When we last left possible human being Peter King, he was laying down the hard, unvarnished TRUTH about the draft for you. Sort of. Not really. And he was dazzled by the ability of an expensive hotel to dig up his expense invoices for him. Because between all the Clif Bar wrappers and saved Brett Favre audio reels in his LL Bean rollerboard, the man tends to lose things quite a bit.

So what about this week? Is the draft still cloudy, just like the surface of the moon? Does John Fox still have shockingly nice things to say about his boss? Is Peter’s fax machine still broken? Was it ever really broken? Or was it user error? Oh, I think you all know the answer. READ ON.

It’s a fun time to be a football fan. Sort of.

Holy shit. Really? This is how we’re starting? Eleven words in and we already hit a fucking equivocation? Is this man certain of ANYTHING, at this point? Do I have ears? MAYBE. Do you get green if you mix yellow and blue? IT’S IN THE STARS. What happens when you add two and two together? I DON’T KNOW. I WILL HAVE TO ASK ADRIAN AT THE CONRAD HOTEL HELP DESK.

The draft is 24 days away…

MAYBE. It’s not inconceivable that it could be 27 days away. Let’s say possibly somewhere between 14 and 375 days.

I was in Arlington, Texas, Sunday to see the last game of the Red Sox getting swept, courtesy of the ’27 Yankees…

Whoa. They’re alive again? More than alive?

(OK, it was really this year’s Rangers).

O ho ho! Good one there.

Before the game, Texas GM Jon Daniels gave me and my brother-in-law a tour of the ballpark. “What’s going to happen with this lockout?” Daniels asked just before we parted. Tell you in a few paragraphs, Jon.

Be right there, Jon. But first, let me just spend eight more paragraphs talking about the Texas Rangers. In fact, I never would have brought up the lockout had you not personally asked me. This column runs exclusively on favors.

But first, let’s stop in Maryland, at the home of the well-coiffed one, Mel Kiper. When I reached the longest-running TV draft maven, he was frantically — and do you know anything Mel doesn’t do frantically?

Age to the point of natural death, unfortunately.

/actually likes Kiper

– putting the finishing touches on his 33rd NFL Draft Report, due at the printers today.

I had no intention of leading this column with a Kiperism…

I was much more interested in spouting off a few Maraisms. Maybe even a Goodellnugget.

…but I couldn’t help it when he said in that quick cadence of his… “Cam Newton. Last summer he was a total unknown quantity, and he comes out and plays great and wins the Heisman and the national title. But there’re all kinds of questions about him off the field, and he’s only done it one year.”

He’s no Jimmy Clausen, that’s for sure. Jimmy was consistently terrible for YEARS at Notre Dame before I named him the second best player overall. Now that’s a kid you can invest in!

You’re on a roll, Mel!

Good job filling up column space for me, Mel! What can you tell us about the Texas Rangers?

Where’s Berman to intercede?

Fucking a busgirl at the Ground Round, one would imagine.

Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett heads for Seattle today, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Seahawks consider him with the 25th pick in the first round.

I’m not saying that will happen. I’m just saying the Seahawks are closer to picking him than you think. They aren’t THAT close to picking him, but the gap between them picking him and them not picking him is roughly 3% less wide than your original projection.

Someone I trust in the league told me there’s something else you have to know about Mallett before you can judge him with finality and decide whether to pick him in the draft.

Oooh! Oooh! He has the diabeetus!

He wouldn’t say what it was.

TRIPLE diabeetus! TRUTH.

Without proof, I’m not going to speculate.

But I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out he was hypoglycemic!

My attempts to contact Mallett through the weekend failed.

FROM: 973-769-0980

RYAN! It’s the Kingster! Meet me at the Captial Grille for some Harvest Wheats and we can talk LIFE! I’ll b there at 6. SORT OF.

The NFL will oppose the players Wednesday in a Minnesota court room, with lawyers for the players attempting to get a judge to tell the league it cannot continue to lock out the players… But when federal judge Susan Richard Nelson gets ready to hear the case Wednesday in St. Paul, there’s a chance she might not hear the case at all.

Will she hear the case? MAYBE. Will she send it to mediation? PERHAPS. Will she force both sides to penis wrestle to see who gets to file the first motion to dismiss? I’M NOT SAYING IT’S IMPOSSIBLE.

