When we last left Wikipedia sports terrorist victim Peter King, he was planning to run a half-marathon for charity. And I think we’ve all been dying to know: DID HE DO IT? I want to hear ALL about it. Screw football. I want to know if this man was able to run 13 miles and I’d like to read an extensive list of people he’d like to thank for accomplishing this goal. Please, Peter! Spare us no detail! Document every step of your incredible journey!
So many more questions this week. Is America still rooting for Charlie Batch, the way they rooted for Mark Feurstien on “Good Morning Miami”? Why don’t more of us ride Acela? It only takes triple the time of air travel and costs nearly double the amount. WHY CAN’T PETER FIND A COPY OF THE BALTIMORE SUN? This is a major newspaper, people! Are you telling me people don’t read newspapers anymore? And is Steve Carell still on “The Office”? Peter would know, but he only saw highlights of last week’s episode. READ ON.
Five very preliminary things I think:
Here are five things I’m not even sure I’ve thought yet!
1. What about… that… that thing?
2. Otters. Something about otters.
3. Oh fuck, what was that awesome joke Don Banks told me? About the Chinese nun?
4. Gumption, Pittsburgh. You have it. Is that the right word?
5. Coffee something something coffee chocolate cherry foam
I think you can be 53, paunchy, skunk-gray of the hair
Lofty of the mind.
Preliminary of the thought.
Wide of the butthole.
— and still pull off a little bit of an athletic feat. More later about the adventures of a newborn half-marathoner in northern New England.
I can’t wait! I barely slept last night knowing what a treat I was in store for!
There was a sadness in Michael Vick getting hurt, and the way he was sandwich-crushed at the goal line by two Redskins isn’t a good sign for him playing this weekend at San Francisco, or anytime soon. He’ll have an MRI today; X-rays last night were negative. Kevin Kolb acquitted himself well in a pressure spot.
He did? I watched Kolb play yesterday. He was picked once and fumbled twice. He checks down about as often as Jason Campbell. Even Troy Aikman thought he sucked, and Troy Aikman loves EVERY goddamn quarterback, because he wants the buttsecks with them.
There’s no clear best team in football after four weeks, but Baltimore’s the best, for my money.
There is no best team in football right now. Except for the Ravens. They’re the best.
Good thing it means nothing right now.
There is no best team in football right now. Except for the Ravens. They’re the best. EXCEPT THAT THIS IS A LIE.
Ranking the teams is an exercise in dart-throwing. And isn’t that great for the NFL at the quarter-pole — that any of eight to 10 teams might have a legit argument to be the best right now?
And leading that pack is Ravens, who have a legit 40% argument to being the best. Though that legit forty percent is actually not true. BUT IT MEANS SOMETHING.
I pick the Ravens because I think after four weeks they can win games in more ways than any other team.
Except when they lose against Cincinnati by turning it over four million times.
Pittsburgh, with Ben Roethlisberger returning, and the Jets are close. But the way Joe Flacco played Sunday in the 17-14 win at Heinz Field showed me something.
Tell me! TELL ME WHAT HE SHOWED YOU.
I thought he made an awful pass on fourth-and-goal from the two with 2:44 to play and Baltimore down 14-10.
And that is the sign of a true franchise QB.
Flacco waited one beat too long, then threw a fade too far to Anquan Boldin, who was being blanketed by William Gay as he tried to catch the ball past the left boundary, five yards deep in the end zone.
And this is why the Ravens are the best team in football. Except that they aren’t, because Joe Flacco does stupid shit like this.
Poor execution, I thought.
Preliminary version of that thought:
“Why can’t this coffee stirrer be made of butterscotch candy?”
I would have rather seen a higher-percentage call there. (Though when I brought that up in the viewing room, Tony Dungy looked at me like the rank amateur I am.)
I KNOW TONY DUNGY!
Hey, I didn’t like it. I’d have rather seen Flacco spread the field and try to laser a ball into one of four receivers spread over the end zone.
Much higher percentage play. Unless you consider factors such as quality of coverage and precision of routes run, and the fact that no percentage can be assigned to such a play because its circumstances are completely and utterly unique to that moment. Otherwise, I give that play a 98% chance of succeeding.
What’s the percentage of a fade scoring there or drawing pass interference? Forty percent — maybe?
Yes, but it’s a LEGIT forty percent.
The Ravens can’t beat the Bengals — Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer has Baltimore’s number in a three-game, head-to-head win streak — but the Crab cakes are pretty good against everyone else.
I think there’s a legit hundred percent chance that the “Crab cakes” nickname never catches on.
For 13 weeks this offseason, LaDainian Tomlinson got his mojo back while working out in the pastures of New Jersey. What, you don’t think Jersey has pastures?
THEN YOU’VE NEVER LIVED ON MY MANY WOODED MONTCLAIR ACRES, WHICH HAVE MANY TREES AND WERE DECLARED 36% SEWAGE-FREE BY A MUNICIPAL PANEL JUST LAST WEEK.
