Silicon Valley Victory

New Bear Santonio Holmes has only played 15 games over the past two years, and his last 1,000-yard season came in 2009. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
New Bear Santonio Holmes has only played 15 games over the past two years, and his last 1,000-yard season came in 2009. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think in the next week you’re going to see and hear of so many teams desperate for cornerbacks. “We’re going to get one,” a personnel man for one team told me Saturday, “but we may have to pay a higher price than we want, or a higher price than the player deserves.” The Jets, the Ravens, the Lions, the Colts, the Vikings and the Bucs, among others, could be sniffing around for a dwindling supply of cover guys near the final cutdown.

2. I think I have no idea why so many saw Santonio Holmes as toxic. He’s been mildly disruptive in his NFL career, but not a cancer. I think the Bears made a good signing there.

3. I think I have one name to keep in mind as the Pro Football Hall of Fame senior committee gathers this week in Canton to nominate one old-timer for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, class of 2015: Mick Tingelhoff. Think of Tingelhoff’s greatest accomplishment: For the last 358 games of his 17-year career—99 preseason games, 240 regular-season games, 19 postseason games—Tingelhoff started. He failed to start only once—the first exhibition game of his career for the Vikings in 1962. Amazing. He dressed for 359 games in 17 years, and started the last 358. “He never missed a practice either,’’ his onetime quarterback, Fran Tarkenton, said. He made first-team All-Pro seven times; no NFL center was voted first-team All-Pro more times. Back when the Pro Bowl meant something, a back playing behind Tingelhoff made the Pro Bowl 13 times.

4. I think I don’t know why NFL Network markets its talent as stand-up comics or, worse, as clowns. They are neither. These are smart men who played football at a high level, and when the commercials and promos come on for the NFL Network’s pre- and post-game shows, we see the hootin’ and hollerin’ and silliness. I just wish Rich Eisen would be allowed to have more reasoned discussions with the people who I thought were go-to guys in locker/coaches’ rooms—Warren Sapp, Michael Irvin, Steve Mariucci.

5. I think you should watch The MMQB this week for reporting from riot-torn Ferguson, Mo., from our Robert Klemko. The reportage began with this story from the weekend about Chicago defensive lineman David Bass, who grew up in the area and discusses the racial profiling he felt he encountered there. Klemko was on site Saturday night and Sunday, and spent time with some of the key people in the drama, and some of the high school football players and coaches who are trying to make a normal life for themselves in the midst of the strife.

6. I think if you’re wondering about the Rams’ involvement in the local story, wonder no more. Klemko has uncovered that the Rams provided tickets for high school players from the stricken area to the preseason game against Green Bay on Saturday. He filed this to me Sunday, and he’ll have more in a story on our site this week: 

Watching the violence over Michael Brown’s killing unfold in Ferguson last week, a Rams staffer thought of the high schoolers, specifically, the boys who are supposed to play in their first football game of the season this weekend. Rams manager of fan development & alumni relations Kyle Eversgerd put in a call to coaches at McCluer High, McCluer North and McCluer South; there would be 75 free tickets awaiting each team if they chose to come to Saturday’s preseason game at the Edward Jones Dome.

“In light of everything going on it just kind of hit me,” says Eversgerd, whose job includes outreach with local high schools. “I can’t imagine with all that stuff going on, how tough it must be to practice. We were able to get them away from it all.” 

So as hundreds of protesters faced off with police on the now-infamous West Florissant Avenue on Saturday night in Ferguson, leaving a man critically wounded by gunfire just yards from the homes of area children, the boys from three local teams were at their first NFL game, watching Aaron Rodgers and Sam Bradford from the 400 level. Said McCluer coach Mario MacDonald, “Our kids are focused on this season, but I worry about them out here, to be honest.”

At McCluer, MacDonald estimates more than 75% of his roster comes from single-parent homes, and most would not have been able to otherwise afford tickets that average about $100. The game was a welcome distraction; many McCluer players are angry with police and inclined to protest after Michael Brown’s shooting death here a week ago. On the bus ride to the game, players saw protesters on Florissant and started chanting, “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!”

Then they focused on football.

“It was overwhelming to see the NFL live, for real,” said senior running back Henry Jones, “You saw how fast they played, and how they played together. I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I could actually see myself out there playing.”

