When we last left sweaty palmed fat gland of opportunity, Peter King, he was actually lauding the Raiders for picking up Matt Leinart in free agency. For serious! It wasn’t all positive, though, as PK also took Starbucks to task for its doughy, tasteless scones. He also said that is Acela only way to travel the East Coast while in the same nutmeg-scented breath decrying the quality of its Wifi and coffee service.
So what about this week? What few travel items are important to an easygoing unexacting customer such as Peter King? Do Tryout Guys ever become Made It Guys? Does PK forget how to spell “infamous”? That’s unpossible! READ ON.
Different column this week
Could it be? At long last, insight! Reportage! Opinions without endless equivocation! Coherent writing! Fact-checking! Shutting the fuck up about the Red Sox, Starbucks, Allagash, the Acela, the Bowers, Boston, New Jersey, walking and Pittsburghishness!
Must be a guest columnist week.
stretching from Foxboro (Tom Brady) to San Diego out West (Dan Fouts)
Not just different, but bi-coastal!
from an unhappy Dolfan in the Southeast (Daniel Tosh) to Russell Wilson in the Land of Opportunity in the Northwest (Seattle)
Opportunity, Seattle has it. Because it is remote. It is the last frontier of human civilization. We’ll have eight Mars colonies, six of them at war, before we’ve tamed the uncharted wilderness of Remotesoggyville.
from a hotel in Oakland to a bar in D.C., from a hockey rink in New York to the busiest building in North America (Staples Center in Los Angeles) … well, let’s just get on with it.
Wait, you just trailed off. Aw dammit, this is just the same ol’ shit, isn’t it? He lied to us through muttering.
Last of the (New England) Mohicans, and he’s not planning to leave anytime soon.
Duncan: There is a war on. How is it you are headed west?
Tom Brady: Because I live I bi-coastal life. Check the faux-hawk. It’s tribal. U Mad, bro?
Matt Light retired the other day. Peyton Manning plays for Denver now. This means that Tom Brady is the lone member of an exclusive club.
I knew it! Brady is ILLUMINATI. All the signs were there.
Sept. 30, 2001. Ninety players dressed for the first start of Brady’s career, against the Indianapolis Colts, at the rickety old Foxboro Stadium on a cloudy and windy Sunday afternoon. Eighty-nine played. And Tom Brady, 34, is the only man who suited up that day who not only still plays for the Patriots, but also still plays for either team. (Notes for you sticklers: Reggie Wayne was inactive that day, and he still plays for the Colts. Kevin Faulk had 11 touches that day, but he’s an unrestricted free agent and doesn’t play — yet — for the Patriots this year.)
Really? We’re supposed to be keeping track of the remaining players at some random September regular season game? Who gives a fuck?
Look at the turnover. One player out of 89 remaining, less than 11 years after the first start of Brady’s career. It’s Brady and Bill Belichick against the world now.
WOWZERS CAN’T BELIEVE THERE WAS TURNOVER ON TWO FOOTBALL ROSTERS OVER THE COURSE OF 11 YEARS GIVEN THAT SPAN IS MORE THAN THREE TIMES THE LENGTH OF THE AVERAGE NFL CAREER
“Well,” Brady said Thursday afternoon, trying to figure out what it meant but not sounding at all surprised about it,
Christ, can you let Dreamboat get three words out before trying to psychoanalyze him?
“Matt called me a while ago and told me what he was planning to do, and I’ve called him every week since then trying to talk him out of it. He had such a great year for us. But there was no way I was going to be able to talk him out of it. He’ll be a tough player to replace. But, you know, every year in this game, there’s a lot of change.”
“That’s great, Tom. So would it be fair to say that you’re saddened by the departure while at the same time coming to grips with your own mortality, even though you’re not at all surprised by the notion of death? Also, will they serve Allagash in heaven? That’s pretty far from Maine.”
Except with one guy. One guy living a bicoastal life, married to one of the most famous women in the world, with two kids, and with a coach who’s not very concerned with all of that stuff.
