When last we left lover of wunderkinds, Peter King, he was telling about how he got a life since the days he used to peak at the KSK takedowns of his nugget dumps. He also shamed John Fox for a playcall that he knew was really an audible by Peyton Manning, because blaming someone other than Manning just felt right. PK also shocked his readers by revealing that he’s not quite in half-marathon shape at the moment, a statement written before taking a break to double-fist double-decker bison burgers.

But what about this week? Who is all about wins? WINNERS, of course. Who isn’t about wins? I don’t know, but it isn’t Joe Flacco, because he’s a winner! Also, was Dear Abby a never-miss read in the King household, except for the 25 straight years it was a miss read? For answers, READ ON.

The Niners are back. Hard to believe it’s been 18 years since Steve Young threw six touchdown passes to shred the Chargers and mimed having a monkey on his back and begged Harris Barton to rip it off, then threw up a Gatorade/cookie mix all over agent Leigh Steinberg’s shoes in the postgame.

Hard to breathe if you tried reading aloud that shitty run-on sentence.

Aaah, those were the days.

Yes, those grand days of the Super Bowls being unwatchable blowouts.

The Ravens are back, 12 years after their last Super Bowl, the 34-7 rout of the Giants, the Ray Lewis MVP Super Bowl. We’ll see if Lewis can do what Tony Gonzalez couldn’t do this season, and what John Elway, Jerome Bettis and Michael Strahan did do in recent seasons: Go out a winner in his last football game.

I’d say I don’t care so long as he goes away, but we’re stuck with that camera-mugging crytard forever.

Back at the stadium, Harbaugh had called Flacco, “Brady-like.”

Quasi-dream-esque!

This season, it’s Flacco 2, Brady 0 — one in the regular season, one in the conference title game … Harbaugh: “When we scouted him, so many times you look at a player and you say, ‘Is this going to be too big for him? Is the stage going to be too big?’ Never. It never has been.”

It’s true. At the combine, every quarterback is put through the Broadway drill, during which they are showed a series of stages, each bigger than the last. There was no stage that Joe Flacco could not checkdown on.

The Harbowl … Harbaugh: “I can’t even get my arms around it. My dad said something to me — my mom’s and dad’s parents are immigrants, salt-of-the-earth people. They treasure America; it’s meant everything to them, being here. I hope people can see what an incredible moment this is for our country. This is America, how hard work can get you to a moment like this. This is the greatness of America.”

Holy fucking shit. It’s a given that Jim will say something obnoxious in the next two weeks, but for now, John is the worst of the Harbaughs. Lemme get this straight: This is a shining moment for America because your grandparents were immigrants? Who gives a shit? Unless you’re someone who can be offended by the Redskins’ name, at some point you descended from fucking immigrants. WHAT A TRIUMPH FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM THAT TWO FOOTBALL COACHES BORN FROM THE SAME FROTHING SNATCH CAN MEET ON THE SPORT’S GRANDEST STAGE!

/eagle tears
//founding father high fives

We might be sick of John Harbaugh and his little brother Jim in two weeks — heck, maybe in two hours — but the story is too good. Sons of a coach.

OH WAIT, THERE’S EVEN MORE TO HATE ABOUT THESE ASSHOLES! THEY’RE FUCKING SONS OF A COACH! THEY THEREFORE PROVIDE A HANDY EXAMPLE FOR PETER KING TO POINT TO WHEN HE WANTS TO FLUFF SOME DIPSHIT LIKE JOSH MCDANIELS BECAUSE THAT DUMB FUCK’S DAD WAS ALSO A FOOTBALL COACH. GAAAAAAHHHHHHH I HATE I HATE I HAAAAAATTTTTTEEEEEE

Jim was Baltimore’s quarterback in 1998 (22nd-rated quarterback in the league: Jim Harbaugh, 72.9; 23rd: Peyton Manning, 71.2), the same year John was beating the bushes of college football as an assistant at Morehead State. Jim, always the starry Harbaugh. John, always in the shadow.

It was unconventional parenting philosophy that the Harbaughs employed. They pushed one to stardom while shutting the other in the crawl space for the first 20 years of his life. Yet here they are, both in the Super Bowl. Another triumph for nature over nurture.

