When last we left quasi-organic nugget farmer, Peter King, we revisited the Klassic King column that ran the Monday after the Tuck Rule Game. Y’know, the one where he didn’t mention the Tuck Rule Game until 2,200 words into the piece because he was too busy blubbering about the golden retriever he bought for half price at a going-out-of-business sale of a negligent pet store.

Petey’s summer vacation in Slothville draws to a close this week, but there’s still one more guest MMQB to go before His Immenseness returns. That falls to Eric LeGrand, who recounts his experience signing a contract with the Bucs as well as speaking at the ESPYs. Not gonna make fun of Eric LeGrand for obvious not-wanting-to-go-to-hell reasons, but it’s worth noting the cognitive dissonance of seeing someone write about spending three and a half hours each day in physical therapy to regain movement in their extremities in a space usually reserved for a fat-ass sportswriter lecturing Starbucks about the laziness of their airport baristas.

So what of this week’s Klassic King? Well, we’ve already touched on klassic Favre slobbing, klassic water carrying for the Greatriots and PK ignoring historic moments of NFL history in favor of his unremarkable personal life. So many hallmarks of Peterology 101, yet something’s missing, but what? I know! Obnoxious humblebragging about his cosmic joke of a charmed existence. This example comes from the fall of 2006, a few months after the creation of this here blog, but before Fun With Peter King became a regular feature.

NEW YORK — I am getting spoiled working for NBC.

“It’s so much cushier than my already cushy magazine job. Sure, SI pays me a lot of money and foots the bill for me to travel to events I have no business covering, like the World Cup in Africa or really any sport period, but do they provide ’round-the-clock access to MEDIA SELL-LEBRITIES!?!?”

This was when THE DUNGE was still coaching, so this isn’t even the full extent of his NBC gushing. I wouldn’t be surprised if doesn’t have a peacock tattoo around his junk if there’s any real estate not covering with devotional phrases to the Land Baron.

I am getting used to watching the NFL, not being in a stadium experiencing only one NFL game.

“A television, you say? And this spirit box transmits images of real life occurrences as they happen as if by sorcery? Okay, but it better have nutmeg, too.”

Some days it’s magic. Some days it’s just OK.

Some days are of an ineffable quality, wherein things occur that don’t neatly fit into boring expressions of approval or disapproval. I call those days WEIRD.

Sunday it was, in the immortal word of one Jerome Bettis, “Craaaaaaazy.”

Seriously, you have to be a really, really unbearable television presence to fail on a studio show that retains Peter King, Mike Florio and a cast of thousands of other trolls. So kudos on that achievement, Bus.

It’s the best half hour in sports when the confluence of eight early games provides yelping even among the most sober of fans. Ever hear Bob Costas yell at a TV? At a football game?

No, because Bob Costas doesn’t yell at football games. He looks upon them with searing midget disgust, quietly enumerating all the ways that they are not baseball. Once worked into a spastic, scholarly froth, Costas then archly lectures football about how maybe it should think about not being so fun all the time and what’s so wrong about being into what your parents were into?

You should have been with me on Sunday.

What’s that? YOU don’t get to watch all the games at once in a network television studio with famous people and underlings whose job it is to keep you fattily caffeinated? You really should consider giving it a try.

What a half hour of football. What drama. What … what … well, what an advertisement for NFL Sunday Ticket. And a wall of TVs, of course … or a grand seat at a sports bar with every game on.

What an advertisement for an array of wildly different and in some cases actually competing products!

It’s what can happen only in the National Football League, on a Sunday afternoon, but only when the games are really good.

Football drama is like the shuttle launch or female orgasm. Conditions must be perfect and PK doesn’t get it.

And here’s what happened in this half hour to remember, by my imprecise notes, trying to follow the bouncing balls on the wall of TVs in the fifth-floor NBC viewing room:

Here’s this thing to remember that I didn’t bother to actually remember.

4:01 p.m.: Terrell Owens exults for a third time, on a third short touchdown. Never have so many cheered so loudly for someone so undeserving.

