When we last left Hertz extortion victim Peter King, he was extolling lofty praise upon former boss Dick Ebersol. Oh, have you never had the chance to work for Dick Ebersol? Pity. He’s a great boss, in that he’s too busy losing money by overbidding on the Olympics to notice that Peter spends most of his time talking about the Texan Rangers (nee Range Sox!). Peter got to know Dick at his best: Video Store Dick, Free Bagels In The Viewing Room Dick, and Junket In Vail Dick. Did he ever catch a glimpse of Hooker Killer Dick? MAYBE.

So what about this week? Will Peter fail to gas up before returning his car to the rental counter? Will he enjoy another round of fogball at Fenway? Is there a more humane airport layout than that of Jacksonville, which has a stunning TWO Starbucks stands tucked within a single concourse? And what about Peter’s roto team? Can’t wait to hear about that (he said sarcastically, and in parentheses). READ ON…

Three MMQBs left until I take my annual four weeks of vacation.

Because it’s hard work staying at the Conrad Hotel, dining out with famous people, and ignoring the process of investigating actual football issues in favor of attending minor league baseball games. THIS MAN IS POOPED.

I’m open for nominations for guest columnists.

Now, I may be biased here, because I know him. But screw it. I think I can say objectively that my dog Momo should be that guest columnist. I’ve known Momo for a little while now, and I always learn something new whenever I sit down and talk with him. The dog is interested in everything, and you don’t see that very often in a canine!

E-mail them in, or Tweet them to me, and we’ll try to line up four columnists you’d like to read beginning with the June 27 column. Football or no football, obviously.

NO! DON’T GO! I can’t have you turning your column over to reasonable people like Jim Trotter and Chris Kluwe who might actually supply us with compelling information. We need shit to post on Mondays, Peter. Who else will I find that is so reliably self-absorbed and irritating, apart from Dan Shaughnessy, and Bill Simmons, and Mike Lupica, and Bill Plaschke, and Rick Reilly, and that retard from The Big Lead? Who, I ask you?!

Next week is my annual Fathers Day book review column.

Have you read the new John Grisham? TALK ABOUT GETTING GOOSEBUMPS. A lawyer named Pitch Queefborn is drawn into an elaborate plot devised by other evil lawyers! Thoughful. Compelling. Unique.

There will be other stuff in there, like some fodder from the oral arguments in front of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (what, when I mention labor, all you do is glaze over and hear “Blah blah blah blah blah De Smith?”)…

When YOU mention it? Yes, because you never write anything useful about it because you assume your audience doesn’t want to hear anything about it when, in fact, they are starved for anything resembling actual news on the subject, instead of you prattling on like a retard about how Landon Donovan feels about the progress of negotiations. So thanks for excusing yourself from doing actual field work because you assume your readers aren’t interested. Here’s what would have happened if Peter King had been assigned the story of Jim Tressel.

SI EDITOR: Peter, we think Jim Tressel may have violated numerous NCAA rules and that…

PETER: Blah blah blah blah blah. Can’t you tell readers are bored with this mumbo jumbo? I HAD FRESH CORN WITH ROSS TUCKER LAST WEEK AND I GOTTA WRITE ABOUT IT, CHIEF.

…but I’ll tell you what to buy for that special someone who does not need another tie or an ill-fitting polo shirt or 12 more Titleists…

Because I assume that if you read this column, your father is the most stereotypical white person in history.

– and who already has the entire DVD collection of “The Wire.”

“HOLY SHIT PUT PETER KING ON THE BLACK MOUNT RUSHMORE!”

-Jason Whitlock

I’m cramming to read all or most of 10 books that an MMQB audience might find useful. We’ll see about that.

Will I read them? MAYBE. Will I get distracted by this man sitting next to me on the plane with a cello case? POSSIBLE. Why does he have a cello case? HE LOOKS MEAN.

Top 100 Mania

Well, not really. Not mania.

Top 100 Semi-Mania! Sort of!

I love that Peter can’t even title his column items with 100% conviction. STAT OF THE WEEK, I THINK!

Maybe moving the needle slightly.