John finally got his taste of the big leagues when the Ravens hired him to coach the team in 2008

That’s right, Baltimore just plucked him out of the obscurity that is the Philadelphia Eagles organization, who I believe are part of a informal backyard football league.

NFC: The South almost rose again.

Hey guys, did you know we narrowly averted another Civil War yesterday? Thanks for suppressing that, Niners.

You can slip on some incuts against some teams, and you can muff a perfectly good snap against some teams, and you can survive. But San Francisco is not just some team. What was so impressive about the Niners is how they won. It validated the risky decision, again, made by coach Jim Harbaugh two months ago to bench Alex Smith for Kaepernick.

Re-validated! Because every game is a referendum on this obvious decision, somehow.

The AFC: It’s Flacco time.

Elite o’clock in Baltimore.

Last weekend, in Denver, I walked off the field with Joe Flacco after the 38-35 double-overtime win over the Broncos, and he stopped near the tunnel to sign a young Ravens’ fan’s jersey. An adult next to the kid was thrilled.

“I guess you really shut up Skip Bayless today!” the guy said to Flacco.

Gotta hope that’s not the kid’s dad. any child raised on Skip Bayless has no fucking chance.

Flacco was concentrating on signing the kid’s jersey. I looked at his face, and his expression didn’t change, nor did he answer the guy about Bayless. Looking at Flacco’s expression, I’m not sure he even knew who Skip Bayless was.

Or he was just politely choosing to ignore the type of stupid remark he gets every time he ventures out into public.

Whatever, I’m convinced that blissful and perhaps willful ignorance is a big reason Flacco has been good in spots, like Sunday’s win over the Patriots.

Pretty sure that’s someone every pro athlete has to do or else they’d go insane.

That, to me, is Flacco. It’s not the only way to win, but it’s a way to win, and it’s Flacco’s way.

Full of signposts pointing down to Ray Rice.

The Ravens’ offense is suited for him for a couple of reasons. Baltimore can live with the three-and-outs that Flacco’s going to have because he’s not the classic short-passing, chains-moving quarterback. As with the Niners, Flacco’s not a stat guy.

Because his stats are generally middling.

Never has been.

That’s the kind of foursquare commitment to ignorance that only sportswriters can appreciate.

He’s not going to be a very highly rated quarterback because he’ll throw downfield a lot, and downfield throwers don’t have great completion percentages. But, obviously, it’s good enough.

Except when it isn’t.

The matchup against San Francisco is a good chess match because San Francisco is good at bringing pressure and Flacco is good at hanging in the pocket and taking hits and waiting for his receivers to run themselves open. (See: Flacco to Jacoby Jones, 70 yards, divisional playoff miracle).

Flacco is good at chucking the ball deep and praying that the opposition makes a colossal coverage failure? Very chess-like. That is, if your chess strategy is hurling your pawns at your opponent’s queen and hope they think that’s part of the rules.

Five quick hits, starting with the enigmatic Patriots.

Maybe they’re just not good enough.

/recalls months of Peter King insisting that they were the best team in football
//dies a little more inside

Julio Jones might be a more talented Michael Irvin.

/tells Falcons staff to remove all scissors from team facilities

Looking back on that 2011 draft-day trade, when Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff moved up 21 spots with Cleveland to draft Jones, Dimitroff dealt first-round picks in 2011 and ’12, a second-rounder in 2011 and fourths in ’11 and ’12. It turns out that Cleveland got defensive tackles Phil Taylor and Brandon Weeden with the ones, wideout Greg Little with the two, fullback Owen Marecic with one of the fours, and used the other four to trade up one spot for Trent Richardson this year. Advantage Atlanta so far. Weeden’s going to have to be a player for this deal to look good for Cleveland.

His favorite team may have lost, but Peter can still take pleasure in small triumphs, like the opportunity to fluff one of his front office favorites, Tom Dimitroff, the only Belichick disciple that hasn’t entirely scorched the earth of the team he went to.

Arians wins. When Bruce Arians called one of his best friends, Chuck Pagano, to tell him he’d been offered the Arizona coaching job the other day, Pagano said: “Don’t leave me.” Arians said, “You know I gotta do this.”

When you get the chance to coach John Skelton, you don’t say no.

