Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

07 May 2012

MMQB: Seau Fallout

This week, Mr. King looks at the fallout of Junior Seau's suicide, the stadium situation in Minneapolis, and has Matt Light talk about retiring.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 07 May 2012

103 comments, Last at 11 May 2012, 10:50am by Mr Shush


by Jimmy :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 8:33am

Without bothering with Wikipedia, my guess about the train stations would be because the Pennsylvania Company built the lines and the stations (mainly because they did).

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 8:57am

while the train station in downtown Philadelphia is called 30th Street Station

Two guesses as to what street that station is located on... It also opened as a Penn Station. 30th St, like NYC's Penn Station, was also not the original train terminal in Philly.

NYC's Penn Station used to be in Jersey City. Grand Central has always been downtown.

by jackiel :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 9:04am

A guy takes Amtrak regularly for at least 20 years and never wonders why stations in various cities are named Pennsylvania Station and Union Station? Really?

The ignorance is truly frightening. The man has the curiosity of a doorknob. This is one of the country's best sports journalists? Lord...

by Theo :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 12:33pm

I stayed at the New Yorker hotel last year next to madison square garden and it was next to Penn Station.
It was the first thing I googled after investigating the security of the local jewelry stores.

by Anonymous Thief (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 1:25pm

What do you mean after?!?!?!

by Travis :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 9:10am

Grand Central has always been downtown.


by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 8:45am

The wheels will be in motion for Los Angeles quickly if, by Tuesday night, the stadium deal hasn't passed.

I love the "threat" of a stadium in LA. Los Angeles hasn't successfully built a football-dedicated facility since 1927. You know, back when biplanes were the height of technology, and horse-drawn urban transit was still common.

Basically, LA hasn't built a football stadium since before the NFL existed.

by Dean :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 10:14am

The cynic in me (go figure!) thinks the NFL doesn't want to go back to Southern California. Partly due to fan apathy and partly due to the fact that as soon as someone moves to LA, then that undercuts the leverage the other 31 owners have with their own stadium situations.

by tuluse :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 10:42am

I've heard this argument and I don't really buy it. Whatever team moves to LA will leaving their old market open so that city becomes the new threat.

by Dean :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 10:59am

Except that threatening to move your team to Jacksonville or St. Louis or Minneapolis isn't really much of a threat. As an owner, those markets aren't going to be significantly more lucrative. A city would have to be particularly obtuse about the realities of stadiums (i.e. Minneapolis) in order for it to be worth an owners while to move to a medium size or smaller market. Aside from LA, the only market that offers a significant net increase in revenue by size alone is Vegas, which is a non-starter. That's part of why places like London and Mexico City are being tossed around.

by tuluse :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 11:07am

No team really threatens to leave Chicago or Washington or Boston. You're already talking about a small market team if they're threatening to move, so a lateral move can still be a threat.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 11:12am

Considering Chicago used to have *two* teams...

by tuluse :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 12:45pm

And they left for st Louis which suggests any of the mentioned cities are big enough to be a threat.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 1:54pm

Of course, that move didn't work out particularly well for them. Granted, the Bidwell family isn't exactly a thinktank.

by Dean :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 2:18pm

I think it's fair to say the economics have changed in the last 50 years.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 11:11am

London is unlikely for the same reasons that Honolulu and Anchorage aren't likely -- too many time-zone transits. London to LA is an 8-hour timezone difference. A home team in London could only ever play the 1 pm game, which would be a 7pm start local. Monday Night Football and Thursday games would be out, because that's a 1:30 a.m. start time in London.

by Theo :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 12:33pm

You'd think there's enough fan base?
They won't sell out Wembley stadium 8 times a year, year after year.
Sure, all of Europe will be represented in the seats, but it's only once a year now.
The thing is 86.000 seats. If half the people who come to the annual game would buy season tickets, they'd still have to sell 301.000 tickets.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 1:31pm

I have those same doubts about the fan base. The NFL loves to brag about selling out for the yearly game in London. But the circus can sell out when it comes to town once a year, too. That doesn't mean your town could support a standing circus. But even if there was the fan base, there'd be issues with the time difference, travel, and getting players to actually choose to live and play abroad. (Somebody did a player poll of NBA players a couple years back and something like 80% said they'd have zero interest playing abroad. That certainly wouldn't help in producing a competitive team.) Those are all problems with no easy solutions.

