When last we left Stanford soaker, Peter King, he had composed a seven-page mash note to Tom Brady that he was going to burn into the side of the moon, until PK realized he only makes millions of dollars a year, not trillions. But what about this week? Well, it’s my duty to report that Peter King found new love, one that is refreshing, not cybernetic and familiar with SAT words. READ ON.
Soaking in what happened Sunday and what those happenings mean: Wild-Card wonderment. It’s early. Nine games left is an eternity, etc., blah, blah, blah.
Millions. This motherfucker makes millions for “etc., blah, blah, blah.”
Not only that, he’s using it to carelessly brush off the perspective he claims to have so he can openly speculate on how the playoffs will go based entirely on what happened this weekend.
But Kansas City’s win and Denver’s loss sets up at least the prospect of K.C. winning the AFC West and the Broncos being a wild card—likely the fifth seed.
The Broncos are one game behind with more than half a season remaining and two head-to-head games left! Holy shit, you have no idea what’s going to happen. You see how key injuries there were on Sunday? There are no guarantees with either of these teams.
In that scenario Denver would play at the fourth seed. Maybe Cincinnati. Maybe Indianapolis or New England. Could you take a weekend rematch, Peyton Manning at Andrew Luck?
Why are you asking this? Is there a playoff selection committee? Of course not, because you’d be bitching that you aren’t on it.
Or Peyton Manning at Tom Brady for the 867th time? (The 866th: Nov. 24 in Foxboro.) Come to think of it, Denver at Cincinnati would be a pretty big letdown.
He’s just not into you, Andy Dalton.
Sam Bradford’s done for the year; the Rams probably are too.
The Rams were done long before Bradford got hurt. Now they’re doubly fucked, yet PK’s connections to the team still force him to qualify that statement. Lovely.
Bradford got waylaid on a scramble out of bounds at Carolina, and an MRI back in St. Louis Sunday night revealed he tore his ACL.
Waylaid doesn’t mean laid out. It means accosted. Did a homeless person greet him on the sidelines and ask for change?
Next Monday—assuming the World Series isn’t a four-game sweep by either Boston or St. Louis—a strange doubleheader will be played in downtown St. Louis. At 7:07 p.m. Central Time, World Series Game 5 is scheduled at Busch Stadium. At 7:40 p.m. Central Time, the Rams will host the Seahawks; backup Kellen Clemens, Bernie Kosar’s favorite quarterback, will sub for Bradford, presumably. I mention this because the locals will be all-in on the Cards, the best hope for a St. Louis championship, and likely will view the Rams as a lost cause yet again and leave quite a few seats empty.
And that it different from the usual in St. Louis… how?
And, of course, there was that game in Indianapolis.
Oh, the sportswriter lust that’s about to be let out. Clear the room, people.
There’s not a more perfect Manning II than Luck.
Well, since PK already implied that Johnny Manziel is Ryan Leaf II, I suppose it’s only right there be a second Pey-Pey.
You love perfect endings in sports.
My gosh. How did he know? It’s incredible he would know people enjoy perfect things.
Entering Sunday night, a perfect ending felt like Peyton Manning being feted in Indianapolis pre-game, dueling it out with his heir, Andrew Luck, and then leading his new team to a thrilling win over his old team.
“Perfect” = the one PK spent the weekend masturbating to.
But Ronnie Hillman doesn’t fumble at the 3 in perfect endings, and Pat Angerer doesn’t intercept tipped wounded ducks in perfect endings. There was something fulfilling about the new boss beating the old boss Sunday night, and the new boss not really caring about the narrative America had been obsessed with in the days before the Colts and Broncos met Sunday night. One of Luck’s good friends, tight end and former Stanford teammate Coby Fleener, told me as much a couple of hours after the Colts’ 39-33 victory.
Peter King didn’t expect to fall in love again. Not so soon.
It’s like one of those movies where a couple attends an upscale cocktail party, but one of them is blind sided by the dashing ogre sitting alone in the corner with anecdotes about architecture and an odd voice. Does Peter dare give in to these feelings? What of the kids? Screw them! This is love! They’re almost grown up anyway! They’ll understand.
“This game, to Andrew, wasn’t about proving himself,’’ Fleener said from Indianapolis. “One of the things I think Andrew loves about football is it’s a meritocracy. You’ve got to go out and prove yourself over and over, and for him it’s about proving himself to his teammates and his coaches—not to you and Bob Costas. And it’s not him versus Peyton. Never has been, never will.’’
Meritocracy, except for all the dipshit coach’s kids who land cushy jobs throughout the league.
