Happy Holidays

Quotes of the Week

I
“Shoot. I must have left a couple out there on the field.”

—Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly, on the phone from Charlotte after the 17-13 win over New Orleans, referring to a couple of missed tackles. Gee, that’s a shame. Kuechly only had 24 others, plus an interception.

II
“Candlestick’s a dump. But it’s our dump.”

—Former 49ers receiver Dwight Clark, who had the single biggest football play, The Catch, in Candlestick Park history, the touchdown catch from Joe Montana in the 1981 NFC Championship Game to slay the Cowboys and start the 49ers’ run of greatness.

III
“One of the great moments of my life, before a game my rookie year, I’m sitting there at my locker, praying, and I hear Willie Mays, arguably the greatest baseball player of all time, saying, ‘What the hell are you praying for?’ He said, ‘Man, look, Bob Gibson throws at my head all the time. You’ve just gotta go out there and play.’ And you know what? He was right. You can pray, but you’ve gotta play.”

—Former San Francisco safety Ronnie Lott, in a very good piece by NFL.com’s Mike Silver, reminiscing about the end of Candlestick Park.

IV
“Not tell anybody.”

—Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, to Ravens.com, on what he would do if he won the Mega Millions Lottery, which was at $648 million last week. Flacco stopped in a 7-Eleven to buy a ticket, and said he plays the lottery when it gets over $100 million. Flacco, of course, signed a $120.1 million contract last offseason.

V
“You know you can’t control destiny? Destiny is predetermined set of events. Therefore, if it’s predetermined, you can’t control it.”

—Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly.

Thank you.

Stat of the Week

I’m not so stupid that I cannot learn. In the wake of the success of so many running backs picked outside the first round, and after seeing the production (or lack thereof) of Trent Richardson since his trade for a first-round pick to Indianapolis, the lot of the running back in the modern NFL should teach us all one thing: Do not use a very high draft pick on one.

Let’s go back to the 2008 draft to see why. Those backs have had time to play and prove the point, for better or for worse. I’ll separate the draft’s backs into top 40, next 40 and undrafted guys.

Top 40
Pick Player Original Team 1,000-yard seasons Comment
4 Darren McFadden Oakland 1 Always hurt
13 Jonathan Stewart Carolina 1 Always in a job-share
22 Felix Jones Dallas 0 Regularly hurt, then cut
23 Rashard Mendenhall Pittsburgh 2 Nice back, not special
24 Chris Johnson Tennessee 5 Premier player
Next 40
Pick Player Original Team 1,000-yard seasons Comment
44 Matt Forte Chicago 4 Terrific, durable threat
55 Ray Rice Baltimore 4 Down year, but a great back
64 Kevin Smith Detroit 0 Just a guy
73 Jamaal Charles Kansas City 4 2013’s best all-around back
Among the Undrafted
Pick Player Original Team 1,000-yard seasons Comment
BenJarvus Green-Ellis New England 2 Reliable, not great
Danny Woodhead New York Jets 0 Smurfy do-it-all guy
Mike Tolbert San Diego 0 Solid 243-pound load

Study draft history and you’ll see down-the-line backs having consistent success. Arian Foster, an undrafted free agent, won the rushing title in 2011, and 2012 sixth-rounder Alfred Morris was second in the league last year. Then study all the top guys who were just okay, or less than that, and you’ll see it makes as much sense to draft running backs down the line, or not draft them at all.

Factoids of the Week That May Interest Only Me

I
The last Beatles concert of all time was at Candlestick Park some 47-plus years ago, on Aug. 29, 1966. Tickets were $4.50 and $6.50, and only 25,000 of 43,000 tickets to the show were sold. The Beatles told no one this was the last show ever, but they knew it. They played 11 songs, including, “I Feel Fine,” “Nowhere Man,” “Yesterday,” and “Paperback Writer.” They finished, nondescriptly enough, with “Long Tall Sally.”

“Long Tall Sally.” Last song ever played by John, Paul, George and Ringo in concert. Now that’s … a letdown.

After the concert, the Beatles were driven to San Francisco International Airport and flew to London. The end.

