Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

07 May 2007

MMQB: Why Green Is Still a Chief

I thought this would be about the Muppets attempt to overthrow Kermit.

Sadly for "Peter King Discovers Beer and Technology" fans, he's stuck to the old standbys this week.

There's also a lot of really good insight into the Trent Green situation which will probably be ignored in lieu of commenting on the coffee comment. Oh well.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 07 May 2007

121 comments, Last at 13 May 2007, 12:27am by Sid


by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 12:05pm

Glad I got my Patriots futures at 12-1. Those Eagles futures at 35-1 look juicy too. The odds dropping aren't as much as a reflection of the oddsmakers, but of the public pounding those current numbers ( and forcing the oddsmakers to budge that number).

Looks like PK has Lynch winning rookie of the year. Funny how he doesn't do draft grades.

by Zac (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 12:21pm

Did they show a lot of clips of Barbaro at the Derby? Because, otherwise, the horse died 4 months ago, and it's pretty strange for PK to comment on it now.

by ArizonaCardinalsFan (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 12:21pm

Nice tidbits on Brady Quinn and Cleo Lemon's development - makes you wonder what Mike Martz was trying to teach Josh McCown before he gave up and made him a WR in DET before trading him. Where is this QB school anyway? Apparently it's not in South Bend, IN.

by Joe Theismann (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 12:22pm

'Green learned the offense used by Miami coach Cam Cameron 11 years ago, when Green was the third-string quarterback in Washington and Cameron was the quarterback coach. "Cam's tweaked it a little bit, but I could walk into the Dolphins today and pretty much know it,'' Green said. "I probably know 80, 90 percent of it right now.'"

Come on Trent, that was 11 years ago, and I would hope Cameron's playbook has changed since then. I read somewhere that the Chief's won't let him look at a Dolphins playbook yet.

by MRH (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 12:26pm

I think PK is under-estimating the degree to which QB-WR reps are important. I could be wrong, but I understand that the general scheme of Cameron's offense is similar to the Vermeil/Martz/Sanders offense. Green, despite knowing that scheme very well his 1st year in KC, struggled that season because the WRs did not (and Gonzalez held out until late in camp). And IMO Peterson believes this too, which is why he thinks he has more leverage than PK gives him credit for.

by Digit (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 12:30pm

I'm trying to figure out why King says that the Colts return with all major pieces. Didn't they lose their two starting CBs and Cato June? Or is he going to say that defense -really- is that much of an afterthought?

by MRH (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 12:33pm

"Observation two: 2-1 odds for the Patriots? In this sport in which two injuries can kill a season? I can see 4-1, maybe. But the Patriots still are old at linebacker, might be thin at running back if Laurence Maroney can't be the horse that he's expected to be, and then there's Randy Moss."

Um, isn't he missing the key name in all this?

Belichick could be playing LB himself, the WR corps could be Gaffney and Caldwell again, and Kevin Faulk and Heath Evans could be the RBs and the Patriots would be better than if AThomas/Stallworth/Maroney/Moss were all playing and Brady were hurt.

by Vern (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 12:36pm

Not ragging on King per se here, but it's amazing how people still misunderstand the basics of odds.

The betting line does NOT suggest it will be "three times as unlikely" that SD wins the SB than NE. All the line suggests is that three times as many people (who bet) are betting on NE to win rather than SD.

In fact, it's quite likely that the betting public could basically agree with Peter himself, that it is a thin edge to NE, and you'd expect these same odds as a result.

For example if 100 people placed bets, these odds could say that 50 bet on NE (to just barely take it), 17 on SD, 13 on Indy, 8 on Chicago, and 7 on Denver, and 5 to everyone else.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 12:40pm

Regarding Barbaro, yes, there was a long and drawn-out tribute to the horse during the Derby.

Not to mention the months and months of coverage leading up to his passing, the tens of thousands of flowers sent during his surgeries, people holding vigils for him, etc. It's sad to say, but consider this - we're a mere few weeks after the Virginia Tech massacre and it's all but dropped off the news in most areas. Weeks after Barbaro's accident, they were still getting flowers and cards and letters, you still had stories being written about "America's Hero", and it was still front page sports news.

On top of the Derby tribute, NBC did some sort of hour-long special titled something like "Barbaro - America's Horse" and one of the other channels (I think ABC) also did their own special like "Barbaro - The Heroic Horse" or something equally ridiculous.

I can understand King's frustration about the attention paid. While horses are beautiful animals...let's be realistic here - horse racing can be a brutal sport, and in all reality, the reason the owners were going through such effort to save him was not because they loved the horse (most horses that have much lesser accidents than Barbaro did are euthanized within momnets of being taken off the track), but because the offered stud fees were in the tens of millions of dollars - fees that couldn't be collected if the horse did not survive.

OK, that's the rant on Barbaro for the day.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 12:52pm

The stuff about Cameron, Lemon, and teaching in general was pretty good, and it is an aspect of coaching and player evaluation that gets too often overlooked. Is the coach a good teacher? Is the player a good student? This is where, for quarterbacks especially, a history of good academic performance in college perhaps can be useful in evaluating prospects. It'd be an interesting thing to look at; whether there was any correlation between academic performance in college and rates of improvement in NFL quarterback performance.

The only thing that gives me some hope regarding Tavaris Jackson with the Vikings is that, by all reports, Jackson has an extraordinarily strong work ethic, even by NFL quarterback standards. Of course, as Cameron notes, soemtimes a guys will bust his butt, but still won't be able to transfer what is learned on the practice field to games.

In some ways, though, it is better to have that, than some guys like Leaf, Vick, or, I suspect, Culpepper, who have huge potential, and just won't put the time in. With the former guy, you'll learn soon enough that he just won't be able to perform at a high level, no matter how hard he works, and you'll likely
learn this without having too much cap space consumed. The latter guy will often tantalize for years, giving false hope that his work habits will improve, all the while consuming a large amount of cap space.

by diarmuid (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 12:57pm

2, 9: Tarrant, you really nailed it and basically said everything I wanted to more eloquently than I would have. Especially the point concerning the irony of the monumental effort put forth to try to save him having absolutely nothing to do with any kind of sentimentality and everything to do with profit. Let me only add that the message boards/entire subculture of Barbaro mourning that sprang up was truly bizarre and somewhat disturbing. I love animals, but seriously, he was a ####ing horse. For once PK has delivered a true and powerful statement.

by andrew (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 1:04pm

7. I think they might as well go ahead and inscribe the Offensive Rookie of the year trophy with MarshawnLynch's name. With a run-blocking offensive line coach in Jim McNally, two very high-priced line free agents in the fold (Derrick Dockery, Langston Walker) after being trained in run-blocking in their previous places, and the likelihood that Lynch will get 300 carries if he stays healthy ... I mean, unless Calvin Johnson catches 80 balls or some Hofstra receiver comes out of nowhere again, Lynch should win it in a walk.

