Boom!

Truther of the Week.

Weirdest moment of the night: A 9/11 “truther,” Matthew Mills, 30, of Brooklyn, walked up to the side of the podium where Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith had just begun to live his moment in the sun. On live TV, here’s how it rolled:

Smith: “I always imagined myself making great plays, but you never think about being MVP.”

Mills, hustling past Miami PR czar Harvey Greene and abruptly grabbing the microphone, as Smith’s beseeching eyes looked for help: “Investigate 9/11 … 9/11 was perpetrated by people within our own government.”

Mills dropped the mic like a player would spike a football and exited stage left. The mic got uprighted. Smith paused, looked around and said: “All right.” He looked around again. “Is everybody all right?”

Mills’ stunt happened so fast it fit on a six-second Vine video, as you can see. Truthers are people who believe a massive cover-up is at play and hides what really happened in Lower Manhattan that caused nearly 3,000 people to die in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

* * *

(Ben Liebenberg/AP)
Derrick Brookcs, Ray Guy, Claude Humphrey, Walter Jones, Andre Reed, Aeneas Williams and Michael Strahan. (Ben Liebenberg/AP)

Ten things you need to know about the Hall of Fame vote.

The Class of 2014 was elected Saturday: senior committee candidates Ray Guy and Claude Humphrey, and modern-era picks Derrick Brooks, Michael Strahan, Aeneas Williams, Andre Reed and Walter Jones. My thoughts:

1. Finally, I supported Ray Guy. Big upset. It even surprised me a little bit. I just think as a voter (and a person), it’s important to be open-minded. I do go into these meetings open-minded, and I heard a few different reasons this year, some of them quantifying things like hang-time and inside-the-20 punts more clearly than they had in the past, and his peers, on and off the record, were so unwavering in their support that I thought, “Maybe I’m wrong.” I still have some grave questions—Shane Lechler’s inside-the-20 average, for instance, is far better—but I do understand you compare guys to players in their era. So good for Ray Guy. I’m happy he finally achieves the dream.

2. I did not support Andre Reed. I covered a lot of Buffalo games in the Bills’ prime, and I believe he was a very good receiver but not one of the all-time greats. I like Tim Brown better, and Marvin Harrison significantly better. As I’ve felt since the day I got on the committee more than two decades ago, the 46-member panel is a democracy, and if 80 percent of the group thinks one of the five finalists is a Hall of Famer, then he’s a Hall of Famer, and good for him. But I want to be honest with you, because so many of you care so deeply about the Hall.

3. I like Brooks, Strahan and Jones. Easy picks, all.

4. So, so happy for Aeneas Williams. I always loved the way Mike Martz—who is all offense, all the time—just worshiped the guy and thought he was a huge difference maker on defense for the great Rams teams early this century. Watching Williams, he wasn’t the shutdown corner Deion Sanders was. But he was close—I believe the closest thing to Deion in the game at the time—and he was a very physical player too. Jimmy Johnson thought Williams was a tremendous player, and I thought he was so important in so many big games. Williams beat the post-Jimmy Cowboys in the first playoff game of his life with Arizona, and he intercepted Troy Aikman twice that day. He intercepted Brett Favre twice in the 2001 playoffs, taking both in for touchdowns. I love the fact the committee found an excellent player who played mostly for a losing Arizona team, and rewarded him.

5. I think Jerome Bettis, 3.9 yards per carry and all, belongs. I believe he’s the best big back of the last 25 years. I saw him outrun Bucs defensive backs once on a long run in Tampa; I saw him steamroll an in-his-prime Brian Urlacher—and I mean steamroll—in a snow bowl must-win game for the Steelers late in the Bus’ career, when he gained 100 yards in the second half against the league’s number two rush defense. He made the final 10 this year, and I hope he goes farther next year.

6. Now for the case of Charles Haley. I strongly believe in him, because I think he’s the most violent pass-rusher I have covered. By that I mean he had some of the Deacon Jones viciousness to him, a fearsome combination of moves, and he has the five Super Bowl rings, which is significant, of course. I cannot speak for the group and wouldn’t intend to, but I have always felt what hurts his candidacy is as good a rusher as he was, he only averaged 8.4 sacks per regular-season. I believe he tilted the field when he played, and sometimes it didn’t result in sacks for him; it resulted in sacks for others, like Jim Jeffcoat when Haley was in Dallas.

