Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Mar 2007

MMQB: NFL Cracks Down on Misconduct

Peter King writes this week that the NFL is about to get a lot tougher on players who get in trouble off the field.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 26 Mar 2007

80 comments, Last at 28 Mar 2007, 7:30pm by Sid


by beedubyuh (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 11:39am

It will be interesting to see how this plays out given Upshaw's recent statement that the union would not support any "witch hunts".

by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 11:42am

All I have to say is Poppycock.

Oh yeah, and Balderdash.

by What (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 11:45am

oh man, I've always wanted a Urinal in my bathroom....i'm jealous.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 11:45am

According to the Boston papers, Pats potential union rep (he might be replacing a rep who just retired) Matt Light (OL) is in favor of the NFL taking a tougher stand.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 11:53am

From everything the various columnists and beat writers have said, the leadership in the NFLPA is all in favor of the league cracking down on personal conduct.

After all, the NFL is, first and foremost, concerned about its image - putting in harsh penalties lets them say to the public "See, we're doing something."

by mmm... sacrilicious (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 11:58am

To me, the surprising part is that David Carr might be thinking about retiring.

Also, does anybody else find it really funny reading PK talking about how much he likes ice cream?

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 12:00pm

I think it's safe to say that King doesn't owe David Carr's agent any favors. Yikes!

As for the suggestion that Carr might not play on another NFL team, well Balderdash!

by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 12:04pm

At least PK is finally turning on the evil Starbucks.

We too have a urinal in the downstairs bathroom, as it helps out with the "guest traffic" during parties and such...

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 12:07pm

The idea of punishing teams for player off-field behavior is an interesting one. On one hand, with limited opportunities to enforce disipline, I can understand the Bengals/Raiders complaint. On the other hand, if teams were punished (and it was a significant enough deterent) it really could change the calculus on constructing their rosters.

by Wow (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 12:10pm

"My, how Tony Romo's star continues to rise."


by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 12:24pm

It may take the form of fines, or of TEAMS HAVING THEIR SALARY-CAP NUMBER REDUCED relative to violations of their players.

I hope Cincinnati enjoyed having an NFL franchise while it lasted. I doubt the Bengals will exist for much longer since they're only be able to spend 1/5th of what every other team in the league can spending.

by Are-Tee (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 12:25pm

"That's equivalent to about the 20th pick in the first round. If Schaub's the genuine item, which it appears he might be, that's not enough."

"Schaub is totally unproven, having started two games and completed 52 percent of his passes in three seasons in Atlanta. And the Texans still gave him a six-year, $48-million contract; granted only $7 million is guaranteed, but it's still a major commitment for a risky player."

Talk about contradicting yourself.

by Leo (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 12:28pm

How does he get away with speculating about David Carr's retirement plans without anything to back it up? Talk about irresponsible.

Also, how does he berate Rich McKay for not getting enough for Matt Schaub (ONLY a first round pick) and then in the VERY NEXT PARAGRAPH explain how unproven Schaub is? Is he saying that a QB who is far from a proven commodity in the league is worth more? What kind of idiot GM would trade more than that?

Ergh, King is more annoying than usual this week. Why do I still read this crap? I quit reading TMQ and my life is much better - maybe I need to expand my "do not read" list. The problem is King actually talks to NFL people so he occasionally has some small tidbits of news.

by Leo (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 12:28pm

Dammit #12, way to be me to it.

by Joe (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 12:34pm

My one problem with this whole "cracking down on off the field behavior" push is how few of these incidents turn into convictions or even criminal fines. I don't think the league or the teams want to be in a position to be pre-judging athletes before the courts have done their thing. I have no problem with the league adding their own punishment after the courts have decided, but it has to be after the courts, not just at after the headlines.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 12:37pm

"I think you should not count Brady Quinn out of silver and black. Remember where you heard that first."

