When we last left Stieg Larsson fanboy Peter King, he was professing to know nothing about the sex slave business (it’s all pleasure to him), enjoying the incredibly rare drink known as Pyramid Hefeweizen, and lamenting that America doesn’t read anymore because HE doesn’t read anymore. Shame on you, Americans who are all presumably just like Peter King. What does it say to our children that Peter King doesn’t read anymore? How can we get Peter King reading again, so that America will be back on track?

So what about this week? Is Peter still stuck in the windswept moonscape that is Seattle, Washington? God, it’s just so far away from everything! It’s like they built a city in another galaxy! READ ON…

I’m taking my talents to … no. Too easy this morning.

Ho ho ho! I like how you were about to make a clichéd joke and then pulled back only after making a legit 40% it and then failing to do anything creative with it.

End-Of-Lockout Fever! Catch it!

Well, sort of.

I swear that “sort of” is in there. I think Peter says “Sort of” 500 times every column just to keep you on your toes. “Great dinner at the Capital Grille last night. Sort of. MAYBE I DIDN’T EAT THERE AT ALL. MAYBE THE COFFEE WAS TARDY IN ARRIVING AT OUR TABLE. MAYBE THIS DIMENSION IS NOT THE REAL WORLD. QUESTION EVERYTHING, AMERICA.”

There’s some real optimism that there will be a labor deal within a month.

SORT OF. But really, you don’t want to hear about that. That’s just blah blah blah blah blah… HAVE YOU READ UNBROKEN?!

I’ve learned three interesting things from sources close to the labor talks:

1. I think a deal could have easily been reached had the NFL adopted the NHL’s rule of shaking hands after every meeting.
2. My source said this, “One word, Peter: CHAOSVILLE.”
3. As a Red Sox fan, I feel like these talks have gone on longer than Tim Wakefield’s career! Little inside humor for you Soxaholics out there.

The dinner Roger Goodell and De Smith had Wednesday night, alone? “Don’t underestimate it,” I’m told.

“Goodell had shrimp instead of his usual dinner of Jerry Richardson’s stool. BIG CHANGE.”

“A very good sign.”

“Well, they should lock Goodell and Duh Smith in that restaurant until they come out with an agreement grumble grumble grumble! IN AMERICA IF YOU RUN A BUSINESS YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU LIKE, INCLUDING RAPING EMPLOYEES BECAUSE THEY ARE SCUM.”

-Every PFT commenter

/that comment got 62 thumbs up votes

Look for the talks to continue this week, somewhere.

WICHITA.

But don’t expect a resolution imminently. The CBA is long and tedious, and each side is going over every sentence, even without the lawyers in-house. “It’d be a mistake to think it’s certainly going to happen,” said one source. “There’s a long way to go. But instead of people yelling at each other, trying to score debating points, now people are sitting down and talking to each other, trying to solve a very involved case. That’s progress.”

Whoa hey, careful there, Peter. That almost sounded like a reasonable conclusion based on gathering information from reliable sources. Let’s not go nuts with the whole “useful journalism,” okay? I need a reason to be angry every Monday.

I said in SI the other day my over-under for a deal is July 4.

Or somewhere between July 1st and July 175th.

I might say July 10 now…

MIGHT. Let me just make an even weaker commitment to my arbitrary guess.

…but I still think chances are better there will be a deal than there won’t — and that deal will come within a month.

Yay! I THINK.

Top 100 Section

I know Vincent Jackson has had a star-crossed recent history, but he’s still my sixth-rated wideout. (Obviously, Greg Jennings and DeSean Jackson are 4-5.)

He is? Vincent Jackson, who fucked over 560,000,000 fantasy teams last year? You know what Vincent Jackson is 6th best in? RAPING MY DREAMS.

One of the proudest moments I’ve had in recent years was being my alma mater’s graduation speaker in 2008, at Ohio University.

Really? That happened?

“Congratulations, graduates! Sort of. When you go out into the real world, I want you to remember a few things…

“Don’t just be alive. Be MORE THAN ALIVE. Save all your voicemails and texts. If you see a man with a cello on a airplane, leave him alone because he might be dangerous. Lead your company in smiles. If you have a chance, you MUST watch NFL football in the NBC viewing room with Tony Dungy. There’s simply no substitute. Be Pittsburgh-like in all your affairs. You should always be feeling these four emotions at the same time: excitement, danger, insecurity and fear. A real student of the world visits Fenway Park at least six times. Read more Steig Larsson; you’re not gonna find better angry rape scenes. Don’t jog with your coffee. You might have an accident. Please be quiet on the Quiet Car. If you’re trying to find the Providence airport, DON’T TRUST THE SIGNS. Always stay at the Conrad. Never trust those gas hooligans at Hertz. There’s no clear #1 priority in life, except for family. That’s definitely #1. Open more Starbucks in places where people are suffering. Be more horse conscious. Do NOT visit the Anne Frank house. Don’t kidnap chemistry if you can help it. Don’t just ACCEPT that skim crap in your latte. And, above all else, BE LOFTY. Now, I was going to read to you a passage from a book I had been meaning to read, but I haven’t gotten around to it. I’ll get to it in due course.”

As I put together my list of the top 100 players in the NFL, I struggled a bit when deciding where to put Philip Rivers, who, unlike many of the premier quarterbacks in football, has not only not won a Super Bowl but also hasn’t played in one.

YAAA BETTTER RANK SOMEBODAYYYYYYYYY

Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me

Tebowmania in action:

Oooh, Tebowmania! Like Mallett-mania, only with less meth and more Christians!