7. My sense of the logical 2015 order for candidates who didn’t make it this year, at least at the head of the list: Marvin Harrison, Will Shields, Charles Haley, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Tony Dungy.

Right or Wrong?

As always, we want to hear your comments. What'd you think of the Hall of Fame vote? Let us know via email or Twitter.

8. My sense of the best new candidates for 2015: Junior Seau, Orlando Pace, Kurt Warner. Warner’s candidacy will be very interesting because he was a Super Bowl quarterback for two franchises—and very nearly a Super Bowl winner for two franchises.

9. We met for 8 hours, 59 minutes. That’s an hour or so longer than usual. Longest debates were on Dungy (47 minutes), Guy (44), Humphrey (40), Williams (32) and Strahan (30). I liked the debate. Spirited and passionate. I don’t think the limited time the cameras were in the room limited or bothered anyone.

10. The Hall of Fame is always a hot topic, and very strongly opinionated. Just remember: We come in with a list of 15 modern-era candidates, have a long discussion, and then winnow that list to 10 in a secret ballot. Then we winnow the list of 10 down to five. Then we get the five final candidates, and we vote secretly, yes or no, on them. Re: the seniors: We vote yes or no on them independent of the modern candidates. The two senior candidates each year are picked by a voters’ subcommittee that meets in Canton every summer for a couple of days with two respected legends in the room to give their off-the-record advice.

* * *

Question of the Week

Newsletter

Want our best stories automatically delivered to your inbox three times a week? Sign up for our newsletter by entering your email address in the form in the upper-right corner of this page!

NBC Sports Network’s Erik Kuselias, on Pro Football Talk Live, to New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma, the most severely punished player in the Saints’ bounty scandal: “If you saw Roger Goodell, and you were face to face, what would you say to him?”

Vilma: “First, hi. Let’s get the pleasantries out of the way. And then, we’ll talk about whatever really he wants to talk about because he was on the outside looking in. I know what happened back then. He didn’t know, he had not a lot of information. Misinformation. I believe he made a mountain out of a mole[hill], but it is what it is. I understand there were bigger things he was trying to instill. Player safety, he was trying to really instill that, but it shouldn’t have come at the [cost] of myself, Scott Fujita, Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove—you know, guys that really didn’t have bad intentions. We were good guys. We didn’t have a bounty going. We had guys that would want to talk crazy in the locker room, which is part of football. It’s what we do.’’

Didn’t have a bounty going. Well, define “bounty.”

* * *

Death of a legend

It’s the day after the Super Bowl and all, and I understand everyone’s in a football frame of mind. But the death of 46-year-old Philip Seymour Hoffman deserves your attention. He was found in his Manhattan apartment Sunday morning, expired from a suspected drug overdose.

(Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
(Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

I think he was the greatest American actor we had today. The range of his characters was just incredible. I mean, who can play A’s manager Art Howe (Moneyball) and Truman Capote (Capote) with equal skill? Well, I’m partial to his Capote portrayal. Stunning. Absolutely stunning. I’ll miss the man for his acting. His three kids will miss their father. Just a sin what drug abuse is doing to so many people in this country.

My five favorite Hoffman films follow. Keep in mind I haven’t seen all of his movies (Along Came Polly is one I must see):

1. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. Andy Hanson, an addict, takes down an entire good family in a haunting, disturbing role. The title comes from an Irish saying, “May you be in heaven a full half-hour before the devil knows you’re dead.” Hoffman (Andy) is such a bad person that he needs that head start.

2. Capote. Hoffman won the 2006 Best Actor Oscar for playing author Truman Capote. His voice and affectations I will never forget.

3. Doubt. What a great faceoff between Hoffman (a priest accused of child molestation) and Meryl Streep (a nun and principal, and his accuser). I love the fact you never really know whether he did it. You think he did, but you don’t know.

4. The Savages. He and Laura Linney are brother and sister caring for a dying dad. When the real world intrudes on people no longer close with a parent and exposes all kinds of old feelings never healed—that’s something so understandable in so many lives today.

