When last we left well-known gut respecter, Peter King, he tried to sow doubt that Troy Polamalu, Ed Reed or Brian Dawkins would ever make it into the Hall of Fame. Not because they aren’t great players, mind you, but because inducting safeties simply isn’t something that HOF voters do. It probably could have saved everything a lot of grief had that been his reaction to Darren Sharper going in. Peter also had to test the mettle of Sarah Thomas by asking her how she might react when Bill Belichick yells at her. How surprised PK was when Thomas did not react by screaming “OH NO MY TERRIFIED VAGINA IS CRYING AGAIN!”
What about this week? Peter gave us a tantalizing teaser on Sunday night:
Yup, stories about fart pranks, thoughts on Tim Tebow and Peter acting unsettled by the Britt McHenry video. All in all, a very fart-heavy column. READ ON.
Timeline of Sunday night:
Oh for fuck’s sake, this isn’t the Cuban Missile Crisis. Another football team signed Tim Tebow. I really don’t need a minute-by-minute breakdown of the events relating to a fourth-string Jesusback making the bottom of a 90-man roster.
6:34 p.m. ET: FOX’s Jay Glazer reports the Eagles will sign quarterback Tim Tebow, unemployed by any NFL team for the past 20 months, on Monday.
“I know the time because it’s right there in the timestamp on his tweet!”
7:46 p.m.: ESPN’s Darren Rovell tweets, “98,000 Tweets on Tim Tebow in last hour.”
Not even a hundred words in and Peter King has already transcribed a Darren Rovell tweet. Pretty sure reading this qualifies me for medicinal weed.
9:02 p.m.: Assistant coach in the NFL who knows Kelly but does not work with him says to me, “This is not a prayer. There’s a chance here. If there’s one coach in the NFL who could figure a way to use Tebow, it’s Chip. Maybe not every week, but in spots.”
Some coach with no real insight into what the Eagles are doing says the same shit all the pundits said when Belichick signed Tebow before cutting him before the season started. Great, great stuff.
10:22 p.m.: College friend of Tebow tells me Tebow “is very excited, but also very low-key. He just wants to go in [Monday, to the start of the Eagles’ off-season program] and fit in and say nothing.”
Thank goodness we know exactly when Peter got a useless quote from one of Tebow’s friends. Historians will long appreciate the attention to detail.
Tebow signing with most teams in the NFL today might not lead this column, especially because I’ve got two other items I really like.
Bullshit. You’d be all over this regardless of team. It’s the same reason I interrupted my Sunday evening usually spent dreading this feature to write a Tebow post. People care about/enjoy making fun of Teebs, for better or worse.
But anyway, let’s hear how Tebow to the Eagles is so much more quasi-legitish than any other team taking a flier on him.
Tebow signing with the Eagles leads the column because, as my anonymous coach says, Kelly will give Tebow a legitimate chance to be one of his three quarterbacks this season.
He’ll give him a legitimate chance to compete to sit on the bench and maybe be involved in a few gimmick plays if he actually makes the roster. So, basically Tebow’s entire career arc since leaving the Broncos.
This morning, Kelly has five quarterbacks on his roster, which will expand to 90 players in the next two weeks, once the draft and the signing of free agents is done. [G.J.] Kinne might be gone then. Who knows?
Who knows? Maybe a warlock will summon at wyvern at Eagles training camp and that mythical beast will make the final 53. TOO SOON TO SAY FOR SURE.
Let’s be real about what this is: It’s a trial.
But is it a chance?
It’s a chance.
It’s the $5 scratch ticket of roster moves!
It’s a coach who doesn’t care about the distraction of having Tim Tebow in his camp, because he thinks Tebow might help his team. And about the distraction thing: Did you ever hear Bill Belichick or Robert Kraft or Tom Brady talk about Tebow being a distraction in Foxboro in 2013, when Tebow was on that team for the whole of training camp? No.
That’s fine, but they also released him before he actually got a play in a real game.
That’s because he wasn’t one. He was whacked by the Patriots because he’s not an accurate passer and didn’t fit their exacting scheme. Cutting Tebow was justified. Tebow didn’t deserve to be on that team. He might deserve to be a cog in the wheel in Philadelphia. We’ll see.
