Welcome to class today, children. Today, Professor Peter King is going to talk to you about chemistry. Now, you may have once assumed that chemistry is a science, a discipline of study that, along with physics and biology, helps us understand what the universe is made of and how everything in it works. You might think chemistry involves laws, and mathematical equations, and what not. But Professor King doesn’t subscribe to such hard and fast rules. Indeed, Peter King thinks of chemistry much in the same way a Kansas schoolteacher might think of human evolution.

For you see, chemistry is not a science to Peter King, but rather a supernatural, abstract force that cannot be explained. OR CAN IT?

Chemistry didn’t win the most exciting Super Bowl I’ve covered, but chemistry did wear a Pittsburgh jersey.

It’s number? 6.02214179 x 10ˆ23 . Did you know Santonio Holmes belongs in the Nobel dong group? You do now.

I’m convinced it played a part in what happened in the Steelers’ last-minute 27-23 win.

King, of course, is referring to David Chemistry, the replay official who refused to review Kurt Warner’s game ending fumble.

No one knows what chemistry is, or how important it is in winning.

Well then, how can you be convinced it contributed to the Steelers victory when you don’t know what it is, and when NO ONE knows what it is? And how can you be convinced it had an impact on winning when, according to you, no one knows how important it is to winning? Wait a moment, what’s that smell? Oh, I see. It seems Professor King has decided to burn a pile of his own feces in the middle of the classroom. As you know, that represents a chemical change in feces, and not a physical change in feces.

It’s one of those things you can’t define, but you can see.

So let’s sum up what King is saying here:
1. No one knows what chemistry is.
2. No one can even define it.
3. Nor can anyone quantify its impact on a game
4. BUT IT TOTALLY WORKS!
5. AND PETER KING CAN SEE IT!

And the Steelers are full of it.

“Class, I’d like you to see what happens when I combine baking soda with just a dollop of the brotherhood between Hines Ward and Nate Washington into this crude paper mache volcano I have constructed. Put your safety glasses on, and prepare to be DAZZLED.”

People, I have discovered a new synthetic element. Please open up a new space at number 104 in the Actinide series on the Periodic Table. The atomic winds currently blasting from Professor King’s anus have fused with the nitrogen in the atmosphere to create Inanium. Inanium (Pk) is a very unstable element on its own, and will immediately bind to any of the compounds listed below:

-Coffee (but not Omni coffee)
-Land
-Robert Wuhl

I’ve also learned something very special today about douchebags. You see, children. No one quite knows what a douchebag is, or even how important it is to douching. But it’s one of those things you can see, and Professor King is full of it.

The Steelers define “loose.”

But not clutch.

1. Pittsburgh (15-4). Valiant, humble (mostly), heroic, Pittsburghish.

You know, I’m getting a bit tired of every citizen of Pittsburgh being treated as if they are the fucking salt of the Earth. I’ve met plenty of Grade A assholes from the ‘Burgh. So I find the term Pittsburghish to be both nonsensical and completely fucking retarded. It’s an empty word, just like “chemistry,” which is a word that used to have meaning until Peter King undid every single one of its principles in the span of about 100 words.

“We’re a team a lot like our city,” said Troy Polamalu. Couldn’t have said it better.

I could. “Our team is a lot like our city.” See how that flows better? I’ll also accept, “Our team is very Pittsburghish.”

Ray Lewis said this week that his free-agent future is none of our business, that it’s between him and God.

Never fear. I have Ray’s conversation with God on tape.

God: And for Today I shall see fit that all of My children shall never want for food, nor shelter, nor warmth.

Ray: Hey motherfucker! (dances like chicken)

God: What do you want?

Ray: I need your guidance! Who’s gonna pay me the most? All Glory to You, fella! (dances like Pittsburgh queer)

God: Leave me alone.

Ray: I’mma give you credit no matter what! You make it happen!

God: (kills self with own lightning bolt)

Rehab, recover, rest, Jim Johnson.

Jesus Christ. SEND HIM A CARD.

Melanoma is nothing to be taken lightly, as you well know.

I did NOT know that. I thought you could cure it simply by drinking a small amount of sugar water. Two words about melanoma: Sleeper cells.

I implore you to heed this warning: The sun can seriously injure you. Respect it.

That goes especially for you, Kid Icarus!

I think it’s time for the Hall to find a new Tagliabue presenter. I’m 0-3. It’s a bottom-line business, and I deserve to be fired.

Indeed you do.

And now we come to this week’s…

Enjoyable/Aggravating Travel Note of the Week

Ladies and gentlemen, this one is aggravating on so many different levels.

Something out of Curb Your Enthusiasm happened to me down here.

Have you seen that show? Let Peter recap Season 1 for you. It’s even funnier when he summarizes it.

Because of an NBC dinner, I had to jilt a couple of SI.com pals, Donnie Brasco Banks and Andrew Perloff, at dinner Monday night at Capital Grille near our hotel, the Renaissance.

Poor Don and Drew. They missed out on having Peter talk on the phone and grope the breadbasket like an NBC page.

Swell guy that I am, and knowing there wouldn’t be much I’d have to pay for all week, I decided to pick up their dinner check.

