When we last left mental quicksand sampler Peter King, he was marveling at the humanness of Virgin America airlines, reciting to you everything he read in the New York Post (just like Klaus in “Top Secret!”), and telling you about just how hot in Phoenix it was when he visited. How hot, you ask? Well, try and guess what the number 121 means. Go on. I DARE YOU. That was the temperature in Peter’s car! It’s true! SORT OF.

So what about this week? Did the firm hand of Mike Munchak cause Peter to experience heretofore unknown sexual pleasures? And how ironic is it that the 49ers have a head coach from Stanford AND a starting QB from Utah? You CANNOT make that kind of thing up. GO AHEAD AND READ ON. To read Fun With Peter King is to be a mouse in a maze…

No matter that it’s Labor Day and that no real games took place over the weekend. Things are happening.

There’s intrigue to be had! Interesting intrigue that you may find intriguing!

The NFL doesn’t take a holiday when others do.

As opposed to Peter King, who takes a holiday for 50 weeks a year while the rest of the world does the precise opposite. GREETINGS FROM VENICE, EVERYONE! THSE ITALIANS SURE ARE PUSHY!

No one wants Tiki Barber.

Oh no! How could the NFL do such a heartless thing so close to the tenth anniversary of 9/11? It’s like we’ve forgotten all the valuable lessons of that day.

A podcast by me is on the way.

Cousin Sal and I try and guess the Starbucks Special Blend of the Week each week!

Now to flesh out some of the headlines as you get that last day off to study your fantasy draft and think: What on God’s green earth am I going to do about Peyton Manning?

How do you think Jim Caldwell feels?

BILL POLIAN: (storms into Jim’s office) Jim, JIM! This is bad. Peyton’s neck isn’t healing. He might need surgery again. We’re fucked! FUCCCKKKKED! What do we do, Jim? Jim? Jim? (check for pulse) My God, he’s dead! How long has he been like this? (sees report from coroner noting that Caldwell died in 2005)

Radio reporter Jon Michael Vincent of ESPN 1070 in Indianapolis

Jon Michael Vincent? FUCK YEAH AIRWOLF.

/yes I know it’s Jan

…reported Sunday night that Manning would need another neck surgery and would be out indefinitely. That prompted my call to Polian, who said he knew nothing about it.

POLIAN: I don’t know anything about that, Peter.

PETER: Oh, okay. Can I get you some Gatorade or anything?

My guess? Manning has been rehabbing to excess, which may have caused the flare-up in his back. It may not have; that’s simply my guess.

My guess? Well, I have no medical degree of any sort, but I think it’s fairly obvious that Peyton’s neck has been invaded by mind-controlling SPACE EELS who may OR MAY NOT have already chewed through his spinal cord and left him a pant-shitting invalid barely able to speak or hear. That’s simply a guess. Could be wrong. SORT OF.

This won’t be a mail-it-in Houston win if (Kerry) Collins has to go.

Yes it will.

I had arranged with Giants’ PR aide Peter John-Baptiste to have (Giants LB Mark) Herzlich call me Sunday afternoon. “He’ll call at 1,” John-Baptiste said. At 12:54, my cell phone rang. Herzlich.

WHOA! Sign that young man up for the Pro Bowl! You talk about a kid who calls back THE RIGHT WAY. I bet he watches CNN!

Baltimore is serious about winning, and winning now. First it was the deal for wideout Lee Evans, then the signing of fired Viking tackle Bryant McKinnie.

And nothing says “I want to win now” more emphatically than bringing in a 400-pound pussyeater who can’t protect the passer for shit.

Buffalo doesn’t seem like such a stable place, but check out the starting 22: Only linebacker Nick Barnett and 3-4 end Marcell Dareus (who will play some inside and some outside; he is a monstrous man who needs to be in the middle in goal line and short yardage) were not on the team last season, either for all or part of the year.

Holy shit, it’s almost as if they’re fielding the exact same team that went 4-12 last year! You better watch out. This team is like CONCRETE CYANIDE. Add Brad Smith to the mix and you’re talking about an offense that could find itself in the NFL’s Top 27!

The corner position for Detroit is a who’s who of players who could keep the Lions out of the playoffs.

Here’s your Butchered PK Sentence of the week. As a sentence, we underrate this. It’s a who’s who of poor structure who could keep Peter out of First Grade In Englishology 101.

Houston made my favorite move of the weekend. The Texans signed Mister Alexander, a rookie from Florida State, to the practice squad after waiving him. His parents named him Mister so if anyone shortened his name to MR, it would mean “Mentally Ready.”

Is that a real story? That can’t be a real story.

DAD: Let’s name him Mister. That way, if anyone shortens it to “Mr.”…

MOM: Then he’ll still be Mister!

DAD: What? You stupid woman. No one thinks of “MR” as an abbreviation for “Mister.” It’s clearly an acronym for MEATY RECTUM.

MOM: Perhaps we aren’t mentally ready to name this child.

DAD: Or MILKY RHINO!