As Amy Shipley of the Washington Post reported last week, Nelson took a highly charged Minnesota case — two gay teenagers suing their school for the right to walk together in a major school social event — and removed it from the public eye… But with due respect to the gay-teen settlement, this one’s a little more complicated.

Listen, gay teens. I know that living as a young person constantly tortured by your own sexual confusion, coupled with the unyielding cruelty of your peers once they spot any kind of insecurity you might have, can be a dicey issue. But will all due respect… IT AIN’T NO FOOTBALL LOCKOUT. This is a real man’s case, so why don’t you go home to your mommies and listen to the “Evita” soundtrack a few more times?

And if Vegas made a line on what Nelson will do, I’d say it’s 3-2 she’ll rule for the players, telling owners they have to open their doors and conduct business as usual.

That’s a LEGIT imaginary 3-2 line. Don’t go trying to manipulate that line by overbetting on the owners, because I’ll know. Cousin Sal guessed this morning that the line would open at 5-2, but he was WAY OFF.

At that point, the NFL would appeal (whoever loses will appeal to a three-judge panel from the Eighth Circuit), and one of the best appeal lawyers in the country, 70-year-old David Boies, hired by the NFL for just such cases, will go in and try to convince three judges that the league is within its rights to lock out the players since they haven’t reached a labor agreement through collective bargaining. The odds there? Maybe 6-5, owners.

MAYBE 6-5. Maybe more. Maybe less. Somewhere between 1-9 and 50,000-1. But I don’t want to speculate on such matters. Odds Ryan Mallett is actually gay? Call it 5-9.

Hey, let’s hear Ron Jaworski say something stupid!

“Present-day players … don’t understand what the guys went through [in previous labor battles with owners]…

Oh, you mean those labor battles you kind of lost, where many players crossed the picket line and you failed to secure long term benefits for yourselves?

“Quite honestly, I don’t think they really give a damn about the guys that laid the foundation for the game.”

So true. They’re only suing the owners in court and holding their ground in a tense labor battle to secure more money and better long term benefits for retired players. What a bunch of ungrateful cunts. I bet most of them listen to the hippity hip!

“I think it’s a lot of verbiage, but I don’t think they really care. These [former players] deserve something … they deserve medical benefits, and they deserve treatment for all the issues that former players are now dealing with.”

Former player Ron Jaworski, who was active in the union when he played, to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday.

What a fucking idiot.

(Cam) Newton is a tremendous football player and an engaging person … with a lot of red flags… In February, Newton said he wanted to be not only a quarterback, but an entertainer and an icon.

Of course, he told this TO Peter, and with regards to an endorsement deal. But Peter knows that CONTEXT IS WAY OVERRATED.

I’m a white reporter.

Only unequivocal statement he’s made in his career.

Two travels notes from the week, the first from my friend Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, about a strange sight in a Florida airport last week…

Let’s crowdsource these travel notes, shall we? Peter shouldn’t be the only one to let the world know just how unquiet the quiet car was on Friday.

Reports Abraham: “I was leaving Fort Myers (SW Florida International Airport) on Wednesday, headed for Dallas. While at the gate waiting for my Delta flight, the 40-ish woman…

Quasi-middle aged?

…across the way was holding her little white dog. As the boarding time approached, she reached into her bag and took out what looked like a disposable diaper and laid it flat on the carpet. As people looked on in disbelief, she was encouraging the dog to do its business.”

It looked like a disposable diaper, but it was actually Peter’s expense report from the Westin back in August.

I flew to Dallas the other day. On the way back to my seat, I passed a three-seat row in mid-coach. The aisle seat was empty. The window seat was occupied by a huge, bronze-colored cello case, which, I assumed, held a cello.

Did it hold a cello? MAYBE. Could it have held a bomb or perhaps an armory of shuriken? TELL YOU IN A FEW PARAGRAPHS, JON.

In the middle seat was a man of about 60. I’m guessing, because he wore a black ski cap, with graying hair poking out of the bottom, and a black sleeping mask. Around both the back and front of his neck were those Brookstone half-circle airplane pillows, which, together, covered the circumference of his neck. He had an American Airlines blanket pulled up to his neck with his arms tucked underneath and the seatbelt buckled over the outside of the blanket. The man was asleep when I passed, but if ever body language said anything, this man’s screamed the following: “LEAVE ME ALONE ON THIS FLIGHT OR I WILL HURT YOU. BADLY.”

