Peter King Says It’s Risky To Draft Players Who Speak Foreigner Languages

04.22.13 4 years ago 55 Comments

When last we left gentleman Gettleman masher, Peter King, he spent half of his football column discussing The Masters, which he made sure to remind us that he once attended on the dime of sports marketing executive, because ethics don’t mean squat if you bring in the pageviews. He also told us that Manti Te’o had dinner with the Vikings GM, which will have totally almost meant something if Minnesota does draft Te’o, which they very well might, or might not, he thinks. Finally, PK let us know that he is rocking multiple Starbucks gold cards because he is the Brew Baron.

But what about this week? He’s finally done playing around with the opponents of gun control. This is the week he finally lays the boom, but only after prattling on about airline beer and how awesome all of his employers are. READ ON.

By Sunday morning, the Bucs and Jets had worked out the trade details for Darrelle Revis — Tampa Bay’s first-round pick in this draft and likely a third-rounder next year to New York. The Bucs had a contract done with Revis — six years, $96 million, none of it guaranteed. But there was no deal yet. Revis had to pass the Tampa Bay physical, and if his surgically repaired knee wasn’t healing to the Bucs’ liking, this deal wasn’t going to get done.

“If the physical doesn’t go right, we’re sending him home,” coach Greg Schiano told GM Mark Dominik Sunday morning. Both men agreed on that.

One of the hallmarks of a terrible writer is using a quote to repeat something that’s just been said. One of the hallmarks of Peter King is doing this in his opening paragraphs.

Also: TEAM PHYSICALS ARE GRIPPING DRAMA! Because I assume junk is being gripped.

There were three elements to The Trade That Had To Happen.

Two of them were the Schiano Factor, so tough it won’t settle for being just one element. I enjoy the unnecessary, stylistic capitalization, as though that’s the way the Revis trade will be casually discussed for years. In part because the trade didn’t actually HAVE to get done.

And the physical was third. Important, but third.

Don’t let its thirdiness deceive you. There can, in fact, be more than two significant points in any matter. Strange but true. And third.

Still, it’s a stark reminder that the Jets are rebuilding, and it’d be a huge upset if that rebuilding job doesn’t cost Rex Ryan his job. Ryan knows that; everyone does.

So why not just fire him now?

Ryan craves great cornerbacks more than great quarterbacks, and listening to him trying to be a team guy and go along with the trade Sunday night on a team conference call was awkward to say the least.

“Sure, hoss, I’m on board with the trade. All in. What’s that? Oh, I’m busy mailing our financial records to various members of the media. Just go ahead like I’m not here.

There’s no way he’d have ever chosen trading Revis over re-signing him. But of course, that wasn’t his call.

Rex Ryan: Most Neutered Coach Ever

I agree with what Ryan must be thinking, for what it’s worth.


I understand the Jets could be going through a rebuilding slog. But Revis is 27. All indications are his knee is progressing well, and he’ll be the same Revis. One right decision at quarterback in the next 12 months, and the Jets could easily contend by 2015 — when Revis would still have four or five good years left. I just don’t believe in trading great players you work your football career to acquire and develop and nurture. I’d have gone to Revis with a simple proposal: Prove by October 1 your knee is fine, and we’ll show you the money, and you’ll be our franchise cornerstone, the greatest cornerback in the game in the greatest city in the world. But that’s me. Woody Johnson had other ideas. And so, of course, did Idzik.

Because the first thing you want to have to start the tenure of your next coach is another holdout by your star cornerback.

ESPN has a terrific documentary Tuesday night about the 1983 draft, the one with six first-round quarterbacks, called Elway to Marino. It’s still the most fascinating first round ever. Through the eyes of all involved who still are alive, the trade of first pick John Elway and the pick of Dan Marino last of the six quarterbacks is dissected.

Hopefully the guy who drafted Todd Blackledge is still kickin’. I want at least 30 minutes of his sad mug on the screen.

One of the key guys in the documentary, directed by Ken Rodgers of NFL Films, is agent Marvin Demoff (full-disclosure point: Demoff now represents me), who reps Elway and Marino.


Other nuggets from the show:

• Raider boss Al Davis asked Demoff a startling question about Elway during the process of discussing a deal for the top pick in the draft: “Can he throw deep?”

• The Raiders, Bears and Colts discussed a three-way trade that would have sent Howie Long to Chicago, Elway to Oakland and draft picks to Baltimore.

• During the draft, the Jets picked Ken O’Brien with the 24th pick of the draft. “Who is Ken O’Brien?” Marino asked Demoff.

• Elway found out he was being traded from Baltimore to Denver while watching All My Children.

It’s a good living-history show. Highly recommended.

Be sure to watch this thing even though I just gave you a bunch of spoilers.

