‘Chuckstrong’ Is Gone, but the Urgency Isn’t

Quotes of the Week

I
“I’d like to semi-disappear. The game’s been incredible to me. But disappearing’s good too. Disappearing to me is not being on TV, not being on the radio. I’d like to coach somewhere at a high school, trying to help the next generation, trying to help the next kid overcome the odds and be the best he can be.”

Aaron Rodgers, to me, Thursday.

II
If the media did their research on this guy, no one would be surprised.”

—Former Heisman winner and NFL back Ricky Williams, on Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, to an Austin, Texas, TV station.

Oh, the media’s doing the research, Ricky.

Like Johnny Manziel, who has been criticized for his party lifestyle, fellow former Heisman winner Ricky Williams had character concerns coming out of college, albeit for much different reasons. (Instagram :: Adam Nadel/AP)
Like Johnny Manziel, who has been criticized for his party lifestyle, fellow former Heisman winner Ricky Williams had character concerns coming out of college, albeit for much different reasons. (Instagram :: Adam Nadel/AP)

III
As permitted under the CBA, the League will require players to wear non-obtrusive tracking devices in select practices and games. The purpose of these devices will be to collect positional and performance data (e.g., speed, distance traveled, and location on the field). The data captured from the 2013 testing will be used for internal evaluation purposes only, and will not be disclosed to any club … Finally, it is likely that all players will be required to wear tracking devices in all NFL games at some point over the next few seasons.”

—Memo from NFL vice president Ray Anderson to teams obtained by The MMQB last week. Such GPS devices are already used by at least three NFL teams, the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team, and several rugby and soccer teams internationally to study fitness and conditioning among players.

IV
It looked like a move out of The Matrix. He’s still got it.”

—Text message from Indianapolis GM Ryan Grigson to owner Jim Irsay on Wednesday, after watching 32-year-old defensive end Robert Mathis make a pirouetting/power/crawling move between tackle and guard in a pass rush drill.

V

Your Turn

Have a question or comment for Peter? Email him at talkback@themmqb.com and it might be included in Tuesday's mailbag.

They rolled him out there like an invalid and made him look like he was finished as a ballplayer … The legacy of George Steinbrenner would be horrified.”

—Attorney Joseph Tacopina, representing Alex Rodriguez, charging to The New York Times that the Yankees intentionally played Alex Rodriguez while knowing he was too injured to play in the 2012 playoffs, and, additionally, charging that Yankees president Randy Levine told the surgeon who performed ARod’s offseason hip surgery, “I don’t ever want to see him on the field again.”

The Yankees are, at least peripherally, involved in a pennant race. Alex Rodriguez is the third baseman on the Yankees. His appeal of the 211-game suspension is not going to be decided until the offseason. Which leads me to believe that of all the selfish acts of Rodriguez’s career, he is in the middle of the biggest one of all: doing his best to look out for his own image while at the same time being the biggest distraction in the recent history of baseball. As MLB executive VP Rob Manfred told the newspaper: “I have yet to see Alex Rodriguez or any of his representatives say that Alex Rodriguez didn’t use PEDs. They’ve adopted a strategy to make a circus atmosphere of irrelevant allegations. I don’t know why anyone who represents Alex Rodriguez has any credibility or standing to complain about anyone’s conduct, let alone ours.”

Stat of the Week

Maybe it’s me. I find this amazing:

The Rams have 46 offensive players under contract at training camp this summer in Earth City, Mo. Sam Bradford, 25, drafted in the first round in 2010, is the longest-tenured St. Louis offensive player.

We’re still three weeks away from the season, but here’s the way the neophyte Rams could line up in 2013 at the offensive skill positions:

rams-chart1

Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me

I

When Minnesota sporting couple Christian Ponder (Vikings QB) and Samantha Steele Ponder (ESPN sideline reporter) snuck away to get married last fall in Hudson, Wis., they had their wedding lunch at Arby’s.