Good point. Not like Adrian Peterson will have an offensive line to run behind...

by dryheat (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 1:06pm

Wow. After reading the first 11 comments, I've come to the conclusion that MMQB is worth reading this week. There's a first.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 1:06pm

Here's my "Animal Rights Guy" take on the Barbaro love.

There's a system in place that exploits and brutalizes animals.

This system made a hero of one particular animal.

When this animal was injured due to the very system that exploits and brutalizes it, people react with compassion and emotion.

The real compassion should call for outrage at the whole system.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 1:07pm

The stuff about Moss was also o.k., with the caveat that when Moss is healthy and motivated it is easier said than done, especially on artificial turf. If the opposition assigns safeties over the top from the beginning of a game to manhandle Moss at every opportunity, the key will be for the Pats to run effectively, with Moss understanding that he can't start mailing it in because he didn't do much in the first half. It isn't as if that this was never attempted when Moss was in his prime in Minnesota. It almost always failed in the Metrodome, and had some success when the Vikings were on the road, especially on grass against a good defense. The Bucs, in the years they had an outstanding defense, had a lot of success against Moss in Tampa, and far less in Minneapolis. It'll be interesting to watch, especially in regards to whether Moss will put in a professional effort.

by Marko (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 1:16pm

"If I'm Tony Dungy, I have my perfect pre-training-camp speech. 'No one thinks we're going to win it again,' he could say. 'All you did last year was answer every challenge, and all our major pieces are still in place, and we had a great draft. And the oddsmakers start you at 6-1 to win the Super Bowl, drop you to 7-1 and now you're 8-1? If that isn't the biggest lack of respect I've ever seen, I don't know what is.'

If I were a Colts fan, I would be quite thankful that King is not Tony Dungy. Does he really think the precise odds in the offseason from one sportsbook will fire up the troops? Who cares? Half of the team would be asleep by the time he finished listing all of the changes to the odds: "And then on May 10, the odds went to 17-2, and a few days later they were 9-1. In June, they went back to 8-1, and now as training camp begins, they are 7-1."

It seems obvious that King really has no idea how to play the "lack of respect" card.

by morganja (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 1:16pm

Can you take the field against the Patriots? At 2-1 odds it would seem almost like safe money. From what I understand of football, you can have the very best team in the NFL, experience an average amount of bad luck, and never get to the SuperBowl. It seems that you have to be both good and lucky to win it all in most years.

by Mike (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 1:19pm

Good column - I'm just disappointed we missed the chance to comment on TMQ last week - who showed up to give a draft analysis that briefly whined about the nature of the drat, than 'reviewed' every team's draft by mentioning something that happened to them since January that may or may not have included a draft pick.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 1:22pm

Regarding the way tens of millions of people sentimentalize animals, and King noting that the water surrounding Vick is likely getting warmer, Vick has possibly comitted the single dumbest act an athlete can do, in regards to his relationship with the public, short of pre-meditated murder of human beings (and perhaps not even with that exception).

The public in general is quite likely more willing to overlook an athlete abusing human beings than it is willing to overlook the star athlete operating Fido's School for Fighting. It sounds like the prosecutors in this case are patiently putting together a body of evidence, and they are going to go wherever the evidence leads. If they can prove that Vick knowingly participated in doggie gladiator school, the public outcry will be huge, perhaps far more so than if Vick had been beating up human beings.

by morganja (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 1:22pm

I think that King and most reporters are underestimating the fallout from this Vick dog-fighting investigation. This isn't another 'boys-will-be-boys' situation. If Vick is convicted of the felony dog-fighting charges he is going to go to prison. The people who love animals in this country aren't going to let this go unless the NFL makes an example out of Vick. They are well-organized and very vocal. The NFL doesn't need this threat to their reputation and profitability. If he is convicted, the NFL will come down hard.

by wrmjr (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 1:28pm

I tend to agree with him that Miami has the upper hand in dealing with KC for Green, but I don't think either of them will want to play a game of chicken into the late summer. Both teams will be better off if they find a way to compromise.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 1:28pm

King may have a legit complaint about the attention paid to the death of Barbaro, but his comparison to combat fatalities in Iraq is so ridiculous it makes me want to scream. The only reasonable conclusion you could reach after reading this is that the only thing he watches on TV is ESPN and he lines the bird cage with every (unread) section of the paper not labeled 'Sports'.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 1:35pm

Re: 20

I think you're right about the severity for Vick if convicted, but I tsuspect King (like most people) thinks such a conviction is very unlikely. Vick can afford the top legal talent in the country. And if the situation starts to look desperate, I suspect his cousin will take the heat to protect the family meal ticket. Unless there are some very credible witnesses that will say they saw Vick present during some actual fights, I don't think he's getting convicted.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 1:43pm

Mawbrew, if Vick used his cell phone while fights, or fight training was taking place, the prosecutors may not be as reliant on cooperative witnesses as might be commonly thought. The technology we all use today can track our whereabouts to a far greater degree than what people suspected of crimes in the past were at risk for. If Vick is a criminal, I'd be very surprised if he was a smart one.

by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 1:49pm

*Waiting for Chris to comment*

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 1:54pm

Re: 24

Well, I'm certainly not going to defend the intellect of the guy that made a scene at the airport over his water bottle. On the other hand, it seems to me somebody has to testify/witness as to when the fights were taking place to be able to link the time to any calls.

Of course given the water bottle episode, it's entirely possible that there's a video out there somewhere of these fights (along with a celebrity audience member or two).

by morganja (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 1:58pm

Re: 23
I agree with you on what they are thinking concerning the top lawyers and willingness of others to take the heat but, OJ aside, there's only so much that a lawyer can do if someone has been reckless. It doesn't seem Vick thinks things through enough to have hidden his tracks. Seventy dogs is a huge number to have involved in dog-fighting. It has survived because local law enforcement is involved. When Federal investigators come looking, local law enforcement isn't going to protect you. Maybe Vick has powerful friends in Virginia, but none I would think willing to take on the humane society in the current political climate. The nature of the 'sport' is such that any serious investigation is going to find people willing to turn evidence. This isn't a gentleman's 'sport'.

I might have my vision clouded by my complete loathing of anyone who would train dogs to fight so that they have something to bet over. But I do have some experience in local politics and see that the willingness to ignore illegality and support one's 'friends' will only go so far before its time to cut bait and move on.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 2:14pm

Gosh, the way people use e-mails recklessly, when they have reason to conceal their activities, along with credit cards and the like, doesn't make it seem far-fetched to me that the dates and times of fights could be proven without much in the way of eyewitness testimony, depending on prosecutorial resources. I don't know whether federal statutes are relevant here, buy if media reports are accurate that federal resources are being employed, Vick is going to face the nightmare of being the target of law enforcement without hardly any monetary constraints. If I were his agent, I'd be hoping like hell he wasn't dumb enough, like Martha Stewart was, to have any conversations with Federal law enforcement.

by morganja (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 2:15pm

Totally unrelated but kudos to Will Allen who even when we vehemenently disagree always argues his side elequently and with solid reasoning. You can always count on him to have some insightful observation. part of the reason I like this site.