Basically, the overseas idea is a complete pipe dream. The NFL keeps sticking it out there partly for PR, partly because of the buzz it generates, and possibly because Goodell is a little delusional on the topic.

by James-London :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 3:42pm

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

Agree with all the above, especially the problem of having NFL players committing to living in the UK. On top of that, where is a London team going to practise? While I can see Wembley working for 8-10 Home games in the short-term, any London team is going to have to build a training facility. For a permanent London team to work in the Long term, (and I assume the NFL would be looking long-term), they'll have to build their own stadium. I can assure you that the NFL have more chance of seeing God than getting a single English penny towards that.

London's not going to happen.

by Andrew Potter :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 4:13pm

All of these obstacles would be enough to stop a permanent UK franchise, and that's without even beginning to consider the legal implications of running a franchise outside the US - especially important with England being part of the European Union.

by James-London :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 4:17pm

The EU imposing 'Bosman' on the NFL? That would be entertaining. The NFLPA might like it, the NFL, I think, not so much...
Phil Simms is a Cretin.

by Ivarsson.se :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 1:43am

Bosman is pretty much just free agency anyway. Of course, RFA and the draft...

by Theo :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 5:26pm

Everything that takes place in Brussels (EU parliament) is for sale and as corrupt as south Italy.

by James-London :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 6:04pm

At the risk of violating rule #1, I couldn't agree more.

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

by dbostedo :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 7:00pm

I'm not sure if you're doing this, but it looks like you're tying needing a practice facility to an NFL team needing its own stadium?

If so, you should know that most (all?) NFL teams don't practice in the stadium they play in... the practice facilities are much more modest and separate usually.

If Wembley works and they can secure it for 8-10 games a year, I don't see any issue.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 8:44am

I don't think Wembley - or any existing London stadium - could handle 8-10 extra fixtures a year. What might conceivably work would be using 3-4 stadia - Wembley, the Emirates, the new Chelsea stadium at Battersea Power Station or elsewhere, and possibly Twickenham - hosting 2-4 games each.

by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 10:59am

How do Wembley and the other options stack up in terms of luxury suites and all the other amenities NFL owners can't live without? These aren't the sort of guys who just settle and anything they considered to be sub-par would be a huge deal to them.

There are just so many roadblocks. I continue to find it funny that the NFL can't manage to put a team in L.A. but London is something they think would work.

by Jimmy :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 11:29am

There is a whole tier of luxury suites all the way around the ground and it is a bloody big stadium. It was built quite recently and with the intention of recouping as much revenue as possible for the Football League. The transport links aren't the best (nothing like having to keep 10,000 fans with full bladders on a pedestrian bridge for 45 minutes to avoid crushing at the tube station). Getting into the ground is really easy but this is probably due to quite a few fans currently get there early to see their team warm up (with it being a once in a decade chance to see your team at present). Facilities aren't likely to be a big hiccup either, they'd get the planning to sort it out pretty easily (very easily if Kroenke moved the Rams, he would probably just expand Arsenal's facilities).

The problem with a London team is what Shush said, this Bears fan will remain a Bears fan. I might take a passing interest in the Bulldogs but only if they were in the opposite conference (which would be the same issue for half the UK fans). I have already made an emotional investment in my chosen team, I won't give it up for a new team. And that is before you get into whether the new ownership is someone / are people who I could stand in the first place. With the wrong owner I might end up cheering for th opposition every game.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 11:32am

Wembley and the Emirates are both new stadia with serious luxury facilities, and I find it hard to imagine that a stadium built by Roman Abramovich for the use of the club with the wealthiest fanbase in the nation won't. Twickenham may well not stack up in that department. Capacity might be an issue, I suppose: Wembley seats 90,000, but the Emirates and the proposed new Chelsea ground would only take about 60,000 each.

by dryheat :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 8:17am

I can assure you that the NFL have more chance of seeing God than getting a single English penny towards that.

