Peter King Thinks We Should No Longer Use The Word ‘Rookie’, Except When We Should

10.15.12 5 years ago 51 Comments

When last we left Bronx dahhkie hater, Peter King, he was attributing all 30 of the Colts’ points against the Packers directly to Chuck Pagano’s cancer. And they want to cure this offensive juggernaut!? Are they crazy? PK also dared to bite the hand that citruses him by bellyaching that Allagash, which he can readily find ON TAP AT BARS, isn’t easy enough to find in bottles. He also assured his editors that he would keep his inane political views out of MMQB then made an inane political point about the cost of supporting public television, which PK likely never watches anyway.

What about this week? Be forewarned that this week’s column is NSFW for the throbbiness of Peter King’s Russell Wilson boner. PK wishes Wilson had his own citrus beer so he could buttchug it. Oh, and the word “rookie” doesn’t exist anymore. Adjust accordingly, and READ ON.

The longer you follow pro football, the more you realize why the game’s so much fun and so maddening. I mean, we’re six weeks into the season and who really knows anything?

Ah yes, it’s the annual Peter King column of stupefaction. It follows the moment, usually a month and a half or two months into a season, when Peter King has had time to put down his citrus beer, scan the football landscape and dimly assess what he sees. When he inevitably determines that things are not exactly the same as they were the previous season, it declares ALL IS WEIRD and the world goes about its business.

Sunday was just another brick in the wall.

A WEIRD brick in an INTERESTING wall.

Russell Wilson 24, Tom Brady 23.

Oh, fuck off. Again?

Too bad both of them lose to Chuck Pagano because his cancer is worth 30 points. I can only hope this leads to a Magic: The Gathering style card game for Peter King, where each NFL figure is assigned a completely arbitrarily amount of hit points. “I cast a spell of NUTMEGGETT! 45 points damage! I’ve slain your Packers front office!”

Former Niners owner Eddie DeBartolo to Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times, on the 49ers, after their 79-3 dismantling of the Jets and Bills in Weeks 4 and 5: “They’re better than anybody they’re going to play … I don’t see a weakness.”

Sunday at Candlestick: New York Giants 26, San Francisco 3.

Wow, can’t believe a former owner has an unrealistically favorable impression of his team.

Buffalo gives up 97 points in two weeks and, in crisis, travels to the 4-1 Cards. In overtime: Buffalo 19, Arizona 16.

Coming into Sunday, Arizona had been averaging 18.8 points per game. That is not an extraordinary achievement.


“The league’s really wacky this year,” Bills safety Jairus Byrd said from Arizona Sunday evening. “Anything can happen. Just look at us.”

To be fair, it is usually difficult to mentally process the moment Buffalo wins a game.

We have to stop calling rookies rookies

No we don’t. That’s retarded.

Tannehill, according to STATS Inc., ran 26 snaps of no-huddle in his first NFL game and never slowed down. In the stunning upset of the Packers in Week 5, Andrew Luck ran 13 snaps of no-huddle — something his coach, Bruce Arians, said Peyton Manning never did until his third or fourth year in the league. College teams are running three- and four-receiver sets so regularly, and high-school quarterbacks enter college football so much more ready to play because of summer seven-on-seven passing leagues. Young quarterbacks walk onto NFL teams so much more confident and ready than their current veteran NFL peers were.

This has much more to do with the evolution of the game on several levels, how offenses are run and what defenses are allowed to do to counteract them than any than what Peter King would like to believe is an accelerated maturation process of the quarterbacks of today. It’s because it’s easier to pass the ball than it was in 1998, plain and simple. It’s not because THERE’S JUST SO MUCH PRECOCIOUSNESS OUT THERE, WE NEED A NEW WORD FOR ROOKIE. LET’S CALL THEM PRECOCIES.

Rookie quarterbacks were 4-1 Sunday, first-pick Luck the only loser, and Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden getting his first pro victory.

