When we last left guts-lover Peter King on a charcoal gray Monday, he was mourning the loss of little Wessy Welker, the man who is all that is right with football and our species as a whole. And he professed amazement that the Pats would try and win a playoff game by using another player to replace an injured player. A bold strategy that only Belichick could devise.
So what about this week? At long last, will Peter get to see Up In The Air? Is someone gonna try and give him that skim crap? THIS IS THE PLAYOFFS! YOU GET THAT SKIM CRAP RIGHT OUT OF PETER’S FACE! Read on. There’s only a forty percent chance of hilarity, but that’s a LEGIT forty percent.
I feel for Packers fans this morning. That’s an excruciating loss. The worst. It’ll take days, weeks, to get over it, I’m sure. But that’s sports. Sometimes you get your heart broken, and the only way to not get your heart broken is to not fall in love.
Sure, it hurts when Jay Cutler won’t return your texts. But that’s sports. Sometimes, you become infatuated with a player, to the point of stalking him “for a story,” and then they turn around and issue a restraining order against you. Love is ultra-dangerous. That’s why Peter promises never to fall in love with a player aga… HOLY SHIT LISTEN TO THIS TEXT BRETT FAVRE JUST LEFT ME!
I texted New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams — who was in his office preparing his game plan for Warner and the Cards for their Saturday divisional game in New Orleans — and asked him what he thought.
“DO U NO WHO I AM?! IM FUKKING GREGG WILLIAMS. I WUZ BEIN A POMPOUS ASS B4 TODD HALEY WAS EVEN SUCKN HIZ MOMS TITS! FUCK U ALL!”
Jay Feely saves the day. When punter Steve Weatherford was kayoed from the Jets-Bengals game two minutes before kickoff due to an irregular heartbeat, Feely, who hadn’t punted in a game in his nine-year NFL career, got the call. And his stats weren’t good — seven punts, 31.4-yard average, three inside the 20-yard line — but what was great about his day was that only one punt was returned. At the end of the game, Rex Ryan gave Feely a backbreaking hug and said in his ear, “Great —-ing job!’
And that’s the edited quote. Here’s the full text of what Coach Ryan said to Feely…
“GREAT FUCKING JOB, KICKER BOY! NORMALLY, I THINK YOU KICKERS SPEND ALL YOUR DAYS SUCKING DICK! BUT YA FINALLY MANNED UP AND TOOK IT TO THE PUSSY, BOY! YOUR NEW NICKNAME IS COPAFEELY! DON’T FUCKING FIGHT IT!”
Dallas has a lot of ways to beat you. First of all, Charles Barkley … Chuck, Chuck, Chuck. Are you serious? On the NBC air, he said, “Donovan McNabb is the most underrated player in Eagles history.” Wow. Some statement. We’re going to part ways on this one, big fella.
That’s because Charles Barkley gets away with being retarded more than any other retard in history.
Ravens 33, Patriots 14: It wasn’t that close. New England was woefully outmatched on both sides of the ball for the first time in a playoff game in the Belichick Era. I think there’s trouble in Red Sox City, but the team is certainly salvageable.
RED SOX CITY, CAPITAL OF RED SOX NATION! And over there is the House of Red Sox Parliament, where Red Sox Senators debate on important bills like, “SHOULD AWL OW-AH FACKIN’ GARLFRIEND GET PINK B TATS ON THEIR FACKIN’ LOWAH BACKS?!”
And over there is the Red Sox City Police Department (RSCPD), where all the detainees AHHHH DAHHKIES! And to the south is Gillette Stadium, HOME OF YOUR RED SOX CITY PATRIOTS, REX SOX CITY’S FAVORITE NON-RED SOX TEAM PROVIDED THEY ADVANCE TO THE AFC TITLE GAME EVERY EYAR!
Come visit Red Sox City soon!
The Hall cut the list from 25 semi-finalists to 15 by eliminating, among others, Paul Tagliabue (it was hopeless for him this year with the labor strife some voters trace back to him), Steve Tasker (I am weeping)
Remember, Peter: never fall in love. Especially with really good special teamers who won’t make the Hall because they weren’t talented enough to play a REAL position. STEVE TASKER IS THE WES WELKER OF GRITTY WHITE SPECIAL TEAMS ACES.
