When we last left watermelon brewmaster Peter King, he was getting into a fight with a Starwood Preferred guest (careful, fella! Peter’s got six Illys in him! One punch and his bladder could EXPLODE), kvetching with the dried fish skeleton that is Larry King, ruminating on the State of Welker (where grittiness is an alienable right), and running into naked men in the bathroom at Wrigley Field. It’s the first time King has walked in on a naked man since he “accidentally” implanted a peephole camera in Tim Tebow’s changing room in the Littleton Redeemer chapel.

So what about this week? Will Peter be dazzled by a team that had guys show up for offseason workouts? Who smells greatness this year? Why is death so darn busy all the time? Can’t he take a breather? Is Big Ben chastened enough for our tastes? Will any question Peter asks ever get a useful, informative answer? I don’t know. This could be Peter’s 5th best column of the year. Or his 27th. We just DON’T KNOW.

Such is the early love affair with (Dez) Bryant, who, two days later, suffered a high ankle sprain that will cause him to miss the preseason. My first thought about the injury: Good for the Cowboys.

Indeed. Thank God their prize rookie suffered an injury that could nag him all the way through the season. What’s that? You’re telling me that’s NOT a good thing. Pfft. Shows what you know, fella.

Good for Bryant.

So true. If only EVERY Cowboy were lucky enough to suffer a high ankle sprain right before the start of the season.

/prays for such a thing to occur

First, the hype for Bryant was ridiculously out of control, so much so that when I sat with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, he was already trying to figure out ways to shut down the Bryant Hall of Fame Express.

“Hmm. Yes. Indeed. I must find a way of introducing some humility to this young scamp. But how shall I do it? What elegant solution would a PRINCETON man come up with? Think, Garrett! THINK! A ha! I have it! An ankle sprain! And not just any ankle sprain! But a HIGH ankle sprain, the loftiest ankle sprain of all! Oh, Garrett. You’ve outdone yourself once more, old boy!”

Second, the Cowboys are practicing on artificial turf at the ‘Dome — sometimes twice a day — which is never a good idea in training camp.

True. Terrible idea. Someone could get injured on that turf, even suffer a high ankle sprain. You know the best way to prevent players from getting injured on that turf? INJURE THEM.

Bryant was practicing as if he were in an NFL playoff game, trying to win a starting job and to prove the Cowboys made the right decision by picking him in the first round when other teams were taking him off their draft boards.

My God! This young man is practicing far too hard! Let’s snap his ankle in half to slow him down. With any luck, he’ll soon be walking through practices just like Roy Williams does!

Dallas is lucky it was a high ankle sprain and not some season-ending thing.

But I could see how an ACL tear would REALLY help Dez develop as a player. Then Dallas would have the best of both worlds: an injured player AND unrealistic expectations!

Thursday, 4 p.m. Georgetown, Ky.

So many thoughts after experiencing Bengaldom for a day.

-Bengaldom is much larger than I thought, covering nearly half of Middle Earth
-The serfs in Bengaldom are much fatter than typical serfs
-King Brown is a miser!
-Bengaldom smells like old coconuts

Pacman (Jones), from one practice, looked a lot more mortal than he used to. He got singed two or three times by Chad Ochocinco in drills I saw…

Jesus. Who gets singed by Ocho anymore? Ocho couldn’t outrun Dr. Z right now.

“Coming here was the best thing I could have done,” he told me.

CHUH CHUH

“It’s been all football.”

An sum bitchzzz… O DERE B BITCHZZZ

Except, I learned, for the two times cops trailed his car and made him sweat, including once when they told him to stay out of the car while they ran his plates — to see if it was stolen. Which it wasn’t, and which, to Jones, seemed like a clear case of police harassment.

Now watch as Pacman completely undermines his entire complaint.

“Back a few years ago, I might have gone after the cop,” he said.

Back a few years ago, I would have totally gotten out of the car and beat the PISS out of that cop. Then I would shat on his face. WHY DO THESE ASSHOLES KEEP THINKING I’M SOME SORT OF CRIMINAL?

“Now, I’ve grown up. I just waited ’til the situation was over, and I went on my way.” Good for him.

Now if he could just get a high ankle sprain!

Andre Smith should never, ever, ever have been the sixth pick in the draft in 2009. The sixth pick overall didn’t work hard to rehab his foot after February surgery, not even being a stickler about keeping the foot in a protective boot at times in the offseason.

DOCTOR: Now Andre, you need to keep this boot on your foot if you want it to heal properly.

ANDRE: (takes off boot)

DOCTOR: And you probably want to stay off the foot whenever you can.

ANDRE: (jumps around on pogo stick)

DOCTOR: And you definitely shouldn’t eat all that banana pudding.