II

The first-round pitching matchup in the Little League World Series featured 6-4 Grant Holman of Chula Vista, Calif., versus 6-3 Chad Lorkowski of Grosse Point Shores, Mich. Each is 13 years old.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

trave-photoI traveled almost 12,000 miles and saw some fun sights and lots of highways and backroads and good cities and towns over 26 days of touring NFL camps. And my best sight of the week came five miles from my home in Manhattan—at the 9/11 Memorial on Saturday afternoon.

I hadn’t been to the Memorial, which honors the 2,977 people killed on Sept. 11, 2001, since it opened almost two years ago. I strongly recommend it (visit 911memorial.org for tourist information). Two large pools sit in the footprints where the Twin Towers were, and the rushing water in the North and South pools cuts off the city noise you’d normally hear standing in this hallowed spot. There are 30-foot waterfalls emptying into a void in the center of the memorials, and the names of the dead are inscribed on broad bronze railings around the pools.

Two notable things for me: I bet a quarter of the visitors Saturday afternoon when I was there were 16 or younger—meaning they’d have little or no memory of the day of the attacks. They’d have heard about the tragedy, from family or history books. But the attacks seem so recent that it’s strange to fathom so many young people wouldn’t remember them. And there’s a “Survivor Tree’’ right next to the South Pool, a pear tree that has grown to 30 feet now, the only remaining tree from the site on the day of the attacks. The tree was damaged into little more than an eight-foot stump. But New York City arborists nursed it back to health at a city park. Though it was uprooted by a severe storm in 2010, the tree recovered and was returned to the site 20 months ago. Check out the photo. Looks good, doesn’t it? It needs guide wires now, but soon, the city hopes, it will be able to stand on its own. For decades.

Tweets of the Week

I
“Everybody pray 4 dustin keller….i pray you have a speedy recovery bro…and kill it when you get back…. DEFINITELY wasnt intentional.”

—@JungleBoi_Swagg, rookie safety D.J. Swearinger of the Houston Texans, after diving into the planted right knee of Miami tight end Dustin Keller in a preseason game Saturday night. No doubt the knee is severely damaged, and it’s likely Keller will be lost for the season.

Swearinger’s Twitter profile says, “If I DON’T #HUNT I DON’T #EAT.” (BIZARRE USE OF ALL-CAPS HASHTAGS.) But the hit was not dirty. It’s the way scores of players are tackled every week in the NFL. Keller just happened to have his leg planted, and Swearinger’s hit caved it in.

II
“The NFL needs to protect defenseless receivers from low hits. To me that is way more important than helmet to helmet. #nfl”

—@KellenWinslowJr, Jets tight end, on the Swearinger hit.

Sorry. Defensive players have to be able to tackle somewhere. If you allow defenders to hits ballcarriers only between the shoulders and waist, penalties would skyrocket and you’d see a lot of 47-36 scores.

III
“How you know you’re in training camp – You legitimately complain about being ‘Back in Napa again for four more days.’ “

—@ChrisWarcraft, Raiders punter Chris Kluwe, back in Napa on Sunday.

IV
Must admit, Seahawks looking like more of a threat to New England in AFC than Denver is right now.”

—@RealSkipBayless, the ESPN commentator.

Seattle moved to the NFC in 2002.

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133 comments
JOBOOZOSO
JOBOOZOSO

Your photos are a superb addition to the MMQB. Thank you!

Kevin73
Kevin73

This new bloated hijacking of the MMQB does NOT work on many levels. To put it into terms Peter King would understand, MMQB was a column that was like a corner coffee shop. Stop by, get a cup of joe, and talk football with King. Finish before the coffee was gone or cold. Then, the column started getting bloated (e.g., beernerdness, 3-4 aggravating travel notes, and the Adieu Haiku) or irrelevant (I.e., political views, movie reviews). Now, to finish the analogy, MMQB has franchised from a coffee shop into a full service Starbucks. You got guest baristas telling you the life cycle of the beans, dozens of drink choices, and guest columnists. I'm sorry but a punter (photographed all Mad Maxxed out with a sword puncturing the ball) telling us the heart-rending story of camp competition. Try waiting in line all day to be one of 2300 people applying at a new hardware store opening. Plus the new dew-dads look and work terrible on and iPad.

