When last we left mishy mosher, Peter King, he explained how God communicates with us through His divine choice of which Seinfeld rerun is broadcast on TBS each weekday. Peter suggested the Browns to pay Joe Flacco $35 million in 2013 to lure him away from Baltimore in free agency. PK also said the Ravens should draft Manti Te’o in the first round to replace Ray Lewis, because Peter King is entirely composed of nutmeg, blubber and bad ideas.
What about this week? Buried within another otherwise wretched off-season MMQB is the quintessential Peter King paragraph. It really is something. It’s like finding the center of the universe, if the universe were an awful, fat sportswriter. READ ON.
So we’re at the official beginning of draft season, with the annual Scouting Combine starting later this week in Indianapolis. Here’s what we know as the 333 college prospects pack for the Heartland:
Color this draft blue … as in blue-collar.
Done and done. Nothing but a slew of Joe Lunchpails in this bunch. In years past, the draft podium had been littered with glory boys and their extravagant do-da suits. Not a flashy guy in this crop. The 2013 draft will lead in the league in draftees in Wrangler jeans and work boots.
Best position groups in the draft: offensive line and defensive tackle. Safety is good too, with a smattering of linebackers and defensive ends — though there are no Von Miller-type pass rushers in the draft.
No hipsters either!
You’d probably have to go back to 1997 to find a draft like this one. That’s the year Peyton Manning eschewed the prospect of going to the Jets first overall to play for Bill Parcells and returned for his senior year at Tennessee. One quarterback (shaky Jim Druckenmiller, 26th) picked in round one. Two backs (Warrick Dunn 12th and Antowain Smith 23rd) in round one, and four receivers in the first: Ike Hilliard seventh, Yatil Green 15th, Reidel Anthony 16th and Rae Carruth 27th. Yikes! What a horrible draft for point-producers. One star, Dunn, out of seven first-rounders.
Apparently we’re not counting Tony Gonzalez, who went the pick after Dunn at 13th overall. Everyone knows points produced by tight ends don’t really count. WEASEL POINTS.
The quarterbacks are a total mish-mosh at this point.
I believe the word is “mishmash”, but after a Google search, it looks like this version has become popular with high-falutin’ writing who are trying hard to be different.
One GM interested in acquiring a quarterback this offseason told me over the weekend, “I expect more attention on the quarterbacks throwing this year than on any other single thing at the Combine.”
Attention paid to quarterbacks? That never happens!
Some think Geno Smith of West Virginia will go first overall to quarterback-needy Kansas City; one personnel man who studied all the top quarterbacks for a team in need of one last fall told me, “There’s not one quarterback, including Smith, I would take in the first round.”
The Chiefs getting the first pick the year there is no one worth taking first overall is such a Chiefs thing. Perhaps the most Chiefs thing.
But in some ways, 2013 should be a catchup year for the other positions. Opening day 2013 could feature 12 starting quarterbacks drafted in 2011 and ’12; that’s far, far above the norm in a game that values veteran arms at the position.
Of course, that understanding of football fails to recognize the fundamental changes going on in the sport, both in terms of schematic and rules changes. But expecting more out of Petey would be foolish. “Hey, a lot of young quarterbacks are doing well in the last few years. WEIRD!”
Now for a couple of notes about players at the Combine.
Alec Ogletree. The underclass inside linebacker from Georgia would be a clear top-10 pick with a clean resume. But he was suspended the first four games of last season for failing an offseason drug test, and then came the news Saturday night, via ProFootballTalk.com, that Ogletree recently was pinched for driving while intoxicated.
Ogletree and agent Pat Dye were smart to come out and beat the police blotter to the punch.
