When we last left socceraholic Peter King, he was still in South Afirca covering the World Cup and letting you know, dear reader, that goalies often have to use their shoulders and ribs while, like, goalieing. What would we do without him? AND WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT RECYCLING?
Peter also lost his brother (Bob, not Biff) to a sudden heart attack. Now, we’ve had our fun with Peter here over the years. Frankly, I now know more about Peter King and his affinities (Kit Kats, free coffee) than I do most people I actually know. And while Peter is a guy who’s easy to goof on (which is why we goof on him; we do not like challenges here at KSK), he’s also a real human being and, by most accounts, a jolly decent one at that. It sucks that he lost his brother. It really, really sucks, and we at KSK are genuinely sorry for his loss. Sorry, Peter. Hope you get through okay.
Now, that aside, Peter did a column on Monday, and it’s his last one for a full month! NO! A whole month? But where else am I going to get crucial stories about Jozy Altidore maybe possibly buying tickets to the Dolphins? How will I know which hotel to boycott? Who else is going to explain the nuanced taste of Shock Top in a way that a layperson can grasp? WHAT OF TOONE P. WIGGINS, MAN?! MY GOD!
What will we learn from Peter this week? What’s the most Kansas City-like city in all of Africa? Read on…
This holiday week’s headlines:
• Drew Brees and Sean Payton are at literary war. In a good way.
Well, thank goodness for that. As you know, most literary wars end with thousands DEAD. I’ll never forget the great Battle of Mailer vs. Vidal of ’78. Sixty women and children were gunned down at point blank rage by Vidal after Liberace refused to blow him.
• FIFA could learn something from the NFL — quite a bit, actually.
YOU DON’T SEE ANY REFEREES FROM SMALL AFRICAN COUNTRIES IN AMERICAN FOOTBALL!
• RIP Don Coryell. And I’ve got a message for my Hall of Fame-voting peers.
Vote for Coryell! He sent me Mallomars. Good guy. LOFTY guy. You could talk to him about the human race all day long.
• If you’re in southern California on Monday, July 19, I’ve got a great event for you to attend.
It’s Amanda Bowers’ confirmation brunch! There’ll be ham! You tell me that isn’t fifty times better than a trip to the Anne Frank House.
I was thrilled to read about the Minnesota coach (Brad Chilldress)’s surprise reunion with his Marine son, Lance Cpl. Andrew Childress, at an Afghan military base on Friday.
For those of you not too familiar with Childress’ interests, he’s a huge military buff.
Ah, so that explains the 12-men-on-the-field penalty in the NFC title game. OVERWHELMING FORCE, BITCHES.
I recommended a book to him last winter…
“The Complete Marmaduke”?
“Bleachers,” by John Grisham?
“First Grade in Draftology 101: A Textbook”?
— “Tears in the Darkness,” a riveting tale about the Bataan Death March by two close friends, Michael and Elizabeth Norman
Ah. THE NORMANS!
— and when Childress saw me at the league meetings, he raved about the book for five minutes. There can’t be another coach in the league who knows as much about military history.
Oh, yes there can. This will shock you all, but I happen to know that many football coaches take an interest in military history and strategy. I know! I know! It sounds crazy that football coaches would try and mimic war strategies and fancy themselves as military leaders, but it’s true! Brad reads Sun Tzu! You don’t see a lot of coaches do that, except all of them.
By the way, I’m really glad Brad reunited with his son. That’s great. BUT THAT FUCK STILL TRIED TO SETTLED FOR A MILLION YARD FIELD GOAL AND I WILL FUCKING HATE HIM FOREVER AND I DON’T GIVE A FUCK IF PATTON SAYS DOING THAT WAS THE RIGHT MOVE BECAUSE IT WAS WRONG AND FUCK THE WORLD FUCK IT FUCK IT FUCK IT RIGHT IN THE VOLCANO.
(John) Fox and (Marvin) Lewis both said — and they weren’t kidding — that the troops told them they wanted NFL Network on their Armed Forces Network TV feed.
They weren’t kidding? But that was so funny!
See what you can do about that, Rich Eisen.
You’re on the network a lot. I assume you also own and run it, yes?
(Drew) Brees and (Sean) Payton have dueling books out this week
Look out! Those books have sharp corners! STAB. THRUST. PARRY.
“Home Team,” by Payton (Penguin Group), with Ellis Henican, and “Coming Back Stronger,” by Brees (Tyndale), with Chris Fabry. America, it seems, can’t get enough of the Saints. Now we’ll find out just how much it can read — and Brees and Payton have a little wager on who sells more books. Hey, they’re competitors.
“We put a dinner, and a nice bottle of Caymus, on that,” Brees told me Friday.
And they STOLE that Caymus from Jerry Jones.
One other interesting Brees note: He played golf with Jack Nicklaus, Dan Marino and Kenny G in March.
GET THE FUCK OUT. Golf? With Kenny G? I’m fascinated.
The World Cup is such an addictive thing for a first-time attendee, like I was in South Africa for two weeks. I fell for the event, and not just being in stadiums to watch American dramatics, artful Brazilian passing and South African fans in full Zulu dress.
It was like seeing coffee come to LIFE.
I’ll sound like the Know-It-All American — if not the Ugly one — giving FIFA advice.
But let me do it anyway!
I’ll start with the thing that still makes me burn.
Gonorrhea. Ever get it? Yeah well, you’re the lucky one. People, when Tony Romo tells you he didn’t “fool around” when he was down in Ixtapa, DO NOT BELIEVE HIM.
Make the game officials accountable.