That’s because the notion of distractions is dumb and overhyped. Of course, Peter is only glad to point this out when it’s a player he approves of.
Tebow getting signed by the Eagles is not the decline of western sporting civilization.
Uh, good to know? I will say that the knee-jerk SJW response of “DURRR HOW COME TIM TEBOW IS GETTING ANOTHER CHANCE BUT MICHAEL SAM ISN’T?” is as irritating as all the “FINALLY GAWD GOT TEBOW BACK IN EN EFF ILLLLLL” takes.
And now we get a bunch of skippable sections, including Ron Wolf and Bill Polian weighing in on the Jameis Winston/Marcus Mariota debate while each makes sure to emphasize that they don’t have as much information as they’d like so please don’t hold them to their positions later.
There is this, though:
Wolf sounded like he saw some Favre in Winston.
In 1991, when Wolf worked the draft for the Jets, he had Favre the number one player on his personal draft list. But the Jets missed on him in the first round, were about to take him in the second round, and Atlanta swooped in to choose him. When Wolf got hired by Green Bay as GM late in 1991, Favre stayed on his mind, even though in Atlanta he had a crummy, party-filled rookie season.
So really what he wants is Johnny Manziel. I do enjoy that there are no direct quotes from Wolf comparing Winston to Favre, but Peter won’t be denied from bringing up the Dongslinger since this is the GM who traded for his beloved Bretty boy.
“Ron Wolf took a sip of his coffee and remarked that he liked the taste, though I couldn’t help but think inside his head he was comparing it to Brett Favre.”
Memo to Tampa Bay GM Jason Licht: The moral of this story, this year, is there isn’t a 100-percent sure thing, for a variety of reasons.
Chief among them: there is never a 100 percent sure thing in the NFL Draft.
You’d better go with your gut. The gut sounds like it’ll be Winston as we sit here, 10 days before D-Day.
Gut respects gut.
The more I think of it, the more I think this is the 2015 Opening Game.
Pittsburgh at New England, Sept. 10.
I’ll tell you why: Ben Roethlisberger.
Because the NFL isn’t content just having a rapey quarterback be the top pick in the draft. They also need one to showcase the start of their next season.
Last year, when NFL schedule overseer Howard Katz and his staff finished making the 2014 schedule, I talked with them about the ins and outs of it. And what was important for the opener of the season was a competitive game—more than anything else. So what do we have as candidates in a relatively weak New England home schedule? Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, along with the refurbished Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. Tom Brady will be one side, and the Patriots will be favored against any team on the other sideline that first night. But the one thing the NFL can’t have is a 24-3 game at halftime. Pittsburgh is the best insurance against that risk.
Are they? Let me tell from first-hand anguish that the Steelers don’t fare so well against the Patriots, especially on the road. And doubly without Le’Veon Bell, who opens up the offense in ways that I seriously doubt DeAngelo Williams can.
Quarterback quality is pretty important in these openers, judging by the NFL’s track record. Look at the past five: Aaron Rodgers-Russell Wilson, Joe Flacco-Peyton Manning, Tony Romo-Eli Manning, Drew Brees-Rodgers, Brett Favre-Brees.
The schedule will be announced sometime this week. I’ve been wrong before, many times on many things. But Pittsburgh-New England makes the most sense to me.
Wouldn’t the Eagles be a lot more enticing given all the crazy shit they’ve done this offseason? If the NFL wants to save that game for later in the year when Philadelphia has had more of a chance to gel as a team, I’m fine with that. But I’m not sure you can argue that Steelers-Patriots is a demonstrably better game for Week 1, though both defenses are replacing half of their secondary between now and then, so the ELITE quarterbacks should be able to have a field day and the NFL definitely loves that.
Some details behind the whispers in San Francisco, finally.
Andrea Kremer has an insightful story Tuesday night on “HBO Real Sports” on Jim Harbaugh, who wore out his welcome in San Francisco and is now the University of Michigan coach. The piece has detailed quotes from Niners guard Alex Boone, who says Harbaugh gave the team a great initial spark when he got there in a time of major malaise for the franchise in 2011.