Please go back to King writing a column (singular) about football.

Nick B
Nick B

This website, much like life, is not Blackberry 3G friendly.

Midtown_Guy
Midtown_Guy

I've been reading Peter for years, but the best thing I can say about the new site? Haven't looked at Grantland.com once since they've started. Seriously. I'm a nurse with a busy life, and this site, plus having the magazine delivered to my iPad, is all I need to keep up with sports. Great job, guys.

chopx8
chopx8

Love the site content, but it does not work on an ipad!!!...  This week it will not even load properly..

Different design needed for mobile an dipad...

N Lilly
N Lilly

This site is becoming an embarrassment.  Fast.  The content remains fairly strong, but the site itself has problems that would have been baffling in 2003.  Just look at the flagship "Monday Morning Quarterback" piece... The font size isn't even standard!  It took 2 weeks of user complaints to get a print version in place!  These are problems a 13-year old web rookie could solve... Simply confusing that a major national football analyst is having problems that local radio shows would be ashamed of on their web platforms. 


Stop kidding yourself.... This isn't going well.  Find $50k in the budget somewhere and get a proper web person.  

diegocavalier
diegocavalier

This is the first time I've seen the new format, and I'm very disappointed.  Several of my favorite websites have adopted this same format, and it's driven me to stop reading them.  I don't understand the benefit, and I think it is extremely unpleasing to the eye.

PraveenRamadoss
PraveenRamadoss

Pages dont show up on Android, my Google Nexus 4 shows only the 1s page

KennyFatAlbertha
KennyFatAlbertha

Face it folks. Luck will be around for awhile. 

Everyone can trash talk it every which way as Patriots diehard jerkoffs or what not but you remember December 2010-January 2011 when Michael Vick went from being the most vilifed character in the country to having the Number 1 jersey sold? 

But drunk football fans have short memories as alcoholics and beating their wives (or husbands).

And Peter, you're doing a good job. But sometimes as fans, we get spoiled all the time by so much media coverage and insider knowledge we obviously don't need to do because its the job of guys like you to do. Spend all those long days researching and talking to the teams and coaches. Something bleacher creatures can't do unless their screaming drunk epithets or posting as "Random Indian Journalists" on schissing Suzy Soolber.

CMFJ
CMFJ

"But Russell Wilson’s Seahawks beat Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers last year, and he was up on Peyton Manning 27-7 when they were on the field together Saturday night."

Considering that 14 of Seattle's points were not scored by the offense (107 yd KO return and 106 yd fumble return) and that Manning had the Broncos at the 1 yard line on that fumble, the score is meaningless in comparing Wilson and Manning.

PK4
PK4

To say Coach Pagano "saw 47 percent new faces from 2012 (42 of the 90 players were first-year Colts)" is a bit misleading since the regular season roster is only 53 players.  What would be important is how many of the 48 returning players were on the roster at some point during the season  ?  

Knowitall
Knowitall

"The funniest thing about Ryan Dempster throwing at ARod"? "The funniest thing about Ryan Dempster throwing at ARod"?

This is simply sick. Don't forget, dear Peter, that your beloved Red Sox tried to sign ARod, but were too cheap to do so. He would have add a nice end-piece to go along with disgraced Manny Ramirez ( so prominent in the only two Red Sox championships you now get woozy over), and the ever-doubted Big Papi, simply lucky enough not to be a proven drug user, just an alleged one (wink, wink) at this point.

These ARod comments prove once again that you should not be taken seriously as a sports commentator. You are just as shill for your favorite teams, and your liberal causes.

Whatever ARod has done, whatever kind of ass he is, there s nothing funny. Nothing funny. About Dempster throwing at him. And nothing funny about Farrell denying it. To say otherwise is sick - just as sick as the cheering by the demented fans in your favorite town, your favorite ball park.