Never. Not even all those Germans who cheered on the Nazis. Hitler was a lot of terrible things, but a me-first glory boy he was not.

The game stunk, but the drama was a B. Dallas 34, Houston 6.

Quasi-gripping-esque terrible game. I can see why we need a blow-by-blow account of PK being bored.

4:05:30 p.m.: With Jim Leyland looking on (and not from a particularly good seat, either), the Lions preserve a 20-17 win, their first of the year, over Buffalo. Not a good football game, but some shining moments

SO MUCH DRAMA, THESE NOT-GOOD FOOTBALL GAMES WITH THEIR FLEETING MOMENTS OF WATCHABILITY!

And now the great stuff happens, all at once, in St. Louis, Landover, New Orleans and Tampa. Someone’s got to get a montage of this stuff. Maybe the NFL Network can do it. But it’s got to be done. It was just too dramatic.

Yes, you do it, NFL Network. The tech flunkies here at NBC have more pressing matters to attend to. Like, hey, would it kill one of you dorks to set up my ringtone with the Sunday Night Football theme?

4:06 to 4:24 p.m.: Inside the two-minute warning in St. Louis, Marc Bulger throws a deep rainbow to Torry Holt. He’s got it, he doesn’t have it, he tips it up, he’s got it again, and he’s gone. “OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” is the cry in the viewing room.

Exactly why you should have been in the NBC viewing room. That’s instant analysis you definitely couldn’t have gotten from any drunken asshole in any other setting.

… The Saints are starting a drive at their 15 in the Superdome, with eight minutes to go and the game tied at 24. No way they can beat the Eagles. Is there?

Is that even allowed?

Is there some more post-Katrina magic in this building? There’s Drew Brees to Joe Horn up the left side for 20. There’s life in the Saints, and the building is going wild.

Again, not sure how this is any different than what millions of people observed on their own, but maybe he’s building to something.

… Brees is — he’s doing what?

An that something is real time PK befuddlement. It’s like we’re actually there not understanding things with him.

First down at the Eagles’ 9. Two-minute warning just ended, and Brees is kneeling. The Saints are going to run out the clock and try for the field goal instead of giving Donovan McNabb the ball back. Process this.

[Processes very common late-game clock management tactic]
[Awaits Peter's permission to give too much thought to things that happen all the time]

Plenty of time to get a touchdown, but you can see New Orleans coach Sean Payton’s brain working. Don’t give McNabb another chance. That’s what he’s thinking. Brees kneels. John Carney loosens.

PK chugs.
PK brainfarts.
Costas disdains.

… But wait!

Huh!? What?! Still processing that thing about the kicker getting loose. This is all too much!

Mark Brunell, down 25-22 to the Titans, throws a bomb up the left side intended for — who else? — Santana Moss, and it’s picked. Two kneel-downs and Vince Young prances off the field with his first NFL win. The 0-5 Titans, hopeless, hapless, have beaten the great Gibbs in the House That Snyder Built.

Built, as in already paid for and constructed by someone else when Dan Snyder bought the team. That kind of built.

… Carney swings his leg. This one’s like a three-footer to Tiger Woods on the 72nd hole of Augusta. It’s good. Saints win! Saints win! Payton shakes hands with Andy Reid, then runs to the end zone and slaps hands with every lunatic in the Superdome end zone who can reach over.

Again, not that I really want to know what shithead things NBC people have to say about unfolding events, but the whole point of this story was PK regaling readers about the awesome experience he had watching in the NBC viewing room. Details about that would make sense as opposed to just transcribing what’s on the TVs he’s watching.

By the time it’s over and we all catch our breath, the late games are on. Talk about an anticlimax.

What exactly is PK let down by here? Does he think the NFL should have canceled the rest of the day’s games to give everyone time process a couple close finishes in the 1 o’clock slate? I wouldn’t put it past him.

What a half hour. What a day.

The Fine Fifteen

2. Indianapolis (5-0). “Honey,” I imagine Mrs. Peyton saying to Mr. Peyton Manning, sitting in his favorite recliner around 1:30 on Sunday afternoon. “You promised we’d clean out the garage this afternoon. Honey? Honey!” Said Mr. Manning: “In a minute, honey.” In other words, I would be shocked if Peyton Manning did not have the games on and a clicker in his hand on his bye Sunday.