The Te’o story, and the impact of it. We still don’t know everything there is to know about Te’o and the phony girlfriend, and there’s been scads written about it already. But for those who say, He had to know, I was reminded of hearing the story about how then-Notre Dame special-teams coach Brian Polian (son of Bill) was assigned to recruit Te’o, a great high school player in Hawaii. Polian would leave campus every Thursday afternoon in the fall of Te’o’s senior year to fly to his game. He’d attend the Friday night game, do whatever recruiters do at such games, then fly back to wherever Notre Dame was playing that weekend, sometimes making it in time for the game, sometimes missing the game. But his marching orders were explicit. Notre Dame had to have Te’o.

And Polian must have done a good job, because Te’o accepted Notre Dame’s scholarship offer. But my point is, imagine being a kid in high school and knowing some poor guy weekly is schlepping thousands of miles to watch you play a football game, then turning right around and flying back –and I’m sure Brian Polian wasn’t the only coach from the mainland doing that. Imagine feeling so entitled and at age 16 and 17 knowing people would take care of any little problem you had to attend their school. He’s certainly not the only one, but I’ve always thought so many of these privileged kids don’t learn to think on their own, or make smart decisions on their own; the decisions are mostly made for them.

So when something like this phony girlfriend thing comes along, and you’ve got some idiot hoaxer filling your head with lies, how do you know they’re lies? Again — I don’t know what happened and I’m not covering the story, other than how it affects his NFL stock. I think teams, by the way, will send private investigators to sniff around the story so teams will have a better handle on it before the scouting combine in late February. We’ll see what they find out.

Thank you, dimestore psychologist Peter King, for speculating your way to the semi-heartish location of this story. Also for shoehorning into shots at an athlete because he embarrassed one of your colleagues at SI.

Fourteen up, 14 down.

I spoke to one high-ranking team executive late Friday, after eight NFL coaching vacancies were filled, and five GM vacancies, and one vice president of player personnel slot — all by white men. “Shocking,” he said. “One by one they get filled, and you don’t realize what happened until it’s over, but that’s not good for our league. Not good.”

“I don’t know what the answer is,” a downcast Tony Dungy said Saturday night. “I just know the system is broken.”

Look: It’s not only minority candidates who should feel snubbed this morning. Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer got robbed too.

BAHAHAHAHA! I love that Petey starts this dramatic diatribe about the state of race in NFL coaching then undermines it just to make another petty gripe about Mike Zimmer not getting a job. He’s suffered so much! He’s like an honorary black guy now!

But the minority scoreboard is not good either. The fact that in 2013 only one minority coach came close to a head-coaching job (Ray Horton in Arizona) is a black eye.

PHRASING!

A different perspective on Chip Kelly and the NFL.

For the last three seasons, Dungy has been a long-distance commuter from Tampa to Oregon, while son Eric played as a reserve wideout (after redshirting in 2010) for Chip Kelly’s Oregon Ducks. Dungy has seen practice, and he’s been to many games. I asked him what kind of NFL coach Kelly would be, a topic of some difference of opinion because Kelly has never coached in the NFL.

There’s no knowing how Chip Kelly will fare in the NFL until the father of a reserve wide receiver weighs in. Is this just another transparent excuse for Peter to show off that he’s buddies with THE DUNGE? Absolutely, but let’s play along to see if there’s any insight.

“He’ll be good,” Dungy said.

HOT SPORTS TAKE!

“One of the things everybody’s getting wrong is that he has to coach one way. Not true. He’ll adjust. I think he’ll be able to win in a lot of ways. I think the offense he’ll run will be very similar to what Buffalo ran with Jim Kelly, the K-gun. High-pace, fast tempo. His thing is tempo, and making a defense respond to what he’s doing. Say it’s third-and-five, and you have all these tendencies from watching his offense — what they’ll do on third-and-five. But your pre-snap stuff is out the window because their tempo isn’t going to give you time to substitute or to think that much. The thing with Chip is it’s not just the scheme or the plays he’s running. His detail work is strong. He outhustles, outpaces, out-thinks people. His practices are so fast. His team gets used to doing everything at a faster pace.”

Aaaaand that’s in keeping with all the rest of the canned analysis about Chip Kelly. Thanks for nothing, guys.