You want to moralize in this column? Try this: baseballs thrown at people sometimes kill, often maim. Destroy lives and careers. Just because you think someone is an a$$ (or maybe you Are still upset your team didn't

land him) does not mean we get to laugh when someone throws at him. We, of course, don't laugh. Just you.

You stink.

cottsb1
cottsb1

all this high horse attacks on PED users seems delusional. The truth is that we still don't have good enough testing to know who is using and who isn't. Are you really blaming people getting paid millions of dollars for using things that help them to continue to perform at a high level. Also A-Rod is being made a scapegoat. As much as he is a very annoying player the CBA already has suspensions in place and it is the yankees fault for giving him a huge contract they are now trying to void.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

I can think of no ex-player or coach that has survived more on hype than Jon Gruden. He has absolutely no ability in the booth at all. None.

Scramble
Scramble

I was at the Ravens game Thursday. After watching Flacco in the first half, Denver's secondary may not have as any worries as they look like they might.

David200
David200

When he mentioned Andy Reid using the tennis ball thrower all I could think of was the quote from dodgeball: if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.

mgranadosv
mgranadosv

This is Gruden's last year in ESPN because he is completely and absolutely horrendous and awful at it. Maybe he'll do better in the sidelines being in love with every single player in the league.

GeorgeErnsberger
GeorgeErnsberger

It was one Edward Hoyt who coined the term "5-tool tool" for Ryan Braun--been one pretty much his whole career, he said.

Darren6
Darren6

Russell Wilson beat Aaron Rogers.....really? still counting that as a win

Midtown_Guy
Midtown_Guy

Chopx8, I'm reading this on my iPad via the Safari browser, so maybe it's not the site.... :)

doghockey
doghockey

@KennyFatAlbertha  The same guy who uses the phrase Patriots diehard jerkoffs waits only a few lines before deciding to hop on his high horse and preach about drunken epithets.  But I would guess that you don't see the irony.

Mike26
Mike26

@CMFJ Wilson is becoming PK's new darling, so OF COURSE it means something!

bamesbameron
bamesbameron

Hey schmuck I'm skeptical that 75mph pitches to Arod's a$$ us going to kill him

Shane Mac
Shane Mac

@Knowitall Please change your name to KnowNothingAtAll and stop your whining.  You're treading the fetid water of ARod Swamp and sinking slowly.  

Jnash23
Jnash23

@Knowitall Sox weren't 'too cheap,' the trade they were working on with the Rangers didnt work out (thankfully!). Sox are one of the only few teams that have/had the money to spend for a player like him.

ArnoldNewman
ArnoldNewman

@Knowitall Take a chill pill.  King wasn't condoning Dempster.  Would you feel better if he had used the term "ironic".


BTW, Alex "I cheat" Rodriguez should not even be playing.

Mike26
Mike26

@Knowitall You're right it's not funny at all - the whole situation is sickening.  There is no way that A-Rod should even be playing.  It's pretty obvious that his peers have no use/respect/time for him, and I doubt that this will be the last time this happens.  Each time it happens fewer and fewer Yankees will jump to his aid as well, and that is a telling sign.  A-Rod and Braun are the poster children for what is and has been wrong with baseball for the last (almost) 20 years and I have no sympathy for either of the lying, conniving cheaters.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@cottsb1 Your second sentence says it all, cottsb. Virtually no one fails the drug tests. Why the hell is that? I don't know, but it's clear that hundreds of guys are using them and barely tens of guys are getting caught. Could it be because baseball (and the other sports as well) aren't really all that interested in catching cheaters? I merely ask the question.

Mike26
Mike26

@Rickapolis I don't know - where would you rate Mr. .500, Jeff Fisher?  AT least Gruden won a Super Bowl, albeit with a team built by Dungy.  Fisher's barely made it there ONCE, lost, and has survived what, 18 seasons now?

Great call on Gruden though!

dhartm2
dhartm2

The 08 Lions were 4-0 in the preseason, I wouldn't read too much into it.

ConradWesleyClough
ConradWesleyClough

@Darren6 A win is a win... the only thing that matters is the check in the W or L column, not how it gets there.

