When we last left the Earl Dittman of NFL writers, Peter King, he was getting free health care late at night, mourning dead people who were so good, they could have come from Pittsburgh, and bitching about Starbucks becoming too homogenized. I don’t quite know how Peter can get worse, but after reading him give the blessings of the karma gods to his Indian doctor (I assume the karma God in India is some kind of eight-legged girl elephant), NOTHING WILL EVER SURPRISE ME AGAIN.

So what about this week? Did Romeo Crennel fire up the Chiefs by holding a matinee showing of “Bravehearted”? Did Peter’s niece ever apologize to him for making him drive four hours from her stupid winter concert? Will Dr. Z ever be healthy enough to skewer Jerry Sandusky properly? READ ON. I don’t just think this column will be painful, I KNOW IT.

MVP race gets interesting in unpredictable final week to season

That’s your headline. Peter keeps using the word INTERESTING any chance he gets, which is WEIRD. You could almost say it WEIRDTERESTING.

This is going to be a different column.

You mean you’re going to be talking about FOOTBALL?

Hang on through the opening bit, and you’ll see why.

Listen, just hang on with me while I talk about the Red Sox and collecting my expense reports and catching up on “The Office” on the DVR. Because at the end, there will be a special TWIST, where I talk about the fecal infection I got from my dentist.

…it’ll be interesting to see if that’s all there is to (Hines Wards’) career…

STOP USING THAT WORD.

I asked for your (MVP) votes Sunday night between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. Eastern time, and more than 1,800 of you voted. The results:

1. Derek Jeter 1,701
2. Mitch Puin 99 (all from my IP address)

Drew Brees, Saints 762
Aaron Rodgers, Packers 494

Hmm. That’s a curious result, given Rodger’s status as the MVP frontrunner all season long. You might even say it’s… intriguing? Fascinating? Attention-grabbing?

Interesting, but not surprising.

DO YOU NOT OWN A FUCKING THESAURUS? Or will you only get one if someone gives it to you for fucking free?

Amazing that sitting Sunday would do so much to affect the race. Or might do so much to affect the race.

Amazing that Rodgers’ sitting would have such an impact on the MVP voting, even though it might not have any impact on the MVP voting.

As @joshbickford wrote with his vote for Brees: “Matt Flynn changes my vote to Drew Brees.”

Oh well, IF JOSH BICKFORD SAYS IT. By the way, Josh Bickford isn’t, like, an MVP voter or anything. He’s just some idiot. I’m so glad we included THE BICKFORD FACTOR before we came to any hasty conclusions about who should and shouldn’t be MVP. Let’s make sure we heard from some random asshole who tweets like he’s Skip Bayless.

In other words, the sick performance by Flynn in relief of the resting Rodgers could well have the effect of leaking votes from Rodgers and giving them to Brees.

Totally plausible outcome. And you know how I know that? BECAUSE JOSH BICKFORD SAID SO. What other evidence could you possibly need? As Josh Bickford goes, so goes a crazy little planet called Earth.

If a rusty backup like Flynn can throw for 480 yards with six touchdowns piloting the Green Bay offense, doesn’t that diminish what Rodgers has been able to do all season?

“Yes.”

-Retarded people

The MVP dilemma. Brees made it a horse race, and more than that.

It’s a horse race… ONLY THE HORSES ARE ALSO CARRYING GUNS.

I struggled with what to do with my vote, one of 50 for the annual Associated Press NFL awards and All-Pro team.

You mean Peter had a hard time being decisive about something? I’m stunned. I mean, I think I’m stunned. In fact, I don’t just think it, I know it. MAYBE. It depends on how he votes.

I could go Brees, or I could go Rodgers…

…or I could keep my thumb in my butt!

…or I could, as I’ve done before, split my vote half and half.

VOTE TALLIER: Sir! Mr. King split his vote into sixteenths again! And who is this “Rodgersish” player he mentions?

I thought a lot about doing that, and I can see why some voters might do that.

