When we last left oversized Roger Goodell hand-puppet Peter King, he was busy CONSPIRING SECRETLY WITH THE LIKES OF RON BORGES TO KEEP CRIS CARTER OUT OF THE HALL OF FAME. SHOW YOUR FACES, COWARDS.
/takes off homer hat
Also, he was busy fetching Gatorade for Steve Young and marveling at Roger Goodell’s ability to use an elliptical trainer. Oh, and he bitched about the Super Bowl weather. Endlessly. In fact, he even took the care to bitch about the weather at Super Bowls that have yet to take place, which was nice. Pretty good someone in the middle of DENIAL:
I’m not one of those people who rail against whatever city the Super Bowl is in.
O RLY? Well then, join me after the jump as Petey spends paragraph after paragraph doing precisely that.
Great storylines. There were plenty on a night when Aaron Rodgers tied former Packer Brett Favre for career Super Bowl victories. I found one at the locker of Charles Woodson, about two hours after the Packers beat the Steelers 31-25 in what might be the last NFL game we see for a long while.
Seriously, enough with the “this might be the last NFL game you’ll EVER see!” meme, please. I get it. There is some mild labor turmoil. You aren’t helping things by telling me OOOOH NO MORE FOOTBALL FOR YOU! Every time Peter King scares up a work stoppage bogeyman, Goodell puts a gold star on his forehead. WHO’S A GOOD CARRIER PIGEON? IS IT YOU? IT IS!
At one point, Woodson turned his back to us — his left arm already through the sleeve of his black jacket, his eyes closing to help bear the pain — and said, “Now I’m going to ask your for a favor. Help me with my jacket.”
“You’re the asshole who got Steve Young 237 sugar cookies, right? PUT MY CLOTHES ON, COOKIEBOY.”
It’s been an eventful week, with all the weather weirdness here…
Sometimes the wind blew SIDEWAYS!
…with the league and the players taking baby steps on a very long trip to get a new labor deal…
Which probably won’t get done in time and you’ll NEVER see football again unless the players cave in! Right, Rog?
…with a seven-man Hall of Fame class that has left quite a few of you apoplectic and us 44 selectors needing a very long nap…
You people don’t get it. Sitting in a room and getting free food while playing God and choosing who gets to make the Hall and who doesn’t, and not having to answer to anyone for it, is HARD WORK! I’m tired! If only someone could massage my back. I wish Peter King were nearby. But I AM Peter King! Isn’t that just a bitch?
There are postgame things I remember as a writer from many of these Super Bowls, like…
-That time I yelled at a waiter at the Capital Grille!
-Watching old Marlins highlights with Dan Uggla back in 2009!
-Personally wiping Willie Gault after the ’85 Bears clinched!
-Dinner at Toone P. Wiggins with John Taylor and his wife!
….Bill Parcells, a year later, the morning after the Giants won their first one, riding to the day-after press conference with NFL security man Charlie Jackson and asking, “Last year, was Ditka as excited as I am right now, Charlie? Was he?”
Holy shit, really? BILL PARCELLS NEEDS TO LEAD THE LEAGUE IN BEING EXCITED.
…Jimmy Johnson, after his Cowboys drilled the Bills, telling me that night, “While Marv Levy’s in there reading Shakespeare to his guy, my guys are up in their rooms, belly-laughing at The Flintstones.”
No fucking idea what that means.
…Sitting on a luggage cart in a stairwell with Brett Favre at the Fairmont Hotel in New Orleans for 45 minutes, dissecting the 35-21 rout of the Patriots.
“You ever try using this cart as a sex toy? It CAN be done.”
When Woodson came out of the shower, the last Packer to do so, his body was severely tilted to the left…
And he was naked. So very, very naked. Rapaciously naked. I wanted to eat through him.
I timed him putting on his black dress shirt: 97 seconds.
Timed it. Recorded it. Seared it into my cerebellum. The 97 best seconds of my life.
I asked him what he thought Al Davis might be saying tonight.
“VOODSON! VOODSON, YOU HAVE BETRAYED ME! BLAH! BLAH!”
Of all the things that struck me in the wake of Saturday’s election of seven men to the Hall’s Class of 2011… I was left to think about how difficult the job of the 44 selectors is going to be in 2013 and beyond…
My God, we’re all just so tired! It’s like being forced to work in a Calcutta juice box plant! Wilbon couldn’t even sneak out for five minutes to start a racial flame war! LABORIOUS. Do you not see my eyelids? You try doing this job and see how easy it is!
