When last we left bang bagger, Peter King, he was getting fuckin’ nutty on The Dan Patrick Show. He dubbed Washington’s receivers The Bad Hands People and asked to genetic test Justin Tucker for the clutch gene, which is probably a thing according to PK pseudoscience. But what about this week? You’ll never believe it, but PK actually apologizes for something. It’s not his entire life to this point so it’s a little lacking, but still! An apology. Too bad the rest of the column is total shit. NOW GET TO IT!
The envelopes, please.
/hands PK an envelope laced with arsenic
Performance of the Year by a running back:
Oh, you’re doing a cutesy/gimmicky fake awards show thing? That’s not incredibly, depressingly hacky.
Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy, who ran through eight inches of snow in the greatest fourth-quarter performance ever by an Eagle back—11 carries, 148 yards, two touchdowns. How does he not slip when everyone else does?
Nice win by McCoy. Some of the buzz leading up to the first-ever Lofties Awards indicated that McCoy might have to settle for a win in the performance by a running back in a supporting role, but it’s nice to see that reason won out.
Performance of the Year by a return man: Detroit’s Jeremy Ross, who returned a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns on that same snowy field. Running 98 yards in that stuff … can’t wait to see it set to some symphony by NFL Films.
Huh? What’s that? I could have sworn Peter had spent the last two years haranguing his readership on the idea of snow and cold weather being a blight on the sport of football. And how this coming Super Bowl will be ruined by exposure to the elements. Why, he’s almost making football in the snow sound romantic here. That can’t be.
Dreads of the Year:
Definitely not Andre Ellington’s!
DeSean Jackson and the dreadlocked Louis Delmas went crashing into the deep end-zone snow in the fourth quarter in Philly—and Delmas’ black dreads came up snowy white.
Naturally this goes to dreads that became more white. If Riley Cooper grows them by this time next year, he’s a shoo-in.
Kick of the Year—and the Century:
It’s the well-run awards show that crams together honors in multiple categories at once. Really saves times.
Denver’s Matt Prater, who told me he’d never tried a kick of 60 yards or longer in high school, college or the NFL, “tried to kill it” from 64 yards in the Denver-Tennessee game, on the last play of the first half in Denver. Right down the middle. Good. Four times in NFL history men had made 63-yarders, but never further. Via my Sports Illustrated friend Tim Layden, the man who set the record 43 years ago, Tom Dempsey, lives in a New Orleans retirement home now, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and was told about Prater’s record-breaking field goal late Sunday afternoon. “Must have been a great kick,” Dempsey said.
You know there’s an asshole nurse who will remind him every day just to see if he gives the same reaction.
Hour of the Year: From 3:45 to 4:45 Eastern. When all heck broke loose, everywhere.
Tough luck, other 8,764 hours in the year. You had heck-breaking promise but you were no match for the heck-breakingest 60 minutes in the all-time annals of thisyeardom.
Explosion of the Year:
“My pants, when I get a call from Brett!”
In 14 games, NFL teams scored 88 touchdowns, the most on any day in the 94-year history of the league.
Is it enough to nab the Sunday of the Year of the Century award? Stay tuned.
Awkward Meeting of the Year: When Dan Snyder and Mike Shanahan pass each other in the hallway at work today.
PK trying to think up something clever to say to Neil deGrasse Tyson on a plane got robbed.
But you can’t write the story of an amazing Sunday without the four calls (and I’m probably missing one or two) that materially affected three games. As you may know, I’m not one to kill the umpire. Or the head linesman. Officials have a tough job, and if you read my three-part opus last week on A Week in the Life of An Officiating Crew, you can see I have respect for the work they do and the difficulty of the job they have.
The close calls, the bang-bang calls, the helmet-to-helmet stuff they’re trying to get out of the game … I get it. All good.
C’mon c’mon enough equivocation let’s get the payoff.