This kind of decision was a hard one! So I decided to take a walk to think things over. And on my walk, I stopped to get some JUICE! Only they didn’t have Adam & Eve apple juice, so I got Mott’s! Then I saw a pigeon! Then I saw a group of blue men picking up trash on the sidewalk! Heckuva city you run, Mayor Bloomberg!

Sometime after 5 this morning, I finalized my call.

PEDROIA.

I decided not to split the vote, because I thought it would be a cop out. I felt I had to make a decision. And I picked Rodgers. Four reasons:

1. Had dinner with him at the Capitale Grill. So many stories.

2. Big fan of Bud Light Lime

3. THINK OF ALL THE TRAVELING HE HAD TO DO THIS YEAR

4. He had the best season ever. MAYBE.

As for the Flynn performance, I think it could be evidence that it’s the system and the supporting cast as much as the player that makes the quarterback in Green Bay.

No, it couldn’t. You’re an idiot. Green Bay QBs do not lead the league in assembly line-ness.

So You Think You’re a 2011 Expert?

Well, it WAS a busy time for death. That Steve Jobs… He coulda been a Yinzer, I tell ya.

Take the first annual (oh, no — now you’re going to hold me to that) Peter King NFL Year-in-Review Quiz.

Oh ho ho! My new feature will become so popular that you’re gonna make me do it again next year even though I’d rather be out at minor league games with Ross Tucker! WHY MUST AMERICA WORK ME LIKE A DOG?

Think you know what happened since the last Super Bowl?

Steve Jobs died! bin Laden got got! Herman Cain something something!

Then you should ace this. Fifty questions, with no time limit…

Okay, I’m ready. HIT ME.

4. Five hours after the players and owners broke off talks in March in the nation’s capital, which two negotiators were seen at the Westend Bistro in Washington with five empty beers bottles on the table — and, I might add, were not very happy to be seen?

Oh, I see. This is a quiz about how much random, name-droppy shit Peter accumulated in the past year. WELL, NO ONE OUT-NUGGETS ME. I think I can add a few queries of my own:

-Which brotherly hip Boston nightspot could use a little work on their cafe au lait preparation?

-Which team spent this season being to football what John Lackey was to free agency?

-Chicken in baseball clubhouses: Fair… OR FOWL?!

-Which is the second best team in football? (Trick question: There is no second best team. Except New Orleans)

-Which deceased NFL owner was part Howard Hughes, part Steve Jobs, part Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, part grasshopper?

-How many times can you visit the Texas Book Depository and still learn something?

-Which CNN-watching Falcons GM actually failed First Grade in Draftology 101 the first time he took it?

7. An NFL kicker competed in the Preakness Cornhole Tournament in the infield at the famed horse race in Baltimore. Which kicker?

Answer? I DON’T GIVE A SHIT.

16. According to commissioner Roger Goodell, a female is likely to be doing something in an NFL game for the first time in league history within three years. What will a female be likely to do?

Relay a useful sideline report?

22. What coach took his team to the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery the day before playing a road game at Washington this year?

Jim Harbaugh. Can you believe that the Niners only get to visit DC every few years? WE ARE DEPRIVING OUR DEAD TROOPS OF A VALUABLE ANNUAL VISIT FROM NAVARRO BOWMAN.

Not to rain on the Pats’ top-seeded parade or anything, but foes threw for 4,703 yards on New England this year. That’s so bad it’s almost scandalous

Just call it scandalous. It’s okay. No one’s gonna be like, “Scandalous? KING HAS GONE TOO FAR!”

Quote of the Week I

“Hey, about an hour ago, their D coordinator told us, told [offensive line coach Chris] Foerster, that if the Giants would have lost last week, they were in the playoffs. He didn’t mention that they still had to beat us today. F— him, f— these guys, In 2012 the Redskins are gonna be the NFC East champions, and that starts right f—— today.”

– Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan captured before the team’s loss in the season finale at Philadelphia by Comcast SportsNet Washington.