Top 100 Movingtheneedleslightly! Presumably!

What hockey can teach us.

Finally, Peter has found a great way to talk about football. By talking about the Bruins.

I attended Friday night’s Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final between Tampa Bay and Boston, won 1-0 by the Bruins.

OW-AH HAWKEY YAZZES AHHH BETTAH THAN YOUR-AH HAWKEY EVAN LONGORIAHS!

A few observations:

1. No refs on the ice from small African countries. Liked it.
2. Why no Starbucks vendors walking up and down the aisles?
3. If only I had watched the game with Grey Allbright at razzball sitting with me. He would have had some great lines about Martin St. Louis!

Not since the U.S.-England World Cup match last June in South Africa (and rarely if ever before that) had I heard as much noise 20 minutes before the game, with no one on the field/ice.

THAT’S BAWSTON, AKA HAWKEYTOWN USA FOR YOU!

I kept looking around the arena at about 7:50 p.m., wondering if there was a reason for all the noise. But there wasn’t. The crowd, anxious for the Bruins to make the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1990, was just jacked.

It’s just that Boston is so AWESOME. If only every NFL team was located here.

I mean, it was noisier before this game than it was for the first game of the 2004 World Series between the Cards and Red Sox at Fenway. Easy.

No way! YOU TAKE THAT BACK! NOTHING IS MORE QUINTESSENTIAL THAN FENWAY! NOTHING!

Hockey just seems more important deep down to the players; it’s hard to describe. I’m just telling you how it seems.

Name five things more important than hockey to hockey players. You can’t. And don’t tell me fucking Elisha Cuthbert is higher on the list.

The traditions. Terrific.

The coffee. Weak.
The fans. Outstanding.
The Kit Kits. Melty.
The Carolina Panthers. Scared/happy.
Nard Dog. Funny.
Meme. Created.

NFL teams absolutely, positively should line up and shake hands after playoff games.

Every sportswriter who decides to pay attention to hockey for three seconds: “Whoa hey! They shake hands after every game (because I don’t know that the handshake only happens at the end of a full playoff series)? THAT’S SO CLASSY ZOMG! WHITE MANGASM! EVERY SPORTS NEEDS TO DO THAT!”

When it was over, and I took the T home (the Boston subway), you got the feel of a crowd that was hungry, but not rudely so.

So true. Boston fans celebrate with a joyous restraint that other cities simply can’t equal.

“We want the Cup! We want the Cup!” was the chant.

Stop! The originality is blinding me!

Now for the travel note of the hockey fortnight: Say you’re a hockey fan, and you live in Boston, and you’re very wealthy, and you want to go to every game of this series in person…

Say you’re me!

In the first half of the month of June, you’d fly across the continent six times — Boston to Vancouver for Games 1 and 2, Vancouver to Boston for Games 3 and 4, Boston to Vancouver for Game 5, Vancouver to Boston for Game 6, Boston to Vancouver for Game 7, and Vancouver to Boston when it was done.

Oh no! Poor you! Why can’t hey just play the whole series in Boston? Isn’t that really what America wants?

Assuming you lived through that.

And you wouldn’t. YOU WOULD DIE. No one could handle that kind of rigorous schedule. Not even Bob Papa.

(Bill) Belichick had a great line to the 127 grads — that there’s no “I” in team, but there is an “I” in win.

Great line, except that it’s Michael Jordan’s line and it means nothing. Later on, Belichick plowed one of the grad’s moms.

But what (Ken) Anderson did for 16 years in Cincinnati is rightfully getting some attention today — as in Hall of Fame consideration kind of attention. I’m not saying he belongs — I’ve always thought of him as a Hall of Very Good member — but I have to say I’m open to the argument.

I’m not saying he belongs. I’m just saying… find a way to make the Stanley Cup Finals more convenient for me and I’ll consider it.

Oh, the far-reaching impact of MMQB. Why, even the folks in Hickory, N.C., are big MMQB fans, and it seems they’ve figured a way to help improve mental health in the Hickory area — and help get their own minor-league mascot out of the dumps at the same time.

North Carolina: Where Peter King is treated like his surname!

