When we last left Joe Futbol himself Peter King, he was maybe kinda possibly perhaps thinking about maybe going to the World Cup. MAYBE. He also detailed the inspirational grad speech commissioner Goodell gave to crack majors at U-Mass Lowell, marveled at the CLEAN STREETS OF FACKIN’ BAWSTON, and again railed against the NFL for daring to hold a Super Bowl in inclement weather. YOU PEOPLE ARE PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH SLEET. SLEET NEVER LOSES.
So what of this week? Will Peter boycott those jackals at BP by never buying gas from them again? Unless, you know, he’s out of gas and there’s a BP station nearby? Are you ready for that kind of powerful uprising? Is Peter in South Africa right now? Is he? CRY FREEDOM, PEOPLE!!!! Read on.
CAPE TOWN, South Africa —
He is! Peter King is in Africa! Home of the Zulu Blend! This is a historic moment, people. This is like Nixon going to China. Or a 16-year-old getting into a titty bar. THIS MEANS SOMETHING, DAMMIT.
It’s fall here at the bottom of Africa, which gives the region a bit more of a football feel. And futbol too, of course. But before I get to the business of covering the World Cup later this week — hopefully I’ll find some good coffee by then…
And let’s stop right there. You’re a well-to-do journalist who just traveled thousands of miles to cover a new subject and explore a small portion of an entirely new continent. What do you do when you arrive? Do you sleep off your jet lag, then head to a local café and do a bit of people watching? Do you go to the city’s open market to take in all the new sights and sounds? Do you hit up some of the main tourist spots? Do you go to a bar to get yourself acquainted with the nation’s drinking culture? OR DO YOU WASTE PRECIOUS HOURS BITCHING ABOUT FINDING A FUCKING CUP OF COFFEE?
I have a few NFL thoughts, plus a couple of book ideas for your Father’s Day gift-giving…
Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels has the future of Tim Tebow in his hands, as you all know, after choosing him late in the first round of the 2010 draft. And McDaniels has an interesting assistant: his younger brother Ben, who turned 30 on Sunday, is the quarterbacks coach this season.
I think the reason McDaniels chose his brother to oversee the quarterbacks is simple:
He is Josh McDaniels’ brother.
They learned exactly the same way of coaching the techniques and body motion of quarterbacks from their dad, noted northeast Ohio high school coach Thom McDaniels. Say what you want about having an inexperienced guy coaching the presumptive franchise quarterback day to day, but if the head coach wants his methods to be translated exactly the way he wants, isn’t he going to be more comfortable with a coach who knows those methods better than anyone else in the world except him?
I know everyone slags nepotism. But really, if you’re in a senior management position and you need someone to execute your vision exactly as you’ve laid it out, isn’t that something ONLY a fellow family member can do?
Josh McDaniels bristled when I asked about nepotism.
“Peter, I am fucking cutting you.”
“Last year, I asked Ben to come in for an interview for the offensive assistant job,” he said. “Five guys interviewed, and I told him he’d have an equal chance to get the job. He came in and clearly was the best candidate for the job. Period.”
NO WAY! I can’t believe four other guys interviewed for the gig and, in your completely objective opinion, your brother was clearly the best candidate! Just a happy coincidence! Of course, there’s also the matter of your brother’s qualifications…
hadn’t coached above college grad-assistant level before being hired as an offensive assistant by the Broncos last year.
But if he wasn’t Josh’s brother, he still TOTALLY would have gotten that interview! Let’s hear Josh McDaniels continue to be an uppity cock about hiring his brother:
”Going back to high school, people would talk about nepotism [about the brothers starting at quarterback under their father]. Well, we lost nine games in six years with us quarterbacking.”
WE WON THOSE GAMES BY OURSELVES BECAUSE WE’RE FUCKING AWESOME AND WE’LL GIVE YOU SUPERAIDS IF YOU THINK DIFFERENT.
”Nepotism is for other people to talk about, but we learned a long time ago that’s no part of our vocabulary.”
We learned a long time ago that’s something we don’t talk about, because we practice it so brazenly and refuse to admit the corrupting nature of it.
”If you can do the job, you can do the job. Ben is damn good at what he does.”
Oh, okay. Well now, I totally see why you hired him.
I fucking hate Josh McDaniels.
Quote of the Week I
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
— John Wooden, in 1969, one of the words-to-live-by proverbs that made the former UCLA coach as much of a life coach in retirement as he was a basketball coach. Wooden died Friday at 99 in Los Angeles.
I’ve seen NFL coaches using Wooden over the years — John Harbaugh lives by his words — because they’re universal, in sports and in the real world. I never met him, which is one of the great voids of my sportswriting career.
Other great voids of Peter’s sportswriting career:
1. TGI Friday’s. October 27th, 1998. BM weight: 1 pound, 3 ounces (coffee assisted)
2. JetBlue flight. May 27th, 2010. BM weight: 2 pounds, 4 ounces (all liquid)
3. Joe Robbie Stadium. September 3rd, 1991. BM weight: 1 pound, 7 ounces (read entire John Grisham novel during extrusion)
4. Parcells estate. March 19th, 1990. BM weight: 5 pounds, 0 ounces (tandem poop)
5. Never getting to shake Pete Rozelle’s hand
Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week
Flew from the top of the world (Amsterdam) to the bottom (Cape Town) Saturday, and it’s amazing how much you can do when you’re not in the mood to watch TV for 11 hours and 13 minutes. Well, I did watch an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm (the one where Rosie O’Donnell beats up Larry, and Larry inadvertently takes two dates in wheelchairs to a recital) and one of The Office, (the Andy-Angela wedding-planning episode), but other than that I read. Got fully up to speed on the World Cup, thanks to writers Grant Wahl and Mark Bechtel and editor Mark Mravic’s fantastic preview of the Cup in this week’s SI. (What will Ivory Coast do without Didier Drogba?!) And I read 375 pages of the magnetizing The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson.