5. Moneyball. Art Howe hated the portrayal of the bumbling manager of the A’s when the new baseball way crept into the game. I loved it. Hoffman as a stubborn manager, as so many classic old baseball guys are when asked to change.

Hoffman was great as a nerdy personal assistant in The Big Lebowski, and as  veteran rock journalist Lester Bangs in Almost Famous, but his roles were relatively minor ones. That’s why those aren’t included here.

Losing James Gandolfini and Hoffman within eight months … what a bummer if you love great acting.

PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6NEXT VIEW AS A SINGLE PAGE
More from The MMQB
677 comments
ProfessorGriff
ProfessorGriff

No way is Bettis a hall of famer.  I can name 15 running backs from his era that I thought were better and some of them won't end up in the hall of fame.

Patokev
Patokev

Too cold and it negates the true goodness of Guinness. The colder the stout, the irrelevance of the stout itself. Thus speaks an Irishman....

SMacAttack
SMacAttack

This sentence amazes me: "Cliff Avril, the former Lion, had just a so-so first season with the Seahawks." Not true. Cliff Avril had a great season with the Seahawks, regardless of the stat sheet says. Just ask his coaches and Seahawks fans. He terrorized opposing QB’s all season long. It’s amazing how clueless the national media is when it comes to the Seattle Seahawks.

PackersFanNumeroUno
PackersFanNumeroUno

Starting a team would you pick Wilson or Kaep for your QB? (Of course everyone would take Rodgers 1st but this is between kaep & wilson)

liquidmuse3
liquidmuse3

You mention Lechler, as if to bismirch Guy. No, Lechler should get in too, just like Morten, & Vinatieri.

RockinManny
RockinManny

PK-> 'its been a good year' (with a sigh of relief ) that finally his Superbowl prediction came true for a change!! So Mr SeacokSukka who's it gonna be next year ???????

mwr5053
mwr5053

I'm no advocate of northern cold-weather Super Bowl sites but FedEx Field in Wash, DC is one of the larger NFL stadiums in the country I believe, no? So, what will it take to get a Super Bowl in our Nation's Capital sometime in the next decade or so? I say it'll never happen if the Washington NFL franchise doesn't drop the "Redskins" . moniker to please all of the PC bleeding hearts. I hope it never happens but that's one strategy (bribery?) Goodell and the NFL could use against the Redskins franchise. You've heard of "Pay to Play" in politics; Why not "Change your name to Play Host to SB"? 

badbeatya
badbeatya

This just in:   the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is looking to detain/question Kam Chancellor for picking off a duck out of season.  Additionally, Percy Harvin is also wanted as he is suspected of putting a dagger into the hearts of Broncos everywhere.

David32
David32

For someone who is purportedly a journalist, Peter demonstrates very little investigative acumen. He continues to pretend that the NFL demonstrated that the Saints had a "bounty" program where they intentionally tried to injure opponents, yet every piece of "evidence" the NFL put forth was quickly and conclusively shown at best to be an extreme stretch of circumstances, and at worst to be a flat out lie. (For those of you that will bring up the Gregg Williams speech: First, it was not part of the NFL's evidence, it was released later by a sleaze all trying to make a quick buck. Second, the speech was simple words, what really maters is the Saints actions. They played the game after the speech without even committing a penalty and were one of the least penalized teams for the time period in question. Third, the "kill the head" line is pretty common in football. It was even painted on the wall of the Chiefs facility when Herm Edwards was coach.)

JorgeDeSilva
JorgeDeSilva

If Manning has to face another Seahawks or 49ers team in the next year or so he will never win another Superbowl. And thanks to Bill Belichick's arrogance as a GM, perhaps Brady won't either. 


Serena
Serena

Seriously Strahan voted into the hall before Haley?? 


Guess being a media darling really pays off when it comes to deciding whether or not a player was better than another player.


Seattle defence - the best team a chemist could put together, do you think that the cloud of Addral use will impact on how this team is thought of going into the future? 

RonAglund
RonAglund

Here's the definition per Webster of bounty for you Peter. I suggest you look it up next time or please let us know which of these is so suspect.