Two of those victories were against second-year starters, who tend to struggle because defenses have tape on them from the previous season and therefore weaknesses in their game to exploit. Another was against Sam Bradford, who had his 32nd start yesterday (the equivalent of two full seasons) and plays in a dogshit offense and his best receiver hurt.

What should amaze us all is the quick maturation of them all. Robert Griffin III runs the Redskins like it’s Baylor. Tannehill picked up where he left off at Texas A&M. And Russell Wilson — more about him later — has overcome the height and rookie thing to beat Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton and Tom Brady in the first six weeks of his pro career.


Sometimes we’re in the middle of history and don’t realize what we’re seeing. But there’s a new era of quarterback play, and it’s trending much younger and happening before our eyes today.

Most fans have long recognized that fundamental changes sweeping the game in the past few years. But since it just dawned on you, you have to condescend to your readers about it, because you’re the fucking worst.

Now for the news of a fun weekend.

The maturation of Russell Wilson.

After his sixth NFL game Sunday, a 24-23 win over the Patriots at home, Wilson told Tom Brady on the field, “I have so much respect for you as a player and a person. It’s great to play against you.” He walked through the Seattle locker room, shaking hands with every player. He stopped to share a few moments with owner Paul Allen. In his post-game press conference, during which he deflected any praise about himself toward the team, he finished the way he finishes interviews broadcast live to Seattle fans: “Go Hawks!”

Good teammate. Good politician. Good guy. And a very quick study as a quarterback.


Russell Wilson is almost certainly a decent person and a fine teammate, even if he’s not really that good of a quarterback. That said, I HATE HATE HATE Russell Wilson. Loathe him with every jaundiced, alcohol-soaked fiber of my being and it’s all because of Peter King. Here’s what happened. Wilson was nice to PK during training camp. This caused Peter to have nuggetboners and announce that Wilson “leads all rookies in charisma” and plead publicly for Pete Carroll to have the guts to “let the best player win”, which really meant “START RUSSELL WILSON, HE SMILED AT ME!” Now that Wilson is the starter, PK will openly cheer for him when he does well.

It’s no secret that Peter King plays favorites, like, all the time. And Russell Wilson is his new favorite. Therefore, I hereby dub Russell Wilson “the Charmslinger.”

Throwing from his own 46, Wilson released a high-arcing perfect spiral. Downfield, safety Nate Ebner, another New England rookie


sprinted over to help the Patriots’ Wilson, who was two steps behind Rice. The ball landed 57 yards from the spot Wilson threw it, three yards deep in the end zone — and right into Rice’s hands. Perfect throw.

It’s only six games, of course, and anything can happen, and he’s had a couple of games of shaky decision-making.

That’s a big ass to cover with so few words, Peter.

But that throw to Rice, 57 yards in the air and exactly on target, with a game against the three-time Super Bowl champions on the line, shows why Schneider made a great draft pick.

Mentioning the Super Bowls is about as disingenuous as it gets. There is one – ONE! – fucking starter on that Patriots defense that was on the 2004 team (Vince Wilfork, who was a rookie in ’04), the last Patriots squad to win the Super Bowl. This New England defense is nowhere close to that unit. Fuck. You.

There are good stories, and there’s Russell Wilson beating the Patriots to send the loudest crowd in the NFL into bedlam.

THERE ARE [new word for rookies] AND THEN THERE ARE [new word for lofty rookies]

“What I say,” Eli Manning said after the 26-3 win in San Francisco, “and it sounds bad, but you’ve got to understand what I mean, is you’ve got to care enough not to care. You do your best and live with the results.”

“You’ve got to want to be playing squash instead, basically.”

My Ten Dot-Dot-Dot Items of the Week.


Really like Pat Shurmur’s approach with his young players in Cleveland: “You’ve got to coach a young team differently. You’ve got to go through the process, go through everything, thoroughly. Everything is hard. You have to encourage and inspire them, and then, behind the scenes, you have to coach them hard. It’s a different mindset than with a veteran group.”…


/has aneurysm
/brought back to life as punishment for bad behavior by vengeful God

Mario Williams lives: 65 snaps, two sacks, one quarterback knockdown. Granted, it was against the worst set of tackles in the NFL, but production is production …

A disappointing free agent acquisition can pad his stats against the worst line in the league. ISN’T THE NFL SO WEIRD!?

