These are trying times we live in, America. A congresswoman was the target of an assassination attempt. A judge was killed. A nine-year-old girl was killed for no good reason. The level of discourse in politics is at an all-time low. We need answers. We need someone to show us the way. And there’s only one person I know who can bring such light to such difficult matters. And that person is Walter Cronkite. But since Walter Cronkite is now dead, I suppose Peter King will have to do. Here was a tweet from PK last night:

SI_PeterKing Peter King I’ve got a few comments on Tucson tomorrow in MMQB. Not sure they will be very popular. But I’ve got to say what I feel.

Indeed he does. For if he leaves them unsaid, WHAT THEN? America can’t afford to simply go on LIKE THIS. We need the guidance of a man who just last week found out what a keg stand is. So let us read on. For the good of our country.

What a weekend. What a Saturday — the best wild-card day ever, in my opinion. What a run by Marshawn Lynch. What resilience by Matt Hasselbeck. What a way to enter the twilight for Peyton Manning.

What a dark roast I had from Sheetz! What a breakfast spread Pam Whitely puts out for her guests! What a school that Colgate is!

Five other nuggets of the weekend that fascinate me.

1. The Starbucks near the NBC studios was still out of egg nog. Why, Starbucks? Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean you can’t spike my coffee with additional yolks.
2. Did you know 90% of all nuggets are also chunks?
3. Amby Burfoot. What a runner.
4. You should see how many different planes Bob Papa took last week. At least three.
5. I bet you never knew who Terrell Suggs was until this weekend. WELL NOW YOU KNOW THE NFL’S BEST KEPT SECRET.

Five: How Brett Favre’s favorite general manager had a very, very good weekend.

And now you know how Brett Favre will be shoehorned into every King column from here on out. Let me tell you about Brett Favre’s favorite general manager, who also by coincidence loves using Brett Favre’s favorite brand of grass seed.

We’ll start in the Pacific Northwest, where I think the Seahawks have to be wondering, Did that really happen?

Of course it didn’t happen. It’s the Pacific Northwest. Nothing that happens there is REAL, because the Pacific Northwest is NOT an actual geographic location. Come on, you’re telling me there’s really a body of water called Puget Sound? Sure, MAYBE IN A GRIMM’S FAIRY TALE!

I learned a lot about 35-year-old Matt Hasselbeck Saturday.

Did you know he’s bald?

He can still play and can still throw the beautiful deep ball that attracted Mike Holmgren to him a decade ago.

HOLMGREN: Ohhh that’s a nice deep ball… (fondles own mustache)… FAP FAP FAP.

And against so many odds, Hasselbeck didn’t shrink from the moment in the 41-36 upset of the Saints — he grabbed it and choked the damn thing.

“You like that, moment? You like it when I choke you and pull your hair? Yeah, you’re a NASTY little moment, aren’t you?”

the Football Night in America studio crew…

Which includes me! I’m on that crew! NBC!

…was dismissed after halftime of the Jets-Colts game, and so Rodney Harrison, Dan Patrick and I adjourned to a midtown Manhattan bar for the wrap party a little early and watched the last 10 minutes of the game on TV…

No Dungy though. He had a self-flaying to attend.

Big Jet crowd at the bar, obviously, and Harrison had fun with a few guys who I believe were into their 11th Goose Island IPA when we arrived.

And with 2:45 left in the game, the Jets punted to the Colts, who started a drive at their 20, down 14-13. Adam Vinatieri calmly practiced kicking a ball into a net on the Indy sideline.

“Your season’s over!” Harrison said, and the Jet fans knew what he meant.

Indeed. It meant that Rodney Harrison likes to go bars and taunt fans, because he’s a dick.

…when Antonio Cromartie, in the underrated big play of the weekend, returned the ensuing kickoff to the Jets’ 46, throats got very dry in Colt-land.

Ah, Colt-land. A magical place, where they never run out of marshmallow fluff, and there’s always a good time to call a timeout and ruin your own team’s playoff chances!

Harrison stood up and looked over at the Jets fans. “Your season’s not over!” he yelled, and those guys sent over beers for us.

Trenchant analysis from Rodney right there. Your season is over! WAIT! Your season is NOT over! WAIT! Your season MAY end or may not end! BUY ME A GOOSE ISLAND!

“Hey, Darren,” one of them said to Harrison. “Could you pose for a picture with my wife?”

“He thinks I’m Darren Woodson!” Harrison said.

“He doesn’t know I’m actually a bastard!”

