Peter King Rejects Your Smart Science People Diet

05.30.12 6 years ago 48 Comments

When we last left Mr. I Don’t Know, Peter King, he was copying and pasting the transcript of a bunch of college commencement speeches into his weekly football column. He also visited his brother in England, where he sort of learned about cricket and that the word “bollocks” means a bad thing. He also called everyone precocious, because he doesn’t know what that means.

So what about this week? Is the decision to move the trade deadline a pointless thing that could forever alter the course of history? What can the NFL learn from cricket, besides nothing? Has anyone ever served Greg Schiano the wrong noodle and lived to tell about it? READ ON.

Happy Memorial Day. I know for many of you, Memorial Day has become an extra day off, or the start of the summer. But it’s a day on which we should spend a few moments remembering the million men and women who have died fighting for our country.

Troops. This country has been served by many of those.

A bit of history: Memorial Day began as “Decoration Day” in the 1860s, to honor the 625,000 soldiers who died in the Civil War.

Professor Petey’s History Corner is back, precocious children. Last week, he introduced everyone to Abbey Road, an album of some importance that you’ve probably never heard of. Google it. Today’s lesson: Memorial Day, or “Not The Holiday For Soldiers That Used To Be Armistice Day”.

Think of that amazing number: The number of Civil War dead is more than the population of Wyoming today.

More than 50 people died in the Civil War?! Perspective: freshened.

According to Yale historian David Blight, the first Decoration Day event was organized by freed African-American slaves in 1865 in Charleston, S.C., where a parade of 10,000, led by 3,000 black schoolchildren, took place to honor the dead around a racetrack that had been used as a burial ground.


Before we get to football, I have one modern, tragic Memorial Day story for you.

A young woman named Marina Keegan died Saturday in a single-car accident in Dennis, Mass., on Cape Cod, five days after graduating from Yale. She was 22. She wrote for the Yale Daily News while a student there, and her writing was so good, so compelling, that the News included her column, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” in a special edition of the paper distributed to all students and families at graduation. I urge you to read it.

History portion of the class is done. Now, before we get to that tedious football stuff, let’s have Professor Petey drop a big no. 2 bummer log on your chest. It’s actually a shrewd move by PK. Traumatize the readers right at the outset and they might just be appreciative enough to be alive and therefore likely to ignore all that bullshit yet to come.

It’s beautiful. Read it. It’ll make you sad, but sadness is part of life too.

Philosophical, Peter King waxes it. “Seek balance. Once must have the lofty and the quasi-lofty-esque. The sun always shines brightest when you respect it. Or after a rainstorm. I don’t know. MAYBE.”

On the picnic table for your reading pleasure today (and just think — you can read this while you’re off, instead of stealing company time on a Monday morning to read):

Oh, the coffee-flavored irony of Peter King even jokingly guilting people for wasting company time.

• The trade deadline was moved from Week 6 to Week 8 the other day. Had that been done in 2011, the course of current football history likely would have changed radically. And I mean “radically.”

Meet Phil Emery, the Bears general manager. I’ll try to educate you on an unknown but very significant football executive.

Because, for the umpteen millionth time, no one who reads MMQB knows possesses even the faintest familiarity with any NFL figure who isn’t Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or whichever dozen have a reality show on E! at any given time. Who’s Phil Emery? Did he invent the Emery board?

It shows my age, I suppose, but there was a shift in the media world order on Thursday, and no one paid it much mind. A major American city won’t have a daily newspaper starting this fall.

What? No one noticed? Tons of outlets, print and online, wrote at considerable length about the New Orleans Times-Picayune changing its print edition distribution to only three days a week, you disingenuous fuckbag. There was a GREAT WRINGING OF THE HANDS by the entire journalism community.

I’m no lawyer, though I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

But two thoughts on the union’s collusion case against the NFL, claiming that the league’s 32 teams conspired to artificially keep spending down in the uncapped year of 2010. One: I hope it gets an airing, because if a year was supposed to be uncapped, why were teams warned to stay within some fuzzy financial lines — any financial lines — and not dump salaries? An uncapped year should have been an uncapped year, with no restrictions. Two: Seems to me the union signed away all rights on claims of collusion last August, so I don’t see this case having legs, even in the friendlier confines of the Minnesota court where it was filed.

