Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

31 Oct 2005

MMQB: A Giant Legacy

Peter King remembers Wellington Mara, points out that Denver-Dallas could be one of the best Thanksgiving games in years (and this could be the first Thanksgiving in years when I won't be in front of the TV), and tells us, "I am really getting to be an old lady."

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 31 Oct 2005

52 comments, Last at 01 Nov 2005, 4:19pm by Chris


by B (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 12:02pm

"One thing I hate about how the networks do football was illustrated last night. Instead of showing a replay of Tedy Bruschi's first play back on the field -- the play we've been waiting for months to see and thought we might not ever see, and a play, remarkably, Bruschi had a tackle on -- we saw the graphic of the Bills' starting defense. Pfffft. There goes the moment. The air went right out of the balloon. It's not just ESPN. I think every network would have done that. Doesn't anyone ever argue with the director out in the truck in the parking lot and say: Hey, this is a big moment right here. Save the intros for the second series?"

I agree with King, what was ESPN thinking? If only we could have had a little more focus on Ted Bruschi and less focus on the fact that there was a football game going on and the Bills were somehow involved. Maybe they could have interviewed Kraft and other people involved in his comeback during critical moments of the game, that would have been a much better tribute to a guy who hates having the spotlight on him.

by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 12:12pm

Does anyone know what Peter is talking about here? He writes: "I never got so much attention for not being in a place as Sunday, when I wasn't in St. Louis."

What attention did he get? I don't recall Greg Gumbel breaking into the game to report that Peter King wasn't there.

by White Rose Duelist (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 12:15pm

e. When's the last time, at midseason, there was so much wrong with the two defending conference champions? The New England defense can't get off the field, the New England offense is in mid-June form, and the Eagles gave up 49 points in a game.

I believe it was 1999 - post-Elway Denver and post-fluke Atlanta.

by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 12:20pm

Wait a minute........

Tedi Bruschi played last night?

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 12:21pm

I think the reason Cleveland has a better record than Green Bay, Pete, is that Cleveland BEAT Green Bay. What's so strange about that?

Two nice things about the Browns in two posts. I better slow down, or folks will think I've stopped rooting for Baltimore.

by MJK (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 12:22pm


I totally agree. For people who didn't see the game, there were two potential game-changing moments last night in the NE-Buf game--the two sack-fumbles that first let the Bills go up by 2 scores, and then that let the Pats take the lead. During BOTH of them, ESPN decided to give us a little feel-good story interview with Robert Kraft or Heidi Bruschi or some such people, with the actual game in some little window. The announcers didn't even get on the air to MENTION the fumbles until about a play or two after, and we didn't get replays on either.

In the week leadin up to the game, and in the week after, is the time to talk about all the "storylines". From kickoff to walkoff, there should be only football.

by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 12:25pm

OK, so you tell a story about Wellington Mara encouraging Tiki after a fumble, then one about him giving Shockey a talking to, and wind up with Tiki being summoned to see him last Monday. Except - it was Tiki AND Shockey who went to see him. I'd even bet that King meant to say that, but somehow forgot. Of course, if anyone edited his articles, they might have caught that.

On the Bruschi thing, I think his particular complaint has some merit, even if he's ignoring how much the broadcast overworked the story.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 12:35pm

When's the last time, at midseason, there was so much wrong with the two defending conference champions?
There was also 2002, when the Patriots had just finished a four-game losing streak and the Rams had just notched their second win, to be 3-4 and 2-5, respectively, after Week 8.

And there was 2003, when the Raiders were in the middle of a five-game losing streak with a record of 2-5 and the Buccaneers were an inconsistent 5-3, having lost two tough games in overtime and getting spanked by the rapily-deflating 49ers.

Both those seasons were worse for the conference champs than this one so far. At least the Patriots and Eagles are both over .500 this year, and in reasonable shape to win their respective divisions.

by Ted Max (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 12:36pm

Two things:

1. So, apparently Peter King likes Colgate. Good to know. Ah, but what am I saying, it's Peter King, this kind of drivel is par for the course.

2. Is it just me, or does it seem unlikely that Heidi Bruschi would have received so much air time if she was less, um, "telegenic"? Oh wait, I forgot Brenda Warner. Never mind, this is probably just another instance of me being jealous that pro athletes get all the babes.

by TacoSwell (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 12:43pm

I'll get the requisite content free rant out of the way so the usual suspects can try to actually contribute something other than blind rage:

GRR Peter King is so dumb I hate him and I only read it to complain and I could write a better column and he should be shot for not using DVOA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by Podge (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 12:45pm

Things he likes - Terrell Owens

Things he hates - The Eagles. All of them.

