When we last left largest of the larger media, Peter King, he suggested that Roger Goodell should push back any Ballghazi punishment until 2016 after the league has had a chance to check the air pressure in a bunch of footballs (and maybe give Tom Brady a chance to retire, who knows?!) PK also came out in support of ownership collusion because it’s not fair to the billionaires that agents get to talk to one another, which is the least surprising PK position since he came out in support of Brock Holt for Grit-King of the Universe.
But what about this week? For starters, TheMMQB has a redesign! Look at all that extra white space. Peter just loves the way it keeps its nose to the grindstone and eats up the page without drawing attention to itself. There’s also a bunch of stuff about the Hall of Fame and the Red Sox. What fun this will be. READ ON.
Oh ho ho, a dateline! Peter only uses those when he’s on the road doing reportedly things like visiting training camps and spreading the word to the restaurant host community about Robin Williams’ suicide.
It was a broiler Sunday in the upper Midwest, 85 with a scorching sun and St. Louis-like humidity that made fans and media at the Vikings’ first day of training camp look for any sliver of shade they could find. Players and coaches, well, they weren’t so lucky. Players wore no pads, but they had helmets, and after drills and short spurts of teaching, they’d remove their helmets and rivulets of sweat would pour off their heads.
Is St. Louis known for its humidity? Sorry, I live outside DC where you can cut the air into slices in the summer and eat it like a sponge cake (It’s me, the Humidity Snob). I don’t doubt that it still probably sucks to be running around in a helmet in 85-degree weather. There could be worse is all.
On one such occasion, during a break in practice, Adrian Peterson, back after a season in self-imposed purgatory, took a water bottle from a camp aide. Before taking a drink himself, he held up the bottle to undrafted Boise State rookie fullback Blake Renaud. Renaud nodded, and Peterson squirted water in Renaud’s mouth for two or three seconds. Then Peterson took some water himself. Just a bit of common football courtesy his teammates have gotten used to. “A great teammate,” quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said of Peterson. “I can tell you, the whole locker room’s glad to have him back.”
Oh, is that the reason Peterson missed most of last season? Being a bad teammate?
Pretty good player too. It is silly to judge anything of a veteran football player in an unpadded July practice … except athleticism.
And wouldn’t ya know it, this athlete still had athleticism. Football really finds a way to surprise you every time.
And in the first training-camp practice of his thirties (he turned 30 on March 21), Peterson made one move that showed the Vikings the athleticism they were missing at the position for the final 15 games of last season. Running a seam route out of the backfield on linebacker Brian Peters, Peterson feigned left-right-left in a millisecond and left Peters covering air. Backup quarterback Mike Kafka tossed an in-stride 30-yard touchdown to Peterson. Easy as pie. Followed by a smile. We’ve seen both — the juking move leaving a defender behind, and the smile — before.
Thank goodness his smile has returned to its 2013 glisten. I’d hate to consider the Vikings’ chances if he couldn’t blind opponents with its light. Or that, y’know, it was tarnished by all that child abuse he did.
There’s a recap of Adrian Peterson’s offseason standoff with Vikings brass that seems mostly unnecessary now that it’s over. Peter’s report comes with the supposedly big revelation that Peterson never really believed he would play elsewhere and Minnesota never wanted to trade him. Pretty easy things to claim when he’s in training camp. Shockingly, everybody is very optimistic now. Oh wait, but isn’t there something we’re not addressing here?
Peterson did not want to discuss the events that forced him to sit a season. So no talk from him about the charges of child endangerment stemming from whipping his son. I would have liked to hear his version of events, and how it changed him, or if it did. I did ask if he learned any lesson from the last year of his life. “The most important thing I’ve learned — I knew this but this was a clear indication to realize it and stick by it — was to put your trust in God and not in man,” Peterson said. “Man will turn his back on you quick and God won’t, no matter what the situation is.”
“Something something God still loves me when I beat my kids.” Wow, so glad this man is back out there flashing those toothy grins.
The crowd was supportive of Peterson Sunday. He was cheered and asked for his autograph and made to feel welcome. But walking out for a morning walk-through practice, and during the afternoon practice, there weren’t the roars of cheers for him that you might have expected. As one fan said while I walked in Mankato after lunch: “We all want him to have a great year, but there’s a lot of people uncomfortable with the whole story. I think they’ll come around. It might take a while. But he’s always been so good to the fans I think he’ll be loved again.”