Three: Ha ha, union! You feel for the oldest trick in the book. That’ll teach you to trifle with Goodell. Once mesmerized by his one-arm pull-ups and you’ll the rights away to practically anything!

We’ll start with the rules change from last Tuesday that I assumed was meaningless. But you know what happens when you assume things.

You potentially commit one of dozens of logical fallacies?

Oh, I get it. You make an ass out of Yumi. Hehe, #jokes.

The Kyle Orton Memorial Trade Deadline.

The most average memorial there is!

Owners agreed the other day to move the trading deadline from the day after the end of Week 6 to the day after the end of Week 8. Two weeks. I feel strongly the deadline should be around Dec. 1, to stimulate real action to help teams trying to win a division and to buttress with draft choices those teams out of the pennant race with four or five weeks to go.

Peter King finally feels strongly about something, sort of. MAYBE.

But last year, there’s a real chance that moving the deadline by two weeks — from Oct. 18, the deadline, to Nov. 1, the day after the end of Week 8 — would have netted the Indianapolis Colts Kyle Orton.

And if that had happened, and the Colts had won just one or two more games than they did, it would have resulted in Peyton Manning staying a Colt … and Andrew Luck being drafted by somebody else.

My goodness, the things that could have ramified but didn’t!

“I think the deadline being moved last year would have made a difference for us,” said Bill Polian, the Colts president until owner Jim Irsay fired him in January. “We would have rekindled our interest in Orton. In Week 6, we knew our quarterback situation wasn’t great, but after a couple more weeks, we realized the situation was bad. We probably would have called Denver, who’d gone to [Tim] Tebow by then, and said, ‘Hey, we’ll give you a three [a third-round draft choice] for Orton.’ ”

That trade would have been retarded as fuck. Indy fans should thank their lucky breakfast platters that Polian got shitcanned.

If that had happened, a source in the Broncos organization told me, Denver would have agreed to deal Orton.

Of course they would have. The Tebowtards had already won by that point. At least Denver would get an extra pick out of the ordeal.

Now, how much difference would Orton have made in the last eight games of the season, had he been dealt? Indianapolis went 2-6 with Painter and Orlovsky. In four of those eight games, the Colts threw for fewer than 130 net passing yards.

Polian is convinced Orton would have been responsible for at least another win or two … perhaps in an offensively hapless 17-3 home loss to Jacksonville, or a 19-13 loss at Jacksonville, or an eight-point home loss to Carolina. Remember, the Colts played better on defense after firing coordinator Larry Coyer with five games left, and allowed fewer than 20 points in four of their last eight games. Orton’s a very quick study. In his first start for Kansas City after being released by Denver, he completed 74.2 percent of his throws and beat the 13-0 Packers.

Fair argument. But more to the point, why would you WANT to win an additional game or two in a lost season when you know that tanking nets you the QB of the future?

It’s all silly offseason speculation, but my point is this:

“Do you know the history of the trade deadline? How it was invented by former slaves in Reconstruction-era Tennessee?”

It’s still not ideal, making the deadline in midseason instead of later in the year, when teams on both sides of contention would be more motivated to make moves. But this one situation — and maybe it’s only one — shows moving the deadline has the potential to have a profound impact on the future of the game.


One significant point on this deal. It’s not set in stone yet. The management council and the Players Association have to agree on this before the season. It’s expected they will, but with the relationship they’ve had of late, you never know.

For once, it’s not just Peter who doesn’t know. The whole world doesn’t know with him. WHY WERE THE PRECEDING 11 PARAGRAPHS WRITTEN ABOUT SOMETHING THAT MAY NEVER COME TO PASS? WHO’S TO SAY? SIGNS POINT TO “FUCK IT”

It’s crazy to think that the Bears, one of the flagship franchises in NFL history, have had five general managers. Just five. Consider that the first two were George Halas and Jim Finks, and you’ve got an idea of the pressure that Phil Emery, 53, has felt in the four months since he replaced the fired Jerry Angelo as GM of the Bears.