Looking at the leading candidates to become Hall finalists over the next four years:
2012: Drew Bledsoe…
YOU SEE! Nothing is harder than figuring out if Drew Bledsoe is a Hall of Famer or not! I mean, we’re talking DREW BLEDSOE, one of the most notable average quarterbacks of all time! And he played for New England, which merits extra consideration! We might need to order extra shrimp toast for that one!
Seriously though, Drew Bledsoe? That’s a fucking hard decision?
2014: Shaun Alexander, Derrick Brooks, Tony Dungy, Marvin Harrison, Rodney Harrison, Mike Holmgren.
Again, so hard. Clearly, I have to vote in Dungy and Harrison BECAUSE I KNOW THEM. FROM A LITTLE TV NETWORK I LIKE TO CALL NBC. MAYBE YOU’VE HEARD OF IT.
Obviously, the arguments on (Cris) Carter simply aren’t working.
Then get me in the room.
ME: Hey, assholes. Vote for Carter or I’ll piss in your fucking eyes.
BORGES: Oooh. Can I steal that line for my next column?
It’s not easy.
HOW HEAVY THIS BURDEN…
I want to emphasize that I’m not complaining.
I’m not complaining, even if I kinda just did for a few paragraphs. The people at CNN understood!
One of the best beat writers of this generation, Vinny DiTrani of the Bergen (N.J.) Record, has covered his last game, and a few of his acolytes (me included) took him out to the Blue Goose, a Mexican place here in Dallas, the other night. When it came time to pay the bill, seems it had disappeared. The Giants picked it up. Class guy, class move.
There’s nothing classier than buying me dinner. VINNY DITRANI FOR THE HALL!
When you rank the best quarterbacks in the game, (Aaron Rodgers has) got to be in the discussion now. Not saying he should be second or third or whatever, but his accuracy and coolness on such a grand scale over the past month are very Brady-like.
Saturday night, SI dinner for staffers/friends of SI/clients, luxury apartment near downtown Dallas:
And I cannot emphasize enough, this was a LUXURY apartment. Very fancy. With granite counters and everything. Much nicer than your apartment.
I’m at a table with, among others, SI swimsuit model Chrissy Teigen and her boyfriend, singer John Legend, a huge football fan. At one point we’re talking about the bombastic Rex Ryan — who is in the room too — and his performance in the HBO Hard Knocks series last summer. I tell Teigen if she hasn’t seen the “Let’s go get a God—- snack,” video, she simply has to. So she whips out her iPhone, finds it on YouTube, and watches/listens to it, and begins howling with laughter. So I go over and get Ryan, and tell him he has to meet Teigen, and explain the snack thing.
And then Ina Garten shows up and makes us all her Outrageous Brownies! BEING WHITE IS THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD!
Chrissy Teigen, Rex Ryan, John Legend, in a Dallas apartment, on a Saturday night in February. Only at the Super Bowl.
A great night. TOO BAD IT WAS RUINED BY TWO INCHES OF SNOW EXISTING OUTSIDE.
I figured this was not going to be your typical Super Bowl week when I got off the elevator at the Sheraton Dallas and saw my breath.
My God! I see my breath! And it still has traces of egg nog and Tony Romo’s tongue in it!
Faintly, but there it was.
No mistaking it. THIS WAS THE SMOKING GUN. Or, at least, the steaming vapor gun.
Among the many things about Texas, one is this: They simply don’t heat their buildings well here.
WEAR A SWEATER.
Now, I’m not one of those who say there should never be a Super Bowl in City X because there was a rotten week of weather. But here, I’d actually think about it.
I’m not one to do this, EXCEPT THAT I AM.
One meteorologist on the local news said this was a once-in-20-years weather event. Kevin Kolb, who lives an hour or so west of the city in a small town, came to Dallas and said, “I was fishing in short sleeves five days ago.”
I’d never normally say a city shouldn’t host a Super Bowl due to inclement weather. But the fact that this was a once-in-a-lifetime storm for this area makes me certain that it will happen AGAIN.
All that being said, and understanding that this was a freakish storm, it’s hard to fathom for an event that was this ballyhooed, by a region that is dying to get in the regular Super Bowl rotation, that they don’t have many (any?) plows down here, they don’t salt the roads when there’s an ice storm (and there was a doozy Tuesday morning), and their energy grid is ill-equipped to handle the drain on the resources the region faced late in the week.