The first person to line up for a Tim Tebow-autographed copy of his autobiography Through My Eyes at the Walmart in Gainesville arrived 31-and-a-half hours before the scheduled 6 p.m. signing.

That person? Dan Shanoff.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

Had the good fortune of sitting in the field seats at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night/Friday morning

Oh, are you not eligible to sit in the field seats due to your current economic standing? Well then, you must have graduated from Ohio University.

…an early celebration of my 54th birthday, with friends from New Jersey, including Bob Papa, the Giants’ radio voice and an NFL Network voice.

And you would not BELIEVE how many different subways Papa took to get to that Stadium! First he took the 7. Then he took the 4! THE MAN IS TIRELESS.

Papa, by the way, is one of the talented few on this planet who can imitate both John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman so that you think you’re listening to the Yankees on WCBS radio…

BUT CAN HE DO THAT SLING BLADE GUY BECAUSE THAT’S FUNNY YO

Anyway, part of the deal is a ridiculously fine meal before the game, which is part of the ticket package. When we walked into the place and looked over the carving stations and sushi bars and cooked-to-order pasta stations, the first question was: What don’t we want?

I’m embarrassingly spoiled with food! Come reader, savor the carving station with me as a describe it for you, for it shall be as close as you ever get to Yankee Heaven!

I settled for the braised cauliflower and monster carrots, the ziti and salmon in a light lemon cream sauce, two California rolls and four raviolis with the short-rib filling. With a glass of Argentinian Malbec. Sumptuous.

Hmmm. Yes. Indeed. SUMPTUOUS. What did YOU have at the ballpark last night, commoner? A hot dog! HOW QUAINT.

While I grazed the food stations, I looked over and noticed a man in black, his back to the corner (and, of course, why wouldn’t he have his back to the corner?): Steve Schirippa, who played Bobby Baccalieri on The Sopranos. New York, New York, baby.

“Hey look! It’s a shitty D-list actor who’s milking every second out of being a stereotypical Italian on a former hit TV show! ONLY IN NEW YORK, PEOPLE. Now, let me tell you about the time I saw Frank Vincent at Rao’s.”

Somehow I’m guessing the Tampa Bay Rays don’t have braised cauliflower and short-rib-filled ravioli and ziti and salmon in a light lemon cream sauce at their pregame spread.

Yes. (snickering) Somehow, I suspect (snickering) that those FILTHY plebes down in Florida aren’t quite getting such fine accoutrements at their little bandbox!

Tweet of the Week III

“LeBron now takes his talents to the coughseason.”

@SteveSerby, the New York Post columnist, after the Miami Heat and LeBron James lost the NBA Championship Series to Dallas Sunday night.

And I assume that’s the tweet of the week because it somehow manages to be lame, unfunny, AND nonsensical all at once.

@SteveSerby: “D-Wade? More like D-NoParade!”

@SteveSerby: “Looks like Erik Spoeled the beans out there last night!”

@SteveSerby: “Looks like Mike Miller wasn’t quite one in a Millerion!”

I think if I were Mike Shanahan, I’d put in a sixth-round bid on Terrelle Pryor in this summer’s (potential) supplemental draft…

YES. YES YES YES YES YES. Do it, Mike. Don’t even question it. It was the move you were BORN to make.

At worst, he’s a waste.

At worst, you’ve made a terrible error! WHAT’S TO LOSE?!

I think I wonder this about Cleveland: Will the city’s sports fans be happier if Colt McCoy wins a playoff game this year than it was when LeBron James lost a championship series last night?

No. Because LeBron is a cunt who got what was coming to him and that’s AWESOME.

9. I think these are my quick-hit NBA thoughts (shocking! King on the NBA!):

I know! Buckner-like!

LeBron didn’t murder someone, by the way.

OR DID HE?

He just went somewhere with extreme hubris in free agency. Can we cool the character assassination please?

Maybe if all of you read more, you’d have a bit more perspective. And by you, I mean me. And by me, I mean US.

Re Dirk-Bird comparisons: Larry stands alone, but the reasons they remind me of each other were evident Sunday night.

They’re white!

They don’t care if they’re 3-for-22 in the first 40 minutes; they want the ball in the final eight.

Also in that category: Nick Van Exel. See how that analysis leaves a bit to be desired?

Thanks, Mike Wilbon, for my 54th birthday shoutout on PTI.

“Now, I know Peter King JUST A LITTLE BIT. And anyone who think Peter doesn’t do a good job is just full of JUNK. They are JUNKY JUNKSTERS.”

d. Saw a black mutt last week. Asked the owner his name. “Wharf,” he said. I wondered why, and the guy said, “Because he’s black — like a wharf.”

e. I promise I am not making that up.

d. I just used two bullets to tell a pointless story

e. NOT making it up.

5. SORT OF.

Coffeenerdness: Leftover from last weekend’s jaunt to the Pacific Northwest…

At the far end of the world, where bears rule over man and snowdrifts run seven stories high!

– a top-notch espresso called Poverty Bay from Auburn, Wash. Poverty Bay is a micro-roaster, and I had the best triple latte I’ve had in some time at the Church Hill Coffee House in Friday Harbor, not far from the home of the late Don Coryell. Outstanding place. One of John Clayton’s favorites.

No doubt because it has dark lighting.

Beernerdness: You people in the Pacific Northwest are pretty lucky to have all those summer beers to choose from.

HOW DOES THE WAGON TRAIN GET ALL THAT PERONI OUT TO YOU?