I misspelled that 'inciteful' first time through.

We are all passionate about everything to do with football and while we often end up at odds with each other, I wanted to point out the quality of posters that we have here.

Now back to the inciteful arguments!

by Bart (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 2:16pm

Re: 12

The main difference between the Peterson and Lynch situations is that the Vikings also have Chester Taylor, and will likely be splitting the load between Taylor and Peterson. In Buffalo, Lynch is more likely to get a high number of carries and thus run up higher stat totals than Peterson.

by sheila (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 2:18pm

#9 - I think you're being a little hard on the owners of Barbaro. It was obvious pretty early on that the odds of him being able to stand at stud were slim; they did announce shortly after the injury that the horse had won them a lot of money and they were willing to put it into his medical care as long as he wasn't in pain, not only in hopes of saving him but of advancing research into helping other horses survive such injuries. They only gave up when he couldn't be kept comfortable, and the research may help the next phenom survive.

by passerby (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 2:28pm

I have seen many posts taunting this Chris poster. I don't know what people's beef is with the guy. But if you keep coercing him into silence, then you are not that much better than whatever you claim him to be.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 2:28pm

"let in easy goal after easy goal this postseason reminded me of A-Rod's Yankee playoff history."

I'm a redsox fan, and even I know that A-Rod has been about a .350 hitter in the playoffs. Fans are stupid.

by morganja (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 2:32pm

I think what it will come down to with Vick, is that he is not able to produce voters at the polls in county-wide elections in Virginia. Money is nice, but voters are what local power is built upon. If he could assure the local commissioners and sheriff that their jobs are secure he can get lots of help. But if their jobs are put in jeapordy, they won't put their necks out for him.

My guess is that the humane society finds some more incriminating evidence and when local government sees the writing on the wall, they reveal thier own 'ongoing investigation' that was just about to blow the lid on rich outsiders using their county for this dispicable practice. Luckily, no local people were involved.....

by Mikey (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 2:55pm

I'm tired of reading comments to the effect that nobody cares about the loss of life in Iraq. Literally tens of millions of people in cities around the world have taken to the streets on numerous occasions to express their sorrow and outrage. To my knowledge there has not yet been a similar march for Barbaro.

It actually is possible to feel sorrow for an innocent animal and feel grief at the loss of life in the war, and recognize the gigantic difference between the two.

by Kevin Eleven (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 2:59pm

1. So if the if I bet against the Patriots and they FALL SHORT OF WINNING THE SUPER BOWL I get a 50% return on my investment? I gotta get to Vegas.

2. King called Dallas' selection of Anthony Spencer "uninspired". I respectfully disagree- Spencer was under-valued and will shine in the NFL. I predict he'll be 2007's Defensive Rookie of the Year.

by Dennis (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 3:02pm

Re 36: Uh, no. If Vegas is giving odds on the Pats of 2-1 to win the SB, they will not be offering 1-2 for them not to win. It will be more like 1-1.5 or something. That's how they make their money.

by Chris UK (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 3:06pm

Have I missed something, in the stuff about Moss was this quote

"Two or three safeties, early in the season, are going to come and try to knock Moss' block off. He doesn't like to get hit, you know. And teams will learn that the way to make Randy very ineffective is to knock the crap out of him early in games.''

Who plays better when they have people knocking the crap out of them from early on? Talk about stating the obvious.

by zip (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 3:13pm


Just to be a stickler, it's .305, or at least it was prior to the 2006 playoff season, as far as I can tell from the intertubes.

Not .350, which would be ridiculous.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 3:18pm

Okay no more legal speculation from me, new topic. I thought this classic -

"I think the more we hear from NFL teams that have had an interest in quarterbacks in the recent draft, the more we understand that there was JaMarcus Russell and then there was the field. Brady Quinn was a lot closer to the Becks, Stantons and Kolbs than he was to Russell."

If true, this would fly in the face of all pre-draft independent analysis. It's possible most NFL teams saw it this way, but it's also possible that a few teams just fell in love with a particular guy. That is, Miami may have regarded Beck and Quinn as close but thought Stanton and Kolb were much lower. Ditto for Philly (Kolb and Quinn). Given that so many teams were not looking at a QB in the first few rounds, it's hard to argue there's evidence of a consensus here.

by Eddo (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 3:27pm

33, 39:
Alex Rodriguez
35 games, 132 AB
6 HR (1 every 22.0 AB)
16 RBI (1 every 8.25 AB)
.280 BA / .362 OBP /.485 SLG

Derek Jeter
119 games, 478 AB
17 HR (1 every 28.1 AB)
48 RBI (1 every 9.96 AB)
.314 BA / .384 OBP / .479 SLG

Very similar statistics, albeit a very small sample size for Rodriguez. Of course, one of these guys in PK's golden boy, and the other is a failure.

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 3:45pm

I'll try and post a link after work, but there is a very stuff on the radio in philly last weekend by a female investigative reporter Mary Kay ( something, help me out guys from Philly).

From listening to her, it sounds like this Vick case is going to get really ugly. What started out as police looking for drugs, turns into this illegal dog fighting business. They reportedly find blood soaked carpets, treadmills, performance enhancing drugs, a "rape stand" for unwilling female dogs, injured and unfed dogs.

Vicks cousin was supposedly unemployed, and this "business" is no accident. It had to be funded with signifigant capital ( all signs point to Vick).

The Mark Kay inverview also revealed that neighbors have seen Vick at this house frequengly, he ( Vick) talked to the guy who built the house, and that he may have been seen at the local pet store.

There was an article on SI I believe that had ariel photos of the place with the caged in kennels lined up.

If the testamonys of Vicks neighbors are true, he could face felony charges and 5 YEARS in prison. Not to mention drugs or anything else found at the place. This could get REAL ugly.

by cd6 (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 3:52pm

"Can you take the field against the Patriots? At 2-1 odds it would seem almost like safe money."

Exactly what went through my mind.

This is of course driven by ESPN and SI and so on. An ESPN article on the AFC I just skimmed had (paraphrased) "the pats went out and grabbed every free agent they could! hard to argue with that approach!"

Actually, it's pretty easy to argue against that approach, because it consistantly fails (see: redskins) and is basically the complete opposite of the way the patriots won their most recent superbowls. Are the patriots going to be post season contenders? Very probably, yes. Are they 2-1 superbowl favorites? No.

by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 4:04pm

Is there some reason Extra Points is boycotting TMQ?

