Peter King Knows Just the Authors You Need to Read

06.15.09 9 years ago 57 Comments

Allow me to apologize in advance for the lack of venomous vulgarity in this week’s breakdown of Peter King’s reviled Monday Morning Quarterback column. Drew’s unavailable today, and while Princess Assloaf provides the usual amount of retardation today, I can’t help but soften my stance somewhat, given that King kindly filmed the above segment as the opener for Saturday’s Blogs with Balls conference, where Christmas Ape and I both appeared on panels to swear about how to “make it big” in blogging. Yes, do it right, and you, too, can barely eke out an existence! Join the movement!

After the jump, prepare to not talk about Favre (read: talk about Favre) and get informed with totally unbiased recommendations for summer reading!

I’m mostly going off Favre Watch for a week (I can just feel the disappointment out there) to talk about some other quarterbacks, Donovan McNabb and Mark Sanchez most notably.

That Sanchez! Just like Johnny Damon!

Then it’s onto something I do far, far too little — promote reading.

Yes, usually Peter does the opposite by subjecting us to his column.

Not to be preachy, but in the IM/Texting/Twitterization of America, I’m going to give you five superb summer options, including the most vivid, riveting war book of our time. I’m not a history buff, but I’m a huge fan of books that put you in the middle of something historical.

So he’s not a history buff, but he IS able to tell you which book is better than all others on a historical subject.  That’s the kind of expertise uninformed hyperbole you can’t pay for!

A lone paragraph on Favre first:

This comes one whole paragraph after he said he was “mostly” going off Favre Watch.  Nice restraint.

He’ll be on HBO tonight with Joe Buck on his new show, “Joe Buck Live,” and it’s a good get, obviously. America might be totally sick of Favre, but everyone in the business wants to hear about his probable return to football.

What Peter King says: “The entire country is sick of Brett Favre, but everyone I work with wants to hear about Brett Favre, so I’m going to push this on my readers all across the country.”

What Peter King means: “FUCK YOU, readers.”

There’s a reason Roger Goodell’s always on the elliptical trainer.

Goodell told him about this thing called “physical fitness.”  It’s even better than walking!

At any league meeting or Super Bowl, you’re bound to see Goodell, at 5:15 a.m. or some similar early hour, dripping with sweat in the fitness center of some hotel.

Peter knows because he stumbled into the gym in search of free coffee.  So hard to find before 6 a.m.

In three weeks, he and close to a dozen community leaders in Seattle will attempt to climb the 14,411-foot peak at Mount Rainier to raise –they hope — more than $1 million for the United Way.  “I’ve been staring at that mountain since I was a kid,” Jim Mora told me Friday, “and it’s time I do something about it.”

Oh no!  Mora’s going to nuke Rainier off the map!  He’s mad with power!  Why did Holmgren give him the nuclear codes?!?!?  WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY??????????

The climbing schedule would sound hellish for a world-class athlete, never mind a 50-year-old commissioner. On the morning of July 7, the climbers will trek to about 10,000 feet, set up tent, and sleep until about midnight.

Will they be starting at the Visitor’s Center?  Because that’s at 5400 feet, and you can drive there.

Speaking of the Seahawks …

This kicked off seven MORE paragraphs about the Seahawks, all on the first page of MMQB.  Peter did, however, stop short of giving a hat tip to daughter Mary Beth.

I’m concerned about how little I’ve read the last few years. Maybe it’s e-mail, maybe it’s the voluminous easy sites that magnetize you to them four or five times a day…

“…maybe it’s all the time I spend bitching about coffee and listening to old messages from Favre on my answering machine.”

…when 10 or 15 years ago I’d have sat down and read something of substance.

Something like…?

I’ll pick up the latest Grisham (I’ve loved them all except “Playing for Pizza,” which seemed nonsensical to me) and have it done in two days.

Oh, John Grisham.  Interesting.  See, when I think “substance,” I generally think of something that might challenge my intellect.  But no, a novel about lawyers in danger that you can breeze through in two days is substantive reading for people who assume that following road signs is more efficient than taking three minutes to study a map to plan a driving.  Golly, I can’t wait for literature recommendations from a Grisham fan.

1. Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath, by Michael Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman.
The Normans, husband and wife, are good friends of our family.

You have to be fucking kidding me.  Of course.  Of course they are.  In fact, I feel naive for not seeing this coming.

It would be shame — for you — if you thought my affection for the Normans colors what I think of the book they worked on for the past 10 years. I don’t consider myself anything close to a history expert, nor a fan of the military genre, but this is such a vivid slice of an important piece of American history that anyone with the slightest interest in where we have come from simply has to read this book.

I don’t want to take away from the book, because I haven’t read it and it may very well be excellent.  At the very least, the Bataan Death March is a war crime that more Americans should know about.  However, King’s recommendation essentially read like this: “I don’t know much about history, and I’m not a fan of military books, but this book that close friends of mine wrote is the best military book of our time.”  Please pardon my skepticism, sir.

The temptation in a war book is to make one side full of good guys and the other side the bad guys

Wrong.  Any historical (that is, non-memoir) account of war worth its salt owes it to the reader to at least attempt to show both sides.  But what do I know?  I’m just a history buff who enjoys the military genre.

But the Normans made the Japanese soldiers as human as the Americans, writing that on the morning of one attack, Japanese lieutenant Ryotaro Nishimura “woke his men at three o’clock and huddled with them at breakfast: miso soup and an egg over a thick porridge of barley and white rice. Japanese soup always reminded the men of home, but on this morning the troops complained the miso had a ‘strange’ flavor, and Ryotaro Nishimura knew that the men had awakened with the metallic taste of fear in their mouths.”

I mean, wow. It’s like that for 398 pages.

Well done, Normans!  Nothing wins over Peter King like the story of an unsatisfying meal!  He felt the same way the last time he ate at Capital Grille!  Why, Peter once had a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks that tasted kind of metallic!  He knows the taste of fear!

Tweetup Updates. I’ll be having four of these before the start of the football season… Preliminarily, I’ll be at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Monday, July 13 (with Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times); in Albany on Monday, Aug. 3; in Indianapolis on Monday, Aug. 10; and in Boston in early September at a site to be determined.

Readers, that’s what we call “marching orders.”

Quote of the Week I: “When we were looking at taking Mark, I studied all the great generals to see what those men were like early in their careers, see how they reacted. It’s all about how they reacted in battle, what happened when the action was really live. You see that in Mark, his calm.”
— New York Jets owner Woody Johnson on rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez

Holy fuck that is stupid.

I realize you get excited about your players, particularly about the man you believe is the next long-term quarterback in franchise history, but that is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard an owner say.

Wait, what?

**reassembles exploded head**

Sometimes we forget that, for all of his non sequitur ramblings, Peter King can actually use his spongy head to formulate decent thoughts about football.  Consider this your carrot, fatass.

Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me: MMQB hero of the month Austin Wood, the Texas left-handed reliever who threw 13 scoreless relief innings in the NCAA Tournament, was rewarded for his pluck last week. The Detroit Tigers selected him in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball draft, making him the 150th overall pick in the draft.

I think it’s time to remove the “May” from the title of that section.

I think you’re going to see an announcement soon that Matt Millen is joining Bob Papa in the Thursday night NFL Network booth. Assuming it happens — and I’m sure it will — ESPN is getting busted in the chops by this in almost the same way NFL Network got busted in the chops when Jon Gruden jilted the Network for ESPN.

Oh no!  Jilted by Matt Millen!  Now the company won’t be subjected to failure and financial ruin!

The big difference is, Gruden left the Network high and dry; Millen will still be doing the work he previously agreed to do for ESPN.

Oh, so… ESPN wasn’t busted in the chops at all.  In fact, this thing Peter King thought he thought has been a waste of everyone’s time.

You might ask why ESPN agreed to allow Millen to do the Thursday night games and beat himself up by giving himself three separate jobs, at least in November. Good question. I’m told it’s because he really wanted the Thursday night gig and wouldn’t have been a happy ESPN camper had he gotten turned down.

You can’t lose talent like Millen!  No one wears a mustache like him!