And it’s a tribute to the greatness of football Sunday that I’m not going to spend half of this column berating crews in Philadelphia, New England and Cincinnati for indefensible calls that swayed the outcome of all three of those games. I said “swayed,” not “determined.”
Requisite cozying up the officials prior to tearing them a new one just because PK got to hang out with Gene Steratore’s crew for a bit. GET TO THE STRONG TAKES FACTORY!
YESSSSSSSSS. There we go.
I am going to spend a few words up here on these calls. Because they stunk. And 345 Park Avenue needs to be concerned with the hue and cry of the fan right now, because the fan, mostly, is right.
Yes, yes, that’s right, THE FAN’S CRY. Motherfucker, just take ownership of your own gripes. Disguising your shit talking as speaking for the fan is disingenuous even for you. If there’s anyone less qualified to speak for the average NFL viewer than Peter King, they probably own a team.
At Philadelphia, early fourth quarter, Lions up six, Eagles ball, 2nd-and-10 at their 45. A millisecond after Nick Foles releases an incomplete pass, Detroit’s Nick Fairley, not using his head and not hitting above the sternum, plowed into Foles. Ref Ed Hochuli flagged Fairley for roughing the passer, an invented call for which he certainly will be downgraded by the league office. So, instead of the Eagles having a 3rd-and-10 at their 45, they had a 1st-and-10 at the Detroit 40 … and LeSean McCoy promptly romped to a 40-yard touchdown. The made the score Detroit 14, Philadelphia 12.
That’s interesting – just a few weeks ago PK defended Tony Corrente’s questionable flag on Ahmad Brooks for his hit on Drew Brees by saying it’s the mission of the officials to protect quarterbacks no matter what. So now we’re back to the letter of the law when refs are done letting you tag along for a week? Fuck you.
At Cincinnati, late in the first half, the Bengals were up 7-0 when BenJarvus Green-Ellis dove for the goal line and appeared to be stopped short. In the last two minutes of the half, replays are initiated by the replay assistant upstairs, and that’s what happened here. The ruling on the field was Green-Ellis was down by contact from Indy nose tackle Josh Chapman touching Green-Ellis’ leg and causing him to fall shot of the goal line. Triplette went under the hood.
Then ruled it a safety.
At NBC, we watched the replay three or four times.
Because during the first two you were gazing deep into The Dunge’s eyes and licking your lips.
Nothing there. The play would stand. Check out the video to the right. Almost certainly Chapman flicked Green-Ellis’ leg, causing him to fall forward, and his knees and thighs were down before he reached the goal line. Triplette overturned the call. He rule a touchdown, ruling that Green-Ellis clearly had not been touched, fell, and could then have reached the ball across the plane because he had not been touched down. We gasped in the room at NBC.
“I got to co-gasp with Tony Dungy and Scott Pioli. Their breath and mine became one!”
Incredible. Jeff Triplette, for the second week in a row, made the kind of decision that makes the American public distrust if not altogether hate the officials who work these games. Triplette made a mockery of finding “indisputable visual evidence.”
How dare he! That’s one of our nation’s proudest traditions.
Later in this column, I’ll explain why the league may go to centralized replay review.
“I’ll also explain why it’s futile to deny Roger Goodell the ability to consolidate power and 10 tips on how best to succumb to his will.”
“That is awesome,” said Prater, a 29-year-old veteran from Central Florida. “What an achievement for him—and he did it straight on, with worse equipment than we have now, so long ago, when no one would think you kick a 63-yard field goal. That’s an incredible record to have for so long.”
No one’s ever proven the altitude helps the kicks in Denver.
Most Awkward Meeting Award: Peter King and facts.
Looks like it’s Peyton’s MVP to lose now.
Look, we know you’re going to vote for him. You don’t need to tell us about it every week.