I'm struggling for a non-offensive Tebow joke but can't seem to pull it off.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 8:48am

Thirded. I've got to count as a pretty hardcore NFL fan by UK standards, I live in London, and I regularly attend live sporting events (Chelsea season ticket, for starters) but I've stopped going to the Wembley games, because I've come to the conclusion that I prefer watching the Texans on TV than two teams I don't care about in the flesh. And if a franchise came to London, I might adopt them as my second team, but I'd still be a Texans fan first and foremost. If the NFL can't sell me a Bulldogs season ticket, who the hell can it sell one to?

by Jerry :: Wed, 05/09/2012 - 3:42am

No question that you and the other British posters here qualify as hardcore fans. While the league would love to have you attend games at Wembley (or whatever stadium they might use), putting a team in London would be more valuable by attracting people who aren't quite sure right now what sport the Houston Texans play. It might take some time to fill the stadium, but the idea of a good-sized British fanbase following a local team, and, by extension, the rest of the NFL, is what excites the league.

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 05/09/2012 - 3:40pm

I'm sure you're right, but I think they might really struggle in the early years - as in at least the first decade - to an extent I'm not sure they fully appreciate.

by Jerry :: Wed, 05/09/2012 - 6:37pm

And I'm sure you have a better appreciation of the British market than just about everyone on this side of the Atlantic. Any overseas expansion would be about expanding the fanbase in the long term; whether they can find owners to bear the shorter-term losses may be the question.

by tuluse :: Wed, 05/09/2012 - 6:53pm

There could also be severe backlash from US fans. No one likes to see teams move except for the recipients.

by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 12:35pm

Minneapolis/St. Paul is like the 15th media market in the country, maybe even as high as 12th if you factor disposable income et cetera.

If the Vikings were to leave (frankly it is not super likely), there would be a team back here within 20 years. Heck not having a team is better anyway, you always get the best game son TV and you don't have your state extorted for several hundred million dollars every 20 years. The economic benefits are exceedingly marginal, and could be made up for easily by spending that stadium money on a hospital expansion, or university expansion, or business subsidy program, or job training program, or 15 other things.

by Dean :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 2:20pm

the only markets small enough to make it worthwhile to move to Minneapolis would be Jacksonville and New Orleans. And Maybe Buffalo. Green Bay doesn't count. And even then, the city would have to get the stick out of its ass first, in which case they may as well just keep the Vikings.

by commissionerleaf :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 8:20pm

It's been long enough since Katrina now, right? Been a long time since New Orleans had any reason to have a team. (or a city).

by Whatev :: Wed, 05/09/2012 - 4:34pm

Yeah, but hysteresis.

by Marko :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 4:25pm

"Heck not having a team is better anyway, you always get the best game son [sic] TV"

A few comments:

1. But you wouldn't have "your" team. That matters to many people. Ask fans from Cleveland how they felt when the Browns left, fans from Baltimore how they felt when the Colts left, etc. I'm sure they would rather have watched "their" team (even if they were mediocre or bad) than watch any other game.

2. If this matters to you, you can already get the best games on TV if you get NFL Sunday Ticket.

3. If for whatever reason you don't or can't get NFL Sunday Ticket, I wouldn't be too sure that you will always get the "best" games on TV. You will get lots of games involving teams closest geographically to Minnesota (i.e., Packers and Bears). Those games may be good games, but you may not always think they are good, let alone the "best" games. I live in the Los Angelese market. The over the air games we get usually are not the "best" games. We get lots of Raiders games and Chargers games. For NFC games, we get some 49ers games, but we also get lots of games involving teams with large national fanbases (such as the Cowboys, Giants, Packers and Bears). This doesn't matter to me because I have NFL Sunday Ticket and thus don't have to watch the games on the local Fox or CBS stations.

