast, 229 turned into Florida State defensive tackle Everett Dawkins.
A super late draft pick that no one cares about how tacked on at the end of a bunch of trades? WEIRD!
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
Traveling back from Dallas to the East Coast Thursday night, my American Airlines flight had a slightly bumpy approach and landing. Nothing too unusual, except to the 12ish-year-old boy across the aisle in row 32. As I stood up to stretch, the boy, without warning from the window seat, projectile-vomited. He caught some of it, but a chunk of it, yogurty in feel, BB’ed into my right ear, with another couple of splashes on my shirt.
MEAST OF THE WEEK: PUKEY 12-YEAR-OLD.
I’d say it’s karmic payback for PK bragging about stealing a foul ball from another kid, but I’d like to believe karma would have this kid throw up in Peter’s mouth.
A flight attendant, duly attentive, rushed up and asked the mom if she needed a bag — no thanks, it seems to be over now — and some towels. While they cleaned up, I went into the lavatory and washed my ear like I’d never washed it in my life, which was tough to do in an airplane lav.
Of all the rotten luck. PK forgot to bring the same wipes he uses to get Brett Favre’s cum out of his nostrils.
Tweet of the Week I
“Floyd Mayweather to receive $32 million even if he loses this fight. Would put him 10th on PGA Tour all-time money list. Sorry, Kenny Perry.”
— @JasonSobelGC, The GolfChannel.com senior writer, during the pro boxer’s victorious performance Saturday night.
That might be the wow of the week.
Indeed. Also the pointless and frustrating comparison of earnings across different sports of the week.
Tweet of the Week III
“After seven mint juleps I’m ready to watch thish Kenchuxky Zherby.”
— @ByTimGraham of the Buffalo News, 10 minutes before post time of the Zherby Saturday.
Haha! Pretend drunk joke schtick. I call it drunkface.
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think there aren’t many years in which the 48th pick in the draft could be the most impactful in September, but with the sordid Steelers running back situation, Le’Veon Bell could hit the ground running for Pittsburgh and not stop. Wouldn’t surprise me if he were this year’s Alfred Morris, only about 400 fewer yards.
Totally the next Alfred Morris, only with 75 percent of Morris’ production, not to mention being drafted in the second round instead of the sixth. Otherwise, they’re basically the same player and same story.
2. I think I fully support your right to root for Goldencents at the Derby, Ron Rivera, but I am sorry, I cannot support the hat.
You tell him. You have no business wearing that hat and not having Silky Garrard on your roster.
3. I think I have three leftover thoughts about the Rams draft, from my night in the draft room:
Leftover nuggets! The initial gushing couldn’t wash them all out of my system. This is what we call a nugget cleanse.
b. Many have said the Rams are going to have one of these risky high picks — Janoris Jenkins, Alec Ogletree — blow up on them, the way Pacman Jones and Albert Haynesworth blew up on Jeff Fisher in Tennessee. I didn’t use it in the story for space reasons, but COO Kevin Demoff admitted to me that it was likely that one of these days they’d have an issue with one of the high-risk guys, and it was simply the cost of doing business when you take a talented player who has had issues.
“I left this necessary cautionary note out of my story for space reasons. Mostly because my throbbing boner took up those three inches.”
c. As I’ve done a couple of times when writing about the Rams, I want to be open about my relationships there. Kevin Demoff is the son of my agent, Marvin Demoff. Jeff Fisher has Marvin Demoff for an agent. I understand some of you would think I am giving favorable treatment to them, and it is human nature to think that.
Because it’s right.
I try my best to be impartial. Many of you think I am not. I look at it this way: If my relationship with Kevin Demoff and Fisher helped me spend the first round inside the Rams’ draft room — and of course it didn’t hurt — then read the story and weigh whether it was worth it. I believe it was.
That’s awful big of you, Pete. Also specious reasoning to assume that simply disclosing conflict of interest eliminates it. C’MON GUYS, HE’S TRYING REAL HARD NOT TO BE SWAYED BY CATERED LUNCHES AND OPEN MOUTH JEFF FISHER KISSES!
Also, I like how Peter’s argument is “I know many of you think I’m biased and have reasons to think so, but read my shit anyway. Sure, it’s still fucked, but you’re the one who read it, so who’s the real sap?”
5. I think it’s fitting I had The Big Lebowski on in the background Saturday night while writing … and read that Terrell Owens bowled a 185-129-161 series in his professional bowling debut over the weekend. A 129 … sounds very much like King family bowling night back in New Jersey.
Terrell Owens pissed on your fucking rug, dude.
9. I think I’m not saying Scott Pioli has a future in the prognostication business or anything, but he did forecast on NFL Network that the Ravens would take Matt Elam and Arthur Brown 1-2 in the draft. And, of course …
Worth noting that Pioli is another friend of PK. SO NOT BIASED, YOU GUYS!
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
c. As I tweeted Saturday night, that was an awful showing by the Nets, and I know more about darts than I do basketba –
Appreciate the signal to ignore the following section.
e. I know it’s not very plausible to think they can win the series, but I’ll be pulling hard for the Bulls against Miami.
WOWZERS. Someone rooting against the Heat? Way to go out on a limb, big guy.
f. Not a big fan of amateur doctoring
but when Derrick Rose is cleared to play March 8 and here it is, 60 days later, and he says he’s still not ready, what is that all about?
I bet he’s a big phony FAKER. Quit, find a phrenologist to tell us whether he has the sloping forehead of a liar.
h. How about the Islanders with a pulse? It’s good for hockey to see the Isles competitive with Pittsburgh.
Ah, there’s the obligatory “Look! I’m paying attention to hockey!” comment. Also, if Marc-Andre Fleury hadn’t knocked a puck into his own net, it’s entirely possible that the Islanders would be down 3-0 in the series right now.
i. Hey, Lisa Swenson! Congrats on your 100th career hit for the Newark (N.J.) Academy softball team! You were fun to coach. Good luck in this great game, and in life.
What more luck does she need? She’s already been coached by Peter King and notched 100 hits in high school softball. Dare say you can take it easy and rest on those laurels forever.
j. Coffeenerdness: Five straight grande hazelnut macchiatos. There is a sea change in the works. Latte down, macchiato up.
A CHANGING OF THE BARISTA GUARD! You’ve had your day, latte. Now it’s time for Peter King to have a drink that’s… more or less the same as a latte. The only change is the process of preparation. The most PK sea change ever.
Latte and Macchiato as a drink, in essence — are just the same. They are originally espressos with milk in it. The difference however, is that macchiato was done to recognize the coffee with milk easily. Actually, caffe macchiato is considered as a caffe latte by virtue of its ingredient.
k. Beernerdness: Had the Rahr and Sons Blonde Lager the other night while in Dallas. Very nice, lighter malty beer from Fort Worth. Could have had seven — that’s how drinkable it is. Stopped at three. Mature for once.
All beers are drinkable. You’re just a drunk.
The Adieu Haiku
Sanchez press briefing.
Why that thin green hair band, Mark?
Anyone ask that?