In the column two weeks ago, I mentioned how much the King traveling partiers enjoyed our day at the Hickory Crawdads game on a trip to North Carolina. But, as you may recall, I questioned the zeal of Conrad Crawdad. A bit laconic, we thought, and my buddy Don Banks remarked that he’d never seen a mascot with such low self-esteem.
This was the result. What a country.

What a country, where you can write a retarded column and have people create a minor league sales promotion out of it! YOU TALK ABOUT A DEMOCRACY. No wonder that crawdad looks like he wants to have his head sucked out.

I’ll be back if I can be, Crawdads.

Thanks for having me, Crawdads! Maybe I’ll deign to come down again if I feel like it! MAYBE YOU SHOULD MOVE THE TEAM TO BOSTON.

I love the Delta Shuttle between Boston, New York and Washington.

But why can’t it fly between Boston and Boston and Boston? Seems like a less life-threatening trip.

In my experience, it’s rarely sold out, and because coach is first-come, first-served, if you board early enough, you can get the bulkhead with all the leg room anyway.
But that’s not the travel note of the week.

Hey, here’s a pointless travel note. ONLY IT’S NOT THE TRAVEL NOTE. Now we can get on to the REAL inanity!

On my way back from the Tom Coughlin charity golf tournament in Jacksonville last Monday night…

Where I golfed with Tommy Coughlin!

…there was a weather delay in Charlotte, so we didn’t end up leaving Charlotte for Boston till about 9 p.m. I got a bulkhead middle seat in coach, and across the aisle was a young girl, maybe 20, on the aisle, with two older men in the middle and the window. The flight was uneventful — or maybe it was very eventful; I slept most of the way — and when we landed, the flight attendant said to me, “I thought we were going to have to take your pulse. You’re a great plane sleeper.”

PETER KING: GREAT PLANE SLEEPER.

And across the aisle, the young gal slept through the landing, the taxi, and the door opening. We’re all getting up and getting our belongings, and the guy in the middle seat nudges the gal and says, “Excuse me.” Nothing. “Uh, EXCUSE me,” with the same nudge. The girl was stunned, and woke up and looked around her and for a second had no idea what was going on.

“Well!” she said, a little too loud.

Nothing untoward happened. The kid was asleep, in a deep sleep, and had to be awakened. I was behind her as we walked off the plane, and she started getting very emotional on the phone with her mother.

“What a HORRIBLE experience! The worst flight of my life!” she said, again a little bit too loud.

No. Not a bad flight. Couldn’t have been, or I’d have woken up. And what would she know? She was sound asleep.

“Don’t tell ME TO CALM DOWN!” she said, walking through the terminal, a few of the late stragglers looking over at her. “I’m just sleeping there, and this guy SCREAMS at me to wake up. How can people be so rude? What an a——!”

At baggage claim, I gave the gal a wide berth. She walked back and forth, gesturing, while she talked to her mother. And I thought: This girl is going to have a tough life. As is her mother.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Some women on airplanes are sleepy cunts.

(Rex) Ryan wrote about getting Roger Goodell to come to the Jets’ facility in New Jersey. Ryan said he told Goodell he wanted him to “rip my a— in front of Santonio
… Then I asked if he would turn and give both barrels to Holmes….”

GOODELL: Yell at an NFL player? Sure! They’re so greedy! Not like Jerry Richardson!

“He chewed us out, and I think it actually brought Holmes and me closer.”

SANTONIO YOUR NEW NICKNAME IS GULLIBLE!

I think the NFL rule about fining teams in the event of their players getting more than a couple of fines for excessive hits is not the latest example of picking on the Steelers.

Maybe I’m biased because I’m friends with everyone in the league office, but I think this rule is totally legit.

It’s a continuation of what the league has done with personal conduct policy.

And that policy is so consistent and well-implemented!

It’s reasonable to me to think that if a team has, say, three players who get fined for hits the league views as over the line, that the team isn’t emphasizing with the players enough the rules they have to play by. (Reasonable, I said; not a certain fact.)

NOT A MORAL CERTAINTY. Call it 80% factual.

So why not fine the team?