Yes, I’m also very confident in the ability of NFL fans to forget about child abuse so long as the football man racks up tons of yards and touchdowns.
Moving along, there’s another tedious section examining Russell Wilson’s contract situation, which inevitably leads to Peter talking up his favorite uber-precocious abstinence-slinger and once again dropping quarterback wins as a stat in his defense.
Of course, this wouldn’t be complete if Petey wasn’t taking a needless shot at another quarterback.
Let’s say the two sides agree on Rodgers money: five years, $110 million, with guaranteed money being paid this year but the 2015 salary staying on the books for cap reasons. (Not likely, but possible.) Check out how Wilson’s total compensation in his first nine seasons would compare to a player who hasn’t won as much but who was rewarded this offseason, with no hue and cry about the deal not being worth it.
Cam Newton, through end of current deal: Nine years, $125.8 million total, $13.98 million average.
Wilson, through end of projected deal: Nine years, $113.0 million total, $12.55 million average.
I thought PK and Cam made nice last year. I guess burying the hatchet with Peter will only get you so far. When he needs to roast you for not having as many rings as his favorite charm boy, he’s gonna do it.
Mike Pereira breaks news about the new system of measuring air pressure in footballs. Pereira, the former officiating czar, wrote the story for FOXSports.com Sunday. It’s waaaaaaay complex, so I shan’t go through every aspect. But this is one I find most interesting: When footballs are pressure-gauged before games, they will still have to measure between 12.5 pounds per square inch and 13.5 psi. If they do not, the officials will be instructed to put the air in the football at 13.0 psi. So if one team is trying to get an edge by having the pressure right on the border near 12.5 or right on the border near 13.5, and it’s either under or over by a tenth of a pound, it will backfire. In the past, maybe a crew would measure and say, “Close enough.” Now, that crew will have to put the psi at the halfway point between high and low, exactly 13.0. In other words, it’s a decision soft-ball lovers or hard-ball lovers really won’t like.
A huge victory for just-right-ball lovers, however. Expect Goldilocks to come out slingin’ this year!
Okay, enough of this sober writing about the football news of the day. I’m ready for Peter to start acting like a petulant child.
The Junior Seau Speech Controversy
Writing in the New York Times, Ken Belson quoted the daughter of the late linebacker, Sydney Seau, as saying she was disappointed she wouldn’t be able to give the speech he would have wanted to give at his Hall of Fame induction Aug. 9. Immediately protests came up on social media and the larger media (not sure the “larger media” is actually larger than social anymore, really)
Boo fucking hoo, establishment media can’t just tune people out and do their own thing anymore. They actually have to factor in how the great unwashed masses react to things. Don’t you just feel awful for millionaire water carrier Peter King?
calling for Sydney to be able to give the acceptance speech. One problem: In 2010, the Pro Football Hall of Fame changed its policy for inductees who have died. They would have a five-to-six-minute introduction featuring the person designated by the family to introduce the honoree. Then no acceptance speech. Then the unveiling of the Hall of Fame bust by family members. Then on to the next inductee. (Fairness in reporting: I am one of the 46 selectors for the Hall of Fame.)
OH ARE YOU!? I love that Peter King’s idea of journalism ethics is finding a weekly excuse to remind everyone that he votes for the Hall of Fame.
So, why the change? The induction ceremonies had become quite long and tedious. In 2009, when the late Derrick Thomas’ designated speaker, Carl Peterson, rolled on for 26 minutes in his pinch-hitting acceptance speech
What a terrible thing to befall people who drove a long way to watch people speak! A speech went long. It’s a wonder that everyone didn’t die.
(and Chris Berman went long in introducing Ralph Wilson that year too)
See, Peter, you should have led with this. Had you only said “they had to change the rule or else Chris Berman might show up again and never shut the fuck up” I totally would have been on board. But you screwed it up by waiting.
both the Hall and network officials thought the speeches had to be reined in. So the video introductions were made to feature the chosen presenters, and then the presenters would not speak live; and the acceptance speech the Hall would ask to be shorter would follow. If an inductee had died before the ceremony, there would be an introductory video and then the unveiling of the bust by family members.