“Tom, any plans to wear a commemorative patch for being the last active Patriot to play in that one game back in ’01? What if I sew it for you?”
Who can know now, but it’s going to be interesting to see if Brady outlasts Belichick. Because Belichick has been coaching in the NFL since Carlton Fisk willed the 12th-inning home run fair in the ’75 World Series
Fuck you for the shoehorned SAWX reference.
– actually, he’s been coach a few months longer than that — and, amazing as it seems, Belichick is three years shy of 40 seasons as an NFL head coach or assistant. Not to get sidetracked, but this will be Belichick’s 38th year as an NFL coach. Don Shula coached for 36.
YO-AH COACHING LEGENDS DIDN’T COACH FO-AH AS LONG AS OW-AH COACHING LEGEND!
I’ve wanted to ask Brady about one play in the Super Bowl since the game was played. Early in the fourth quarter, with New England up 17-15, Brady escaped traffic in the pocket, faded right, and threw the ball 54 yards in the air, aiming for tight end Rob Gronkowski. The ball was underthrown by four to six yards, and New York linebacker Chase Blackburn intercepted it.
“Has anything happened to your arm, or your arm strength, that prevented you from throwing that ball where you wanted it?” I asked.
“No,” he said. “It was a bad throw. Bad throw. You hope your bad throws don’t come at big times or really hurt the team, but that one did. Bad throw, bad decision.”
I don’t think it was a bad decision at all. I thought it was a good decision and a good matchup — the athletic Gronkowski on the not-so-athletic Blackburn. It was just underthrown.
That and Gronk was playing injured, so perhaps throwing a jump ball to him isn’t quite as automatic as it typically would be. But whatever, SUPAH SMAHT AS ALWAYS, TOMMY!
This was a weekend for the Tryout Guys. Guys like Wayne Dorsey.
That sounds like a premise to a horrible Budweiser ad.
“Here’s to the Tryout Guys. The mashers. The ones who expect never to get picked up. But they’re out there, soldiering on and slogging through. When they get done not being picked out from a crowd of hundreds of willing applicants, they go with the cheap mass-produced beer that has always gotten them through hard times.”
Imagine you’ve been playing football since you were 9.
/imagines being yelled at and hit a lot
You’re an inner-city kid, and you play basketball too, but you love football, and once you get to high school, you dream about one day playing in the NFL, not the NBA. You go to a junior college, then an SEC school, and the dream seems close. But you don’t get drafted, as you thought you might.
/continues imagining very detailed scenario
//adds gratuitous sex scenes
You don’t get signed as undrafted free-agent, as you think you would. And you wonder: Is this it? The end of the line?
Uh oh, it’s Act 2 of my dramatic imaginary life story. Montage coming soon.
Then you hear the NFL has expanded team rosters from 80 to 90. You hear most teams are having players in for tryouts, and at the end of the tryout, they might sign some of them to the 90-man roster, and 320 more players than a year ago will get to have their NFL dreams extended through a real training camp.
But there’s a catch.
Beyond the fact that, at best, you’re only prolonging the inevitable disappointment?
At these three-day tryout camps, you won’t be scrimmaging. You won’t be playing full-speed with pads. You’ll have helmets and jerseys and shorts and spikes, and you’ll have to make the best impression you can without going live. At the end of the three-day camp, maybe you’ll get signed. Maybe you won’t.
But you’ll have made tryout memories to last a lifetime.
The Oakland Raiders had 30 of those trial guys at their weekend rookie camp, Thursday night through Sunday noon. One of those men was Ole Miss defensive end Wayne Dorsey, from the tough streets of Baltimore.
Then the Giants called. The Saints called. He thought he’d go to New Orleans and try out. On Monday, Oakland called. New coach. New administration. Compared to the Giants and Saints, it seemed like the land of opportunity.