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 4:12pm

"a rape stand for unwilling female dogs"

Thats pretty standard procedure for dog breeders. They either have something like that, or hold the females down.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 4:20pm

Re #44
Because PK is an actual reporter, who provides us with pieces of actual information and serves as a barometer for attitudes not necessarily represented on FO (e.g., this week's pieces on QB coaching and Vick's dog problems, respectively), while TMQ's columns are only readable on your first 6.2 experiences, on average, and in their essence contain a verbiage:decent thoughts ratio less than the resultant XP thread?

With book preparation lately, it seems like there have been fewer Extra Points than normal. I guess I'm not really missing the lack of TMQ XPs.

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 4:22pm

Kudos to Bill for the clickability link. Give me the option to view it all at once if I want. I already have a subscription to SI - I don't really feel like generating a bunch of page hits to find out that I disagree with PK again.

Maybe what PK meant instead of "hand-wringing" was "media coverage." In that case, we're clearly not the intended audience for that remark, unless one or more of you are in network programming, and if that's the case, you've probably been insulted enough on these boards that you'd never let on.

Listening to someone whine about Martin Brodeur is almost like listening to someone whine about A-Rod, except that Brodeur has also helped the Devils win more Cups than any team (other than Detroit) since the Gretzky years. Really, PK, leave the hockey comments out.

I do agree with PK on the Corzine stuff.

I don't think Dungy is going to say word one about offshore odds. I think he, Belichick, and the other 30 coaches pay those sites the same heed - none.

by A guy (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 4:25pm

Anyone else really really want Xzavie Jackson to become a star?

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 4:26pm

45- Killing, torturing, and abusing innocent animals for money and entertainment is sick.

I don't remember word for word the Vick draft interveiw with Suzie Kohlber, but it had the tone of " I didn't know", " I need to pick and choose my friends better" and " I'll shape up and end this embarassment". He suggests that he didn't know this dog fighting business didn't exist, but in that Mary Kay interview his neighbors said they have seen him at that house on more than one occasion. This is AFTER Vick was caught illegally fishing on somebody elses property. The guy just doesn't use his brain on or off the field.

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 4:29pm

errr, sorry for the gramatical errors.

by Jacob Stevens (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 4:32pm

No one else has touched on it, but I think he's wrong about Darrell Jackson. He always practiced hard. He just wouldn't show up to anything not obligated by his contract, and missed tons of practice due to injury.

by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 5:15pm

#43: More importantly, people seem to be assuming that they got better than last year - or even previous years - due to the free agent pickups. That's fairly nuts. Several parts of the team - linebackers, safety - were getting very old, and needed to be replaced. They replaced them. This doesn't make them the frontrunner. It makes them a contender. The Patriots did a lot in the offseason because they had a lot to do.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 5:18pm

Re: 45 "They either have something like that, or hold the females down."

So fighting among humans is legal but dog fighting is illegal. And rape among humans is illegal but facilitating it for dogs is okay.

I'm thinking there should be a really meaningful point in that comparison, but I'm failing to find it.

by Sam B (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 5:27pm

Yeah thanks for the Printable link.

by bravehoptoad (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 5:31pm

Yeah, that D. Jackson comment seemed thoughtless. "He didn't show up for voluntary mini-camps? He must be a slacker!" There was no consideration that the new management screwed him on his contract, etc. Even on the Seahawks, they say he was good in the locker room. His famous golden message on his cleats, "I want DB [Deion Branch] money" was a cut up...he was trying to get everyone lauging at his situation.

re: 14

Almost all domestic animals are "exploited." If they aren't being "exploited," then they are by definition parasites, since we are in turn "exploited" by them, i.e., we provide them food and shelter &c. As for "brutalizing" them, I can't see that taking race horses and racing them is intrinsically brutal.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 5:32pm

Speaking of Peter King, not sure if anyone listened to the Jim Rome show last Friday, for the Smack-off.

However, the winning caller (Sean) made a comment early on regarding how much of a sports and football fan he is, that "He even reads Peter King, so he knows exactly what kind of coffee to order at Starbucks."

When your penchant for talking as much about coffee as football reaches the Jim Rome show, you know you need to talk about more football :)

by Joe T. (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 6:21pm


Go pick out a puppy.

by SJM (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 6:28pm

Rip on PK if you want, but that Mike Williams quote was priceless, and he nailed the commentary.

If I can find one gem like that per week, then MMQ was worth reading.

by Jerry (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 7:27pm

I also appreciated the link to the single-page version of the column. Thanks, Bill.

by Sifter (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 7:43pm

#44 - Right on, while PK talks a lot of crap and everyone here loves ripping on him (sometimes harshly IMO), I'd much rather read his column than Easterbrook's.

by Sifter (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 7:44pm

actually that would be #46 I'm agreeing with...

by the K (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 8:16pm

Well, as much as I'm usually a vocal bitcher about King, this column was pretty good. But old friend or not, please don't link to Rush Limbaugh's "mistress." I guess I never like the non footbal stuff, but at least this week, I liked the football related bits.

by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 8:50pm

But old friend or not, please don’t link to Rush Limbaugh’s “mistress.�
Now, there's an unpleasant image.

52-I don't have time to find it right now, but I remember a couple threads on here from a couple months ago where the epitaph for the Patriot 'dynasty' was being written. Funny how things change.

However, much of the pieces that needed to be replaced had already 'kicked the bucket' by the end of last season, so they have made real improvements from when we last saw them.

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 9:37pm


One correction. The owners knew from the very beginning that the horse would never be able to "stand" for stud fees. The family did what they did and paid what they paid because they wanted to. That was reported in the press, and anyone who knows anything about horses could tell by the nature of the injury. It would have been impossible for the horse to perform as he couldn't have been able to bear his own weight. Artificial insemination is not an option.

Pacifist, I have read your blog and am not looking to start a squabble. But I have been around racehorses my entire life (as well as just about every other mammal indigenous to North America for that matter) and I can state unequivocally that they are competitive. Highly competitive. They love to run. They love to run against each other. They are athletes. Incredible, competitive athletes.

Having written that I understand that I will likely receive a sneering response detailing various cruelties documented by some organization along with an explanation that I have no idea as to what these animals really want.

But I will risk being branded stupid and a fiend in the interests of relaying what I know to be true.

by Snidley Whiplash (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 10:02pm

Stupid fiend? That's my role, you little goodnik.

[twirls mustache]

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 11:02pm

Why do you say you expect a sneering response? While I'm a vegan animal rights advocate, I generally try to avoid demeaning or insulting, and try to present my views as respectfully as possible.