Big shoes to fill for Phil Emery, replacing the guy who couldn’t fill those shoes.

At Navy, Emery spent time with Steve Belichick, the academy’s original strength and conditioning coach, and learned much about scouting — because at the time Steve was doing some of it for son Bill, then the coach of the Browns. “Just sitting and talking football with Steve was invaluable,” Emery said.


Ironically, Emery never had much of a relationship with Bill Belichick, but he learned a lot of football from three of those closest to Bill: his father, obviously, and former New England underlings Scott Pioli and Thomas Dimitroff.

Dimitroff! PK’s favorite Belichickian lackey. Pioli will also teach you important things, like to make sure to hire all the New England castoffs who can’t manage to do shit on their own.

This is where you lose me with the Tebow stuff.

The Giants, the defending Super Bowl champions, were beginning to adjust to life without their third receiver, Mario Manningham, who left for San Francisco in free agency. In the morning workout, top wide receiver Hakeem Nicks went down with a broken bone in his foot. The Giants announced he would be out for as long as 12 weeks, which is dangerously close to the Sept. 5 season opener. Nicks is one of the Giants’ eight or 10 most important players.

The Jets, coming off a season in which they didn’t make the playoffs, had Tim Tebow in practice for the first time he could be viewed in action by the media.

I charted the coverage given the two events in the five major local papers Friday — the New York Times, Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Daily News and the (Bergen, N.J.) Record. You can predict the outcome.

Words devoted by the five major dailies to the Super Bowl champions losing their number one receiver, possibly for all of the offseason training and training camp, and perhaps threatening the start of his season: 2,104.

Words devoted by the five major dailies to Tebow’s first practice visible to the media: 6,971.

So 23 percent of the football writing in Friday’s papers in greater New York was devoted to a serious injury to a top player on the defending Super Bowl champions.

In the days since PK wrote this, he was roundly rebuked for failing to note that the Jets practice was open to reporters while the Giants practice during which Nicks was hurt was not open to the media. PK acknowledged this in his mailbag MMQB supplement on Tuesday:

Two clarifications from things I wrote about Monday: The NFL’s 32 teams agreed last week to change the trading deadline from after Week 6 to after Week 8, and it’s likely to go into effect this season; but the league’s Management Council and the NFL Players Association must agree on it before it becomes law … And when I wrote about the Giants’ and Jets’ practices last week, comparing the coverage of Tim Tebow practicing and Hakeem Nicks breaking his foot, I said the Giants’ practice Thursday was open to the media. It was not. The practice Wednesday was open to the media. My point about the coverage remains the same.


Look, I’m not going to argue that Tebow participating in his first off-season workout is objectively more important than an injury to a star receiver that might lead to him missing at least some portion of the regular season. It isn’t. But since Peter King is the self-appointed guardian of old-school newspapery, he of all people should know that publications tend to give more play to stories that they actually bother to send people out to cover. It affords the opportunity for more richly reported and detailed accounts than a set of facts disseminated by the team, which is similar to what everyone else is likely to have. Object to it if you want, but it’s the model of journalism whose death you’re mourning.

So many of us in the journalism business have had to get used to new things.

Like entirely new skills and trades, because there are no more journalism jobs.

New age of versatility that has us do print, Internet, radio and TV. Twitter. The 24-hour news cycle. The whole business has changed, and we all probably knew this day was coming.

Which is exactly why no one was ready for it and still has yet to learn how to properly monetize it.

But it’ll be an eerie day this fall: The storied New Orleans Times-Picayune, born in 1837, will stop publishing seven days a week. It’ll publish three days a week — Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

The Saints are the biggest story in the city, all fall. But you won’t read about them away from a computer until Wednesday every week in New Orleans. There’ll be a Super Bowl in New Orleans in February. Will those folks not inclined to read online have to wait ’til Wednesday to read about the biggest game in America?

