Brown, Baseball and Bountyville: The Peter King Killer B’s

06.05.12 6 years ago 62 Comments

When we last left Decoration Day historyologist, Peter King, he was reminding us that moving the trade deadline back would have little repercussion save the part where it would dramatically alter the course of NFL history. PK also introduced us to Phil Emery, who is the GM of one of those football teams or something. The importance of serving Greg Schiano the correct pasta shape was also stressed.

So what about this week? Is there a circle of hell torturous enough to punish Peter for spending a fourth of his football column discussing a single baseball game? Will the NYC soda ban force Dr. Pepper into a lifetime of back-alley abortions? Just how totally dumb are NFL players for thinking that fullbacks can be good? READ ON.

Before I get to the state of the Texans

Here are 12 pages on the history of U.S.-Mexico relations. The Alamo, you lead the league in forgottenness.

and the running back driving fantasy football players crazy, as well as a local boy in Queens having the time of his life and the latest in Bountyville

Yes, Bountyville, the nation’s epicenter of the paper towel industry. It’s said the mayor keeps secret 38-ply towel locked away in case of emergency. One time, a single square sopped up an entire flood.

here’s a preamble about the life span of the best prospects in football.

Six years shouldn’t be forever in the NFL, but looking at the top of the 2006 draft is evidence that six years is more than enough to make or break careers.

Again, that’s almost double the career length of the average NFL player. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the NFL knows that rosters can be dramatically overhauled in a few years’ time. You know what? Fuck it, there’s no fighting PK’s vacuous astonishment. He’s like a dog. You can yell at him and chasten him, but five minutes he’ll be doing the same damn shit.

The top 10 players in the 2006 NFL draft have been employed by 19 teams through six seasons — the smart teams don’t stay married to guys when either the marriage isn’t working or the priorities have changed.

Or you get married to Albert Haynesworth only he gets fat and he quits sucking your dick like he used to back when you met in college. You’re a smart team, dammit. You’ve got a lot to offer a young defensive lineman who doesn’t yet know what he wants.

How the mighty have moved since 2006:

Peter notes that six of the top 10 picks from the ’06 draft have played for more than one team, which is a perfectly pointless fact nugget made from the lowest grade of insighty meats.

The 2007 draft has something in common with 2006:

Some players worked out while others were busts who were moved to other teams willing to give them a second chance? JUST LIKE EVERY YEAR

Four of the 10 top picks in each remain starters for the teams that drafted them. And there isn’t a quarterback among the top 10 in those two drafts (Young, Leinart and JaMarcus Russell in 2007) still with the team that drafted him.


But I bring you this list to make a point about the Houston Texans. They had a chance to re-sign the first pick in the 2006 draft, the man they hoped would be their defensive centerpiece and lead them to multiple division titles, Mario Williams. They let him walk. They had a chance to keep Leinart as the backup to Matt Schaub. They let Leinart walk. They had a chance to bring home Young as the backup to Schaub. They watched as Buffalo signed Young.

Isn’t it WEIRD that the Texans had the chance to compile a bunch of scrubs who came out of college in the same draft and yet they passed? INTEREST, THIS TEAM GENERATES IT

Instead of keeping the first pick in the 2006 draft, they chose to put their pass-rush future in the hands of the 46th pick in 2009 (Connor Barwin), the 42nd pick in 2011 (Brooks Reed) and the 26th pick this year (Whitney Mercilus). Instead of signing a high-profile backup to Schaub, they chose to put their faith in the 152nd pick in the 2011 draft (T.J. Yates), who quarterbacked the Texans to the franchise’s first playoff win last season.

You mean to tell me sometimes the value of a given player’s skills causes the coaching staff to frequently disregard what order that player was chosen in a draft that occurred years before? So Tom Brady HASN’T been sitting on the bench his entire career because he was taken 199th overall?

“There’s no way to minimize the loss of Mario Williams,” Smith said. “But you turn the tape on from last season, and what players were out there on the field?”

There’s no way to minimize the loss of Mario Williams, unless you say that thing I just did right there.