The league could have several ownership kerfuffles in the coming years

Ownership kerfluffles, the only thing more heinous than a commissioner foofaraw.

the future of teams in Buffalo and Tennessee run by aging owners Ralph Wilson and Bud Adams could mean those franchises will change hands. The last thing the NFL needs is for the Browns to be up for sale again, not to mention that it’s the last thing the Cleveland fan base needs. I’m told Haslam was the cream of the crop among owner candidates when the league knew Lerner wanted to sell in Cleveland, and the league was thrilled he wanted to buy the Browns. If this story is true, the league is going to have to give a once-over to its vetting process for owners, and it may have to search anew for a Cleveland savior.

NFL: “What? We’ve actually gonna have to investigate how billionaires got their money? Dammit, we’re not gonna be able to find anyone who isn’t a slimy asshole.”

So you want to know how the sausage gets made…

“Sure” – Otto von Bismark

I’m going to take a few paragraphs here to discuss a couple of Sports Illustrated things you might enjoy.

Maybe it’s just me, but when this week’s edition of the magazine landed in your mailboxes on Wednesday (some on Thursday), I wonder how many of you wondered, “Wow. They got the Boston bombing story on the cover, with some really good stuff inside. How’d they do that?”


So I asked our managing editor, Chris Stone, to tell me how it all came together. This is a little bit of an inside-baseball thing, and I understand if you want to skip it, but it interests me.

“Feel free to skip this. I’m mostly doing it to make nice with my bosses. They gave me my own website, you see. Peter doesn’t forget those who do right by him.”

“Now we just needed a cover, which for production reasons, needed to off the floor by 7 o’clock. We were looking for an image that was self-explanatory, something we wouldn’t gum up with a lot of words. We had five color shows between 4 and 6 to look at photos, but we found our photo in the first showing. The fallen runner, the police with guns drawn against the smoky backdrop. ‘That’s the one,’ Chris Hercik, our creative director, said. The photo, from the Globe’s John Tlumacki, was so powerful that it was tempting to run it without words at all, but that might have come off as a gimmick that drew attention to ourselves and less to the photo. In the end, we settled on the word ‘Boston.’ That’s all readers needed to know. They could fill in the rest.

Well put. Just using the photo by itself might be construed as gimmicky and exploitative, but the addition of one word totally makes it a powerful statement.

“It was a great collaborative effort, one that we’re proud of, but, listen, what we did is something that newspapers, websites, blogs and other media outlets do every day, and continued to do — exceptionally well, I might add — last Monday and every day since.”

A good point, and one that makes puts into relief how self-indulgent and shitty this section was.

I am a proud Papa.

I’m proud this morning to announce the third addition to our writing staff at my new pro-football-centric website set to debut in July. We’re hiring Robert Klemko, a 25-year-old sports reporter for USA Today, and he joins our previous two full-time additions: Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe and Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger.

We’re still formulating plans for the site, but this much we know: We like our first three draft choices.

“We have no idea what we’re doing but we have the right folks to do it.”

Bedard, 39, a former Rutgers baseball player who comes to us from the Boston Globe, will be based in suburban Boston. I believe Greg has a chance to be this generation’s Paul Zimmerman. Not saying he will be, just that he has the requisite love and devotion to the game, the insight for it and the skepticism you need in it.

This guy might be the next Dr. Z, unless he isn’t. I never bothered to check his family’s history of strokes.

Vrentas, 28, has one of the more interesting routes to modern sportswriting of anyone. She majored in biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State before making the absolutely ridiculous decision to start writing about sports midway through her college career.

Students sometimes undergo dramatic changes of their major in college? RIDIWEIRD!

Quote of the Week III

“It had absolutely no impact on my decision to leave.”

— Eagles coach Chip Kelly, after the college football team he left, Oregon, was put in the cross-hairs of an NCAA investigation

“I’m totally signing with the Browns, you guys.” — Another famous moment in Chip Kelly bullshit.

Quote of the Week VI

“We’re running out of Giants.”

— Frank Gifford, 82, one of the greatest Giants, on the death of Pat Summerall, to Michael Eisen of

I blame that kid Jack and all his giant slaying.

Factoid of the Week That I Am Sure Interests Only Me

I ran Pat’s Run, the annual fundraiser for the Pat Tillman Foundation, in Tempe, Ariz., on Saturday.

Date: 4-20-13

Distance: 4.2 miles

Time: 42:03

I was honestly trying to do 4.2 in 42:00 on 4-20. Ran into a little traffic at the finish line at Sun Devil Stadium. On the 42-yard line.