Do you remember where you heard that first? I first heard it from some pundit months ago, but since then, so many other pundits have said the same thing that I've forgotten who said it first.

by James C (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 12:49pm

I think we need to start a convention on this site. The first person to post on the MMQB thread should say whether they think it is worth anyone else bothering to read it. Just like,

'First - oh and don't bother this week is just annoying'

Some weeks PK can be worth reading but this was not good.

Am I the only person who thinks getting banned for 8 games for violating probation is a bit harsh? I am a Bears fan but it still seems harsh to me. He had guns in his house, in a lot of states he wouldn't even have been breaking the law (disclaimer - limey, could well be wrong about that). The offence that he is effectively being incarcerated for happened about two years ago and they are proposing to suspend him next season, it doesn't seem right to me.

by Marko (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 12:52pm

"b. First game of the year: Very likely Saints at Colts, Sept. 6, the Thursday night opener at home for the defending champs. As I suspected, the league did not want to waste the potential game of the year, Pats at Colts, in a time slot that will get a good rating on NBC anyway. Look for Pats-Colts to go down in November.

c. First concert of the year: Very likely John Mellencamp, in downtown Indy before the Colts-Saints affair.

d. The schedule will be announced April 5 on ESPN, which owns much of the free world and is currently in negotiations to buy the rest.

e. Giants-Cowboys, Sept. 9, Sunday night, with the league counting on Romo Appeal and the buzz around the Eli Manning referendum to put a big Week 1 rating on the board."

Well, this is some news from MMQB that I haven't heard anywhere else. The full schedule will be released next week! And remind me to miss that John Mellencamp concert. "This is Ourrrrrr Country."

by Marko (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 12:57pm

James C, as a fellow Bears fan, I also think 8 games is too harsh for Tank Johnson, especially because the conduct occurred before the existence of this new policy that Goodell will be announcing. But perhaps the belief that the suspension will be for half the season helps explain why the Bears signed free agent DT Anthony Adams yesterday to a four-year contract.

by Mikey (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 1:04pm

I have a nit to pick that nobody gives a sht about but me.

The schedule is not going to be ANNOUNCED on ESPN. It's going to be RELEASED to every major media outlet in the country, and then ESPN's going to do a special on it.

The NCAA brackets are announced on CBS, nobody has them until CBS reveals them. That's not the case with the NFL schedule. And I realize nobody cares but there is a difference.

by Mikey (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 1:06pm

Also, I'm sick of that Chevy commercial too but I have to say that Mellencamp does a surprisingly great live show and that's a great game and if I can get that Friday off work I'm going to Indy. Sounds like a hell of a good time.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 1:07pm

Re: 15

I think the league/teams would very much like to have the opportunity to administer punishment/disipline prior to a court verdict (like most other employers) but the CBA prevents it.

That said, your point about relatively few of these resulting in conviction (particularly the spousal abuse ones) is a valid one.

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 1:08pm

What I gathered from the article was that the two or three strikes would be based on convictions. I would also add a provision stating that n arrests = 1 conviction, for calculation purposes.

For a specific reason that I won't go into right now, I am not surprised that the NFLPA supports this proposal.

by Random Bengals Fan (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 1:10pm

I hope this means that Joey Porter will be severely punished for his involvement in the gang-beating of Bengals LT Levi Jones.

Oh, wait, I forgot--when a Bengal is the victim of a violent crime, rather than harmlessly toking up, no-one cares or pays attention. (/bitter)

by Marko (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 1:16pm

20: I care about that nit, too, but I didn't think about that when commenting above. I assumed from MMQB's comment that ESPN had bought the rights this year to release the schedule, like CBS with the NCAA tournament. If that's not the case and the schedule is released like in the past, then you're right.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 1:25pm

> "The offence that he is effectively being incarcerated for happened about two years ago and they are proposing to suspend him next season, it doesn’t seem right to me."