Williams missed 11 games with a torn pectoral muscle. Ryans came off the field on third downs. And Houston finished second in the NFL in team defense. In one offseason, core players like Williams, Ryans and Winston were gone; if the Texans could save $2 million on the cap going with Yates over Leinart, so be it. It’s GM School 101.

“Don’t keep Matt Leinart” might be even too rudimentary a lesson for GM School 101. Totally a GM K-5 Precare topic.

Smith said he’s studied NFL history at length, and he’s studied business models of different business leaders. One that he’s adopted is former GE boss Jack Welch’s 20-70-10 philosophy: the top 20 percent of your employees are standouts and must be nurtured. The majority, the 70 percent, are the working class — needed but still able to move if the right situation arises. The lowest 10 percent have to be churned and replaced, because a company always is looking for ways to get better by importing new blood. “If you have a 53-man roster, maybe you’ve got 10 or 11 core players,” Smith said, “and then 25 to 30 roles players, and then you’re always looking to churn the bottom of the roster.”

“Don’t churn me, brah” – Leinart

It all sounds smart, and the Texans should be favored to repeat as division champs. But isn’t it amazing that a year ago, entering training camp in 2011, Ryans and Williams were the two cornerstone players on a defense being retooled by Wade Phillips, and the Texans flourished so often defensively last season without them? These Texans illustrate the way of the world in the NFL.

Isn’t it INTERESTING how if you focus on how one team does the same stuff that all the other teams do, that it becomes a microcosm, which is a WEIRD device that smart-sounding writers use.

Emmitt II?

History relieving itself!

History lesson with Norv Turner:

“Those who do not learn from history hire Norv Turner to fill their next coaching vacancy.”

He likes his backs to run a lot, and he doesn’t care if the rest of the league is going to this consistent two-back business. When the Chargers let Mike Tolbert go to Carolina in free agency and didn’t replace him with a prominent back as complement to third-year man Ryan Mathews, that sent the message about Mathews’ role to the team loud and clear. “At that moment, I knew I’d be the guy,” Mathews said.

From a fantasy football owner standpoint, I can appreciate the commitment to the feature back. As someone who understands football, I can say: BAHAHAHAHA U IDJIT

Mathews could approach 400 touches. He’ll have to be better with ball security after fumbling 10 times in the last two years. “I’ve been working a lot on that,” he said. He’d better be.


Fantasy owners nationwide will put their seasons on the line with Mathews. I’d suggest watching reports out of San Diego in August, to make sure he doesn’t get the kind of nagging injuries he’s had in his first two years, and to make sure the Chargers are handling Mathews the way Turner expects to. The Chargers intend to feed Mathews as much as any back in the league. It’ll be up to him to handle it.

/really hopes he isn’t forced to draft Mathews in the second round this year

Local boy makes good.

There was a no-hitter in New York Friday night. Johan Santana pitched the first no-hitter in the 51-year history of the Mets.

Awesome. And now you’ll get to the part where Johan Santana celebrated by pulling the NFL’s bounty evidence against the Saints out from under his hat because otherwise what the fuck is this 960-word section about a fucking baseball game doing in the middle of your nationally influential football column?

Which is a crazy-enough story, that a team with so many good pitchers over the years never had a no-hitter until its 8,020th game, while the rest of baseball had 131 of them. But having lived in the New York area for 24 of the last 27 years, the first guy I thought of as I listened to the end of the game on the radio was the guy delivering the radio call — in part because his called dripped emotion and excitement, in part because I knew what it meant to a kid born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens, and educated in high school in Bayside, Queens, and in college at Queens College.


When Howie Rose was 8, in 1962, he remembers asking his parents excitedly the morning after the first Mets game in history, “How’d the Mets do last night?” They’d lost. But as an 8-year-old, he felt the team had been created just for him.

Solipsism. 8-year-olds have a lot of that.

He followed them daily. Couldn’t get enough of the lovable losers.

When he was 15, he was in Shea Stadium the night Tom Seaver took a no-hitter into the ninth inning. With one out, Jimmy Qualls broke it up. Howie was crushed.

Aw, that’s too bad.

