No. 10, 10 Years In

Player You Need To Know This Weekend

Darrelle Revis' game against his former Jets teammates will be one of the most-watched of Week 1.
Darrelle Revis’ game against his former Jets teammates will be one of the most-watched of Week 1. (Charles Krupa/AP)

Darrelle Revis, cornerback, Tampa Bay (No. 24). Revis returns to the scene of his prime, the Meadowlands, where he became the best cornerback in football before shredding his knee last fall and then moving on to the Bucs in an April trade. A shame, really, that we can’t see him face off against Mark Sanchez, out with a shoulder injury. As well as these two players know each other’s tendencies, I would have loved to see them try to read each other Sunday. But it’ll be Geno Smith, a rookie, who will try to outsmart Revis, who has convinced coach Greg Schiano to let him take the opposition’s best receiver much of the time this year. The test for Revis will be whether he can take the physical grind of a full game after being brought along slowly during training camp. I doubt he’ll let his emotions get the best of him. Talking to Revis last month, I got the impression he was most upset with GM John Idzik, not with any of the coaches or players. “Idzik came in, cleaned house, and shredded the team,’’ Revis said. “I think if it were up to Rex [Ryan], he would have had my back and supported me. But overall I don’t have hard feelings about the Jets. This’ll be an emotional game. Guys will be amped. But you gotta move on.”

***

A note from me about the use of the nickname “Redskins.”

I’ve decided to stop using the Washington team nickname. It’s a name you won’t see me use anymore. The simple reason is that for the last two or three years, I’ve been uneasy when I sat down to write about the team and had to use the nickname. In some stories I’ve tried to use it sparingly. But this year, I decided to stop entirely because it offends too many people, and I don’t want to add to the offensiveness. Some people, and some Native American organizations—such as the highly respected American Indian Movement—think the nickname is a slur. Obviously, the team feels it isn’t a slur, and there are several prominent Native American leaders who agree. But I can do my job without using it, and I will. My 2,400-word story on Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and his unique approach to the read-option Thursday proved you can write about the team (insightfully, I hope) and not make a big deal about not using the nickname.

I have no idea if this is the right thing to do for the public, or the politically correct thing to do, and I’m not going to sit here and try to preach about it and tell you if you like the name you’re wrong or if you hate the name you’re wrong. I can just tell you how I feel: I’ve been increasingly bothered by using the word, and I don’t want to be a part of using a name that a cross-section of our society feels is insulting.

I’m not speaking for my staff at The MMQB, or at Sports Illustrated. I haven’t ordered anyone who works at our new website to not use the name; it will be up to each person to decide. We had some discussions as a staff about the nickname in August, and I said in those discussions I didn’t want our site to use it. But I felt after some thought that it’s not my place to order people who I work with to do something they may not be comfortable doing. So I decided to make my own decision, then allow the other writers and editors on the site to do what they want. Also, we won’t be changing quotes to eliminate the name in stories, or editing it out of pieces from outside contributors who choose to use it. It will also appear in web tools that categorize stories for searches.

Some of you will view this as grandstanding. Some of you will wonder: You’ve covered the NFL for 30 seasons, and just now you realize this nickname is objectionable? All I can say is, you grow in your business, and you grow as a person, and you try to always be open to ideas and to what others are thinking. I told someone the other day: “That’s right. I changed my mind about it—just like I changed my mind and voted for Art Monk for the Hall of Fame.’’ Some will say you won’t read me, or the site, anymore. That’s okay. It’s a free country. Here’s what it came down to for me: Did I want to be part of a culture that uses a term that many in society view as a racial epithet? The answer kept coming back no—and now that I have been charged to run a website, I thought I would finally do what felt right to me.

Ten Things I’ll Be Watching For This Weekend

1. The return of Sean Payton. Not saying the Superdome will be as electric as it was for the NFC title game four seasons ago, but Payton coming back after his 2012 suspension, and the fact that the biggest regular-season game of any New Orleans season (Falcons-Saints) is at hand, will make this one of the special Sundays in recent Saints history.