I think [the Plaxico case] is a very slippery slope for Roger Goodell. He’s on record as being opposed to discipline for a first-time offender until that offender has his case adjudicated in a court of law. So on the surface, he seems bound to have to give Burress his day in court before bouncing him. The mitigating factor here is that it’s such an open-and-shut case; Burress has never argued that he didn’t possess the gun, and he has never argued that he didn’t fire the gun. But if Goodell lives by his precedent, he’ll let Burress play until he’s tried. I’m not trying to be a cop here. I’m just saying this continuance for Burress, on all sides, might be legally justifiable. But it stinks. That’s the only word for it — it stinks.

Bah!  Damn you, legislative process!  Peter King demands justice immediately!  You hear that, Schlereth?  YOU OWE KING A CAPITAL GRILLE DINNER!!!!

I think the Rex Grossman signing in Houston says one thing to me:

Texas bitches gonna get impregnated with the long ball.

The honeymoon’s over for Dan Orlovsky as the walk-in, no-doubt backup to Matt Schaub.

Oh no!  The city of Houston barely even had a chance to fall in love with the terrible quarterback on its bench!  Now that they’re got an erratic mediocre guy in front of him, they don’t know WHO to love!

I think the next interesting football-related journalistic battle line might be how many clicks can take away from the field by acquiring Today, NBC will announce it has reached a deal with PFT that will allow the site to exclusively license its content to Mike Florio, the dogged founder and writer for the site, is giving up his day job (lawyering) to devote more time to PFT, so NBC could be getting even more valuable content than PFT has been publishing.

But not more valuable than the new SPRINT FAMILY PLAN!!!

I must be un-American. I hate “Sweet Caroline” in the bottom of the eighth at Fenway. How’d that dumb song ever get picked as a fan anthem?

Holy shit.  That’s two feathers in your cap this week, King.  Three if we count the Blogs with Balls video.  DON’T TRY TO WIN ME OVER, JERKASS, or I swear to God I’ll take your daughter out to a nice seafood dinner and never call her back.

Have you noticed a lot of baseball players look like they’re wearing pajamas, not form-fitting uniforms?

Yeah, it’s almost like they’re wearing them in the traditional style.

Peter King wants men in tighter pants, dammit!  It’s not a sport unless he can salivate over the outline of your beefy haunches.

Amazing but true in Saturday’s New York Times: The Yankees have sold out one game out of the first 30 home games this year at the new Yankee Stadium.

Probably has something to do with charging $500 for a ticket during a recession.  Amazing but true.

How does Luis Castillo show his face Friday night when the Mets play at home for the first time since The Drop? Not just The Drop, either … how about picking up the ball with two Yankees steaming around the bases and throwing it to second instead of throwing it home? Insane.

Well, Castillo’s getting paid $6.25 million this season.  I would assume that he has a stipulation in his contract to show his face in his home park even after he costs his team a game.  But by all means, Peter, act like the play affected much more than 0.6% of the entire season.

Coffeenerdness: Settled into a good routine here in Boston at night, working or TV-watching in the last couple of weeks before vacation, and brewing a small pot of Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend decaf. That’s some great coffee. Sounds like the script for a commercial.

“Peet’s decaf!  Great for watching TV at night!”  Lofty ad campaign.

Mike McGuire, back in Germany, is beginning to focus on his favorite pastime, the NFL. “So you know I was a Drill Sergeant for three years and a Drill Sergeant Leader. My thought is that with all these in-shape super-hard NFL players, we should take a couple of them, work them out and do a two or three day “In the Life of a Basic Training Soldier.” That would be awesome. I talk with my wife all the time about what I would do to them and see just how good of shape they are in. People would watch that. I know that NFL fans would be interested.”

That’s a fucking stupid idea.  The purpose of Basic Training is to get soft-bodied recruits into shape and to teach them discipline.  It’s not exactly scaled to challenge professional athletes.  “Oh wow!  That’s amazing!  Julian Peterson can do TWENTY push-ups!”  The only conceivable way this could be interesting is if we got to watch Vince Wilfork try to run three miles.

Mike McGuire, NFL network programmer. You’ve got a retirement job, Mike.

The NFL Network may disagree.  Don’t quit your day job, Mike.  Whatever that is.

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