Wait, hasn’t Rose seen the Mets win several World Series titles? Yes, he has. Is a no-hitter somehow the pinnacle of team achievement rather than just an outstanding one-time, largely individual performance? Noooope. Well – Rose can just fuck right off with all this “but, but my team belongs in the No-No Club!!!!!!” bullshit.

Two other times Seaver lost no-nos in the ninth as a Met, and he didn’t pitch one until he’d been exiled to Cincinnati. But still Howie Rose listened, and watched.

Big time claps for not renouncing your team just because they didn’t have this one kinda impressive type of victory that counts just the same as all other victories.

While he was a wagon boy at the Waldbaum’s supermarket, walking through the parking lot to gather the shopping carts with a transistor tuned to the games, while he played stickball in the playgrounds at school.

“Hey Joey, youse guys wanna play some stickball?”
“Sure thing, Howie. Say, what’s that radio you gots?”
“It’s the Mets game. I’ll be on the radio one day calling the Mets games, you’ll see.”
“That sounds swell. I’m gonna die in a tenement fire before I turn 16.”
“Well, my favorite baseball team won’t have a no-hitter for several decades.”
“Ouf. I don’t envy you.”

When he was 12, he started wondering what it would be like to be behind the mike like the men he listened to every day, Bob Murphy on radio and Lindsay Nelson on TV. “My friends would fantasize about hitting the game-winning homer,” Rose said to me Saturday. “I would fantasize about calling the game-winning homer.” For the Mets.

Howie Rose’s friends longed to lose their virginity. Howie Rose hoped to watch.

“We have been bred with this inevitably,” said Rose, meaning that no-hitters don’t happen. So even in the ninth, he figured something would go wrong, particularly with Santana pitching to the meat of the Cardinals order. In addition, he didn’t have time to be introspective, though a day earlier he’d had a great career highlight: He had given the commencement address at his alma mater, Queens College.

It takes a powerful strain of obnoxious fatalism to have something that good happen to you only to turn around and be like, “GOD HATES US! HE NEVER LETS GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO US!”

“The odds were always stacked against me, the same as they must have been against you,” he told me. “There’s tremendous competition in the sports media. But when I was in high school, in college, I just thought, wouldn’t it be great to be a broadcaster? Then I thought, wouldn’t it be great to be a baseball broadcaster? Then, a broadcaster for the Mets? I had those dreams.

And I lived them out. I realized my dreams. And yet you’re still expected to view me as sympathetic because my fuckface baseball team hadn’t realized this ultimately very minor single-game organizational achievement.

And that’s what I talked about Queens College: I told the kids you should never, ever, ever let anyone dissuade you from following your dreams. And now, here I was, in the ninth inning, with this seminal moment in Mets history on the line. Mind-boggling. Isn’t it unbelievable how that happened?”

That a team had a no-hitter sometime within your 16 years as a broadcaster covering them? I’m dumbstruck by how believable that is. My mind is decidedly unboggled.

“There are very few days where I don’t flash back to being in the ballpark in 1969,” he said. “I’m unbelievably appreciative to have this job. When people tell me I’m this generation’s Bob Murphy, I am just overcome by it. To whatever end a broadcaster can be considered part of the team, and part of Mets history in any small way because of this moment, I am very emotional about that.”

After the game, and after the long postgame show, maybe 90 minutes after the last out, Rose walked into the Mets clubhouse to see if Santana was still there. He was. He walked up to Santana and hugged him.

“I never cry on the air,” Rose said, “but tonight I came really, really close.”

“Did you cry?” Santana asked.

“No, I disciplined myself,” Rose said, and asked Santana to sign his scoresheet for the game.

And that’s the story of a guy doing what he should be doing in life.


“No, I won’t cry about this because I’m a professional. I’ve the sang-froid, the composure of a man who respects the integrity of his profession. Now c’mere, Johan, I need to bear hug you and hump your leg until I climax.”

And next week …

Don’t buy your dad, or your favorite father, anything for Father’s Day (June 17) until you read the column next week. I’ll have at least six books (seven, if I get aggressive with my reading in the next three nights) for you to consider buying.