Talk about Kelly reminds me of the talk when Jimmy Johnson — who also never had coached in the NFL — took the Dallas job in 1989. The league frowned upon his mode of defense, small players playing fast, and said big offenses would sledgehammer his Cowboys. Well, in Dallas’ first six years after the Johnson hire, the Cowboys won three Super Bowls. Not saying Kelly will have anywhere near that success.

Because that would require having courage in the opinions you base on nothing.

But I like teams hiring wunderkinds.

Wunderkinds, have more of them. Too often, NFL teams are willing to settle for geniuses, luminaries or even their lesser cousins, visionaries. Every one in a while, a franchise will have the balls to go for the gusto and get a wunderkind.

It’s fun for the game. And I think Kelly’s smart enough to figure out how to win with different styles of quarterbacks and players.

THAT’S WHAT THE DUNGE TOLD ME! MEEEEEEEEEE!

I don’t know if it’s true he’d only have coached in Eugene or Philadelphia. Maybe he was turned off by Cleveland.

MAYBE

But when the Browns felt him waffle, president Joe Banner told me, “We removed ourselves from the process. We really liked Chip. He’s intriguing, a very different thinker, and very smart. But you could see he was uncertain what he wanted to do. He may be in Philadelphia 10 years or longer and have a terrific career. But the fact he committed to Tampa Bay last year, backed out, then seemed all year to be leaning toward going to the NFL, then being so uncertain with us, we just felt it was too big a gamble. If there was no ambivalance, we may have offered him the job.”

WE WANT A WUNDERKIND, NOT A WAFFLEKIND!

I’m not saying Kelly will be Bobby Petrino or Nick Saban.

For a column that’s 80,000 words every week, there’s a lot of shit that Peter King doesn’t say.

But I am saying no one knows how a man who has been with dominant teams in Oregon is going to a team that needs to be fixed in one of the toughest towns in the United States. I’m just saying it’s going to be a challenge Chip Kelly’s never faced. Not even close.

Ooooooh. So that’s what you were saying. That coaching in the NFL is different than coaching in the college ranks…

No shit.

Tony Gonzalez: The end (probably).

MAYBE, I THINK

On Thursday, Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff walked into the club’s weight room, and there was Gonzalez, dripping with sweat, working with his 2012 discovery, the kettlebell. That’s the Russian weight-training instrument, a round ball of cast iron with a handle on it, that trainers have been using as a newfangled flexibility and strength tool in America over the past few years

Christ. Do we really a paragraph description of a kettlebell?

and something Gonzalez began using last year to increase forearm strength. His theory: Stronger forearms would make it harder for safeties and linebacker to chop receptions out of his hands over the middle.

“Working ’til the end,” Dimitroff said to Gonzalez.

What would he expect? When Dimitroff traded a second-round pick to Kansas City for Gonzalez in 2009 (it became cornerback/returner Javier Arenas from the 2010 draft), he thought he’d be getting his money’s worth if Gonzalez played two years. He played four — and has stuck to his feeling that this is probably the end of his career.

What the fuck? It’s the end of a Hall of Fame player’s career and the best nugget you can come up with is mostly a thinly veiled excuse to pump Dimitroff some more?

Fine Fifteen

3. Atlanta (14-4). Bellman at my hotel last night: “How did Matt Ryan fumble that snap?” I don’t know, but he’ll be thinking about it for a long, long time.

So nice when the help can provide fodder for the column. Peter doesn’t converse with the help, but he’ll pass along the quote to you, his idiot readers. Also an unending list of things he doesn’t know.

4. New England (13-5). Two reasons the Patriots are cleaning out lockers instead of preparing for a rematch with the Niners: Tom Brady played a C game, and when Aqib Talib went out, Joe Flacco flourished. Just proves what a bad job the Patriots have done in drafting a secondary, and filling it out with free agents. It’s Bill Belichick’s kryptonite.

Oh hey, actual criticism of Grumblelord! Nice! PK must have been among the various media he wasn’t willing to speak with after the loss.

Goat of the Week

Bill Belichick, coach, New England.

Oh shit, Peter is MAD about not getting that call back.