Indeed, why not fine the team for what you PERCEIVE as a lack of institutional control, even if you have no hard evidence of it? Don’t you see how that makes sense?

I think it just seems … weird … for a Pittsburgh Steeler, particularly one of the toughest ones, to win “Dancing With The Stars.”

Not very Pittsburghish to dance in an un-Pittsburgh-like manner!

The other day, in the Charlotte airport, I heard some clapping and looked over in a US Airways gate area and saw a soldier waving to the folks waiting to board. Nice effort.

Whoa, put Charlotte at the top of Humane Airport Leaderboard! If they have a Peet’s near Gate 5, they won’t be topped!

“I’d made that move all day and thought I could do it again.” The words of Indy car driver J.R. Hildebrand, who is going to think for a long, long time of his move around a slow car into the wall when he should have coasted home to win the Indianapolis 500.

Yeah, that move was just so… so… God, how can I make this about Boston?

Buckner-like.

PERFECT.

Just watched the highlights of that soccer title game in London. Wish I’d seen more.

Then you probably should have, I dunno, watched it.

How exciting is that Messi?

PEDROIA-LIKE.

So this is why they play the games: Remember how we thought the Texas Rangers, midway through April, were going 140-22 this year, and the Red Sox 22-140?

NO BECAUSE I DON’T FUCKING CARE.

Consider this: Since Boston started 2-10, the Sox are 28-13. Since the Rangers started 9-1, they’re 19-24.

The Sox were Ranger-like and the Rangers were Sox-like! But now the Sox are Sox-like again and the Rangers are Ranger-like again! ORDER HAS BEEN RESTORED.

Sorry for ruining baseball and all…

THIS IS NOT A COLUMN ABOUT BASEBALL! RUIN IT ALL YOU LIKE! TAKE A SHIT ON HOME PLATE!

…but I think collisions at home plate in baseball ought to be what they are when I coached travel softball.

And why pitch overhanded? Seems like overkill.

Runner has to avoid the collision at home plate.

Know what would make baseball better? If it were even lamer.

What a long, strange trip it’s been for Tim Wakefield (2-1 as a Boston spot starter and bacon-saver).

Schiraldi-like.

Here’s how long and strange:

DON’T CARE.

In Wakefield’s first summer in the Red Sox rotation, 1995, my daughters were 11 and 8 and we took a vacation to the national parks of Utah and Arizona.

Holy fuck, the Red Sox AND a family vacation? It’s like the World Series Of Fucking Boring. Did you take Acela to Utah? Because that would complete the trifecta.

Wakefield’s back in the rotation (for now), and my daughters are 27 and 24, with full-time jobs on the West Coast.

NEWS FLASH: OLD PITCHER OLD.

Great stat prompted by Peter Gammons: Tim Wakefield has 195 career wins, David Cone and Doc Gooden 194.

Fantastic stat. Where’s the chloroform, so I can knock myself out and never hear about this tiresome bullshit again?

Bobby Abreu 535 career doubles, Lou Gehrig (who died 60 years ago this Thursday) 534.

NOT FUCKING RELEVANT TO ANYTHING.

Experienced one of those clicker-in-the-hand moments where time stopped for an hour the other night. Flipped past “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” and had to go back. Well worth an hour of my life.

BUT WERE THERE ANY RED SOX IN IT?!

Coffeenerdness: Tyler Kepner, in Sunday’s New York Times, said Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long has a 33-step routine to every day during the season.

Oh, thank God. You almost stopped talking about baseball there for a second.

One of the steps: “Find a Starbucks.” Wonder if Long’s nickname is “Latte.”

No, it’s not. Because that would be fucking stupid. “Hey Latte, going for another Latte, Latte? You sure like Latte, Latte! Hey look, there’s ol’ Lemonade! Gonna go squeeze more lemons, Lemonade?!”

Beernerdness: With the weather turning hot all of a sudden, I’m back in the Peroni mode. Cold weather, heavy beer. Hot weather, it’s Peroni time.

Maybe your nickname should be Peter Peroni!

Good luck in retirement, Ken Schanzer.

Indeed. Good luck, whoever the fuck you are.