Anyone else see some overlap there?

by Harry (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 1:07pm

#8. There was also 2001. I don't remember where they were at mid-season but the defending NFC champion NY Giants ended up 7-9, and the World Champion Baltimore Ravens were pretty mediocre. And why even go that far back? Has King already forgotten the 2004 Panthers? For a SB team to play well the following year is clearly the exception not the rule.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 1:07pm

The fact that this article went on for like FIVE PAGES is the big "ugh" of the week. I hate hate hate this whole "click for next page" ad-boosting phenomenon.

I'm surprised that King mentioned the first quarter Bruschi thing, but not the two late fumbles that actually, you know, impacted the game.


by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 1:10pm

Tarrant, that's why you have to come to Football Outsiders first, where we link to the single-page view.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 1:12pm

FO is on my "check during the early morning web roundup" list, and I was here in the morning, however, the article was up on SI hours before it was linked on FO, thus, I had read it by the time it got here :)


by Bobby Mozitis (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 1:16pm

Can you really blame champ bailey for not being able to cover Owens 1 on 1 with no help. I mean, is a there a person in the world who could pull that off?

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 1:35pm

Bobby Mozitis (# 16)--

Can you really blame champ bailey for not being able to cover Owens 1 on 1 with no help. I mean, is a there a person in the world who could pull that off?

Owens caught three passes -- two for big yardage, one of those for a touchdown.

His team also lost by FOUR TOUCHDOWNS, so I'll give Denver a pass for failing to shut out Owens.

Owens is very good. He's not magic.

by Bobby Mozitis (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 1:40pm

Star, not my point. My point was that Peter King criticized Champ Bailey for not being able to stick with Owens, while I don't think Bailey played poorly. Just a tough assignment.

by David S. (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 1:52pm

Wow, what did PK do to get stuck in Houston with so many PK-ready non-football storylines going on at other football games? I for sure thought he'd be in NE for last night, or at least NY. Also, doesn't he usually have a Goat of the Week? Seems somewhat suspicious he drops that item when the most magnificent man on earth throws 17 interceptions (one to a fan) and attempts a pass at the end of a 9 yard scamper.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 1:57pm

Bobby Mozitis (#18 )--

Well, King's not always clear in his thinking.

DeAngelo Hall gave up seven catches and over 100 yards to Owens in this year's opener, and the Falcons still won.

With a player like Owens, you win if you just limit the damage. Bailey did fine, and the pressure on McNabb really put a crimp in Eagles' game plan.

It was worth giving up the few long passes they did.

by Bad Doctor (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 2:04pm

I enjoy PK and am not normally one to rip on him here, but the Favre-GB love and Teddy Bruschi point were beyond the pale, even for him. You'd think that if you didn't have much talent around you, you'd want to play conservatively, emphasize the run and short, safe passes, and keep the other team's explosive offense and your pathetic defense on their respective sidelines. You wouldn't force the ball to try to be the hero.

by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 2:43pm

Is it just me, or does it seem unlikely that Heidi Bruschi would have received so much air time if she was less, um, “telegenic�?

Hmmm, when I was watching I thought to myself that it was interesting that she was so plain-looking.

by Smeghead (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 2:46pm

Re #6:

Thank you.

I was pulling out my hair. Especially during the first one, when Suzy Kolber went on and on about the Passion of Tedi and Heidi -- Al was too polite to interject, or had gone to the john or something? I think they might have got the message, because they clipped the Kraft interview quasi-short when another turnover occurred.

Of course, they could avoid any danger of overlap at all by cutting back 30 seconds early for their sideline blah-blah instead of running that one extra boner drug commercial.

by jebmak (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 3:32pm

The website to compain about the stupidity that was EPSN last night is on my name. Yes, I mean extra-stupidity.

by Daniel (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 3:32pm

Re: Champ Bailey
Champ blew a lot of assignments against TO. Yeah its a tough draw, but if you want to be regarded as the best CB in football you have to stop guys like TO from running roughshod through the secondary. In Champs defense I think the announcers said he was a still banged up a bit. Which leads me to question why Shannahan had him on TO to begin with. They burned two high picks on corners this year, why not let them try?