That's what probation is for; a possible sentence is set aside with the expectation that the defendant won't continue to engage in such criminal activity. Four months in jail seems "harsh" too, but apparently was appropriate in the eyes of the law. I'm not sure why Tank Johnson doesn't deserve an even greater suspension than Pacman Jones, given that he's actually been convicted and now jailed for his offense.

by bravehoptoad (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 1:26pm

n arrests = 0 convictions. Says so in the law. The only thing that equals 1 conviction is 1 conviction.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 1:33pm

Re: 26

I agree. Folks complaining about an 8 week suspension, but having no problem with 4 months in prison is sorta funny though.

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 2:01pm

27: For the purpose of a conduct rule, particularly when an organization's image is involved, it would seem reasonable that if they said that a certain number of arrests would count for the same suspension as a conviction.

Shoot, I know that for many of our jobs, getting arrested for doing what some of these guys do would be grounds for severe disciplinary action, not just a slap on the wrist, and if we kept on getting arrested, we'd be out of work.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 2:14pm

I have to agree with Sophandros, in that in a great percentage of workplaces, simply an arrest, even one that leads to no charges, can be grounds for discipline, probation, even termination, depending on the circumstances.

There is a reason the current CBA requires all players to report arrests to the league, and allows for suspensions of up to 4 games per arrest if they go unreported (which is what they will supposedly use against Pacman Jones).

However, the current policy does not allow the league to suspend players for reported arrests, only convictions. The current CBA, I think, does allow them to fine players for arrests, however, so the precedent for punishing players in these situations is already set.

But the league is rapidly realizing (via fines for various on the field incidents) that a punishment structure that fines a player $5k for a violation (whether on the field, or off) means absolutely nothing to a player making $5 million, or some other large number. It has zero value as a deterrent. However, a loss of a game check just might.

by James C (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 2:17pm


I understand what probation is for, that is why I don't have all that much of a problem with the jail sentence. However it seems that Tank Johnson is being waved about as a poster boy for punishing transgressions by athletes for violating an earlier probation order rather than for doing anything particularly heinous. If Pacman Jones and the Bengals gang hadn't been making headlines every week I don't think that Tank Johson would be due to be suspended for anything like 8 games.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 2:36pm

> "If Pacman Jones and the Bengals gang hadn’t been making headlines every week I don’t think that Tank Johson would be due to be suspended for anything like 8 games."

That's probably true, but I see Tank Johnson as one of that group, a contributor to the current problem under league crackdown as opposed to any kind of exception (most if not all of the charges against the Bengals players are for lesser crimes than Johnson's, for example). Fwiw, Johnson pled guilty to violating his probation, and he still faces the latest illegal gun possession charges, so in the eyes of the NFL his record has been "updated" and soon will be further, so I doubt that the fact that the original crime occurred two years ago is going to help him here. It was just plain stupid that Johnson was maintaining that weapons cache while on probation for the same offense, and it was a serious enough crime imo.

by Dennis (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 2:45pm

Re the Schaub comments: as much as I like to rag on PK, I don't see the problem.

His point is that Schaub is unproven, so the Texans are taking a risk with the contract. At the same time, if he is the real deal, then the Falcons didn't get enough for him. They are both valid statements.

by giving him the business (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 2:48pm

First offense, crucifixion.

by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 2:49pm

did PK really think the olivia manning joke was funnier than the united way commercial?

[thread hijack]what did people here think of Manning's performance on SNL? My verdict: manning was really good, but the writers and other actors let him down. hmm...[/thread hijack]

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 2:57pm

The smell of spring flowers, Icecream, starbucks... what team does old peter play for?

Oh yeah, and the great invention of the Itunes store online in continuation of Old Petey just learning about something we've been using for years.

Wow guys, I just learned about this wonderful invention called the laptop. Now I can sit on the park bench on a lovely sunday afternoon and type my article away. When I need a break.