Because, you see, the New Orleans Times-Picayune was going to be the only print newspaper set to cover the Super Bowl this year. THAT’S HOW MAD NEW ORLEANS IS ABOUT THE BOUNTY STUFF! MEDIA STONEWALLING HAS BEGUN! NO ADMITTANCE UNLESS YOU KNOW MAW-MAW’S GUMBO RECIPE!

I’ll never forget after the Saints lost to the Bears in the 2006 NFC title game, and the team returned home to find this blaring headline in the paper the next day: “BLESS YOU BOYS.” There’s a great connection between paper and city and paper and team. And it’ll never be the same, sadly.

That’s such a tacky and egregious example of shitty homer journalism. Of course PK loves it.

Now for a few words on your favorite subject: legal mumbo-jumbo.

Gobbledygook-ology 101

Last August, when the players and owners reached agreement on a new 10-year labor deal, lawyers for each side signed a side deal that said, in effect, neither side could sue the other regarding the new agreement for “all claims, known and unknown, whether pending or not,” including TV contracts and specifically “collusion with respect to the 2010 league year …”

Ah yes, the sinister “no backsies” clause. Gotta watch out for that one.

The union filed the claim in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, with NFLPA attorney Jeffrey Kessler (his nickname should be The Groundhog; seeing it always makes me think we’re about to see six more weeks of legal wrangling)

Quote of the Week I

“I think the kid is a good working back, and if you’ve got everything else around him he can play his role. But when it comes to outstanding, I don’t see anything outstanding about him. It’s not said in a cruel manner … But here’s the deal: He can change everything I’ve said.”

— Jim Brown, in an interview with longtime Browns beat man Tony Grossi, now with ESPN Cleveland. Excellent job by Grossi, my fellow Ohio U. Bobcat

Well done, fellow shitty school alum!

Doesn’t sound like Holmgren — who chose to end the team’s formal, compensated relationship with Brown two years ago — and the legendary running back will be smoking the peace pipe anytime soon.

Damn. I would pay any amount of money to watch Mike Holmgren smoke weed with Jim Brown.

Quote of the Week II


— Tim Tebow, asked when the last time he’d made a special teams tackle. Tebow could be used as the personal protector — the up back — on the Jets’ punt team.

A similar response was given to the 300 follow-up questions about Teebs’ sex life.

Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me

I mentioned the other day on that Greg Schiano was a — shall we say — quirky and very particular head coach at Rutgers, and that during team meetings at road hotels, the temperature in the meeting rooms had to be at a precise number.

Come to find out now that once, at a Scarlet Knights team dinner, the food service people got upbraided by a Rutgers staffer because the pasta being served was the wrong noodle.


Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

Wished I had Aladdin’s Lamp on my return flight from London last Monday, so I could have wished that the fellow sitting across the aisle who took his shoes and socks off before we took off had actually washed his feet some time in the previous three days. Nothing like the look of dark-gray crossed feet every few minutes for seven hours.

PK’s other two wishes: melted Kit-Kats and I DON’T KNOW.

Three other England thoughts:

1. They drive on the left side there! England defines Oppositeville.
2. Random extra U’s in the spelling of words. Vowel surplus, England has it.
3. Name five things more jagged than their teeth. You can’t.

1. It’s entirely possible that I slept so well at my brother’s home for a variety of reasons, but I think it has a lot to do with noise. I live in Manhattan, on the 16th floor of a high-rise. You can turn the noise down, but you can never shut it off. My brother Ken lives in a village in Northamptonshire, 80 minutes north of London. At night — or, really, after the school next door lets out for the day — there is … nothing. No noise. The birds in the morning sound like a rooster, relatively speaking. And one night there, I slept nine hours. Don’t remember a thing. That never happens to me. Maybe silence is more important in our lives than we think — or than I’ve thought.

As a thing we don’t get in our expensive Manhattan apartment, we underestimate silence.