And there’s the media-biased shit nugget of the week. Ogletree’s agent gave Florio the scoop about his client getting a DUI the weekend before. PK makes sure to note that Florio, his buddy, had the scoop. He goes on to hail the agent for “beating the police blotter to the punch.” Why is that of any significance? How does that make Ogletree’s DUI any less concerning to teams? It doesn’t. But, as always, if you’re friendly and accommodating to the media, they are going reward you with favorable coverage. I wouldn’t be shocked if there were a cozy relationship between Florio and Ogletree’s agent. Wouldn’t be the first.
Fuck, I hate these assholes so much.
Finally, players I’ll be watching at the Combine, three with question marks and debatable upsides:
1. Quarterback Sean Renfree, Duke. No one’s talking about him, but he completed 70 percent of his throws in six of 12 games for David Cutcliffe last fall, was a comeback specialist, and has the pedigree in a good pro-style offense to play early. Could he be more than a late-round flyer, this year’s Ryan Lindley? We’ll see.
The next Ryan Lindley?! No late-round flyer indeed. Take that, everyone saying there are no super-legitish quarterbacks in this draft.
Quote of the Week II
“He’s going to play it outdoors in New York.”
— NBA commissioner David Stern, answering a question intended for future commissioner Adam Silver at the NBA All-Star Game Saturday night. The question: “Where do you plan to play future All-Star Games?”
Don’t you get the feeling that, whenever possible, David Stern likes to put the needle into the NFL?
The only answer that could have made PK giggle with delight more would be “Wichita”.
Pretty sure every MMQB has had at least one veiled gripe about how cold it could be at Super Bowl XLVIII since it was announced it was going to be at MetLife Stadium.
Stat of the Week I
Could the San Francisco 49ers be turning into the New England Patriots West?
/looks at Niners roster
//notes absence of 10 white skill players and 30 tight ends.
Nope. They are not.
On draft day they could. For the past few seasons, the Patriots have led the league in moving and shaking around on draft day
Ooooooh, that’s the stupid Patriots thing the 49ers are doing! Because the Patriots invented draft day WHEELIN’ N’ DEALIN’, you see. Also worth mentioning that NFL writers love nothing more than team stockpiling picks, even if it doesn’t yield any useful talent down the road. Nothing wins useless knee-jerk positive draft grades like having tons and tons of picks.
using extra picks to move up and down and to acquire even more extra picks the following season. But now Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio could be passing the ownership of draft weekend to Trent Baalke and the 49ers.
Possibly because it hasn’t done Belichick any good in the past few years. YET HE’S STILL A SOOPER GENIUS FOR IT.
2013 draft picks as of today: San Francisco 14 (including three projected compensatory picks), New England 5.
“THE FACKIN LIGHT IN THE LOAFAHS PAY-TREE-UTS WEST CAWPIED THE PAY-TREE-UT WAY! THEY AHHH USING THE EXTRA THREE OW-AHHS OF FAGGOT WEST COAST TIME TO CAWPY US! NO ONE DENIES THIS!”
The Niners will have eight picks in the first five rounds and six in the final two — including a compensatory in either the third or fourth round, and two in the seventh. The Patriots have three picks in the first five rounds. They lost their fourth-rounder to Tampa Bay in the Aqib Talib deal, their fifth to Washington in the Albert Haynesworth deal and their sixth to Cincinnati in the Chad Johnson deal. Ouch: Neither Haynesworth nor Johnson played in the NFL last year.
But Bill Belichick can turn any dipshit player into a valuable contributor, according to every Patriots media fluff job ever.
Stat of the Week II
Money raised for pediatric cancer research by Penn State students over the long weekend through the annual 46-hour THON dance marathon: $12,374,034.46.
That’s $12 million. What did you do over the weekend?
Got drunk, which is more or less what PK did as well. Thankfully, I didn’t spend any time looking for ways to try to shine a positive light on Penn State. I guess this is his way of ensuring Matt Millen keeps making appearances in the column.
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
So American and USAirways are merging. Good deal. I don’t like either one — well, that’s not really fair; I really dislike USAirways and am ambivalent (but try to avoid) American.
No one gives a shit.
