Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

01 Oct 2012

MMQB: Taking Stock

Peter King has his awards for the quarter pole. His offensive MVP is Matt Ryan, and his defensive MVP is J.J. Watt. (We've got plenty on Watt in tomorrow's Quick Reads, as well.)

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 01 Oct 2012

66 comments, Last at 25 Oct 2012, 7:17pm by Mikey Benny

Comments

1
by RickD :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:38am

PK thinks the Rams' kicker is the best rookie.

Better than Griffin? Really, Pete?

2
by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:58am

Anybody else would have had a line in there like "Now, I know what you're thinking here, but I'm going a different way...." But good ol' PK sets it up so you have to wonder if he forgot RGIII was a rookie. Classic.

I'll also throw out the prediction now that by the end of the season he'll write a glowing review of RGIII for rookie of the year and will fail to even mention the Rams kicker or acknowledge he called him the best rookie 1/4 of the way through the season.

3
by DavidL :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 11:22am

The thing is there's a legitimate argument for Zeuerlein over Griffin for best rookie so far - RG3 has been very good, while Z has been perfect. "Worse than perfection" isn't really an insult. But at least make the argument!

7
by Thunderbolt of ... :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 11:52am

Advancing such a specious argument would almost be worse than lacking justification whatsoever, as King did. In baseball, nobody would argue that a minor-league hitter called up for the last game of the season who goes 3-for-3 is "better" than a player who hits .350 over the entire season.

13
by DavidL :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 12:47pm

It's more like arguing a pitcher for the MVP, or Ray Guy for the Hall of Fame. How much weight do you give someone for being the best at his position, versus the relative importance of that position to the team?

15
by Will Allen :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 1:00pm

It's more like arguing that Ray Guy is a more worthy of the Hall of Fame than Joe Montana. If RGIII contunues on this curve, he will have produced perhaps the greatest rookie season, at by far the most difficult and important position, in the history of the sport. It would be literally impossible for a rookie kicker to match that in value.

20
by RickD :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 2:04pm

It's nothing like arguing a pitcher for MVP.
In any game, the pitcher is the most important player on the field. He's involved in 100% of the plays on defense while he's in the game. A pitcher is far more like a QB than like a kicker.

21
by tuluse :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 2:06pm

Yes, except he only plays every 5-6 games, and evaluating them is nothing alike.

24
by GlennW :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 2:42pm

Not alike in precise role, but much more alike in overall impact, as opposed to a kicker or punter. Statistically, a starting pitcher can indeed have the highest value of any player in the league (not so much relief pitchers except in rare instances), and several pitchers typically fall within the upper ranks in most seasons, whether or not MVP voters tend to recognize them (mostly because of the separate Cy Young Award as opposed to outright ignorance). But what Peter King is doing here in endorsing a kicker is the equivalent of advocating a very good pinch-hitter or utility player in baseball. Makes no sense whatsoever.

27
by verified (not verified) :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 3:04pm

Starting pitchers may only start every fifth game but batters only hit every tenth plate appearance. last year justin Verlander accounted for about 17 perecent of the Tigers innings pitched, Miguel Cabrera accounted for about 11 percent of Tigers plate appearances.

5
by Dean :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 11:45am

So far? Yes.

Don't worry. There'll be a new flavor of the week in a few days.

4
by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 11:25am

Best coach to McCarthy seems a bit odd, you can give all the plaudits you like to a coach for handling the press well after a controversial loss but I'd rather have a coach that was winning games.

Another quibble, Watt is having a great year but while he does play end in a 3-4 it isn't like most 3-4s and so describing his production as being amazing for that position is pretty silly.

6
by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 11:46am

I think 7.5 sacks and 5 passes defended and countless more hurries through 4 games is amazing for any position.