by Deelron :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 4:13pm

Most of my family lives in the LA broadcast area, love football and want nothing to do with a team in the area. They already get most of the best games on TV and if they really want to go to one they can drive to San Diego. The last thing they want is a blacked out game a week and being forced to watch whatever bad team that moves there.

by AnonymousA (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 10:29am

Because, y'know, if one city with an established attachment to a team and a dearth of other teams won't pay for a new stadium in a bad economy, I'm sure some other city with no attachment to the team, a bevy of professional teams, and a history of temporary football teams will DEFINITELY pony up! Pay up now, Minnesota! It is inevitable! THE END IS NIGH! RIGHT NOW! MONEY! NOW!

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 8:51am

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the thinking that the revenue from an LA team would be so high as to make the proposition worthwhile even without public subsidy?

by Whatev :: Wed, 05/09/2012 - 4:35pm

If that were true, wouldn't they just do it?

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:21am

I should clarify: there's a strong possibility that it's worthwhile in the sense of being better than not having a team at all, but it's probably not as worthwhile as being subsidized to play somewhere else. And certainly not as worthwhile as being subsidized to play in LA, an option which disappears entirely from any potential table as soon as a team agrees to play there without subsidy.

by tuluse :: Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:39am

There are a few problems.

1) LA is freaking expensive, and there is no good place to put a stadium. When you factor in a 2 billion dollar stadium, it's not clear this a beneficial place to have a team. Even if it is, that's a lot of investment upfront.

2) LA traditionally has weak fan support for their football teams. If LA was lucrative, why did the Rams move to tiny St Louis and the Raiders decide to share the much smaller Bay area with the 49ers.

3) The vast majority of NFL money comes from TV contracts now. Whether or not a team is in LA probably doesn't affect these numbers much. This is also different from other sports where teams make local TV deals. I'm sure the Lakers make a ton of money off a local contract to show their games. The NFL is all nationwide TV.

4) The NFL probably wants to avoid fan backlash of moving a team.

So, I don't know that it's clear an NFL team would be instantly way more profitable just from moving to LA (though there are probably a few fringe cases like Buffalo or Jacksonville).

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 05/10/2012 - 8:09pm

$2bn? I'm sure LA's expensive, but London's the most expensive city on earth (non-Monaco division) and Chelsea's new stadium is only projected to cost half that, even with the need to build a significant Tube extension to service it.

Of course you're right about the drawbacks in general. But I think there are a fair number of teams for whom unsubsidized LA beats the hell out of unsubsidized wherever they are now, and probably a few - of whom the Vikings might conceivably be one - for whom unsubsidized LA is competitive with moderately subsidized staying put. If the threat was completely hollow, it wouldn't work and the league wouldn't use it. If nothing else, consider that LA was for some time preferred by the league to Houston in the bidding for the 32nd team - and Houston's, what, the tenth largest market in the country and football mad to boot?

by tuluse :: Thu, 05/10/2012 - 8:43pm

I didn't say it was completely hollow, I'm just not sure a football team would be significantly more profitable after moving to LA once everything is taken into account.

For what it's worth, it's sounding like the Viking's stadium is going to cost almost a billion dollars, and that's in Minnesota.

Also, I think you might have forgotten to do a currency exchange. From this article, http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/may/04/chelsea-battersea-power-s..., it says the Chelsea stadium is going to be more than 1 billion pounds, which is 1.6 billion dollars, and it says more.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 05/11/2012 - 10:50am

I made a mistake, but not the one you think - I just didn't bother to check the figures, and somehow got the £600m reported cost of redeveloping Stamford Bridge muddled with the £1bn reported cost of moving to Battersea. My bad.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Thu, 05/10/2012 - 9:07pm

If you count DFW together, Houston's 5th at about half the size of LA.

by dryheat :: Fri, 05/11/2012 - 8:32am

3) The vast majority of NFL money comes from TV contracts now

I think this is an under-reported facet of the LA love. I believe it is the networks who want an LA team, and are willing to pay more for the contract when negotiations open up.

by are-tee :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 11:17am

I don't understand why the state/taxpayers should have to foot the bill for any part of a football stadium, the purpose of which is to help generate profits for the NFL and the Vikings. If you're not going to get a positive return on your investment in the long run, don't expect the government to make up your losses.

by jackiel :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 12:11pm

Surely you jest!