7. I think this was the reaction of one scout upon leaving the Broncos-Niners game: “Very strange. San Francisco looked tired. I wonder if they’ve been beating themselves up in practice. They were just off. But it’s a classic case of not putting too much stock into preseason games. If they had to play a game tomorrow, they’re still one of the top three or five teams in football. I would worry about the backup quarterback situation though.”

8. I think if Peyton Manning made playing quarterback any easier, he’d be sleeping.

9. I think the thing I’m most looking forward to on my western swing this week is seeing Jadeveon Clowney, in pads for two practices, rush Manning and his Ryan Clady-fortified Denver front. I’ll see the Broncos and Texans practice Tuesday and Wednesday in Denver.

Talk Back
Have a question or comment for Peter? Email him at talkback@themmqb.com and it might be included in Tuesday’s mailbag.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

a. Such a sad week.

b. Robin Williams’ death by suicide drives home what a serious illness depression is. For all those who suffer from it, and for those who don’t always realize how hopeless depressed people can feel, I hope Williams’ death causes a re-examination of depression specifically and mental health in general.

c. Tremendous story by Richard Corliss in Time magazine, on the death of Williams and appreciation of his life. What a terrific job, too, considering news of Williams’ death spread around dinnertime in New York on Monday evening, and Corliss’ brilliant elegy was in my mailbox on Thursday morning. Imagine having to write that story, with no lead time, no hint that it was coming, basically overnight.

d. At the time of his heroin-overdose death in February at 46, Philip Seymour Hoffman was, in my opinion, the greatest actor in our country. On Friday, I went to the last movie in which he played a lead role, a German spymaster named Gunther Bachmann, in “A Most Wanted Man.” The premise is interesting—that disagreements and rivalries between international spy agencies helped Mohammed Atta and associates hatch and develop the plot for the 9/11 attacks on the United States in Hamburg, Germany. After 9/11, Hoffman’s character is chasing a Chechen man identified by sources as a probable terrorist, and his search for him and for a money-launderer far more dangerous and his butting of heads with rival spymasters make a for a taut, fast story. And as I sat there and watched the chain-smoking, hard-drinking Hoffman do some of his best work, I thought how sad it was that we won’t see 20 more examples of the man’s brilliance on the screen. Robin Williams dies, and Philip Seymour Hoffman gives us two hours of what we’ll be missing over the next quarter-century. What a bummer.

e. The movie is dark, and it seems awfully real to me. I’d recommend “A Most Wanted Man.” It’s not “Capote,” or “Charlie Wilson’s War,” or “Doubt,” or even “The Savages” or “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead,” Hoffman’s most underrated films. But Hoffman, and this movie, are worth your time here.

f. Estimated three-week money haul for ALS and related ALS charities, thanks to the #IceBucketChallenge: $13.3 million, which ALS authorities say is about eight times what the normal giving was in a similar summer period last year.

g. Russell Wilson certainly got the job done, atop the Space Needle.

h. Thus, you’re wrong if you think the Ice Bucket Challenge is a bunch of mularkey. It’s working, to raise awareness and research money.

i. Coffeenerdness: Very nice coffee in the Levi’s Stadium press box. Peet’s. Not sure the blend, but it’s dark, and it’s good.

j. Beernerdness: My thanks to the beermeisters at Busch Stadium for making The MMQB feel at home with a beer-tasting in St. Louis on our trip through town. My two favorites from the evening: STLIPA, an IPA from former Anheuser-Busch brewers at Urban Chestnut in St. Louis; and Schlafly Brewing’s Dry Hopped APA, another flavorful IPA-type from the Midwest. Lots of good beers being brewed in the Midwest, and St. Louis is a gem of a beer town.

k. What a way to get a save, Trevor Rosenthal. He entered Thursday’s game against San Diego up 4-2. What the Pads did versus Rosenthal: single, fly out, single, walk, single (run scores, second runner thrown out at home), walk, strikeout. Five baserunners allowed, and you record two outs, and you get a save. Heck of a way to make a tightrope living.

l. The best show on radio: Radio Lab, on NPR. Seek it out and listen to an hour of interpreting and analyzing news (such as Saturday’s fascinating hour on how the U.S. government figures out whom to kill in drone strikes in al-Qaeda hotspots) and delving into life trends.

m. Most of what NPR does is so important. Radio is so much better than it was in my youth, and NPR shows (Radio Lab, This American Life, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, All Things Considered) are the biggest reason, collectively.

n. Thanks, Michael Beschloss, for reminding us that Roberto Clemente, had he lived, would have turned 80 today.