Especially if they’re from small African countries! Those little black pygmies aren’t to be trusted!
Imagine late in the fourth quarter of that intense Saints-Vikings playoff game, Brett Favre threw a go-ahead touchdown pass…
/knows it’s untrue because Favre would throw the ball into a linebacker’s diaphragm and Childress would opt to punt from the 1.
/finds a rabbit to choke
…and referee Peter Morelli waved off the TD and handed the ball to the Saints at their 20, announcing nothing about the negated touchdown.
Now imagine Morelli is from MALI. Shadier and shadier, isn’t it?
Afterward, imagine Morelli spoke to neither team and walked out of the stadium; no explanation. And imagine the NFL saying nothing, and 120 million fans around the country being left to wonder: “What was the call, and why didn’t the Vikings win?”
I’ll tell you why the Vikings didn’t win: BECAUSE THEY NEVER FUCKING COME THROUGH WHEN I ASK THEM TO GOD DAMMIT.
Also, Phil Luckett has no clue what Peter is talking about.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
I tweeted this in June while at the World Cup, but I found it a rather interesting do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do factoid: In a country where the president, Jacob Zuma, has 20 children, is a polygamist and has admitted having sex out of his marriages (one of which has resulted in a love child with the daughter of a good friend), there were free condoms distributed in the men’s rooms at Soccer City, the 90,000-seat stadium in Johannesburg where the World Cup kicked off June 11.
How’s that for irony? Jacob Zuma leads the league in hypocrisy! Chestskeeting is NOT in his vocabulary!
Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week
I’ve traveled to the Far East, the Middle East and quite a bit in Europe…
And NONE of those continents can make me a decent cup of Peet’s coffee.
…but this trip to Africa was my first. And one thing I give the folks in South Africa credit for is their consistent friendliness. Example: My wife and I walked into a liquor shop to get a bottle of wine and some beer for an SI dinner hosted by the inimitable Grant Wahl one night at the house he was renting for the month. I noticed a Peroni beer glass in the front window of the place.
PERONI! You gotta drink that if you’re in Africa!
“Great glass,” I said to the proprietor. “Are they for sale?”
“No,” the man said.
“Oh, well then. I’ll just go steal one from a child.”
“But can you wait for a moment?”
The man went to the back of the store and was gone for two minutes. When he came back, he had a 12-inch-square cardboard box with him, and handed it to me. I looked inside. Four Peroni glasses.
“I can’t wait to fill these with Shock Top!”
“Fantastic!” I said. “I really appreciate it. How much are they?”
He waved his hands. “No, no, no,” he said. “Free for you. You wanted them, and I want you to have them!”
What a country. Full of good nuggets. Later on, this same man gave me a free Derek Jeter action figure and “Gran Torino” on DVD. I practically want to take this fella home on a boat and have him be my involuntary landscaper!
Drivers, hoteliers, wait staff, total strangers at the venues … just terrific people trying to show off their country to the world. There was someone in my press seat five rows from the top of the stadium for Brazil-Ivory Coast June 20, and an usher took my ticket, talked to several of his peers, pointed to the occupied seat, and took me to an empty seat a few rows closer and said, “Will this be satisfactory?”
And I said NO! THIS OPEN AIR STADIUM IS STILL FAR TOO COLD! PLEASE HEAT IT WITH SOME KIND OF MILD NUCLEAR BLAST.
I think I teased the Steelers up at the top of the column, and I should tell you why.
Because they’re PREGGERS!
When I re-did my NFL Top 100 current players in June for the paperback version of my MMQB book due out this fall, I put Pittsburgh tackle Willie Colon at number 48.
Wait, what? You did? Willie Colon at 48? Out of ALL NFL players? Do you get REWARDED five yards for false starts now?
He’s now out of the top 100, because…
He should be?
he suffered a torn Achilles and will be lost for the year.
I think I’d love to see you at the annual NFL kickoff event Monday, July 19, in Los Angeles, NFL 101, hosted by the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission and by Andrea Kremer, my NBC pal. I’ve been attending for the past three years, and this year’s cast at this great variety show of an event is the best: Pete Carroll autographing his new book and answering all your NFL questions…
But no USC questions, kiddo. YOU JUST HATE ON USC BECAUSE YOU’RE JEALOUS.
…visiting a real NFL locker room and getting your picture taken in a real locker,
Oh, wow! Look! Real Randy Travis CD’s!
…hanging with Philip Rivers on the floor of the Coliseum…
“HOW DARE YOU IMPREGNATE THE AIR AROUND ME, COCKWALLET?!”
“…cocktails with NFL know-it-alls like me, Andrea, Herman Edwards, Brian Billick, Mike Pereira and Amy Trask”
You can drink your cocktail straight from my Peroni glass.
I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t wish a happy birthday to Al Davis.
Happy 167th, Count!
Born one year to the day before George Steinbrenner
Fun fact: both men were baptized in the same underground lake of children’s blood!
I think I’m sticking with Green Bay and San Diego in the Super Bowl. For now. Maybe I’ll get more wisdom while on vacation. I doubt it.
Maybe. POSSIBLY. Can’t go wrong with picking a Chargers team that chokes on it as consistently as Bobbi Eden.
I think you’ve got a future in this business, Eric Winston. The thing I liked most about Winston’s MMQB was his suggestion that the NFL play the Super Bowl on Saturday night — to maximize the event-ness of it all. Totally agree.
And this is the part where we all get together and tell Eric and Peter that no one watches TV on Saturday night and that moving the Super Bowl to that night will never happen and with good reason. Oh, Peter. August can’t come fast enough.