Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

02 Jul 2012

MMQB: Guest Starring Coby Fleener

Colts rookie Coby Fleener writes about the rookie symposium, his experience in the journalism field, and comes up with a list of ten things he is bringing to his first training camp.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 02 Jul 2012

36 comments, Last at 06 Jul 2012, 4:24pm by Kyle D.


by Tom Gower :: Mon, 07/02/2012 - 9:57am

I wonder if Pacman got any durable goods as part of that $1 million he spent in a weekend.

by Guido Merkens :: Mon, 07/02/2012 - 10:23am

Recent studies have shown that spending money on experiences makes people happier than spending it on goods.

E.g.: http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~dtg/DUNN%20GILBERT%20&%20WILSON%20(2011).pdf

Therefore, I must conclude that Mr. Jones is a gentleman and a scholar.

by Greg F (not verified) :: Mon, 07/02/2012 - 10:29am

Having not read the study, I would assume that remembering the weekend are an important factor as well.

by Guido Merkens :: Mon, 07/02/2012 - 2:22pm

He planned for that - while he might not have remembered every bit of the night, his actions usually ensured that several helpful gentlemen eventually arrive to write down the details of who was there and what happened.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Mon, 07/02/2012 - 12:41pm

Enjoyed that. Way better than DeMaurice Smith last week.

by duh :: Mon, 07/02/2012 - 12:44pm

Completely agree

by Marko :: Mon, 07/02/2012 - 1:10pm

I also completely agree even though I haven't read it yet.

by fb29 :: Mon, 07/02/2012 - 2:03pm

A bit of a snoozer from Fleener, but at least I didn't have to hear about "coffeenerdness" from someone who thinks Starbucks coffee worthy of evaluation.

by Shattenjager :: Mon, 07/02/2012 - 2:29pm

I wholeheartedly second this comment.

I'm a little bothered that neither of the guest columns has been any good so far. Those are normally the only time I read MMQB and it seems to me they're more often than not pretty good.

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Mon, 07/02/2012 - 11:21pm

Compared to last week, this is worthy of being leather bound.

by jebmak :: Wed, 07/04/2012 - 3:38am

Disagree. I enjoyed reading about his rookie experience.

by Subrata Sircar :: Mon, 07/02/2012 - 3:36pm

I thought it was a pretty solid effort. In particular, there were some sections or phrases that let me to believe he might have a career in journalism if this football thing doesn't work out for him.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Mon, 07/02/2012 - 6:12pm

I thought it was a bit bland, but he writes well and had interesting things to tell. I write off the blandness as some timidity being a a young rookie writing to a national audience after just having come from a symposium where they probably warned him twenty times about what he says publicly.

by zlionsfan :: Mon, 07/02/2012 - 6:59pm

Yeah ... the kid is 23 and just out of college. Writing about his own experiences, particularly about something that didn't even happen last season, is pretty cool, and of course it lines up pretty well with what he studied at Stanford. Expecting anything better than entry-level material out of him is unrealistic IMHO.

You know, I wouldn't mind reading this kind of stuff from young athletes in pretty much any sport. I'm sure PK could use some time off now and then ... not that it needs to be a week's worth of time for each person, but at least the Monday column. It could get pretty close to the contest we had here at times, but maybe that's not all bad.

by justanothersteve :: Tue, 07/03/2012 - 9:45am

Other than the love letter opening to PK, I thought this was decent. It was interesting getting an inside look at the Rookie Symposium. Fleener is a rookie, both in the NFL and as a writer. This was significantly better than last week's column. If you don't think so, go back and read last week's again.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Tue, 07/03/2012 - 12:40pm

For that matter go read the column from two, three, or four weeks ago and compare.

by jebmak :: Wed, 07/04/2012 - 3:41am


by dekkster (not verified) :: Tue, 07/03/2012 - 12:17pm

I think this just shows how good Peter King is. You haters (do you have jobs?) must realize that the guy can write, has comments, and is pretty good. I like his column but find the comments very simplistic and jealous. Keep on commenting, you wannabes, the majority of us who just enjoy life think you have no real opinions of worth. Sorry, off to work I go, must seem foreign to much of you.

by caw :: Tue, 07/03/2012 - 1:12pm

I think you meant "to many of you."

by justanothersteve :: Tue, 07/03/2012 - 1:15pm

I think most of us know PK can be a good writer when he puts his mind to it. His human interest stories can be excellent. It's when he digresses to topics like mediocre beers or his colon that he gets irritating. He's also gotten way to formulaic, though I don't know if that is his own doing or the SI management. When he sticks to football, he is probably one of the best writers around. He may not have the analytical background of Dr Z, but I do like to read his columns because he frequently gets great inside info from the players and is usually an entertaining read when he does.