Whoa whoa whoa, didn’t we already establish Seattle as the land of opportunity? When the Seahawks and Raiders play in the last week of the preseason, we’ll have to dub it the Opportunity Bowl. Then proceed not to watch it.
Four notes of the weekend I’d like you to know about.
1. Sunday’s technically the beginning of the week, but we still call it the weekend. WEIRD.
2. Saw Dark Shadows. ALSO WEIRD
3. If Tim Burton and Johnny Depp played on the Patriots, would they still be there? MAYBE
4. This yogurt commercial mentioned swapportunity. Looking for the Land of Swapportunity. Wichita?
In Seattle, coach Pete Carroll acknowledged after the club’s three-day rookie minicamp that there will be a three-way competition for quarterback this spring and summer.
Hilarious. Please have Tarvaris win. That would be tremendous.
I can see the steam coming out of Flynn’s ears right now. Not because he was promised the starting job. But because the Seahawks picked a quarterback in the third round who likely needs a couple of years on the JV, and the coach is already putting him on something of an equal footing with two guys far more accomplished. Just goes to show you: History means very little to Carroll, a “now” guy.
Why fuck up tomorrow what you can make a hash of today? YESIRREE BOYS, I PLANTED THESE SEEDS IN THE FLOWER BED OVER THERE. SAT THERE AND WATCHED ‘EM FOR 20 MINUTES. DIDN’T DO NOTHING. SO I SCOOPED ‘EM UP IN MY SHOVEL, DUMPED THE MESS IN A PAPER BAG AND GIVE IT TO THE MISSUS. I SAID, “THAT’S LOVE, HONEYBUN! THAT’S NOW! YOU MARRIED THE NOW GUY!” HAHA, SO SHE LEFT WITH THE KIDS AND THAT’S A SAD THING! HOOYAH!”
Is it dumb?
No, it’s not dumb.
In New York, the NFL is mulling over options about which way to turn in post-career player care. Tough call, obviously, in part because the league doesn’t want to overreact to the death of Junior Seau. Many meetings in the league office about how to react to Seau, and to the concerns of so many players about how to replace football in their lives, and there’s been no definitive decision about how, if at all, the league should proceed here.
One of the things the league’s batting around is having retired players mentor and/or counsel players late in their careers — a sort of peer-to-peer counseling method that veteran players may look upon with more hope that it’d be relevant to what they’re going through as they prepare to transition to life after football.
Retired player: “Is your brain damaged?”
Late-career player: “Yep.”
Retired player: “Mine too.”
Late-career player: “I’m glad we talked this out.”
Retired player: “Me too. Anyway, when the time comes, don’t shoot yourself in the chest. It’d be a big help.”
The other day, I was on a SiriusXM NFL Radio show with Ross Tucker, the former NFL guard and special-teamer, and he had an interesting perspective on the topic of head trauma in the NFL, and I asked him to share his thoughts with you. His words:
“The concussion issue in football, which has been such a hot topic in recent weeks, is one I take very seriously. Because I have a big head (literally, and hopefully not figuratively)
Cranial swelling lolz
“That said, barring something totally unforeseen coming out of the research, I can’t help but think that the issue is only going to get better from here, and that the worst of it is behind us at the NFL level. The ‘crisis,’ I believe, is likely overblown. It is my contention that the guys who played in the last four decades are the ones who are likely to suffer the most, whatever that ends up meaning to each individual.
Well, that’s good. We only have to worry about all living former players and all current players who were in the league prior to two years ago. Smoothing sailing ahead, NFL.
Finally, this for all you grads … and all of you who love commencement speeches, like me.
This is from Aaron Sorkin, the Hollywood screenwriter and producer and Syracuse grad. He spoke at the Syracuse graduations Sunday. What I liked from his speech:
The trademark walk-and-talk Sorkin shot throughout the whole speech. Made it very awkward in person, but likely DYNAMIC on screen. I liked how everyone in the crowd was made an obvious mouthpiece for a point of view that Sorkin wished to simplify. Oh, and the 20 minutes of ranting about the evils of reckless, lunatic Internet? Harrowing. SOBERING.