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 3:00pm

I like Matt Schaub calling all 50 of his teammates to introduce himself. Sounds a little unique, creative, and a good team building thing to do. I think a lot of the professional players will respect that and it will help Schaub to become a leader and be accepted.

Do you think Mike Vick made 52 calls when he was drafted? What do you think he would have said? Errr hey dude, you want to smoke with me? Or maybe he would have resorted to that 15 minuture pregame promo he did before the Carolina game. " I'm Mike Vick, the ultimate weapon, and the rest of the league better watch out". Actually, his teammates better watch out before he throws them under the bus and blames them.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 3:06pm

Brady is much more clutch when it comes to late night comedy shows.

by Ch V Kalyan (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 3:07pm

Can PK stop behaving like a 6 year old kid discovering a new thing a day when he talks of his iPod. Peter, a zillion people on earth have it. Pls dont make urselves look like anymore foolish than you really are.

by Sergio (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 3:07pm


Gang beating? Really?

re: 35

You know, he probably wants to be a good host and all... but yes, he did have some, um... "surrounding cast" problems...

by DWL (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 3:08pm

Are the Colts going to become the new Bengals - http://hamptonroads.com/pilotonline/news/?

by Ch V Kalyan (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 3:11pm

I got a serious suggestion for all the trouble makers in NFL. Ship them to India and i shall ensure that they represent India in cricket. You know what happens when a team loses:

1. Player's houses get ransacked
2. People take mock funeral processions
3. Players are sometimes assaulted as well

I gues Adam Jones and the bengal nearly a dozen can use some of it!

BTW, powerhouses India and Pakistan have lost in the first round of the Cricket World Cup. What sad is that Pakistan cricket coach was murdered the day after the loss. It would be a huge shame if these two were inter-related. A loss on the sports field cannot be the same as one in real life.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 3:14pm

Re: 33

Both are valid statements when looked at independently. In the context of King's stream-of-consiousness, however, they aren't consistent. When looking at it from the Texans perspective he takes the 'but what if he sucks' position. When observing it from the Falcons POV he takes the 'but what if he's great' position. He could just as easily have done the reverse.

To be consistent, if he's going to second guess the Falcons for not getting enough 'if he's the real deal', then he should congratulate the Texans for getting such a (contract) bargain 'if he's the real deal'. Of course, consistency is for lesser men.

by Joe (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 3:16pm

22, actually it's very few employers that deal out any level of punishment before things have been decided. Punishing employees for a crime they are later acquited of lines you up for wrongful termination and other suits. Our legal system is built around the presumtion of innocence and we as a society are expected to act accordingly. The big exception is problems "internal" to the job, cops accused of wrong doing in uniform, anybody accused of embezzlement, there's generally some sort of suspension involved while those wind their way through court, but it's usually with pay and it's generally all to prevent evidence/ witness tampering and eliminate continued opportunities in case you are found guilty (nobody wants somebody accused to embezzlement having access to the bank account for obvious reasons).

Since all the problems are off the field I don't think that type of suspension would really apply. I suppose the league could get away with "bad press" suspensions, but even that's hairy, now you have to define bad press and determine just how much control the player has over these things. I think the smart path for the league is to pin their punishment to the courts, for every X ammount of fine money or Y ammount of time sentenced the player gets suspended 1 game.

by peterB (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 3:17pm

36) Ye gods, Chris... I mean, I get it that Michael Vick apparanly ran over your puppy, while toking up on the bus that he threw your favorite players under... but do you have to draw your apparantly intense dislike of him into every thread? (no matter how hard they are to relate)

I mean, I'd hate to see you posting on, say, Atlanta Braves message boards on a thread about the current health of, say, Chipper Jones...

"I hope Chipper is alright, because he is so much better for the Braves than that abomination against football, Michael Vick, is..."

I kid, I kid...

hyberbole is fun!