Boy, it really feels like you just had to spend 11 hours sitting next to him, doesn’t it? “And then I rolled up a blanket and used it as a lumbar support. And then I listened to some U2. And then I asked for coffee, but it didn’t arrive for another three minutes. And then I thought about climbing the 747 staircase, and I hoped there would be an arcade there, but I knew there wasn’t. And then flipped through the SkyMall catalog. What’s the deal with those things? Does ANYONE buy things from a SkyMall catalog? And then I pooped!”
Also had the opportunity to see the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam Friday. It was a bit of a disappointment.
WHERE ARE ALL THE DEAD JEWS?!
There was no context.
WHY IS THIS HOUSE BEING SHOWN TO ME IN THE YEAR 2010, A YEAR OF RELATIVE PEACE IN EUROPE? THIS IS NOT THE RIGHT CONTEXT FOR ME TO VISIT IT.
No real attempt to show the place exactly as it was.
WHY ISN’T THERE A LITTLE GIRL COWERING THE CORNER AND CLUTCHING A DOLL?
There were lots of signs, no furniture, short videos and never a sense of what it was like to live there.
WHY WON’T THEY STUFF ME IN A TRAP DOOR AND HAVE NAZIS PURSUE ME AND MY LOVED ONES?!
And, frankly (pun intended),
Oh, sweet fucking Jesus.
…no moment of terrible sadness and grief for her like you feel when you read her diary. I kept trying to understand what it was really like but could never feel it.
And there was NOWHERE in that house to get a decent cup of coffee. Anne Frank House, you got a looong way to go before you measure up to Peet’s. Better coffee. More dead Jews. GET ON IT.
It’s no Jack Bowers’ house, that’s for goddamn sure.
Cape Town is fantastically beautiful, though the winter can undo your plans. (It is the late fall here, sort of Seattle-ish.
…Gray, dreary, overcast, though not terribly cold). We tried to sail to Robben Island Sunday to see where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison, but the weather cancelled our plans. We’ll try again today. I can tell, though, after just one day, that Cape Town should be a destination point for any adventurous traveler. Beautiful in itself and accessible to so many other amazing places. Just come when the weather is a bit nicer. Our summer is their winter.
I CANNOT BELIEVE THEY CHOSE TO PLAY THE WORLD CUP OUTSIDE IN THE MIDDLE OF AFRICAN WINTER. ARE YOU TELLING ME THESE GAMES WOULDN’T BE BETTER OFF BEING PLAYED IN THE GEORGIA DOME?! ABSURD.
Tweet of the Week
“Isn’t it funny how growing up I couldn’t stand the look or smell of vomit… now that I have kids I step in, catch, clean up without blinking”
–@kurt13warner, the former Rams and Cardinals quarterback, late Tuesday night after his 6-year-old son felt sick after eating ice cream, asked his father for a bucket because he was going to be sick and then, indeed, did throw up — but not before, in mid-vomit, he said to Warner: “Told you Dad!”
And Kurt unretires in 3, 2, 1…
Reading about (John) Wooden reminded me of the Bill Belichick life story in a different way but with the same parental influence.
Only, in Wooden’s case, the son doesn’t turn out to be a cheater and a philanderer and a complete fucking scumbag. Otherwise, EXACTLY ALIKE.
I’ve read a lot of the great page-turning writers over the years — John Grisham, Richard Patterson, Harlan Coben. The late Stieg Larssen (who died of a heart attack six years ago, after turning in three manuscripts that become international sensations) isn’t the writer they are but he’s got a way of tying you to the pages until you’re finished. Maybe something got lost in the translation from the book (written in Swedish); I don’t know.
Is Lisbeth Salander a man in the Swedish version? I don’t know. Did the translator accidentally use the word “Rape” when he should have used “lingonberries”? POSSIBLY.
What did we ever do without recycling?
I don’t know!
Found myself thinking that the other day…
I bet you did. That’s precisely the kind of thing I imagine Peter King finds himself thinking about. What did we EVER do without recycling? Hey, how about packaged ham? Is that neat or what?! Why don’t more people adopt dogs from the pound? Just seems like the right thing to do.
…when I brought three things to the curb: a white kitchen garbage bag with four days of house trash, a much larger clear plastic bag with a weekend of paper goods recycling and newspapers, and a bin of commingled plastic, glass and aluminum cans.
My God, man. Your life is duller on the ground than in the air!
Our trash was one part garbage, three parts recycling, I’d estimate. Twenty years ago, it was four bags of trash.
WHAT A COUNTRY.
I was fortunate enough the other day to have lunch with Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald… We spoke about football mostly (he was hungry for Bronco nuggets)
But these Bronco nuggets are made from mechanically separated bronco parts! It’s not top shelf bronco meat! I know, because Ben McDaniels was in charge of quality control at the bronco nugget plant, and that guy was a lazy SHIT.
And by the way, for those who sent e-mail and Tweets condemning me for condemning BP and saying I won’t be buying their gas again — many of you think the mega-spill is not the fault of the guy who pumps the gas or the local manager who runs the BP gas station, and of course it isn’t. But you have to protest in some way when you see horrible injustice, and this will be my little way.
This protest is completely pointless and ineffective. BUT I HAVE TO DO IT AND I WILL.