9
by Joseph :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 12:15pm

Yeah--I mean, small sample size extrapolation and all, but on pace for 30 sacks & 20 PD's? I mean, 20 PD's are great CB numbers. If he gets 1/2 of these numbers, he could win DPOY. [One HOU caveat--it's easy for DL to get sacks/PD's when your team is constantly ahead.]
Any FO staff want to give us the number for the DB leader in passes defensed for the last few years? Also, mentally I think of INT's as different from PD's, but are they counted statistically that way?

11
by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 12:27pm

Yes, as I said great season but to compare him to most 3-4 ends as he does is comparing apples and oranges.

39
by Mr Shush :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 9:58am

Interesting point. Here are the season by season sack totals for the starting DE's in Phillips' defense since they started counting in 1982:

1982 Saints

Bruce Clark 5.5 (9 games)
Jim Wilks 2 (8 games)

1983 Saints

Jim Wilks 8
Bruce Clark 4.5

1984 Saints

Bruce Clark 10.5
Jim Wilks 7.5

1985 Saints

Bruce Clark 8.5
Jim Wilks 2.5

1986 Eagles (4-3)

Reggie White 18
Greg Brown 9

1987 Eagles (4-3)

Reggie White 21
Clyde Simmons 6

1988 Eagles (4-3)

Reggie White 18
Clyde Simmons 8

1989 Broncos

Ron Holmes 9
Alphonso Carreker 5.5

1990 Broncos

Warren Powers 4
Ron Holmes 3

1991 Broncos

Ron Holmes 5
Warren Powers 2

1992 Broncos

Kenny Walker 1.5
Brian Sochia 1.5

1993 Broncos

Shane Dronett 7
Dan Williams 1

1994 Broncos

Simon Fletcher 7
Shane Dronett 6

1995 Bills

Bruce Smith 10.5
Phil Hansen 10

1996 Bills

Bruce Smith 13.5
Phil Hansen 8

1997 Bills

Bruce Smith 14
Phil Hansen 6

1998 Bills

Bruce Smith 10
Phil Hansen 7.5

1999 Bills

Bruce Smith 7
Phil Hansen 6

2000 Bills

Marcelus Wiley 10.5
Phil Hansen 2

2002 Falcons

Patrick Kerney 10.5
Brady Smith 6.5

2003 Falcons

Patrick Kerney 6.5
Brady Smith 4

2004 Chargers

Igor Olshansky 1
Jacques Cesaire 0.5

2005 Chargers

Luis Castillo 3.5
Igor Olshansky 3

2006 Chargers

Luis Castillo 7
Jacques Cesaire 4

2007 Cowboys

Chris Canty 3.5
Marcus Spears 2

2008 Cowboys

Chris Canty 3
Marcus Spears 1

2009 Cowboys

Marcus Spears 2.5
Igor Olshansky 1.5

2010 Cowboys

Stephen Bowen 1.5
Igor Olshansky 0

2011 Texans

Antonio Smith 6.5
JJ Watt 5.5

I'm going to throw out the Eagles numbers, because as far as I can tell those defenses played out of a 4-3 base, where all the rest were 3-4s. I'm also throwing out the strike-shortened 1982 season. That leaves us 25 team seasons/50 player seasons, with a total of 280 sacks - an average of 5.6. Over the past decade, the average has been only 3.75, and Watt's total through 4 games is already higher than any player has managed in a full season since Patrick Kerney in 2002. Out of the 50 player seasons in question over the full time-frame, 11 have had more than 7.5 sacks and 2 have had exactly 7.5 sacks. 8 have had 10 or more sacks, half of them by Bruce Smith, but only 2 have had 11 or more sacks (both Smith).

I agree that it's not 100% fair to compare what Watt's doing to most 3-4 DEs, but I think it's still fairer than comparing him to 4-3 DEs, especially given that in nickel and dime packages he generally plays DT in a 4 man front. It seems very likely that by the end of the season he will be in statistical territory where only Bruce Smith has gone before in this system, as far as pass-rushing is concerned - while also being hugely disruptive in the running game.