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 3:26pm

Wholly innocent people do get arrested with some frequency, so suspending players purely based on an arrest is problematic. I wouldn't have any trouble with an arbitrator acceptable to the union and league using a preponderance of the evidence standard for 4 game suspensions. Anything greater than that, however, should require a conviction, guilty, or nolo plea.

I'd also strongly support any violent felony conviction being met with a lifetime ban.

by Insancipitory (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 3:30pm

Re 43, lots of people work in a "Right to Work" state, which means in the event you make your employer displeased, in anyway (You watch Grey's Anatomy, whatever), you're fired. Then there are the moral turpitude clauses, which can include the prohibition of legal activities, such as smoking in one's own home when one isn't at work. What they can't do is discriminate on the basis of religion, race, gender, age, or orientation etc, in an overly conspicious manner. Anything else, is pretty much fair game, unless you've got a union backing you up.

Re, Peyton on SNL. He was pretty good, fantastic even. His United Way commercial vs Brady's Sexual Harrasment skit...tough call. I think I have to go with Peyton.

by cd6 (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 3:30pm

"Always fun to run into Steve Sabol, the NFL Films maestro who never met a story he didn't like. In the lobby of the Biltmore, Sabol stopped to share a few stories, all of them good."

Sabol tells good stories. We don't get to hear them. Thanks, PK.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 3:34pm

Re: 47

In both Brady and Manning's cases, the scary thing was that they were better than the alleged professional comedy actors surrounding them.

by Alex (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 3:50pm

"I have to agree with Sophandros, in that in a great percentage of workplaces, simply an arrest, even one that leads to no charges, can be grounds for discipline, probation, even termination, depending on the circumstances."

The law doesn't allow your employer to discipline you just for being arrested, apart from the exceptions #44 noted, and those are not punitive in nature. Your employer can discipline you if you are convicted of a crime, of course. I'm pretty sure they can also discipline you for doing something which caused you to be arrested, even if you are not convicted of a crime for your actions, if your actions are found to be a violation of the company's rules.

For instance, if you were to go on a profanity-laced tirade about your boss, and a police officer arrested you for, say, disturbing the peace, your employer could fire you, even if you were acquitted of any criminal charges. But simply being arrested is not justification for your employer punishing you.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 3:59pm

Re: 44

I have no idea how many employers actually 'punish' (i.e. terminate) arrested employees prior to conviction, but I'll still argue that most have that opportunity, which is what I previously posted.

As post 47 notes, most folks in the US can be terminated 'at will'.
And I'm no expert, but as far as I know getting yourself arrested doesn't provide you additional job security. That is, I'm not aware of any states protecting arrested-but-not-convicted employees from termination.

by Alex (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 4:08pm

Seriously Chris, your extreme dislike of Mike Vick is well documented on virtually every thread that has appeared on this site in the last few months. We get it already. If all you're going to do is make every thread into an irrational Mike Vick-bashing discussion, could you just start an anti-Vick website, and call it "Cut Mike Vick" or something like that? You know, like the "Fire the Coach" websites, except for Vick? I think you'd find it therapeutic, and I'm damn sure a lot of us would feel relieved at not having to listen to your incessant Vick-bashing in threads that have absolutely nothing to do with him.

by Mac (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 4:11pm

Doesn't the NBA have a policy that require suspensions for convictions and/or pleading guilty to things? If so, it seems like that would be worth investigating. I'm not sure I favor a "3 strikes" rule because 3 strikes are inevitably not created equal, but something that punishes people for convictions is what is needed. If someone's not convicted in a legal court, right or wrong, they should not be convicted in an NFL court of public opinion.

by Joe (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 4:34pm

47 and 51 I live in a right to work state, it's not as simple as it looks. You can fire someone fort "cause", but in order to get away with it you have to establish a history of not listing a reason. If you list a reason then it's judicially reviewable for justification, and more importantly if you regularly list a reason and then suddenly don't for one case that opens you up for review.