Please find this play on YouTube, high school coaches.
I ask you to go find Roddy White’s desperation save in the San Francisco-Atlanta game, because it’s a great example of how a big-money player doing a blue-collar job can mean the difference between being .500 after four games and being .750.
Please, college coaches. I beg of you. Think of the children. We need more little kids who are willing to make this kind of semi-Welkeresque play.
it’s hard to argue that Chicago got the better of the Jay Cutler-for-Kyle Orton deal. Forget the ancillary parts of the deal; Denver has not drafted well, and I’m not doing this item to get into the value of the two first-round picks and the third-rounder (which turned into Mike Wallace for the Steelers) acquired by Denver in the deal.
Uh… three high round draft picks aren’t ancillary parts of the deal. That IS the deal. Those weren’t just throw-ins. The Bears weren’t like, “Well, we have to give up Orton. That’s just SO MUCH! Well, fuck it. Throw in those pathetic little first rounders too.” Those picks matter.
Although you are right that Jay Cutler blows.
Five Stats I Love:
1. My marathon time of 5 days, six hours, and a showing of “Gran Torino” at the mid-way point!
2. Joe Flacco’s four picks against the Bengals the other week, which lets me know he’s on the right track. He showed me something there.
3. Three: NUMBER OF TIMES I PUT LEON WASHINGTON ON HOLD!
4. Five: The current pollen count in Russia. Good to see that country improving its air quality
5. Number of odd seat belts I encounter when I fly Jet Blue: ZERO. Take that, Southwest!
2. Next Monday at the Meadowlands, Minnesota plays the Jets. Favre could well get to 500 passes and 70,000 yards a week from tonight. He’s at 499 and 69,926.
Good for him. Everyone hopes he fucking dies.
This week, I’m going to do it a little differently. I’m not going to pick a one through five. I’m just going to pick five. There’s not a clear number one, anyway.
Except for Tom Brady. Who I think is clearly number one. BUT IT MEANS NOTHING.
The Fine Fifteen
1. Baltimore (3-1). Tough call, because there’s no clear number one…
Except for this team, because Joe Flacco throws bad passes.
but the Ravens have beaten two of the top six or eight teams in football on the road (Steelers, Jets), and Joe Flacco, after struggling much of the first three weeks, made a huge throw to Houshmandzadeh to win this one.
So, remember: Joe Flacco played three bad games, made a really bad throw at the end of this game before hitting a wide open Housh, and the Ravens got beaten by a truly awful Cincinnati team. LIGHT: BROUGHT.
4. Green Bay (3-1). I’m not sure the near-loss to Detroit is as bad a sign as you might think. The Lions are no longer an easy game for anyone. But the Green Bay offense is a worry.
I don’t think you should worry about this game. Except that you should worry about it.
7. Houston (3-1). Gary Kubiak was circumspect about his decision to bench Arian Foster for the first 22 minutes of the 31-24 victory at Oakland, but he did blame the benching on a couple of things Foster did wrong.
“For one thing, Arian, who the fuck majors in psychology?”
8. Indianapolis (2-2). Kansas City travels to Indianapolis Sunday. The Colts will be upset, and I don’t believe we’ll see an upset.
/reads sentence 12 times
/reads it 12 more times
Nope. No fucking idea. Almost as bad as this:
13. Kansas City (3-0). On the Chiefs’ bye Sunday, the Chiefs noticed no respect for their undefeated selves.
Holy shit, does this man write blindfolded? If I tried diagramming that sentence, it would look like a burn victim.
Offensive Player of the Week
Donovan McNabb, QB, Washington
I don’t care if he had gone 2-for-33 Sunday.
And he pretty much did in the second half. Even if he played like absolute toad shit, he’s still the bestest!
As long as the Redskins won the game and McNabb was a very positive influence in what had to be the most emotional game of his life, he was a lock for the player of the week.
Very Positive Influence is my favorite stat of all! My VPI is a heady 221.6.
Special Teams Player of the Week
Josh Scobee K, Jacksonville
I’ve never been a kicker, but I imagine they must grow up dreaming of moments like Scobee experienced on the final play of the Colts-Jags game Sunday in Jacksonville.
No, they grow up dreaming of playing soccer for Manchester United.
This doesn’t deserve a monumental amount of coverage, but one thing should be said to the Cowboy veterans who delighted in spending about $2,500 per man (one estimate I heard for the 22 to 25 men who attended this dinner) as most of America struggles to pay for weekly groceries: Stop being pigs. It’s disgusting.
In other news, THE RESTAURANT WE ATE AT LAST NIGHT WAS SO FANCY, THEY FETCHED A VELVET FOOTSTOOL FOR MY WIFE’S PURSE, WHICH I BOUGHT AT COACH FOR AN UNREASONABLE SUM OF MONEY.