Here’s my rating of some of our air carriers, apropos of nothing.
I like to believe that Peter King does this in all facets of his life. Just springs terrible things on people without warning or reason. “Say, honey, I emptied our bank accounts and left it all on the street. I WANTED TO SEE IF THERE WERE ANY DECENT PEOPLE LEFT! Then I forced our daughter to become a sister wife for Jerramy Stevens. Why? I DON’T KNOW!” PK just loves chaos. He’s like a fat version of Ledger’s Joker.
My criteria are selfish ones
if an airline treats me great and I hear horror stories about it, I love it. If an airline lost my luggage, I hate it. I used to hate Delta; now I love Delta. So, basically, these ratings are utterly worthless. To anyone but me. So here goes.
We have a breakthrough, people. This is why I dig through these fetid midden heaps of nuggetspeak. I’m really trying to help Peter. This is a psychological profile. It only took hundreds of thousands of terribly written words, but PK has stumbled onto a revelation. You will never find a more accurate summation of Peter King than the previous paragraph. Pointless, self-obsessed, self-indulgent, willfully ignorant and even more willfully wasting everyone’s time. All of his problems laid bare in one perfectly spewed word spill. This could be the kind of discovery that leads to Peter becoming a better person.
Haha, just kidding, it’s a horrible, horrible list.
1. Virgin America. Leg room, leg room, leg room. A little funky for an old guy like me; the planes feel like a W hotel in the sky.
“Could benefit from an Acela Quiet Cabin, but provides ample space for my ample frame.”
2. Delta. I fly a lot, and am on a Delta kick because I live in New York now, and LaGuardia is a big Delta airport. Because I fly Delta a lot, I get lots of free upgrades to business class, and the business class on Delta is far, far better than steerage. The wireless helps — a lot. Most Delta flights have it.
“This is entirely circumstantial and based on where I live. They also give me shit and let me feel superior to the poor people. All highly desirable features.”
3. AirTran. Relatively cheap upgrades to first class, the way it should be.
“Not part of Obama’s crusade to gouge the wealthy. Would help if they made steerage more steerage-y, though.”
5. Alaska. Good coffee. And all the Alaska people are darn happy too.
Good coffee only gets you 5th place? And here I thought we were making such progress diagnosing PK’s shittiness.
6. Cape Air. Never been on one of these little puddle jumpers in and around Massachusetts? Some of the truly great views in flying — going low in and around Boston and Nantucket and Providence and Martha’s Vineyard.
“What’s that? Do YOU not fly to locations within YOUR tiny state? Must be how the steerage half lives. Also, good marks for Cape not flying over poor neighborhoods. Don’t want to drift over the wafting stench of poverty.”
7. United. I got to like Continental a lot over the years, living near Newark Airport, and now that United is Unitedtinental, it’s still an OK airline. Had my share of weather issues on United and Continental over the years, which isn’t strange because of the Newark/Chicago/Denver hubs. Overall, my feeling of United now: meh.
Only worth flying if you have a connecting flight to Mehville.
8. JetBlue. I like the TVs in the seatbacks. If I were a TV-aholic, JetBlue would be much higher. But of all the airlines I’ve flown over the past few years, JetBlue has the highest percentage of full flights. And the compressed seats in coach on JetBlue are made only slightly more tolerable by being able to see SportsCenter three straight times.
“The rest of the great unwashed steerage filth might be distracted by the boob tubes, but no MEEEEEEE. I don’t like having someone’s else jammed into three of my gut folds.”
9. Frontier. No feeling. In my four or five Frontier flights, I have zero opinion on its competency, other than it got me from point A to point B.
“This airline performed its service and gave me nothing to complain about. NO ONE LIKES A SHOWOFF! Ninth place!”