Getting arrested doesn't provide you with job security, but without a conviction an employer is in bad shape if they try to fire you because you were arrested. Now if you get arrested, especially if you get arrested in a way that brings bad press to your employer, you need to be careful and not give them a "good" reason to fire you. I've worked with live payroll processing data and one of the things I learned is that a much higher percentage of your co-workers have legal troubles than you think, a really high percentage of cases get resolved with just a fine, then the people don't pay their fine, then their pay gets garnished. One of the places we were dealing with nearly 25% of the employees were getting garnished, now most (2/3 maybe 3/4) were in relation to divorce but that still left a suprising number of people whose garnishments were going to other sections of the government.

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 4:36pm

The article featured Schaub who is leaving Atlanta ( as Ron Mexico's backup) to get his first starting job. He did something that seems a little unconventional.

I was just wondering if old Fire pants did the same thing or if he was to busy getting high and spreading his disease.

by pbmax (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 4:46pm

The idea that a specific number of arrests may trigger a suspension makes me giddy.

I can't wait for the first player to claim that since it was a road game, he had to fight the home police advantage.

by fromanchu (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 4:56pm

re 35
I didn't see brady's performance, but peyton was outstanding. Outside of Andy Samberg, he could be the funniest member of the cast. I usually only watch for the digital shorts, but Peyton made the show, with the exception of that hideous "300" rock sketch at the end.

by Alex (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 5:07pm

"The article featured Schaub who is leaving Atlanta ( as Ron Mexico’s backup) to get his first starting job. He did something that seems a little unconventional.

I was just wondering if old Fire pants did the same thing or if he was to busy getting high and spreading his disease."

Well, why don't you discuss that question in the first article on your new "Cut Mike Vick" website? I'll even give you the headline:

"Mike Vick: Shaub-tastically Friendly QB, or Antisocial Pot-smoking Thug?"

I'm sure you can assemble most of the article quite easily by cutting and pasting from your previous posts on this and other threads.

by NF (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 5:09pm

Eagles-Giants has to be the first prime-time game for the Eagles. The rivalry has been reignited in the last two seasons.

In the last 5 games between them, there have been 2 games the Giants barely won against a collapsing and injury-plagued Eagles team, a game the Giants got very lucky to tie in the final quarter, a game in which the Eagles pulled out a victory in the 4th quarter that was cemented by a pick-6 of a Manning interception, and a playoff game won by the Eagles on a last-play field goal.

by Alex (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 5:18pm

"...but Peyton made the show, with the exception of that hideous “300″ rock sketch at the end."

Yeah, what was with that sketch? Am I just stupid, or was there no punch line/funny part in that whole sketch? I didn't get what they were trying to make fun of there.

That said, Peyton was great throughout most of the show. I especially liked the joke about Tom Brady and a circus. It's good to see that Manning will stay motivated. And the United Way sketch was brilliant.

by NF (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 5:22pm

A FYI on vacationing or spending time in Arizona in general:

Don't go there in the summer. I don't know this from first-hand experience, but someone who has been to Arizona in the summer told me that the heat there is intolerable for anyone that doesn't live there.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 5:36pm

Arizona is a big state. The Scottsdale/Phoenix valley in the middle of summer is certainly quite often hideous. I arrived at Sky Harbor one July evening for a meeting, and was greeted with the pleasant combination of 115 degree heat and enough particulates in the air to turn it the color of one of Peter King's lattes, except light on the milk. Toss in the occasional brown-out which turned off the power in the hotel occasionally, and it wasn't all in all pleasant.

On the other hand, one doesn't have to drive too far from the central area of Scottsdale/Phoenix to find things enjoyable, even in the middle of summer. I've played golf when it has been 108 degrees, and with the combination of a hat and drinking copious amounts of water, have been perfectly comfortable. 108 with extremely low humidity and little air pollution is a lot more bearable than 95 with extreme humidity, which isn't all that unusual in the Midwest or Eastern Seaboard.

by dbt (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 5:39pm

Even the people that live there stay inside while the yellow face (it burns!) is out. My brother-in-law lives there.