Are the rules of enshrinement ceremonies set forth in the Constitution or something? Make a goddamn exception. Everyone involved knows this is a special case. And it’s a dumb fucking rule anyway. “Football exploited this man’s athletic gifts and destroyed his body but we can’t be bothered to watch his family be sad for 26 goddamn minutes. Ugh, we have an open bar to get to!” Show an ounce of compassion.
For those inclined to blame commissioner Roger Goodell for the change, Hall VP Joe Horrigan said over the weekend that Goodell had nothing to do with any procedural decision like this one.
SO THERE, GOODELL HATERZ. That leaves only 600,000 terrible decisions you can pin on him.
For the conspiracy theorists saying the league wouldn’t want discussion of suicide or head trauma to roil Hall of Fame weekend and thus the league put the kibosh on any Seau speech … well, if this were the first time an inductee’s family hadn’t been allowed to speak, that might be understandable. But it’s not the first time. Horrigan told me he talked to Sydney Seau after the Times story came out, and she said she was all right with the Hall’s decision.
Probably because she knows how pig-headed the league is and already has a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the NFL, which is ultimately more important than how this shitbag organization chooses to remember her father.
In the video, by the way, she speaks often, and ends by saying — and I’m paraphrasing, but it will be something close to this — Now it’s my honor to present my father, Junior Seau, for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. You may want to hear more than this, and you may want a member of the deceased inductee’s family or a close friend to give an acceptance speech. I understand especially if Seau-loving San Diegans journey across the country to see the ceremony, they’d want more than a videotaped introduction and an unveiling of the bust. But the reason for this decision is brevity, not a problem with what would be said by Sydney Seau.
I wonder if clinging to the bylaws of the Hall of Fame are ever going to bring Peter King anything positive. In the last few months, they’ve been used to justify his potential vote of Darren Sharper into the Hall and now the bylaws are the holy text that prevents Junior Seau’s family from speaking at his enshrinement. Are these bylaws contained within the Necronomicon?
Peter then segues into blathering about his TheMMQB’s visual redesign, which I could give not one shit about. Apparently the mobile experience of reading his drivel is now far superior. And thank goodness for that.
Quotes of the Week
“It’s been like planning a wedding party without the groom.”
—Gina Seau, widow of the late NFL linebacker Junior Seau, to Ken Belson of The New York Times, on preparing for the Aug. 9 induction of Junior Seau into the Pro Football Hall of Fame
The family, Belson reported, was surprised and dismayed that Seau’s daughter, Sydney, who had planned to give a speech on behalf of her father (per his pre-death instructions), will not be allowed to give that speech at the Hall ceremony. “To not be able to speak, it’s painful,” Sydney Seau said to Belson.
So why this rather damning item separated from the rest of your rant about the Hall of Fame? That part only assured us multiple times that Sydney is a-ok with being denied the chance to talk about his father while he’s being honored. Did Peter just hope that nugget fatigue would overwhelm his readers and they wouldn’t make it this far?
Stat of the Week I
Assuming the Dallas Cowboys do not crash and burn in this regular season:
When Jason Garrett coaches the Cowboys in Game 15 this year at Buffalo on Dec. 27, it will be his 89th game as the Dallas head coach, including postseason. That will make him the second-longest-tenured coach in the 56-season history of the franchise. Jimmy Johnson coached 88 games for the Cowboys, Barry Switzer 71, Bill Parcells 66.
I guess Jerry Jones wasn’t kidding a few years ago when he said Garrett would be his franchise coach. Still, Garrett will have a bit of a ways to go to catch Tom Landry, who coached 454 games for the Cowboys.
Wow, it’s almost as though Jerry Jones is less likely to do away with head coaches who are obedient milquetoasts as opposed to those who challenge his authority. That’s amazing. Great stat, Petey.
Stat of the Week II
The Steelers signed Mike Tomlin to a contract extension through the 2018 season on Friday. Assuming Tomlin coaches the team these next four seasons—nothing in the NFL is certain, but the odds have to be heavily in Tomlin’s favor—that would mean the Steelers would have had three coaches in 50 seasons. Through 2014:
Chuck Noll: 23 years, 366 games.
Bill Cowher: 15 years, 261 games.
Mike Tomlin: 8 years, 137 games.
Over those 46 seasons, the Steelers are 152 games above .500. Pretty good argument for continuity, I’d say.
The Pittsburghish Way! You find a good coach and you hang on to him. Why haven’t other franchises figured out this science?