Tillman, a safety, wore No. 42 for Arizona State

I can totally believe Peter would want to do a gesture so hokey and pointless, so I have a hard time accepting PK kept up a 10-minute mile even for that long.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

Four of them:

1. Alaska Airlines, in my recent airline rankings, got ripped off. This is one of the best coach experiences in the air. Friendly and a tad snarky flight attendants on my two Western legs last week (Seattle-Portland, Portland-LAX), and they busted out the free Full Sail Session lager on the first trip. Be careful, Alaska, or you’ll get a lot more of my business.

That’s as serious a threat as I can imagine. Better put uncovered nails in all the coach seats and serve only coffee-flavored water, stat.

2. In my life, before Wednesday night, I’d been in Portland, Ore., once in my life — for a couple of days, to do a story a few years ago on Derek Anderson, the quarterback who hailed from nearby Scappoose. This time, I was there to try to sell advertisers on my new website under the auspices of SI. Had the pleasure of a 3.3-mile run downtown next to the Willamette River, a great Italian meal with a client and a visit to the Nike campus. It’s big, and it’s beautiful. We parked in a parking spot reserved for Jorge Posada (I guess they have a sense of humor there), and the place seemed like a well-coiffed horticultural paradise. I mentioned to one Nike employee, “You must have a heck of a groundskeeper.” He said, “Actually, we’ve got about a hundred.”

WEIRD TIMES 100. Next you’ll tell me a giant corporate headquarters has more than one janitor.

3. You fly all the way across the country, and you’re rushing around, and you find that your daughter, who does PR work in Seattle and works on the Microsoft account, is on the Microsoft campus in Redmond at the same time as you are, and you text back and forth and there she is! “Hey, Mary Beth!” Hugs, pleasantries between a Jersey dad and his Jersey daughter. Six minutes, maybe. Then it was off to another appointment, for both of us.

Awww, that’s an adorable story I couldn’t give less of a shit about.

4. Did I really look that bad running in Tempe? Must have. At about the 1.5-mile point, a guy jogged up next to me (now, I was on a 10-minute pace about then, not 17-) and said, “Fading, Peter?” I said, “No, this is just the way I run.”


Stats of the Week

I think you could make the argument that this could be the riskiest first round in NFL history.

So true. Every other draft has been loaded top to bottom with can’t-miss picks. Just make your selection and sit back and enjoy the wins.

The exemplifier of football risk this spring is a man who will be picked in the top 10 of the first round (I have him No. 2, to Jacksonville, in my mock draft, which you can find on Wednesday), Brigham Young defensive end Ezekiel Ansah.

Four numbers defining the incredible rise up the draft charts of the 22-year-old Ghanaian, and the risk entailed in taking the on-the-rise player:

1. Twenty-one — Ansah played 31 college football games at BYU. In his first 21, he did not record a sack.

2. Three — He first touched a football three years ago, at Brigham Young, when he walked on to the team.

3. 4.5 — Ansah’s career sack total.

4. Two — In addition to English, Ansah speak two languages: Twi and Fante, spoken widely in Ghana.

SO RISKY. Can’t trust those tri-lingual players. What might sound like a defensive playcall might be a call for surrender in one of his crazy Ghana languages. TOO RISKY CAN’T CHANCE IT.

Tweet of the Week IV

“Amazing and sad we’ve had horrible attacks in the last year at a movie theater, a grade school and a major sporting event.”

— @MikeMcCartney7, noted player agent.

Why, it’s almost as though they are locations that people congregate.

Ten Things I Think I Think

3. I think Rolando McClain, arrested again in Alabama over the weekend (disorderly conduct, resisting arrest), must have a death wish. What is wrong with the guy?

I hope Rolando McClain interprets that as a threat.

6. I think — and I don’t know about you — that after the 2012 season I’m dumbfounded that Tim Tebow is still a Jet and Darrelle Revis isn’t.

Possibly because Revis can actually fetch something in a trade.

7. I think new Carolina GM Dave Gettleman had an interesting comment about the state of his team last week. “Maybe you guys think I’m Pollyanna, but I don’t see any major holes here,” he said. Yes, Dave. We think you’re Pollyanna. Your team has won two, six and seven games over the last three years, and hasn’t won a playoff games in the last seven seasons. You might want develop a wide receiver to take pressure off Steve Smith (and be his heir), and you might improve your corners so you don’t allow 67 percent completions in a pass-happy division — especially considering one of your major rivals will acquire Darrelle Revis this week.

8. I think — and I may be wrong on this — that a 15-33 team in this decade just might have a major hole or two.

BOOM ROASTED, GETTLEMAN. Next time you wanna get Pollyannaish, you had best make sure PK isn’t on watch. He’ll rip you a new one. Unless you’re Tom Dimitroff or another one of his GM friends, in which case he’ll probably find a way to kiss your ass.

9. I think for all the knocks the Bidwill family has taken over the years — too cheap, too removed, too whatever — I experienced the exact opposite Friday night at a Tweetup I hosted for fans at the Cardinals-owned Tom’s Tavern in downtown Phoenix. Club president Michael Bidwill cleared the place out for our event (what’s it cost to close down a downtown sports bar on a Friday night?)