46
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 5:09pm

The infernal spam filter (WHY ARE MY POSTS STILL GETTING EATEN???????) ate my post, I'll be brief.

- 5.6 sacks seems like quite a few for a 3-4 end
- Phillips defenses seems to boost sack production
- in Dallas the ends sucked as pass rushers, Ratliff did OK though.

Perhaps tampa-2 tackle is a better comparison.

57
by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 2:21pm

Comparing Phillips' 3-4 to more old-school 3-4 defenses is not a good comparison. Phillips' system is (a) More like a 5-2 than a 3-4; (b) A one-gap system; (c) A bit unfair since Phillips has had two of the best DE's in the history of football (Smith and White) play for him.

The Texans' system probably has more in common with Oakland's (until this year) 4-3 man coverage schemes, or Pete Carroll's hybrid systems with three linemen, three linebackers, and a ???, than a traditional two-gap 3-4 defense. And it is especially important when considering the 3-4 end's responsibilities.

58
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 2:46pm

Carroll's system is interesting to me, they play a lot of zone behind the three big linemen with the speed rush coming from their Leo rusher. It's a bit like a hybrid of the old 3-4 elephant and a modern Tampa 2, you get the good zone coverage but you still have the big linemen to shut down the run, it's pretty neat.

16
by tuluse :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 1:01pm

I think that was Mr Cuba's point. It is amazing production, no reason to specify 3-4 end. Especially when he doesn't play a traditional 3-4.

8
by Guest789 :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 12:03pm

Haven't finished the article yet, but the fact that he feels the need to point that teams giving up more than 4 touchdowns a game, *gasp*, have losing records... That made me laugh.

-----

“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

10
by Will Allen :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 12:24pm

I'm not going to break the Number 1 rule here, but Peter King is just too damned stupid to write about anything other than his favorite hotel mattresses; he really can't grasp how someone could be intellectually consistent, in supporting union members who are bargaining for pension dollars with a private cartel, while opposing a union engaged in a similar pursuit, when it derives it's pension dollars from the taxpayer?

Again, I'm not trolling for a political debate here, but Peter King is a really, really, stupid guy, for being the number one writer for the most popular sport in the United States, for the one of the largest media companies in the world. He really doesn't know a damned thing about anything, other than how to use his contact list in his cell phone.

12
by Bill (not verified) :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 12:44pm

And he is totally clueless that there are 10,000 people out there who could do his job better than he does. Instead of arrogance and a sense of hard-working entitlement, he should be 100% aww-shucks grateful. I think this is the root of my hate.

Bill

14
by Will Allen :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 12:54pm

I really love the irony when he writes dismissively of the intelligence of someone in a service job, making a comparative pittance, who lackwitted Mr. Expense Account deems to be lacking in intellectual firepower.

18
by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 1:15pm

What makes it great is the "Help me with this one" line he uses because he's so confident there's no possible explanation.

Well, geez, Peter. One is a private company flush with cash dealing with a tiny union where the outcome will have almost no effect on the overall bottom line at all. The other is a state government using taxpayer funds and pay/benefits are such a gigantic part of the pie that some states may eventually be forced into bankruptcy over them. Other than that, TOTALLY the same thing.

19
by Will Allen :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 1:28pm

I've mostly ignored the guy for a while now, but there are times when his abject idiocy really stands out. He's just a moron, God bless'im.

23
by RickD :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 2:15pm

The same state that you claim may be "forced into bankruptcy" because of unions was able to extend tax cuts to Walker's political allies just before it discovered that it could not afford to pay union workers what they wanted.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/wisconsin-gov-walker-ginned-u...

I do not want FO to go political. But some things need to be responded to.

31
by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 4:31pm

I never mentioned any state and certainly didn't say Wisconsin. That was intentional. You misread my post. If you want to respond, great. But at least understand what you are responding to.