Is it just me, or is the network coverage actually getting worse? I watched most of the Green Bay Cincinnati game and the announcers were horrible.

by RCH (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 4:21pm

What about the way that ESPN handled the status of Seymour and Dillon? These guys have been out for an extended period and there had been much speculation about their ability to play. ESPN mentioned Seymour in passing when his picture didn't appear on their defensive intro graphics and then said something about Dillon as Patrick Pass took his first handoff.

by Parker (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 4:42pm

Not that I don't like a little rage, but doesn't the 'click for next page' only require you to click? Is there something I am missing? Why so much anger over it?

by Fred Smoot (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 4:45pm

I think Champ did pretty well.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 4:51pm

OK random question.

For the past month or more, the little magazine-type cover that SI.com puts up in the second half of the day to promote MMQB has had a banner (in varying places) that says "Including: 10 Things I Think I Think" as if it was a rare feature.

Now, disregarding the fact that the 10 things are part of every column, making it odd to point out so prominently, what is it about the 10 Things that merits it being something to feature so promimently every week? I just don't get it. I mean, not "Featuring: the Fine Fifteen" or whatever, just the 10 things?


by Jay B. (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 4:52pm

Speaking of Wellington Mara, did anyone catch on the Fox broadcast yesterday Darryl Johnston saying, after Jeremy Shockey caught a TD pass, that it was the "most significant TD Shockey had ever, or would ever catch in his career?"

So, he's basically saying the Giants won't ever make the playoffs with Shockey, right?

by Dennis (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 5:36pm

Re #29: I don't get it either, because there's an implication with giving special promotion to "10 things I think I think" that the 10 things will actually contain some interesting insights and analysis. And yet they don't.

by billvv (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 5:52pm

Re: #6 and #23 It's getting so bad that the game is just background to the announcers and their incredible insights into the game. I watch about half the game with the sound off! Usually when my wife gets tired of me yelling "Shut up!" at the TV!

by johonny (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 6:03pm

Yeah ESPN sure didn't play up the Tedy Bruschi angle. I mean if I had to take a drink for every cut away shot of his wife during the Bills final drive I wouldn't be alive to write this.

by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 6:20pm

There were THREE things last night that they wouldn't stop mentioning...

1) Tedi Bruschi

2) That the Bills were DOMINATING the game by 3 points

3) That you CAN'T single cover Eric Moulds. You CAN'T.

by Fred Smoot (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 6:39pm

You can't single cover Steve Smith either.

by putnamp (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 6:48pm


A few reasons for it, some ethical, some practical:

1 - The internet is not a book. It does not need pages.

2 - We have scrollwheels on our mice for such an incidence as having to .. scroll .. a page.

3 - It's only done so they can get more ad revenue, not because anybody really cares that it's not "printer-friendly" (or the "printer-friendly" version would be linked-to, not the default one, even though most people DONT NEED TO PRINT SOMETHING OUT TO READ IT WHEN ITS SITTING THERE ON THEIR DAMN MONITOR).

Is it perhaps a little bit lazy? Sure, but no moreso than anything else. Ultimately it's the website doing something unnecessary and sketchy that inconveniences its readers, and understandably, those readers are irritated.

by Parker (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 6:59pm

That would be the ad revenue that allows them to offer their product to you at no charge, yes?

I get the complaints. I'm annoyed with it as well. It just seems to be something that pops up every week when I would think people would be over it by now.

by Richie (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 7:19pm

I like to print MMQB so I can read it on the toilet.

I like the "10 things I think" I like that it's random. I like that he mixes regular life in there.

by Fast Eddy (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 7:24pm

Parker #37, I agree. I hate 60% of what King writes, but 40% is useful. So I have to click the Next Page button to read it, yeah that's rough, for a free column. The world has such horrific things going on, Iraq, global warming, outing of Plame, and... I have to click a button occasionally.

Shut up everyone. Mara was 89 years old, so it would be nice if King stopped crying. And his Fine Fifteen is crap compared to DVOA. And I hate clicking the button to get to the next page. And this week he thinks TO is the greatest, unlike last week when he thought that Randy was the greatest. And he loves, loves, loves Tom Brady. Oh well. Sigh.

by B (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 7:26pm

I thought the excuse for the "paginated view" was to decrease load times for low-bandwith connection. Not a big deal for those of us who surf at work, but a large portion of the country is still using dial-up.

by andrew (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 7:36pm

"Brett Favre. Five picks. Just trying to do too much with a bunch of strangers."

But ya gotta love him for trying, right? Its not his fault those receivers didn't catch those balls that were picked, or that the refs had marked the line of scrimmage 8 yards behind him on that last play...

