Monday, January 5, 2009

Peter King will deliver me from hiatus

Wow, that guy looks excited. Oh look, it's Peter King. Wooo. Here, I have a disposable camera you can take a picture with. Nice khaki shorts, Pete.

Anyway, I was experiencing a critical case of blogger's block, but leave it to Peter King to bring me back. Every time Peter King opens his fat mouth (by proxy through his fat fingers), someone has to be there to be the voice of reason. And again, I don't care if KSK was doing it first, this is an exercise in catharsis. Or something. Peter King bashing makes me harder than an MIT electromagnetism test.

On with the critiques:

The wild-card results set up Rematch Weekend ... and the rematches are of five regular-season barnburners. Philadelphia beat New York by six, New York beat Philly by five, Carolina beat Arizona by four, Tennessee beat Baltimore by three, Pittsburgh beat San Diego by one. Wow. You can't make this stuff up.

Philadelphia beat New York by two on a last second field goal. New York then beat Philly by one in their next matchup on a late pass to Kevin Boss. Carolina beat Arizona by two, Tennessee beat Baltimore in overtime by 6, and Pittsburgh lost to San Diego by five.

I just made all of that up.

The overtime rule continues to be the dumbest, stupidest, most indefensible rule the NFL has on its books. Giving a coin flip more power than Tony Soprano has now deprived us of a satisfactory ending to two pivotal games this year -- Jets-Patriots in Week 11, when the Patriots and 401-yard passer Matt Cassel never saw the ball in overtime after a heroic fourth-quarter comeback, and Colts-Chargers, when we didn't get to see the NFL MVP even play in the fifth quarter because it was a one-possession overtime.

Awww, did the rule screw two of your favorite teams/players? Let's change it. It's indefensible. The league MVP didn't get to play again after failing to do anything in the last twenty minutes of regulation. Surely he would have done it in OT for you, Peter.

Brian Westbrook and Ed Reed define clutch.

Explain. Does Steve Spach also define clutch? Does Brian Westbrook not make that catch and run happen in the first quarter because it's not clutchtime yet? Do you want to clutch Ed Reed's balls with your jaw?

They should call this one the "First Team To 10 Bowl.'' Baltimore led 10-3 late in the third quarter, and this is when Kerry Collins cemented his 2008 legacy. He took the Titans on a 13-play, 81-yard drive to a Rob Bironas field goal, and on the next possession went 80 yards in 11 plays and won it on a short touchdown pass to Alge Crumpler.

Uh...the first team to 10 lost. So they should instead continue to call it the AFC Divisional game. No offense, Peter. Oh, also...I jizzed all over that toaster stroodle you just ate.

You can't be happy if you're the Giants to see the Eagles, 4-1 since Week 14, swagger in ...

Nope. Whenever Donovan McNabb comes in with TI, Jay-Z, Lil' Wayne and Kanye West, the Giants will piss all over themselves. Especially when they consider how impressive that streak has been outside of the Cowboys game. Cleveland! Minnesota! SWAGGER LIKE US!

especially since New York is 1-3 since Week 14 and had to go to overtime to win that one.

...against the second seed in the NFC and arguably one of the best 3 teams in the league.

Darren Sproles touched the ball only three times in the game -- one rush, one reception, one kick return. You think that might change Sunday?

Yes. I think it will, since he'll probably be their starting running back. Hey, I'm looking up tits on Google images. Think I might jack it all over my keyboard?

Scifres was Kobe scoring 84.

Yes, we were all hoping to see San Diego punt on second down just to get some more Scifres. It was that thrilling. He's so going to win the 2009 Punt The Ball Inside The Five Derby.

The starting points of Indianapolis' 12 drives: 10, 19, 3, 33, 7, 20, 26, 9, 20, 21, 1, 19. I laughed all day Sunday when I kept hearing from the experts about how Peyton Manning didn't look much like an MVP on Saturday night. No crap, Sherlock! Pretty hard to be great when you're on the road in the playoffs and your average starting point all night is the 16-yard line.

Obviously! How can you not expect him to go three and out from there?

Your team is nursing a 16-14 lead, and you've done nothing to help. At what point do you say, It's just not happening for me today? "I think the biggest thing is not to get frustrated," he told me.

You're an NFL player, Brian. At what point do you just say "fuck it" and quit? Never? Wow. What a player.

I asked him this morning where Reed ranked on his list of the great ones. "Best ball-hawking safety of all time,'' Harrison said via text-message.