It didn’t mean the difference between winning and losing — and there wasn’t one single play in Sunday’s two title games that did lead to a loss — but Belichick’s decision to punt from the Baltimore 34 with the Pats up 13-7 was a haunting one. The punt netted 21 yards, and Baltimore’s next three drives went like this: touchdown, touchdown, touchdown. Ballgame. I don’t know why, with an offense that outscored every team in football by 76 points or more this year, you’re punting from your opponents’ 34 on fourth-and-eight.

It was a questionable decision, but you’re probably better off reaming him for the terrible clock management at the end of the first half.

Stat of the Week

If Ray Lewis — who wore an Art Modell T-shirt under his jersey Sunday — has much left in the tank, well, he’s a pretty good physical specimen. Lewis turns 38 in May, and the Super Bowl will be his last football game.
The Ravens have played 87, 87 and 83 defensive snaps in their three playoff games, in Baltimore, Denver and Foxboro, in the span of 15 days … when they averaged playing 68 defensive snaps per game in the regular season. Lewis has played all 257 defensive snaps. And though Lewis hasn’t been his 27-year-old sideline-to-sideline dominating self, he has been consistently around the ball to the tune of:

Peter uses tackles as a way of showing that Ray-Ray is still a force on defense. Not really the most revealing metric. An inside linebacker is going to get a bunch of tackles unless he’s absolutely completely incompetent at his job. Though I think Ray-Ray did also lead all players in showing his ass crack to the TV and that’s worth something.

Stan Musial Stat of the Week

Fuck you.

Stan Musial Factoid of the Week

FFFFFUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKKKK YYYYYOOOOOOOUUUUUU. Musial was a great, but you don’t write a baseball column. I know that’s a huge disappointment for you, but fucking lump it.

Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me

According to the Associated Press, the bachelor home Chip Kelly leaves behind in Eugene contains 5.5 bathrooms, an indoor basketball court and an indoor pool.

A wunderpad!

Obituary of the Week

Margalit Fox’s obit of Dear Abby (Pauline Phillips’ pen name) — who gave advice in newspapers across the country to my parents’ generation and to mine — was a keeper. The New York Times piece:. Fox’s lead:

Dear Abby: My wife sleeps in the raw. Then she showers, brushes her teeth and fixes our breakfast — still in the buff. We’re newlyweds and there are just the two of us, so I suppose there’s really nothing wrong with it. What do you think?– Ed

Dear Ed: It’s O.K. with me. But tell her to put on an apron when she’s frying bacon.

Abby was a woman-empowerer and common-sense-maker. I remember one of her responses, when a woman bemoaned how old she would be if she went back to school in her late ’30s to get a college degree, and Abby wrote: “Well, how old will you be in five years if you don’t go back to school?”

Haven’t read her in 25 years, I bet. She had Alzheimer’s later in life and her daughter took over the syndicated column. But that was a never-miss column in the King household, for everyone.

Never miss, except for that 25-year span. Peter King has never means whatever he wants it to mean. You got a problem with that? You’re probably one of those stat geeks that Joe Flacco has never paid attention to, because Joe Flacco is A. FUCKING. WINNER.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

I got into a taxi on the east side of Manhattan Thursday about 4:45 p.m. and said to the driver: “LaGuardia Airport. Delta Airlines.”

The driver began fooling with a GPS on the front dash, typing in “L-A-G-W-A-R” — and I say, “Can I help you?”

“Sorry, sir,” the slightly accented Indian fellow said. “First day on the job. Putting it in GPS.”

Gotta drop in that reference to his race. Pretty sure PK is omitting all the ethnic slurs he screamed at the driver. “I SAID STEP ON IT, APU. THIS IS THE LAST TIME I TAKE THE COOLIE CAB!”

“Well, all you have to do is go down this street ’til you see signs for the Midtown Tunnel,” I said, And he typed in “M-I-D-T-O-W-N T-U-N-N-E-L.”

Fuckin’ Indians and their GPS, amiright?

And we were off. He was a timid driver

“He lacked the assertive motor skills of the white man!”

I could tell, driving slowly and getting honked at, and then driving slower. We got through the tunnel and I said, “You’ll see a sign up here for LaGuardia.” So he headed for the exit and got on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway … and then, inexplicably, he got off at the first exit. Not the exit for LaGuardia. “Sorry,” he said. “I thought this was the way.”

We wound through the streets of Queens and I decided to get out my phone and help the guy. So we wound our way back toward the airport, the long and slow way, and finally he had the airport in his sights.

