When we last left Greek God of Kit Kats Peter King, he was busy being dazzled by players watching ESPN in the locker room, counting every strike against Jonathan Baldwin (only six more to go before you’re out at the old ball game, Jon!), and desperately trying to find a landing spot for his best bud Tiki Barber. Are you telling me that NO NFL team could use a washed up team cancer on their roster? But Tiki is so well spoken! It boggles the mind.
So what about this week? What jokes did Peter read on razzball.com that he must share with you? Will he find the perfect citrusy brew? How many more wins will the Titans amass thanks to Mike Munchak’s NO HATS rule? READ ON. Drive 15 minutes. Welcome to FWPK.
My fourth and final week on the camp trail… Stats of note about the journey:
USA Todays read: 12
Book depositories visited: 56
Percent of days spent bitching about coffee: 104.9%
Handjobs doled out: 4.2
Wind chill : 42 degrees! Brrrr!
So why the East Greenbush dateline, and what is an East Greenbush?
Well, apparently you have an East Greenbush dateline because that’s where you are, and it’s a town in New York. That’s what the dateline is for.
My wife, dog and I abandoned ship in Boston Saturday, afraid our neighborhood would get blacked out by Irene, and so we drove west three hours to a hotel in this Albany ‘burb, where we were fairly sure writing in large quantities wouldn’t be interrupted by the weather. And it wasn’t … though our Boston neighborhood never lost power.
Reader Jeremy Wahlman would like to point out that, “Peter King tried to avoid the hurricane by driving three hours closer to it.” I’m also told the hurricane did not answer any of Peter’s text messages.
Anyway, it was an eventful week, full of… the Niners looking like they’re the leaders in the clubhouse in the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes (and wouldn’t that be ironic?).
“So, Mr. Malloy, it seems that the cat has been caught by the very person who was trying to catch him.”
So why are we starting with fantasy football? Because Arian Foster started it. Sort of.
A wealthy friend in a $1,000-entry-fee league emailed me Sunday…
All my friends live in large white houses in Pittsford and use velvet footstools and participate in expensive fantasy leagues because WE ARE FABULOUS.
…asking whether he should use the third pick in his draft on Foster or steer clear. “Only God knows,” I emailed back.
You deserve to lose all $1,000 and an extra $1,000 if you’re asking Peter King to give you noncommittal fantasy advice.
I’d love to know how many people buy NFL Sunday Ticket or the Red Zone Channel for fantasy purposes.
Holy shit, are you a real person? ALL OF THEM. The answer is ALL OF THEM.
Time will tell if Da’Quan Bowers can stay on the field.
Can he stay healthy? I DON’T KNOW. Will be end up getting mauled by leopards? TOO SOON TO SAY.
One more item of interest from Bucs camp: Ronde Barber is at 183 straight starts — the most ever for a corner — and counting.
“This practice was soooo lame,” said Matt Leinart’s young son Cole, on the sidelines of training camp after a 75-minute walk-through. Interesting you should say that, young Cole.
“Do you like movies about gladiators?”
“I wasn’t happy when the new rules came out,” said coach Gary Kubiak.
“It’s still not legal to commit six delay-of-game penalties in the final two minutes of game! Why won’t they let me do my special move?”
Imagine if Los Angeles gets a team in a year or two.
Imagine it. THINK OF IT. DREAM OF HOW BADLY THAT TEAM COULD USE MY FRIEND TIKI BARBER.
Or two teams. Whatever.
Or six. Or nine. WHATEVER.
It’s sunny and 104 degrees outside Dallas Cowboys Stadium, and there’s a line of some senior citizens and — from the looks of it — Red Sox fans…
YOU CANNAWT CONTAIN SAWX NATION! WE AHHH EVERYWHERE-AHHHH!!! TONY ROMO IS NO MUDDY CHICKEN!
We’re sitting in the coaches’ dining room on the ground floor of the stadium, where the Cowboys are having training camp indoors because of the intense heat. Occasionally a tour group stops at the door, sees Jones and snaps a photo. (Jerry) Jones smiles, waves, says the occasional, “How y’all doing?” Or “Where y’all from?”
