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.
Peter writes he was “embedded” with the Saints this week, which is a grossly inaccurate use of a military term to describe a night spent in a hotel with more bathrooms than even a sports writer could clog.
Peter used his well-honed journalism skills/butt-licking abilities to get to sit in on the New Orleans Saints’ Saturday meetings and walkthrough. Hard hitting stuff is to be expected.
Damndest thing I ever saw: Five linemen up front. Three receivers left, three receivers right.
The 1930s called Peter, and even they don’t want “damndest” back.
After 15 minutes, each play run the same way, Payton said, “Let’s break it down,” and they gathered in a circle, said something I couldn’t understand, and the players went to team snack. (More than a snack, actually; it was a full-blown buffet meal.)
We all know my man Peter was just there for the pre-game buffet. Gumbo on gumbo on gumbo on gumbo.
Intermission: This is not the usual Football Morning in America column.
You mean it won’t have 13 references to baseball?
I should tell you that the coaches seemed to get a kick out of an interloper among them. The evening began with the coaching staff in a smaller room, the LaSalle Room, at the end of the hall, with 17 men sitting around a large U-shaped table with a white screen at the top of the “U.” I sat in back behind the table, next to the side wall. “You’re embedded in here tonight, right?” Payton said, looking at me. “That the right word, Peter? That’s what they used to have in wars, right? Don’t see that anymore.”
Lombardi piped up: “Not quite the same hardship here at the Ritz.”
Peter has already begun secretly circulating a petition to rename the Vince Lombardi trophy due to this comment by his grandson Joe. But have no fear, the ‘Brett Favre Trophy Presented by Wrangler and Vicodin’ has a ring to it.
I will say the big chunk on the Saints is entertaining stuff, so I guess (access) journalism isn’t dead after all.
What Got Into Indy?
When we last left Indianapolis, in the middle of October, it was already wait-till-next-year time in Indiana. The Colts were 1-5, they’d just given up 42 points to the abysmal Jets, the rest of the year was going to be target practice for Andrew Luck so he (and the franchise) could feel better about 2019. But they’ve won four straight (by an average of 19.3 points), and they totally undressed one of the league’s hot teams, Tennessee, 38-10 Sunday in Indy.
In the last four games, the Colts are scoring 36.5 points a game (only the Saints have been more explosive over that time), and Luck, a punching bag when he last played in 2016, has not been sacked. The turn of events has been so stunning that Reich, when this rout was over Sunday, walked into his office at Lucas Oil Stadium, closed the door, sat quietly and found himself near tears.
A common occurrence for Peter when he returns to his office and finds he forgot to restock the barrel full of Starbucks Frappuccino he likes to dip his head into.
The McCarthy Decision
Much folderol about the Packers’ decision that may have cost them the game at Seattle on Thursday night. I want to focus on it here analytically, because coach Mike McCarthy said after the game, in making the decision he did, that “we played the numbers.”
I looked it up so you don’t have to. This has to be an Easter egg for all 13 of us dedicated Peter King monitors, because there’s no way he unintentionally described his column with one obscure word by accident. Genius. Hell, it’s what this entire section is, going into insane detail to explain the stupidity of a decision anyone watching at the time realised was stupid immediately.
Quotes of the Week
“I think Russell Wilson would be a good life coach.”
—FOX’s Joe Buck, in the third quarter of the Green Bay-Seattle game.
I think he is already.
“This concussion water is the change you need to make in your life NOW! It’s chock-full of doowops, tritoconphenorides, spirituality and more vehicular mortibundy than you can shake a stick at! For only $59.99 a month you too can be concussion free, AND get a 10% discount on any monorail you purchase from Wilson Life Coach co.!”
“He is putting Father Time in a chokehold and giving it a noogie.”
—Kay Adams of NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football,” on 35-year-old Dolphins running back Frank Gore.
So is Tom Brady workplace harassing Father Time? Grabbing his ass, making suggestive remarks, forwarding porn to his email? Inviting him round for a drink before brutally murdering him?
In his two post-game TV interviews (with FOX and NFL Network) totaling 10 minutes and 15 seconds, after Seattle beat Green Bay on Thursday, Russell Wilson used the phrase “stay the course” seven times and “remain the course” once.
That is called “staying on point” in the quarterbacking business.
And it’s called “message bombardment” in the snake-oil business.
I shan’t be republishing it, but in his letters section Peter may have chosen the most sycophantic email ever for publication. Normally columnists reserve this crap for when they’re on the way out, but God is cruel and has forsake us.
10 Things I Think I Think
If I could choose one quarterback to rally my team, down 10 in the second half, it’d be Russell Wilson. Man, he’s the best there is at ignoring what’s happened on the last play and making something happen on the next one.
We all know what happens next. Peter cuts off family contact, begins forsaking his third Frappe and then before you know it, he’s in a cult led by Russell Wilson. It’s the only explanation for such nonsense; Peter King has been brainwashed by Russel Wilson.
I really hope the Steelers were mostly kidding around and didn’t maliciously steal stuff from Le’Veon Bell’s locker after his tenure with the team ended last week. Just not cool.
Now I heard that most of the stuff taken was just shoes and free stuff delivered to Bell this summer and fall. I suppose I should laugh it off too. Seemed a little creepy. I mean, those are not Bud Dupree’s belongings. Why is he taking them?
Almost as if the Steelers players waited for the media to be in the locker room so they saw this happen. Perhaps like it was a message? But fuck, what do I know.
Malcolm Butler’s not worth the money. I do not say that lightly, or without evidence.
But I’ll certainly say it flippantly, buried in one 15-word nugget deep into my column.
I think Adam Schefter is eminently trustworthy, which is why I am fairly sure there was something to his report Sunday that the Browns may be interested in interviewing former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice for their head-coaching job. Notice the wording there: interested in interviewing. Schefter wrote the Browns “would like to interview” Rice. He did not write, the Browns “would like to hire” Rice. Why would Cleveland want to do this—if indeed the Browns ever did? I am reminded of an old Al Davis story. When I asked someone in the Raider organization once about Davis’ tendency to talk to six or eight people every time he had a coaching opening (and to do long, painstaking interviews), he told me Davis loved milking information and ideas from smart people in football, sometimes in the guise of being interested in hiring them. My biggest problem with the concept is, as Rice admitted in a statement Sunday, she is “not ready to coach.” Right. The idea of her being anything other than a consultant-type interview is asinine. Let’s let a cadre of women who love football make their way in it.
Bush for special, special teams coach, Cheney to coach advanced interception techniques, Alex Jones for team (witch)doctor and Bill Clinton for community (sexual) relations officer.
The Adieu Haiku
will be Browns coach when I join
the Trump Cabinet.
Pete King: President
I can’t imagine the hell
Embed axe in me