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Quotes of the Week

I

“I call Twitter the microphone for morons.”

—Denver GM John Elway, at a NFL event, the career development symposium, Saturday at Penn’s Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia.

II

“The NFL is a unique work place. There are no secrets anymore. Technology has taken over and secrets are exposed. People are going to know what you’re all about. You have to make sure you have real honesty in the workplace or you’re going to be exposed.”

—Andy Reid, the Chiefs coach, at the symposium in Philadelphia.

III

“It is completely unacceptable that Daryl has once again put us in this position. We all know what the consequences are and will deal with them.”

—Arizona GM Steve Keim, in an unusually strongly worded statement condemning linebacker Daryl Washington, one of his best players, for being suspended for the 2014 season. Washington said he tested positive for marijuana.

IV

“It’s a war. It’s on. I have no respect for him no more … You can’t be acting like a little girl out there … a little b—-.”

—Red Sox DH David Ortiz, on Tampa Bay pitcher David Price, after Ortiz was hit in the back by the first Price pitch he saw in 2014, the first time they faced each other this season, on Friday at Fenway Park.

Cool baseball drama. Last fall, Ortiz homered twice off Price in a playoff game at Fenway Park. On the second homer, which wrapped around the foul pole in right field, Ortiz stayed at home plate, waiting to see if it would be fair or foul; there was no question it was far enough to be a home run. When it went fair, Ortiz ran around the bases. Price evidently seethed. Ortiz said after the game Friday that he called Price in the offseason and smoothed over their differences stemming from the home run and Price’s alleged hard feelings about Ortiz being too slow to run around the bases.

Baseball is a fun game. It is also a silly game sometimes.

Stat of the Week

Every year, NFL officials are given points of emphasis for the new season. One of the big ones this year will be taunting. Not just the woofing or screaming in vanquished players’ faces; but excessive belittling language, and racially charged language too.

Amazing to me the numbers from last year on taunting. In 2012, officials threw nine penalty flags in 256 regular-season games for taunting. Last year, officials threw 34 flags for taunting, and there were another nine that the league officiating office would have deemed acceptable taunting calls.

So if there were nine taunting fouls in 2012, and if 43 such fouls could have been called in 2013, imagine what happens when officials are ultra-sensitive to make such calls in 2014. Either players will get see the quick trigger fingers the refs have and cut it out early this year, or there will be an epidemic of taunting calls this fall.

Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me

I

Roger Goodell takes a trip every year to Silicon Valley to meet and talk to innovators in the technology, TV, social media and academic set. On one of his first such trips, he met with Steve Jobs, the Apple boss, who had one word of advice for Goodell: “Wifi.”

When you hear owners and club presidents and league officials say they’re intent on enabling all fans able to use their smart phones inside all NFL stadiums, you can trace that advice to Jobs.

II

One of my favorite press releases of the year came in the email box the other day—the one announcing the awarding of grants by Peyton Manning’s PeyBack Foundation. Manning’s charitable arm is giving out $1 million to charities in the states he’s lived and worked—Louisiana, Tennessee, Indiana and Colorado. This year he gave $10,000 to GreenLeaf Denver, which promotes urban agriculture so city kids can eat fresh fruits and vegetables and get used to working the soil; $8,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee; $8,000 to Kedila Family Learning Service of New Orleans, which fills some gaps in social services left by post-Katrina effects; and $4,000 to the anti-bullying Peace Learning Center of Indianapolis. It’s good to spread the seeds.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

I have heard of flight delays and I have heard of emergency landings, but what happened on a US Airways flight from Los Angeles to Philadelphia last Wednesday sets an American aviation record for incredulity. Lucky for all of us, Chris Law, a 30-year-old NFL Network producer—he handles Rich Eisen’s podcast and produces programming about fantasy football, the draft and the combine—was in row 10 of the plane and was an eyewitness, and nasal witness, to airline history.

And to Truffles the dog, who couldn’t quite control her bowels on the coast-to-coast flight.