I have no doubt the horses want to run. Dogs want to race in the dogsled races too, despite the suffering (they can be trained to be competitive). I still have my qualms. To borrow from PETA (and when I cite PETA I usually expect sneering responses, so I guess I can't blame you for expecting a sneering response from me),

"They weigh at least 1,000 pounds, they have legs that are supported by ankles the size of a human's, and they're forced to run around dirt tracks at speeds of more than 30 miles per hour while carrying people on their backs.(1) Racehorses are the victims of a multibillion-dollar industry that is rife with drug abuse, injuries, and race fixing, and many horses' careers end in slaughterhouses. A New York Daily News reporter remarked, 'The thoroughbred race horse is a genetic mistake. It runs too fast, its frame is too large, and its legs are far too small. As long as mankind demands that it run at high speeds under stressful conditions, horses will die at racetracks.�'"(2)


I'll admit horse racing isn't an issue I've given a great deal of attention to--at my blog, I just usually try to comment when sports and treatment of animals intersect, because they are two of my interests and I think I'm one of the rare bloggers doing it.

But I also don't want to get into a squabble. Honestly, I don't have any great compassion or anything: I've just been convinced by the idea of animal rights, now live by different principles, and enjoy discussing it. I've got no desire to be sneering or insulting.

by Eddo (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 11:05pm

Nothing major to contribute, just wanted to note that #65 almost made me pee my pants.

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 11:21pm


Understood. And as a point of fact since the introduction of polytrack (a synthetic dirt-like material) the number of horse injuries has dropped drastically.

It is true that the bulk of thoroughbreds can be traced back to about five stallions going back centuries. So genetic inbreeding is a legitimate concern.

And most reacehorses do NOT end up in a slaughterhouse. At least not in the U.S. The bulk of that activity takes place in Japan.

Drug abuse? Well, every single horse that ran in the most recent Kentucky Derby was administered a surprise drug test before the race and race officials have stated that this practice will become commonplace before many Grade 1 races.

I know two things. These horses love to run and the people around them love these animals.

by kibbles (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 12:29am

Anyone else surprised by the fact that Denver's the #5 favorite to win the SB next year? I understand that teams like Dallas and Pittsburgh often get bumps up in the odds because of their large and rabid fan base (who bets on them no matter how bad they are), but Denver?

Granted, I think Denver's going to be very good, and they are just a year removed from 2005, when they were clearly (with Indy) one of the top two teams in football (going 13-3 against the third-toughest schedule, according to FO), but they went 9-7 last year and had a negative DVOA... and this team bears more relation to last year's than 2005's (case in point- outside of Lepsis/Nalen/Hamilton on the OL, there isn't a single projected offensive starter next year that started in 2005, and the defense isn't in a much more stable situation). I suppose it's a reflection of the instability on all the other teams, but that just caught me by surprise.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 3:44am

Not that I plan to start my own dog fighting business (the first rule about woof club is nobody barks about woof club), but what the hell is the big deal about having a treadmill?

They run the dogs on the treadmill to wear them out and even the odds in a particular fight? They build up their stamina? Some sort of George Jetson thing?

Marko (16), I think Dungy buys Joey Porter and Rodney Harrison lunch some day this spring and shoots the breeze, casually mentions the odds thing, and takes notes. IF he wants to learn from the masters, that is. And IF Joey P isn't busy giving Mike Vick's dogs lessons in miniature horse hunting.

BTW, It's not always easy tying together multiple FO threads that span a couple seasons. But it is rewarding.

by Joe (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 6:38am

What a great fun to read first the comments and then Kings article. Cheers from Switzerland.

by Eddo (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 9:26am

69: I think it's also that Denver is one of those teams with a large fan base spread out across the country. Lots of fans will put down some standard bet every year on their team to win the Super Bowl, regardless of odds.
You see this in baseball especially, where every year the Cubs have one of the top five odds to win the World Series, no matter what their actual likelihood to do so is.

One of the most common fallacies people fall into is thinking betting odds = actual probability. That's often where lines start, but public betting screws them up. Bottom line: bookies set the odds so that they'll turn the most profit, not so that they end up looking like Nostradamus every year.

by Nick (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 10:12am

Re: 66

“They weigh at least 1,000 pounds, they have legs that are supported by ankles the size of a human’s, and they’re forced to run around dirt tracks at speeds of more than 30 miles per hour while carrying people on their backs.(1) Racehorses are the victims of a multibillion-dollar industry that is rife with drug abuse, injuries, and race fixing, and many horses’ careers end in slaughterhouses. A New York Daily News reporter remarked, ‘The thoroughbred race horse is a genetic mistake. It runs too fast, its frame is too large, and its legs are far too small. As long as mankind demands that it run at high speeds under stressful conditions, horses will die at racetracks.�’�(2)

Not to defend the horseracing industry too much (I think their main problem is racefixing though, rather than welfare) but this particular article is very wrong (aka utter b*llocks in the UK). Horses have thin legs to allow them to run faster, all their muscle is on the trunk so the legs are very light and can be moved quickly. COmpare them with elephants whose legs are big and move really slowly. The thoroughbred is an example of evolution producing a running machine (although admittedly not much more evolution is going to happen with such a tiny gene pool), can you imagine running around at 30mph on your middle fingernails of each hand and foot!

Also horses ankles (hocks) are a hell of a lot bigger than peoples.

Slight rant over!

by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 10:47am

Ok, so a proportion of horses will inevitably die, in pain, at race-tracks. Their lives in general, though, strike me as reasonably pleasant. Do they really have it so much worse than a wild zebra? Is being put down after breaking a leg really so much worse than becoming lunch for a crocodile or lion? Now veal calves, they have it bad . . .

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 11:21am


"Horses have thin legs to allow them to run faster, all their muscle is on the trunk so the legs are very light and can be moved quickly"

Unless I'm misreading this, how does it contradict the passage provide? The horses have thin legs and large trunks in order to run faster. However, they have been specifically bred to be faster and faster, meaning they these evolutionary advantages for speed have been exaggerated, perhaps beyond what the animal can reasonably be expected to withstand. And by forcing the horses (with thin legs and large flanks) to run as fast as possible very near a bunch of other horses running as fast as possible, the likelihood of an injury is rather high.

I'm just not seeing where you showed the passage to be wrong.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 11:27am


I think it's a question of responsibility. To use a political analogy (without the intent of trying to be political): a people in a country may have it bad, but once you invade that country, if the people have it bad, it's now your responsibility.

I figure it would be rough to be a wild zebra; but then, no humans are making it rough, that's "nature, red in tooth and claw." It's slightly different when humans start using the animals for pleasure and entertainment.