Jim Caldwell needs to go to clock management school.

First Grade in Clock Managementology 101!

“I definitely want someone with head-coaching experience,” Denver vice president of football operations Elway told me Friday night. “Either in college or pro football. I want a great competitor. I want someone who is smart, very smart. And I want someone who can work well within a good football system. With Josh [McDaniels], we went out on a limb [in terms of giving the coach lots of powers] and not only did it not work, it turned out to be sort of a disaster.”

ELWAY: Look, the last thing we want to do is give all the football power to a guy who has NEVER run a football team before, knows nothing about how it’s done, and in fact has been the victim of a $15 million Ponzi scheme in the past. That would be a real shitshow.

In Tebowland:

Where no baby has a foreskin!

Also said Saturday on NBC, in one of the most widely misunderstood segments in Peter King TV history, the following: Elway told me, “I don’t think Tim Tebow is a good NFL quarterback at this time.” … And that Josh McDaniels, were he to get an offensive coordinator or quarterback coaching job where there was a quarterback need, could well urge that team to trade for Tebow because he still believes in him strongly…

That is all I said. But do I expect the Vikings or Dolphins or some such team to call Denver if McDaniels gets hired, to try to get Tebow? I do. Attention all assorted Rocky Mountain conspiracy-theorists: I never said, or implied, that John Elway was thinking or looking to trade Tim Tebow. And there you go.

I never implied that Elway wanted to trade Tebow. All I said is that Elway didn’t like him and that other teams would want to trade for him. How could you jump to conclusions like that? Nothing I say is actually VERIFIED, you know.

Many of you say you don’t read me for my politics, which is fine.

Well, piss on them. The ONLY reason I read Peter is for his politics. You CANNOT pay firefighters enough. We need to do something about guns in this country. Good for you, Michelle Obama, teaching kids to appreciate good food like the kind I expense on long trips. NOW LET ME RECAP SOMETHING I READ IN THE NEW YORK TIMES THE OTHER DAY. That paper is still a bargain.

Though I’m not about to go on any political rant here, I’ll understand if you skip this section about the killing of six people and the wounding of 20 others outside a grocery store in Tucson Saturday. For the rest of you, I just ask you to do one thing today: think.

Think. Imagine. DREAM. Think, even if it means you only think things you might be thinking. That’s still thinking, too.

Think.

One more reason to root for labor peace in 2011 before it wrecks the regular-season schedule: There will be a Harbaugh Bowl. San Francisco (Jim) plays at Baltimore (John) in 2011.

Gotta have my Harbaugh Bowl!

I’m walking to get a coffee at Starbucks and just as I’m about to cross Fifth, a young guy, maybe 23, almost walks past me when he sees my Seattle Mariners sweatshirt. “SEAHAWKS BABY! How ’bout Matty Ice!!!” he yells, and puts his hand up to give me a high-five. I give him one, and he says, “It’s our year, baby. Super Bowl!”

Only in New York, kids, only in New York.

It’s true. Only in New York would there be a Seahawks fan. And only in New York would that Seahawks fan know that the Matty Ice nickname is already taken.

Great nugget by Jay Glazer on FOX…

NUGGET! Jay Glazer is King of Nuggets!

I fear for Art Modell fans that his (Hall of Fame chance) has passed, and I get no sense his campaign has much traction.

Such a shame for Modell fans. And by “Modell fans,” I mean “no one.”

I think this occurred to me watching the Chiefs-Ravens game: Ozzie Newsome’s a pretty valuable guy.

Also, that Ray Lewis seems to have a nose for the football, does he not? JUST occurred to me.

Congress: I know you’ve got more pressing things on your plate, but that law you passed about commercials not being played at a higher volume than regular programming? In the Ravens-Chiefs game, unless my ears were playing tricks on me, it was happening big-time.

You know all that stuff I said about guns and that lady getting shot. Screw all that. I need you to fix this TV thing, which you actually did fix except that I don’t know that sometimes laws take time to actually go into effect. THINK, CONGRESS. THINK.

I gave the Amtrak coffee one more try Friday, sucker that I am for caffeine in the morning.

You’re not thinking, Peter…

First sip. OK, hot enough. Second sip … why’d I try this again? Weakest coffee on the planet.

People are DYING because of this coffee, America.

And there it sat for three hours. I guess I shouldn’t complain that there’s only one thing wrong with the Acela.

Oh, can you not afford the $200 Acela ticket that I can with regularity? Pity. It pays to THINK.