2. The Buffalo defense. Have we forgotten, in this rush to be excited about E.J. Manuel, that the Bills allowed 89 points to the Patriots in two games last year? I mean, 89 points in three games would be bad. Two? Watch the frenetic sideline-to-sideline middle linebacker and second-round pick, Kiko Alonso (No. 50) in this one, to see if the Bills can finally make some headway in stopping Tom Brady. The Pats, by the way, are 23-2 versus the Bills in the last 25 meetings.

3. Pace, and style, of the game. Been saying this for weeks, but watch for a fifth straight season of NFL teams setting a record for most plays in a season—which means there’s a very good chance of a scoring record, and passing records, being set.

Ready for Week 1?

Check out Peter King’s podcast—with Eli Manning, Greg Bedard and Andy Benoit this week


Read Richard Deitsch’s comprehensive guide to the 2013 broadcast schedule


Bone up with The MMQB’s 2013 Picks, Predictions and Storylines


And here’s our Week 1 fantasy football guide

4. One very new officiating wrinkle. New rule this year: Other than on in-line plays between the tackles, ballcarriers cannot lower their heads and inflict hits with the crown of the helmet. Love this rule. In the past, when runners lower their heads and pop defenders, and defenders also lower their heads, the defender gets flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit. Now, if both do it, it’ll be offsetting penalties. If only the offensive player does it, it’ll be a personal foul on him.

5. The Cam Newton Referendum. Can’t blame him entirely, or even halfway, for his 13-19 won-loss record in two seasons as the Panthers’ franchise savior and quarterback. But the Panthers gave rise to great hope by finishing 5-1 last year. This game against the Seahawks, however, even in Charlotte, is a bad opening match.

6. The Bears debut of Kyle Long. Very interesting to watch how much Long—who has had an excellent summer for Chicago—can do to solidify the weak link keeping the Bears from becoming a consistently good team. He’ll wear his dad Howie’s number, 75, and play right guard, next to another rookie, right tackle Jordan Milles (fifth round, Louisiana Tech) against the Bengals’ formidable defensive front.

7. The debut of Mike Wallace. Who, for the record, has a gaudy career average of 20.8 yards per catch against the Browns. Miami, and its expensive new free-agent toys, travels to Cleveland, and a loss for the Dolphins would be a devastating rebuke of the progress the organization is certain it’s made.

8. Speaking of debuts: Terrelle Pryor and D.J. Hayden for the Raiders, at Indy. Hayden should see about 60 percent of the snaps, with some against Reggie Wayne, in his first real game since he almost died on a University of Houston practice field last November. Pryor is a desperation move by a coach under immense pressure, Dennis Allen. Boy, Matt Flynn must have some serious cooties.

9. The youth of the Rams. Check out this outstanding graphic from stlouisrams.com. It shows what a youth movement is really like.

10. The marriage of Andy Reid and Alex Smith enters game one. Reid is sticking out his neck for a West Coast quarterback few others wanted. If Kansas City can’t beat Jacksonville, it’s going to be a long year in Arrowhead.

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160 comments
mymary0913
mymary0913

What a total cave-in to phony political correctness.   You should get out of this business and NOW.  

Trock Estrella
Trock Estrella

King should be fired for inserting his ugly and hateful politics in the sports arena. Since that is not likely to happen, he should be boycotted and/or held up to public ridicule by those who want to send a message that they don't like politics being mixed into their football coverage. There needs to be a cost for the contempt he is showing to sports fans. If there is enough blowback,the bandwagon of political correctness will be turned back.

GeorgeSomsel
GeorgeSomsel

But what about the REDSKINS next year?  Are you going to be the pointy end of the nether regions by refusing to call them by their proper name?

MattRogers
MattRogers

Feels like a bandwagon move. I assume you will also stop using the nicknames of the Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Chiefs and FSU Seminoles. Since we are now setting a precedent I guess that we can also assume that when some atheist begins to find it offensive that some teams are named after religious mascots we can count on you to stop using Saints, Angels and Padres. 

I am guessing though, that until Chiefs, Braves, Indians become talking points for politically correct politicians trying to distract the populace from what is happening in Washington you will continue to use those names. 