“Terminal D,” I said. “‘D’ as in dog. For Delta.”

Good to know his readers aren’t the only people PK thinks are idiots.

LaGuardia is a bizarre airport in the first place. You can go to Terminal A for the Delta Shuttle, and the other Delta flights are out of Terminals C and D. So this guy saw “Delta Shuttle” and took the road for Terminal A.

I was by now on the phone with an NFL general manager, talking about the news of the day, and I asked him to hold on a second.

“No!” I said. “Not Terminal A. Terminal D. ‘D’ like dog.”

“I’ll have you know this is a very important phone call I’m having to shout over!”

“This is Delta,” he said.

“You’ll have to turn around and go to Terminal D,” I said.

So he went around the front of Terminal A, turned around, and went back toward the main road leading past the airport, Grand Central Parkway, and I told him to take a left so we could get back closer to the other terminals. Instead, he did a U-turn. And went back To Terminal A.

Had to hang up.

Oh dear. You do NOT want to interrupt Peter King’s thrice-daily chat sessions with Thomas Dimitroff. You don’t know wrath until you’ve done that.

“Sir,” I said …

“So sorry! So sorry …”

“Sir, forget your GPS now.” I directed him back out to the road where he could get to Terminal D. By now, he was totally confused and nervous, driving in the right lane, slowly. We came to a fork in the access road to the terminals. To the left was Terminal B, C or D. To the right was Grand Central Parkway West. I said nothing. Do you actually have to say something there?

“I don’t know how they do things in Indiaville, but in America, our cabbies are expected to know their way around!”

The driver hesitated. He jigged left, then pulled the wheel right — onto the ramp for the Grand Central Parkway back into Manhattan.

“Jesus,” I said. “You’re going to have to pull over now.”

He pulled over to the curb, not quite onto the highway yet, and I paid him and got out. “Sir,” I said, “you’re going to have to learn how to do this job before you pick anyone else up.”

PK has too much of a life to withstand criticism of his shitty writing, but if you waste 10 minutes of his time on the way to the airport, there’s fucking hell to pay.

“I am so sorry sir! So sorry! So sorry! My first day!”

I took my rolling suitcase out of the backseat, put my backpack on, and walked 10 or 12 minutes through the parking lots into Terminal D. Look on the bright side, I told myself — at least the travel note of the week is already mined.

WHEW. These immigrants! Talk about incompetent! By the way, what a story of American pride for the grandsons of immigrants coaching teams in the same Super Bowl. Makes you feel all warm inside.

Tweet of the Week I

“Hi, is this Jack Harbaugh? Yes, this is the media. All 10,000 of us. Can we come over and see your family photo albums?”

– @StevePoliti, the Newark Star-Ledger columnist, summing up what we might be saying to Padre Harbaugh right about now.

Might be saying? I’m sure he took a lack of response as consent to dig through their garbage.

Tweet of the Week V

“God would not test you if you weren’t ready.”
– @RGIII, Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III, nine days out from major knee surgery on Saturday

Because God always asks first before He allows terrible things to happen.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think this is what I liked about championship weekend:

b. The Atlanta crowd. Nutty, loud. I don’t often say this about Atlanta fandom. But that crowd helped the Falcons a lot early.

A home crowd in a playoff game in a dome was loud. WEIRD!

c. Julio Jones, making GM Thomas Dimitroff’s 2011 mega-trade look pretty good.


Yup, we all saw the Dimitroff humping coming.

d. Randy Moss, role player. Love it.

No longer a fancy-dancy GLOREEEE BOIIIII.

s. Finally, this Tweet from @ConnorBarwin98 of the Houston Texans: “Ray Lewis is going to make tebow look like an atheist the next two weeks.” Not bad, Mr. Barwin.

Having to look at Ray’s ass will force you to question the existence of a benevolent creator.

2. I think this is what I didn’t like about championship weekend:

b. The communication in the Niner secondary, early.

c. Cover somebody, Stephen Nicholas.

e. Don’t taunt the kicker, Falcons. Bush.

f. Keep your eye on the ball, Matt Ryan.

Issue generic commands after the fact, Lofterkind.

g. Wes Welker’s key drop.

Or don’t.