“I fly US Airways all the time,’’ Law said over the weekend from Virginia, where he was attending a bachelor party. “I have status with them. I didn’t get an upgrade to first-class on this trip, but I did get a good seat in row 10, the emergency exit row. Before we board, I see this lady with a full-grown dog. I have never seen a full-size dog on a plane in coach. This dog had a service tag on it, and the lady looked healthy, fine. But whatever. I get on the plane, everyone boards, the lady and her dog go in back.

“A strange thing happens while we’re waiting to take off. They spilled 1,000 gallons of fuel on the tarmac. They had to add fuel to the plane. But they didn’t fill the tank all the way because of all this gas spilling. We’re on the L.A. tarmac for two-and-half hours while they take care of that. While we wait, this lady is walking her dog up and down the aisle.

“So we take off, and an hour or so into the flight, I have to go to bathroom. I walk to the back of the plane, and there’s a flight attendant with a drink cart; she can’t move it because there’s a blanket covering something on the floor with white powder in the middle of the aisle. I asked what happened. She says, ‘The dog went to the bathroom. We dropped some sanitation powder on it.’ I go back and sit down, mention it to a couple people. ‘That dog went to the bathroom back there!’ A lady near me laughs about it.

“So I’ve got a lot of room in this exit row. And then, maybe an hour later, I notice seven or eight passengers start moving aggressively down the aisle. I’m wondering what’s going on. Strange. The flight attendant comes up. She says, ‘The dog defacated again—for the third time.’ She goes, ‘People are getting sick back there. I think we’re going to emergency-land in KC.’ Up where we were, in row 10, very faintly we start to smell it. After a half hour I could really start to smell it. And the flight attendant says, ‘We’re landing in Kansas City. Hazmat’s got to come on board.”

“The pilot comes on. He says, ‘We have to emergency land. There is an issue in the back of the plane. We have to land the plane.’ ”

[Fellow passenger Steve McCall, contacted by “Inside Edition,” reported exclusively that Truffles had, and I quote, “fully fledged dog diarrhea.”]

Now back to Chris Law: “So we land. We stay on the plane. Hazmat is actually five guys in orange vests. They work on the problem for maybe 35 minutes. But by the time we’re ready to take off, so many people already know they’ll miss their connections or aren’t going to make it to their destination on time. A lot of people just don’t continue on the flight.

“This dog was like some kind of full-size poodle mixture. Biggest dog I have ever seen in coach. During the flight, when I went back there, the dog had a seat to itself. It was the woman on the aisle, the dog in the middle, and some poor guy in the window seat. I wonder how that guy felt when all that was going on. The lady seemed nice. She was asking people all around her, ‘Please give me your name and address. I will send you a Starbucks card for your trouble. I am so sorry.’

“But when we were in Kansas City, she and the dog got off. It was clear this dog was ‘serving’ no purpose. The woman was walking fine. The dog had its own seat. So when she got off, it was like a walk of shame. Her and the dog walked off. People were clapping when she got off the plane, maybe 10 or 15 people clapping. Some people were pretty pissed off. Two people missed their cruise to Greece. People missed their connections. A lady sitting near me was getting honored by a charity that she runs in Hartford that night, and had to make a speech there, but she never made it.

“I wasn’t in a rush to get anywhere that day, so all I could do was laugh about it. I want to say also the crew was really nice, and professional. But what a day.”

I will never, ever, ever complain about anything related to travel for the rest of my life.

At least until next week.

One last thing: A paper in Ireland headlined its story on the incident thusly:

A plane had to make an emergency landing
because a dog wouldn’t stop pooping

… with this subhead:

Hey, when you gotta go you gotta go

Or, perhaps, you’d like to see how Poopgate was portrayed by Italian TV, complete with footage from “Airplane:”

Tweets of the Week

I

II

Former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah with his early analysis of the possible top pick in the 2015 draft, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.

III

Things have turned around since. They followed the 10-game losing streak with six wins in a row.

IV

V

That was reaction of the New York Mets announcer for SNY, upon seeing the Mets—who had played 14 innings Friday night and then 14 innings Saturday—go to extra cantos again on Sunday in Philadelphia. The Mets won in 11.