“But after awhile,” Boone tells Kremer, “you just want to kick his ass.”
Okay, that sounds like just about every NFL head coach.
Continues Boone: “He just keeps pushing you. And you’re like, ‘Dude, we got over the mountain. Stop. Let go.’ He kinda wore out his welcome. I think he just pushed guys too far. You know, he wanted too much, demanded too much, expected too much … And you’d be like, ‘This guy just might be clinically insane. He’s crazy.’ ”
In that case, good thing the 49ers replaced him with noted level-headed person Jim Tomsula.
There’s no question San Francisco owner Jed York wanted a little more of a kumbaya attitude out of Harbaugh with the front office that wasn’t forthcoming. And now we see that some of the players — at least one, and I’ve heard reliably it isn’t just one — didn’t like Harbaugh as time went on in San Francisco either. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean he should be gone. I covered the Giants in the eighties, and Bill Parcells was hardly a players’ favorite in all corners of the locker room, even after the Giants won a Super Bowl. But clearly, the front office tired of Harbaugh, and Boone gives evidence that this spread to the locker room too.
Which totally doesn’t matter because a coach can be a complete sociopath and if a player doesn’t like it, they’re just labeled a malcontent who doesn’t “get it”. At least until years after the fact when the media needs to look for reasons why a coach left.
“The players have nothing to do with him getting fired,” Boone says to Kremer. “I think that if you’re stuck in your ways enough, eventually, people are just gonna say, ‘Listen, we can’t work with this.’ ”
Good work by Kremer getting a player to go on the record about his feelings for Harbaugh.
Yes, yes, excellent work by Andrea Kremer finding an angle with little actual effect on what happened with Jim Harbaugh.
In memoriam: Leland James Remmel.
Ah, the weekly eulogy for a media person. This one seems a little close to him since Remmel started out as a reporter and eventually became a PR rep for the Packers. Hopefully a journalist-turned-lackey in the next generation can memorialize Peter when he’s gone.
PK likes Remmel enough and makes sure to mention how the guy once gave him a nice restaurant recommendation – HE DESERVES ALL THE AFTERLIFE LOFTINESS FOR THAT – but really this is all an excuse for Peter to repeat Brett Favre fart stories.
Most often, players have business relationships with the men who manage their media obligations. Remmel and Brett Favre were different. Remmel called Favre “Brett Lorenzo Favre” (his full name) often in print, and so Favre took to calling Remmel “Leland James Remmel,” imitating Remmel’s deep baritone voice when he used the name.
AYUK AYUK THAT OL’ BRITTFAR, WHAT A KIDDER
“Our humor connected right away,” Favre said Saturday, “and I am a historian too, sort of.”
“A historian of my PEENER! Because it’s gonna live on the Internet forever, you see.”
Favre liked toying with Remmel too, and this is one of my favorite stories since I’ve covered the game:
One year, the Packers played in Chicago on a Monday night. Favre procured a remote-control fart machine at Spencer Gifts, and when the team bus was getting ready to leave, Favre jumped on and put the machine under Remmel’s seat in row two of the bus. Remmel sat directly behind coach Mike Holmgren. And Favre always sat near the back of the bus. He did so this time in an aisle seat, with a clear shot for the remote control at the fart machine. “What was great about the fart machine,” Favre said, “was it had four different kinds of farts. They weren’t all the same.”
[Extremely Jaws voice] That’s an ELITE fart machine. It can make all the farts!
The bus ride was quiet, players and coaches in concentration about the game. Seemingly. Favre pressed the button with one kind of fart, then waited a while, then pressed the button for another kind, and on he went, maybe 10 or 12 times. Holmgren steamed. He wasn’t sure if Remmel had gas, or if it was some sort of prank. And when the bus emptied out, Remmel knew who was responsible for the shenanigans. He shot a look at Favre and said nothing. “Typical Lee,” Favre said. “That made it even funnier.”