Owners and the league have been taking advantage of the NFL's quasi-civic relationships with local communities to fleece taxpayers for years. It's a proven model. Don't expect it to change now. King outlines the reasons why the league has this power in his column--if voters feel politicians are complicit in letting the hometown team relocate, it could be a death knell for their careers. And having an NFL team is a status symbol for cities. How else do you explain St. Louis and Baltimore getting back into the game after their original teams left?

by JBrown (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 1:20pm

Not always...Bob Kraft coughed up all the cash for Gillette stadium himself:


by Rocco :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 2:54pm

After he tried shaking down Connecticut for the money but was blocked by the NFL.

by PatsFan :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 10:02pm

Citation on the NFL blocking Kraft from moving, please.

He wasn't blocked. He chose to exercise an escape clause in the Connecticut contract relating to the stadium not being ready by such-and-such a date (as I recall, some environmental hazards ultimately were found on the site and the remediation of them would have set back the schedule).

I still think (even as a Pats fan) that the whole CT thing was total bad faith negotiation -- he never intended to go there and all along was willing to build his own stadium if it came to that. But before doing so he tried to use CT to pressure the MA legislature into building a stadium for him. When that failed, he sought out the easiest way to void the CT deal.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 1:57pm

How else do you explain St. Louis and Baltimore getting back into the game after their original teams left?

That Ravens relocation might be interesting. I don't know that you'll see another owner move a franchise in the NFL without also selling it after that, considering Art Modell still fears for his life in Cleveland, to the point of skipping Lou Groza's funeral.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 3:11pm

St Louis may lose the Rams. The city agreed to a deal that required them to keep the stadium as one of the top 8 facilities in the NFL. I don't know if the Jones Dome qualified even when the Rams moved here. If they don't, the Rams can move at any time without penalty for breaking their lease. Right now, the negotiations are going on behind closed doors which may violate Missouri's Sunshine Act prohibiting governments from having non-public negotiations. So far, nobody's mentioned the Rams moving back to LA (or even Orange County). New owner Stan Kronke is from Missouri, but owns Denver's NBA and NHL teams. I think moving the team might have been more likely had he won the Dodgers auction.

by Dean :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 2:21pm

The answer can be summed up in 3 words.

Because they can.

by Sifter :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 11:54pm

My idea is that the NFL should part fund one new stadium every year, meaning over 32 years everyone would get money toward a new stadium. Part fund would mean pay maybe 50%, ownership at least 25% and tax payers at most 25%. At the moment I think there are too many new stadiums and too much waste for taxpayers. I know there are a LOT of problems with that idea, but it's a dream of mine...

by Will Allen :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 12:04pm

As I've stated in acouple threads now, 15 years of stadium politics has runined my Viking fandom. I'll still watch NFL games (although the concussion nightmare is starting to affect my overall view of the game), but I will no longer seek out Vikings games in particular. The whole thing has been sickening.

by TV_Pete (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 12:07pm

Taxpayers footing the bill could be considered an investment, although in Tea Party philosophy that would be best left to professional investors.

Tim Tebow working on special teams - probably as middle defender on Punt Team. I suspect Tebow is a good Fullback, could be decent passer in this situation, and willing to tackle. He did play defensive line in high school and doesn't seem to shy from contact.

Less beneficial to be holder, but that is not unusual role for backup QB and could force defenses to play a little differently.