61
by Mikey Benny :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 12:05am

Scott Walker killed a union representing Wisconsin's professional educators. These teachers make roughly $40-50k per year doing incredibly important work. In this tweet, he's pressuring the NFL to cave in to a union full people who make $200,000 for part-time work officiating a children's game. I'm happy PK said something about Walker's unbelievably stupid tweet; I don't care if it PK's blurb wasn't eloquently stated.

I'm not even saying his tweet about refs was wrong, per se. I'm saying it was hypocritical, self-serving and ass-backwards considering his actual political positions and actions.

63
by Will Allen :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 1:57am

You seem to be saying that if you assert something, there is some basis for someone else to be inclined to think that what you have asserted is true. This is not the case.

66
by Mikey Benny :: Thu, 10/25/2012 - 7:17pm

wat.

22
by RickD :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 2:08pm

You're sure you're not trolling for a political debate?

Scott Walker would use the power of the government to deny collective bargaining rights to all the government employees in his state. But collective bargaining rights for NFL referees are A-OK with him.

Walker isn't just opposing the union. He wants to deny that they have a right to exist.

And this is the guy who stands up for the referee's union?

Seems to me that King is correct to say that this is little more than inconsistent opportunism.

And, no, the fact that I disagree with you doesn't make me "stupid" any more than it makes King stupid.

25
by Will Allen :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 2:48pm

Yes, if you cannot grasp that there is an intellectually consistent argument that delineates between unions for employees working for a private enterprise/cartel, and unions for employees who get paid by the taxpayer, you really are quite a stupid person. Understand, I'm not saying you are stupid for disagreeing with that intellectually consistent position, but to imply, as King does, that it is hard to grasp what that intellectually consistent position would be, demonstrates that the person making the implication is, yes, a moron.

(edit) I really want to be clear that I'm not trolling for a political argument, but instead making a much more general point. The dumbest people I know are those who have an inability to understand the best form of the argument that they disagree with, and really cannot even grasp how there could be such a form of an argument that they differ with. That is what King demonstrating with that little blurb about a Wisconsin politician.

26
by GlennW :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 2:51pm

Agreed. No one here is even claiming (as far as I can tell) that Scott Walker et al are doing the right thing. They're just saying that there's no comparison to the treatment or even justified existence of public sector unions. And there isn't. But PK never gives these things more than a couple seconds thought, I'm convinced. You'll get superficial observations, or none at all.

28
by Will Allen :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 3:10pm

Hey, I could have been less charitable, and assumed that King is no different than the typical dishonest hack who engages in professional political punditry, and thus merely pretends that there is no intellectual basis for the views he differs with. Since being a moron does not necessarily carry with it the negative moral qualities that being a dishonest hack does, I decided to give King the benefit of the doubt.

Of course, there is the distinct possibility that Kings is both a moron and a dishonest hack, but I'd rather not make that assertion, until I have more evidence.

32
by Kris (not verified) :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 8:40pm

I really wish you would write more about politics, actually I wish you would write about anything. I love reading your witty and intelligent posts. You are a genius and so wonderfully skilled in debate and argument. You really are a gem.

35
by Will Allen :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 11:55pm

Mom, I told you to stay away from this forum! Go get the meatloaf!

29
by verified (not verified) :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 3:42pm

Politicians NEVER (very rarely) have any intellectual positions at all, neither consistent nor inconsistent. They have positions that allow them to placate their power bases, rally their supporters and allow them to get re-elected. Union A is bad Union B is good is not the point; Union A is not my supporter and can be demonized, Union B is popular with everyone (right now) so I support them.

30
by Will Allen :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 3:49pm

Oh, I agree. I was merely calling idiotic King's implication that there could be no consistent intellectual basis for seeing the two labor disputes rather differently, for reasons other than obtaining electoral advantage.