Regarding the non-facemask call on the last play of Arizona-Green Bay: I’ve watched the TiVoed combination of replays six times now. Arizona’s Michael Adams blitzes, dislodges the ball from Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, rakes his hands over the facemask of Rodgers, then appears to grab the facemask, and the ball is inadvertently kicked by Rodgers.
The ball flies briefly into the air and is grabbed by Arizona linebacker Karlos Dansby, who secures it and runs into the end zone for the winning touchdown. Adams keeps his hands on the mask as he plows into Rodgers and brings him to the ground. Adams didn’t tackle him by the mask, but his hand did stay secured on the mask as Rodgers fell to the ground. (I say it that way because from the mountain of e-mails and Tweets last night, most of you think he got yanked to the ground by the facemask. It didn’t appear that way to me.)
For a 15-yard facemask penalty to be called, there has to be evidence not just of a hand on the mask, but of twisting and pulling of the facemask. And there is a slight pulling of it, but not in a flagrant way. To me, it’s a close call.
Not, it’s not. The NFL rule book says the penalty includes pulling of the facemask. It doesn’t say, “But hey, SLIGHT pulling totally doesn’t count. Quasi-tugs are left entirely to the ref’s discretion.” It doesn’t matter if it’s flagrant or not. At all. Most face mask penalties aren’t flagrant. They aren’t even semi-flagrantesque.
But what complicates matters is this: The referee, Scott Green, is the official on the crew with the responsibility of watching plays involving the quarterback. Once the ball has been dislodged, Green has to watch the ball, not the contact on the quarterback. He has to see if the ball hits the ground and judge if it’s a forward pass or a fumble, then he has to follow the live ball until the end of the play. So Green could not — at least, he should not — have seen the contact on the mask of Rodgers.
Of course, the reason this is a big concern is if a facemask had been called, Green Bay would have had a first down at its 32 in a game where defense was optional. I don’t see how the call could have been made any differently with the current rules and officiating assignments the way they are.
That’s all well and good, but it was still a fucking facemask.
Refs: “Should we throw a flag on that?” “No way! That was an awesome ending!”
The Pete Carroll Affair.
I’ll let Maddox handle this one. BEHOLD MY WORD PLAY! I WAS A CROSSWORD CLUE ONCE!
Drew Brees and Ted Williams, Chapter II
This needs chapters?
I wrote last week about Drew Brees sitting in Week 17 and setting the NFL record for the most accurate passing season (70.62 percent, beating Ken Anderson’s 70.55 percent in 1982), which was mindful to some of the 1941 baseball season. Ted Williams was batting .399955 (.400, because the average would have been rounded up) entering a doubleheader on the last day of the season, and his manager gave him the option of sitting, and Williams said he’d play, and he went 6-for-8 in the doubleheader and finished with a .406 average. It’s the last time a player ever hit .400.
I was with Brees in New Orleans Thursday night and asked him about it, and a pained expression came over his face. He wears number 9 because he grew up idolizing Ted Williams. When he was drafted by the Chargers, he moved into his first house because it was on Ted Williams Way.
Suddenly, I don’t like Drew Brees anywhere near as much as I used to.
“I immediate thought of Ted Williams going into the last day of the ’41 season batting .399995, or whatever it was,” Brees said, “and I thought, ‘If I don’t play, I’m letting Teddy down.’ ”
You can’t let him down, Drew. He’s fucking dead. People are unable to process emotions such as disppointment when their heads have been severed and placed in cryogenic storage. I assure you, the mangled corpse of Ted Williams cares little about your completion record.
Most players aren’t students of sports history. What was so rare about Brees’ knowledge, obviously, is it was about a guy from a different sport.
I LIKE HIM BECAUSE HE’S KNOWS THE HISTORY OF RED SOX CITY!
The obvious question: What would Williams have thought of Brees sitting and breaking the record?