This reeks of the worst kind of bandwagon hypocrisy. 

A once great writer, desperate to remain relevant has become a whore.

bghetti
bghetti

Hey King ..You may we want to PUKE

InSisters
InSisters

I COMMEND YOU.

My husband's family comes from a group of Native Americans who were driven from this country, murdered and are still not nationally recognized. His ancestors were skinned.They killed the children, they killed the mothers, they killed the elders. They took SKINS in their disturbing and outrageous victory. 

Any of you who support such a name should be ashamed of yourselves. There is NO reasoning that any of you can give which supports keeping a name of a sports team over respecting humans and humbling ourselves in sorrow over the terrible history of this nation.

This is not history people, violence and destruction to culture and the cultural lands of Native and First Nations people continues every day. Children are still stolen from their families and cultures, native women are abused and sold into the sex trade at rates 11x's higher than white American women. Suicide rates on reservation are 50x's the rest of America. This is a culture which continues to be demoralized, discriminated and criminalized. 

The name REDSKIN is offensive, it harkens to a violent time, a time we should continue to be disturbed by, a history we should be happy to be rid of. 

REDSKIN is the actual SKIN of a Native American. Why would anyone want to continue to support this?


olansuddeth
olansuddeth

Congratulations, Mr. King.  This is it - the last straw.

There was a time when you were as informative a sportswriter as one could find outside of Dr. Z.  Sadly, though, that time has long passed.  Your columns have slowly shifted in their focus from "sports with a slice of life" to "sports with an increasingly blatant leftist agenda".  

You pepper article after article with social commentary and liberal nonsense (gun control is a favorite, but hardly the only such issue you like to touch on).  Here you go again, with grandstanding over the Redskins name.  The refusal to use an official team name strikes me as almost comical - akin to a tween deciding that they will become a vegetarian because "meat is murder".

Mr. King, you are a sportswriter.  The name of the team is "Redskins", period.  Yes, some are offended.  Most - including most Native Americans - are not.  A century ago, "redskin" was a slur.  Now?  Not so much.

I fully agree that whites did the Native Americans wrong, but refusing to use a team name doesn't fix that - and to be quite honest, none of us (or our parents, or our grandparents) were alive when those wrongs were done.  

There was a time when MMQB was "must read" work, but that time is an increasingly distant memory.  Now, it's full of fluff and laced with politics.  I find that many weeks, I skip the weekly column altogether... and I don't miss it.  I had high hopes for the MMQB site, but I find that the quality of the writing is rather poor, overall.  The analysis is very lacking (see last week's article about the death of the read option offense), and judging from this article, your fingerprints will be all over everything. 

Tell me, then, why should I read anymore of this?  If the sports writing itself is second rate, and I'm being forced to sift through political content that I really don't care for... why do I keep coming back?

The answer is, that I won't.  There is plenty of NFL coverage *not* created by you or your new little empire, Mr. King.  Coverage that is far more insightful, more accurate, and that manages to leave politics completely out of the picture.  

Best of luck to you.  I'm certain that my leaving won't hurt you, as you surely have a niche readership that appreciates your viewpoints.  But this Redskins thing is, to me, the last straw.  I'm done with you, and I'm done with MMQB.  If SI feels like they need to follow the rampant liberalism that you espouse, I may end that subscription, as well. 

DebraNicholson
DebraNicholson

ROTFL You failed this time Eli, My Boys Won Dallas broke the curse.

PhArrya
PhArrya

The Redskins should change their logo to a potato and keep the name.  

Chas2
Chas2

Peter -  it is incredibly egotistical of you to pull this politically correct nonsense of not using the name Redskins.  The people who's been advocating for this are left wing jackasses like writers at the Nation Magazine.  Does it make you feel better to be so politically correct?  Do you feel deep inside that simply being a sportswriter is really not such a substantive profession, given that the importance of the NFL in the scheme of things of is pretty darned low?  This is incredibly pathetic of you.  I, like I'm sure many others, are sick and tired of people like you telling us what we're supposed to think, say and do.  Until the Washington Redskins change the name of their team, you have absolutely no business not using the name of the team!!