I really ought to stop here, though; I'm not sure this is the forum to really get into the issue of treatment of animals.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 11:34am

I don't have much of an opinion about horse racing, one way or another, but as commentary on the gene pool, it is interesting to me that Secretariat's track record at Churchill Downs still stands, and if I remember correctly, it has not ever really been threatened, after all these years.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 12:51pm

Re: 77

The same thought occurred to me. Top thoroughbred speeds haven't really changed much over 50+ years. Human speed on the other hand has dramatically increased.

by Nick (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 2:30pm

re: 75

I guess my point was that with only a minimal gene pool we haven't really altered thoroughbreds much in 150 years, so the things the article was complaining about are almost 100% down to evolution.

I agree with your point about forcing them to run though, although it's the jump races which are by far the most deadly.

Still it's nice to get completely off topic ;) and noones even mentioned the coffee comment yet.

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 3:16pm


Monarchos won in 2001 with a time just under 2:00 at 1:59:97. Secretariat's winning time in 1973 was 1:59 2/5.

Monarchos' race was very out of the ordinary as the temperature shot up over 90 degrees in Louisville that first weekend in May. Several track records were set as the racetrack was running EXTREMELY fast. Point Given was the heavy favorite but it was clear from the get go the predictions of him not liking the surface were true as PG all but coasted to fifth place. He won every other race he entered by a wide margin that year. But Point Given simply did not like the Churchill Downs track.

Anyway, Monarchos was a fine horse but aided by very special circumstances.

Interesting point of fact is that in winning the Belmont Secretariat's time at a mile and a quarter was FASTER than his winning time at the Derby which as you know is a mile and a quarter race. If you ever get a chance to see the replay of that Belmont is at the half mile pole Secretariat just takes off on his own. He's running along side by side with another horse and then seems to say "Ta-ta". You can actually see the jockey somewhat sway back because of Secretariat's unexpected acceleration. In interviews his jockey uses the classic line, "He just dropped the hammer. I just held on."

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 3:20pm


I should clarify for those not aware the Belmont Stakes is a mile and a half long race. So when Secretariat hit the mile and a quarter pole at 1:59 flat every horsemen around expected him to collapse before the finish. That he plowed through the last quarter mile and was hardly winded at the finish left hard-core horse folks and racetrack observers completely stunned.

The guy who called the race had it right. He was a machine.

The other part I find amusing is that in an attempt to keep other horses in the picture for folks watching on TV the camera guy had to back up into the next state. You look at the race like you are watching from the Goodyear blimp.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 3:50pm

Badger, I was a kid, and remember seeing the Belmont on t.v., and being just stunned that a horse race at the the highest level could be so completely noncompetitive, because one horse was so good.

It was like watching a Super Bowl that ends with a very good team, by historical standards, being beaten 91-0. People forget that the 2nd best 3 year old that year, Sham, was damned good in his own right (doesn't he still hold the 2nd best time for the Kentucky Derby?), but he was just a footnote, so dominant was Secretariat.

Which race was it that Secretariat ran each successive quarter in a faster time? I mean, that's just ridiculous!

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 4:12pm


To answer your last question that was the Belmont. Which is why anyone who was there and knows horseracing sounds so incredulous when talking about Secretariat. Everyone in the know thought the jockey was being stupid and blowing the race as every time they posted a time it was a faster fraction than the last.

Interesting footnote on Sham. After Secretariat roared past him in the Belmont Sham never raced again. Not because he couldn't. Not because his owners chose not to race him. But because he simply refused to run. They would saddle him up, walk him out, and he wouldn't go. As if to say, "What's the point?".

I know that story reads as completely fabricated but it's true. Secretariat broke his opponent's spirit.

by Oldcat (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 5:02pm

#75 - Its wrong because the 'thin thing' that the PETA people are calling an ankle is actually a toe.

And to suggest that racers created horses or that they never run in nature is a bit insane.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 5:56pm

re: Secretariat

On wierd genetic engineering/etc.

I was reading some things, and I guess when they did the autopsy after they put Secretariat down, they found that he had a 22lb heart. At the time, the average thoroughbred had an 8.5lb heart. So essentially, he was a huge genetic freak.

Thoroughbreds now have on average 12-15lb hearts, partially from his bloodline, but they still havent had any horses near what he was.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 6:13pm


Nobody suggested horses don't run in nature, or that they were created by man (that would change the ethical dilemma, wouldn't it?). What I (and PETA) said is that forcing horses to run as fast as they can next to a bunch of other really fast horses running as fast as they can leads to a high risk of injury.

by diarmuid (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 6:21pm

oldcat: I don't think either of those suggestions are being made. What is being suggested is that horseracing puts the animals in unnatural, dagnerous positions and encourages breeding to enhance particular qualities to the point where, if they haven't already, they will eventually go past what is biologically safe and/or tenable. As Pacifist Viking said I have no doubt that the horses would run if left to their own devices in nature, but not only would the same hazardous conditions not exist but they wouldn't be under duress to do so. I do admit that like PV I am not overly accquainted with thoroughbreds or horse racing as much I as I am with, say, vivisection (not that I want to start any kind of discussion about that on FO).

Pacifist Viking: Kudos to you on your eloquence and patience. I almost never attempt to get into discussions about animal rights these days b/c of the frequent kneekjerk reactions and nearly inevitable devolution into reactionary arguments (both of which I might add were absent from the refreshingly thoughtful FO commenters) but you've done a fine job representing your points.

by diarmuid (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 6:23pm

I didn't intend my post be redundant. PV just beat me to the response.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 6:36pm

". What is being suggested is that horseracing puts the animals in unnatural, dagnerous positions and encourages breeding to enhance particular qualities to the point where, if they haven’t already, they will eventually go past what is biologically safe and/or tenable."

Isnt that pretty much exactly what predators do?

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 6:41pm

87: I'm also pleased to see the discussion dealt with sensibly here; usually when it comes up, I expect some shrill insults.

89: Yes, but I see a moral difference between predators preying on animals, and humans using animals for entertainment purposes.

by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 9:09pm

Yes, but I see a moral difference between predators preying on animals, and humans using animals for entertainment purposes

So, if we use them for dog food afterwards it's alright? ;)

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 10:02pm


As an "old hand" at these discussions let me point out two routine, and I do mean routine, responses to your question.

Response 1:

First, so that makes us no better than predators. Is that how we regard horses? As prey?

Response 2:

One is natural while the other is unnatural. (This is where Pacifist's response would likely fall.)

I am not going to discuss the validity of your comment or the responses associated with your comment. Just that should you engage a "true believer" to be prepared. Either to discuss for hours or to immediately walk away. There is no middle ground.