Or his body was just saying, “I’m asleep. Please don’t wake me by eating that Kit Kat with your mouth open.”

Tweet of the Week II

“Most disturbing sight: Clemson DT Miguel Chavis working out in white compression shorts, black cleats, that’s it. Scouts know his religion.”
–@daringantt, Darin Gantt of the Rock Hill (S.C.) Herald andCharlotte Observer, reporting from Clemson on Friday

And by stealing a Robin Williams joke, Darin has proven himself the most up-to-date sportswriter in America when it comes to comedic memes.

I think I believe Jake Locker will be drafted earlier than the vast majority of you think.

Not early early. But earlier than you think. Somewhere between 25 and 459,876,500.

I think there’s a reason we in the media make a big deal about reports of off-field problems of prospective draftees. Two reasons, actually. Aqib Talib and Dez Bryant.

They were in the draft once, too. And they’re black. See how we should connect these things?

I think the team that makes the most sense for Donovan McNabb is Minnesota.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! NO! NO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

/EYESTAB

The compensation that makes the most sense is a conditional fourth-round pick in 2012 that could rise to a three if McNabb starts 12 games this year.

No! That makes no sense! The compensation that makes the most sense is NOTHING! NO FUCKING COMPENSATION!

Or something like that.

GAHHHHHH FUCK YOU!!!!

The Vikings can sleep better at night knowing they don’t have to rely on Joe Webb with a suspect offensive line and a veteran defense as they try to make one last playoff run with this core.

WHAT? JUH? WHY?

“Well, our o-line sucks. Let’s bring in a washed up QB to play behind them and spend yet another year stalling on developing a young passer. PASS THE CHAMPAGNE, MEN.”

McNabb can be happy knowing he has one more chance to take a contender deep into the playoffs.

Call it a 0% chance.

I think when (Pete) Carroll says, “There’s no question L.A. can support an NFL franchise, but knowing the area, the team has to win,” truer words about the future of football in Los Angeles have never been spoken.

This just in: Los Angeles filled with dipshit fair weather fans. FILM AT 11.

a. Did you ever think you’d see a crowd in Houston rooting 90-10 (my guess) for an Indianapolis team?

b. Butler, I mean. Over UConn tonight at Reliant Stadium.

a. Did you ever think you’d see bullet points used so awkwardly?

5. In the above coupling, I mean.

c. My pick: Connecticut 62, Butler 57.

d. What can I say?

c. My pick:

xviii. Sort of.

~: Is UConn. Cal it a 98-706 chance. YOU KNOW ME.

I’m a Nutmegger, and I’m addicted to Kemba Walker.

And if you put nutmeg INSIDE Kemba Walker? Call me a happy man.

But if Walker is as physically and mentally shot as Jim Calhoun suggested late Saturday night, who knows if he’s got one more marquee college night left in him?

All I’m saying is there’s a chance of a possibility that maybe he’s worn out.

Sox thoughts: I don’t know how a batting order can be better than the Rangers’ 1 through 9, unless it’s the Yankees.

Sox thoughts: HOW ABOUT THOSE RANGERS?!

Coffeenerdness: Some weeks there’s nothing to add about the coffee itself.

THAT’S EVERY WEEK, YOU PROVINCIAL PUTZ.

This is one of those weeks. But I do have a quote from Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, which I wanted to pass along. He told Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News, “We’re in the business of humanity.” Well, OK. But can you just make sure while you’re in that business you get my latte right?

Yeah, Howard Schultz. I think it’s all nice that you “care” about people like gay teens and shit. And I know Atlantic City is back because of you. But how about training your fucking baristas not to give me skim foam? PRIORITIES.

Oh, and for the fourth time in my life I took the self-guided tour of the Texas School Book Depository over the weekend, and for the fourth time through there, I got goose bumps.

Sure beats that boring old Anne Frank house.

You’ve got to take that tour, no matter how old you are, no matter whether John F. Kennedy is just another name in the history books to you.

“Kennedy? He was an famous lion tamer, right? I don’t really know anything.”

-Anyone who actually reads Peter King

The tour itself has a tremendous you-are-there feel, because, of course, you are there.

This roller coaster has an incredible, roller coaster type thrill. Because, of course, it’s a roller coaster.

Time does not dull the idiocy of the State University of New Jersey paying Snooki of Jersey Shore $35,000 to come and speak to students there.

Word is they only offered Peter $30,000. MAYBE.