What a memory. Glad this man’s life can be reduced to a prank that only Brett Favre found funny. I bet Brett will sneak the same fart machine into Remmel’s funeral. “DURRR HURR HURR SOUNDS LIKE WE STILL GOT A LIVE ONE. OOOOHH THAT WAS A WET ONE. DIG HIM BACK UP SO WE CAN CLEAN HIS DRAWERS.” Meanwhile Peter is shoving the angry family away from attacking Favre. “How can you not love this man? He’s incorrigible!”
Quotes of the Week
“Why did Pete Carroll throw that ball? Seattle’s at the half-yard line. If anybody in the league can get a half-yard, it’s Beast Mode [Marshawn Lynch].”
— Spike Lee, speaking at the premiere of “The Greatest Catch Ever,” his half-hour documentary on the David Tyree catch in Super Bowl 42 that helped the Giants end the Patriots’ dream of a 19-0 season.
I was at the documentary premeire Sunday in New York
Peter and his drinking buddy editor, respecting the PFT Commenter “telling not spelling” maxim as always.
Normally I try to spare you Peter droning on about the insider events he gets to attend, but this is a worthy nugget:
The star of the doc was Rodney Harrison, and I don’t say that just because I work with him. Harrison’s emotion at the crushing disappointment shone through in his interview with Lee. He was, well, just so moved, in a bad way, by the failure to dislodge the ball from Tyree. So moved, in fact, that when he went back to his hotel after the game, he said he holed himself up in the bathroom of his room and cried.
PLEASE TELL ME THERE’S VIDEO. PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE. Fuck that documentary? I want to watch 30 minutes of Rodney Harrison crying a hotel bathroom about the Helmet Catch on loop for eternity. REALITY GAVE US THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL AND WE SQUANDERED IT.
“I never want to kill the dream of playing two sports. I would honestly play two sports … I may push the envelope one of these days … I know I can play in the big leagues. With the work ethic and all that, I think I definitely could for sure. And that’s why the Texas Rangers, you know, got my rights. And they want me to play. You know, Jon Daniels, the GM, wants me to play [baseball]. We were talking about it the other day.”
—Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, in an interview with Bryant Gumbel for Tuesday’s “HBO Real Sports” show.
Very interesting. This quote will make the bulletin board of Seattle GM John Schneider, who is trying to get Wilson signed long-term. The two-time NFC champion quarterback’s contract expires at the end of this season, and the two sides are eligible to sign a new deal now, though no agreement is close.
In case you thought the concept of bulletin board material affecting games was stupid and pointless, here Peter King is introducing the concept to contract negotiations. I bet Schneider is gonna be super fired up about low-balling his team’s quarterback!
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think there are two points about Aaron Hernandez that can’t be forgotten. One, if a player has strong ties to a sordid past—either gang-related or simply sordid in some other way — it’s not very smart for that player to be playing in the backyard of his youth. Hernandez’s hometown of Bristol, Conn., is 115 miles from Foxboro. As Greg Bedard reported last month, Hernandez went to the combine in 2013, ostensibly to ask Bill Belichick for a trade to distance himself from some dangerous friends back home. Bedard couldn’t nail down the story.
Great reporting team you got there, Pete. You’ll just run with that story anyway, apparently.
Was Hernandez trying to start a new life and just couldn’t get out of his current one? That seems dubious based on the conviction for one murder and the upcoming trial for two more. But no one outside a miniscule circle — maybe a circle of one—really knows. Two: The Patriots can, and should, be faulted for their private-eye work, or lack of it, before giving Hernandez a rich contract in 2012. It’s true that teams can’t know everything about their players
Like whether they will eventually commit murder? Does the Wonderlic not cover that?
but I’d think it’d be reasonable to expect that if you’re going to commit $40 million to a player on your team with a history of some transgressions off the field (and Hernandez did have a few at Florida), you’d do more investigating than the Patriots did before signing him to the rich extension.
Damn straight, Patriots, you could have went the extra mile and installed a team of PreCogs in your headquarters to tell you whether that troubled player would go on to murder people. But you didn’t and that blood is on your hands now.
