When last we left human misaligned binder ring, Peter King, he took a moment to discuss the rancor, the vituperate discourse that marks modern American life. Actually, he was upset that people called him out for being petty toward Cam Newton and acting like it was Newton who had been childish for not being more available for gleefully distorted quotes the last three years. Finally, PK let it be known that MARRIOTT TOWNE PLACE SUITES NEEDS TO GET ITS MAAAFUKKKIN COFFEE GAME ON POINT. PK FINNA PUT YOU ON BLAST IN THE STREETS.
But what about this week? The beermeisters of the world have rallied to the aid of Peter King to ensure his indulged life is adequately boozy. That’s good. Oh, and Peter has a scolding hot take on Jimmy Graham doing touchdown dunks. READ ON.
This week’s MMQB has a dateline of Santa Clara because Peter King needs everyone to know that he’s ON THE GROUND, doing real journalism, specifically the important business of informing the world how fancy the new $1.27 billion 49ers stadium is. THIS JUST IN: it’s pretty fancy!
Said fanciness is relayed to the reader with a bullet pointed list that might as well have been copied and pasted from a 49ers press release, if it actually wasn’t.
Levi Stadium is, we’re told, very green and full of progressive things! Solar panels! Reclaimed water in the bathrooms! Vegan food stations! Obamacare prescription tents, probably! Wifi powerful enough to run a KSK open thread full of GIFs without crashing! Most important of all, THERE GOT FUCKIN’ PEET’S IN THE PRESS BOX! Peter King likes the direction of any franchise with such lofty coffee minds running the show.
All in all, PK likes what he sees, but with this caveat:
I’m not a stadium junkie, and I don’t tour many of them. So I don’t know if this is the future of stadiums. But walking around Levi’s Stadium on Sunday morning, I certainly thought it should be.
I’m not sure I know what that’s supposed to mean, and I don’t think Peter does, either. But he wants to say something vaguely positive sounding without like a newb to the folks who really knows stadiums. And I’m pretty confident Peter King has been to a shitload of stadiums in his life. This man openly flouts journalism ethics but he’s worried about disdain from the NFL stadium aficionado crowd.
PK then makes a big deal about the 49ers’ 34-0 preseason loss to the Broncos while telling us that one shouldn’t do just that:
There haven’t been many days in the Jim Harbaugh Era you wouldn’t want me to bring that up, but this is one of them. The preseason is a bad precursor for truth, and it’s silly to make too much of a 34-0 loss in August.
But San Francisco is a lesser run-defense team without defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey (torn biceps) and run-stuffing linebacker NaVorro Bowman (rehabbing from knee surgery). The Niners will be missing two of their three best defensive players—pass-rusher Aldon Smith (suspension) and Bowman—for at least the first four games of the season. Which means the Niners will have to play Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, the stingy Cardinals and Chip Kelly’s Eagles, at least, with a wounded D.
In keeping with his message of preseason as bad precursor of the truth, PK proclaims that Blake Bortles, based on two preseason outings, is not far away from taking the Jags starting quarterback job, though the team has been consistent in saying it plans on using him little or at all in his rookie season.
The reader is then asked to play a bizarrely specific guessing game.
Guess what the third and fourth sentences of my conversation with Bortles were, when I asked him how he feels about the Jaguars’ slow-motion plan to make him a franchise quarterback? They were as follows:
“DID YOU FOLLOW THE BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE? DIDJA? DIDJA? DIDJA?”
“What? I thought this was about my rookie season.”
The actual answer is some boilerplate line about not having anxiety and stress, which was eerily similar to what Jags head coach Gus Bradley had told PK in an earlier interview. Why, it’s almost as though the team game the rookie QB a set of talking points so as not to manufacture scandal in the media.
MORE PRESEASON TAKES!
Eight quick thoughts from Week 2.
1. Comeback player of the preseason: Mark Sanchez.
Not a single buttfumble in several quarters of meaningless action against vanilla defenses! Nacho is back, baby!
4. Quarterback Leadership 101. The quarterback is not allowed tardiness, Johnny Manziel.
In case you missed the way too much coverage this got over the weekend, Johnny Manziel admitted to being late for a team meeting. Those unfamiliar with PK’s syllabus for Quarterback Leadership 101 should know that, though PK makes a big deal of it, attendance only counts for a quarter of one percent of your final grade, while consistently being available for quotes represents the other 100 percent. Does that not add up? Well, you’re not in math, DILLWEED.
Jadeveon Clowney is already described as a player that opposing defenses have to gameplan for after making two nice plays in a preseason game. Not to be down on Clowney, but I seem to recall something about cautioning against taking too much from the preseason.
THE FLAGVILLE CRISIS CONTINUES! THE REFS ARE RATTLING THEIR SABERS!
“Points of emphasis” are the three dirty words for defensive players around the league after two weeks of preseason games. But don’t expect the crackdown on defensive clutching and grabbing by the league’s 17 crews to soften once the real games begin in 17 days, league vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said Sunday afternoon.
“We’re not going to change how we’re calling the games once the regular season starts,’’ Blandino told The MMQB.
Which is directly in opposition to what PK was told just last week:
Not to worry, PK’s beloved Rams have everything figured out.
The one team that’s hammered the point home effectively through two weeks of games is St. Louis. The Rams have their defensive backs practicing in pass coverage while holding two tennis balls, to limit the temptation to hold receivers’ jerseys and to grab their arms beyond the five-yard bump zone. In two games the Rams have zero defensive pass interference penalties, zero illegal-contact penalties, and two defensive holding penalties on defensive backs—both by rookie nickel back LaMarcus Joyner.
