This Week in Nuggetry is many things. A trip around the NFL Sunday that was. A peak into the Allagash White and Frappuccino-addled brain of Peter King, long-time NFL ‘journalist’ and author of the NBC Sports column/steaming pile of shit ‘Football Morning in America’. Mostly though, it’s a tribute to Mike Tunison aka Christmas Ape, who penned a superb column mocking King each week on the now defunct blog Kissing Suzy Kolber.
I’m somewhat out of sorts this week. The Patriots lost, all my bets lost and I lost an hour of sleep with the clocks going back in the US. Now, I’m about to lose my sanity via a direct injection of nuggets to the frontal lobe.
We open with an impressive yet sadly telling tale of how the Los Angeles Rams prepared for their game with the Seattle Seahawks despite raging wildfires in California.
When approximately 90 Rams players and staffers were evacuated from their California homes because of the wildfires that came within three miles of their workplace in Thousand Oaks (northwest of Los Angeles), Luoto and the crew found lodging for them (sometimes two or three lodgings, because hotel after hotel in the area got evacuated too), reunited families, found a Saturday practice facility, and kept the train moving. In the end, no one cares about your problems in the NFL. The ref was going to flip the coin at 1:20 Sunday afternoon, and the Seahawks were going to be ready, and you’d better be too.
“Somehow, we got ready,” Rams tackle and leader Andrew Whitworth said Sunday evening. “Pretty amazing, to be able to win a football game in circumstances like this.”
Puerto Ricans can be left without power for months, but hell and earth are moved to ensure a football game kicks off on time. As Peter might say, what a country!
Onwards now to where Peter actually spent his football day, in Kansas City.
K.C. Masterpiece? No
We’ll get to more of Week 10 in a moment, but let’s start where I was Sunday: Kansas City, where it was very much a mixed bag.
If this is as bad as it gets for the Chiefs, winning by 12 points on a day when the offensive line was a sieve, throw a parade.
Yes Peter, if a 12-point victory is as bad as it gets for the Chiefs this season you can lube up the streetlights and the horses, because Kansans and Missourians are about to get weird with their Super Bowl celebrations.
After the game, I sat in coach Andy Reid’s office, and he preferred to look at the glass half-full.
Half-full of barbeque sauce, that is.
“Today, Patrick learned a ton off a few of the different looks that he got,” Reid said. “The one neat thing about him is that you might fool him once, but you normally don’t fool him twice.”
Translation: “Try as I might, I haven’t been able to trick him into sending explicit photos to a team masseuse again. Never had that problem with Brett.”
One last thing: Watching Mahomes, it’s interesting to see how many different ways he finds to throw. Rarely do you see the same throw twice in a row. He’s throwing overhand, or three-quarters, or frenzied/sidearm, or shovel. I saw his dad, Pat Mahomes, the longtime major-league pitcher, after the game and asked him where that came from.
“Baseball, I think,” said the elder Mahomes, wearing a MAHOMES Chiefs jersey. “Those are the kinds of throws, all different, he’d make playing shortstop. That’s one of the reasons I think kids should play more than one sport. It can help you be more versatile.”
Baseball is why Patrick Mahomes is good at football. Makes perfect sense. Did you know his dad was a major-league pitcher, by the way? Oh, you hadn’t heard? Forgive me, I’ll have to jackhammer this reference into another 30 of my columns to ensure the message gets through.
Now for the rest of this putrid, bet-beating, hot mess of a league.
Matt’s moment. I always found Matt Barkley to be an earnest team guy, not quite good enough to hang onto an NFL roster spot. And if he never has another day like Sunday—the 41-10 rout of the Jets that left him grinning from ear to ear 45 minutes after the game—they can never take away from him the fact that he started in a big-league game and won decisively under ridiculous circumstances.
Those circumstances: Barkley had been a Bill for only 11 days before Sunday, and hadn’t played in the league for almost two calendar years. “I knew that I can play in this league,” Barkley said. “I feel like I was made to play football and this was just an example of doing what I was made to do.”
Buffalo has its bye this week. There’s no reason to hurry Josh Allen back from his elbow injury in this lost (3-7) season. I’d see if Barkley has one more gem in him when the Bills return home in 13 days to play Jacksonville. Buffalo fans would shower love on Barkley if he starts.
Not sure if I’d want to be showered in “love” by Buffalo Bills fans. Would it be metaphorical and pleasant or literal, with dildo after dildo raining down upon my head, my only cover being the scattered pieces of folding tables torn asunder by heavyset men called ‘Scooter’?