Engage at your own risk.

by Jason Mulgrew aka The Mul Dawg aka Lord J Rocka (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 10:49pm

read in Borat voice:

I like horse talk.



by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 11:22pm

93: Did you ever see the deleted scene in the Ali G DVDs when Borat was interviewing some sort of horse person? It's actually the funniest thing I've ever seen from Sasha Baron Cohen, and it's a freaking deleted scene. It's such comic gold, I can't even begin to describe it.

by Eddo (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 12:03am

The more I compare the comments of Mulgrew with the blog he links to, the more I'm convinced that they are not the same person.

by StuAllan (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 3:01am

#41, 39, 33 -
A-Rod's playoff numbers as a Yankee are .241 BA, 3 HR, 8 RBI. Last year he hit .103 with 0 HR and 0 RBI.

Rodriguez had clutch playoff performances in 2000 with Seattle and in 2004 with the Yankees, but since King can't even remember what he wrote last week, we shouldn't be too hard on him for ignoring A-Rod's pre-2006 numbers.

by Chris (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 9:56am

I'm no horse racing fan, but I actually liked hearing you guys talk about secretarians dominance. Didn't ESPN rank him ( maybe 3rd) best athlete ever and piss a lot of people off?

I actually liked reading how he dominated in a true sense of the word. 22lb heard, making #2 quit forever, and just running the heck out of his races.

by Phil (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 10:51am

I agree with you Chris. At first, I could see myself being on PV side of the fence in regards to racing (he had me until he used PETA in his statements). But hearing these stories, it's obvious these animals love to compete, and makes me want to follow horse racing more often.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 12:32pm

"One is natural while the other is unnatural. (This is where Pacifist’s response would likely fall.)"

badger, what makes something natural? "nature" is a man-made construct in itself.

I understand that its stressfull and such, but is it really worse than what they are naturally exposed to? Atleast in a race, theyre all trying to go in the same direction, and I'd think there was much less chance of them running into each other.

That being said, a race atleast mimics some natural behavior. These animals have a heavy flight responce, and this is just tapping into that. Trail riding is MUCH more unnatural, and the animals are MUCH more likely to get hurt.

Badger, I'm an animal lover, I just that saying that horse racing is 'exploitive' is no better than the Peta stance that we shouldnt have pets.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 1:10pm

98: The PETA article I linked to included 33 references, mostly to mainstream newspapers. So tell me this: why is dislike of PETA enough to discount the merits of the argument?

99: Appeal to Nature is a logical fallacy: first, it is difficult to prove what is "natural" or "unnatural," and second, there is no evidence that "natural" is morally good while "unnatural" is morally bad. I will always avoid the Appeal to Nature.

I hope, however, you see a difference between what animals would do in nature, and forcing animals to perform an activity for the purposes of entertainment and gambling.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 1:16pm

Pacifist Viking,

my issues with PETA come from a couple of areas:

1) They make things up. Regularly. Theres generally more misinformation in their reports than there is actual information.

2) They fund groups that blow up animal testing labs, etc.

3) They fund kill shelters.

4) They encourage euthanising healthy animals to "save them from the terrors of pet-hood"

I dont see how gambling or entertainment have anything to do with this. The motivation doesnt matter, its whether or not the activity is bad for the animal. Dog fighting isnt bad because people are entertained or because people are betting, its bad because the dogs are killing each other.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 1:34pm

101: PETA, like any organization, has its flaws. But there are also a lot of unsubstantiated claims about what PETA does. It's an extreme organization that few people agree with entirely, but that does a lot of good (good, anyway, if you are seriously concerned about treatment of animals).

But what you think of PETA doesn't really matter to this discussion. I once heard a pundit say "Because PETA says (extreme belief A), I can't listen to anything PETA says." And I thought, really? Because PETA says (extreme belief A), you wouldn't agree if PETA said it is wrong to tie a dog to a post and bludgeon it with a baseball bat? That's the logical fallacy of Changing the Subject: shifting the conversation from the merits of the argument to the merits of the speaker of the argument.

I won't get into why or how horse racing is bad for the animal: I really don't care for that discussion here, and I'd just be citing facts from that PETA article (which, again, is citing 33 other sources, so they're not making up most of these claims). At this point I'm simply pointing out the logical fallacies I'm seeing in the discussion, I guess.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 1:47pm

By the way, you may either be misinformed or making things up in your complaints against PETA. PETA does advocate euthanasia for unclaimed pets in shelters; PETA does not advocate killing healthy animals "save them from the terrors of pet-hood." While PETA's basic stance is against owning pets, it also recognizes that pet ownership exists and can be very good for the animals. At PETA's website, you'll find a lot more information on responsible pet ownership, humane treatment and care for companion animals, and reports of abuses of companion animals in the industry, than you will arguments that pets shouldn't be owned (or that animals should be killed rather than be pets, which is an argument I've never seen at its site).

Considering your complaint is that PETA makes things up, it's a little odd to follow with some unsubstantiated claims that, as far as I can tell, simply aren't true.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 2:18pm

Just one last comment so you know where I stand.

Animal rights advocates are split on pet ownership. Some take the hardline stance that it is always wrong for humans to use animals for any purposes (and thus, pet ownership is out). Others believe humans can use animals for some purposes as long as it is careful and the treatment is humane.

I'm in the latter. I own a cat (and treat it with as much dignity as possible), believe zoos are great (with what humans are doing to the earth, they're necessary for protecting animals), believe some use of animals for medical research is acceptable (as long as it is necessary and rare, and the animals are treated as humanely and carefully as possible in the process), and though I'm a vegan, I could revert to mere vegetarianism in the future.

Just thought I'd clarify; I'm happy to let the discussion die, too.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 2:19pm

Pacifist Viking, I work with PETA every once in a while. I'm on the Board of Directors for a non-profit which deals with marine animals, and yes, PETA does advocate all those things.

PETA's site has very little to do with the actual organization's operations. Its a splash page. PETA is a large group of very reactionary people who dont understand the issues at hand.

I keep a couple of fish species (from lake victoria) that are extinct in the wild because of the introduction of the Nile Perch. The idea is that eventually they may be carefully reintroduced to Lake Victoria (by the proper authorities), when the lake is made suitable for its native species again. PETA is pressuring us very hard to Euthanize all of these animals because it is "unnatural and cruel" to keep them in fish tanks.

I keep a couple of species of coral that are quickly going extinct in the wild. PETA wants those gone too.

PETA is a group that initially meant well, but at this point, does a lot more harm than it does good.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 2:23pm

Where I'd fundamentally disagree with you is whether PETA does more harm than good. It has pressured many companies to stop doing product testing on animals, among other things. It's not an organization I agre with in its entirety (like I said, few do), but I understand the extreme views it takes. PETA is fighting a society largely tolerant of brutal treatment of animals at all sorts of levels; it is presenting an extreme side to bring awareness to issues, and because it recognizes the sea tide of opposition it faces.

by Tom Charles (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 2:28pm

Following up on 96: The ARod perception is helped by the exquisite timing of his postseason turnaround. In the 22 games up through game 3 of the 2004 ALCS, he batted .372 and slugged .640. Since then he's batted .109 and slugged .196. If one splits it AFTER his 3rd inning HR in G4 (with NY semingly sweep-bound), the "before" numbers are .375/.670 and the "after" .091/.114.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 2:40pm


One note about that: Pretty much NO ONE on that team hit well after they lost game 4 in the 2004 ALCS. NO ONE. I think the team as a whole hit a combined .150.