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443 comments
Mat X
Mat X

What, no excerpt from  Barack 0bama's epic commencement speech at West Point?  Where is the love?

johng721
johng721

If Smith/Vick is over, why did you have to write 2 points on it.  Like your column but you're adding to the nonsense

BruceWayneBasa
BruceWayneBasa

"That should be the significance of Glazer’s run in the NFL—he was colorblind at a time when many teams, and owners, in the league were not" - Please don't use the phrase "colorblind", that phrase is an oxymoron and false and minority folks like myself call BS on that......talk to your friends who are minority and get educated on why that term is insulting....

MickPatrick
MickPatrick

This is beyond parody: The NFL's sensitivity sessions are being held in Flowery Branch, Georgia. Be nice, boys.

metalhead65
metalhead65

I know it is all about the money but wouldn't you think goodell and the owners would want to listen the fans before they make changes to the game? nobody wants to see the playoffs expanded just so the cowboys can make them or a team with a good record could not win when they should have and did not make them. nobody wants the league to turn into hockey and the nba where everyone but the worst of the worst make it. and make no mistake when they do expand and the league makes more money because of it they will do it again. fans do not care that there is not a team in la la land and could care even less about one over seas. football is a American sport and should stay they way. the games sells out because it is a curiosity for them and another excuse to get drunk for a day but they do not know what they are watching or care about it. as for the culture change that is just what the game needs to slow it down are a bunch of stupid penalties for name calling. enough of the pc nonsense and let them play football! they are grown men and if someone is bullying them then stand up for yourself! it used to be if you stood for yourself even if you got your butt kicked you stopped being picked on.

ianlinross
ianlinross

Teams in Europe? Gimme a break. Can Goodell just maintain what's there? Does he have shareholders to answer to? Leave it alone.

wlewisiii
wlewisiii

Re: the greying of the league.


Green Bay. All teams should be owned that way. 

skanee00
skanee00

American football is an uniquely American experience. Keep the NFL in America. Let the foreign countries start their own leagues if they want teams.

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

he couldn't have included people erick legrande.  also most nfl fans if you ask them, why do you care about growing the game in london, as i bet you ask these owners that have the london game there fuming because they lose a home date, and this year you're going to ask lions fans get up at 6 am to watch your team

Raiderforlife
Raiderforlife

I predict the Raider defense will be a top 12 defense this year go Raiders.

EmmettJohnson
EmmettJohnson

So what your telling us is that 2 of the best coaches in the game, Belichick and Payton, have no respect for you, yet the problem lies with them and not you. Peter, i think you needed a longer look in that mirror.

John4
John4

The number on the Giants player's helmet does not match his jersey.  Why is that?

gary7
gary7

This how I like my Peter King, great 25....not the GM King or the Anonymous Source King

TomTofTampa
TomTofTampa

Peter,  Re your list of Classiest NFL people?  I know you say you missed some.....but no Tony Dungy???? Here in Tampa there's nobody in the NFL more deserving of the title "CLASSY".  Ask Derrick Brooks or Warren Dunn, two guys (deservedly) on your list, if they'd give up their place to have Tony on your list. No doubt in my mind on that question.


riverotter1968
riverotter1968

Love how Arthur Blank totally dodged the question of pricing fans out.

connorjohn508
connorjohn508

want to watch football players play football, and I could care less if they drink beer, smoke pot, or eat pancakes on their off-time. If they are a habitual user and risk taker the law will catch up to them and punish them accordingly (and the NFL can follow suit). It's tough to lose some of the most exciting players in football because of an issue that has more to do with an outdated moral system than harm to the game (or, arguable, to anyone). People justify the punishment by saying that "you have to be an idiot to fail a drug test in the NFL", shifting the culpable act from the recreational activity to the act of being simple minded. Since when has the NFL punished dumb players? I could really care less about the intelligence of Josh Gordon or Daryl Washington so long as they are not injuring innocent people... I mean, Ray Rice SLUGGED A GIRL IN THE FACE AND KNOCKED HER OUT but instead of a per se suspension (i.e., second time positive test), we wait for it to play out... as if some magical reason to justify punching a woman's brains in will arise in Rice's defense. I am not a Browns fan, nor am I a Cardinals fan, but I am a fan of the game and 2014 is now a year that those teams can never get back.... all because of a harmless recreational activity. It just doesn't seem right, and it doesn't help provide the product we as fans want to see. Peter King often makes connections between the NFL and broader society to show the leagues role beyond the hash marks.... Here is another opportunity for the league to affect social progress, because here, like in broader society, it is the drug policy and not the drugs that are doing the most damage.