If you buy your dad something based on a Peter King recommendation, it means he raped you. Not out of perversity, but out of hate. You were hate raped. And this is your revenge.

If you need a sports-related gift idea, get Smart Football’s book.

In order to get the books you want, you’ll have plenty of time to order via Amazon (I do it a lot, and the books, even via regular mail, take three days at the most)


Well, OK. I’ve heard all the theories this week about why Harbaugh would say that when the 49ers were clearly very interested in Manning. Harbaugh is showing faith in Smith, mostly. And good for him for doing so.

Lofty well-intentioned lying, Harbs. As a benevolent spewer of obvious untruths, we underestimate Jim Harbaugh.

The 49ers thoroughly investigated Manning in many other ways, I’m told

Giant calipers were required for head measurements. Rectal thermometers were also deployed.

and would have been thrilled if he’d called them that Monday in March and said, “I want to come play for you.”

The financial details — pshaw. They would have been worked out.


Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me I

If you follow football, you’d know that the top three quarterbacks on the Raiders roster are Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Terrelle Pryor. You’re one heck of a fan if you know the fourth quarterback Oakland will bring to camp this summer.

Uh oh. My Petey sense is tingling. He’s building to something really fucktarded here.

Four clues:

1. One of his hobbies, according to his college bio, is grilling.

2. He majored in Commerce, Organizations and Entrepreneurship in college, and I dare say he’s the first player on an NFL roster to have had that major.

3. He was the third player in his school’s history to be a team captain for two years — and the first, according to the university, since 1891.

4. Chris Berman and Zak DeOssie will know who he is.

Hoo boy. We’ve got Ivy stroking off the port bow.

Kyle Newhall-Caballero, of Brown.

And what an upstanding pillar of the fourth-string community! The Ivy quarterbacks do not wander higher in the depth chart, not for a lack of skill. It is but a surfeit of grace that deters them. As social betters, they don’t desire to further shame the low-born by seizing base glories in athletics. Let the simple folk have that, at least.

Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me II

I give credit to NFL Network for producing an annual show that fans get into, the Top 100 Players in the NFL. And all the Network can do is go by the will of the players, who vote for the top 100.

Perhaps there should be an IQ test associated with it. The players like fullbacks.

Out of the 60 players revealed so far, only two have been fullbacks. Statistically speaking, they are underrepresented.

Green Bay’s John Kuhn, who played 41 percent of the Packers’ offensive plays last year, ranked 92nd — ahead of Cortland Finnegan and D’Qwell Jackson. Baltimore’s Vonta Leach, who played 56 percent of the Ravens’ snaps, was 45th … 14 spots ahead of Jake Long, 16 spots ahead of Philip Rivers, 18 spots ahead of LaMarr Woodley. And, well, you understand. In other words, don’t take this one too seriously.

Leach is the best player at his position. Marmalard threw a fuck ton of interceptions last year. Woodley was good when he wasn’t hurt half the season. Speak on something you know about, Petey, which is… the quiet car, I guess?

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

Red-eying home from Los Angeles last Tuesday night. Flight leaves at 11:45 p.m. I get to the airport at 10:30 and go to the fish place/bar near the gate. I sit at a table for four and get my computer out. I have already eaten, so I order the most interesting of a group of drab beers on tap, Stella Artois.

At 10:50, a busboy comes around and starts putting chairs up on the tables. You know, the way chairs are put up at the end of a school day, upside down, with the seat on the table and the legs in the air. The guy puts all three chairs up at my table, as if to say, Drink up, schmoe. We’re closing soon. Except no one says anything.

I give the guy a look and say, “Closing soon?” He evidently doesn’t speak English. He just shrugs. Then, about five minutes later, the TVs go off. A minute later, about half the lights. A waitress goes to the front door and pulls down a metal gate to the place, then positions herself at a side door, which she loudly opens, and then just stands there.

I get the message. I pack up, walk out. Wouldn’t it have been a little more civil to say, at 10:45, “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ll be closing at 11. So everyone, please finish up. Thanks.”

Bless you, airport bar employees. You are doing God’s work.