If Alex Karras had been born half a century later, he’d have been a star on Warren Sapp’s level — even brighter.

Not bankrupt or anything!

Think of the things Karras, who died last week at 77, did as a football player and entertainer:

He was so angry at Lions quarterback Milt Plum for throwing a game-turning interception that allowed the Packers to come back to beat the Lions in 1962 that, in the locker room, he took his helmet off and flung it at Plum’s head, missing him by inches. And admitted doing it.

Peter King would heap all manner of citrusy scorn on any player who did that today.

He was suspended for the 1963 season for gambling on football games, and was eternally bitter at commissioner Pete Rozelle for what he thought was overreacting to a penny-ante hobby. But when his first son was born, Karras sidled up to Detroit News beat man Jerry Green, according to Greene, and said, laughing, “Know what we named him? Alvin.” That was Rozelle’s first name.

Now I’m disappointed that James Harrison didn’t name his kid Rog.

He got into the wrestling ring with probably the most noted professional wrestler of his day, Dick The Bruiser, while suspended. And he actually fought Dick The Bruiser in a Detroit bar — no joke — a couple of days before the match.

He once overpowered Kramer, the author of the book about life inside the Packers dynasty, and slammed into Bart Starr, and on the way back to the Lions huddle said to Kramer: “Put that in your f—–g book.”

Wow, this is, dare I say, amusing. I DON’T MIND THIS! Why, can I continue to read about Alex Karras’ fascinating life and not about Peter King’s coffee-flavored opinions about nothing?

/clicks to next page

Aw fuck.

Fine Fifteen

1. Atlanta (6-0). With the win over the Raiders, Mike Smith tied Dan Reeves atop the Falcons’ all-time regular season coaching victories list, with 49.

Name five coaches with more victories coaching the Falcons. You can’t.

Not to rain on the parade, but this is the Falcons’ 47th season. You’re telling me they’ve never had a man win 50 regular season games?

Yes, that is what the anthropomorphized statistic is telling you. But please, carry on this conversation you’re having with it.

2. New York Giants (4-2). Most impressive win by any team this season, the 26-3 rout of the Niners that no one — not even Abby Manning — saw coming in its decisiveness. (Well, I’m sure Ms. Eli thought her husband would pull out a win, but a rout?)

I’d rather hear what the anthropomorphized statistic has to say than read Peter King guess what’s going on inside the head of Abby Manning.

4. Chicago (4-1). After two straight weeks of scoring defensive touchdowns, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman were held scoreless Sunday. That could be because the Bears had a bye in advance of a Week 7 Monday nighter against Detroit.

Or it could be that Roger Goodell denied their one-week-only trade to the Raiders. How they would have benefited from those Matt Ryan picks. Way to fuck up the game, Rog!

5. Baltimore (5-1). John Harbaugh is now 31-5 at home. The Ravens are on a 14-game winning streak at The Big Crabcake. But it’s not at home where Baltimore’s about to be tested. Next six weeks: at Houston, bye, at Cleveland, vs. Oakland, at Pittsburgh, at San Diego. Yikes.

Oh noes! One good team, a bye week and then a murderer’s row of mediocrity! How will Bawlmer survive?

6. San Francisco (4-2). I guarantee you Jim Harbaugh hasn’t slept yet, and is in his office as you read this, saying to the Bill Walsh photo on his laptop, “Coach, don’t ask me. I have no idea what just happened.”

Almost there. You got the “no sleep” part. But instead of talking to the Bill Walsh photo, Harbs chewed clean through Alex Smith’s non-throwing arm and continuing to gnaw on the bloody stump.

7. Green Bay (3-3). Just when you thought the Packers were free-falling like some Felix Baumgartner

Topicality, PK has it!