33
by Arnie Herber (not verified) :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 9:17pm

I agree with Will that there are grounds for making the public-private union distinction. However, I'm not sure Will's analysis of King's thought process is correct.

I see some possibilities (there are surely others as well):
1. King sees no difference between being anti-union and being anti-public union (he's ignorant)
2. King is aware of the difference, but so dismissive of it that he pretends it doesn't exist (he has strong economic-political beliefs on the issue)
3. King is making a brief quip on a topic, without putting much thought into it, including the underlying possibilities for political philosophies. (he's writing like... Peter King, except for those times when King does some good reporting. like his piece stepping through the different moments that led to the Hail Mary call, for instance.)
4. King does not feel that Gov. Walker has articulated and implemented an intellectually consistent distinction between his views on public unions and his views on private unions. (Given his "from the look of the internet last Tuesday, I'm not the only one" comment, King may be drawing on the beliefs of some of those people he read.)

I'm not sure which position is King's: I think the evidence is too limited.

I appreciate RickD's post. I don't think King is saying he 'doesn't understand' how one could view the two situations differently, or the best form of the argument. He's saying that he doesn't understand Gov. Walker's position, a specific example of that argument.

I'd also add that I think Football Outsiders' decision not to allow discussions of politics on their forums is a sensible one. (If at times, it is hard to avoid the temptation of starting (or joining) a thread on a topic.) But I think King was right to bring in this context (the lockout is clearly part of the larger story of labor-management relations in this country), if perhaps he handled it poorly.

34
by jackiel :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 9:41pm

For reasons that even he may not know, King is correct here.

1) An organization that owes its entire existence to a federal antitrust exemption and depends upon government/taxpayer assistance to build venues isn't a private enterprise. It's a government mandated cartel at best.

2) The things that the officials were fighting for (better retirement pensions, pay, and job security) are things that unions routinely seek during collective bargaining in almost every industry. One cannot be pro officials' union and anti-government union or anti-autoworker union. Labor relations revolve around the employer trying to minimize salaries and benefits and the union trying to maximize them, regardless of where the money comes from.

Someone like Walker whose actions prove him to want to eliminate collective bargaining rights for his state's public employees has no business supporting any union's grievances. King is right to call out Walker's hypocrisy.

36
by Will Allen :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 11:59pm

The NFL's antitrust exemption is limited in scope. It is simply false to claim that the NFL owes it's entire existence to an antitrust exemption. Nor is it accurate to claim that the league "depends" on subsidized stadiums, as evidenced by the fact that the league exsited prior to such subsidies.

Your claim that Walker is a hypocrite has no relationship as to whether you have established it as a fact. Similarly, your belief that there is no difference between a union whose employees derive all of their wages and salaries directly from the taxpayer, and a union whose employees derives a small percentage of their wages and salaries from the taxpayer is just that; a belief, not a fact.

38
by PatsFan :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 8:19am

Since Rule #1 has been blown off its hinges in this thread, no further reason to hold back...

There's a huge difference between private sector unions and public sector unions.

In private sector unions there is a true arms-length, adversarial relationship between the union and management. In addition, the money that management spends on the union comes from management's pockets.

That simply does not exist in the public sector, with unions shoveling endorsements and campaign contributions to the politicians who are sitting across the "negotiating" table from them. On top of that, management is spending someone else's (taxpayers') money, not its own money.

Federal employee unions lost many collective bargaining rights during the Carter administration and it's long past time for the same thing to happen to state and municipal unions.

Or, if they want to keep collective bargaining rights, no more endorsements or campaign contributions to the people they are "negotiating" "against".

42
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:29am

In most cases in the private sector management is spending other peoples' money as well.

44
by Mikey Benny :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:02pm

Scott Walker is labor union enemy #1, but supports the refs union as soon as Packers fans get screwed. C'mon, man, Walker was being disingenuous, and you know it.

45
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:13pm

None of which has anything to do with Will Allen's post.