“I’ve made some bad decisions. I lost a decade of my life to cocaine addiction. You know how I got addicted to cocaine? I tried it. The problem with drugs is that they work, right up until the moment that they decimate your life. Try cocaine, and you’ll become addicted to it. Become addicted to cocaine, and you will either be dead, or you will wish you were dead, but it will only be one or the other. My big fear was that I wasn’t going to be able to write without it. There was no way I was going to be able to write without it. Last year I celebrated my 11-year anniversary of not using coke. In that 11 years, I’ve written three television series, three movies, a Broadway play, won the Academy Award and taught my daughter all the lyrics to ‘Pirates of Penzance.’ I have good friends.
“Yes, cocaine will devastate your very existence, separate you from all you hold dear and lead to certain death. UNLESS YOU’RE ME, in which case it will be brief prelude to AWESOME WORLD-BEATING SUCCESS! COME, SING ‘CLIMBING OVER ROCKY MOUNTAIN’ FOR THEM, DAUGHTER!”
“You’ll meet a lot of people who, to put it simply, don’t know what they’re talking about. In 1970 a CBS executive famously said that there were four things that we would never, ever see on television: a divorced person, a Jewish person, a person living in New York City and a man with a mustache. By 1980, every show on television was about a divorced Jew who lives in New York City and goes on a blind date with Tom Selleck. Develop your own compass, and trust it. Take risks, dare to fail, remember the first person through the wall always gets hurt.”
“You’ll suffer fools. Fools that are too dim in intellect to appreciate the genius of Studio 60. Back in the ’90s, a TV executive told me all comedy shows needed a laugh track to survive. It nearly killed Sports Night. In closing, here is his address and phone number.”
Have you heard a good 2012 commencement address? Send the link, or the speech, to me at email@example.com and I’ll run the best highlights next week in the column.
You know what you must do, readers. Send him Drew’s from Deadspin.
Quote of the Week II
“I don’t know what I did. But I said, ‘Yes sir,’ gave him no lip back and I just kept going.”
– Fletcher Cox, the first-round draft choice of the Eagles, to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, after defensive coordinator Juan Castillo aired him out at the Eagles’ rookie minicamp this weekend. Cox told McLane that defensive line coach Jim Washburn had chided him for not hustling during one practice drill.
CURED OF ME-FIRST GLORY BOYISM! WE HAVE A BREAKTHROUGH!
Quote of the Week III
“I know it has been a rough week, so I wanted to reach out. Players dying, players suing and on top of that my peers are just going off on you in the media. It does not help that ESPN has all of a sudden become medical TV with damn near every brain expert on the planet. This has got to be the worst week ever. Since no one is showing any support, I figured I would be the first. You are in one big a– catch 22 and quite frankly, I am not sure there is any solution.”
– New England wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, on his blog, in an open letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, on the sticky wicket the NFL finds itself in these days.
“Now let me shoot you an idea and let me know what you think: CARBOAT! THE CAR THAT’S A BOAT! STUDIES SHOW THERE ARE NO CONCUSSIONS ON CARBOAT! Mull it over. I think it could produce big positive changes for the future of the game. You don’t have to answer today, but I’ll be by next week and we can talk it over when I crash in your office for a week.”
Stat of the Week I
Thanks to Dan Pompei of National Football Post for reminding me Sunday morning of the change of the guard in the Chicago Bears receiver group, prompting this note:
The Chicago Bears could field the tallest set of receivers in club history — and, in fact, one of the tallest ever to take the field
I have faith Cutler can still overthrow them.
depending on the play-calling whimsy of offensive coordinator Mike Tice.
“DURR EVERYONE RUN DOWN THE FIELD AND BE TALL, ON THREE!”