Manning has three games left (San Diego Thursday night at home, at Houston, at Oakland) to break the two passing biggies. He has 45 touchdown passes and 4,522 yards. He needs six touchdown passed to break Tom Brady’s mark of 50 TD throws; he needs 319 passing yards a game to break Drew Brees’ yardage mark of 5,476. Seeing that the 11-2 Broncos are in a race with the 10-3 Pats for home-field edge through the playoffs and would lose a head-to-head tiebreaker, Manning may well have to keep playing in shootouts to keep Denver No. 1. The only way I see Manning missing a fifth MVP is struggling a bit down the stretch, losing a couple and not breaking one or both of the records. He’s just been too dominant for 13 games, despite his hiccups, to lose it otherwise.
That’s cute. Pey-Pey could shoot up a shopping mall while kids were taking photos with Santa and PK would still vote for him. “Sure, there was an ugly off-the-field incident, but let that not distract us from his achievements where it matters most.”
The MVP is voted on by a panel of 50 media members under the auspices of the Associated Press. The winner is announced the night before the Super Bowl. The 50 voters simply vote for one player; it’s not a ballot of 10, for example, the way voters in baseball work the MVP. This is something I’ve long railed against, because I think a ballot gives you a chance to reward the second-highest vote-getter, third- and so on , and because very often if the race is close, the only way a voter can reflect that closeness is to split his or her vote.
Of course Peter wants things more like baseball. And he wants more choices. That way he can vote Peyton first and have a 100-way tie for second.
The NFL has discussed centralizing the replay system, likely in New York.
For uniformity of calls, mostly. And why not, after seeing the disastrous Jeff Triplette reversal of a likely correct call in Cincinnati?
That’s like advocating for summary state executions because the judicial system let one guilty person go free. I could also see PK doing this, but only if Goodell were president.
Sounds like the public wants to take replay—and probably a lot more—out of the hands of referees at game sites. Florio asked on Pro Football Talk: “Should the NFL move the instant-replay function out of the stadium?” By early this morning, 83.7 percent of those responding (5,591 of 6,681) said yes. I asked my Twitter followers last night: “Should the NFL centralize replay in one place?” It was 149-9, yes (94.3 percent).
Now there’s a representative sample – let’s ask the followers of people who openly advocate for a position what they think on the subject!
The league would consider this not only because a uniformity of eyes looking at the calls could lead to more consistent calls, but because it would likely shorten game times. The time of games (3 hours, 11 minutes, 20 seconds this weekend) has slowly crept up in the last few years, and the league wants to lasso it and bring it back down.
How exactly is this going to shorten games? Wouldn’t consulting with an off-site governing body actually take MORE time?
Meet Julian Edelman.
Hello white skill player I’ve been aware of for years.
Look there, on the list of leading NFL receivers, and you’ll see an odd name between No. 4 (A.J. Green and Brandon Marshall, tied with 78) and No. 7 (Calvin Johnson, 75).
Julian Edelman: 76.
Wowzers, can’t believe poor-man’s Welker got a lot more receptions in the Patriots offense when Welker left.
Also worth noting that Edelman is 31st in receiving yards, well behind all those GLOREE BOY DAHHHKIE RECEIVAHS you listed.
I had Edelman on my podcast the other day and discovered why he’s been such a good match with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady:
“The more you can do, the more valuable you make yourself to a team. Sometimes, lying and saying you’ve done it when you really haven’t done it. Put my head down, worked my tail off, watched a lot of great guys ahead of me over the years … You watch Tom Brady and learn how to be a professional.”
Indeed. Being a lifeless, subservient hustlebot does make you amenable to the Patriots offense. I learned something today.
So, for those who passed my 14,800-word endurance test/three-part series about the real lives of officials, congratulations.
You misspelled “condolences”.
I’m going to answer 10 questions you sent from Twitter and via email, but first, I wanted to answer one many of you have asked—how did this happen? Last winter, soon after I agreed to stay at SI and start The MMQB, I wanted it to be the kind of website devoted to helping you learn more about the game you love. I wanted to take you places you’ve never been, and experience parts of the game you’ve never seen.