I have an idea of what Williams would think about it. Here it is:
“AHHHHHHH!!! MY HEAD HAS BEEN SEVERED AND PLACED IN CRYOGENIC STORAGE! HELP ME! SOMEONE, PLEASE HELP ME! I AM TRAPPED IN A FROZEN PRISON OF MY FAMILY’S DESIGN! I HAVE BEEN CONSIGNED TO ANY ICY HELL! ALL I CAN SEE IF THE INSIDE OF THE FREEZER DOOR! OH, HOW THE FROST TAUNTS ME! SO COLD. SO VERY COLD…”
San Diego (13-3). If I’m Ron Rivera, I walk into Norv Turner’s office this morning and say, “We’ve got to practice some live running Wednesday. Full pads.” Shonn Green might be more dangerous to the Chargers than Thomas Jones.
If I’m Ron Rivera, I demand all our players be injured prior to our game against the Jets. Then I draft Tim Tebow without a proper position in mind, sit back, and pop the champagne. JOB WELL DONE.
John Harbaugh is one heck of a coach… Good head coach, good coaching staff.
You can’t convince me that Carson Palmer’s not hurt.
That’s because he IS hurt. See that cast on his left hand, blindy?
(Ray) Rice continued to prove he belongs in the discussion when you’re talking about the top 10 backs in the game.
Was there a discussion about this? Rice? A top 10 back? When he had the second most combined yardage in the NFL this year? Pshaw. Gimme Derrick Ward any fucking day.
Special Teams Player of the Week
Rico Murray, Cincinnati
I celebrated Jay Feely higher in the column, so I’m reserving this for a guy who made one of the heads-up plays of the weekend — and I bet you don’t even remember it.
That’s because Cincy lost and ate ass while doing so. You tend to forget things like that when they occur.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
This is what happens when you give a city hope:
In March 2006, the Saints had 44,000 tickets available.
Today, the Saints have a season-ticket waiting list of 50,000.
No, that’s what happens when you stop sucking. AND YOU UNFAY-AHLY BREAK THE SACRED RECAHDS OF TEDDY BALLGAME!!!
Flew to New Orleans and back in midweek and found nothing different about the security process. Nothing. Other than putting my toiletries in one of those one-quart Ziplocs, I didn’t change at all either. Strange. Thought it’d be a lot more bothersome.
My colon! Check my colon! It’s open and awaiting your scrutiny!
One other note, from a quiet Amtrak regional train home from New York Sunday.
IT’S THE ONLY WAY TO TRAVEL! YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE MISSING!
Five people in my car. I sit in the middle of the car and continue typing out a story for the magazine on Drew Brees.
And on my seventh Heineken Light…
A smartly dressed woman in the back of the car, eight rows behind me, is on the phone. She is Loudwoman. “CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? … YEP, 35 TOMORROW! THE BIG 3-5! … NO, NOTHING. NOTHING. WHAT SHOULD I DO, GO TO A STRIP CLUB? … YEAH, LIKE RICHIE WOULD DO THAT …” And on and on it went. After a couple of minutes, I packed everything up and went to the front row of the car.
Then, get this, THE BITCH PUT HER COAT IN THE OVERHEAD RACK.
It was better, but still not silent, for the next 10 minutes. Then it got quiet for a while. Then clip … clip … clip
Loudwoman, clipping her nails on Amtrak. Fingers, not toes.
In the immortal words of George Costanza (I believe in the “Chinese Restaurant” episode), “We live in a society!”
Then take your car next time, fella.
A smart man told me: “Watch out for Ron Rivera in Buffalo.” Not buying it, but the man is smart, so I wanted to throw it out there.
A smart man told me something I don’t believe. But he’s smart, and I ‘m retarded, so I better disclose it to you.
A smart man in Buffalo told me: “They love Leslie Frazier.” Bills interviewed him for five hours Thursday, and as I said on NBC Saturday night, he’s the leader in the clubhouse for that job, but so many golfers are still out on the course — like Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
But how can two smart men reach such differing conclusions?! I don’t know. Not all GM’s are smart. BUT IF I’M A GM, I STILL LOVE TEBOW AS A JESUSBACK. THAT STANCE REMAINS UNCHANGED.