1:  something that is given generously

2:  liberality in giving :  generosity

3:  yield especially of a crop

4:  a reward, premium, or subsidy especially when offered or given by a government: as 

  a :  an extra allowance to induce entry into the armed services 

  b :  a grant to encourage an industry 

  c :  a payment to encourage the destruction of noxious animals 

  d :  a payment for the capture of or assistance in the capture of an outlaw

We all know you love Roger Goodell but by his definition and I'm guessing yours Seattle ran a "bounty" program this season but I didn't see you or Roger throwing the same tantrum and indignation as last time...

jdileonardo
jdileonardo

Its time for teams to rethink paying an elite QB $20M.  Under the cap it kills a teams ability to bring in the surrounding players and added depth needed to make it through the season and win a super bowl.  Manning makes 17 times what Wilson makes.  Clearly he is not 17 times more valuable.  The two best teams in the league (SEA and SF) have the two lowest paid QB in the league.  I realize you can't pay an elite QB < $1M but I think their real value is around $10M-$12M.  Its a better value proposition by giving a team the ability to pay a few more players.

KevinNovak
KevinNovak

Peter, you include a paragraph and an additional comment about a multimillionaire who lived in a make-believe world who slowly took his own life with drugs.  You somehow couldn't include a comment about the death of Terry Bradshaw's father?  Oh, wait.  Bradshaw is a talking head on another network...

ki.nazir72
ki.nazir72

Only the Jets could have Pete Carroll who had all the makings of an amazing Coach then, only the Jets could allow him to walk…There are very few Coaches and he's one of them.

BillHeinsonSr.
BillHeinsonSr.

Moxee, Washington is east of Yakima, barely. We not only saw it coming, we were sure it was going to happen.

JimCody
JimCody

"Seattle is so clearly the best team in football."

Except that they came within one play of getting beat by SF at home and would've lost if the game was in SF. It should read "Seattle so clearly has the best designed stadium in football."

unitcaptain11
unitcaptain11

@SMacAttack Avril made some huge plays this season.  HUGE! 

Avril and Bennett were most of the Hawks pass rush this season.  And Avril has a knack for knocking the ball out.  A couple plays like that are worth twice as many sacks.

HectorRex
HectorRex

@mwr5053  It'll never happen until you get a playable field.  That field was a travesty in the SEA-WAS playoff game last year.

Red-Stripes
Red-Stripes

@David32  Well, the Saints clearly didn't learn anything from the scandea;/suspensions when sideline cameras showed them high-fiving and celebrating a penalized helmet-to-helmet hit on Percy Harvin a couple of plays into their meeting with the Seahawks a few weeks ago.  Made for some bad optical.........

Mike26
Mike26

@David32  Oh gawd, WHY did PK have to mention ANY Saints for ANY reason?  Vilma hasn't been an effective player in 4 years and he keeps rehashing this thing.  


1.  The Saints are guilty.

2.  This isn't a court of law, it's a court of NFL with Goodell as judge (and backed by a REAL judge too)

3.  There will always be an asterisk by their win

4.  Gregg Williams will remain as dirty as ever - as will his teams, especially under the guise of amazingly mediocre Jeff Fisher

5.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't let drudown hijack this string!

drudown
drudown

@David32  


As a threshold matter, you wrongfully assume facts NOT in evidence. Taken to its illogical conclusion, you have NOT reviewed the evidence the NFL did in the Saints alleged Bounty Program. So, why are you taking a position that you have no personal knowledge of and trying to wield an imaginary sword around? Aside from your non sequitur, feeble attempt at character assassination- to "buy" your rendition of operative facts- it is "far fetched" to think a defense in the NFL "could" have a bounty system. Let me guess, you think "super-PACs" have had "no effect" on Congress' "shut down", "fracking water is safe to drink," Climate Change is a hoax, etc. Do I have that right?

Sdwalt
Sdwalt

@David32 The only people who care about the whole bounty thing anymore are a few bitter Saints fans. The rest of the country could care less.

Mike26
Mike26

@Serena  Perhaps a correctly-spelled post would help your case.


On the other hand, after deciphering what you DID write = probably not.

badbeatya
badbeatya

@Serena Do you think that your bad spelling and grammar will impact how you are looked upon?