DON’T CARE DON’T CARE DOOOOOOONNNN’T CAAAAAAARRRRREEEEE
No one cares about the mission statement for your site. No one cares about the individual editorial decisions that you made. No one needs a behind-the-scenes of MMQB. You are not inherently interesting. You are the diametrical opposite of that. Whatever impulse you have to discuss your own life is the death of all of us.
Anyway, after wasting our time, PK fielded a question about ther being full-time officials:
The majority of plays that are missed are the bang-bag plays like pass interference and helmet-to-helmet hits with guys flying at each other at full speed. How do you simulate that?
BANG BAG! THAT BAG THAT BANGS!
Also preserved the error in this screengrab because I know PK’s staff will conduct WEASEL EDITS after the fact.
It’s going to be a fun week at The MMQB.
On the heels of the ref series, we’ve got another fun week for you. Some of the stories we have this week:
Jenny Vrentas reports from Jackson, Miss., and the Mississippi 6A high school football championship game, where Oak Grove High, with offensive coordinator Brett Favre calling the plays, won the title 14-7 on a frigid night in the state capital.
Yes, thank you for this thinking man’s NFL website dedicated to the exploits of a retired prima donna quarterback. Clearly filling a void in existing football coverage.
THE JADAVEON CLOWNEY DILEMMA. Greg Bedard reports from Columbia, S.C. Clowney, the South Carolina pass rusher, has been on everyone’s radar all season as the prospective top pick of the 2014 draft. And physically, Clowney has all the skills to be the NFL’s next great edge rusher. But an underwhelming final season, including the top-10 showdown against Clemson, will have NFL personnel departments combing his background from now until the draft in May. The key question: How much does he love playing football?
And how quickly can the media drum out whatever existing love for the game he has. The answer may surprise you!
3. New Orleans (10-3). So what did we learn Sunday night, other than Marques Colston’s one of the great players of this era that we never talk about?
Shhh, you’ll break the worldwide code of silence on Marques Colston that apparently we all secretly swore to.
Just this: No one’s winning a playoff game in New Orleans. Just not happening.
“IF MY BRETTY BOY CAN’T DO IT, NO ONE CAN!”
5. Carolina (9-4). It makes no sense to settle for field goals in the Superdome. That’s the lesson offensive coordinator Mike Shula should take out of this game for 2014 and beyond (and perhaps for a January game).
January is beyond 2014?
8. Philadelphia (8-5). Antarctica’s Team.
Jerry Jones will fight you for those penguin merchandise dollars.
9. Kansas City (10-3). I do not want to demean the victory in Washington in the least, but the Chiefs were playing Team Chaos Sunday.
Possible unintended leak of the new Redskins name?
15. Miami (7-6). Charles Clay is making me forget about Dustin Keller. That’s a versatile, promising tight end who has a great feel for the game.
Ooh, overshadowing Dustin Keller. That must have taken one, possibly two touchdown receptions on the season.
Quotes of the Week
“I’m gonna be honest with you: You look like a succulent baby lamb.”
—Will Ferrell, playing Ron Burgundy, interviewing the real Peyton Manning via satellite on ESPN.
Peyton Manning has been interviewed by a lot of people in his 16-season NFL career, and a lot of observations have flowed back and forth in those interviews. But I feel quite sure no one has ever told him he looked like an edible infant sheep.
Succulent? Yes. Sensuous? You bet. Field general in the arena of erotica? And how!
But no, lamb is but one of the few meats PK has yet to liken to Pey-Pey. You win this round, omnipresent movie promotional campaign.
Stat of the Week
For the strangest coaching career in the last 30 years, I nominate Wade Phillips.
But you already handed out all the awards.
Notable notes on his resume:
• He has been the head coach of six different franchises in 28 years.
