Peter King Vs. Whitlock – WHO YA GOT?!

02.14.11 7 years ago 208 Comments

When we last left Charles Woodson inseam measuring enthuiast Peter King, he was enduring yet another horrible, awful, free and luxurious trip to the Super Bowl. He was also explaining just how hard and grueling it is to keep the likes of Cris Carter out of the Hall of Fame. You think being a Hall voter is easy? YOU TRY LETTING IN GREAT PLAYERS WHEN YOU KNOW DREW BLEDSOE IS WAITING IN THE WINGS! Yes, THAT Drew Bledsoe. Not so cocky now, are you?

So what about this week? Will Peter see his breath again? When Peter sees his breath, that means six more days of Texas winter! Is the temperature higher in Juneau right now? I bet it is. I bet trying to drive around here right now is like trying to drive on the moon! What with the moon’s wind and snow and gravity and what not. READ ON.

I don’t recall such a negative reaction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame class as this year’s in the 18 years I’ve been on the Selection Committee. The best way to address the criticism is to go through the issues, one by one, that have come up in the nine days since we sat in a Dallas meeting room for seven hours and 28 minutes…

And I want to emphasize just how LONG we were stuck in that room, with only very expensive Croissant sandwiches and a fridge full of Snapple and Diet Rite for provisions. You try sitting in that room for that long! I voted for that Hamburger guy just to be FREE! FREE GOD DAMMIT! I DID NOT HAVE A PROPER CHAIR!

The Hall appoints each selector — 32 representing each NFL franchise, and 12 at-large voters picked for their overall knowledge of the game.

And YOU were one of the 12? Who is selecting these selectors? WHO’S WATCHING THE WATCHMEN?!

We’re asked to keep the subject and intensity of the discussions out of the press when we leave the room. I’m often asked why… the Hall feels, and I agree, that if our discussions are quoted or characterized outside the room other than in saying that so-and-so gave a great presentation for a particular candidate, the honesty of the discussion in the room could be compromised.

Okay. Seems like a fair point.

Now, the Hall requests, but does not mandate, that we not say who we voted for during the meeting. I believe the 44 votes should be a matter of public record. I feel we should say who we supported, because the fan interest is so high and because transparency in the vote should be expected of us.

BUT THEN WHY MAKE ANY OF IT SECRET?! If you’re afraid making the deliberations public will sway the opinions of the judges, then why would you be in favor of releasing the final vote? If you’re gonna make that public, make it ALL public. And give me a transcript of the proceedings, so I can cherry pick something stupid that Len Pasquarelli said and make fun of it.

Many of my peers disagree with me on this.

That’s because they’re gutless pussies. “We can’t let people know how we voted, Pete! They might hold us accountable!”

I had one TV-loving NFL owner a couple of years ago tell me how cool it would be to have the Hall deliberations on live TV, on NFL Network. This, in my opinion, would be a disaster.

Yes, but then we could liveblog it and REALLY say awful things about the voters.

I think Whitlock’s column must have stirred the masses, because I checked my e-mail and Twitter feed when I rejoined civilization Saturday and saw that I was being accused of being corrupt and deceitful about the Hall process.

“Can you send me a link to that? I need to know what I wrote!”


Be careful, people. Corruption is defined as a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.

And I never do that. I simply give people favorable coverage when they take me to dinner or spend time in a hotel room alone with me. NOT CORRUPT.

For the record: I have never been offered anything, financial or otherwise, to vote for any Hall candidate.

But Dick Vermeil has been so nice to me all these years… Sheesh, how can I NOT vote for the guy?

I have had voters say to me, “I know you have voted against this candidate before, but I just ask you to come back one more time and look at his case again.” It happened when Len Shapiro, formerly of the Washington Post, asked me to reconsider Art Monk, which I did because he made a good point — all the good points about leadership and on-field example-setting I made about Harry Carson with the Giants, Art Monk did with the Redskins.

“Peter, just vote for Art for the same retarded reasons you voted for Harry! That’s all! ART MONK LED THE LEAGUE IN EXAMPLE SETTING. Think about it when Danny Woodhead hits the ballot fifteen years from now. Think we can’t learn from his sticktuitiveness?”

If we start eliminating selectors because some haven’t been around the game for 20 years, I think we’re setting a bad precedent…

Because then they’d know too much!

…because then the franchise won’t get the same attention for its candidates than the veteran selectors can give.

But why do franchises have reps on the panel? Essentially, you have 32 voters biased to players on one team. That doesn’t make things even. That just means there are 32 jackasses in there. And that’s not even counting Peter King!

I’m not a fan of including former players as voters. Many former players could be counted on to give a totally dispassionate view of teammates and foes alike.

I don’t like the idea of having players vote. In other news: Some players would make FABULOUS voters!

Is it more of a travesty that Roaf wasn’t a first-ballot Hall of Famer, or that a man with 1,101 catches (Carter) has now missed four times?

The latter. THE LATTER.


The only thing that angered me about Whitlock’s column is when he followed his skewering of the Hall selection committee because it has three black voters (a fourth, Michael Wilbon, left the panel when he began covering the NBA a few years ago) in the next sentence by saying two white men — me and Gosselin — lead an “old-school, good-ol’-boys network” in the selection room. If he finds me racist, I wish he’d just call me racist.

Gauntlet: THROWN!

Now, as for the three-out-of-44 argument, it’s valid … to a point.

Yes, it’s racist… to a point. It’s not all-the-way racist!