You people DISGUST me.
Baseball Stat of the Week
Why is this here? Who fucking cares?
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
Standing in front of me Saturday afternoon in line outside the Legal Sea Foods Test Kitchen restaurant at Terminal A in Boston’s Logan Airport was a couple, including a man with a navy sport coat and a U.S. Navy cap pulled down over his forehead. They asked for a table for two. The server nodded and took them to a table in the corner, where they put down their carry-ons, picked up the menu and sat undisturbed by a good crowd at the bar and restaurant focused on CNN and the Ryder Cup on the big screens in the place.
For 15 minutes, no one said a word to the guy, which really surprised me. Did no one notice the scar on his neck, the wry smile and, even with the hat pulled low, one of the most recognizable visages in America? Or were people just being nice and giving the man his space?
How could you people not recognize Bob Whiteley?
I’d be surprised if no one in the place knew John McCain was among them.
OH WHAT A TWIST! I know, so weird! Who would have thought people didn’t give a shit about John McCain anymore?
Say Peter, how’d that semi-marathon go?
My runner brother-in-law, Bob Whiteley, is funnier out on the racecourse than he is in real life, and he kept our six-man team pretty loose with a vivid (to put it mildly) story about, well, about his brother’s loose bowels on a training run.
HO HO HO! I smell a Great Moment in Poop History. No, really. I smell it. Bob left it at Mile 5.
My new Wounded Warrior friend, Jon Kuniholm, talked about his 90-something grandfather’s love for Duke basketball and the story of getting the old man his first flat-screen TV to watch the Blue Devils.
Jon Kuniholm’s grandpa is a fucking douchebag.
And my Montclair pals, Mike Goldstein and George Frole, kept it lively.
BUT NO JACK BOWERS?!
The embattled Alex Smith — for a while on Sunday. A 10-play, 88-yard drive (and completing six consecutive passes) to start the game. I know he made two bad throws later, and I’m a broken record here, but it’s not time to give up on Smith.
I know Alex Smith sucks, but give him a chance. He really showed me something with those two bad throws. He could help the Niners in the future with that kind of inconsistent play.
f. Chris Canty. You’re alive.
g. Osi Umenyiora. You’re a man possessed.
Amby Burfoot. You’re a runner.
Ross Tucker. You have opinions.
Tim Howard. You have great ribs.
Indiana, Pennsylvania. You are the home to TWO Starbucks outlets.
Peter King. You make bad writing into delightful memes.
Kelvin Hayden, Kelvin Hayden … How do you not catch that interception, the pick that could have clinched the win for the Colts at Jacksonville in the fourth quarter?
Kelvin Hayden, Kelvin Hayden… Why do you keep making Peyton Manning look bad? THAT’S ON YOU.
I think this could be Arian Foster’s wakeup call –though I must say I didn’t think he needed one. I had dinner in Houston with Foster 12 days ago, and I found him to be quite responsible and absolutely thrilled he was getting a real chance to be a big-time running back after his checkered past at Tennessee.
Here’s what I mean about responsible: We sat at the restaurant for a good three hours. At the start of the evening, we each ordered a glass of wine. I knew we’d be there for a while, so after we’d ordered the wine, with the waiter still there, I asked Foster if he’d like to just order a bottle because we’d probably be there long enough to drink two glasses. Oh no, he said; he didn’t want to drive after having two glasses of wine.
To which Peter said: But I do it all the time! While talking on this Bluetooth and reading this Steig Larsson novel!
Apropos of Nothing Quiz Dept.: What is Everbank Field?
The field of money you roll around in after chastising the Cowboys for having a nice dinner?
Now, it took me a while to come over to the Felix Hernandez (for Cy Young) camp, and I don’t love giving the award to a 13-12 pitcher…
I don’t love giving the award to a pitcher who has a stat that has been proven meaningless through modern baseball research. Look at that win number. It’s just so… LOW!
but pitching for a team that offensively challenged (zero runs scored by Mariners in seven of his last 13 starts) has to be a very strong consideration.
Indeed. Perhaps we should take into consideration the fact that he has NO control at all over how his team does offensively. I suppose I can overlook such matters.
Turns out I was right about the Red Sox.
The most shocking thing about my run in the wilds of New Hampshire?
The loose bowels?
I did it fueled by a non-Starbucks coffee.
Dunkin’ Donuts, you did just fine. Thank you.
PETAH RUNS AWN DUNKIN’! LITERALLY!
Congrats on a great first year at The Boston Globe, Pete Abraham.
You’ll be out of a job in three months.
Walking to my plane in Boston Saturday afternoon, a Massachusetts state trooper told me, “You picked the wrong team, Petah. Shoulda picked the Pats.”
PETAH KING. YOU AHHH NAWT A TRUE BAWSTON FAN LIKE WE AHHHH!!!
/moves to LA
/attends film festivals with Malcolm Gladwell