The inflammatory quotes and big Wednesday and Thursday stories … If those things hype the game and boost the ratings, great. But it’s nothing Luck involves himself with, and nothing Luck feels has a bit to do with the outcome of any game. “I think we kept our focus. We didn’t let the outside sphere of influence creep into the locker room, which I think is a testament to the guys,’’ Luck said.
Meritocracy. Outside sphere of influence. Stanford words.
Truly. I mean, how the fuck would Peter know? After all, he attended podunk Ohio University. Is it because the curriculum in his days was only imparted through monosyllabic grunts? So if anyone knows big ol’ 50 cent words like “meritocracy” they must’ve gone to one a-them fancy colleges.
Reminds me of the NFL Scouting Combine in 2012, when I found out Luck’s favorite book was Papillon, and he eschewed cable TV for his first two years of college. Didn’t have time for it; too much else to do. “Don’t go making me into a nerd,’’ he said. Or the time, on his first NFL road trip, he reminded quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen that Chicago is a great architecture city.
Uh oh, looks like someone has a baseline amount of intellectual curiosity. Check out quarterback Nerdlinger over here! I bet he eats with utensils and closes his mouth when he breathes. What a spazz!
So, for Luck, what happened Sunday night wasn’t going to fit into our neat idea of a sportswriting narrative, no matter what happened. As Fleener said: “There was no end of a movie here tonight. We won. We’re happy. But it wasn’t our Super Bowl. It’s not going to define our season or anything like that.”
That’s right. A discussion about how a key regular season win effects one of the two star starting quarterbacks totally flouts all concept we have about sportswriting narrative. This is realism, folks.
Luck would be the first to tell you he had help, and not only from Mathis.
Manning and Luck shared a five-second moment after the game. Circumstances have thrown them together in history. They may never be close friends, but they will be admirers.
And in the depths of PK’s hard drive, lovers. Fierce, graphic, unyielding lovers.
Manning was gracious in defeat, praising the Colts and their fans and the defense, and he seemed to get prickly only when reminded that he threw some wobbly passes in the game. “I throw a lot of wobbly passes,’’ he said. “A lot of wobbly TDs too.”
MMRRRRROOOOOAAAWWWW this android’s got claws!
Luck finished mistake-free (21 of 38, 228 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions or turnovers), and didn’t appear to be affected either before or during the game by the magnitude of it.
Mistake free, except for the admittedly low throw that cost him his best receiver for the rest of the season.
And that’s why Indianapolis should feel like the luckiest city in the NFL this morning.
So you’re unfamiliar with NFL Rule 9, Section 1, Article 3 (b)(2) …
Because PK totally knew that one off-hand before some SI/NBC flunkie looked it up for him
I find this amazing: “The 2013 Official Playing Rules of the National Football League” is 159 pages long. There is even a half-page for “Guidelines for Captains,” including options on the coin toss.
PRO TIP: Not a great look for a supposed NFL insider to express astonishment at the NFL Rulebook as though it’s the first time he’s ever bothered to look at it in the history of his disgustingly cushy life.
For the infraction called for the first time in NFL history Sunday, on the decisive play in a game that could have major playoff implications, there is one sentence. Twenty-five words.
Readers would be forgiven for assuming the contrary, but I know you’re not paid by the word. Get the fuck on with it. Why do you need a windup for every goddamn nugget?
The sentence is on page 51: “When Team A presents a field-goal or Try Kick formation … Team B players cannot push teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation.”
THERE. Was that so hard? did you really need to count the words like that would add tension or drama?
Depressing Jacksonville note of the week
Finally, an MMQB feature I can get behind.
Jacksonville has played three home games this year and not scored a touchdown.
The Jags have scored 2, 3 and 6 points in their three home games: a safety, a field goal and two field goals … and lost by 26, 34 and 18.
Their entire stadium isn’t infected with staph, so looks like Tampa has them beat in the misery department.
The Jags do not play in Jacksonville again until Nov. 17, against Arizona. In the next three weeks, they’re in London (against San Francisco, in a surrendered “home” game), on the bye, and at Tennessee.
When is the last time an NFL team hadn’t scored a touchdown in its home stadium by the middle of November?
This was initially an open question, because PK didn’t know until someone looked it up for him. If you look at MMQB now, the answer is included without any notation that the column was edited. Because PK is the fucking worst.
Jags haven't scored TD at home, don't play in Jax until 11/17. From @SI_PeterKing – '77 Bucs didn't score a TD in home stadium until 12/18.