Miami cut and re-signed free agent quarterback Pat Devlin to the practice squad. Smart.

Bold.

He succeeded Joe Flacco at Delaware, is a smart kid with a good enough arm, and the Dolphins know it’s smart to develop quarterbacks when you’re not sure if your quarterback of the future is on the roster already.

Smart move. The Dolphins know it’s a good idea to keep shitty QBs on your roster when you have a shitty QB starting for you. Smart. GUTTY.

Minnesota cut Stylez G White. Lineman B Gone.

Peter B Sassy!

The Giants kept Steve Weatherford to punt and dropped Matt Dodge. Everyone in the organization liked Dodge…

“Look at him bobble that snap! How can you not love the guy?”

San Diego kept Ivy League free agent signee Bryant Walters, whose strange ride from Seattle to Cornell to San Diego will be addressed in my Tuesday column.

Whoa hey, from to the Pacific Northwest to the Eastern US and back to the West Coast? You’re like the Bruins of free agency, Bryant! Bob Papa’s head is spinning! FLY FIVE HOURS. WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA. What a world.

For some reason, this story surprises me.

Here we go. Are you prepared for yet another round of “Peter Loves Tiki”? No? Well, tough shit because here it comes.

I had heard throughout the offseason that Tiki Barber had a suitor, a team that would sign him after his four-year hiatus from football. I knew it wasn’t Tampa Bay, where his twin brother Ronde prepares to continue his remarkable career. I figured it was Pittsburgh, where Mike Tomlin, Ronde’s former position coach with the Bucs, knew the Barbers well and had very high regard for them.

TIKI: Psst! Peter! I have a scoop for you!

PETER: You got it, Teekster. Fire away.

TIKI: Rumor has it, the Steelers are a suitor for the services of one Tiki Barber.

PETER: Really? That’s you! You’re Tiki!

TIKI: I know!

PETER: Boy, that’s ironic!

But the Steelers never came through.

I love how Peter phrases that. Those asshole Steelers never CAME THROUGH. How dare they break a promise they clearly never made? What kind of world do we live in when a rumor about a washed-up back going to a team that doesn’t require his services doesn’t come to pass? NOT VERY PITTSBURGHISH OF YOU, MIKE TOMLIN.

And when the phones stopped ringing Sunday night, and the musical chairs of roster spots around the league had ended, and the teams had their 1,696 players set for the 2011 season, not a single team had called Barber or his agent, Mark Lepselter.

Truly, it was The Day The Music Died.

It’s easy to justify that, given that Barber is a 36-year-old man trying to play the position of players 13 and 14 years younger. And it’s probably understandable, except for one fact.

And I suppose that maybe possibly makes sense. BUT CONSIDER THIS ONE LAST SELLING POINT FOR MY OLD BUDDY.

At 29, 30 and 31, Barber’s final three seasons in the NFL, he led all NFL backs in total yards from scrimmage (rushing-receiving yards), averaging 138 yards from scrimmage per game.

ZOMG! It’s almost like he shouldn’t have ever retired and burned his bridges and arrogantly looked down at people for still playing football and attempted a disastrous media career and fucked his intern and gotten divorced and gone broke and tried to claw back into the league when he was too old to be productive!

Miami worked him out and chose to not sign him.

But.. the numbers! Did you not SEE his numbers from 36 years ago?

And don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying this is some sort of outrage.

I’m just devoting reams of column space to it as a personal favor, that’s all.

I tried to reach Barber on Sunday, but he wasn’t talking.

Aw, you NFL bastards. YOU HURT TIKI’S FEELINGS. Now he’s gonna have to go fuck another intern. I hope you’re happy.

I hear he’s devastated that no team gave him a chance.

“What did I do wrong, apart from retiring early and being a dick to everyone and believing Peter when he said he could get me a job in Seattle?”

You might wonder if teams would bring him in after the first game of the season…

NO ONE IS WONDERING THAT EXCEPT FOR YOU.

…so his contract wouldn’t be guaranteed, and that could still happen.

Fingers crossed, gang!

But with no team calling Lepselter with even a hint of interest, it’s more likely teams would start with backs who’ve been in some football competition this summer. Lepselter told me Sunday: “We are flabbergasted that Tiki has not had an opportunity with any team, especially when rosters were at 90 players this year. I certainly thought some team would be intrigued to see what he had left in the tank.”

There was. Miami. They then tried him out and saw he had nothing left in the tank.

I’m not flabbergasted that a 36-year-old trying to play for the first time since 2006 doesn’t get a sniff. I just thought after his career-twilight performance that he was worth a look.

Well now maybe you and Tiki and Jeff George and Whitlock can all go on a double date at the Copa together.

Too bad the Chiefs cut Shane Bannon, the fullback from Yale, over the weekend.

Oh no! How will a poor Yale graduate survive with only a cushy analyst job at Goldman awaiting him?

Or maybe it’s good after all.

Too bad he got cut. I THINK.

He can get back to the work of a politically conscious being at a time when there seem to be too few young people who care about the issues of the day.