Rodney Harrison would rather text King his answer than actually say it to him. I'm just picturing King standing there in front of Harrison, and Harrison pulling out his phone and texting all of his answers back to King. And I'm lolling like I'm bowling.

They were a really efficient offense. But that's what we do as a defense -- we force you to do things you don't want to do.'' Listening, Tennessee?

Kerry Collins is shocked to learn that the Ravens are going to try to intercept his passes. Shocked! King's condescending tone has gotten old faster than Shaun Alexander did.

But it leaves me questioning Pioli's future. Could he get swept off his feet by a man he'll have much in common with, Kansas City owner Clark Hunt, when they meet this week? Will Pioli return to the safety of the dynastic womb in New England? That's something I never thought a possibility in December, but the longer it goes without him leaving the nest, the more chance there is he might stay.

Hey, it's fun to speculate. It's like these games. Who really knows?

And that's why they play the coaching search! Just like the old saying goes, "any given offseason".

But to suggest that a part-time back who wasn't the leading rookie rusher in football should win the award over a quarterback who led his team to 11 wins and the playoffs is, well, a bit flawed.

Kerry Collins should have been MVP for leading his team to the most wins.

Pittsburgh (12-4). Chuck Noll's first two seasons: six wins. Bill Cowher's first two seasons: 20 wins. Mike Tomlin's first two seasons: 22 wins.

Still trying to find any relevance in here. Are you saying Cowher is going to win more Super Bowls with the Steelers than Chuck Noll did?

3. New York Giants (12-4). I think if the Yankees fired Joe Girardi tomorrow, the Steinbrenners would want to interview Steve Spagnuolo.

I bet if Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital fired its chief heart surgeon tomorrow, the board of directors would want to interview Amani Toomer.

5. Baltimore (12-5). You know who's an underrated player? Jim Leonhard, the man who shares airspace alongside Ed Reed at safety for the Ravens. Reed sucks all the publicity out of the secondary, and rightfully so, but Leonhard, in the regular defense and a part-time returner, has been a terrific complementary player since coming from Buffalo in free-agency last winter. Six tackles, an interception and a half-sack Sunday.

$20 says King had never even heard of Leonhard until he had that interception yesterday.

6. New England (11-5). Lest you doubt the bond of respect that exists between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, listen to Manning talk about their communication, and his reaction, when Brady went down in the first quarter of the first game of the season: "I couldn't watch his hit. ESPN would tease it, and I would have to turn my head. I never actually watched the play. It made me sick. First quarter of the season. Sickening. Just sickening. Then he called me after his surgery. Here we are, a couple of meathead quarterbacks, trying to talk medicine. Like: How was your surgery? How many white blood cells did I have in my knee?''

That has nothing to do with anything. This is like describing the Lions' season by mentioning that Herman Moore is a huge fan of bluegrass music. Also, how are they sixth? Who have they beat? Arizona at home? The Jets and Dolphins? Wow. What a squad.

7. San Diego (9-8). I'll tell you the most amazing factoid of the coming weekend: If the Chargers win at Pittsburgh, and Baltimore beats Tennessee (both eminently possible), San Diego will host the AFC Championship Game in 13 days. Yes, the same San Diego that was 4-8 a month ago today and absolutely, positively out of it.

Here's another amazing fact: They'd probably massacre the fuck out of the Patriots if they played right now.

For the Colts to go winless in three of the last four postseasons -- with one of the best quarterbacks ever, and all the offensive talent, with two excellent defensive ends and an enforcer safety -- is inexcusable. I agree with every good thing being said about Tony Dungy, who is likely to retire. I don't think he should retire unless he wants to, but I do think somebody in the organization has to shake something up. Going winless in three of four postseasons? With that talent? Not acceptable.

Even though I fellate him with every chance I get, Dungy's team's performance in the past four seasons has been unacceptable. I think that he should stay if he wants, but regardless someone's got to shake something up. Except for Dungy, who should be able to stay if he wants. But something's wrong. But Dungy. But.

10. Miami (11-6). Too bad it ended that way. The good thing is that football is alive again in south Florida, and this is not going to be a one-year phenomenon, even if Bill Parcells leaves. Tony Sparano's got the ship righted.

I'll bet you a triple-sperm latte that this will be a one-year phenomenon.

Hard to have a better overall game, ever, than Sproles had in the 23-17 win over the Colts. Rushes: 23 for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Receptions: five for 45 yards. Punt returns: three for 72 yards. Kickoff returns: four for 106 yards.