• He holds the NFL record (unofficial) by being the interim coach of three different teams, including the interim coach of the Texans after being the short-term replacement for Gary Kubiak for three games while he recovered from a mini-stroke. That almost should count twice.
• He was the losing coach in the Music City Miracle game.
• He was the losing coach in the last NFL playoff game in Los Angeles in 1993 (Raiders 42, Broncos 24).
• He replaced Dan Reeves twice—in Denver in 1993, in Atlanta in 2003.
• He was replaced by a Mora twice—Jim Mora (the dad) in New Orleans and Jim Mora (the son) in Atlanta.
• In his first game as a head coach, interim with the Saints in 1985, he beat Dieter Brock, Jeff Kemp and Eric Dickerson and the Los Angeles Rams, 29-3. That was the year the Rams made it to the NFC title game and lost to the Fridge, the Punky QB and the Super Bowl Shufflin’ Bears.
• He’s been the defensive coordinator on seven teams: New Orleans, Philadelphia, Denver, Buffalo, Atlanta, San Diego and Houston. He also coached Houston’s defensive line. The Oilers, that is.
And the WEIRDLY WEIRDEST NOTABLE NOTATION NUGGET OF THEM ALL:
• I once saw him at a U2 concert.
“He was eating a bucket of chicken skin during ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’. There’s a coach who GETS IT.”
Factoid of the Week That May Only Interest Me
Five of them
/exhales sharply for 20 seconds
all involving the school involved with the most surprising sports result of the weekend, Coastal Carolina:
“I once saw someone wear a Coastal Carolina shirt at a U2 concert. Great football achievement!”
Coastal Carolina, completing in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, played its first football game outside the Eastern Time Zone Saturday—and this one was really outside the Eastern Time Zone.
The reward for Coastal Carolina in the next round of the playoffs is its first game ever in the Central Time Zone. The Chanticleers travel 1,592 miles to Fargo, N.D.
Oh no, this is just more PK travel itinerary porn. I should have anticipated this.
The football coach at Coastal Carolina, Joe Moglia, was the CEO of TD Ameritrade six years ago. He left Wall Street to chase his dream of being a college football coach.
Very happy that some wealthy Wall Street asshole is getting everything he wants out of life. Bet he makes Schiano look like Mr. Rogers.
(I am now about to write the strangest short paragraph in the history of Monday Morning Quarterback.)
/braces for discovery of Allagash on tap at a Ruby Tuesday
Coastal Carolina University has as club sports salt-water angling and Quidditch. Quidditch is a game adapted from the Harry Potter book series, played by two teams of seven players, who ride flying broomsticks and shoot at six different goals using balls called the Quaffle, the Golden Snitch and the Bludger. They do use broomsticks, but my understanding is players run on the ground and do not actually fly.
Lots of colleges have Quidditch clubs. It’s not an irregular thing at all. YOU PROMISED WEIRDLY WEIRDNESS!
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
Went to Louisville the other day to speak to the good people of the RV industry.
“Listen, you know what America needs: RVs with robot baristas and bathrooms that can handle my beer shits. I logged a lot of hours in the EvoShield van – heard of them? Great company – and I must have clogged that sucker once every 30 miles. Do better, RVers, unless you don’t feel like it in which I’ll just take my six-figure speaking fee.”
Back at the Louisville airport waiting to fly home, I sat in the terminal restaurant with SI publisher Frank Wall and Chicago-based ad exec Tom Buerger. “There’s Chris Matthews,” Wall said, nodding at a table a few yards away. “Wonder what he’s doing here?”
“Bet he was here for a speech,” I said. “Google ‘Chris Matthews, University of Louisville, speech.’ “
Wall went to work. “Yup,” he said. “Spoke at the University of Louisville Author’s Forum.”
Even I sometimes surprise myself with my consistent strokes of genius!
Intellect of the hour of the century! The Golden Bang Bag goes to you.
Also, Microsoft is gonna be so pissed that PK didn’t dutifully ask him to use Bing.