For the record, the Texans have had four coaches in their 13 seasons; Jacksonville has had five coaches in 20 seasons; and Carolina has had four in 20 seasons.
The recent champions of transience, the Browns, have had eight coaches in the 16 seasons since the franchise was reborn in 1999.
For what it’s worth, the Steelers had nine coaches in their first 13 years of existence. Given that that was the ’30s and the ’40s, it might have been a different era. Or it might be evidence of why comparing a franchise that’s been around for more than 80 years to a bunch of recent expansion teams is a little unfair to the latter.
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
Went to Yanks-Twins Saturday night at lovely Target Field. While there, The MMQB’s John DePetro took a photo of me with the bronzed Sid Hartman. In case you don’t know Sid, he’s one of the legends in the media business.
Haha, and now I’m thinking of what a Peter King statue would look like. Holding Brett Favre’s dong while he pees? Kneeling before a statue of Roger Goodell? Staring manically at a stolen foul ball in his hands while a traumatized child weeps nearby?
In case you don’t know Sid, he’s one of the legends in the media business. Not just in Minnesota, but in America. He is 95. He wrote his first column for a Minneapolis paper in 1945. He wrote his latest, 70 years later, on Sunday (“Sundays With Sid”) for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. At 9:30 a.m. Sunday, he did his weekly radio show on WCCO-AM, previewing the Vikings season, in part, with Vikes GM Rick Spielman.
The column was about 1,500 words long. In one item he reported that the University of Minnesota was soon to begin construction on a $1 million batting cage for the baseball team, and that $500,000 was coming from a generous donation by Twins closer Glen Perkins, a former Gophers hurler.
I just am so impressed that Sid Hartman, 95, statued in bronze near Target Field, is still doing the job, and is absolutely not mailing it in.
“He’s so spry! Look at that codger go!” Now I don’t feel bad about ragging on Peter King for being a clueless dinosaur because he’s plenty capable of ageism as well.
Ten Things I Think I Think
3. I think it’s always interesting to see the Green Bay Packers release their financials, which the team has to do because it is a publicly held company. This year, the mind-blower—to me—was the 20.6% increase in national revenue from $187.3 million in 2014 to $226 million in 2015. Think of that. National revenue is not only broadcast revenue, but all money brought in on national contracts. Also interesting: The Packers have spent $53.7 million to buy up 64 acres of land around Lambeau Field. That place is already a football fan’s paradise. Imagine if the club decides to build a football-themed amusement park or some such extension of Packerdom.
Oh my God, a Packers amusement park! That would be… the worst fucking thing in the world. I bet they’d have a roller coaster out of cheese curds and have a booth where the fan who yells KUUUUHHHHNNN the loudest gets a free jersey and second place gets a stern lecture about racial awareness.
5. I think it’s amazing that Peyton Manning has never been to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He’ll go now, to see his former Colts GM, Bill Polian, inducted on Aug. 8. That’s a good thing. But I’ve not met a player with more reverence for pro football history than Manning, and this is his first visit? Surprising.
Peyton: Golly, Peter, I really appreciate you showing me around the Hall of Fame. It sure is interesting.
Peter: YOU BET IT IS! DO YOU KNOW THAT I VOTE FOR IT?
Peyton: Yeah, I might have heard that.
Peter: I DO! I VOTE FOR IT! I VOTE FOR IT! I VO-
Peyton: Say, I have to run to the little boy’s room.
Peter: OH IT’S RIGHT HERE IN MY MOUTH!
6. I think if I’m Saints owner Tom Benson, I’m asking GM Mickey Loomis — if I haven’t asked him already—about the incredible Junior Galette contract that’s going to bite the franchise hard the next two years. Loomis has done a very good job overall over the past decade in resuscitating a moribund team and stocking it with Super Bowl talent. But this four-year, $41 million contract ends up being a killer just at the time the Saints desperately needed reason in their contractual realm. Now: I’m not suggesting the Saints should have carried Galette if they knew the reports of his abusive off-field incidents were likely to be true. I’m suggesting they should have been smarter in the first place before giving a risky (but very talented) player so much guaranteed money.
The beach incident happened before Galette signed his extension last summer and while mocking Peter here requires me to believe that there’s no way the Saints could have known about it before giving him the contract, what we know about the NFL makes that somewhat difficult. Isn’t this fun? Isn’t following this league so great!?