If the Bears line up in a five-receiver set, with two tight ends and three wide receivers, here’s how they could threaten the opposition:
Conjures memories of the Chargers two years ago, when they could send three receivers 6-4 or taller downfield — Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd and tight end Antonio Gates — with the 6-2 Legedu Naanee in reserve.
“Wellie, well, well – Cutlerfucker borrowing the supersoldier model of success. IT’LL DO NO GOOD WITHOUT THE PRECISION FLOATS OF LASERFACE! COPY ME ALL YOU WANT, INCREDIBLE SULK, YOU’LL NEVER DUPLICATE MY AERIAL ASS-REAMING. AHAHAHAHAHAHA YOU’LL FAIL AND FAIL AND FAIL AND YOUR TEARS WILL BE A KEY INGREDIENT IN MY ELIXIR TO CURE GAYS”
Pretty tall group in Chicago. Not to mention the league’s tallest offensive coordinator too. Tice is 6-7.
Yeah, but two feet of that is his forehead.
Stat of the Week II
Been to a lot of baseball games in my life, but I believe Friday night’s Boston-Cleveland tilt at Fenway Park was unique in this regard: The first 31 Cleveland batters of the game hit left-handed. Manager Manny Acta penciled in a batting order with seven lefty batters and two switch-hitters. With righty Clay Buchholz pitching until the seventh inning, Cleveland did not send up a right-handed batter until catcher Carlos Santana, a switch-hitter, came to the plate against left-handed reliever Rich Hill in the seventh.
I’d be curious if that’s some sort of record, 31 straight left-handed batters in a game. Probably not. But any of you baseball stat-types have any idea how rare that is, or if it’s rare at all?
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me I
Sorry. This isn’t football either.
Oh Peter, surely you must know you’ve conditioned us not to expect football in MMQB.
/braces for eight paragraphs on the Red Sox bullpen
But I love how three teams in Los Angeles, all due to play Games 3 and 4 of their playoff series next weekend, had to smash their schedules together at Staples Center.
Six games in four days. Six games in 76 hours.
ZOMG crazy arena scheduling feats. They should rename it Bob Papa Arena!
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me II
Sorry. This isn’t sports.
Anticipating this to devolve to PK drawing pictures of his dogs very soon.
But a man died last week who is far, far too little-known, and you should know a few things about him. In his life, Nicholas Katzenbach:
â€¢ Got shot down as an Army pilot in World War II. Spent two years as a prisoner of war in Germany and Italy.
â€¢ While in prison camps, read, by his count, according to his 2008 memoir, 400 books in 15 months.
â€¢ Served as adviser to President John F. Kennedy as the country mulled how to handle the Cuban Missile Crisis.
â€¢ Faced off with governors in Mississippi and Alabama — including Gov. George Wallace in Alabama — in the early ’60s, at the behest of President Kennedy, to facilitate the enrollment of the first black students ever at the schools. He won both faceoffs, and black students were immediately enrolled at both schools.
â€¢ Consulted with Lyndon Johnson on the day of the Kennedy assassination.
â€¢ Recommended a government probe into the death of John Kennedy, leading to the Warren Commission being founded.
â€¢ As U.S. Attorney General, drafted the Civil Rights Act in 1964.
â€¢ Was one of 15 members of New Jersey’s Electoral College later in life.
Katzenbach was 90 when he died on Tuesday. What a life.
Great life. Lofty life. As a liver of lives, we underrate Nicholas Katzenbach. He did things. Quasi-consequential-ish things. Like leading the prison camp in bookishnessology 101.
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
Seeing as I travel quite a bit, though I don’t have a lot of nerdy travel needs, a few things are important.
Peter is about as low maintenance a traveler as you’ll find, so long as he gets perfect coffee, a quiet car unsullied by the heavy breathing of others, melted Kit-Kats, Wifi that never goes out, a couple comped rub downs by Brett Favre and, of course, an awesome room for the Super Bowl that isn’t ruined by inconsiderable louts making noise with their having of fun.