Tweet of the Week II

“browns fun fact, Brandon Weeden will turn 29 this year, same age as Bernie Kosar when he was cut by Belichick in 1993 #Browns”

— @phyland341, Patrick Hyland of Cleveland, with a good observation on a quiet Saturday.

Oh shit, if Grumblelord suddenly returns to Cleveland, you’re royally fucked, Weeden.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think this will surprise you; it darn near shocked me. But my sources tell me Stephen Ross did not influence the decision for the Dolphins to welcome HBO and NFL Films into training camp for Hard Knocks.

I am told Ross wanted the Dolphins to do it, but left it up to coach Joe Philbin and GM Jeff Ireland.

But Philbin went to Ireland and told him he’d actually like the spotlight of the show to help his team focus, and to show off that what the team is doing is right, and that the players are ready for prime time.

By just being filmed, they are indeed ready for a preseason prime time cable series. I’m sure that’s what he means.

2. I think that sound you heard Sunday morning around 11 Jacksonville time was the sound of the entire Jaguars ownership/front office/coaching group doing a collective “What the $#%&*@?”


5. I think I have to agree with Dan Pompei, the respected NFL columnist for the Chicago Tribune and National Football Post, when he writes: “The chances of a Super Bowl being granted to Chicago are roughly the same of a Super Bowl being granted to Jupiter.”

Well said. Now, the Mars colonies – THERE’S A HOST SITE. Unless scientists find more evidence of moisture, in which call it off. IT MIGHT SNOW.

8. I think I’m not going to feed the Darrelle Revis story yet.

Peter King says, feeding the Darrelle Revis story.

Not until he doesn’t show. But it’s not as simple as saying he should live by the terms of his contract. I am certainly a live-by-the-terms-of-the-contract guy. The Jets paid him, on average, $16.25 million per year in the first two years of the deal. They paid that with the full expectation that Revis would be the best defensive player in football.

We could probably argue that (DeMarcus Ware would be in the discussion), but I think Revis has proven he’s the best defender in the league over the past two years. The Jets are due to pay him $6.75 million, on average, in the last two years of the deal. Why set the contract up that way unless you fully intend to re-do Revis’ deal after two years?

You live by the terms of the deal, unless you in advance that the terms were never meant to be serious. Quasi-term-esque contract language, if you will.

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

a. Almost a very big day for Rex Ryan in Los Angeles today. It’s the red carpet premiere of That’s My Boy, the Adam Sandler movie in which Ryan makes his big-screen debut. I wrote about it last fall. Anyway, Sandler put two more scenes of Ryan’s work in the final product than he’d originally planned, which may mean Rex should quit his day job.

That’s not a terrible idea, when you think about it. An NFL head coach has to show competency at least once every few years to stay working. Get in on Sandler’s crew and you can suck for decades at a time. Doesn’t matter. You are SET.

b. To show what a square I am, my fondest memories of Richard Dawson, who died at 79 of esophageal cancer over the weekend, have nothing to do with Family Feud and everything to do with Hogan’s Heroes. He was the best and most convincing of the heroes, the group of POWs in Germany that, humorously, tried to destroy the Nazis from within. How can that have been humorous? Hard to explain if you didn’t see it. But Dawson was brilliant.

And I only really know of “Hogan’s Heroes” because of Homer’s obsession with Colonel Klink from that one Simpsons episode.

/not so much young as culturally blinkered.

By the way, Family Feud is now hosted by Steve Harvey and narrated by Joey Fatone. Name five things more depressing. We surveyed 100 people and they can’t.

c. Congrats to Tim Rohan, of the New York Times, for ably writing the Johan Santana no-hitter story … in the second major league baseball game story he’d ever written. Tim’s an intern from Erie, Pa., by way of the University of Michigan. I didn’t recognize the byline in my Saturday morning paper, and I saw Pete Thamel of the Times congratulate Rohan on Twitter, so I reached out to him for the story.


d. Santana, who missed all of 2011 recovering from shoulder surgery, showed this was possible in his last start, throwing a four-hit shutout against the lowly San Diego Padres.


e. Daniel Bard Sunday in Toronto: 13 batters, six walks, two hit batsmen. Hope he’s not getting Steve Blass disease.