8. Seattle (4-2). Amazing thing is, I was convinced the Seahawks had to beat the tar out of Tom Brady to win this game, and Brady, with 59 pass drops, was sacked only once and hit while throwing five times. Not a lot, getting hit once every 12 attempts. But this game was won with big plays from Russell Wilson when the Seahawks had to have them.

Oh, and there were the two interceptions that Brady threw, as well as that grounding penalty at the end of the first half that took away a field goal. But whatevs. FUCK THAT NOISE! IT WAS ALL CHARMSLINGER!

14. Denver (2-3). Showing too much faith in these Broncos, I know. But a good portion of the reason is I don’t love anyone else.


The Award Section

Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle. Imagine what must be going through this kid’s mind, after out-dueling Rodgers and Brady in the first six weeks of his NFL career. “It’s the team, not me,” he said from the Seattle locker room after the 24-23 win over the Patriots. Modesty will get you everywhere.

Like Peter King’s pants.

Dr. Z Unsung Man in the Trenches of the Week

The New York Giants offensive line (Will Beatty, Kevin Boothe, David Baas, Chris Snee, Sean Locklear). For keeping Eli Manning clean. No, clean’s too mild a word. How about “pristine?”

How about “rookie”? That doesn’t have a meaning anymore.

Quote of the Week I

“We’re built for a heavyweight fight. I don’t think they’re built for a heavyweight fight.”

— Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, on the Patriots, after Seattle’s 24-23 victory over the Patriots, to Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times.

Tom Brady could hold his own in a slapfight, though.

In summary, this was far from a vintage Ray Lewis display and the tackle numbers shouldn’t fool you. They are more indicative of just how frequently the Cowboys ran the ball between the tackles, and it’s instructive that most came after a substantial gain was already made. Lewis won’t put this game on his list of favorites, not after the Cowboys ran for the most yards the Ravens have given up on the ground since moving to Baltimore in 1996. It’s obvious the weight he has shed to prepare for the season has affected his ability to be a more forceful presence against the run.

Ray-Ray has been underperforming for a few years now. Blaming the weight loss is a convenient apology for his shittiness. If it weren’t for Haloti Ngata playing in front of him, he’d have been forced out of the league/starting line-up long ago.

Feline Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me

Jay Cutler nuggets!

The cat of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mat Latos is named Cat Latos, according to Deadspin, via the Twitter account of Dallas Latos, the co-owner of Cat Latos and wife of Mat Latos.

Surprised this didn’t inspire PK to create his own line of cat lattes. A CAT WITHOUT STARBUCKS IS A CAT DEPRIVED!

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

A great question in Chuck Klosterman’s “The Ethicist” column in Sunday’s New York Times Sunday Magazine, and if you travel, the question’s for you. The question, from a reader identified as “S.B.” from New York:

“My boyfriend often travels for business. I always ask him to bring back the shampoo and conditioner from the hotel room, and if he is staying multiple nights, to put the shampoo in his suitcase so that the maid will replace it and he can bring home an additional bottle. He says this is stealing. I say the shampoo is included in the price of the room, and the room is not discounted the second night, so therefore the second bottle of shampoo is included the second night. Incidentally, I haven’t purchased shampoo or conditioner in over four years, a point of pride for me. Your thoughts?”

The way I see it, there are three possible answers here — and I’d love to hear your thoughts on which one you think is just.

a. You’re entitled to take as much shampoo and conditioner and soap as the housekeeper puts in your room for the length of your stay.

b. You’re entitled to one bottle of shampoo and conditioner and one bar of soap per stay.

c. You should never take any toiletries from a hotel room.

d. Your boyfriend is a goody-goody twat.

I’d probably choose “b.”

You know what I do with these little bottles? Nothing — unless I find one that has a screw-on top and is easily able to be filled with the shampoo I use. Then, a couple times a year, I empty one of them per trip, clean it out, then put it in my bag, take it home, and fill it with my shampoo to take on a future trip. I do this so I don’t have to take a large bottle of shampoo, which would necessitate checking a bag, which I am loathe to do. The small shampoo bottles mean I can walk on with my bag.