Tweets of the Week
“Thank you Mike Tomlin for being in Pittsburgh #MPtakeover #purplesnowday”
—@ravens, which was used by Baltimore native and Ravens fan Michael Phelps Sunday, after Jacoby Jones walked a tightrope down the sideline to score a crucial late-fourth-quarter touchdown to help the Ravens stun Minnesota.
I assume Phelps had to let his creepy stagemom approve all his tweets before he hit submit.
“@bryan_croley: @TonyDungy ‘Are you officially retired for good? If not, would you take a job coaching a college team?’ Retired for good.”
—@TonyDungy, answering a Twitter follower’s question Sunday morning.
I guess that settles that.
PK doubtlessly thrilled that The Dunge won’t leave his side and they both have the same stupid way of tweeting responses.
“Asked 15 Pens last year if fighting should be banned from hockey. Only one said yes: Brooks Orpik. Doesn’t want to be a vegetable someday.”
—@JoshYohe_Trib, Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, after Orpik, himself a noted agitator
Fuck you. Are you trying to spin narratives about sports you don’t even follow?
was pummeled in the head twice while on the ice by Bruin Shawn Thornton and taken on a stretcher to a Boston hospital.
The violence in hockey is out of control. It has to be fixed.
“DO SOMETHING, CONGRESS!”
“From a press release announcing a policy luncheon in Hartford with Sen. Chris Murphy: ‘During the luncheon Senator Murphy will discuss: XYZ’ ‘”
—@capitolwatch, Connecticut political reporter Daniela Altimari.
From the files of Press Releases Sent Before Being Proofed Dept.
From the files of Hypocritical Bang Bag Blowhards Too Dense To Realize Their Own Shittiness.
Now, take a minute to appreciate the tremendous, not-at-all sickening irony of PK smugly chiding anyone for not proofreading their work prior to publication, shall we?
/drinks weight in paint thinner
Okay, let’s resume.
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think this is what I liked about Week 14:
a. Mike Tomlin coming relatively clean.
i. Big day for the Bengals offense. 3 TDs for Andy Dalton. Good sign for the playoffs.
Well, the Bengals won’t likely face the freefalling Colts in the first round, so no, not really.
2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 14:
a. Come on, Washington special teams. Look at the extra point after the late-second-quarter Kansas City touchdown. Three Washington players, as Ryan Succop kicked, stood and made no attempt to rush the kick, or do anything. Nice effort.
PK has frequently called the extra point a pointless ritual that is almost always converted. But you better ACT like you can stop it or feel his wrath!
I think I can’t add much to the incredible tributes we’ve seen around the world for Nelson Mandela after his death Thursday at 95.
So don’t try. You’re (allegedly) a football columnist; there’s absolutely no pressure on you to contribute to this discussion.
I’ll never forget covering the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 and meeting his grandson, Mandla Mandela, who was trying to raise money to build a new school in the tribal area where Nelson Mandela was born. (Mandla Mandela has since been enmeshed in several controversies, and been accused of pulling a gun on another man, and so images may well be deceiving. But on the day I met him, he had his grandfather’s earnest calm.)
– Peter makes sure to mention that he inexplicably got to cover the World Cup, where he blamed an African ref for ruining everything
– Namedrops relative of famous recently deceased person
– Said encounter reveals nothing about the character of the deceased
– In fact, goes on suggest relative might actually be a piece of shit
– Lofty calmness though
6. I think, whatever you think of the job Gary Kubiak did, you cannot deny his class.
I would never dare deny him a quality that football teams don’t search for nor care about.
7. I think there’s more to come on the Mike Tomlin sanction, which means I erred when I reported Friday on NBC Sports Network’s Pro Football Talk that the penalty for the Steelers will likely end with the $100,000 fine from the league. It won’t, and I apologize for the mistake.
Apologies are at their most heartfelt when they include plugs of your friend’s TV program.