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 7:55pm

I would think that those on dial-up would much prefer the single-page view. The column has no graphics, so making it longer only adds text, which takes almost no time to load.

What DOES take time to load are the fancy graphical ads that change with evey click.

They always SAY that it's for dial-up users, but if you think about it, you can tell that's just a ruse so people don't get upset that it's all about ad revenue (that said, I clicked through all 5 pages of it and couldn't tell you a single one of the ads).


by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 8:00pm

c. Mike Martz will never be on the Rams sideline again

I thought we already had this settled last week. PK's still thinking about it? That's some good foresight.

by Kaveman (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 8:55pm


3 catches given up doesn't seem like a "lot" of blown assignments to me.

And, sore hamstring or not, Champ is a very good, perhaps very VERY good CB. Rookie CBs, high draft picks notwithstanding, are still rookies. While Darrent Williams and Domonique Foxworth are doing well, they are also the reason the Denver pass defense is ranked 20-somethingth.

by Kaveman (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 8:56pm

Regarding the multiple pages per article thing, see questions 3 and 4 on the link. It may surprise y'all, that greed is not the reason for this.

by Kibbles (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 9:13pm

Re #16: Champ had a reasonably bad game, but he was clearly not at 100%. He wasn't running at full speed, he was hobbling a lot between plays, and he eventually pulled himself out of the game because he just wasn't playing at enough effectiveness. I admire his grit for getting out there, and his ability to admit he wasn't good enough to cut it in his current shape, but he didn't have a good game. Not horrible, considering the competition, but not great.

That said, Donovan McNabb completed 1 of his first 14, including an INT, so the entire Denver secondary must have been doing SOMETHING right. McNabb was ineffective until Philly started max protecting and running one-man routes with Owens, and I don't think ANYONE could stand up 1-on-1 against Owens when Philly was blocking 9.

Did anyone else notice that, despite the fact that King was raving about Barber's first 10 carries, 5 of them went for 2 yards or fewer? I'd be much more impressed if his first 10 carries read: 4, 6, 3, 7, 12, 4, 8, 9, 2, 15.

Also, it's kind of sick that a dog walking in traffic classifies as "cute". I'm sure it wasn't so cute 5 minutes later when he finally got hit.

And finally, come on King, you act like no team in the history of the world has faced adversity like the Giants this week. I'm sure Tiki Barber and a couple of the Giants who knew Mara were very upset- although not as upset as if a member of their own family had died. And I'm sure a bunch of the young guys knew almost nothing about him except that he signed their paychecks, and as long as the paychecks were still coming, I doubt they cared that much. You want to talk about adversity, and the Giants didn't even have the toughest week. Denver lost Dwayne Carswell, the first offensive lineman with 2 TD passes in a game in NFL history, for the season after he was involved in a horrific 5 car pileup where two cars actually crossed the median and spun into oncoming traffic. Don't tell me that the death of an owner is going to have a bigger impact on a team than the plight of a teammate.

by Sara (not verified) :: Mon, 10/31/2005 - 11:30pm

All due respect to Tiki Barber and the Giants, but Steve Smith broke a franchise record with 201 yards. Five more yards and a dead owner, and I guess ESPN would actually care.

by Capt Trips (not verified) :: Tue, 11/01/2005 - 9:55am

Peter King in a hot tub with Wellington Mara, Brett Favre, and Tom Brady, sipping on eggnog cappacinos with a bit of cinnamon while they look at pictures of Colgate.

by OMO (not verified) :: Tue, 11/01/2005 - 1:52pm

"I know the rest of America thinks there's far too much emphasis on New York by the media and the sporting public, and I am sensitive to that."

No Jabba...the media has a massive East Coast Bias and you are exhibit A if it ever went to trial.

If not for your manlove complex for Brett Favre...there would be .0001% of your article that isn't either from the East Coast or has massive ties to the East Coast (Parcells).

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Tue, 11/01/2005 - 2:19pm

OMO (#49 )--

Isn't Starbuck's from the West Coast?

by Doug (not verified) :: Tue, 11/01/2005 - 2:34pm

Peter King is like so dumb. He is such an idiot. I mean how did he ever get this prominent column in SI? Everyone here is so much smarter and more analytical than he is. He's really stupid. I wish you guys on this site were all writing weekly columns, seriously.

by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 11/01/2005 - 4:19pm

Peter King is the Rob Johnson of football journalism.