Take hotels. If I’m in a small city, such as on my training camp tour, convenience is king. If the Red Roof Inn is closest and cuts down travel time, book it. But on regular trips during the season or covering games, I like hotels in city centers.
My hotel preferences: I like quiet. I like high floors. I love good views. I like good coffee in the lobby, or a Starbucks or Peet’s on the same block. I like good food, and convenient good food, close by. I like to be able to walk where I’m going.
Like he said, PK is fine with whatever. Peter defines unneediness.
This is why I’ll take the Westin Copley Place anytime, over most hotels in the country. I was there Friday night. And it met most every requirement: 28th floor, view of Back Bay and the Charles River and Cambridge, quiet, Starbucks just off the lobby, Legal Seafood in the adjoining mall (the biodome, my kids used to call it, because you never had to walk outside), and my walk to Fenway Park took just 24 minutes. And did I mention quiet?
What? Is your hotel not ideally suited to provide Peter King with America’s Greatest Walk to Fenway Park? Nor does it adjoin a high-end mall with a fancy chain restaurant? Is there noise? Any detectable at all? If so, no worries, you are simply the detritus of the hospitality industry and Peter would never deign stay in your fleapit.
And Saturday morning, when I had to buzz out of town quickly, it helped that the entrance to the Mass Pike, headed west, was right out of the front driveway.
They built it just for you as you slept. Soundlessly!
Tweet of the Week II
“I should sue the @nfl for all my concussions. 30 years of banging my head against the wall watching the dolphins.”
– @danieltosh, Comedy Central host, on Thursday.
For all his flaws, I do appreciate that Tosh is a comedian who riffs on sports. Even if this is a pretty lame gag, I’ll take it over a Steve Serby pun.
Tweet of the Week III
“Siri, how do you get Josh Hamilton out?”
– @BMcCarthy32, Oakland starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy, early Saturday morning
“I’ve found the location of a few drug dealers nearby.” – Siri
Tweet of the Week IV
“Caps lose a tough one to the Rangers. Washington DC bar immediately starts chanting ‘RGIII! RGIII!’ … #footballseasonyet?”
– @RapSheet, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, hard at work in a bar, Touchdown, on U Street in our nation’s capital Saturday night, moments after the Rangers ended the Capitals’ season.
You’ve got a lot of work to do, Robert Griffin III, to fulfill the expectations of the rabid Redskins fans, if you’d seen all of these football nuts high-fiving when the chant for you was going on.
Ah yes, the annual D.C. spring tradition where everyone thankfully stops pretending to give a shit about the Caps and resumes their regular routine of being diptard overzealous Offseason Champs boosters. It’s the only time I welcome ‘Skins cheers.
Tweet of the Week V
“Got mashed potatoes … can’t get no T-Bone.”
– @JimIrsay, the Colts’ tweeterific owner, at 1:15 a.m. Eastern Time Saturday.
Irsay, a buddy of Neil Young’s, was obviously referring to one of Young’s unfamous efforts, T-Bone.
Unfamous? That’s detarded.
But he didn’t have the words to this gem exactly right.
Oh goooooood. Only thing more shitheaded than tweeting classic rock lyrics all the time is being the guy who corrects the shithead who tweets classic rock lyrics all the time.
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think the Minnesota stadium deal should be a template for future NFL stadium deals — assuming the stadium’s not in a state like California, where there is relatively little available in the realm of public financing. Turns out the Wilfs, who own the Vikings, will end up paying 49 percent of the stadium costs ($478 million of the $975 million bill), plus 65 percent of the annual operating costs every year for 20 years. The Minnesota governor, Mark Dayton, will announce the deal and have a signing ceremony today.
Why should that be a template? You only listed the terms of the deal, not why they’re sensible in any way. From the Wilfs perspective, sure. Can’t see why any other state would want to replicate it, though.
2. I think next on LA’s most-wanted list, now that Minnesota is keeping the Vikings, are St. Louis, Oakland, Jacksonville and Buffalo … in that order. But I wouldn’t say any of the four teams is likely to move.