10. American/USAirways. I think the highlight of my USAirways misery was flying in a middle seat in coach from an eastern airport (Philadelphia, I think) to Seattle three or four years ago. Felt like Chevy Chase in the Christmas Vacation movie, praying the chairman of USAirways would have to leave his cushy lair and come face all the angry passengers who would soon be laid up with bad backs because the airline made us all rats in a cage, unable to move in the cells they called airplane seats.
“I had one poor experience with a cross-country flight. Sure, it got there on time, but there were – UGH! – people all around me. Breathing and disturbing the quiet! That CEO would have paid with his life, unless he didn’t!”
I didn’t include others I’ve flown, like British Air and Korean Air. I even flew an airline called Suckling Airways in Europe about 10 years ago. I didn’t think they were relevant, and in some cases, I’ve flown them only once, so it’s tough to judge them.
/books two tickets for Peter King and Brett Favre on Suckling Airways, one-way trip into the center of the sun.
Fourth annual Scouting Combine Tweetup! It’s happening at 6:30 Saturday night at the Emmis Communications headquarters on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis.
Over the years, many of you have asked what a Tweetup is. It’s very complex, but I’ll try to simplify it. Football fans come, football journalists stand there, fans ask questions, we answer them, and, hopefully, we all have 12 ounces of beer along the way. (Maybe more, if you behave.)
In other words, if his fans buy him more beer.
Tickets are necessary, but free. They can be picked up (along with an excellent beer) at Sun King Brewing starting Thursday at 5 p.m. and stretching though the day on Saturday.
The tickets are being given out by a brewery? Petey got a free keg of their nuttiest brew for this, didn’t he?
Tweet of the Week II
“One of those stories you don’t imagine coming, but we don’t really know these people we deify. We really don’t.”
— @ProfBlackistone, former Dallas columnist and current University of Maryland journalism professor Kevin Blackistone, on inspirational Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius being charged with murder after the death of his girlfriend by multiple gunshots.
Wise caution in those words. I’m sure Peter will keep that in mind when, come training camp, he’s telling us that Russell Wilson is so charming that we shouldn’t rule out a presidential campaign in his future.
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff’s claim on NBC’s Pro Football Talk show the other day that Tony Gonzalez was 50-50 to return to the NFL is a significant step toward the tight end returning for one more season. A few reasons. Before the season, as you recall, Gonzalez said he was 95 percent sure the 2012 season would be his last. I saw Gonzalez in January and he hadn’t budged one percentage point. But for Dimitroff to say what he said, there had to have been some significant conversations between he, Mike Smith and Gonzalez that point to him seriously considering returning for one last shot at a title.
Both outcomes now have equally LEGIT-ISH percentage. Someone throw a box over his head so we can have a Schrodinger’s Gonzo.
4. I think someday Titus Young is going to wake up and realize: Maybe I should have gotten in line and did what the coaches told me.
Not as much as he’ll regret never flying Cape Air. THE VISTAS, MY FRIENDS, THE VISTAS!
7. I think the Dwight Freeney release had the league buzzing over the weekend. One GM who was very interested already in former Giant pass rusher Osi Umenyiora told me Freeney would leapfrog Umenyiora on his free-agent board. Assuming he wants to play for a Super Bowl contender, Freeney, who turns 33 tomorrow, would be smartest to take a contract that has minimal guarantees and maximum performance incentives.
Indeed. It would be most foolish for Dwight Freeney to accept guaranteed money when he can get a contract larded with performances bonuses he might never earn.
9. I think the Ravens would be the luckiest team in round one if the mayhem of the college football postseason somehow, some way, pushed either linebacker Alec Ogletree or Manti Te’o down to No. 32 in the first round. GM Ozzie Newsome would make sure the Ravens’ draft rep at Radio City had his sneakers on, so he could sprint to the podium with the card of either name.