So you want to get to know Philip Rivers? Listen to him. He’s a guest on my current “The Peter King Podcast” episode. A few times over the years, when asked what Rivers is like, I’ve answered: He’s the guy you meet once every five years on a long airplane trip, and by the time you get off, you feel like you’ve known him for 10 years.
What an oddly specific description. How many people do you meet every five years while thousands of feet in the air at the exact same time? None of this makes sense. Unless, this is literally who Philip Rivers is to Peter King and they’ve only interacted on airplanes.
We’re going to skip all the way to the awards section, because my eyes just started bleeding.
Goat of the Week
Eagles fans, Philadelphia. For booing the Eagles off the field at halftime in Week 10. It hasn’t been the season you’d want in Philly. And you’re losing to the Cowboys, toothlessly, 13-3. But booing the crap out of the team that delivered a stirring Super Bowl win nine months ago? Bush league.
Thanks for your informed opinion, man who hasn’t paid to attend a pro football game in literally decades.
Quotes of the Week
“It canceled out the weed smell we usually get in Oakland.”
—Chargers defensive lineman Corey Liuget, to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, on the strong smell of the California fires wafting into the Oakland Coliseum on Sunday during the Chargers-Raiders game.
Thank God something smelled strongly enough to cover up Mark Davis’ pungent PF Chang’s/Cheetos breath.
“That’s what happens when you go cheap. You get your ass kicked.”
—Titans running back Dion Lewis, who the Patriots chose not to re-sign after last season. Tennessee creamed the Patriots 34-10 on Sunday.
I know what quote will be on the Patriots’ whiteboard before the Tennessee-at-New England divisional game in January.
Patriots handing out Super Bowl rings to teams left, right and centre. Who says they’re a heard team to root for?
“This was a total team breakdown. A Kotitian disgrace.”
—Steve Serby of the New York Post, writing on the Jets’ 41-10 loss to the Bills.
“Kotitian” is one of the best adjectives in NFL history, crafted by one of the best makers of adjectives in NFL media history, Serby. It refers to Rich Kotite, who coached the Jets to a 4-28 record in 1995 and 1996.
Never knew I needed power rankings, a Mount Rushmore and a hall of fame of NFL media makers of adjectives, but by god do I! The lifetime achievement award for metaphorical services HAS to be named after Jon Gruden. This guy Peter King, I call him an orangutan, because he pulls crap out of his ass and just throws it everywhere.
10 Things I Think I Think
I don’t say this nearly enough: Pro Football Reference is the MVW—Most Valuable Website. I love it. I use it five times a day, and maybe 20 on Sunday nights writing this column. If that was a public company, I’d buy stock in it.
Only a pro sports writer could be self-obsessed enough to think a website he uses all the time is just as important to those of us in the real world. Please let this site go public so I can watch Peter try and exchange his Starbucks gift cards for shares.
Hard for even the most ardent Dirk Koetter backers to say he should return in 2019. His fault or not, the Bucs were abysmal in so many ways Sunday against Washington, not the least of which was going scoreless on their first four red zone visits.
It’s even harder to imagine there are any ardent Dirk Koetter fans out there. I’ve met rocks that elicit stronger emotional responses.
Raiders have seven sacks in nine games. If there was just some way they could have had a pass rush this year.
Andrew Whitworth is one of the best free-agent signings ever.
I mean that about the Rams left tackle, signed from Cincinnati last year. It’s not hyperbole. A month shy of turning 37, Whitworth is a road-grader at a position that’s vital in today’s game, and he’s turned into the kind of leader every team longs for.
Oh, sweetie. That’s the definition of hyperbole, calling a 37-year-old offensive lineman one of the greatest signings ever.
I think Tennessee’s going to be in the pennant race in late December
As long as they have a player with familial links to baseball, they should be in good shape for this non-existent pennant.
I am thinking seriously of emptying out both of my email mailboxes. I mean, going down to zero in each, and then purging them daily. Whatever I miss, I miss. Something freeing about that thought. Anyone ever done that? And just starting from scratch?
I despair. Why he thinks this is the place for a 3am musing with nothing to do with the NFL is beyond me. All I know is he should do it.
The Adieu Haiku
About Le’Veon …
Covered out the wazoo. Just
wake me when he plays.
Pats can’t get going
Peter King fucks with baseball
Fuck you Mike Vrabel.