In an ideal world, there’d be a lot more than seven percent black voting members in the Hall. But let’s look at the pool these voters come from. The Hall takes its voters from NFL press boxes, and I’d guess (it’d just be a guess, but I’m probably not far off) that the NFL’s main press box at the Super Bowl was no more than 10 percent black.

You see, we have too many whites on the panel because the MEDIA is white. And there’s no changing that!

Now, as for my power in the room, I hope I’m looked at respectfully, and I try to make good arguments.

PETER: All in favor of switching to Zulu Blend for the craft table?


But if I was so powerful, wouldn’t I have gotten Paul Tagliabue in once in three tries? Couldn’t I have swayed the room on Cris Carter? In fact, both men have gone in reverse since I began to vehemently support them.

I cannot imagine why.

My 7,000-word SI bio-story on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell either got lost in the fog of the Super Bowl or bored you all to tears, because not many of you have responded to me about it.

But there are three passages I’d like to share with you from the story.

Didn’t read my story, eh? WELL READ IT AGAIN! I WORKED HARD ON IT, DAMMIT!

I’ll tell you something I experienced trailing Goodell for parts of a couple of months.

The man has GREAT abs. You could play racquetball against them.

And this is what Ebersol heard in Goodell’s voice: “At his heart, Roger can be a cold son of a bitch. I think the people on the other side of the negotiating table are going to hear that in the coming months. This really nice man is going to show mettle, and he’s going to do what he thinks is best for the National Football League. It’s what he’s always done.”

Good news, everyone! One of the chief negotiators in the CBA talks is an intractable prick!

Now, what does all that mean? I don’t know.

Now is anything I just told you useful? I don’t know. Is Roger Goodell the Savoir of the league? POSSIBLY. Was his birth foretold by the constellations? PERHAPS. Am I proud of Lady Gaga forgoing a gas guzzling car and using a egg to get to the Grammys? I THINK SO.

The NFL’s attentiveness to head trauma isn’t going away.

I know! They were so determined to get to it fifteen years too late!

I played soccer as a kid, and in high school, and I actually coached it for a while in New Jersey.

YOUNG PETER KING: Hey, that ref is from a small African country! HE SHOULD NOT BE HERE!

I’ve known Jimmy Johnson for 22 years, and in that time, the most incongruous thing about him (and there are a few, such as his love for a band in the Florida Keys called “Big Dick and the Extenders”)…

Oh, Jimmy.

…that I saw was his love for a tiny Teacup Yorkie, Buttercup.

The cute-as-a-button furball came when Johnson began dating a woman, Rhonda Rookmaaker, whose young dog it was.

Take a look at that last sentence. If you’re a proofreader, your head will blow apart. I don’t even know how to fix it, it’s so irretrievably broken. It’s like the Ninth Ward of sentence structure.

What a column. I even give Jimmy Johnson pet advice!

What a column! What a democracy! What a country! What nuggets!

I was in San Francisco over the weekend, visiting daughter Laura, who has relocated there from Los Angeles. Saturday afternoon around one, we were at the corner of Castro and Market in The Castro, which, according to Wikipedia, is “considered America’s first, currently largest, and America’s best-known gay neighborhood.”

According to Wikipedia, it is also located in Cuba.

I looked over at an outdoor cafe, Twin Peaks, and this is what I saw: a naked man, burly, around 35, with a white cockatoo sitting on his left shoulder. The foot-long bird was eating some seeds of some kind out of a coffee cup in the naked man’s outstretched left hand.

And I haven’t been around naked men and cockatoos since hanging out at Casa Favre in Hattiesburg! Some say Brett is quite the Bird Baron.

The naked man wore nothing other than a narrow satchel that very partially covered his groin.

Pretty sure that WAS his groin.

I think there’s an interesting book out that will make you think about things you don’t think about enough.

I know I don’t think about things I don’t think about enough. Like proper grammar. Where does it come from? How does it work? Is it like chemistry?

By the way, speaking of Francis Ford Coppola, if you visit the Napa Valley anytime soon, you have to stop at Coppola’s Rubicon Vineyard in Rutherford.

Oh, can you not afford to do a winery tour of Napa? Pity. Then perhaps you can find a bottle of Coppola’s finest swill at Curlicue Market in Southampton! It’s the only place I shop for wine!


Name five better cities in the world than San Francisco. You can’t.

New York
Anywhere that doesn’t have dipshit hippies and homeless methadone users littering the street

Michael Kay, you’re married! Congratulations!

Aw. He finally got Derek Jeter to settle down!

And a lucky man you are, finding the sweet Jodi Applegate. Sounds like the nuptials were terrific on Saturday.


Peet’s, I beg you to come to the South End of Boston. In all seriousness. You need no market studies — I’ll keep you in business personally.

I am DYING out here, because there is no good coffee anywhere in this city and I can’t understand the instructions on a Krups box!

Tried Cristal, a pilsner from Peru, at a Peruvian restaurant in the Pacific Heights section of San Francisco the other night. Very nice. Smooth, with a nice bite. A little like Peroni. “Beer from the Andes,” the label said. Don’t believe I’ve ever consumed anything from the Andes before. A nice experience.

God, it’s gonna be a long offseason.

I got the top pick in my Rotisserie League draft the other day.

Very long.

The dreaded top pick. I hate it. It’s a 12-team league, with a serpentine draft, so if you pick first, you don’t pick again until 24 and 25.

Longer than the Hall of Fame deliberations.

I’d much rather have the eighth pick, though I hope there is some value choosing first.

God, just strike me down with a bolt of lightning and end it.

But with the best 36 players off the board (we all protect three players from last year’s team), I’m going to be in dire need of baseball knowledge.


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