GoAwayPeter
GoAwayPeter

Everyone please note that while Peter King claims that he refuses to use the word "Redskins" on his website, he has no problem using the word "Redskins" in SEO tags to increase traffic to his website. So it's ok to say "Redskins" around here as long as it continues to benefit you and nobody will notice how "un-principled" you are? Hypocrite much?

GoAwayPeter
GoAwayPeter

Peter King, please know that there is absolutely nothing principled about your "stand." You have always been a pretentious blowhard, and now you have merely proven yourself to be an attention-whoring imbecile as well. I seriously don't know a single person who takes you seriously anymore. Please don't ever be on TV. I don't want to see your face, hear your annoying voice, or listening to any "ideas" that might ever happen to form in your misshapen head. You are garbage. Have a nice weekend.

Bill20
Bill20

According to every survey conducted, the vast majority of Native Americans do not find the name "Redskins" offensive. See http://www.volokh.com/posts/1242423155.shtml.  It is very strange that given the sordid history of white people making decisions for Native Americans, Peter King has decided to do the same.  

To be sure, a vocal minority finds it offensive.  But there will always be a vocal minority who finds something offensive; that is not a sound basis on which to rest a decision.  There are surely Irish-Americans who find the phrase "Fighting Irish" offensive, but somehow I doubt Peter would not use the name of the Notre Dame team (or the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Blackhawks, or Kansas City Chiefs, for that matter).  

This is an illogical decision that will make for contrived sports reporting. 


jeebs
jeebs

This Giants fan thx Eli for the two SBs  but 10yrs. to take "more" of a leadership role is entirely too long.

IainMacdonald
IainMacdonald

Congratulations Mr. King on an insightful article and a principled stand.  While you may have lost some readers for daring to express your personal opinion, I, for one, will seek out your writing in the future.  You are a thoughtful man, and history will prove you correct on this issue.

KempHoneycutt
KempHoneycutt

Peter - while I respect your decision to stop using the word "Redskins," the American Indian Movement also posits that the name "Chiefs" is offensive to them and should be changed. Unless you also stop using that word when referring to the Kansas City franchise, it's hard not to view your position as both hypocritical and grandstanding. I hope this isn't a case of your having great respect for the Hunt family, and less for the Snyders.

JimCody
JimCody

Peter, most people on here obviously like your football writing, otherwise they wouldn't be on here. But I hope you aren't kidding yourself into thinking that people are bluffing about not reading you anymore. With so many other options on the internet, why would those of us who look to football as an escape from ridiculous political views like yours (and Olberman's and Obama's) stick around. I've been trying to stick with you, but you've been getting worse and worse the last couple years. It's like Mike Silver took over your body and infected it with his brand of college freshman political insight. Please fight the urge to throw PC opinions at your readers every chance you get, or even people who've been patient are going to give up on you.

BossHogg
BossHogg

A proud Washington Redskins fan for 50 years. An avid Peter King reader for many years – but not any more. That’s the most ridiculous, nonsensical “stand” I’ve heard a professional writer make – one whose income is earned by writing about NFL teams. Planning on running for Office when no one reads your columns any longer, Peter?

The logo, to me, depicts a brave, noble warrior – especially compared to the goofy Atlanta Braves logo. Or is it the Cleveland Indians? Want to take a stand, King? Be consistent and convince your fellow SI Baseball writers to take a stand.

There are many Native American leaders who have stated they aren’t bothered by the name Redskin in the slightest. But Peter King has to take a stand. Well, good for you – that’s your choice and whether you’re seeking publicity or not, you got it.  I suspect that's the main reason behind your new "growth as a person."

And you’re also going to get fewer readers – me for one. Drop him, SI.  Signing off from anything to do with PK.

dlr4skins
dlr4skins

I wonder how Peter feels feeding the gambling addiction that is the NFL.

Does he sleep well knowing some kids go hungry because of gambling?

Peter is no more than a dime-bag junkie selling his goods.