7. I think for those who wonder why in the world the Rams — with a civic community willing to do far more right now to build a new stadium for the team in St. Louis than either San Diego or Oakland is willing to do for their teams—are the favorites to move to Los Angeles, the answer really is quite simple. The owner wants to relocate his team to L.A. There’s nothing bad about St. Louis, nothing wrong with the city—except it has a much lower ceiling for profits, obviously, than the second-largest market in American. Stan Kroenke is a businessman, and he wants to relocate his business to a more lucrative market.
It’s almost as though all the arguments about the civic pride derived from having an NFL team are totally full of shit and everyone is just subject to the avarice of any particular owner.
9. I think Josh Freeman — cut by the Dolphins on Friday, probably ending any shot of a further NFL career — will look back on his career one day and say, “I should have worked harder.” Especially in Tampa Bay. But when you sign with the Vikings in 2013, and it last one game; and when you sign with the Giants in 2014, and it lasts five off-season weeks; and you sign with the Dolphins in 2015, and it lasts 10 off-season weeks, and you’re cut on the eve of training camp, at age 27, with Matt Moore the backup who has beaten you out … the message is pretty clear. Freeman was talented enough. But beginning with the Greg Schiano Bucs, he just didn’t dedicate himself to football the way a starting quarterback should.
It used to annoy me that Peter King placed all of the blame for Greg Schiano’s failure as a head coach on Josh Freeman. With time, however, I’ve come around on it. Now it’s FUCKING HILARIOUS that Peter is still, years later, stewing over Josh Freeman holding the Schiano Men down. I bet Petey silently glares at his TV any time Freeman comes on. He whispers to himself, “Look at you, you monster. Think of the empire you destroyed. I bet you can’t even grasp it.” Then he eats a handful of Fritos.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
b. Congrats to the baseball Hall of Fame guys, particularly Pedro Martinez. I’ll always think the Red Sox could have had another World Series title if Grady Little didn’t manage the 2003 series against the Yankees scared, and had taken Pedro out when he should have.
Speaking of hanging onto old grudges, dipshit Red Sox fan Peter King totally knows how things would have worked if Grady had pulled Pedro in that ALCS game. And who’s to say the Red Sox would have beaten the Marlins had they advanced? The Yankees sure as shit didn’t. Come to think of it, it might have been nice to see the SAWX get to another World Series and lose before they broke their title drought. But I’m still fine with the way things worked out that year.
d. It has to be very hard for baseball Hall of Fame voters. I have no idea how I would vote on the ’roid guys. But after watching that display Saturday night, I might be inclined to vote for Alex Rodriguez. Might.
You’re adamant about getting to vote in a serial rapist, but A-Rod you would agonize over? What the fuck are you?
g. The saddest event of the past week in America: There was a shooting in a cinema in Lafayette, La., the other night, when a man named John Houser, stood up in mid-movie and sprayed the theater with bullets, killing three (including himself) and injuring nine more. And we paid it very little attention relative to what it deserved. We are becoming hardened to these things. We can’t allow that to happen. We can’t allow that to be the norm.
So your solution is we should wring our hands more? What is the adequate amount of public grief than whatever you decided the nation expressed? This is even more useless than his usual cries of “DO SOMETHING, CONGRESS!”
h. Coffeenerdness: I’m at the quad macchiato stage. I cannot go back.
I’m no coffee nerd, so I’ll just tell myself Quad Macchiato is a reject Star Wars character.
i. Beernerdness: Farm Girl Saison, Lift Bridge Brewery (Stillwater, Minn.). The Saison has become my second-favorite beer, next to the white beers (Allagash White, Avery White Rascal, i.e.), and this one, straight from the third-base line of Target Field on Saturday night, was a nice surprise. A distinct clove and wheat taste, and in no way overwhelming. Strongly recommended, even when the third A-Rod home run threatened to ruin the evening. The Farm Girl actually saved it.
It’s the recommended beer to cure your puckered anus rage at baseball players hitting homers. “ARGH! A-Rod again!” [chugs entire six-pack in seat]
m. How can it be July 27, and Yasiel Puig has six home runs?
Simple. He hit
of the based balls over the fence.
As for asking how it can be a specific date, that’s a metaphysical question I’m not equipped to answer.
The Adieu Haiku
We wait. Deflated.
Twenty-seven goshdarn weeks.
Tom Brady twisteth.
Twisteth: lofty word
It’s old and no one needs it
Just like Peter King