(GAB Archive/Redferns/Getty Images)
(GAB Archive/Redferns/Getty Images)

The North American leg of their final tour was rather amazing. They performed 14 shows in 18 days. The first eight days, the Beatles played a show a night—in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Washington, Philadelphia, Toronto, Boston (at the Suffolk Downs Race Track) and Memphis. They were supposed to play on a ninth straight night, in Cincinnati. But it rained so hard and the electrical equipment couldn’t be totally shielded from the rain at Crosley Field that night, so the promoter postponed the show. But 35,000 fans wanted to see the Beatles, and so the show went on the next day—at noon. It had to be at noon, because the Beatles had a show that night in St. Louis, 360 miles away. So when the show was over, around 1:30, the stuff was packed up and loaded onto an airplane, along with the Beatles, and they flew to St. Louis, where the Beatles played that night at 8:30 at the old Busch Stadium.

The Beatles played a doubleheader. In two baseball cities 360 miles apart. On the same day.

A site called Beatlesbible.com claims that was the day Paul McCartney was convinced the band should stop touring. It rained hard again in St. Louis that night, and who knows how safe it was, so the boys just thought the touring business was crazy (well, maybe they could have had a saner schedule and not fried themselves), and that tour was it.

So tonight, when the 49ers play their 350th games at the old ballyard, and you hear the poetic waxings about what great history happened in the place, you’ll know there was no greater history—not even The Catch—in the place than the night the Beatles played their final concert in the foggy chill of Candlestick Park.

II
Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker, who has practiced and performed opera in high school and college, sang “O Sole Mio,” a tune more associated with Pavarotti than placekicking, at the Ravens’ rookie talent show.

“Got some applause for it,” Tucker said on The MMQB Podcast With Peter King this week. “Some of the guys couldn’t believe their eyes, or their ears.”

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

You know me. I’m not one to complain about little travel situations. (Oh really!) And on the scale of grand travel maladies, this would rate pretty low. But I present it to you for your delight.

Last Tuesday, returning from Sports Illustrated’s presentation of Sportsman of the Year to Peyton Manning in Denver, I was fortunate to be upgraded on my Delta flight, a good thing because I had a ton of writing to do. So when I sat down for the 8:30 a.m. flight, I thought it only slightly odd that the 40ish man next to me, informally dressed, said to the flight attendant: “Jack and Coke, please.” When it was delivered, he drank it like a man being handed a thimble of water in the Sahara. Gone in an instant. Then he asked for another. So … two stiff drinks before 8:30 a.m. I see.

A half-hour after takeoff he got a third. Then breakfast came. He had the Raisin Bran. Three whiskeys and then a bowl of cereal: breakfast of champions! I assumed he’d be falling asleep at any time, but he was awake the entire flight.

Then, for about an hour, he belched. Not the loud kind of belch; rather, the modest kind with lots of air let out. Aromatic air. And I don’t mean aromatic in a good way. Every six or seven minutes, there’d be a slight guttural sound, a verbal whoooooosh, and a scent approximating a landfill. What did this guy eat Monday night? Deep-fried skunk?

And that is my travel note of the week. Happy tidings of the season! Merry Christmas!

Tweets of the Week

I
“Peyton Manning has thrown more touchdown passes this season (51) than his dad threw in his first five seasons combined (47).”

—@LATimesfarmer, Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, after the Manning record was set Sunday afternoon.

II
“I’d like to see Mike Zimmer as a candidate for Detroit. If the job becomes available.”

—@Lojack94, former Detroit defensive end Lawrence Jackson, tweeting about the Cincinnati defensive coordinator.

III
“The toughest decision I have to make over the next several weeks… What color to go with! ‪pic.twitter.com/v4hoi5n22F

—@khuber10, Cincinnati punter Kevin Huber, attaching a photo of … well, you’ll see. He had his jaw broken on a vicious block eight days ago in the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati game.

IV
a.
“Congrats to all my fellow classmates who graduated tonight! Good luck to everyone as we all part ways and take on the real world! ‪#L1C4″

—@tdeddyb_h2o, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, upon graduating from the University of Louisville Thursday.

b.
“Sacrificed a lot of personal glory for the people around because I’ve always been a part of something much bigger than myself. It’s my time.”

—@teddyb_h2o, Bridgewater, on Friday.