BenZuckerman
BenZuckerman

I guess I can see the point - if I were an American Indian, I probably wouldn't want to be considered "mascot material".  I guess "Cowboys" isn't particularly offensive, because it is a profession, not an ethnicity.  Same with "Packers", and what used to be the "Oilers".  When I was growing up in Long Beach California, one of the teams in our league was Compton High, historically a black school, and their mascot was the "Tar Babies", which seems a lot more offensive than "Redskins".  Clearly, times have changed....

DannyCarrao
DannyCarrao

It's getting harder and harder to avoid your politics, Mr. King. You bring them out quite often in your articles. It's really too bad, because football is a good sport, and you infusing it with the specter of your political beliefs detracts from the entertainment aspect. Of course, people will say it's your website, you make a lot of money, blah, blah, blah. But this is FOOTBALL, not politics. Please, I beg of you, get back to politics and leave the social engineering efforts out of this FOOTBALL website. It's a great site, and I want to enjoy it, and I'd like to enjoy your articles; I admit though, I start reading each one with am eye to the next paragraph to see if you're bringing some political statement to the article. And I also admit that this is the first time I've actually looked at the authors - I know if an article isn't written by you, I can just relax and read about football and not worry about you forcing your political views on me just because you can.

Onwardthruthefog
Onwardthruthefog

Peter, as far as I'm concerned, call the Redskins whatever you choose to call them.  Just keep writing great football articles, and I'll keep reading.  At least until you stop referring to the team playing at Gillette Stadium at the "Patriots".  I'm sure that even the NSA would approve of a "patriot" group, as long as it sticks to football.  Peace, y'all.

zonkeriah
zonkeriah

If ONLY all these whiners who promise to never read MMQB actually had the stones to do what they claim they are going to do, this might be a fun place to talk about football again. PLEASE follow through!!!!!!

MichaelJKeane
MichaelJKeane

It's interesting to see how many people claim they'll never read King again. Maybe Stormfront will start covering football and all these folks can go there for their NFL coverage.

RobRust
RobRust

Dear Mr. King,

 Re:  the "Washington Football team" - despite your contentions to the contrary, this is further politicization of sport by you.  Over the years you have used sports as a platform for expressing your political views.  While this is certainly your prerogative, it has made me increasingly "uneasy" as a reader.   In the past I have tolerated it as I often valued your insight into your actual expertise (i.e. reporting on football).  As a result, I simply chose to ignore and read over the non-sports related material.  No more.  You have now inextricably conflated sports and politics.  I will be unfollowing you and will not read MMQB or any other Peter King branded material. 

LebaneseNavy
LebaneseNavy

This is very familiar. We've all dealt with this: someone wringing their hands to come out with something they've struggled with. And the revelation is they've decided to come out on the side of who knows what.

"Hey Jan"

"Yes Bill?"

"Um. ...this was tough but.... I've decided to no longer use "Hispanic" since it offends some people"

"Ok..."

Or something like this:

"Over the years ive changed my mind. I think the Death penalty is wrong now. Because? It bothers others. But.. But I'm sure there's other views and that's fine. and I'm just saying its wrong for me". Well then you've jumped the gun on if its wrong then. If its wrong no sides matter. What you're saying is you personally would desire it to be rendered as wrong but you're aware it's more complicated (or vague) than that. Are we really to believe than back in 1980, 1996, 2000 PK and all the sanctimonious pop-football-non-celebrities operated in a world so much different? Nah. It comes down to people making "changes" to make sure the "noise" and "controversy" doesn't hit where they live. So lets make it easy for everyone and don't mistake this: redskin is offensive to some people. Got it.

Idea: replace the brave with George Washington's head and rename the team "pale faces".. Or "whites" Then wait to see who rushes in to scream about their indignation.

Pretty sure it would only be along the lines of "how can you have a team that only stands for one group! How!!? Terrible! What about the darker Caucasians and the black and Asian and wait are those acceptable terms wait."

Peter King's discomfort writing it must mean a discomfort hearing it in his head which means an aversion to the word in general. Well, I thought so until he said his motivation was what he found out from others. So Peter King can not write the name. Who cares. Why tell us? He's turned into Terrell Owens. His revelations of a personal nature must be told. He made a story out of a decision he made.