But I’m not complaining! I swear! It may look like a complaint, but it is not. Because I said it wasn’t. You see how that works? I can negate anything simply by denying it. Also: JOHN LEGEND IS MY FRIEND NOW.
The highlights of our week in Antarctica,
O HO HO! I see what you did there.
…after a severe ice storm coated every road Tuesday and five inches of snow added to the mayhem Friday morning:
MAYHEM! ANARCHY! PEOPLE WERE BEING FROST-RAPED ON THE SHOULDER!
Went to four stores on I-30 between Dallas and Fort Worth looking for a real winter coat on Tuesday and Wednesday. Sold out everywhere.
“I’m sorry, sir. This is Texas. XXXXXXXXXXXXXL is our most popular size.”
From door to door, from my hotel in Dallas to the TCU campus in Fort Worth, the trip was 39 miles. On Friday, the road connecting the two cities, I-30, was what I’d imagine driving on the moon is like. Windswept, blowing snow…
Because the moon is so snowy and windy, what with the total lack of atmosphere.
…just trying to stay on the road by following big vehicles in front of you in low visibility. And a bunch of idiots driving 25 mph too fast for conditions, three of whom spun off into ditches or the median. Luckily, my Chevy was a beast for the conditions, and I’ve spent my life driving in this crap, and I got the job done pretty easily.
Lucky for me, I AM AWESOME.
Seriously though, it was an awful drive that ended up being not that bad. Don’t you see how awful that was?
At one point on Wednesday, it was 17 degrees warmer in Juneau than in Dallas.
And it was 8 degrees warmer in Dachau! Do you not SEE the parallels? TOTAL DEBACLENESS!
On Saturday morning, beginning at about 10 and stretching to Sunday morning at 4:23, fire alarms ravaged the hotel. False ones.
I did that.
Awww, poor baby. What with the free trip and the getting to sit in on the Hall of Fame deliberations and partying with Rex Ryan. Let me just dip my ballbag into a cup of Sleepytime tea to help you feel better.
“I’m watching your Real Sports episode. You’re awesome. That is all.”
–@Alyssa_Milano, actress Alyssa Milano, commenting on my star turn on HBO’s Real Sports.
I told you that girl was wildly overrated.
Jordy Nelson. One of the most valuable Packers on a night full of them. (Though he did have three drops.)
You know who’s valuable? That guy who drops half the balls thrown his way. HE’S AMAZING. Just call him Wis Welker!
I think this is what I didn’t like about the Super Bowl:
a. Dallas bad-weather preparedness. In a nutshell.
Holy fuck, I get it. You’re still alive, aren’t you?
e. Heath Miller. Where was he?
f. I mean, two catches, 12 yards? Miller absolutely should have been more of a factor.
2. Bullet points? How do they work?
iiv. Is this right? I don’t think this is right. DEREK JETER IS ALL CLASS.
I think James Starks has found a future in Green Bay. He’s a hard-running back, tougher than his angular build would suggest.
Angular? Ah. I did not know Peter also wrote for Pitchfork.
I think, from the sound of it, Green Bay may lose receiver James Jones, who is a free agent, if there’s free agency this year. (Which is definitely not a done deal.) If the Packers do lose him, they’ll likely invest in Jordy Nelson long-term. Wise move.
Wis Welker could be a star! Except that he drops balls constantly. Still, a star! Don’t let him get away!
Next two books on my list: Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand; The Last Boy, by Jane Leavy. Can’t wait to read both.
BUT HAVE YOU SEEN ALL THE OSCAR FILMS YET?!
Coffeenerdness: The one saving grace to the frigid week in Dallas was having a Peet’s Coffee in the lobby of the Sheraton Dallas. Thank you, coffee gods.
The one saving grace to this horrible, horrible week was having a chain coffee store in my hotel lobby. And partying with John Legend. And getting to hang out in the winner’s locker room. And eating every meal for free. But really, the coffee was the only good thing in this whole TOUR OF DEATH.
Sorry for all you ‘Burghers this morning.
Burgher? Is that a word? Now I’m extra glad they lost.
It would have been a terrible day in either place, Green Bay or Pittsburgh, that lost … but I know Pittsburgh, and I know there is mental black crepe paper all over town.
Indeed. There is mental funeral going on there as we speak, with a mental hearse down right down VOMITOUS MEMORY LANE.