Sdwalt
Sdwalt

@Mike26 @CMFJ If Wilson was on my team, I would have a man crush on him too.

FeliciaFitzgerald
FeliciaFitzgerald

@Mike26 As long as he stops his NY Giants man-love, I'll be happy with PK falling in love with Wilson.

Knowitall
Knowitall

Is that you, Mrs King? Sorry to call out little Peter's hypocrisy.

Now take your medicine and go to bed.

Knowitall
Knowitall

Go back and read the post and tell me he didn't mean " ha ha" funny. Or better yet, let's ask Mr King to clarify what he meant.

Knowitall
Knowitall

No, jnash23, you are wrong. The Red Sox wanted to restructure the contract to make it less expensive. The Players Association would not allow it. They could have stepped up to the original contract and made the deal, but declined.

It was money , not "working out" the trade. You may have other words. I call it too cheap.

Boston fans like King conveniently forget this, just like they chose not to remember the fact that their two World Series titles rest squarely on the shoulders of a proven drug chert in Manny.

chopx8
chopx8

@Midtown_Guy ok, h

just checked, its working today...nothing differnt...maybe a problem on their end...that they corrected....others reported problems on other tablets...

STILL, i htink they need a mobile version...too many huge pictures..not ipad friendly

chopx8
chopx8

@Midtown_Guy  not sure..every other site works fine

dont have anything going on.......last few weeks had minor issues loading past big pictures...but this week its not displaying correctly at all...


Goon
Goon

@Knowitall The breadth of your perspective is amazing.  You are an inspiration.

Knowitall
Knowitall

So ARod gets thrown at. How about Ryan Braun? Melky Cabrera? Nunez?

Who, exactly, is the judge of the "game's decorum" ( great phrase).

And all of this to justify throwing a baseball at certain players, but not others?

Back to the original point: thrown baseballs kill, maim, and injure. Laughing while this happens for some, and condemning it for others, is sick.

How are you feeling?

Mike26
Mike26

@Knowitall Yes, baseball has its own justice on the field for violators of the game's decorum = and A-Rod's done it and continues to defy it.

Knowitall
Knowitall

So I understand that to mean "OK" with you.

Mike26
Mike26

@Knowitall He's pointing out that other players/teams are against everything A-Rod is doing and stands for and how much he's continuing to ruin the game.  PK is hardly the only one doing it - I honestly believe it's going to get worse the longer he plays and eventually the bruises will catch up with him.  Baseball has long had their own form of "justice" = and FINALLY the players are administering it to the cheaters.

Knowitall
Knowitall

Ok. A Red Sox fan. I get it.

Jnash23
Jnash23

@Knowitall Arod OFFERED to restructure his own contract with stipulations that the sox give him ability to have various marketing/logo rights. That got shot down so the Sox did not trade Manny to the Rangers. The two WS did not rest 'squarely' on the shoulders of Manny either...as he did not come back from a 3-0 series deficit by himself.. Drugs or not, Manny is one of the best hitters in this era. Players have been using different kinds of PEDs for years and no one put up the numbers like him, so to say that drugs are the only reason his stats are what they are is ignorant because with your mentality the hundreds of hitters who have taken drugs would all have .300+ career averages, etc...

Baseball like other sports is entertainment. Drugs are being used in all major league sports....im just trying to enjoy the games at this point.

Knowitall
Knowitall

Yeah, you're right Mike26. Let's just keep throwing at him until they banish him. We can laugh right along with Peter - right up until they blind him, or crack his skull.

The point is not the contract. The point is the selective moralizing of our faithful correspondent. ARod's an ass with a belated contract, and he's selfish, so we get to enjoy him being thrown at? Ok with Peter. Not me. And you?

Mike26
Mike26

@Knowitall Knowitall:  The Red Sox and all of baseball knew that he wasn't worth that first contract OR the second one - only the Yankees have the cash to waste.  Their bonus is the unending circus that continues to besmirch baseball and Yankee tradition.  Accept it for what it is.

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