Or, “How would you like to join me in the airplane bathroom for the ride of your life, sweetheart? YEEEEEHAWWW YOU GOT NICE TITS!”
He introduced me to some folks, and when we walked away, he said, “See? That’s added value! They got to meet Peter King of Sports Illustrated!”
This was on a tour of Cowboys Stadium during non-games hours, and it isn’t so appropriate that someone would find added value in seeing Peter King at a stadium devoid of actual football.
(Jones said) “One of the reasons I built this stadium is so Al Michaels would talk about it on TV.”
AL: “This stadium is YOOOOOGE. Much bigger than the one in New Orlee-uns. This stadium is my personal Four Seasons. I like to gamble. Democrats are pussies.”
The next night, (Kevin) Kolb threw an 80-yard touchdown bomb to Fitzgerald in an uneven performance, and the local populace, enticed but never convinced that Max Hall or Derek Anderson were anything but poor bridges from Kurt Warner to the next real quarterback…
But how could they not like Max Hall? No one was guttier when fumbling at the goal line! QUASI-WARNERESQUE, he was.
In the winnable NFC West, a quarterback gives any team a chance. St. Louis knows it has one. San Francisco and Seattle don’t know if they do.
Oh, they know.
Silly time to panic, seeing that (Cam) Newton (6 of 19) has been practicing with an NFL team for one month. But what I found alarming watching 12 of his 19 throws was how often he threw to covered receivers. Not receivers with a little window, but receivers who were blanketed.
But he was so confident when he did it! And really, isn’t that all that matters when you’re throwing uncatchable balls to wideouts who aren’t open?
On his first three drives, Fitzpatrick, against one of the best defenses Jack Del Rio has fielded in Jacksonville, drove the Bills 74, 82 and 52 yards to a field goal, touchdown and touchdown. Keep thinking of him as roster marginalia. Go ahead.
Go ahead. I DARE YOU. With Fitzpatrick and Brad Smith in the fold, NO ONE will stop the Bills. Ever. I didn’t think much of the Bills, but then I hung out with Fitzpatrick for ten minutes outside the team cafeteria. Good kid. Real head on his shoulders. Wouldn’t be shocked if he led the team to an unbeaten season. Reminds me of Max Hall, in a way.
The Sports Illustrated NFL Preview Issue hits the stands Wednesday (and your mailboxes Wednesday or Thursday), and in it will be my predictions for the 2011 season. Standings, playoff teams, MVP, etc., and, of course, the Super Bowl prediction. So the contest is going to be to predict my Super Bowl pick.
Bills over Land Shark Lager!
Here’s what I need from you.
1. The score of Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. Like, Wichita 36, Topeka 16, only with the NFL teams.
I’ll pick Wichita if I goddamn want to. They excel on neutral fields.
The winner is going to get a prize. I just haven’t figured out what it will be.
A two-night stay at the Conrad hotel in Indianapolis! A chance to have Steve Young vomit on your shoes! Dinner with Jack Bowers! One ticket to a Texas Rangers game! FREE NUGGETS!
“We’re playing pretty much mistake-free football. New England has some good recent history, but we beat them pretty handily.”
— Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, after the Lions routed the Patriots 34-10 Saturday night at Ford Field.
Was that Matt Stafford bragging about winning a preseason game? Holy shit. He’s a year away from coaching at South Carolina.
Here’s where Mike Munchak’s firm hand may help the Titans…
I voted Browns center Alex Mack to my Sports Illustrated 2010 All-Pro team. If I do the same in 2011, I probably will have put $50,000 in his pocket.
Now that’s a little weird.
Now that’s a little #humblebrag.
Mack has a clause in his Cleveland contract that, to read, is to be a mouse in a maze.
As a lab animal to test on, we underrate the mouse.
Mack can earn the $50,000 bonus by leading all Browns in offensive snaps played in 2011 and earning the first-team All-Pro or All-Conference honors… I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I said this thought won’t occur to me as I deliberate my team this year.
Quick, Alex! Send Peter a case of Illy cans!
And no, no player or agent has ever lobbied me for a spot on my All-Pro team. I don’t expect that to change now.