Fumble at the goal line that almost cost his team the game: One

I can think of so many better overall games, ever, than this. Also, 4 kickoff returns for 106 yards is more average than a T-Pain CD.

Reason to Leave New Jersey Dept.: Friday, 4:10 p.m. Leave for the 16-minute drive to Garden State Plaza in Paramus, for the 4:40 showing of "Frost/Nixon'' at big movie megaplex. Friday, 4:27 p.m.: Arrive at parking structure. Look for spot. Friday, 4:34 p.m.: No spots inside or outside a parking facility bigger than Rhode Island. Lines of two and three cars following pokey shoppers to their cars. Drivers swear at drivers. Friday, 4:38 p.m.: Much cursing of car volume in the Garden State. Finally find a shopper with no line behind her. Follow her to the spot. There's a latecomer zooming in from the opposite direction. I wait. Woman backs out. I park. Latecomer drives away, yelling, "Thanks, ---munch.'' Friday, 4:48 p.m. Frazzled. Thank God for previews. We miss nothing.

Why do you think people want to read this? Holy fuck, look at me, in the most densely populated state in the motherfucking union, it took me almost 15 minutes to find a parking spot. Woe is fucking me. Someone even yelled at me!

a. I am mind-boggled that four MVP voters thought Michael Turner deserved the award and none picked Matt Ryan.

For Christ's sake, voters, the guy threw 16 TDs to only 11 INTs! That screams MVP. I am boggle-minded.

c. Bill Parcells and Carl Peterson together in Miami -- Peterson is a favorite of new Miami owner Steve Ross -- is more of an odd couple than Felix and Oscar. If that ever happens, I'm buying at Starbucks. For the world. Now that we know Parcells is going to stay in Miami, Peterson's going to have to look elsewhere.


e. I learn a lot reading Mike Reiss in the Boston Globe. This week, in his Reiss's Pieces online blog, there was this daunting stat that illuminated what an uphill struggle it was for the Patriots to get to 11-5. Tom Brady was injured on the 15th of 1,102 New England offensive snaps. How many other teams would win 11 games with their most important player playing 1.4 percent of the season?

How many other teams coming off of 16-0 seasons in which they won by 20 points/game would only lose 31.25% percent of their wins against one of the weakest schedules in NFL history in this situation? Any of them? I think not!

Really, though, is it like just now news to him that Tom Brady was hurt early in the first game of the year? Did he not know this before reading some gay article in a newspaper?

f. I'm actually starting to like Deion Sanders on TV. I know that'll rankle some peers, but he's confident, he's opinionated, he backs up opinions with good arguments (some of which I think are bunk, but who cares?), and he's good at the sound-bite game.

They are going to hate you, Pete! Hey, Deion, if you are reading this...well, Peter King thinks that some of your arguments are bunk. If you know anything about Peter King, you know that is a good thing. What I'm saying is keep it up.

a. Great job by Arizona timing Atlanta's snap count. Not just a great job -- maybe a game-deciding job.

Not just a game-deciding job...possibly a score-making job. Not just a score-making job...possibly a result-manufacturing job. Not just a result-manufacturing job...maybe a Brett Favre handjob.

d. The refs didn't blow the game in overtime in San Diego. Those were all legitimate penalties on Indianapolis. The interference was a little ticky-tack, but it was there.

The interference probably shouldn't have been called, but it was only an automatic first-down penalty on third and 8. It didn't really affect the game that much.

e. Whoa! Did Bart Scott light up Chad Pennington, legally in the second quarter, or what?

Holy fuck, it sure was a, hell of, a hit!

7. I think Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan would turn the Rams into a 10-win team overnight. Do you have any idea how many headaches his defense, and his crazy overload-blitzes, give to opposing offenses? It's impossible to figure them out. He's your man, Billy Devaney.

The Ravens are so much more stacked on defense and have been for the past decade that this sentence is laughable. I'm LOL-ing. L O L-in' like a felon. You think Corey Chavous is going to play the role of Ed Reed? Quinton Culberson is going to be Terrell Suggs?

f. Peter King Word Of The Week: Supercilious. Like DeSean Jackson was on his final punt return in Minnesota Sunday. Did you see that? He ran out of bounds like the thing wasn't important, like he didn't care. Weird.

Wow, Peter! You are taking this Peter King Human Dictionary to heart! I guaran-fucking-tee he gets these words from a thesaurus.

Really not as egregious with his poorness this week as in most, but overall, this may have been one of his worst to date. It's just terrible from start to finish. Good job, Peter.

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