In divining whether Bridgewater will declare for the 2014 NFL draft, I present two vague clues for your perusal. It’s widely considered that Bridgewater, a possible first overall pick, will enter the draft.

V
“A 2-year-old tantrum is the greatest force of nature in all humankind. No warning and no weakness. Just ride it out.”

—@damonhackgc, the Golf Channel’s Damon Hack, father of triplet boys. The man speaks the truth.

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401 comments
racy0057
racy0057

I just finished reading MMQB, because it is my favorite football9actually sports)article and I have been a fan of Peter King for a long time.  I don't always agree with him, but I don't think he would much care if I did or not.  King states his opinions in his weekly writings and has earned the respect of athletes, etc., to be granted interviews and to take some of thier valuable time.  


So, after reading the article, I read a few comments, which is also my routine and came to the conclusion, very belatedly, I might add, that there are too many people, mainly in our country, who need to get on with real life. Sports, namely the NFL, as it is what Mr. King covers the most, is designed to provide entertainment to us.  I am a big football fan and have been for about 40 years.  


I tend to marvel at the athletic ability of so many of the players and their ability to dedicate themselves to their profession and craft. I think that is what seperates the good players from the great, in most instances.  I don't minimize achievements, because players don't wear the jersey of my favorite teams, or curse at Peter King for making his own observations and potentially not mentioning my own favorite teams, or players.  First, it would be virtually impossible for this man to cover every team or player, at the level that would make every fan happy.  I guess that maybe there are so many more important issues, in everyday life, to expend that much energy on not liking someone, due to not agreeing with everything he writes, or states.  


So, when some of you dedicate so much of your time doing just that, maybe you need some self-reflection on why our country faces some of the issues it does and just how spoiled we can be, to make a sports article cause such deep seeded emotions, generally anger and often to the point of hatred.


Alright, I am being hypocritical by spending too much time on the issue myself.  I need to go help my elderly mother with some maintenance at her home, as my father passed away on December 28th, of last year.  I will, however, likely forget all about this article and think about Peter King next week sometime.

Jerry Jones
Jerry Jones

Wow...talk about overblown. Ever since his 24 tackle game writers have reacted as if it was unheard of to have that many tackles. Via MMQB “Luke Kuechly, with 24 tackles,” said Newton. “That’s unheard of.”


Unheard of...? Kiko Alonso had 22 vs. Cincy earlier in the year. http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/gamelog/_/id/15819/kiko-alonso so let's all settle down with the MVP talk.


Matter of fact I'm not even going to bore you with stat after stat. Kiko is almost identical to Luke in every category. http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/14938/luke-kuechly


Another quote from MMQB What’s better than a 24-tackle game? Kuechly said he’d never had 24 tackles before. I wonder: Who has? 


Let's try some research before writing articles.

KidHorn
KidHorn

What do Jim Brown, OJ Simpson, Barry Sanders, Earl Campbell, Tony Dorset, Walter Payton, Adrian Peterson, Emmitt Smith, and pretty much every running back in the HOF have in common?

They were drafted in the 1st round.

Fred24
Fred24

Meantime, Perloff the trash collector is trying to get attention with his 'Always Drama in Dallas' garbage, as if an injury is drama. What a garbage collector.

MortimerSnerd
MortimerSnerd

Dan Morgan had 25 tackles in the Panthers-Saints Super Bowl ten years ago, 18 solo.

junior9
junior9

Peter, you suck

How about calling this MondayMorning Manning

Peter Parker1
Peter Parker1

Too bad Justin Tucker missed one to end his streak.  That 42 is the next big field goal record that needs to fall (though Vanderjagt's record gets the big asterisk after he got a re-take following that bogus call in Tampa in the MNF broadcast).


Awesome run, Justin.  Also, big props to Mike Scifres and Jon Ryan for simply concentrating on being good team punters and not just Lechler-ing up the field.  Both these guys need end of season recognition (especially Scifres: he's been a great punter for so many years).

Mike26
Mike26

2.  Peter, you're right about one thing - you aren't a college sports fan and hence, shouldn't make too many statement about issues of which you know about 1% of the story.  Best to let Texas decide what's best for Texas....

Mike26
Mike26

1.  The New England win yesterday will NEVER be more impressive than the playoff victories Baltimore has scored over NE in the playoffs.