9. I think my favorite stat to steal from Sunday comes from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post: In John Elway’s 233 regular-season games as a Bronco, he never put up 50 points in a game. In 13 games this year, including on an 18-degree afternoon in Denver Sunday, Peyton Manning has done it three times.
Why, it’s almost as though they played in different eras.
10. I think these are my non-NFL thoughts of the week:
a. I’m a hockey fan
but I don’t know the game that well.
I do know that, watching highlights of the first period of Pittsburgh-Boston Saturday night, I was sickened by the grotesque violence.
So, again, you’re not a hockey fan beyond the occasional consulting of the Devils’ place in the standings.
b. No idea why fighting is legal in hockey. It’s so ’80s.
Like slap bracelets and leg warmers! Fighting was just a passing fad in the ’80s that gave way to talking things through and grunge rock.
d. Re Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the Yankees and Jarrod Saltalamacchia signing with the Marlins: Two hard-working, tremendous guys to root for over the years, professional to the core. They’ll be missed, at least by me.
Guaranteed first hit Ellsbury has against the SAWX next season, PK writes an item about how he always knew the kid was a fucking scumbag.
e. Now, if you ask me about the Yankees paying $21.9 million a year for Ellsbury
f. Robinson Cano’s going to regret that deal. He’s just not a face-of-the-franchise type, and now the Mariners are going to demand it.
Yeah, I bet he’s gonna be real sad about getting those hundreds of millions of dollars.
h. Took a few minutes to be a real person over the weekend and saw Inside Llewyn Davis, the latest movie by the Coen brothers. All I can say is I would pay Ethan and Joel Coen to make movies 24/7, because every time I walk out of the theater after seeing one, I cannot wait for the next one.
That’s not how the creative process works. I’m sure the Coens have plenty of money. But they’re also concerned with making quality movies, which is something that is exceedingly difficult to do if you’re just cranking them out all the time.
Unsurprisingly, PK tries to spoil the ending in this section.
i. Coffeenerdness: It really shouldn’t happen, Starbucks, that I have to nerdily tell a new barista that the shots in a macchiato get put in at the end of the drink, on top of the foam. But that happened this week, at a midtown shop. The barista looked at me and said, “Really?”
“YES, REALLY, WAGE SLAVE! NOW WATCH AS I NERDILY COMPLAIN TO YOUR MANAGER ABOUT HOW YOU SPIT IN MY DRINK AND CALLED ME A PORKER! LET THIS BE A LESSON FOR YOUR INSOLENCE! I PLAN TO WALK OVER YOU AS YOU BEG FOR PENNIES IN THE GUTTER BECAUSE NEW YORK HAS LOFTY WALKABILITY!”
j. Beernerdness: Well, that was a mistake. Maybe because I’m not a big bourbon guy. But when the server at the Brown Hotel bar in Louisville asked what I wanted the other night, and I asked what the local beers were, one she named was Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. “It’s actually stored in bourbon barrels,” she said. I had to try that. Yikes! Tasted like a shot of carbonated bourbon. I’m sure for you mint julep aficionados, that would be a nice beer. But I had to switch over to the regular Kentucky Ale. Not bad. Kind of a dark pale ale.
“Oh, gross! You tried to give me a beer without coriander or some fruity bullshit. Do better, beerista.”
k. How old did it make me feel when I saw my old hometown newspaper, the Montclair Times, in its “Ten Years Ago This Week” section, report that Mary Beth King was named first-team all-conference in field hockey this week in 2003 after the MHS team swept through the league at 15-0? Pretty darn old.
Old enough to retire and grant me freedom from this horrible prison please oh please oh please?
l. The more I look at Pope Francis, the more he looks like Chance the gardener.
The Adieu Haiku
Frank Gore. What a back.
Appreciate him now, please.
Soon, he’ll have to go.
Bang bag. What a bag.
Give it as a Christmas gift.
Can also bang it.