49
by Arnie Herber (not verified) :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 9:54pm

Will's original post criticized King for criticizing Gov. Walker, and then began a discussion about the distinction drawn between support for private-sector unions, and opposition to public-sector ones.
Among the topics it could lead to were:
1. discussion of whether King was appropriately criticizing Gov. Walker.
2. discussion of what point King was trying to make
3. discussion of Will's point contrasting public and private unions
(People arguing one of these points might end up at odds with someone who is trying to discuss a different issue.)

Now, King didn't make this clear, but Gov. Walker at present supports rights for some public-sector unions (police and fire) but not for others. So one can criticize "King's implication that there could be no consistent intellectual basis for seeing the two labor disputes rather differently, for reasons other than obtaining electoral advantage." But in the specific situation King criticizes, that basis could not be an "intellectually consistent argument that delineates between unions for employees working for a private enterprise/cartel, and unions for employees who get paid by the taxpayer," since Walker is not attempting to change the position of all unions for public employees. One would need to discuss a different political philosophy to challenge King's criticism of Walker.

(Admittedly, I am from Wisconsin, so I may be distracted by the Wisconsin implications of King's point ;)

TomKelso's point is a good one, though. That said, it can be fun to make passing comments about how, as Kissing Suzy Kolber notes, someone once again "has compromised their views on serious world issues because of some dumb [] that happened to their favorite sports team."

54
by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 10:33am

More specifically, I criticized King's implied criticism of Walker, in that it lazily argued that it would be ridiculous to think it might be possible that Walker's position of support for the zebra union was anything but hypocritical, in light of his position in the recent political battle in Wisconsin. It's a dumb and lazy implication to make.

Even if one takes into account the delineation that Walker has made between different public employee unions, it would be a poor implication to put forth, in that it fails to account for the political reality that incrementalism is often essential to advancing an argument, since minimizing opposition is often critical.

It also would be intellectually possible to make a good faith delineation between different types of public employee unions, albeit it is not a position I'd be sympathetic to. My point, of course, in this thread, is that the assumption, that a view that one differs with, has been taken via the worst possible avenue of reasoning, is the mark of either a really stupid person, or the mark of a really dishonest person, or both. Like I said, if presented with such alternatives, I will usually assume that such a person is merely behaving like an idiot, because indulging in idiocy does not automatically carry with it the negative moral aspects that being dishonest does.

55
by tuluse :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 10:49am

I do think, Will, that you've over looked just plain laziness on King's part.

56
by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 11:08am

Yes, that's true.

50
by Arnie Herber (not verified) :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 9:57pm

Will's original post criticized King for criticizing Gov. Walker, and then began a discussion about the distinction drawn between support for private-sector unions, and opposition to public-sector ones.

Among the topics Will's post could lead to were:
1. discussion of whether King was appropriately criticizing Gov. Walker.
2. discussion of what point King was trying to make
3. discussion of Will's point about political beliefs contrasting public and private unions
(People arguing one of these points might end up at odds with someone who is trying to discuss a different issue.)

Now, King didn't make this clear, but Gov. Walker at present supports rights for some public-sector unions (police and fire) but not for others. So one can criticize "King's implication that there could be no consistent intellectual basis for seeing the two labor disputes rather differently, for reasons other than obtaining electoral advantage." But in the specific situation King criticizes, that basis could not be an "intellectually consistent argument that delineates between unions for employees working for a private enterprise/cartel, and unions for employees who get paid by the taxpayer," since Walker is not attempting to change the position of all unions for public employees. One would need to discuss a different political philosophy to challenge King's criticism of Walker.

(Admittedly, I am from Wisconsin, so I may be distracted by the Wisconsin implications of King's point ;)

TomKelso's point is a good one, though. That said, it can be fun to make passing comments about how, as Kissing Suzy Kolber notes, someone once again "has compromised their views on serious world issues because of some dumb [] that happened to their favorite sports team."