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

d. Saw Amour, the Best Picture-nominated French film (I don’t mind subtitles, and seventh-through-12th-grade French helped not stare at the lower quarter of the screen for two hours), the other day. Liked it a lot. Taking care of a terribly sick loved one is something most of us are going to do someday — or do now — and what I liked so much about this movie is it goes there without apology and without whitewashing anything.

Finally, a movie with the cohones to go after aging. Usually movies about old people tietoe around that shit.

e. Al Pacino. Joe Paterno. What is wrong with this picture?

f. Scent of a coach. Hoo-hah!

Hey, remember that catchphrase from like 30 years ago?

g. Joe Posnanski has to be honored that Michael Corleone’s going to play a role he wrote, though. Come on, Joe. Admit it.

Yes, I’m sure Posnanski loves that a subject about which he’s been roundly castigated is getting fresh new attention.

h. Coffeenerdness: So I spent part of Friday and Saturday mornings (longer Saturday) writing in a very user-friendly Starbucks in the coolio Buckhead neighborhood north of Atlanta. And at a table in the corner on Saturday was a regular, an older man reading the paper a little after 7. He was joined by a pal around 8:30. Then, around 9, an apparent stranger to both, a woman, happened by and they began talking. They stayed until 10:30. I thought how great that was that three people could converse for that long and solve the problems of the world. I also thought: I don’t think I’ve ever ambled into a bar or coffee place thinking I was staying five minutes and staying an hour and a half or so after some happenstance meeting with strangers. Imagine having the time to be able to do that. It’s foreign to me. I’m missing something, aren’t I?

You know, it’s you little people who really have it lucky. Peter King’s life of berating cabbies and chatting with GMs may seem glamorous, but what he wouldn’t give to just sit back and relax a little. Just blend into the background. Instead, he’s CURSED with celebrity. CURSED! Oh, except for the month-long vacation he gets each year.

i. Beernerdness: Had the pleasure of stopping by the Sweetwater Brewery in Atlanta Friday evening. Cool venue. Had fun sampling the wares, and found the 420 Extra Pale Ale the best. Overly hoppy, in a good way. Good beer, good people there.

They had so much time to just sit around and get wasted. WHAT A TERRIBLE FATE THIS MILLION DOLLAR JOB IS!

J. New York Daily News lead paragraph of the week: “A Bronx man tumbled to his death while defecating between subway cars on a moving 6 train in Manhattan Tuesday, cops said.”

k. Only in New York, Cindy Adams, only in New York!

“Beats relying on the cabbies, though, yes?”

m. Ashley Fox, ESPN pal, had her yellow lab, Kenyon Martin, die last year, and the family was in mourning. But a new dog, a black lab pup, is coming in February, and the basketball naming continues. The Fox family is naming the pup “Siva.” After Louisville point guard Peyton Siva. The Foxes like basketball. Louisville basketball in particular.

n. Does that mean the Kings can name the next dog “Hanrahan?”

You can name your dog Lil’ FACKIN’ PEDROIA for all I care. Just shut up about the SAWX.

o. Never Forget Newtown Dept.: Last week, civic leaders at a town council meeting in Stratford, Conn., voted unanimously to name a new K-through-2 school in town after local resident Victoria Soto, killed while shielding her first-grade students in the Newtown school massacre last month. All present at the meeting stood and cheered when the vote to name the new school “Victoria Soto School” was passed. “I feel honored that my sister’s name will stay alive and she will never be forgotten,” said Jillian Soto.

Hey, that’s great, BUT CAN MIKE ZIMMER GET A WING IN HIS NAME?

p. I hope Dawn Hochsprung School is next, somewhere; she was the principal who was murdered when she charged killer Adam Lanza moments after he broke into the school. And I hope Anne Marie Murphy School comes soon too. Her body was found shielding young children from the killer they couldn’t escape. And school psychologist Mary Scherlach too. And the others … honor them all. Never forget.

Damn straight. After all, if we name a bunch of schools after shooting victims, it’s like we did something about gun violence! And “something” was Peter King’s vague, unhelpful suggestion, was it not?

The Adieu Haiku

August office pools:
Who had Flacco, Kaep this far?
Relax. No one did.

Fuckin’ Indians
Why are they in this country?
They can’t drive for shit!