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) October 21, 2013
It struck me on Saturday, reading Twitter, that many of you don’t know much about Bum Phillips, who died Friday night at 90. That’s not surprising.
About as surprising as Peter King expressing open disdain for his readers.
I discovered how so many of you were lacking in Bum-know-how when I re-Tweeted
Christ. He even writes “retweeted” in a stupid way.
the front page of Saturday’s Houston Chronicle sports section, headlined with “Luv Ya Bum,’’ and many of you were confused. One of you asked: “Doesn’t the Houston Chronicle have a copy editor?” No, no—the big slogan around the Houston Oilers way back then was, “Luv Ya Blue.” So there’s that.
“NOW you see how you-ah stupid.”
This life lesson, from [Wade Phillip’s] father:
“When I was growing up, people thought bitching was coaching,” says Wade. “But players eventually turn off the guys who yell and scream. My father once told me, ‘Don’t coach the way you were coached. Coach the way you are.’ I don’t believe in coaching by fear. I believe in coaching by teaching.”
Think of that: You don’t see the yellers and barkers much anymore on the sidelines—or at least not as much as you used to.
I would use this as an example of how Greg Schiano sucks if it weren’t advice Wade Phillips used in his days as a head coach.
The greatest tribute I saw Sunday? Texans defensive stalwart J.J. Watt sacking Alex Smith and turning to the crowd and tipping an imaginary ten-gallon hat. For Bum.
Bet the fans in Kansas City really appreciated it.
1. Kansas City (7-0). Of all the things I never thought I’d type this season, Kansas City as the lone unbeaten team in football would be at the top of the list.
In the future, can we get every sportswriter together at the start of each season and have them write out all the phrases and happenings they think they might have to write over the course of said season? Just so there will never be a reason to use this lazy fucking sentence construct ever again.
2. Indianapolis (5-2). At halftime Sunday night, Arizona safety Tyrann Mathieu tweeted: “Dudes in the hood be like, that boy Andrew luck sumn serious #SNF” In other words, Mathieu thinks what the rest of America thinks: Luck’s good.
Peter King: glory boy interpreter for the masses.
5. New Orleans (5-1). On his bye weekend, Sean Payton cross-fitted.
CrossFit is a verb? I was wondering how we could make it sound more annoying.
6. San Francisco (5-2). Weeks 2 and 3: Foes 56, Niners 10. Weeks 4 through 7: Niners 132, Foes 51. That’s psycho.
PSYCHOTICALLY WEIRD. It’s almost as though teams go through hot and cold streaks over the course of a season. Therefore, making grand pronouncements from week to week is just wasting everyone’s time. At best, it’s just a cheap way to incite a reaction out of rubes who inexplicably put stock in your thoughts.
7. New England (5-2). You may ask why I have the Saints No. 4 and the Pats No. 6, even though the Patriots beat the Saints last week.
Because this is just a pointless arbitrary brainfart you put half a minute of thought into?
I prefer my description.
9. Green Bay (4-2). Dom Capers Returneth: Pack foes have scored 13 points a game in Green Bay’s three-game win streak.
They shut down Brandon Weeden! Only a true defensive mastermind could concoct a scheme to contain his doopz.
11. Detroit (4-3). I continue to think the Lions will eventually be ruined by their secondary.
I continue to think belly flopping into magma might be detrimental to my health.
15. Carolina (3-3). Panthers have won three out of four by an average of 26 points. Now that’ll get your attention.
Especially when those three wins came against the Giants, Vikings and Rams. That’s almost as many victories as those teams have combined!
The Award Section
Goats of the Week
Brandon Sowell, left tackle, Arizona.
I’m no loftologist with 30 years of perspectitude, but even I know you should get a player’s name right, even when you’re calling him a fucking waste.
Quotes of the Week
“Trying to remain relevant.”
—Coach Mike Tomlin of the Steelers, after the 2-4 Steelers beat Baltimore, staying on the edge of the AFC playoff race.
Was he being interviewed by Hipster Runoff?
“I don’t throw anymore. The shape that I’m in is not anything like football shape, nor do I want to play. It took me 20 years, but in my 20th year, I realized I didn’t like getting hit.”
—Brett Favre, on NFL Network’s pregame show Sunday.
That’s funny. I liked seeing Favre get hit from day 1.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
The Rams get more visitors to their website from California than from Missouri.
Possibly because people from St. Louis are too busy being THE BEST FANS IN BEISBOL while some Angelenos actually miss having a football team.
Also pretty sure only a fourth of Missouri has the Internet.