Tony M
Tony M

Peyton Manning who loves attention, acts all "its not important" in the after press conference. We know better Peyton.

BuzzFrankacott
BuzzFrankacott

Peter why no mention of Jerry Jones threatening to sack his entire coaching staff if they don't make the playoffs but saying nothing about his own performance as GM?

don7
don7

“Long Tall Sally” is better song than anything any of the Beatles ever wrote.  

ErikWassell
ErikWassell

If it's so much easier to throw TD's now than it was in 1984, why aren't there 3-4 other QB's with 40-45 TD's?  Brees is in 2nd place with 35 TD passes, 16 behind Peyton.  Also, Marino was 23 when he had his amazing season, and had one of the greatest coaches in history calling plays.  Manning is 37, underwent multiple neck and back surgeries, and has John Fox (a good, but certainly not HOF) coaching the team.  All things considered, I'll take Manning 2013 over Marino 1984 as the greatest passing performance of all time.

gary7
gary7

"Kuechly said he’d never had 24 tackles before. I wonder: Who has?"..... Sam Huff often said on the radio if he did not get 20-25 he had a bad game, I'm sure Butkus, Curtis, Singletary,  Nitschke, jeez just add a few more from back in the day, your thinking out loud is always deafening in the way how clueless you are to NFL history

yobogo
yobogo

Cardinal Defense is good, but that loss yesterday was all on the Seahawks. Their offense played horrible. Regardless of the bad calls at the end, they didn't deserve to win. My wife turned to me during the 3Q and said, it looks like someone told Russell Wilson to lose this game, but don't make it obvious your losing the game on purpose, and he just didn't quite know how to do it without looking ridiculous. His throws were all over the place, he purposely didn't run at time when he could have easily picked up first downs, he would hold on to the ball just waiting to get sacked. And then when it seemed like he was playing too badly, he marched down the field like it was a piece of cake and threw an easy touchdown. Go figure.

Norton20
Norton20

Gee thanks Peter for all the kind words about the Bills. They lead the league in sacks, have 3 guys with 10, held Dolphins (winner of 4 of prior 5 including over New England) to 103 total yards, 50 of which came on 1 play. The only Bills mention is criticizing their 2nd string QB for not executing the draw them offsides play (which works about 5 times a year maybe). I know the Bills are irrelevant but they are still in the NFL.

AndrewMccall
AndrewMccall

Peter - Last Beatles concert was on January 30th, 1969 on the Rooftop of Apple Records in London and the last song was "Get Back"..... just saying, love your work, DIEHARD Alligash White fan, and Merry Christmas.... 

mrjohnwao
mrjohnwao

The NFL has spent the last ten years changing the rules to favor Peyton Manning and transform it into the AFL and everyone gets excited when he throws a 100 TDs in a season. So funny.

George
George

Sea-hens exPOSED! ... at HOME!! ...  laid an egg and lost the GAME!!!  Schooled @ home by the cards??!? 


How r they going to win the BIG one at a neutral site, 

when they can't even win a little one at HOME?!!?

PhillyPenn
PhillyPenn

HOLY CRAP!  Romo's out for Sunday night's game.  Back injury.  

chino78019
chino78019

Brady in 2007 was more storied than Manning in 2013. 

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@KidHorn You're comparing apples to oranges. Other than AD, all those guys played in a different era. The NFL rules are now slanted towards passing attacks. 

PhillyPenn
PhillyPenn

when you asked what do they have in common... something else came to mind first

Bklr588
Bklr588

@don7In the Pantheon of all time ridiculous statements, this is battling fiercely for the top spot.

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

@ErikWassellmanning is loaded with talent all around him, and always has been.  Show me another ring, Peyton, before anyone puts this season as one of the greatest

PhillyPenn
PhillyPenn

@yobogo the Seahawks offense played horrible because the Cards defense played so well.

PhillyPenn
PhillyPenn

@mrjohnwao If Manning was the only QB that could take advantage of revised rules then you might have a point.  However, the other 31 QB's in the league play under the same rules as Manning.

AdamPond
AdamPond

@George  I don't think I've ever seen a more fitting avatar - You do know that AZ has one of the top defenses in the NFL, right? 