Since Peter pops big ol’ citrusy boners for baseball in general and the Red Sox in particular, one would assume he might deal in slightly less hoary cliches when discussing them, buuuuuttttt NOPE! Steve Blass had been in the Majors for about a decade and had been a respectable starter for years before epically flaming out and losing his stuff altogether. Daniel Bard was an effective reliever for three seasons who has sucked mightily since being converted to a starter. Aw fuck, I’m actually bothering to debunk PK’s baseball inanity again. Kill me. Kill me now.

f. One of the best nights I’ve spent in a long time happened last Wednesday, when my wife and I saw the Broadway play Clybourne Park. Plays that make you think are good things. Great things, actually.

This one opens in a Chicago neighborhood in 1959, with the first black family buying a home there, and the second act is exactly 50 years later, with a white yuppie family buying the beat-up home so they can, in effect, begin the gentrification of the neighborhood. A fabulous look at who we are and how we think about race relations. In my best theater-going voice, I’d say: Run, don’t walk, to Clybourne Park.

I’ve seen Clybourne Park and can vouch that it is, in fact, worth your time. But you might have already known that before theater newbs like me or PK told you, possibly because IT WON THE FUCKING PULITZER PRIZE FOR DRAMA LAST YEAR

g. Hard to imagine there’s a better job being done on TV in supporting roles than by Anna Chlumsky (chief of the Vice President’s staff on HBO’s Veep) and Timothy Simons (the annoying liaison between the president’s office and the Veep’s). Chlumsky, the former child star, is positively dead-on at what I imagine the VP’s chief of staff to be.

This is less of a compliment once you realize that Peter thinks television accurately reflects the true working conditions of all professions. “DIDJA KNOW THAT WORKING AT A PAPER COMPANY IS SOOOOPER ZANY!? THERE’S A NARD DOG IN EVERY OFFICE.”

j. Nice time at Cards-Mets Saturday afternoon. One of the great things about living in New York is being subway rides away from big-league teams.

[Chambers a round in case PK starts congratulating every reporter who covered this game, too]

k. Beernerdness: Good job by the Mets, making Kona Longboard Lager and Brooklyn Lager available, just a few steps from our seats. CitiField respects the diverse beer drinkers.

Holy Imperioli. Two – count ’em! – two different widely available types of lager. In one stadium! It’s like a veritable biergarten in there.

l. Coffeenerdness: If I had one selfish wish for New York City, it’d be that Peet’s Coffee proliferated here. Being in L.A. reminded me how lucky you on the West Coast are, to be able to get Peet’s in so many locales.

If only one could combine New York’s walkability and public transitology with the Peetsiness of Los Angeles, there would exist a paradise unmatched on heaven and Earth. A walkable feast, if you will.

m. The mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, is under attack because he wants to eliminate the ability of fast food places to sell super-sized sugary drinks. Under attack is putting it nicely. The papers are killing him. I think Bloomberg’s doing the right thing. You can’t fight the obesity epidemic in this country by suggesting mild solutions. You’ve got to fight it. And Bloomberg’s trying. Good for him. And if people don’t like it, then tax soda. Tax the daylights out of it, the way we tax cigarettes.

Of course, PK might feel differently if his triple grande whole milk melted KitKataccino weren’t exempt from the ban by dint of a bullshit loophole that deals with the dairy content of a drink.

o. I’m not the biggest basketball fan, as you know. But I’d pay to see Rajon Rondo play, and I might pay quite a bit.

Peter is prepared to spend 20, maybe even 30, minutes chatting up whichever SI editor is responsible for doling out free tickets.

p. Congrats, Tiger Woods. Golf’s a lot more fun when you’re winning.

Fluffing just ain’t the same without you, big guy.

q. You’re breaking a lot of Garden State hearts, you Los Angeles Kings. But you deserve everything you’re getting. Jonathan Quick’s a stone wall.

Even funnier in light of the 4-0 beatdown the Kings put on the Devils on Monday night.

Around The Web