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 07/04/2012 - 8:23am

It depends what you mean by a "good writer". No amount of effort can mask the fact that King is a pretty poor prose stylist, but he has solid journalistic skills and, as you say, a fair talent for humanizing a wider story or contextualizing a human one. He also has the industry's best contact book.

On the other hand, his digressions are invariably dull and often irritating, reading like a technophobic curmudgeon's parody of Twitter, and his utter incomprehension of the game itself leads him to make some infuriatingly stupid comments.

Oh God. I just imagined, for the first time, what King's Twitter feed must be like - a digital desolation of puppyish inanities about colonic Blue Moon lattes at 30,000 feet. Does anyone here actually follow him?

by Chris UK :: Wed, 07/04/2012 - 9:05am

I follow him. He mainly seems to use it as a vehicle to make snarky remarks to people who have criticised something in one of his columns or articles. Oh yeah, and his picture is of his dog.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 07/03/2012 - 1:55pm

Thanks for being honest, Abe.

by sundown (not verified) :: Thu, 07/05/2012 - 5:23pm


Because he thought we'd be fooled because there are just so many other over-the-top PK defenders out there?

by Lance :: Thu, 07/05/2012 - 1:34pm

Re Fleener's comment "I think it would be pretty cool if the United States liked soccer a little more. Don't get me wrong, I love football. I just think it's amazing how entire European nations rally behind a common cause in their soccer team more than once every four years."

It's nice to see someone make positive statements about soccer without going on some tired (and unfounded) rant about how the sport has to be changed ("More scoring!" "No ties!") in order for Americans to somehow like it.

And yes, it would be cool if the USMNT could play a home game against a CONCACAF team and not have its fans be a minority in the stands...

by FrontRunningPhinsFan :: Thu, 07/05/2012 - 3:05pm

Soccer's chance in the US is now. ESPN actually showed Euro 2012 which was supremely entertaining. If they show more Premier and La Liga matches next season along with the knockout stages of the Champion's League it might have a shot.

I don't think the USMNT will do much of anything for the US, they don't play enough to be talked about consistently.

So there isn't even a national team to cheer for on a regular basis, let alone local home teams. Have you ever tried watching an MLS game? Its no wonder NFL Europe failed when you try watching MLS compared to the top leagues in Europe.

If it can get popular enough to get good ratings for European club teams the next couple years, the World Cup cup very well put it over the top into a competition with hockey for #4.

Fire Jeff Ireland.

by tuluse :: Thu, 07/05/2012 - 3:17pm

I've actually watched a few MLS games right after the UEFA semis, and I found the very entertaining. The level of play was obviously much lower, but they attacked a lot more and the pace was high for the entire game. I found Spain and Italy's style of play pretty boring (and don't even get me started on England). I was rooting for Germany because they attacked a lot more and tried to force the issue, but I guess it wasn't meant to be.

Also, if FIFA wasn't corrupt and the US got the 2018 World Cup, I think it would have helped a lot.

The thing is there is never going to be one day where all of a sudden soccer is popular in the US. I personally doubt it ever catches the top 3 of football, baseball, and basketball (or at least not for decades). It's a gradual process of popularity that is happening right now. The MLS is growing every year and I think it makes money. That is a huge difference from soccer leagues in the past. The weekend Euro games were getting ratings of 1 million plus viewers on ESPN.

I think FOX has the broadcasting rights for EPL next year, which means they'll be played on Network television, which is a huge step forward.