Peter King’s Peyton Manning slash-fic belongs to that rare deviant category of “neglect porn”.

7. Philadelphia (4-2). Lito Sheppard with another pick. He might be one of the few players in Peter King history to make my All-Pro team despite having missed a month of football.

He’s right to refer to it as Peter King history. For you see, we dwell in the darkest timeline where the flow of history is dictated by Peter King. The good news is there is nothing to dictate because there is too much history to process.

9. Carolina (4-2). “You threw for 362 yards against the Baltimore Ravens — on the road,” I told Jake Delhomme. And he said, “Yeah, I found that out in the locker room. Pretty good.” No, real good.

“Jake, JAKE! You threw for 362 yards today. I have no question.”

12. New York Giants (3-2). Big win. Huge win. Imagine this: In the span of eight days, the Giants’ defense totally throttled the Redskins in a 19-3 win and then sacked Mike Vick seven times in a 27-14 win at Atlanta. And that Tiki Barber. Is it possible that we could consider him for the Hall of Fame someday?

The “we” of course is rhetorical. Only this slurping shitweasel really gets to consider whether or not (Spoiler: he will) vote in Tiki fucking Barber into the Hall of Fame.

Quote of the Week I

“I still love Todd [Haley]. He’s my coach. I’m going to go out there and play hard for him. Anything I do makes national news.”
— Terrell Owens, following his three-touchdown performance against the Texans.

This was before Boss Todd had a higher profile among national fans. Too bad. This would have been a much more entertaining story of T.O. being a dick if we knew Haley was burning Camaro donuts in his lawn for retribution.

Here’s a question, T.O.: In the same week you scream about not getting the ball enough, you openly question why the Cowboys brought you to Dallas and you say you will not be a distraction. Why, when knowing it will create a firestorm, do you announce that you are no longer speaking to your position coach? Especially when you have no proof that Haley leaked the story to the press?

Worth noting, as we did in Klassic King the other week, that earlier in the year Peter praised Tiki Barber’s refreshing candor about being critical about his own organization and coaches to the media. If going through old PK drivel has served any purpose (it hasn’t), it’s that PK’s Tiki boner might have rivaled his Land Baron lust more than previously thought.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think these are my quick-hit thoughts of Week 6:

b. Amazing. Sam Hurd was flagged for two 15-yard face-mask penalties on his first two plays. This would be a great test for the Elias Sports Bureau statisticians: Has any player in NFL history ever had two 15-yard penalties on his first two snaps of the day?

And how many kilos of coke had they sold by that point?

d. Cincinnati-Tampa Bay set back this sport 48 years.

Finally, back to the time when baseball was king!

4. I think I’ve got a sports quiz for you: What do these 11 numbers signify: 12, 24, 16, 2, 19, 9, 27, 22, 3, 14, 10? Those are the margins of defeat for the Oakland Raiders in their last 11 games. All losses, of course. The Raiders are the only winless team in football at 0-5, but they won’t stay winless. History says it’s as hard to go 0-16 as it is to go 16-0, and the Raiders aren’t totally hopeless. Their best shots to win: Arizona at home Sunday, Houston at home Dec. 3, Kansas City at home Dec. 23, and at the Jets on New Year’s Eve. How compelling a game that would be Dec. 31, if the Raiders fly east to try to escape the ignominy of going winless after a 3,000-mile plane flight?

Non-Peter King history tells us the Raiders ended up 2-14, got the first pick and drafted JaMarcus Russell. Peter King history records that Peyton Manning ignored his wife to process the significance of this.

7. I think this is what I liked about Week 6:

b. Tiki Barber had runs of 18, 15, 16, 29, 16, 13, 12 and 17 at Atlanta. He is indestructible.