2. In the last couple of years, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has been pushing a project of his, FanVision, a handheld TV/video device fans at live games could get in the stadium to watch replays of the game they were watching, as well as live games around the league. FanVision might make millions. It might be the next Xbox for all I know. But to me it’s a truly dumb idea.

The NFL (and other American pro sports) could learn something from a game like cricket.

The NFL could learn a lot from this game I don’t really understand!

No music. No exploding scoreboards. There’s the game, and discussion in the stands. I realize we’re beyond that. And I may not be in the majority here, and I may be Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino.

‘Bout time for Peter King to yell at Hines Ward to get his gook ass off his property.

But I wonder what fans would say if team owners took a poll of all their season ticket holders and asked if they favored music played at 105 decibels between plays. Maybe the fans want it. But I’d bet there’d be nearly 50 percent


if not more, who would say either kill the music or play it at half the volume.

You’ll have to pry Zombie Nation from my cold, undead hands.

3. I do not envy you, NBC peers, on your Olympic travels to London. It’s a great, great city, but the traffic is insane. Take the Tube a bunch. Clean, fast, well-marked, everywhere.

“Worry not, media elite. Public transportation in London is nothing like New York, where the subway teems with crazy and disease at every turn. It’s still safe for walking. If you do run into trouble, seek out the nearest cricketer, for he holds the secrets to the universe entire.”

Tweet of the Week II

“Take my word for it Pete Carroll isn’t playing mind games talkin about how well rookies looked.. he could start 3 rookies.. loves competition”

— @PatKirwanCBS, the radio host and CBS football analyst, who is very close to the Seattle coach.
Tweet of the Week III


“Enduring theme from NFLPA/NFL continued discord: billable hours.”

— @adbrandt, the lawyer, former cap manager and current ESPN columnist Andrew Brandt.
Tweet of the Week IV

Nothing beats lawyer humor. Except for maybe dead lawyer humor.

“You can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish.”

— @JimIrsay, the Colts’ owner, on Friday morning.


Ten Things I Think I Think

2. I think here’s a postscript to the Alex Smith comments about the garbage-time yards by the Panthers last season. First, Smith’s quote, the one that rankled the Panthers, came when he was asked about his lack of big-yardage passing games. “I think that’s a totally overblown stat,” Smith said. “Because if you’re losing games in the second half, guess what? You’re like the Carolina Panthers and you’re going no-huddle the entire second half and, yeah, Cam Newton threw for a lot of 300-yard games, that’s great. You’re not winning, though.”

Well, here are two stats that refute what Smith said. One: Newton threw for more yards in the first half of games last year (2,071) than he did in the second half of games (1,980). And, though this might be a misleading and/or selective stat, Newton passed for only 523 yards when the Panthers were getting waxed last year — when they trailed by between nine and 16 points. In theory, what Smith said sounds correct. But in practice, with Newton last year, I just don’t think it was true.

The fuck are these football facts and research doing in a Peter King column? Shouldn’t I be learning about the history of Secretary’s Day?

3. I think the signing of Dallas Clark by Tampa Bay — which I wrote about last Tuesday — could pay some dividends even if Clark mirrors his last two years. Combined in 2010 and 2011, he played only 48 percent of the offensive snaps in Indianapolis because of injury, including the 2010 wrist surgery that plagued him some last year. “Will there be a downgrade in his hands, which were superior?” said Bill Polian. “Even if there is a bit of that, he is one of the best team players I’ve seen in football. There is nothing he won’t do to help the team get better — regardless how it affects his stats or his role. He is absolutely unselfish.”

He won’t even bother to occupy another player’s room on the bench when he’s hurt for half the season.

8. I think this is my one post-script on the move of the trading deadline: I asked Miami GM Jeff Ireland if being 0-7 would have been very different in terms of making moves than being 0-5. In other words, would he have been more motivated to make trades two weeks later last year. He said no. “Maybe I’m naïve or stubborn,” Ireland told me the other day, “but I was not thinking about making a lot of deals at 0-5, and I don’t think I would have been two weeks later. I thought we weren’t far away from being competitive.”