You sir, are a hero. You define chemistry.

So I point over to the table in the densely packed restaurant and the waiter brings me a check, and I pay it.

“WAITER! FETCH ME THEIR BILL! I MAKE DREAMS COME TRUE!”

The next day, I’m surprised Brasco and Perloff aren’t pleased about their free meal.

“Jesus King, tip more than five percent, fatty.”

Then Banks tell me he paid for his meal. Perplexing.

MYSTERIOUS! Alert the press. This calls for a special ripped from the headlines episode of “Law & Order: Special Dining Unit”

So I call the restaurant. Stewart the manager investigates and finds out the waiter brought me the wrong check. This check was for the table of Merrill Hoge and Mark Schlereth of ESPN.

Those two ate a meal together? Here’s what that would be like.

Schlereth: You know, this filet is just a great steak to be around.

Hoge: I agree. I’ll tell you one thing about this steak. Eaters know where they stand with it.

“What?” I say, and I’m told because Hoge and Schlereth are in TV and I’m in TV, ipso fatso (as Ralph Kramden used to say), the waiter thought that was the table I pointed to. I said no, I had no intention of buying the dinner for those fine but well-compensated fellows. Now we were in an interesting situation.

No, you weren’t.

I’m out $175 for a dinner I intended to buy, but for different people.

$175? I’ll tell you why it’s expensive buying dinner for Merrill Hoge. Because he accidentally re-orders his entrée at least thirty times during the course of the meal. And when he gets home, he turns off all the lights in house, walks to the mirror, rubs his temples, and just keeps repeating to himself, “I’ll have the porterhouse. I’ll have the porterhouse. I’ll have the porterhouse. I’ll have the porterhouse.”

Stewart and I reached a nice compromise: With the Banks/Perloff spouses coming to town Thursday, the restaurant would pick up the first $150 of their tab. Good deal.

Why is that a good deal? You fucking POINTED at a table and didn’t specify who you wanted to eat on your dime. “Hey waiter, pick up the tab for whoever my fat finger points at, regardless of depth or your vantage point. AND DON’T FUCK IT UP. I KNOW THE SUN AND HE CAN HURT YOU.”

The dinner date takes place … and the Capital Grille picks up the entire tab. Now that is some great, grand gesture. All you corporate Capital Grillers on the main office in Restaurantville, USA, take note: You have a superb staff at the Tampa location.

And… I want to die now.

And odd story with a very happy ending for all.

Except two million readers.

Happiest, I believe, for Hoge and Schlereth. Fellas, I’ll take a Heineken Light the next time our paths cross, and we’ll call it even.

Ha! It’s just like the Gift of the Magi, only with assholes I don’t like.

a. In honor of you, Paul Zimmerman, I timed the National Anthem by Jennifer Hudson.

“These colored folk are ruining our song! I charted it!”

e. Tampa did a very nice job. Not nearly the late-week traffic mess I recall from eight years ago, though the traffic here, as I wrote the other day, is out of control.

That’s because they don’t respect the sun!

f. Just finishing up the column this morning at 6:30 in the lobby of the Renaissance when Jerome Bettis walked in. He’d been with his Steelers boys all night. Nothing crazy. “Just happy,” he said. “Sooooo happy.”

WHAT THE FUCK? ARE YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME? Jerome Bettis is paid to be a fucking analyst, not a fucking mascot. You want to party with your boys, Jerome? You want to party with them at the club and piss in front of one-sided mirrors? Fine. BUT THEN DON’T FUCKING YUK UP MY TV WITH YOUR TOWEL-WAVING ASSHATTERY. WHY DON’T YOU GO BOWL A BOWLING BALL UP YOUR OWN ASS, TARDBUS?

h. The Jets, as I said Sunday on NBC, are going to give Brett Favre lots of time to breathe.

Don’t care.

As in months.

Don’t fucking care.

Favre and GM Mike Tannenbaum talked the other day for the first time since Dec. 29, and Tannenbaum said he was in no rush for Favre to make a decision on his future.

That’s because he DOESN’T GIVE A FUCK.

i. Doesn’t matter. I don’t believe Favre will play again.

He told me over voicemail! This time it’s real!

Good luck in Kansas City, Todd Haley, if you’re interviewed. You’ve got a lot going for you, and your players respect you quite a bit.

Oooh, Haley got the King endorsement! If he doesn’t get the Chiefs job, he’s definitely got a hosting job ready for him at the Capital Grille in Tampa.

Ken Whisenhunt deferring to start the game? Didn’t like it at all. Not at all.

Oh, you mean the game his team came within a millimeter of winning? Yeah, stupid call there. Nothing worse than having the ball at the top of the second half!

Great job, Bruce.

Who?

I was lucky enough to be on the field, and though hearing was not very good down there, the energy translated.

Oh, you mean Springsteen. I see you’re on a first name basis with him now. Another networking score for PK!

Bruce plays like Ray Lewis patrols.

He stabs people mid-song?

Finally saw Burn After Reading. I’ll give it a C-plus. A little weird, frankly.

He was hoping for a more Pittsburghish film.