His marriage, though…

Never thought I’d see the Grady Jacksons give up 6.6 yards per carry to anyone, but that’s what the suddenly plastic Atlanta defense did to the Giants. By the way, excellent story by Pam Oliver on the Fox pregame show on how Barber and Warrick Dunn stay so healthy despite their diminutive stature, with a shot of Barber getting acupuncture and deep-tissue massages.

Upon seeing that image, PK had to excuse himself from the NBC viewing room for however long it takes him to process Tiki porn in the restroom stall.

c. LaDainian Tomlinson has 87 touchdowns in 84 games. He is 27. Imagine if he’s just semi-normal for the rest of his career.

Tomlinson did indeed remain pretty semi-normal-esque, didn’t he?

g. In case you hadn’t noticed, we are in a new Golden Age of quarterbacks when Philip Rivers, Alex Smith, Vince Young and Bruce Gradkowski, who all got their driver’s licenses in the past two weeks, are lighting it up on Sundays.

And now that there are young QBs better than Bruce Gradkowski, like Cam Newton and EVERYONE ELSE, we’re in an even GOLDENER AGE.

h. Rod Marinelli knows what’s important.

Millen reach-arounds.

Game balls are nice, but he was almost flippant about getting his first after the Lions’ first win of the year and the first of his career. “I’ll probably just put it in my locker,” he said. I like the way he doesn’t phony-up the moment, and I still think he’s going to be a good NFL coach.

In Peter King history, he still is.

8. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 6:

g. Never thought I’d see the day when the Bengals were 3 for 14 in third-down conversions … against an 0-4 team.

Bengals being shitty against other shitty teams? INCONCEIVABLE!

9. I think I hate to do this. I really do. We’re in Week 6 of the football season, but I have to give some advice to Joe Torre and Brian Cashman right now, because they are decent men, even if they do work for the Evil Empire.

Get in a car sometime this month, and drive 3½ hours up I-95 to Foxboro. Visit the Patriots. Or if you’re inclined to go a place where you might be more invisible, fly to Chicago, rent a car and drive north to Lake Forest, where the Bears are headquartered. Learn how to build a winning team and how to navigate through the noise that disrupts every big-market team today.

Football isn’t baseball, you’ll argue.

And quite convincingly, I might add.

Football is the ultimate team game, and baseball is more of a stars’ game. But the one thing all good baseball teams have is the one thing all good football teams have — role players. Guys who don’t need the credit and who don’t earn the big money. In baseball, David Eckstein is a winning player, much the same as Mike Vrabel is. It wasn’t so long ago that both of them were on the street.

Until they were swooped up and their grittiness was let loose on an unsuspecting world.

The best team in football right now is the Chicago Bears. Look at their roster. Ever hear of Bernard Berrian, Rashied Davis, Mark Anderson, Tank Johnson, Alfonso Boone or Jason McKie? Don’t feel bad. Not many football fans have, either.

Not like baseball fans know David Eckstein, whose scrappy exploits are the stuff of dinner table chatter the world over. At least at dinner tables were people eat mayonnaise sandwiches every night.

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

a. Observation from an evening watching my New Jersey Devils on Saturday night: Hockey fans really like the word “suck.”

You should introduce them to Tiki.

e. CSI is a compelling but entirely creepy show.

Look everyone, PK can cut and paste show descriptions from the viewer guide.

f. I walked in on an episode of South Park one night last week. Perhaps the show’s creators have gone slightly over the line. There was a graphic scene with a cartoon George Bush shooting some guy in the head. Now there’s some quality American television. We ask why our kids have become desensitized to things like gun violence. Gee, I wonder why.

There’s some top-notch PK squishy liberal alarmism. Bear in mind, South Park had already been on the air for nearly a decade by this point, so Peter is even late in being concerned a show that even the most fusty scolds had already given up on ranting about.

g. Coffeenerdness: Quad venti hazelnut latte this morning, and believe me, it’s not nearly enough. Three of them wouldn’t be enough.

Four kiddie pools full of latte wouldn’t be enough. The pages of Peter King history are littered with insufficient coffee supply. It defines our age. That and Bruce Gradkowski ushering in a paradise of quarterbackdom, apparently.