I think 8 games for Tank is insane.

by Comrade Jason (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 5:39pm

I love that I am always guaranteed a laugh at PK's columns: The greatest hotel in the world is the Arizona Biltmore. I guess Petey doesn't get out much?

Also,good signing by the Cowboys, getting Ken Hamlin as a twin masher in the secondary to pair with Roy Williams? Yes, nothing like having two guys safeties who don't like to cover people. The Seahawks have tried that the last few years and it didn't work out too well for them ...

by Vince (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 5:42pm

I'm going to cut and paste post number 55 the next time anyone tries to have a rational discussion with this Chris person.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 5:59pm

Well, the Vegas police have finally weighed in to the DA on the Pacman Jones case, and the news isn't good for Pacman. With this "felony coercion" charge it sounds like they're trying to link him to the shooter.

by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 6:21pm

Since I'm at work, I don't have anything on hand to refer to, but I'm pretty sure Hamlin's pass coverage metrics were good in 2005 until he got clobbered with that stop sign or whatever it was. Plus, Roy Williams was at his best when he was teamed with another hitter, Darren Woodson, and Jerry Jones has been trying to replicate what they had ever since.

In any event, it's pretty hard to rag on the Hamlin signing. It's a one-year deal, so the Cowboys can cut ties with him at any time (he certainly won't just be handed the job). Yet he's a guy who might solve some of the problem in the Dallas secondary (the rest of the problem is Williams himself, who whiffed on way too many tackles last season).

by NF (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 6:38pm

60: I thought Peyton Manning looking like some sort of barbarian holding a rock up above his head was pretty funny. I'm not sure what the skit's joke was.

"I'd kill a snitch. I'm not saying that I have, or that I'm going to, but I would...ahh, **** you all."

by Christina (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 7:34pm

Re 35:
My favorite sketch was the NCAA bracket sketch, mostly just for the ending when they started calling Arizona "the NCAA's Peyton Manning"... always has the stats but never gets anywhere.

Though I guess that joke isn't as funny now that he actually won the Super Bowl.

by Truman (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 8:29pm

2. I think I have serious reservations about whether Atlanta did the right thing in dealing Matt Schaub. For three reasons:
1) What happens if the ever-present danger of Mike Vick getting hurt in September rears its unfortunate head, and they've got to rely on the backup (Chris Redman?) to play?
How exactly is Vick more likely to get hurt than any other QB?
He's missed one game due to injury in three years.

QBs who have suffered significant injuries/missed time since:

Donovan McNabb
Daunte Culpepper
Aaron Brooks
Drew Brees
Jake Delhomme
Chris Simms
Byron Leftwich
Carson Palmer
Trent Green
Steve McNair
Ben Roethlisberger
Chad Pennington
Jeff Garcia
Kurt Warner
Marc Bulger

But you better keep a good backup in Atlanta because Vick's style makes him injury-prone.

2) GM Rich McKay always said if any teams wanted Schaub, they'd better come dangling first-round draft picks. Atlanta got two second-rounders and a jump of two spots in this year's first round. That's equivalent to about the 20th pick in the first round. If Schaub's the genuine item, which it appears he might be, that's not enough. And if you're not going to get enough, you shouldn't trade him.
What's the alternative? Keep him around and franchise him next offseason at $8 million a year?
PK exposes his lack of knowledge with every column.

by Alex (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 9:55pm

"How exactly is Vick more likely to get hurt than any other QB?
He’s missed one game due to injury in three years."

Yeah, but he's missed 12 games due to injury in the last four years. Forgive PK for remembering that far back.

"But you better keep a good backup in Atlanta because Vick’s style makes him injury-prone."