So maybe not Owens....a slightly more pompous Crosby Stills & Nash with his desire to tell us how what he did shows he is always evolving. So Peter thanks for making sure we teach our children well. You are older now you have more than what you wanted. And they know you love them. However you cover football and coffee and such. Pompous is as pompous does. Redskins is offensive to some. Of course. So fine: hail to the pale face! ....george on a mission... De-mo-cracy!"

gary41
gary41

A lot of fans happen to prefer the name Redskins, used traditionally all these years.  It is is no way a racial slur.  It is actually offensive to have a reporter spend a lot of space with a need to have to tell us all about his political correctness.  If I were the owner to the Redskins, Peter King would be on the outside, looking for a pass to get in.  Do as you want, but don't bother us with a contrived statement...... 

rskins09
rskins09

Surprised  me Peter King caved in to these Indian groups ..Why now ? ... 

NC_N81
NC_N81

@BossHogg"The logo, to me, depicts a brave, noble warrior"

White guy to Native Americans: "Shut up, we're *honoring* you. Trust us"

NC_N81
NC_N81

@DannyCarrao If you really want to depoliticize football, you should advocate for a name change in Washington.
 

Then everyone will go back to covering football, and not even touching politics.

JimCody
JimCody

@MichaelJKeane Right, because if someone disagrees with you about an issue with two reasonable arguments, then they're a Nazi. Yawn. 

zonkeriah
zonkeriah

@RobRust  Pfffffft. Its Peter King's article, and if he isn't comfortable using the name, then that is HIS business, not yours. Trying to FORCE him to do what YOU want is what brings politics into sports. And guess what? He has the FREEDOM to choose what he wants to do no matter how much that makes you wet your pants, and you have the FREEDOM to go away. Bye!

NC_N81
NC_N81

@gary41 "It is is no way a racial slur."

Not really your decision to make, is it?

Seems like that should be up to the people at whom the term is directed, rather than the people using the term, right?

Case in point, march into your bosses office and tell them off. Then say that was in no way disrespectful.  In fact, you meant to honor them. 

See where that gets you.

cunningham.mt
cunningham.mt

@NC_N81 @BossHogg White guy to other white guy... "Shut up, I know what is really racist.  Let me let you know what I think Native Americans are offended by."

DannyCarrao
DannyCarrao

@NC_N81 @DannyCarrao So if we do that, there will never be another issue that comes up, right? Nobody else will feel emboldened to bring up their latest cause under the guise of sport?  Hardly (why aren't Native Americans complaining about the Chiefs name?  Or next it'll be PETA complaining about the animal names. Or a football site talking about a gay football player - who the heck cares what you do behind closed doors in your own personal life?!). 

How about if we make the very simple stand that this is football, and people can keep their political views to themselves.  If we want to read about politics and efforts to "change society", then we'll go to where those views are welcomed.  And if we want to read about football, we'll go to those sites where those views are welcomed.  Seems like a lot better solution.

MichaelJKeane
MichaelJKeane

@JimCody Disagreeing with me doesn't make you a Nazi. However, supporting the name "Redskins" for a team does make you an ignorant racist. You're not as bad as a Nazi, but you're on the right path.

Chas2
Chas2

@zonkeriah geez - you are a typical moron on that infests Internet comment sections.  Peter King can do whatever he wants.  Ergo, the Washington Redskins should be able to name their team whatever they want.  People are simply expressing their disagreement with Peter King's politically correct nonsense.

bamesbameron
bamesbameron

I respect the honesty of King's statement. Let's face it, if he just decided to stop using the term redskins without his explanation in his story who would have actually noticed it?

Chas2
Chas2

@NC_N81 - Oh my God!  Why do you think anyone cares what a wussy bird watcher like you has to say about football  Your comment makes absolutely no logical sense.

jeebs
jeebs

@cunningham.mt @NC_N81 @BossHogg white guy to other white guy to tother white guy who thinks he's above the fray: the reason why it's an issue at all is because Native Americans have for years expressed concern over the racial tone of the name. Doi.

Chas2
Chas2

@MichaelJKeane - of course you had to start name calling.  What a liberal wussy.

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