So to get you up to date: NFL contracts did not previously use SI as a gauge when determining contract bonuses for All-Pro teams made. Now they do. But Peter doesn’t expect that to change people’s interactions with him in ANY way. Memo to Alex Mack: Have a skim-free cappuccino from the ‘Bucks waiting for Peter the next time you pick him up at the airport.
In a week with an earthquake and a hurricane on the East Coast, far be it from me to question the wisdom of living in Phoenix.
I drove to Phoenix last week to get away from the Texas heat!
There is no perfect weather place. But guess what the number 121 is from, which I saw at 4:21 p.m. Friday while driving at the corner of Camelback and 24th in Phoenix.
But guess where this poorly phrased question is from, which I noticed after realizing that Peter went to school at Ohio.
That was the number on my Hertz-rental Altima dashboard where the temperature is displayed.
NO FUCKING WAY! A temperature that exceeded 100 degrees in Phoenix? In August? Surely you jest. Phoenix is a usually frigid windswept moonscape this time of year!
By the way, I love everything about how badly this question is phrased. I’m in Phoenix. GUESS WHAT THE NUMBER 121 SIGNIFIES. No, it’s not the number of deranged shootists I saw at the Town Hall! It was the number on my dashboard, WHICH IS WHERE YOU GO TO FIND THE OUTSIDE TEMPERATURE. Have I not just blown your skull to tiny bits?
You say it’s a phony number…
…inflated by a temperature gauge gone wacky? Perhaps.
You say it’s a false number. Oh, okay. You’re probably right. BUT STILL! LOOK HOW HIGH IT IS!
But when I drove Thursday evening, my gauge read 109, and I passed a time and temperature sign with 108, so I’m not buying it was off by much.
It was off by 13 degrees.
I sat outside for 15 or 20 minutes at my hotel in the late afternoon Friday, on the phone, just to get the feel of what 121 (or 119, or whatever it was) felt like.
Say, I wonder what hot feels like!
Well, that was a surprise!
At the beer stand, I asked the woman pouring how she stood the heat.
“More citrus in my ale, that’s how!”
Traveling this great country, I’ve noticed three additional words flights attendants and gate agents cannot live without: “go ahead and.”
“Go ahead and sit your fat ass down, Mr. King. This man is trying to put away his cello case.”
By the way, I love Virgin America. It’s one of the great airlines in the country, roomy and quite human…
The planes are made out of REAL human skin!
FACT: When Virgin America flies out of the Detroit airport, the humaneness is DOUBLED by at least half.
a. I’ve liked most everything the Ravens have done with veteran players to bolster their roster in the last two or three years. I do not like the Bryant McKinnie signing. He’s done nothing to show he’s worth two years and up to $7.5 million (only $1.8 million for sure this year), and even less to be handed the left tackle job.
You’re absolutely right, Peter. That’s a perfectly valid football opinion and I agree with it.
It might work…
WHY DID YOU JUST UNDERCUT YOURSELF LIKE THAT?!!! You were doing so well before that! “I don’t like that Bryant McKinnie signing. But you know what? IT MIGHT JUST BE KRAYZEE ENOUGH TO WORK, GANG.”
c. Ocho Oucho: Two drops, holding penalty for Chad Ochocinco in the Pats’ loss to Detroit.
Peter, three weeks ago after seeing Ocho drop passes in Patriots practice: “Another drop. Awful practice for the Ocho. But I doubt there’ll be many of those.” Who knew that poor play could be an omen of future poor play?
Donovan McNabb looked smooth and confident in the quarter of work I saw of him against Dallas. He’s unearthed Bernard Berrian, too.
God that last sentence makes me sad.
Brett Favre never used Berrian much;
Because he sucks.
McNabb looked for him consistently Saturday night.
/tucks head between knees
All the news about wideout Roy Williams continues to be bad. A Jay Cutler pass went through his hands at Tennessee and was intercepted. The last train to Bustville’s leaving in 10 minutes, Roy.
Next stop: Chaosville, then onto Vickville, with a final stop at Tebowmaniatown.