Jermichael Finley’s really good.
This just in! A good player is good!
I think you did the right thing, Mike Holmgren.
You finally ignored your whore of a wife, Kathy, and cancelled that Ireland trip!
No coach of a bright-eyed team on a season-ending four-game winning streak — particularly in Cleveland, where there hasn’t been a four-game winning streak since the nineties — deserves to be fired.
Unless that coach is Eric Mangini, who sucks. Oh, but he won four straight games at the end of the year when there was nothing at stake for most of the teams they played? Oh, keep him.
It’s not like the Eagles need draft fortification, but McNabb could bring, let’s say, something in the range of two second-round picks from Brad Childress if Brett Favre retires.
e. Jim Leonard. A physical, smart keeper for Rex Ryan.
Except that his name is Jim Leonhard. Smart player. Spells names correctly.
My dumb comments about Jets punter Steve Weatherford on Twitter. I apologized on Twitter, and I’ll do so here. I called out Weatherford for not taking the field Saturday — it was said during the game that he was “ill” — even as cameras showed him jogging on the sidelines at one point. What I didn’t know is that moments before the game he was found to have a racing heartbeat and irregular heartbeat, and Jet medics forbade him from playing. I was kneejerk and shouldn’t have been. I should have refrained from commenting until I knew more about what ailed Weatherford. I owe him one.
Someone’s getting a free meal at Capital Grille!
Not sure Joe Flacco can make enough plays to match Manning Saturday night. He’s creaky. Looks a lot more injured than the Ravens are letting on.
You think? Did the horrid limp tip you off?
Gilbert Arenas. I don’t know him, and I don’t think I want to know a guy who “jokes around” by pointing a gun “in fun” and then points imaginary guns at teammates, causing them to all laugh. Dude, you’re an idiot. A fool. You have no idea, and apparently your teammates don’t either, about the influence of athletes on our society. Would you like part of your legacy to be kids who root for you fooling around with handguns in some part because their hero does it?
Wes Welker, who is a true New England hero, would NEVER do such a thing. WHY DO WE ALLOW SO MANY GUNS TO BE SOLD IN THIS NATION?! IT’S AN EPIDEMIC!
Movie Observation I: “Up in the Air.” Not an all-time great by any means, but a B-plus … I like movies that make me think about the life I lead, and life in general.
I like movies about ME. I am Clooney.
I also like movies about life in general. Most movies are not about life. They are about inanimate existence. Rocky was about a rock, if I recall.
I don’t live in airports, but I’m in them 50 days a year.
Denver airport… FIX YO BARISTAS.
“The Fabulous Mr. Fox.” Interesting, and sort of fun. But I don’t get the hubbub. Looked at my watch 15 times.
Interesting. Quasi-amusing. But boring. Please notice that he called it FABULOUS Mr. Fox. Tune in next week when Peter goes to see James Cameron’s AIRGUITAR.
Shared a coffee with Drew Brees at P.J.’s Coffee House in the University Section of Uptown New Orleans the other day.
One drink. Two straws. Puppy love.
Actually, he is lactose intolerant and had a soy latte.
Drew Brees is a Ted Williams fan AND a pussy?
/tears up Brees poster on wall
I had a triple latte.
I love that contrast right there. “Drew can’t drink milk, so he had a soy latte. As for me, I mainline frothed milk directly into my carotid daily.”
Interesting that there’s a Starbucks across the street and this place holds its own. It does that because the espresso is excellent — rich, no bitterness. Highly recommended if you’re around Tulane or Loyola, or visiting the Mannings down there.
You DO go visit the Mannings, don’t you? Because I do. I visit them ALL THE TIME. We sit. We gab. We laugh. You MUST visit the Mannings when you have a chance.
Shared a few planes with (Tim) Davey over the years, and I’ll just say he knew more secrets about more people in the league than anyone.
Secret #45: Drew Brees, kind of a bastard!
Seriously though, I can’t believe Tim Davey died. That’s just Bernard Pollard’s luck.