To recap:

– Taking shampoo from hotels is a no-no, even if said shampoo is included in the price paid for the room

– Stealing a foul ball from a child is totally aboveboard.

– Cell phone abuse is grounds for homicide, says PK.

Tweet of the Week II

“A man just jumped from outer space and landed safely back on our planet. … And now back to our coverage of Tim Tebow.”

— @RVacchianoNYDN, Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, after Felix Baumgartner jumped from 24 miles above earth and landed safely Sunday, and while Tebow was in the midst of throwing a 23-yard fake punt-pass to a benchwarming linebacker.

YES! As soon as I saw Judy Battista retweet this yesterday, I absolutely knew it would make MMQB. It hits on all the PK sensibilities: lecturing people on priorities when YOU YOURSELF are partly responsible for the proliferation of the thing you are decrying, complaining about your awesome high-paying job, feigning an interest in news you knew nothing about before yesterday.

Tweet of the Week II

“The stands are angry tonight, my friends. Like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.”

— @TylerKepner, the fine baseball writer for the New York Times, with the best “Seinfeld” reference of the baseball postseason

His award? All the cast members beat off on his face while screaming, “I’M THE MASTER OF MY DOMAIN!”

Tweet of the Week III

“Raul Ibanez is the St Louis Cardinals funneled into one man.”

— @BMcCarthy32, Oakland pitcher Brandon McCarthy, after Ibanez’s two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth Saturday night tied Game 1 of the American League Championship Series — three nights after his two miracle homers beat the Orioles.

Were that actually true, Will Leitch would have slept with him by now.

Ten Things I Think I Think

c. (Not Just Saying This) Separated at birth: Paul Ryan, Andrew Siciliano of the NFL Sunday Ticket Red Zone.


i. The longest run by a quarterback in the NFL since 1996, the 76-yarder by Robert Griffin III. Deion Sanders in his prime wasn’t catching this man.

Perhaps. Either way, Deion couldn’t tackle anyone. Moot point.

m. Legatron. It’s a matter of time before St. Louis’ Greg Zuerlein breaks the record for the longest field goal (63 yards) in NFL history. He missed a 66-yarder wide left at Miami that had plenty of leg. Of course, he missed 52- and 37-yarders too, and making any of the three would have forced overtime in a three-point loss.

Zuerlein is the same deal as Russell Wilson for me. Totally despise him and it’s all because of PK. I hope he shanks a critical kick in a Super Bowl one day and people throw trash on his lawn.

2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 6:

a. Bad decision by Josh Freeman, throwing right to Justin Houston with the Bucs headed for a score in the first quarter.

Because that was a decision that Freeman made and not just something that happened.

e. Hold off on the Cantonization of Andrew Luck, after his overthrow of an easy touchdown to Coby Fleener at the Meadowlands.

I hope this is a line from Peter King’s version of “Looper”, where he travels back to August to warn himself not to swear that there’s no way that Andrew Luck doesn’t win the Offensive Player of the Year award, so we shouldn’t even discuss it. Otherwise, fuck that hypocritical asswipe.

g. Hey, Papa John’s: The season is six weeks old. The commercial about what you’re doing to kick off the season is similarly six weeks too old. Fix it, please.


4. Jimmy Haslam’s purchase of the Browns will be approved Tuesday in Chicago. Then Haslam will get on with the business of deciding who will run his franchise in 2013 and beyond. I hope he looks long and hard at Pat Shurmur, who I think is a good man and coach. Not saying Haslam should keep him — just saying he should think very seriously about it, because Shurmur’s the kind of smart young coach, like Gary Kubiak was in Houston’s rocky times, who is growing into a tough job.

That’s right. don’t fire Pat Shurmer unless you give it a second of thought. Like, considering the inconvenience of removing his name from his office door.