That’s why, despite the Kyle Orton story I told earlier in the column, I don’t think a two-week extension to the deadline will be earth-shaking.

Line from earlier in this column: “Had that been done in 2011, the course of current football history likely would have changed radically.”

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

a. Rondo rocks. What a ballplayer.

He’s Mr. Wow, that’s his name. That name again is Mr. Wow.

b. I had the good fortune of being in the stands in Newark Friday night to see the Devils beat the Rangers in overtime and go on to the Stanley Cup Final against the Kings. Thought the most poignant moment of the night was seeing the Rangers fall to the ice when Adam Henrique scored the game-winner in overtime. So crushed. That’s one of the things I love about hockey — it’s more than a game and more than a paycheck to so many of the men in it.

Entirely unlike other sports, where players prance off the field and chase junebugs after falling in overtime in the playoffs.

f. Josh Reddick has 13 home runs. Prince Fielder, Adrian Gonzalez and Jayson Werth have 14 home runs, combined.

Holy pointless juxtaposition, fat man!

g. Whining Red Sox Stat of the Week: The season is seven weeks old, and Boston has had seven outfielders on the disabled list.

Fuck You of the Week: Fuck you.

i. Hey, Kaitlyn Sweeney: Congrats on the wedding! Good luck in your new life. You all might remember Kaitlyn, Mary Beth King’s softball buddy from the neighboring town of Cedar Grove. At the risk of boring you silly, here’s how you might recall her.

Don’t give half a nutmeggy shit about Mary Beth’s softball pals, but I did enjoy this tidbit from the 2002 MMQB column that PK linked to:

I think no rookie had a more impressive minicamp weekend than Lions quarterback Joey Harrington. Detroit has had 11 starting quarterbacks over the past 10 years. Now the Lions might have one over the next 10.


j. Darn you, Bob Papa, for putting that Tik Tok song in my head. It snuck in there the other day and still is alive for some annoying reason.

No idea why Bob Papa is singing Ke$ha at Peter King, but I’ll chalk it up to their regular Saturday night practice of dousing themselves in glitter and hitting the town dressed up as teenage sluts.

k. In the Meaningless Factoids of My Life Dept: My other two songs of the week can stay in my head forever as far as I’m concerned: Mean, by Taylor Swift. Great message, great voice.

Lofty message. “Bulliez are jerkz who hurt peeps with wordz but someday the victim will get a recording contract and sing about all the fictional guyz who never actually dumped her because she’s perfect.”

And an oldie I heard the other day, R.E.M.’s What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?

Not shocked in the least that Peter King’s head swirls with Taylor Swift and R.E.M. I would have figured a little bit more Train, but pretty close to what I would have imagined.

m. On that theme, just watched Forks Over Knives, the documentary with smart science people making a lot of sense telling us what to eat. Now if I could just eat what the smart people say to eat.


n. And congrats to the Northwestern women’s lacrosse team for continuing a great dynasty in sports: seven NCAA lacrosse titles in eight seasons. A great achievement in any sport at any time.

Etruscan scholars would speak highly of this feat in the context of Iron Age women’s athletics. The other notable achievement of the era being that time a woman narrowly survived child birth.

p. Coffeenerdness: If I could just listen to the Forks Over Knives people, I’d go to a soy latte. As the young would say, OMG. Just can’t do it.

“Total YOLO move” – The young

q. Beernerdness: Great place atop Eataly, Mario Batali’s Italian supermarket/restaurant complex in the Flatiron District in Manhattan called La Birreria, a beer garden with a nice view of the Empire State Building. Tried Ommegang Rare Vos amber ale on tap. Nice taste, with a hint of nutmeg and fruits, and a delicious head. Liked it. Great concept up there on the roof, too. Strongly recommended.

Awwwwwww shit. The day I’ve long feared has finally arrived: when Peter King would sample a beer I actually enjoy. Nutmeg notwithstanding, Rare Vos is a solid choice. Guess I’ll just have to add this to the list of things that Peter King has ruined for me, along with football, life, language, Memorial Day, traveling and everything ever.

Around The Web