51
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:00pm

Read Will's post again. It has nothing to do with Scott Walker. It's about King's thought process, and his ability to communicate it.

52
by Arnie Herber (not verified) :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:28pm

Apologies for the double post.

Thanks for the clarification of your point, tuluse. In my post on Monday, I think i did focus on analyzing the thought process of King, though my recent post (double posts, argh!) focused more on analyzing the situation King was commenting on.

I think its tricky, particularly perhaps in internet forums, to narrowly make a point that touches on politics without also making a point on politics.

So I'll step back from analyzing the situation to note that while I think King is not necessarily guilty of failing to understand others arguments (as originally charged), i do agree that this is one of many points on which (pretty apparent from our extended discussion) its hard to tell what point he's trying to make, and clearer writing would've helped us all out!

(I might also add that I am a Packer fan who, for the first time in years, did not watch any of a Packer game last weekend, because I was too frustrated by the Hail Mary call, and needed a break. So I'm overcoming a bit of a Wisconsin-football-related-frustration bender at present!)

59
by Mikey Benny :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 12:04am

>>None of which has anything to do with Will Allen's post.

Sure it does. I think it takes real mental gymnastics to not see where King's coming from on this one. What Walker did in Wisconsin is really repugnant in many people's eyes (though many disagree). Him speaking out in favor of a union, after what he did to the teachers' union, and only doing so when his state's professional football team gets screwed over, is more than a little bit hypocritical.

Scott Walker killed a union representing Wisconsin's professional educators. These teachers make roughly $40-50k per year doing incredibly important work. In this tweet, he's pressuring the NFL to cave in to a union full people who make $200,000 for part-time work officiating a children's game. I'm happy PK said something about Walker's unbelievably stupid tweet; I don't care if it PK's blurb wasn't eloquently stated.

Again: Walker killed a union for people who do important, full-time work, and who make a few tens of thousands per year for their trouble. He then made a pro-union statement regarding people who make a couple hundreds of thousands per year, part-time, again for officiating a game for entertainment purposes. I'm not even saying his tweet about refs was wrong, per se. I'm saying it was hypocritical, self-serving and ass-backwards considering his actual political positions and actions.

Screw that tweet, it pissed me off, but good. Good for Peter King for bringing Walker's words a little bit more into the light of day, even if it wasn't eloquent.

60
by tuluse :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 12:04am

Whether Scott Walker is repugnant or a hypocrite has no bearing on whether Peter King has a good through process. You can arrive at the correct judgement through faulty reasoning.

62
by Mikey Benny :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 12:15am

Peter King was talking about a statement that was obviously, mind-blowingly self-unaware, ironic and ass-backwards.

Why ass-backwards? Walker was instrumental in legislating away the teachers' union in Wisconsin for middle class people, then speaks out in favor of a union for rich people because the Green Bay, Wisconsin Packers lost a game. (anyone who make s$200k/year on a side job is rich -- which is fine, more power to them -- but it reveals something about Walker).

I don't think King needed to elaborate very much -- the irony is self-evident. Even if you disagree, you really wanted in-depth political commentary on Scott Walker's stance on labor unions in Sports Illustrated?

I think people are just having their feelings hurt that PK said something left of center, and are pretending they're mad about something else.

64
by Will Allen :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 2:01am

I think you have a somewhat ridiculous belief in your ability to read the minds of strangers on the internet. It's extraordinarily silly.

65
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 9:05am

I tend to agree with you, but what if Peter was actually factoring in more information?

There is indeed a difference between unions that are dealing with public money and those dealing with private money. Walker's actions though seemed to indicate that he also believes that unions that are bargaining over taxpayer money have differences as well as he only seemed to want to bust one of the those unions. He did not try to remove the collective bargaining rights for unions representing fire fighters or police. There are several public sector unions in WI and Walker did not try to limit them all. This is not the case in the less publicized actions in Ohio where all public unions were limited.