That’s all well and good, but won’t people be super pissed about there being so many more flags and delays in a sport already chock-full of them?
I asked Blandino if the league could take games with nine more flags, on the average, over last season — if this weekend’s pace held. Of course, there’s no guarantee it will. Blandino said last year’s numbers are a bit misleading, because they were relatively low compared to previous years. Thus, the theory goes, defenders were getting away with too many infractions that should have been called but weren’t, because officials were letting too much contact go. “I believe that once you see the players adjust, you won’t see this exhorbitant [ed. note: telling, not spelling] number of calls,” he said. “Downfield contact was underofficiated last year.”
“Downfield contact is underofficiated every year!” — all wide receivers
Okay, buckle in, everyone. There’s strong Jimmy Graham touchdown spike takes a-comin’.
[Sean] Payton should be more than upset. He should fine Graham, and do something else to punish him, for such a juvenile act.
We can debate all day whether the league is idiotic for making it an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty for a player to dunk a ball over the goalpost. The fact is, such a play by Graham resulted in a delay-of-game flag at Atlanta last year, stopping the game for several minutes while the goalpost was made level by stadium workers after Graham’s dunking bent the post. And now it’s been made a penalty. Whatever you feel about it, it’s a selfish, team-defeating act that you know will bring a penalty flag and a 15-yard sanction against your team. Graham has to grow up. And if he won’t, Payton has to do something about it.
Tennessee got the ball on the ensuing kickoffs on the 38- and 36-yard-lines, by the way, instead of its 20. That’s what selfishness does.
Oh noes, those set the Titans up in perfect position to capitalize for pointless preseason scores. That’s the kind of thing that can jeopardize a team’s hopes for a spotless record that doesn’t matter. God forbid Graham have a little fun or pointedly mock the all-powerful league’s decree that he can’t do his touchdown celebration because it nudged the uprights one time.
“SHOW DEFIANCE TO THE ROG?! YOU’RE LUCKY YOUR HEAD ISN’T ON A SPIKE, YOU TIGHT END, YOU! THAT’S RIGHT, EVERYONE KNOWS THAT’S WHAT YOU ARE!”
Browns center Alex Mack apparently wants a pet squirrel. Is it all leader-y and shit for Johnny Manziel to let him have one? Stay tuned in the coming weeks for what will no doubt be an equivocating answer.
Then we’re on to travel bitching. PK’s travel agent fucked up a hotel reservation and he suffered dearly on a late night excursion. No Starbucks gift card for you this Christmas, travel agent!
We walked into the lobby of the Holiday Inn Express, with the Tuesday USA Today and Cleveland Plain Dealer on the counter for those checking out. One problem. “We don’t have any reservations for you,” the front-desk gal said. We checked with our travel agent. Seems the reservation was made for Aug. 18, not Aug. 11. Next Monday. With no rooms available, our intrepid tour manager, Andy DeGory, got on the phone and found us rooms at the nearby Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge.
GOOD HUSTLE, DEGORY!
PK then uses the word elevator as a verb, as in “we elevatored up to the third floor” and at 10:08 a.m., I pour my first drink of the day.
There’s a problem in HoJoVille. This particular one is under some maintenance. Worse yet, there’s a man asleep in PK’s room! Goldilocks races to the front desk to remedy this outrage.
I explained, and he said it must be a worker in the place who’d decided to sleep in an available room when it wasn’t occupied. As if I cared.
“Can you just give me a room? Any room without a person in it?” I said.
Bitchy, bitchy Nugget baron.
At that point, it was past 5 a.m. and PK had an interview with Mike Pettine in fewer than three hours, so I can see why he’d be tired and irritable, but that’s still no excuse to be a dick to the HoJo front desk employee. It’s not like the maintenance worker told him he was going to be sleeping in that particular room. But whatever, fuck tact and fuck that guy. PETER KING HAS BEEN MINORLY INCONVENIENCED!
So I wouldn’t give the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge on the southern fringe of Cleveland a very high recommendation this morning.
BURNNNNN. That shitty chain motel will never recover after that review.
PK gets into the things he think he thinks of the week and one of the thinking thoughts is that Santonio Holmes is not quite as toxic as his reputation suggests. Only quasi-toxic-esque. No way he’s more than a mild pandemic. Anyway, good signing for the Bears.
PK then brings the hammer down on those NFL Network studio clowns. They wish they had the gravitas of the talking heads on NBC.
4. I think I don’t know why NFL Network markets its talent as stand-up comics or, worse, as clowns. They are neither. These are smart men who played football at a high level, and when the commercials and promos come on for the NFL Network’s pre- and post-game shows, we see the hootin’ and hollerin’ and silliness. I just wish Rich Eisen would be allowed to have more reasoned discussions with the people who I thought were go-to guys in locker/coaches’ rooms—Warren Sapp, Michael Irvin, Steve Mariucci.
Damn straight. Leave it to PK to let you know how to do it like a pro’s pro.
Lest you think the Rams are being silent on the ugliness in Ferguson, know they gave preseason tickets to some high school football players from there. A nice gesture and dutifully reported by the head of the Rams PR department.
With the column winding down, whatever restraint Peter King has to not slurp Peyton Manning at all times begins to break down.
I think if Peyton Manning made playing quarterback any easier, he’d be sleeping.
Y’know, it did seem like he slept through the last Super Bowl.
Finally, we get to the worst of the column every week, the non-football thoughts PK thinks he thinks.
But really, there’s only one thought. And it’s sad.
Indeed it was. In order to start this week on a rosier note, I’ll just cut PK off there. You won’t miss much. He wrote a haiku about the ageless wonder of Peyton Manning. I bet it’s already tattooed on his ass.