The Adieu Haiku

Peyton is ageless.
The best man on field Sunday,
and he’s 38.

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282 comments
jefftoons
jefftoons

Onion Award winning Architecture, for the Ugliest Sports facility ever built.

Can we get some kind of telethon going, so we can raise another 100K so they can finish it?

JRoy_20
JRoy_20

With these practice squad increases across the league, this could be big for bubble players. I'm hoping to see rookie QB Brock Jensen of NDSU picked up somewhere and put on PS. His potential is something many people want to see in this league. The kid is a winner and has proved that. Also very talented and developed. He played in the FCS like Romo, but proved to win big against teams in the Big 12 (youtube NDSU/Kansas St final drive) Would really like to see him get a shot. 

JimVan
JimVan

Yep, new stadium and bigtime change to a losing team!

number18
number18

And Peyton taught a graduate level football course to the Kap led pansies.

yobogo
yobogo

How far away does a team have to move from their home city, before they are considered having officially moved? Shouldn't the 49ers be the Santa Clara 49ers now? Or if they had gone further, like if they made a stadium deal with Sacramento, would that be far enough to become the Sacramento 49ers?

porsche356
porsche356

Wonder if Blandino's boys will be calling the Cowgirls games like everyones elses

NicolasMartin
NicolasMartin

Pity the poor taxpayers who have to pay for bills for millionaires who play for billionaires.

rskins09
rskins09

 Watched about  three quarters of the Cleveland  - Redskins game @ Fed Ex last night  ....The number of penalties were overwhelming :  five, six plays in a row ...Knew the NFL official was going to rationalize it in this article ..The NFL  is going a little  bit overboard with these penalties  so far ..Hope they lighten up in Sept..  By the way,  Kirk Cousins  was the best QB on the field last night  .. He's better  than at least  ten starting QB's in the NFL and has been playing better than RGIII  this summer ...Everyone lambasted the Skins when they drafted Cousins in the fourth round ..  He was a steal  and hope the Skins don't trade him ..You gotta have a good back up QB in the NFL  nowadays ...Alfred Morris had a full load on last night and looks stronger than he did last year ... 

Hola
Hola

Why not change the name to Santa Clara or San Jose?  They are farther from San Francisco than the New York Jets and New York Giants. 

Michael206
Michael206

The Niners turned their back on a venerable stadium that produced five championships.  They left their home and family, moved to a new town, and are now cavorting with an empty-headed barely-legal bimbo in Santa Clara.  There will be consequences.

#CandlestickCurse

gbgentleman
gbgentleman

Levi stadium is very nice...good job SF, now just make your announcers go away and never return.  AT least tell them that Lambeau field is still the EXACT same stadium it was (answer to the oldest stadium trivia question they dismissed with arrogance).  It has a nice new facade and a new atrium, but it still has the same cold bleachers inside of the same structure.

gbgentleman
gbgentleman

Eli was in mid-season form as well.  He looked just as bad in mid-season last year as he does right now.

MarcSchenker
MarcSchenker

Gee, Peter, you didn't say anything about the parking and concession prices. Oh, I forgot, you work for a corporation.

MarcSchenker
MarcSchenker

Yeh, Manzil and if you're late again, you can be sure Peter King will scold you. Again.

mike202
mike202

I think Roger Goodell would be happiest if he could remove the defensive team from the field entirely.  This Peyton Manning rule to allow receivers to run into DBs and get a penalty on the DB is ridiculous.

ben.kizer
ben.kizer

I haven't watched much of the preseason, because I just don't care all that much about it, but the parts I have watched haven't impressed me much. I don't know about you, but the excessive flag throwing is ridiculous. It's going to grind games to a halt. Add that to instant replay reviews and you have football starting to tread baseball territory for length of games. I'm also not impressed with 40-39 or 28-27 scores. The "last one who has the football wins" type of ball with lackluster defense is just as boring, if not more boring, than a 10-3 defensive dog fight. The NFL's gradually elimination of defense and their trigger happy refs are going to cause the downfall of this giant. If things don't change, I agree with Mark Cuban that the NFL is going to be heading downhill.

terence1329
terence1329

Hey Peter, 

 Next time you're in NYC take the ferry over to Staten Island, and try our new brewery called Flagship. You wont 


be disappointed. If you can't make it... there are plenty of bars in the city carrying it now. Thanks!