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

c. Come on: Tell me one good reason why the gun lobby in this country should make the laws of the land instead of so many gun-lobby-intimidated, soon-to-be-cast-out Senators who shamed their names last week.

Oh Christ.

d. Now, those of you boiling over right now because I am so ill-informed and so left-wing and such a hater of the Second Amendment (which I am absolutely not), say something to the parents of the murdered Newtown children, whose deaths prompted exactly zero federal action to prevent more mass murders of innocents in innocent public places in the future.

Dear Newtown parents: I’m sorry this shitty, self-absorbed sportswriter is invoking you to make a cheap political point in a column purportedly about football.

e. I knew you couldn’t think of anything.


h. I will be very interested to see how and where Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev acquired the weapons they used to shoot at Watertown, Boston and Massachusetts State Police. Very interested.

Kind of hope they bought them over the counter at a Starbucks now.

k. Coffeenerdness: Missed you in Portland, Stumptown Coffee, after everyone told me to try your stuff. Next time.

Is there any chance that PK doesn’t spend lots of free time composing letters to coffee.

“Dear Peet’s: give me one good reason there shouldn’t be better background checks. BAHAHA YOU CAN’T, WINGNUT BITCHEZZZ”

l. Beernerdness: I could have Alaskan Amber (from Juneau) every day of the week, it’s so good. Smooth and drinkable, but with a bite. A pleasant surprise at the Portland airport trumped it: Klamath Basin Drop Dead Red. It probably should be called Klamath Basin Drop Dead Brown, because it’s such a dark red, but what a unique taste. A little vanilla, maybe a roasted vanilla. Very good experience.

Should have been called Klamath Basin Drop Dead Peter King

m. Obit of the Week: One of the things I love about the New York Times is the obituary section each day. The paper takes the death notices very seriously. So seriously that, the other day, the death of 71-year-old thrice-married Frank Bank, who played bulbous Clarence “Lumpy” Rutherford, the no-goodnik son of Ward Cleaver’s business associate, required two reporters to tell the story in a 14-sentence obituary. My favorite section of it: “Lumpy — a friend of Wally Cleaver (Tony Dow), the older brother of Beaver Cleaver (Jerry Mathers) — was the closest thing the cheerful series had to a bad guy; he tried to push younger boys around but wasn’t very good at it. Thus the character, whose real name was Clarence Rutherford, reflected the idealized American suburbia of network television: even the town bully was lovable. Nicknamed for his size and perhaps for his less-than-stellar intellect, Lumpy may have been larger than the other boys because he had repeated his sophomore year (at least once) or because his favorite hobby was eating. Constantly. Hapless and harmless, he appeared in 50 episodes during the show’s seven seasons, occasionally as the center of attention. (Certainly that was the case in the episodes called ‘Lumpy’s Scholarship,’ ‘Lumpy’s Car Trouble’ and ‘Wally Stays at Lumpy’s.’) ”

n. Lumpy? A scholarship? To what? The Beaver Cleaver School of Eating?

o. If you’re going to read this column, you’re going to have to indulge my love of Leave It To Beaver. Sorry.

That might be only the third worst indulgence of this week’s column. Indulgent, but third.

Ten Things I Think I Think … About The Schedule

Holy fucking shit, this week is endless.

1. It’s nice to be in the Eastern Time Zone. The 49ers will travel across a league-high 21 time zones to play their eight road games — the longest of which will be an eight-time-zone shift to play in London Oct. 27. The four teams in the AFC East play seven Eastern Time games and one Central Time game. So the Niners travel forever and the AFC East puddlejumps. Not saying it’ll be a factor, but if you were coach, which travel sked would you rather have?

Not saying it’s a factor, but hopefully a coach will, thus proving my equivocation right.

2. ESPN got treated well. The Sunday night NBC schedule is always excellent, and this year’s no different. ESPN’s isn’t always this good. In fact, I wonder if it ever has been this good on Monday night. Of ESPN’s 17 games, only three don’t feature at least one 2012 playoff team.

“YOU GOT LUCKY THIS TIME, ESPN! But don’t think you’re gaining any ground on the ALWAYS TIPPITY TOPS of Sunday Night Football Night in DUI Al Michaels America.”

8. Denver will have the most emotional slate.

Pretty good Super Bowl run for a team going through an emotional slate.

9. Hydrate, Jags. In the first eight weeks, Jacksonville travels to Oakland, Seattle, Denver and London.


The Adieu Haiku

Next Patriots Day,
I must ask — no, I demand:
Come en masse to Mass.

Next Patriots Day,
PK runs the Marathon,
Takes 42 days

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