CoreyLivermore
CoreyLivermore

@PhillyPenn

The league takes 2 Sunday night games away from the Packers this year, then hands the final one to the Cowboys-Eagles because it's a winner-take-all game.  Rodgers will play Sunday in the Packers-Bears winner-take-all game, while Romo sits on the sidelines with a back injury.

Hey, Mr. Goodell - nice job picking the right game for next Sunday.  Foles vs. Orton is always better than Rodgers vs. Cutler.  It's also better than the longest rivalry in the NFL.  Iconic Soldier Field with the NFC North on the line for the 2 most storied franchises in history just can't compare, can it?

/sarcasm

The league is a joke.  If you aren't in Dallas or New England, you may as well not exist.  Thanks for proving that once again, Mr. Goodell.

Devilsreject97
Devilsreject97

@chino78019I'd suggest you lay the crack pipe down. Half of Brady's touchdown's went to Moss. Meanwhile, Manning spread his out. He has 4 WR/TE with 10 or more TDs. He has a RB with 12 TDs. He has thrown for his highest yardage output in his career. His team will score more points this season than Brady's 18-1 team did in 2007. And that's not even counting the fact that Manning did it better in 2004...when he sat out almost 2 full games worth of playing time so as to not rack up the score.

RescuedfromESPN
RescuedfromESPN

@chino78019 Brady had a better TD-to-INT ratio, better completion percentage, better TD%, better INT%, and passer rating. All manning has is more yards and TDs.

don7
don7

@Bklr588 @don7 Yeah, like John Lennon was better than Little Richard. Get serious. 

Bklr588
Bklr588

@don7In the Pantheon of stupid comments, that one is vying for the top

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@AaronDunckel @ErikWassell Wake up dude. Some QB wins a SB ring EVERY YEAR. Whether it's a legend or a Trent Dilfer. But every guy who consistently threatens the season TD mark is a first ballot Hall of Famer.


And team championships don't invalidate great individual seasons, just as winning a SB ring doesn't validate Dilfer's career. Enjoy it for what it is.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@AdamPond @George Sea-hens George? Really? How about the She-hawks next time? That's always good for a laugh. Right?

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

@Devilsreject97 @chino78019 plus also remember when manning got the 49th, it pulled them within two, he still had to get his team ready for the 2 point conversion and had no time to celebrate.  plus you look at one of tight ends, denver didn't know useful he was because he had 2 knee injuries and had 3 total catches i believe, but when tamme got hurt pre-season thomas showed how good a player he was.  again the loss of miller is huge though and the broncos could be one and done again

George
George

@Reedster2185 @chino78019 Actually it's lil' Abner Favre that is skunkie's main man-crush.


Wait until that goober is up for the HOF - no-neck will be swilling down gallons of lattes while simultaneously banging out accolades on his laptop.

CoreyLivermore
CoreyLivermore

@Bklr588@don7

Ok, anybody who thinks that the Beatles aren't the best thing to happen to rock music ever - with the sole exception of Elvis - is just an idiot.  The Beatles are just the best there is.


Don't get me wrong - I don't like everything they did.  Some of that "Ravi Shankar doped out LSD tripping" stuff is just wrong.  But for what they meant to music in their time, as well as what they've meant to music overall - both as a group and as individuals (and McCartney on his own as a group and an individual) - cannot be topped.  Again, except by maybe Elvis.

Bklr588
Bklr588

@don7@Bklr588Nothing wrong with Little Richard, the Beatles and others covered him in the early days, and he influenced them heavily. Your comment was just pointless.

Bklr588
Bklr588

@don7 Yeah, like Little Richard was better than the Beatles. The comment in MMQB referred to the Beatles as an entity. Not John Lennon or any of the other individual members of the group. So you are talking apples and oranges, and your comment is a non-sequitur. 

So...You get serious. 

Devilsreject97
Devilsreject97

@EasyGoer@PhillyPenn@mrjohnwaoReally? The Patriots seemed to take advantage of those rules on their way to 18-1 just fine..... Drew Brees and the Saints did the same in 09.... quit trying to act like the NFL is doing it for Peyton...the rules have been ON THE BOOKS since before Marino came into the league..

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