ANDRE: (eats all the banana pudding everywhere on Earth’s surface)

Marvin Lewis told me a couple of interesting things about the pursuit of T.O… last Tuesday, when (Owens) was trying to decide whether to take the Bengals’ offer, Lewis called him and apparently clinched it. “My team wants you as a teammate,” the coach told him.

Whoa, the team wants him as a teammate? Why didn’t any other team have the wily wit to court TO like this? “Hey TO, we’d like you to, like, come play for us and stuff.” Who could resist a pitch like that?

“I’m just so excited I can’t stand it,” Ocho said. “Carson’s got to be out of his mind excited. Me, TO, Antonio [Bryant], the run game, Gresham, Shipley, our other young receivers … How are they gonna stop us?”

By going right through your horrible o-line and tearing Carson’s last working arm off?

The Panthers rarely have a really down season, but I’m not sure that streak is going to continue (suffice to say I’m wavering on my May pick of Carolina for the playoffs).

Wasn’t this Peter’s dark horse team a week ago?

The cellphone rings, and it’s A.J. Smith, the Chargers’ general manager. He said he wasn’t going to be talking about the holdouts — wideout Vincent Jackson, tackle Marcus McNeill, linebacker Shawne Merriman — after this week, so I wanted to get in under the wire… Figuring his team can survive this distraction is a big gamble by Smith.

But man, I tell you this team is a LOCK to make the Super Bowl!

(Brandon Marshall): “There were a few things last year I didn’t handle well. But what I’ve learned is that sometimes the more powerful lessons are the most painful lessons.”

True. Always a painful lesson to hit a woman’s car with a brick. Brandon’s scars from that moment may NEVER heal.

Marshall doesn’t want to return to the nightmare that was last year. He’s married now — to a different woman than the one he says caused “90 to 95 percent” of his problems in the past.

I only threw TEN PERCENT of that brick! Bitch made me do it!

He has a five-year, $47-million contract extension, and he’s on a team that he thinks is more suited to his physical style. “I’ve always had the attitude that I’m going to impose my will on the defense,” he said. “So I fit in well with the philosophy of this team. Everyone in the building, everyone in the organization, has a toughness here. I like that. It’s all football. We don’t play games here. I see Bill Parcells, and he always says one word to me: ‘Stamina.’ I know I’m going to be happy here.”

Jesus, either Bill Parcells is secretly the most overrated coach ever, or coaching is a much, much easier job than any of us realize. “Stamina, young man. Stamina. STAMINA. FINISH. PLASTICS. Now go win us a title. STAMINA.”

Quote of the Week I

“Because I’m a grown-ass man.”

Cincinnati cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones, responding to my question: “Why should we believe this stop is going to turn out better than previous stops in your NFL career?”

“Yo yo. Pacman sez he b grown an shit. Lass yurr, Pacman wuld bust it in dat cop. But Pacman don’t du dat no mo. HE GROWN. O HE GROWN. U THANK HE AIN’T GROWN? HE GROWN LIKE 3 INCHZZ. Pacman kno dat if da puzzy b ready, he gon bite down onnit lik dem ribz. Gon munch on dat puzzy lik Bubbl Yum. He gon pop dat bubbl. Bullee Dat! DAT HOW A GROWNAZZ MAN TAYK DOWN DAT AZZ. Pacman gon shine. And he gon DRANK.”

“Instead of fighting, why don’t we work things out over brunch?”

-Donald Brashear, the New York Rangers’ tough guy (and that’s putting it mildly), on the “David Letterman Show” Friday night, as part of Letterman’s top 10 list, Things Never Before Spoken At A Hockey Game. Very cute.

I do believe that episode of the “David Letterman Show” was a rerun. Perhaps you would have been better served watching an episode of “The Show That Is Airing This Night With James Leno.”

“Colleges have mastered the art of secrecy. I don’t think we get to know everything we need to know about players. Some colleges, I think they know where Jimmy Hoffa’s buried.”

-Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis to me the other day, complaining that Alabama football officials may not have been altogether forthcoming in sharing information on tackle Andre Smith, who he says hasn’t complied with all the rehab instructions team medics have given him about his injured foot.

Holy shit, Marvin Lewis is the dumbest person in the history of everything. “These doctors these days are so secretive. They won’t tell me if Mickey Rourke has had plastic surgery or not! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW ANYTHING WITHOUT THEIR HELP?!”

Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me I

Half of the coaches in the NFC East — Wade Phillips, Andy Reid — are teetotalers.

This is not to say Tom Coughlin or Mike Shanahan are heavy drinkers. They’re not — not at all. Coughlin likes a good Bordeaux, Shanahan an occasional Corona.

But no Shock Top? And who would have guessed the father of a heroin addict would decide to eschew alcohol? And how can Andy Reid be so fat if he doesn’t drink? Does he only drink liquefied bologna?