Stat of the Week
In eight quarters against each other this year, the Jets and Patriots are tied in victories, 1-1, and in points, 40-40.
That’s about the only way you’d say they’re even.
In their two meetings, the Jets have held the ball for 30:33 longer, Tom Brady has completed 48 percent of his passes, and the Patriots are 5-for-30 on third-down conversions. New England has 10 three-and-outs on offense.
Good thing for the Jets that the fourth playoff tiebreaker is least amount of three-and-outs on offense, head-to-head.
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Notes of the Week
Hope You Weren’t a Traveling Salesman Needing a Room in Indianapolis Sunday Dept.:
That’s our Petey, a man with no sympathy for exhausted baristas making minimum wage but has a bleeding heart for the traveling salesmen crowd, who may or may not exist anymore because of the Internet.
On Friday afternoon, if you went hunting and pecking as a Marriott frequent traveler for a room in Indianapolis, many reasonably priced selections came up. But one that surfaced was the Residence Inn Downtown on the Canal. For a studio with a Queen bed and a sofa bed, the fee was $999.95. With $169.96 in taxes.
For a grand total of $1,169.94. For one night in Indianapolis.
It’s almost as though the hospitality industry is in the business of fleecing people. WEIRD!
The Flights of the 49ers:
The Niners are being good corporate citizens this week. Documenting their travel plans over 11 days and two football games:
Travel itinerary porn! The porn that is not only safe for work, but vaguely work-like to read through!
Tweets of the Week
“I wanna play one NFL game before it’s over.”
—@KingJames, NBA champion LeBron James, asked by a Twitter follower if he’d consider playing pro football one day.
I like him as a Cardinals QB later this season. One game behind that line should be sufficiently disastrous.
“I’m always amazed at the things people will ask on Twitter instead of just looking it up themselves.”
—@nfldraftscout, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, commenting on the very large percentage of the Twitter population that is apparently Google-, Bing- and all-other-search-engines-free.
It’s quite possible that truer words have never been tweeted
Says the asshole who just crowdsourced an NFL question in his column.
Worth nothing this is the second time in three weeks there’s a mention of Bing, which no one uses but happens to be a sponsor of Football Night in America, so PK is gonna be a good corporate shill and do his duty.
“Tigers just got beaten by a bunch of dudes that look like Happy Gilmore’s caddy.”
—@MarcCarig, Newsday’s baseball writer, after the bearded Red Sox won Game 5 of the American League Championship Series.
First reference to the Red Sox. First of many, I’m sure. At least he held off the onslaught until he was mostly done being shitty about football.
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think this is what I liked about Week 7:
d. Saratoga Snacks, the Bill Parcells four-year-old horse, won a $250,000 race at Belmont Saturday. That’ll buy some carrots.
Lofty nugget. My favorite moment of Week 7 of National Opulence League was when an oil tycoon brought a jumbo jet and flew it in an orphanage because their screams are the only things that gives him a boner now. Go rich people!
h. Roy Helu Jr. Or, as Keith Olbermann would say, “Hell-ooooh!” Three touchdown runs.
Siciliano was doing that all day Sunday as well, because nothing kills like Mrs. Doubtfire jokes.
l. We’re starting to see why Mario Williams (10 sacks in seven games) got the big money in Buffalo.
Yup, it only took a year and a half of getting shit on for being a big-money bust for Mario to earn one terse sentence of praise. Can’t imagine why players hate the media.
m. Andy Dalton had the kind of game that playoff-winning quarterbacks have: At Detroit he was 24 of 34 for 372 yards and three touchdowns. He looked confident throwing intermediate and deep.
Because quarterbacks always get to prey on terrible secondaries in the playoffs.
p. A Stanley Havili touchdown. There’s a Ryan Grigson player right there.
Havili plays for the Colts, so technically yes, he is a Ryan Grigson player.
/realizes PK is making some insipid quasi-point-esque comment about the Colts getting contributions from a seven-round fullback. Greggggg Easterbook has a more stringent standard. You gotta be undrafted for his haughty dipshit love.
2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 7:
a. That wily, experienced veteran, Sheldon Richardson of the Jets, saying NFL officials baby Tom Brady. After less than two months playing real games, that is some quality opinion, Sheldon.
Because he’s completely alone in that assessment, you see. Also, how long did you play in the league before you started to form knee-jerk opinions about things, shitbag?
e. Why, oh why, Nick Foles? Why take a six-yard sack when you can throw the ball away without penalty?