5. I think if I were the Giants at No. 9, I’d take Trae Waynes over Brandon Scherff. Rare cornerbacks — and the 6-1, sub-4.4-in-the-40 Waynes is potentially quite rare — are harder to find than very good offensive line prospects. Pro Football Focus has Waynes with problems on change of direction, which would be a problem with a cornerback, so it’ll be interesting to see how teams factor that in — if they agree—as the first round approaches.
“He’s big and kind of fast but has trouble playing the position. LET’S GET HIM!” – Peter King, future Raiders GM
9. I think one name stands above on the Mysteries of the 2015 Draft list: wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. Boom or bust. Very big boom or very big bust.
But what if he settles into being a solid if not quite spectacular player whose career can not be easily summarized with such cheap descriptions?
[hit in the back of the head with a folding chair by Peter King]
“I SAID BOOM OR BUST, APE!”
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
f. Paul Blart. One of the great, and most apt, names in film history.
No way Peter and Favre didn’t go see Paul Blart together on Saturday and guffaw through the whole thing. “OH HO HO HO BLART. FART. BLART. FART. BLART. FART. IT WORKS ON SO MANY LEVELS.”
g. Never thought of this until I read the spate of incredible stories about the 150-year anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln: There were people, quite a few of them, alive on my birth date in 1957 who were alive the day Lincoln was murdered in 1865.
Seriously? Realizing that 92-year-olds existed when you were born is a huge epiphany if you have zero self-awareness, I guess.
h. The Edmonton Oilers won the draft lottery to pick number one in the 2015 NHL Draft. Okay. Shouldn’t sports leagues have some sort of rule how many times you can have the top picks in an X-year span? Since 2010, and including this year, Edmonton has picked (in order) first, first, first, seventh, third and first. This year they’re bound to take an incredible prospect, Connor McDavid. Edmonton must have taken some other incredible players the past five drafts, and the Oilers still stink. Why reward this?
First off, the NHL didn’t reward them. The Oilers have just had tremendous luck in the draft lottery. You could reasonably argue that draft lotteries are dumb, but don’t act like it was some Gary Bettman conspiracy. Hockey fandom has enough of those already.
j. Maybe I’m wrong about this. Tell me if I am. But to continue to reward a team that simply can’t turn it around … It just seems wrong to me.
Every major pro sport has this concept. You might as well be railing about the Jaguars right now. What’s your alternative? Relegation? I’m enthusiastically in support for that but it’s not exactly the most realistic solution.
k. Coffeenerdness: It’s okay on a warm afternoon to stray from coffee. You can have the occasional unsweetened iced green tea, and you’ll get the desired jolt. And the quenching of the thirst at the same time.
Coffeenerdness: It’s okay to sometimes not drink coffee because you’ve developed a dependency for it and OH GOD JUST ONE SIP THIS GREEN TEA IS LIQUID ASS FUCK THIS WEAK SHIT GET ME MY LARDACCHINO.
l. Beernerdness: This is not about a specific beer, but rather about one of the best beer menus I’ve ever seen, at Eastern Standard, the fine Boston restaurant around the corner from Fenway Park. Had the pleasure of a late lunch there prior to the Red Sox opener last Monday. The staff is incredibly helpful (right down to advice where to find the rarest of beer gems, Heady Topper, the next time I’m shopping in Vermont), and the list has nothing but quality. Well, I’ll mention the one I had that I loved: Citrennial IPA from Foley Brothers Brewing (Brandon, Vt.).
Beernerdness: go to restaurants where people who actually know about beer can recommend choices for you. Just a handy tip from an expert.
n. Man, that Britt McHenry video is tough to watch.
There’s no travel bitching section this week (not complaining) and Peter’s coffeenerdness is somehow about green tea and not hapless baristas so I was afraid for a second that Peter wouldn’t get to display obvious hypocrisy about the Britt McHenry video. This is a man has a regular feature complaining about how shitty underpaid people are at their job. Granted, his insults in print aren’t quite as personal as what McHenry was caught on video saying. Which is why I’m now outfitting all Starbucks baristas in bodycams with the hopes of one day catching PK dishing out a rant that gets him suspended.
The Adieu Haiku
Draft’s 10 days away.
Still. Explain that. I beg you.
Thing should be in March.
The draft was scheduled
for that day and not today
…. Smoke weed every day