SHANE: Peter, we have to do something about guns in this country.

PETER: OMG! You know the issues! Do you read the Times like I do?

Bannon’s senior thesis at Yale: “How Social Media Will Change Presidential Campaigns.”

“Whoa, that’s an amazing thesis!” -The year 2007

During training camp, Bannon, who didn’t own a TV in camp…

…and reads McSweeneys!

…would go onto CNN.com to digest the news of the day during free late-night minutes.

OMG CNN THIS MAN WILL ONE DAY BE GM OF THE FALCONS AND LEAD THAT VERY SNEAKY TEAM TO FIFTEEN SUPER BOWL TITLES CNN CNN CNN.

Took the train home Sunday, the Acela, after spending three days in New York.

Took the car home, THE MERCEDES, from South Station after that.

Somewhere around Stamford, I walked into the cafe car to get coffee (the watery Acela coffee, I can still report with confidence)…

And the decline of America continued without interference.

(Aaron) Rodgers on the reaction by Brett Favre to Rodgers being drafted in the first round: “I think he was offended by it.”

“No one’s gonna throw interceptions fifty yards down field in this town BUT ME! I AM THE SPIRAL BARON.”

Cool (Mike) McCarthy motivational ploy at the start of the 2010 season — a blank picture frame in the team meeting room, left there for the team to figure where the next Packer Super Bowl team photo would go. Woodson said it gave the players goose bumps.

And again, we see just how easy it is to motivate professional athletes. “You guys see this? This is my bare ring finger. I want you to think about this finger every time you remember we don’t have a ring yet. RESPECT THE FINGER.”

I think if you want to follow me in various media this year, here’s my schedule: Tuesday: A radio appearance with Colin Cowherd on ESPN radio sometime in the morning

COLIN: Peter, don’t you think Mike Vick will stumble this year because he’s black and black men shoot each other all the time?

PETER: Good question, Colin. And my answer is a definite maybe.

… And a radio shot with Chris Russo on his “Mad Dog Radio” station on SiriusXM radio, I believe at 5 p.m.

Holy shit. Can we just do away with Tuesday from now on?

I think people who’ve been through Miami this summer say they’re going to be better than people say. People like me, I suppose; I have them fourth in the division.

Wait, which people are you? Are you the first set of delusional, stupid people who don’t actually exist? Or are you the second set of real, normal people?

But you never know.

I think people think Miami will be better than people think and I am one of those people because I think Miami will suck but maybe I am ALSO one of those people who thinks they’ll be better than I think. HEY, THAT WALL OUTLET SURE LOOKS LIKE IT COULD USE A GOOD LICKIN’.

I don’t trust Reggie Bush to stay healthy, but that doesn’t mean he won’t, of course.

My guess? Reggie has been rehabbing to excess, which may have caused the flare-up in his back. It may not have; that’s simply my guess.

Hey Papelbon: You guys have your fantasy draft tonight up there in Toronto, right? My advice: Tim Hightower in the third round, Antonio Brown in the ninth, Ryan Fitzpatrick in the 10th, Kyle Rudolph in the 13th. You’ll thank me someday.

This is where I offer a confession: We had our KSK keeper league draft last week. Thirty-eight players were kept and so we drafted the remaining pool of players. In the third round of that limited draft, I selected Tim Hightower. JUST AS PETER FORETOLD IT. And so I must recuse myself from making fun of this paragraph. I’m sure you understand.

/punches self in nuts

b. Enough of Lackey. Please.

YEAH GAWD FACK THAT GUY HE IS NAWT A TRUE MEMBAH OF THE GRITSAWX!

c. Happy Labor Day. I hope you spend it, uh, not laboring.

Also not laboring today? Tiki Barber, BECAUSE HE’S BROKE AND UNEMPLOYED AHAHAHAHAHAHA

Looking forward to speaking at Marquette University in Milwaukee Tuesday. I was invited by my friend and former softball outfielder Tess Quinlan, a sophomore there. Between now and then I’ll try to think of something good to say, Tess, but I can’t guarantee anything.

Will I be eloquent? MAYBE. Will I bitch about my flight there? POSSIBLY. Will I spend half the speech texting Tony Romo with one hand and eating a Hostess blueberry pie with the other? CALL IT 3:2 ODDS.

There’s something wrong with a business model when the coffee on the expensive East Coast train, the Acela, is far worse than the coffee at a 7-Eleven. And that’s a fact.

So true. Never mind the fact that Amtrak loses money, and that it has inferior train cars compared to the rest of the developed world, and that it’s historically been run by incompetent people. I’ll tell you the real flaw in its business model: THE FUCKING COFFEE.

Trying to figure out what to do with my last day off in a while today. Any ideas?

Yeah. FIELD TRIP TO THE BOOK DEPOSITORY.

NOTE: “The Postmortal” is available in stores now. Buy it through here. Good book. LOFTY book.

This week, KSK is raising money for the Special Operations Warrior Fund through Matt Ufford’s Fight Gone Bad effort. Donate here. For more information, go here.