Because he’s awful.
h. Trent Richardson’s hands. You can’t fumble down the stretch of huge games, but Richardson did.
There’s a Ryan Grigson player right there.
i. Games played by teams that have employed Danny Amendola since 2011: 39. Games actually played by Danny Amendola since 2011: 15.
You don’t say? With stats like that, he just might develop a reputation for being injured all the time.
7. I think this is a rules interpretation your father’s general manager never had to worry about:
My dad never had a GM. Should I be ashamed of him? Y/N?
Dreadlock holding. In the Cowboys-Eagles game, many of you wondered about the dreadlock-hold during punt coverage. It is holding if you grab a guy’s hair and restrict him. You are allowed to tackle a runner by the hair, but can’t hold by the hair.
In the prouder, grittier days of yore, lunchpail holding was a big problem in the league. A defender would grab onto an opponent’s lunchpail in the middle of a play. Some wondered why players wouldn’t just drop the lunchpail if it could be used to slow them down. That simply wasn’t something that was done. You didn’t drop your lunchpail. You just didn’t. If by chance you did, you were exiled from polite society and forced to live with the glory boys, whose descendents were to be cursed with nappy, dreadlocky hair.
8. I think we’re going to see a different Thursday night package of TV games by 2015. (Maybe as soon as next year, but likely in ’15.) One highly placed league source told me over the weekend there’s no chance of doubleheaders being played on Thursday nights, though Dallas owner Jerry Jones told Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal there had been discussions of it. I’m told it’s likely the league will split the Thursday night package, leaving a small number of games (five?) on NFL Network and making a lucrative package of the others (eight to 10) on one network or more that would pay dearly for prime-time programming on a big TV night.
Whatever they go, don’t let it be NBC Sports Network, or FOX Sports 1 or whatever other shitty cable offshoot of a major network that exists.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. I think everyone’s nuts for not liking Tim McCarver. I love listening to him.
You are everything that is hateful.
c. “Rejubilation!’’ said Shane Victorino. Yes, there was a lot of that in Red Sox land when he broke up a very tense game with a grand slam to win the AL pennant Saturday night.
“GRIT SAWX NATION-VILLE DOESN’T JUST JUBILATE ONCE. NAH KID WE JUBILATE OVAH AND OVAH AND AWN YO-AH MAWM’S FACE, THAT DIRTY SLAG”
d. I admit I didn’t love the Victorino signing last winter (three years, $39 million for what appeared to be a declining player). But anyone who grand-slams a clinching championship series win is worth the dough, especially with what a great clubhouse guy, fielder and occasionally clutch hitter he’s been.
Retroactively bitching about the contract of a player who just made a huge postseason play for your team. I hope you get to meet him and he smacks you in the face.
e. Tigers I admire greatly:
Oh fuck off. “Let me show the tremendous respect I have for the competition but only AFTER my favorite team has triumphed over them!”
g. Red Sox in seven, but that is not a confidence pick. It’s an emotional one.
I really can’t say I’ll be happy with either the Cardinals or the SAWX winning the Series. I’ll root for whatever result has PK talking about it less, which is probably a devastatingly dominant sweep by the Cardinals. God, what a dismal sport.
h. Coffeenerdness: I’ve got nothing this week. Sorry, I’ll have a note for you next week.
More like Coffeeshirkness!
i. Beernerdness: Stop what you’re doing
/leaves computer and never returns
//forced back at gunpoint by Uproxx’s hired goons
if you live in Colorado (or in some pub with a great beer selection) and go try Avery Brewing’s Maharaja Double IPA. You probably shouldn’t have more than a couple (it’s 10 percent alcohol)
but it’s a smooth, delicious, malty brew.
Peter King would make the best drinking PSA.
“Please consume responsibly… UNLESS whatever you’re sipping has the savory, hopmeggy flavor of Maharaja Double IPA. Then all bets are off. Believe me, the aftertaste only gets better when you crash your car into a guardrail.”
Who I Like Tonight
Giants 27, Vikings 20. Josh Freeman takes over at quarterback for Minnesota, but I don’t see the move, after two weeks of Freeman cramming on the Vikings playbook, suddenly turning around Minnesota’s moribund offense.
I’m actually kind of worried about this one. If Freeman fucks this up – and he is liable to, even against the Giants’ terrible defense – it’s gonna give ample fuel to the Schiano apologists out there. Okay, at this point, that’s just PK, but still.
The Adieu Haiku
No more perfect heir
to Manning than Andrew Luck.
New sheriff in town.
Go tell John Layton
Indy’s actual sheriff
I hope he shoots you