It’s funny because he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

“Sam is an extremely talented player. Nothing that’s happened this year has changed Sam Bradford’s future or his outlook going forward…”

– St. Louis offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, on Sam Bradford’s sophomore-jinx of a second season in the NFL.

McDaniels later added, “I hope I’m retained long enough to cut him, and then hire my brother.”

1. I think this is what I liked about Week 17:

a. Romeo Crennel’s job performance, which has to be one of the best by an interim coach in recent years… He deserves the full-time gig.

So true. Why NOT give the job to a guy with a career record of 26-41? What do you have to lose, apart from 41 games?

b. Telling Stat of the Day, from my NBC partner Joe Gesue: Steve Spagnuolo has lost more games in three regular seasons, 38, than Bill Belichick has lost in the last 10 regular seasons (37).

That’s not a telling stat at all. If you want to do a fair comparison, you should go by Belichick’s FIRST three seasons as a head coach, when he lost 28 games. “Hey, here’s telling stat that compares a relatively new head coach with a Hall of Famer in his prime! INTERESTING.”

d. What a catch by Steve Smith, with Gumby-like use of his feet on the sideline.

Semi-Elastigirlesque!

If this is it in Coltville for Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis… they went out well.

Where will they go next? Who knows? Maybe Tebowtown. Maybe Vickville. But I think there could be a bit of Skeltonburg in Wayne’s future!

I think it’d be an upset if Crennel doesn’t return as full-time Chiefs coach…

Our poor commenter Otto Man. Pray for him today, and then offer a conservative viewpoint so that he can come back with a 2,000-word argument explaining why you’re a shithead.

I think here are some 2012 schedule highlights…

The Pats don’t play in the Bay Area! OUTRAGEOUS.

Tough road for the Niners next year. The Rex Ryan Jets (angry, I presume) on the road, along with Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady … all away from home.

In fact, the Niners have to play EIGHT games away from home, which is just an insane number. I’ve never seen a team have to endure that kind of grueling schedule. They even have to fly to Seattle, which we all know is in Alaska.

a. Haven’t seen Girl With the Dragon Tattoo yet.

NO! THE ICE CAPS ARE MELTING NOW!!! EVACUATE SEATTLE!

Dying to.

Literally?

Figuratively.

Phew! Thanks for clarifying! Only Dr. Kata would have been able to cure you if that had been the case!

e. That was a rough movie to watch the other night, The Hours.

“Didn’t know you were about AIDS, ‘Philadelphia’.”

“Whoa hey, what’s with all the slavery, ‘Amistad’? I didn’t hear about you when I was in Nashville.”

“I think you might have been a little overrated, ‘Schindler’s List.’”

Had no idea what it was.

How fucking hard is it to press INFO on your remote?

That’ll sober you up in a hurry. How brilliant is Meryl Streep?

Oh, she’s our Bogart. For sure. Be with us six years from now, when Peter finds out that “Shame” features too much of Michael Fassbender’s cock.

I could watch her plant a garden.

Which would be the cinematic equivalent of reading this column.

Coffeenerdness: To the woman in the East Side Starbucks who put a white cream mask of some sort on her face while nursing a coffee the other day and reading the paper … I mean, gross.

NOTE: That woman was actually DeMaurice Smith in disguise, praying Peter wouldn’t recognize him. MISSION: ACCOMPLISHED.

i. Winenerdness … and no, I’m not starting this as a column staple…

Why not? There’s already coffeenerdness, beernerdness, Soxnerdness, DogNardness, and a fucking trivia quiz about who you’ve seen in restaurants.

…but I did want to praise Dan Patrick…

MY FRIEND AT NBC!

…for introducing me to Hollywood & Vine cabernet, which we’ve had at some NBC Saturday night dinners this year.

ALL EXPENSES PAID BECUASE WE’RE AWESOME.

Had it the other night, and I was reminded how good it was — smooth with a strong taste of blackberry.

Oh, you’re so full of shit.