KristinDiggins
KristinDiggins

@ki.nazir72  Wasn't he replaced with Rich Kotite?  For an ownership apparently so insightful politically given Mr. Johnson's guests t the game, that same group sure has struggled picking coaches.

HughJardonn
HughJardonn

@JimCody Don't forget the horrific officiating that went 95% against SF there also.

DiamondMask
DiamondMask

@JimCody  

but you lost the super bowl last year and the NFC championship this year........how strange you're still busy patting yourself on the back.

Rick57
Rick57

@JimCody Wow, you pathetic losers just can't grasp reality. One play or a hundred plays, Seattle beat SF to win the NFC. If your QB makes the throw it's different story and if I have had chosen different lottery numbers I would be a millionaire. You can talk about ifs all you want but the scoreboard doesn't lie. What could have happened is solace for losers. What's your excuse for not winning the Super Bowl last year?

BigSchtick
BigSchtick

@JimCody Barley lost in San Francisco and blew them out in Seattle, again. What is your point? Woulda coulda shoulda? WAAAAAAAAAA!

konenp
konenp

@JimCody  Absolutely agree and I'm (unfortunately the last two decades) a Skins fan.  The more accurate statement would be that the NFC is clearly ascending again like it did in the 80's and early 90's except the NFC west will play the role of the NFC east.  AFC has big name QB's just like in that era (Elway, Marino, and Kelly) but NFC has the more physical and better balanced teams.  

rskins09
rskins09

@HectorRex @mwr5053     Your right .. Had season tickets  for years @ RFK  and Fed Ex field ...Still can't figure  out  what  happened to Fed Ex  field  year before last   when Skins beat Dallas ( Yes ! )  and the game they lost to Seattle ..Remember Redskins were up  14-0  in the 1st quarter ...Sure it rained  between these two games  but it wasn't any monson , hurricane  ...Don't blame Pete Carroll   for being ticked after ..the game ...BTW, predicted  Seattle would be in the Super Bowl  this year ...Never seem a defense as dominate as  Seattle's for years ...Reminds me of the 1985 Bears  but with plenty of no-name players...   Impressive win for Seattle ..Not  taking anything away from Seattle, but feel   Manning AND  the Broncos  were playing in mountain time  & ..Manning forced way too many throws..Too many of his screen passes the Broncos offense looked as they  were playing in slow motion...... Weird ..

David32
David32

Yep, I'm sure you are absolutely correct that the Saints are the ONLY team who would ever do such a thing! It is amazing the double standard that exists here.

David32
David32

@Mike26 @David32  Claiming that the Saints are guilty is your opinion, backed by nothing other than Roger Goodell's word.  There was no "real" judge that supported his contention.  The closest they came was Mary Jo White - a former judge who was paid by the NFL.  In fact, she offered up one of the most outrageous lies in their "evidence" when she claimed that they knew Anthony Hargrove said "Give me my money" in a video becasue you could see his lips moving.  Once the video was made public, it was obvious to anyone who bothered to look that Hargrove's face was not even in the picture, so it was impossible to see his mouth at all.


There is no asterisk by their win - whichever one you are referring to.  They played the game on the field the same as the other team.

David32
David32

@drudown @David32  I am fully aware that there may be evidence which the public has not seen that could make a difference.  However, I find it extremely far-fetched to buy into the theory that the NFL would put worthless "evidence" on display when they had something more substantial.  That makes no sense whatsoever - they are trying to demonstrate the legitamacy of their claims, so they will do so by proffering the most feeble and flimsy bits of evidence in their possession?  I don't think so.  I am aware that there could have been stronger evidence that they did not want the public to see, but then why release anything?  Why make your case look bad when you don't have to?  And to be clear, I never said it was "far-fetched to think a defense in the NFL could have a bounty system".  What I said was the NFL provided no evidence to support their contention that the Saints had done so.

David32
David32

@Sdwalt @David32  If that were true, then why did King feel the need to put it in this column?

DavidHarte
DavidHarte

@BigSchtick @JimCody  


Lil'Schtick


Sorry, but January, not October, is the test.  Seattle got out of that game by the skin of their teeth.  Period.