The only difference between Jeter and Arod is that Jeter has about a full season of postseason atbats, so 3 bad games dont move his numbers at all. AROD is a victim of small sample size here.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 3:20pm

If PETA is completely anti pet ownership, it is essentially lying to all of its members. I'm looking at an issue of "Animal Times" that features Famke Janssen on the cover with her pet dog; the brief feature inside talks about why pet dogs "need and deserve lots of playtime, love, and care."

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 3:45pm

I don't mean to pile on, but I suppose FO readers understand the desire to refute unsubstantiated claims with evidence. I know you don't trust their website, but here's what PETA says about companion animals:

“In a perfect world, animals would be free to live their lives to the fullest, raising their young and following their natural instincts in their native environments. Domesticated dogs and cats, however, cannot live “free� in our concrete jungles, so we are responsible for their care. People with the time, money, love, and patience to make a lifetime commitment to an animal can make an enormous difference by adopting an animal from a shelter or rescuing an animal from a perilous life on the streets. It is important, also, to keep our companion animals from reproducing, which perpetuates a class of animals who are forced to rely on humans to survive.�

I'd take exception to the last sentence. We cannot (and should not) eliminate a pet species through spaying and neutering; however, within the larger context of society, we know that there are already (and are going to continue to be) too many cats and dogs, and thus we should do our best to control the population and prevent future euthenizations.

At PETA's website, you'll also find many fact sheets informing people how to treat their companion animals responsibly and humanely.

So two things seem clear:
1. PETA does, in principle, oppose pet ownership, and
2. PETA accepts that pet ownership is necessary, and therefore promotes responsible and humane treatment of those pets.

Anyway, sorry for hijacking the thread (if I have); I'm not attempting to push my views here, but just trying to clarify some things. Peace.



by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 4:10pm

I agree that PETA's website says those things. My experience working with PETA says otherwise. Its a website created to garner support.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 4:48pm

Here's what I'm saying though: if PETA believes its better for an individual animal to be killed than to be a pet, THEN PETA'S ADVOCACY CONTRADICTS ITS INTENDED GOAL. Does that make any sense? It means the actual work they do is ANTITHETICAL to their beliefs.

They send out literature telling people how to treat their pets responsibly; they don't send out literature telling people the best places to go to get their pets euthanized.

I'm not terribly certain your reliance on unsubstantiated experience is far from a football fan rejecting statistical data because his/her experience says otherwise. My wife has been a member; we've received the literature. If PETA indeed believes we should all kill our animals rather than own them, then they are actually working and advocating something antithetical to their intention, which doesn't make any sense.

by Phil (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 4:51pm

Consider thread hijacked when 7 of the last 11 posts have been your story telling about the wonderful world of PETA. I'll admit I'm not fully educated on PETA, however, when my past encounters with people that support PETA, and PETAs statements in the press have been on the whole, negative, that's how I'll view that organization. Not many people can argue that the general concensus of PETA is that similar to ECO-terrorist. It's views like the last sentence in your quote that turn people off. They started with a sensible, agreeable statement then totaly F'-it up. What they seem to be ignoring, is the enjoyment or service that animals can provide to humans without expoiting them--i.e. search dogs or seeing-eye dogs, or just companion animals to a widow. Those animals live a great life. PETA is also viewed as a joke quite a bit because of they're extremist views.
PV, I don't want to attack you personally as I don't know you and it's obvious you've been relectant to get into this discussion. I agree that this conversation should die.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 4:57pm

Phil, I haven't actually attempted to defend PETA very much here; I'm not arguing that PETA is ethically right or wrong, but that one claim Rich made is inaccurate and false.

Rich, it is a website created to garner support; however, that does not mean they put material on the website that they don't themselves believe. If it were solely to garner support, the website would distance itself from PETA's more extreme claims, which it does not. The website is actually a very heavy content site; if you look at the second link, there is a lot of information about how to actually treat pets humanely. But if you don't accept the claims PETA actually makes about itself, I guess there's no point in carrying on. I'll go away to my broccoli. ;)

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 5:11pm

I'm really stopping here; I'm a football fan, not a thread hijacker for animal rights. I think we've reached the ending point: Rich, you say the organization believes one thing, I'm saying they advocate something else, and we'll stop there.

Sorry to annoy anybody I did; back to football!

by James C (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 8:04pm

While this (obviously) isn't my website and therefore I have no editorial control over its content, I do enjoy the threads where things go a bit above and beyond. In the offseason isn't PK's extra point for allowing some of these topics to see the light of day on the forum. I enjoy seeing other people's point of view especially if it is eloquently argued and a few of the posters on this thread have been excellent and all have avoided hysterical responses. It is refreshing to see well ordered thought deployed on either side of a debate and while it would be unfortunate to see it overwhelming every thread (especially when football gears up again later in the year) I for one would be grateful if the outsiders allowed the occasional free for all on non-football topics.

by Jason Mulgrew aka The Mul Dawg aka Lord J Rocka (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 10:03pm

re: 116

Good idea, Mulgrew likey.

How about an all-Borat thread? We could relate it to football by talking about NFL Europe and how much it sucks.

by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 05/10/2007 - 6:55pm

RE: 2

They're still doing shows on broadcast TV about a horse that died months ago. What a sad statement for society.

by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 05/10/2007 - 7:45pm

RE: 33

Yankee playoff history? A-Rod batted .258 against the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS. Could be worse.

But in 2005 and 2006? 3/29 with no RBI.

A-Rod isn't close to a .300 playoff hitter, let alone .350, even if you include his days with the Mariners.

by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 05/10/2007 - 8:17pm

Re 36: Uh, no. If Vegas is giving odds on the Pats of 2-1 to win the SB, they will not be offering 1-2 for them not to win. It will be more like 1-1.5 or something. That’s how they make their money.

lol, you make more money if it was 1-1.5. You have it backwards.

RE: 56

Yep, I listened to the Smackoff. And, yes, Seanie was dead on. He was poking fun at Peter King, and deservedly so.

by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 05/13/2007 - 12:27am

The only difference between Jeter and Arod is that Jeter has about a full season of postseason atbats, so 3 bad games dont move his numbers at all. AROD is a victim of small sample size here.

False. A-Rod has basically not hit at all for 13+ playoff games in a row. This doesn't happen by accident.