P.S., an example of how other industries are struggling/adapting to the changing moral system, the FBI just went to Congress about the difficulty of hiring the best and brightest because many of those individuals indulge in the recreational use of marijuana. (http://fortune.com/2014/05/28/does-the-fbis-marijuana-policy-breed-dishonest-applicants/)

DickKeefe
DickKeefe

Peter - you forgot to include commencement speech remarks from Condoleezza Rice.  Oh wait...


Dan Hodous
Dan Hodous

6 pages - 25 years.. congrats but without one mention of anything for the Chicago Bears my proof of BIAS against them has now been proven beyond a shadow of any doubt.

vspoke
vspoke

Nice pic of Pete pressed up against a bent-over ball player.

Dani
Dani

'dumb story of this offseason' ! Yep ! For sure. Smith will be the starting QB. Why ? Vick does not getting  younger. And on the first injury ( it's gonna happen ) there will be no doubt on who will be the starting QB.

guykingii1
guykingii1

I have a problem with the Saints'   "bounty scandal" not being regrettable... when even PK recognized that many teams ran their own versions of the same effort.  Leaving out context details makes it easier to pick highlights and lowlights.

JimSmith4
JimSmith4

I still don't get how Peter calls the Saints the best story of the last 25 years.



Pat Tillman's selfless decision to serve his country and turn down a million dollar plus contract to join the military was my favorite.  He paid the ultimate sacrifice for it.  Although he was killed by friendly fire, it does not diminish the role that he played or the inspiration he is to so many Americans.  In a time in our culture when the sports world stories are dominated by greed and bad behavior, this one made many of us proud.


The Saints story is murky at best.


JimSmith4
JimSmith4

@metalhead65


I don't think racial slurs have a place anywhere and whether you like it or not NFL players are looked up to by kids.  Parenting can only go so far, but I don't want to be at a game when someone on the field is slinging that cr^p out of their mouth around the kids.  It isn't all about the players.

JimSmith4
JimSmith4

@metalhead65


I disagree.  We have all seen too many times when a cr^ppy team wins their division with an 8-8 record only to have a 10-6 or 11-5 team not make the playoffs because they were in a tougher division.  Look at what happened to Arizona last season.  They went 10-6 in a division with Seattle and San Francisco and don't make the playoffs.  Green Bay gets in at 8-8-1 because they win the North.  Both teams deserve a shot in the playoffs.  I don't have a problem with a slightly expanded playoff to eliminate these kind of problems.  


I think most football fans don't care about this particular expansion as much as they care about having an expanded playoff format in college football.

JimSmith4
JimSmith4

@ianlinross


I don't care for the teams in Europe deal because we already hear too much about jet lag from coast to coast.  

olmanwinter
olmanwinter

@EmmettJohnson Yeah, because Belichek and Payton (Spygate and Bountygate, respectively) are the kind of stand up, morally sound fellas you hope for approval from.

Raiderforlife
Raiderforlife

@TomTofTampa Tony Dungy is to religious for a liberal moon bat like Peter King but I agree very classy guy should have been mentioned

John4
John4

@Dan Hodous Yes, BIAS.  After all, the Bears were great for ONE SEASON.  

JimSmith4
JimSmith4

@guykingii1


So you are saying because other teams did it then it was ok?  That's stupid!

olmanwinter
olmanwinter

@JimSmith4 Tillman's story is not really a football story though is it? The politics surrounding it are messy. 

The Saints, and their impact on the city of New Orleans post-Katrina is an amazing story. 

guykingii1
guykingii1

@JimSmith4 The murky part is how everybody forget other teams had their version of a bounty on opposing teams.  Highlights are easy to pick out when journalists leave out any semblance of detail in the context.  But "best" and "worst" are absolutes which are impossible to prove.

Scramble
Scramble

@JimSmith4 If someone had attacked us and he was going to defend our country, then it is a great story.