I just find it interesting that in the rough-and-tumble NFC East, the coaches in Philadelphia and Dallas (where quite a few adult beverages are consumed) eschew all alcohol and favor diet cola (Phillips) and water (Reid).

This is such a HARDCORE division! It seems like the drinkiest division to me, much more so than the AFC West. I could really see people not drinking in the AFC West.

Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me II

On the sidelines of Carolina Panthers practice Friday afternoon at Wofford College, players were conscious to hydrate in the 91-degree, 88-percent humidity of Spartanburg, S.C. During one break, a defensive player chugged a 12-ounce bottle of G2, the low-cal Gatorade drink, finished it and tossed it to the ground. Walking by, club president Danny Morrison saw the lone bottle littering the sideline and picked it up. Hey, the more you can do …

WHAT DID WE DO WITHOUT DANNY MORRISON RECYCLING?!

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

I have renamed the travel note — for the season — in honor of the travel experience I wrote from the Westin Hotel in Chicago. You may recall it.

How could I forget it? Something almost happened, and then didn’t. You don’t quickly forget a nonevent like that. That would be like forgetting that time Jozy Altidore almost bought Dolphins tickets before deciding they were too pricey.

This note comes to you from the general manager’s office of the Atlanta Falcons, Saturday afternoon about 2:15. Afternoon practice was 75 minutes away. Here was Thomas Dimitroff, one of the most interesting and different football people in the league, inviting me in for some Mighty Leaf Organic Green Dragon tea and tiny chocolate-chip cookies.

“I thought we would have high tea,” he said.

That is SUCH an NFC South drink.

OK. I must say I have had a few beers and more than a few meals with general managers over the years, but green tea … this was a first. Dimitroff, a serious cyclist, outdoorsman (he has a sophisticated spinning bike next to his desk) and conscientious citizen (CNN was on in his office, not ESPN)…

Whoa, whoa. This guy watches the NEWS? This is no ordinary fellow we’re dealing with!

Stat of the Week

The Draft Ain’t Everything Dept.:

I know! The draft is sooo overrated! Unless you want to form a core of players who can help you win multiple titles!

I think the Broncos just might be regretting dealing J.J. Arrington to the Eagles. If you hadn’t heard, both top running backs, Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter, were hurt on the first weekend of camp.

As a former fantasy owner of JJ Arrington, I can say with confidence that NO ONE ever regrets dealing JJ Arrington.

I think I’ve got bus envy. I want a bus for this trip next year.

But no car. That would hurt the environment!

In fact, I know I do.

You don’t think you think you want one? Perhaps you thought you thought you thought you thought it, then became stuck in THOUGHT LIMBO, or unconstructed thought. Then you wouldn’t know if you were thinking or if you were thinking you were thinking!

/spins top

I figured that out while waiting four hours for my 36-minute flight from Atlanta to Greenville, S.C., the other night, after I figured I could have driven to and back from Greenville in the time I was drinking at the Atlanta airport hotel bar. I also think I probably won’t get a bus — unless John Madden decides to chauffeur me around.

Who knew flights ended up delayed sometimes? I suppose I’ll NEVER know the joy of traveling camps by bus, unless one of my readers were to, I dunno, give me one for free? GIVE ME A BUS.

Palms getting a little sweaty, A-Rod?

Yes, I’m sure the Yankees, losers of an agonizing one game in a row, are scared of your FACKIN’ RED SAWX, whose 15-games-over-.500 record is clearly a sign that baseball is DYING.

Can’t believe I didn’t eat a four-way at Skyline last week in the Cincinnati environs. Miss that culinary delight.

I can’t believe you didn’t eat the four-way either. Or that you didn’t have a four-way with it and a Boston Crème Long John and a Hostess blueberry pie.

Experienced four innings of Gwinnett Braves baseball the other night.

DIEHARD baseball fan.

A fun place. I counted 34 beers on tap…

They even had Bud Select 55! Now THAT is a man’s microbrew!

That airport in Lexington, Ky., is beautiful. Clean.

Semi-Indianapolesque.

Very horse-conscious.

What?

No long lines, even at rush-hour times.

Who knew no one was in a rush to travel to and from Lexington, Kentucky?

I think I’ve settled on the half-marathon I’m going to do, as my punishment for saying something really dumb last winter about Terrell Owens. (I said if Owens signed with the Bengals, I’d run an ultra-marathon. He signed with the Bengals. I’m not running 50 miles. As you probably can figure, I would die on the course. Face it: I’d crawl to run 20. But I’m running five now, twice a week, so I think I can work myself up to 13.1.)

So remember, people. If you make a bet with Peter King, expect to be paid 13.1/50ths of the promised amount.