5. I think if I were Roger Goodell


I would do exactly what the four suspended Saints want him to do: recuse himself and allow either of his discipline czars, Ted Cottrell or Art Shell, or both, to comb through the facts of the Saints’ bounty and determine if Goodell has made the right call.

I understand why Goodell might be hesitant to do so — because he doesn’t have to, by CBA rules — but what harm is there in allowing a new set of eyes to see what he’s seen in such endless, numbing detail for this entire calendar year? I still believe the suspended players will feel wronged if Goodell does recuse himself and the players are found culpable. But at least it will be new people looking at the evidence.

“I know the players will still be mad at him, for they are small-minded miscreants incapable of elevated reason, but I will appreciate it. And that counts for something.”

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

a. I’m having a hard time understanding why the people I see running through Manhattan with LIVESTRONG gear still wear the stuff, in the wake of what we heard last week from members of Lance Armstrong’s bicycle racing team that he was doping while competing for years in the Tour de France. “To be on Lance Armstrong’s team, doping was a necessity,” one teammate, Ty Hamilton, told ESPN Radio. How much more evidence do you have to see and hear to be convinced Armstrong wasn’t clean when he won all those races?

I would still think poorly of anyone wearing that shit even if Lance’s team never admitted to anything.

c. There can’t be more valiant losers in sports, not just baseball, than the A’s and O’s.

And I bet that totally makes them feel better, unless it doesn’t.

f. Two most heartbreaking ends to baseball games I have ever seen: Game 6, 1986 World Series, in New York, ball through Bill Buckner’s legs, Mets beat Boston … Game 5, 2012 National League Division Series, Cards get three two-out, two-strike runs in first playoff series in Washington in 70 years, St. Louis beats the Nationals.

Welp. Drew called that one.

l. Congrats, Ohio U, for c

m. Good job, Lars Anderson, for your profile in this week’s Sports Illustrated on the Bobcats. My little Bobcats, the Boise of the Midwest? Wow. I’m going to have to digest that.

Be sure to wash it down with some hemlock.

n. Coffeenerdness: Had a chance to speak to old friend Ted Shaker’s class at NYU the other night, and it gave me a chance to not only chat up some serious students about the future of the NFL, but also a shot to try a good latte and great atmosphere of Think Coffee in the neighborhood. That’s some serious espresso.

o. Beernerdness: Had Bronx Pale Ale the other night, and even though it was at a great restaurant, Birreria at Eataly in Manhattan, I had low expectations. “Bronx Pale Ale” doesn’t exactly make one thirst in anticipation. But this was as good a pale ale as I’ve had in memory. It’s a darker one, with a bitterness I like in pale ales but not overpowering. Delicious.


p. I can’t keep up with all these A Football Life shows, NFL Films.

I know! One per week! It’s too much. Maybe if it were An Allagash Life, it would be worth the effort.

I’ve got Denver 33, San Diego 27 tonight at Qualcomm, in one of those last-team-with-the-ball-wins games.

Or one of those Peyton-Has-To-Rally-His-Team-From-25-Down games.

If it’s that kind of game, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker simply have to be more reliable. I make this pick knowing they’ve been one-quarter liability, three-quarters good. Thomas and Decker have combined for 11 drops (Thomas six, Decker five) through five games; no starting receiving duo in the league had more entering Week 6. There will be a point in this game, late, where it’ll be 3rd-and-7, Denver ball, crowd screaming, and Manning’s going to take a shotgun snap, and he can’t afford to be wondering, If I throw this high and outside, where only Thomas can catch it, is the guy going to catch it?

Forget all the preliminary excuses for Pey-Pey. Seriously, this is going to be an epic float-off tonight. They’re only gonna be able to fit 10 total pass attempts in because of the hangtime.

The Adieu Haiku

Hey Aaron Rodgers!
Loved what you told Tafoya.
“Shhhhhhh.” Critics silenced.

Oh hey there, rookie
You sir are no mere rookie
Unless you are one

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