We just need a Hope Solo calender now :)

by FrontRunningPhinsFan :: Fri, 07/06/2012 - 7:15am

I like Spain's style of play because once they see an opening they put together beautiful strings of passes to attack. I think a lot of people find Spain boring because they pass it around in the midfield holding the ball forever while waiting for the defense to make a move and they aren't actually moving forward. I think both Italy and England are boring as well.

When you say FOX has the rights, does that mean they'll be showing it on the FOX network? Last season they showed a bunch of them (and other good leagues) on Fox Soccer but that's obviously nowehere near as popular as the broadcast network.

Fire Jeff Ireland.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 07/06/2012 - 10:59am

I much prefer the quick-breaking Madrid/Bayern style to the Spain/Barcelona retain-and-press. Matter of taste, I guess. Spain and especially Barcelona's lack of defensive cohesion on the rare occasions they do allow the other team the ball for more than a few seconds also sort of offends me - I like good defensive organization.

by Lance :: Thu, 07/05/2012 - 5:34pm

Interest in the MLS has nothing to do with "quality of play" and more to do with other factors. The USMNT doesn't play so frequently, but neither does the Italian national team, or the Spanish. But people in Italy and Spain watch them nonetheless. Thus, frequency of play probably isn't an issue, either (though, it would be nice if CONCACAF did better with its TV marketing so that people could reasonably watch WC qualifiers when they're played in places like Guatemala.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the World Cup will continue to do well on TV. If it's mid June or early July in 2014 and you go to a sports bar that's not showing a World Cup game, then you live in a very white and rural part of America.

by FrontRunningPhinsFan :: Fri, 07/06/2012 - 7:21am

I think people in Italy and Spain watch and cheer for their teams because they love the sport to begin with. They would be watching La Liga or Serie A during the season anyway because they love the sport and the national team is a chance for them to cheer for their own against the rest of the world.

It's the opposite with MLS - USMNT.

And I think the World Cup will be huge for soccer here, it always is. People seemed to be really excited for the US last time especially after they got out of group play. But in order for it to be more than a blip, I think it has to gain enough popularity beforehand, so the World Cup can be a crescendo to push it over the hump, rather than be a catalyst for new interest... If that makes sense...

Fire Jeff Ireland.

by Lance :: Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:31pm

"I think people in Italy and Spain watch and cheer for their teams because they love the sport to begin with. They would be watching La Liga or Serie A during the season anyway because they love the sport and the national team is a chance for them to cheer for their own against the rest of the world.

It's the opposite with MLS - USMNT."

Certainly-- which was my point (even if I didn't state it directly). What soccer needs to do is, actually, what it's been doing-- field a domestic league and market the hell out of it. It will take quite a bit of time (more than 20 years) to make enough of an imprint in the social and cultural fabric of the country so that people care about it in the same way (and in the same numbers) that they do other sports.

by FrontRunningPhinsFan :: Fri, 07/06/2012 - 12:44pm

Gotcha. And I agree.

It may be even quicker than you think with respect to having an imprint on the social and cultural fabic of the US. I see many more soccer highlights on SportsCenter Top 10s than I used to. And to me, any time a crazy goal is on there ahead of a baseball "diving" (usually more like falling) catch it's not only a victory for soccer but for athleticism in general.

Fire Jeff Ireland.

by Guest789 :: Fri, 07/06/2012 - 1:45am

I don't have a problem with the scoring (although if we wanted to increase it, I think the easiest thing to do would be remove one player from each side; more space in 10v10.) I used to referee soccer, and I enjoy watching, right up until the inevitable moment when I turn it off out of disgust after a particularly blatant dive. You want soccer to become popular in North America - start carding diving so we reward the best players instead of the best actors.

Exhibit A (ignore the lame soundtrack): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ubuK-VJ-S8


“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.”

by Jerry :: Fri, 07/06/2012 - 4:29am

The biggest problem soccer will have in North America if the game continues to grow is that, unlike baseball, hockey, and basketball, there will be tough international competition for the best players. (Football isn't international enough for this to be an issue.)

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Fri, 07/06/2012 - 4:24pm

A much bigger problem is that it has historically been very difficult to turn a profit with soccer in this country. MLS's current structure where the Galaxy and a few others have salaries 10 times that of other teams suggests that's not changed.