Perhaps Peter actually realized that Walker already had inconsistent views, and that oddly the unions he was trying to strip of power traditionally voted one way and the ones he didn't tended to vote the opposite of that. Now of course Walker could still be intellectually consistent here. I believe he very well could be against private sector unions that traditionally vote the way the public sector unions he wanted to limit do as well, I haven't checked for evidence on this. So Peter could still be missing the point. The NFL refs union very well could be one that traditionally votes opposite of the way the unions he wanted to limit do, which would mean Walker was still quite consistent in his views and Peter didn't get it. Also as you point out the NFL Refs union was negotiating with a 3rd type of entity, a private cartel. Most private industries are not cartels. So you can broadly speaking have pulic, private, and private cartel unions, with the labels referring to the entity the unions have to negotiate with. Holding different views on all three types of unions is valid.

Again in general I agree with you, Peter's current talent lies in maintaining the access to people that most do not have, and his articles that pull back the curtain on that tend to be quite good.

17
by Stats are for losers (not verified) :: Mon, 10/01/2012 - 1:14pm

Obligatory nitpick:

The quarter pole actually indicates that the finish line is one quarter of a mile away, i.e. the "home stretch," rather than its usage here.

Back to your regular arguments.

37
by Honest Abe (not verified) :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 4:45am

Another week of venom directed at Peter King, this time at his political questions as well as his knowledge of the game. Don't some of you ever get tired of nit-picking a writer who turns out thousands of words a week and, like most of us, sometimes gets something wrong? How about looking instead at all the things he gets right. Not to mention his admirable dedication to good causes, like running the half-marathon for charity? Any of you critics doing the same? Or even contributing to the Gleason fund? Just saying.

40
by Mr Shush :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:14am

Is there a term for pretending to be someone else pretending to be someone else online. Double-socking? Assuming you're not actually Peter King, it's an impressively well-executed trolling routine.

Then again, this is a man who can, apparently without a hint of irony or self-parody, write "Views of Puget Sound and a 15-minute walk past 13 coffee shops on the way to the football stadium."

1. You know what makes for a really pleasant walk? Going past lots of coffee shops. Ah, what a glorious vista! Coffee shops, coffee shops, everywhere coffee shops, as far as the eye can see!

2. He's actually bothered to freakin' count them.

So maybe you're the real deal after all.

47
by Dean :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 9:30pm

I'm beginning to think he's a troll. One of our regular posters is yanking our chain and laughing his ass off about it. I'd be even more impressed if one of our regulars was both Honest Abe and McLovin.

I could go further, but deconstructing "Honest Abe" is pointless. I'd much rather spend my time reading someone who actually has something to contribute.

48
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 9:39pm

Beginning to? I thought it was obvious from post one.

53
by Dean :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 10:20am

"Beginning to" - OK. I phrased that poorly. Anyway, he's more entertaining as a construct than as some tool swinging from Pete's nuts.

41
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:18am

Since the subject at hand was Mr. King's performance as a writer, and not his charitable activities, you really aren't saying anything. My brother spends about 25 hours a week on charitable activities. I don't think he should be the lead writer for the most popular spectator sport in the U.S., for one of the world's largest media companies, either.

43
by TomKelso :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:49pm

If King had wanted to lambaste Walker -- or Paul Ryan, for that matter, who also made similar comments -- for being opportunistic politicians reacting as Packer fans, that would be one thing.

To imply that this reveals deep-seated hypocrisy on their part is ridiculous, though. There's so much better evidence of that than their being quiet until it bit their beloved socialist enterprise in the butt. If they had complained after the atrocious Patriot-Raven or Eagle-Raven debacles, ironically enough, it would have given PK better grounds.

I'm not waiting for either of them to come out in support of Brendon Ayanbadejo's right to speak his mind, though. Not that Brendon needs their help; he's got Steve Bisciotti watching his back.