JimSmith4
JimSmith4

@olmanwinter


The Saints and their story comes with baggage.  Bountygate swept under the rug to try to dog and pony a feel good story.  


The circumstances surrounding Tillman's death were cloudy until the investigation was finished and I believe that it was important to display those facts of what happened that day.  


Friendly fire does occur on the battlefield, but it in no way detracts from the service and ultimate sacrifice made by that individual.  The public needs to understand this about war.  I am not going to argue about what war is or about what that war was or what it was about.  I am going to support those serving us in the military because ultimately they do not make the political decisions.  The serve when called and I am grateful for that.


Regardless of how he died what mattered about this story was the choice he made to serve his country in a time of perceived need and that he walked away from a profession that by all accounts he loved dearly because he felt it was his duty.

JimSmith4
JimSmith4

@olmanwinter


Completely disagree with that point.  The politics are not messy.  He chose to serve his country regardless of any political leanings.  


He was a highly successful pro football player that passed up a contract worth millions to serve his country.  It is absolutely a football story.

JimSmith4
JimSmith4

@guykingii1


So you are saying because other teams did it then it was ok?  That's stupid!

JimSmith4
JimSmith4

@Scramble


I am supportive of our military personnel without the right/left leanings.  They serve when called.  Period.

Mike26
Mike26

@MickPatrick @olmanwinter @EmmettJohnson They might be really bright guys but it's hard to respect them with the garbage they've pulled over the years - or garbage they've ALLOWED over the years.  Both deserve disdain for their arrogance in that regard.  Payton has won ONE Super Bowl in 7 seasons and hasn't sniffed it since.  Belichick has dominated a mostly-weaker division for a decade but hasn't won a title since Spygate FOR WHATEVER reason.  They are both good coaches/strategists but as management types aren't overwhelmingly effective.

arthur3
arthur3

@JimSmith4 @guykingii1  It's not that. It's that the whole thing turned out to be crap, seized upon to prove the NFL's concern for it's players (I mean dollars).. 50,000 pages of so-called documents; film of the "give me my money" clip; etc. etc. Mary Jo White impaired her integrity by declaring that they had it locked. What did they come with? About 5 handwritten pages from a coach that was fired and an audiotape of Williams the loudmouth before a game in which NO had no penalties and the only player knocked out was Pierre Thomas on a helmet to helmet hit by Whitner. It was so worthless that Goodell's patron Tagliabue threw out all the charges and held specifically that no money ever changed hands nor was there any evidence of a deliberate attempt by any player to hurt anyone. But he couldn't humiliate Goodell completely and the season suspensions were already up for everyone except Payton, so he let that slide. Peter King bought the whole thing hook, line and sinker, and now says he was justified in doing so.I like King's work, but it's no wonder Payton has no time for him.

duder
duder

@JimSmith4 @Scramble of course they deserve support and sympathy -- but the wars themselves are immoral and imperial. 

JimSmith4
JimSmith4

@arthur3 @JimSmith4 @guykingii1


Oh please with the nonsense already.  The reason the suspensions were allowed to "slide" as you put it and the supposed lawsuits from players didn't materialize is because the NFL realized that they could be opening up a Pandora's box due to the rumors that a few other teams did the same.  


No matter what the NFL always spins it just like King for the survival of their enterprise.  


If you believe there were no bounties you are just another Saints fan drinking the Kool-Aid. 

JimSmith4
JimSmith4

@duder


That's your opinion.  Regardless of your political views, it does not change what kind of character Pat Tillman had that has made many of us proud.

arthur3
arthur3

The player suspensions did not slide. They were OVERTURNED. No money changed hands means Tagliabue found no evidence of bounties being paid. You need to get your facts right. Or maybe you can prove Tagliabue was on the take.

JimSmith4
JimSmith4

@arthur3


All to preserve the NFL.  Just like concussions and every other laughable thing that they do.  Its all about the money.  They know public image doesn't mean squat to most of their fans.

arthur3
arthur3

Oh I can agree with you there. We have common ground and that was my point.. They had to get rid of the concussion lawsuit so they tried to prove their bona fides.

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