You only want what you can’t have, LA.
4. I think for the scores of you who have asked me in recent weeks where Dallas Clark will end up — or if he’ll play anywhere in 2012 — I give you this answer: If I had to make an educated guess right now, I think the leader in the clubhouse is Kansas City. Imagine if Clark, who visited the Chiefs May 1, could give Tony Moeaki a breather for 300 snaps this year, with Kevin Boss in the rotation as well. Moeaki’s been injury-prone in his college and pro careers, so the Chiefs will try to find the right number of snaps for him. But a three-tight end rotation of Moeaki, Boss and Clark would be solid, if the Chiefs wouldn’t be hurt too much on special teams without major contributions from the tight ends.
When you can assemble an injury prone trio of tight ends who will eat up roster spots without contributing to special teams, you do it.
7. I think Chris Polian was a good hire by the Falcons after his career ended ugly in Indianapolis. He’ll be supremely motivated to show Thomas Dimitroff he’s a good scout, which I believe he is, and not just in the job because his father gave him a big job.
Will Mary Beth be next? Do it, Dimitroff! PK loves you!
9. I think I like the hire by NFL.com (and all its platforms, including NFL Network) of veteran NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah, who is one of my favorite Twitter follows because of his shrewd and smart analysis. Not that it’s rocket science to say this, which Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks on Twitter) did the other day, but it’s smart, and true. “The bar is set much lower for Luck & IND than it is for RG3 & WAS … 6 wins would be huge for IND & brutal for WAS.”
Shrewd analysis, Daniel Jeremiah has it. Now check out this pedestrian point he made that a seven-year-old could have come up with.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. RIP, Lovie Young, the wife of the late Giants GM George Young. She died Thursday. A tremendous human being who had so many non-football causes in life, and realized as much as any wife of a football man I have known that football’s a game, and the sun comes up tomorrow, no matter who wins.
Quasi-Katzenbach-esque. Very non-football-y life, which is the best life. Respected the sun with the best of them.
b. I taped some segments of the USA Network show “Necessary Roughness” the other day in Stamford, Conn. And no, I did not quit my day job. I play myself, working for NBC, reporting on the New York Hawks around the time of the league draft. Real TV’s harder. Real TV is when the script isn’t written for you.
Sorry, Callie Thorne. I’ll appear on your basic cable sports show, but only if you acknowledge that it is not REAL TV. Not even close! REAL TV is where people like THE DUNGE hang out and dispense platitudes in real time. THERE’S NO NET. There’s no lumpen, edgeless thing he can’t say. That’s living on the edge, missy.
c. I’m not saying Julia Louis-Dreyfus is better as the vice president of the United States in “Veep” than she was as Elaine Benes in “Seinfeld,” but it’s not as far away as you think.
“I’m not actually making an opinion, but it’s less of a non-opinion than you might think.”
d. Devils-Rangers, for a lot of marbles. Palms are already sweaty.
Congrats, hockey. No longer is it minor league baseball that PK faps to exclusively.
f. Imagine, hockey fans, if Washington’s Joel Ward doesn’t take the needless four-minute high-sticking penalty in Game 5. That’s a penalty that can haunt a player, and a franchise, for a long time.
WE, THE CITIZENS OF FACKIN’ ICE SAWX NATION TRIED TO WARN YOU ABAWT HAVIN A DAHHHHHKKKKIIIIEEEE AWN THE ICE. WE KNEW IT WOULD COME BACK TO HAWNT YOU IN THE END BECAWSE THE WAY OF DAHHHHKKKKIEEES CAN ONLY LEAD TO SUFFARING. IT’S IN AWL THE DENNIS LEHANE BOOKS!
i. I’ve seen some weird scheduling in my time, but how about this one on the MLB slate: The Twins and Angels played three series this season. All three were finished by May 9. So by the 32nd game of the Angels’ season, they’d played nine against the Twins — and were finished for the year against them. Meanwhile, the Angels, who are due to play Seattle 19 times in 2012, haven’t played the Mariners yet, and won’t until Game 46.