Interesting to see the backs Cleveland’s keeping. Three of them — Peyton Hillis (252 pounds), Stanford rookie Owen Marecic (245) and Montario Hardesty (227) — give the Browns an interesting set of backs for the West Coast offense.
“These backs are interesting. Three of them make give this team some interesting backs. VERY interesting.”
I had these thoughts about the ESPN Michael Vick issue:
1. Why can I get this issue for free on Virgin America but NOT on American Airlines?
2. I think Mike was well served by a long football exhale.
3. I wish the article had had more earwitness testimony.
Re: the white Mike: First reaction was it was race-baiting at its best, but the story, written by Toure’, was well thought out, especially the part about what would have become of Vick had he been in a home with a good role model for a father.
Re: the white Mike image: Doesn’t bother me. There’s nothing wrong with something that makes us think a little bit.
At first, I didn’t like the White Vick image. But then I took it out to dinner at the Capital Grille and it had some pretty wild ideas. Stuff that really made me think. Did you know White Vick grew up in Pittsford, NY? I’ll be keeping my eye on that whippersnapper. I expect verrry good things.
Chad Millman, the editor of ESPN’s magazine, used to work with me at Sports Illustrated and I know him as a responsible and really smart journalist.
I KNOW OTHER JOURNALISTS! AWARD PLEEEEZ
Really, is seeing an image of a black man made white such a horrible thing if it helps illustrate the question of what would have happened to Vick if he were white and in the dogfighting business?
It doesn’t help illustrate the question. It only cheapens the argument by drawing everyone’s attention to the shitty Photoshop job and having everyone argue about it. If you need a shitty Photoshop job of a black dude as a white dude to think deeper about racial issues, then your depth of thinking is about on par with a fucking sea sponge.
(Bill Belichick) showed his team The Fighter in camp the other day, and then had the real-life “Fighter,” Mickey Ward, come out and talk to the team about fighting through the tough times.
YOU GUYS NEED TO FACKIN’ FIGHT HAHHHHHD! LIKE I DID! MICKEY WAHHHD NATION IS COUNTING ON YOU! NOW, DO ANY OF YOU HAVE CRACK MONEY FAHHH MY BROTHAH?!
I think, from what I’ve seen in the preseason so far, the 2010 Stanford coach has a pretty decent chance to coach the 2011 Stanford quarterback on the 2012 San Francisco 49ers.
Oh, the irony if it all.
Gotta love the New York Post. Knowledge gleaned from the paper last Monday:
-Did you know the President was queer and that he wants queers to run the Army?
-Congrats on your new dog, Cindy Adams.
-The answer to this week’s Jumble was SALAD.
Had a chance to watch a couple of innings of Sox-Rangers the other night with Texas GM Jon Daniels.
Who won the game? Tell you in a few paragraphs, Jon!
He asks interesting questions about the NFL and how it relates to baseball.
Interesting. He should be in the Brown’s interesting backfield of interestingness.
He reminds me of Thomas Dimitroff.
The both read Florio!
Other GMs? NO INTERNAL MONOLOGUE.
They don’t do what was done yesterday because it was done yesterday and it worked then.
They don’t go on things like “proof.” They watch MSNBC. They lean forward.
So we’re in East Greenbush Sunday
WHA WHA WHA?! WHAT’S AN EAST GREENBUSH? I MUST KNOW.
…and there’s a drive-thru Starbucks, and the wind’s howling and it’s raining when I go through there around 8 Sunday morning, and the gal at the window says she doesn’t know how long they’re going to stay open. And around 2, there’s a lull in the weather, and I call over there before I waste a trip. “We’re just closing,” another gal says. But it’s almost stopped raining, and the wind has died down, and … well, that’s when you know you’re addicted.
Wonderful story. Incredible. You got coffee, then tried to get a second coffee but couldn’t. Fucking fascinating. I killed two puppies while reading that.
By the looks of the calendar, St. Arnold Summer Pils is going to be gone in a month. Get it while it’s cold.
I guess I have to catch up on the last two Curb Your Enthusiasm shows.
Was there enough Funkhauser?
NOTE: “The Postmortal” is available in stores starting tomorrow. Buy it through here. Good book. LOFTY book.