MarkTitus
MarkTitus

@JayLandon64 @rskins09@HectorRex@mwr5053I gotta agree, and disagree with you in many different ways.  I too watched Da Bears of 85.  I'm 59 this month, been watching football since I was in 1st grade.  Seen all the dominate D's (too many to name), and you're right to a certain extent.  Chicago, was like no other for 1 year, and 1 year only, I don't care what anyone says.  They had a pretty good year in 84, but it was 85 that got them their championship.  In 86 they started to lose their grip on intimidation.  OC's figured out the 46 during the off-season 86.  I remember that team like yesterday, and to THIS day I've never understood why they got so many accolades for just 1 year.  Yes, they were scary, but they also had quite a few more rules on their side as far as what a defense can get away with.  It also didn't hurt to be in the 2nd biggest market either.  The media hype they got was ridiculous during that season.  McMahon had the game of his life against Minnesota on a Monday night and all hell broke loose.   They released "The Super Bowl Shuffle" during that same week. Laughable thinking back on it.  Embarrassing then,. . . laughable now.  Still, back to back shutouts while yielding a paltry 10 points to win a Lombardi is very impressive indeed.  I'll give em that, but that's all I'll give em.  These full grown men in the Pacific Northwest didn't have no cakewalk through their playoff run either ya know.  Alright, I'll spare you the details.  What we just witnessed was a defense that will be known as the greatest to ever win a championship.  I've seen em all when it comes to Super Bowls, but this one stands alone.  For all the marbles, the Seattle Seahawks stepped up like no other in championship history, let alone, Super Bowl.  From start to finish, no D ever DOMINATED like Seattle.  Again, Start to Finish.  When you couple that with the rules of today, the offense they were playing. . . only a lunatic would argue with it.  You might wanna slap yourself into consciousness. 

JayLandon64
JayLandon64

@rskins09 @HectorRex@mwr5053


"Reminds me of the 1985 Bears ..."


Yes and no.  Seattle had a dominant defense, and their results do remind of the 85 Bears, or the 2000 Ravens or the late 80s-early 90s Giants, but...


I always hesitate to compare any defense to the '85 Bears.  That Ravens team, those Giants' teams and this year's Seahawks all had similar results to that Bears team, but none did it the way that Bears team did.  I have NEVER, in 45 years of watching, seen a team UTTERLY terrify offenses the way that Bear team did.  Not intimidate, this went way beyond intimidation.  The Ravens, Giants, Seahawks, 70s Steelers, those teams were intimidating.  They intimidated offenses.  The 85 Bears terrified offenses.  That was the best defense I have ever seen.


This year's Seattle defense?  I'd say third, just behind #2 2000 Ravens, but slightly ahead of those Steeler and Giants Ds.

JaredRide
JaredRide

@EssJ @DavidHarte @BigSchtick @JimCody  Kaep choked in SB47 AND in this years NFC Champ game with the exact same pass to the exact same receiver.     SEA DOMINATED SF in the NFC Champ game, they just let off the gas too early against SF... they learned from it, as evidenced by the SB48 score where they NEVER let off the gas.

EssJ
EssJ

@DavidHarte @BigSchtick @JimCody  Had Kaepernick not choked and completed that touchdown to Crabtree you could have said that SF "got out of that game by the skin of their teeth. Period."


Of course, the only way that would happen is if Sherman was shot by a sniper, hit by a bolt of lightning or was otherwise incapacitated. There's no way Sherman would have let Crab catch it if he was anywhere near him.


Maybe Kaep can learn to throw the touch pass with high arc that Wilson has perfected. If he executes that type of throw on that play he might....a big might...have cleared Sherman and delivered it to Crab. You can tell him good luck with that the next time you see him.

Rumrunner11
Rumrunner11

@DavidHarte @BigSchtick@JimCodyMan, every time I think the term 40-whiner gets overplayed, some moron comes out and says Seattle was 'lucky' and 'barely' won.  Niners have the second best team in the league - ain't no shame in that???!!!

badbeatya
badbeatya

@JimCody Lol!  Wow.  I believe Seattle 'got out of that game' because the best defense in the NFL intercepted a choke artist trying to throw to a mediocre receiver.

Newsletter