MargoLane77
MargoLane77

Peyton Manning is usually the best man on the field in August, September, October, November, December .... but rarely in January or February. The Cult of Peyton is ageless.

ragnarsworld
ragnarsworld

Geez, Peter is a whiny wuss.  You're on a bus road trip and you stop for a motel?  Really?  Grow a pair.

DillonAustin
DillonAustin

I wont be shocked if by week 4 of the season the headline for MMQB is about how bad and unwatchable the NFL has become because of the defensive holding/ pass interference calls.


Mark my words a game is going to be lost within the last 2 minutes because of a call from the refs.


This will start to effect the NFL in 2 major ways. Fans will start to look at NFL referees as fixers of NFL games calling fouls in crucial moments.


Fans will stop gambling as much on the product that is NFL because it will start to feel less like gambling and more like a fix.


What I saw in the opening series between San Diego and Seattle tells me the NFL has a serious problem on their hands and games are no longer going to be decided by players and coaches but by last minute fouls called by the Refs.



Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip

Man that's an ugly looking stadium....the only thing missing was an earthquake...YIKES!

peachcreekmedia
peachcreekmedia

The stadium isn't beautiful at all. Its just new. It has some of the features from other new venues like Target field without any of the character. The key point here is 10 games. The facility is USED 10 games but SEEN 365/25/7! At 1.2 bln can we not get a stadium that both beautiful used year round by many people AND has a great game day experience? I just don't see the difference between this stadium and any other new multi purpose stadium. 

vspoke
vspoke

@yobogo You mean like the New York Giants playing in New Jersey?


Mike26
Mike26

@rskins09 So Cousin's pile of you-know-what stunk less than everyone else's you-know-what?  

blynder
blynder

@mike202

They are still calling pick plays, so the offense doesn't quite have the free reign that some are talking about. ;)

MoeLarryAndJesus
MoeLarryAndJesus

@MargoLane77  Very true.  Peyton is the worst big game QB in the Best QB Ever discussion.  And it isn't even close.  Something about big games seems to make his Papa Johns clench up tight.

Go_Niners!
Go_Niners!

@DillonAustin Ease up there, chicken little.  Either the refs will back off after a few weeks or players will adjust and stop grabbing quite so much.  


And by the way, a ref can decide the game just as much with a non-call as with a call.  If a defender blatantly mauls a receiver, but the ref decides not to enforce the rule of the game and blow the whistle, that's just as much "deciding the game" as any penalty call.

Michael206
Michael206

@vspoke 

No intruding on my beautifully crafted narrative.

#CandlestickCurse

mike202
mike202

@Go_Niners!If you would have watched the series mentioned you would agree that none of the illegal contact penalties called were fouls under any definition.  they were good coverage with no hands past 5 yards.  


San Diego got jobbed by the officials and this from a Seahawk fan.

DillonAustin
DillonAustin

@Go_Niners! @DillonAustin

Yes that's correct, and since we're being fair, I absolutely hate the 49'ers. But in the Superbowl between the Ravens and 49'ers on the last play of the game was a clear pass interference on the Ravens which was not called.


You lost that game, a game in which the much overrated 49'ers never belonged. And then you had a chance to win it only to have it taken away because of a noncall.


The difference between a call and a noncall is what I'm talking about. A noncall is much easier to forget.


Chicken little? Ok buddy 

MarcSchenker
MarcSchenker

Uh, you're an astute observer of the cornerback/end relationship and how sometimes it can get tricky. Also, I imagine you're still upset about Obama beating Romney. Unfortunately, with the art of holding grudges comes the art of the inability to see things as they are so I'll help you here. Jimmy Smith. Michael Crabtree. Clean play. End of DillonAustin.

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