He might be right about Ogletree, but the Ravens being giddy about getting Te’o would be hilarious. Until the media ruins it for a while for gushing over it as an inspired pick.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. We’ll find out the truth about the Oscar Pistorius murder rap in due time. But I re-read the New York Times magazine cover story on Pistorius from 13 months ago over the weekend, and this section really hit me, beginning with the author, Michael Sokolove, on the subject of guns: “I asked what kind of gun he owned, which he seemed to take as an indication of my broader interest in firearms. I had to tell him I didn’t own any. ‘But you’ve shot one, right?’ Actually, I hadn’t. Suddenly, I felt like one of those characters in a movie who must be schooled on how to be more manly. ‘We should go to the range,’ he said. He fetched his 9-millimeter handgun and two boxes of ammunition. We got back in the car and drove to a nearby firing range, where he instructed me on proper technique. Pistorius was a good coach. A couple of my shots got close to the bull’s-eye, which delighted him. ‘Maybe you should do this more,’ he said. ‘If you practiced, I think you could be pretty deadly.’ I asked him how often he came to the range. ‘Just sometimes when I can’t sleep,’ he said.”
I recall being at the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 what a big gun culture it was, with so many citizens worried about home invasions, and then, reading about how many weapons Pistorius kept in the house, along with a baseball bat and a cricket bat. For a man with what is appearing to be a notorious temper, the marriage of all those weapons and Pistorius was not a good one.
Too bad it was already discovered that Reeva Steenkamp had her skull crushed in, which nullifies your attempt to blame this all on gun ownership.
b. Speaking of guns, I loved seeing the families of the six murdered Newtown teachers and administrators honored by the president the other day. Never forget Newtown.
Yes, but does Airforce One have a bumper sticker honoring the dead principal? I think not. More empty gestures could be done!
c. Somehow I’ve caught a virus that I can’t shake, and so the two weeks since the Super Bowl — even including three days away doing nothing but reading — I’ve been fairly out of it. Sorry for the shorter columns the last couple of weeks. Feels like it’s all I can do to get this much out.
Virus for Meast of the Off-season!
VY-RUS! VY-RUS! VY-RUS! VY-RUS!
e. Polished off a Grisham effort that I’d somehow missed: The Litigators. Just like the rest of the Grisham books. It looks thick enough to last four or five days, and I finish it in 1.5. What a great storyteller about an area of the world, lawyers and courts, that is so foreign to me.
“He’s our greatest man of airport letters. While the TV-aholics worship at their altar of pap, I’m reading these formulaic best-sellers at record speed!”
h. Coffeenerdness: Took my recyclable Starbucks cup in for a latte the other day, and the guy at the register wrote down my order on a regular paper cup. “No,” I said. “I’ve got the recyclable cup.”
“Can’t you smell these farts? I can, and they are sumptuous.”
The guy said he understood, put the paper cup inside the recyclable one, and the barista made the drink — inside the recyclable cup — and then threw the paper cup away. “That’s … not … exactly … what I had in mind when I bought this recyclable cup,”
TRYING TO SAVE THE WORLD HERE, FUCK-O
I said, but the barista had nine more drinks to make, and so I just walked out. Learned my lesson a couple days later — had the barista write in permanent marker my usual order on the side of the recyclable cup. And that, truly, is a coffeenerdy note.
And a fine note at that. Be sure to tell him how you take airline flights across a tiny state next time you wanna wax environmental on an overworked barista.
i. Beernerdness: Red Stripe. On a warm day, in the middle of the day, when you’re not feeling great … I mean, I could do a commercial for Jamaica’s finest.
Absolutely. They certainly don’t market themselves at all. What a boost an endorsement from a fat middle-aged white guy would make.
“RED STRIPE. HOORAY BEER… that is hooray when I’ve had good experiences with it, which is not always, but they outweigh the bad, which are ones that are less than good, I think. If I have a good experience with a beer but others hate it, I love it. If I’m sad or just waiting around drinking an excellent beer, I hate it. So, basically, this endorsement is totally worthless, so here goes:
WE LOFTIN’, MON!”
I want more like this!
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