Heavens! No more Twins-Angels for the rest of the season? How will MLB draw ratings without any more of that rivalry? That’s worse than Tom Brady not playing in St. Louis.
j. Celtics seem like they’re being held together by baling wire.
k. But I hope the passionate Kevin Garnett plays until he’s 63.
Why? Maybe him being a dick will become more endearing when he’s even older and more decrepit.
n. Did any balloon ever deflate faster than Linsanity?
Recall, of course, that Peter spent weeks raving that Lin’s story was even better than Tebow’s.
o. First reaction to stories of LeBron James winning his third MVP: I know the MVP’s an important award in every sport, and congrats to James for winning a third. But until he wins a title, I’m not saying his MVPs are meaningless awards, but since Magic and Bird and later Jordan, NBA megastars are measured by titles, not MVPs.
Pretty much the case in the NFL, too, but then that would force Petey to say something disparaging about Peyton Manning. Can’t have that.
q. Barry Bonds’ 18th home run in the record 73-homer season of 2001: May 19. Mark McGwire’s 18th home run in the previous record 70-homer season of 1998: May 19. Roger Maris’ 18th home in the previous record 61-homer season of 1961: June 9. Hamilton’s 18th home run in 2012: May 12.
Because players who get off to hot starts always shatter records. Remember when A-Rod had 14 at the end of April in ’07? Of course, because he went on to hit 300 homers that year.
r. The Red Sox put waaaaay too much emphasis on this sellout streak (up to 729 straight games) at Fenway. It’s not worth it. And the scads of empty seats lets you know that, even if they get people to buy enough tickets and give away enough others to declare a sellout, it looks like a phony record if the tickets aren’t actually used.
Let’s hope he wraps this up soon, because we’re a few ‘graphs away from another call for an apology for the fried chicken and beer.
s. It’s obvious no one in the Red Sox organization has the stones to stand up to Josh Beckett. I covered the Giants for four years in the ’80s, and I saw coaches stand up to Lawrence Taylor. Insane that no one can say to Beckett: If you’re skipped in the rotation because of a sore back, you don’t go golfing. And if you do, be man enough to say you might have erred. But the real problem is that Beckett has always been the golden child with that team, and too many people in the organization are afraid of him. Sad.
t. Love the nickname given Dustin Pedroia by the Globe’s Pete Abraham: Scrappy McScraperson.
Gritty von Gritterson
White Power Dustin
u. Coffeenerdness: I’ve tried it more than a few times, and I try to be fair, and I know it engenders deep passions, especially in the Northeast. But Dunkin’ Donuts coffee just isn’t dark enough for me. It’s not bad, but it’s an any-port-in-the-storm coffee for me.
PK picked up some Masshole trolling pointers from Troll Brady.
v. Beernerdness: Cool pregame at Fenway Friday night with buddies Pete Thamel of the New York Times and Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe. Never ran into a Yard House brew pub before (there are 36 across the land, mostly out West), but I’ll be there again … 144 beers on tap. I started with Cisco Grey Lady (Nantucket), a white ale slightly less flavorful than Allagash White but easy to drink, and light. Two: Kona Fire Rock Pale Ale (Kona, Hawaii), my favorite of the night. Heavy malt flavor, and just bitter enough. Three: Sea Dog Bluepaw Wild Blueberry (Camden, Maine). Vague blueberry flavor, and I’m not sure if that’s from the four fresh blueberries they put in the glass or from the beer itself. Pleasant enough, but not memorable.
Blueberries in your beer won’t impress PK like lemon wedge. He’s a citrus-y man. He’s willing to go fruity, but the citrus will always call him home.
x. Not a big fan of the Time cover, as I said on Twitter. Big fan of breast-feeding.
Okay, that’s still really fucking creepy.
I want more like this!
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