First off, I think NFL teams should keep a good backup no matter who the QB is, because you just never know when an injury will happen. As for the second part, I think his style used to make him more injury-prone, but recently he's gotten much better at running out of bounds instead of trying to smash defenders into the ground. He used to go for the 9 yard run and slam his shoulder into a defender, now he takes the 7 yard run out of bounds so he doesn't get quite as much wear and tear on his body as he used to. That might be one of the reasons that this last season was the first in which he played all 16 games. Just saying.

by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 10:14pm

He just got an $8m a year contract, even if only $1.2m a year is guaranteed. I think it's a pretty safe bet they could have franchised him and found a trade partner next year, if they wanted to keep him around for one more cheap season.

by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2007 - 10:15pm

Further to which, count me firmly in the "Atlanta's QB of the future is Brian Brohm" camp.

by Pete (not verified) :: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 8:31am

I prefer QBs to be able to sit on the bench for 1-2 years before starting regularly. This seems to benefit their long-term growth. Schaub has had this benefit, while Carr and Vick have not. NFL Royalty Peyton Manning may have been the most NFL-ready QB, but even he took a beating his first year. Take a look at a couple others who were able to develop on the bench: Brady (behind Bledsoe) Brees (behind shorty from BC), Rivers (behind Brees), Pennington (maybe good other than his injuries behind Vinny), Culpepper (behind Johnson), etc. Think about so many early 1st round QB disappointments that started early: Leaf, Vick, Carr, etc. The early starters often learn bad habits, such as "happy feat", after taking a beating early in their career and worry more about survival rather than long term development.

I think 8 games might be a bit much for Tank, but I really dislike the thug attitude of many of those players. This seems even more prevalent in men's basketball, unfortunately.

Employees can be let go at any time. If a union or lawyer wants to make a case against the employer they may.

"Right-to-work laws are statutes enforced in twenty two U.S. States, allowed under provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act, which prohibit trade unions from making membership or payment of dues or 'fees' a condition of employment, either before or after hire." This does not relate to reasons for termination or punishment. Most companies that appreciate their employee and that employee's work will not terminate someone without a good reason (and usually not until after counseling).

by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 10:51am

74- I agree with having a QB sit at the start of his career. That's something that Schaub has to offer that a player drafted at the 20th pick this season can't. He's had a couple of years to adjust to the speed of the game, the plays, the protections etc.

by Vince (not verified) :: Tue, 03/27/2007 - 4:54pm

74: Vick sat on the bench for most of his rookie year. He started one game in the middle of the year and two at the end, but those were due to injury. And in his first start, the Falcons rotated him in and out of the game.

by witless chum (not verified) :: Wed, 03/28/2007 - 10:22am

I tend to basically not care about the criminality of NFL players and I'll get up in arms about millionaires getting preferrential treatment from the justice system when it's actually going to touch on all millionaires, not just the ones who play sports.

Put it this way, if the Lions could sign Chris Henry, they should. It'll probably affect my life not at all if he's going around Detroit committing crimes and it will marginally make me happier if he's scoring touchdowns in Honululu and silver. If he can't play because he's in jail then I wouldn't sign him, but he hasn't really done much time yet.

That goes double for nonperformance enhancing drug testing, I can't imagine ever bringing myself to care that Charles Rogers was smoking weed. Maybe if he was blowing it in my window, but then I'd just chase him out of my yard and things would be good again.

by Whelk2 (not verified) :: Wed, 03/28/2007 - 3:54pm

77 - *applause*

by Richie (not verified) :: Wed, 03/28/2007 - 6:46pm

Do you think this possible new rule means that Leonard Little will stop driving drunk?

by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 03/28/2007 - 7:30pm

But the first two players expected to incur the wrath of the commissioner are Tennessee's Pacman Jones and Chicago's Tank Johnson.

Disagree with this. It should be Pacman Jones and Chris Henry first (both WV players, I believe). Then everyone else.