For a backup QB does he hold a reasonable salary cap number?

by Will Allen :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 12:34pm

The e-mails from Nigeria are peddling "investments" as well. There might be some price point at which it makes sense for a city to build a NFL stadium, but not at today's prices. Minneapolis and Minnesota are going to spend over a billion dollars, once interest costs are factored, to build a facility that will probably be used by a sellout or near sellout crowd less than 20 times a year, maybe less than 15 times a year. If they hosted the Super Bowl or Final Four every other year, maybe you could make a case, however tenuous, but they will likely get one Super Bowl, and a Final Four once every 15 years or so.

This is welfare for rich people, plain and simple.

by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 12:37pm

Hey Will, rich people have needs to. The politicians need to ensure they can live in the manner they are accustomed to. :)

by verifiable (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 1:27pm

It is not welfare for rich people. It is return on investment for political donations

by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 12:32pm

The stadium as proposed is just a huge handout to Wilf. Maybe $400 million? For some real estate developer on the east coast? This is a great scam the NFL has going.

The Metrodome is just fine as a public facility for civic events, the only reason they want an upgrade is for the Vikings to have increased revenues.

The legislature will try to hide behind "jobs" and the unions have really been putting the screws to the Democrats for those ~7500 9 month long construction jobs. But at several hundred thousand a permanent job this is a huge waste. Good economic development subsidies are typically in the $10,000/job range.

But this is what you get when you have a political system dominated by lobbyists and campaign donations. Most of the legislature is more concerned about what this vote means for their campaign funding next election cycle rather than whether or not it is a good idea.

It is shameful. I wish the legislature took governing as seriously as they took handing out pork.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 12:48pm

Peter King, Master of Moral Calculus, apparently doesn't grasp how someone may not be too generous with regard to the notion of someone like Roethlisberger being "changed", if Roethlisberger has never forthrightly and openly acknowledged the nature of his wrongdoing. I have no idea whether the guy has changed. I do think it very probable that he has raped women, and I don't think he has ever acknowledged how he has abused women, and, no, it is not at clear that serving a multigame suspension constitutes an adequate consequence for such behavior.

It is one thing to say the law is inadequate to the task of imposing such a consequence,given the standard of proof required, and it is one thing to say that an employer can only go so far. It is another to say that the public at large should forget the behavior involved, and thus not shower such a person with ridicule and derision, until Roethlisberger publicly acknowledges the specific nature of his wrongdoing.

by Bill (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 1:04pm

Gracefully stated, and thank you.

Frankly, between that section betraying Peter's adoration for athletes, even at the expense of the "little people", and the "Thomas Jefferson endorses the new health care laws, so what is your problem?" paragraph, I think I'm officially done with Mr. King, much as I was with Feinstein about a decade ago.

What I cannot understand is how these men become convinced we read their columns for their opinions on non-sports issues, and why they believe they are qualified to offer them even if we were interested...

by Will Allen :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 1:26pm

Yeah, the Jefferson quote, as employed by King, is just the usual idiotic battling with a strawman.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 1:42pm

Nobody who has read King any length of time can be surprised about the "little people" topic. It's not just how he sees athletes...it's how he himself operates. I remember him going off on a TSA screener for expecting King to follow the same rules as everybody else, and of course there was the classic story from several years back where Peter had security at a Spring Training game keep a little kid from getting to a foul ball so Peter himself could snatch it.

by Martin (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 1:56pm

The story about the kid and the foul ball is an all-timer. Not only did it make him look like the world's biggest d-bag, he honestly thought you'd read it and think he was cool.

by tuluse :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 2:20pm

Worse than that, he thought you would read it and think he was right and the kid was some kind of delinquent.

by Lance :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 3:10pm

Indeed. The post is here. He begins "This is going to do nothing but make you envious of me, and so I'm not sure if I should write it or not, but I relate it only to let you know how thankful I am for the charmed life I lead, and to remind you that the next time I complain about anything job-related you need to put me in my place and tell me what a fool I am."

But you're right-- in the next column, he says, "I introduced myself to a guard and asked if I could get a foul ball. I walked to get the foul ball. A 7-year-old boy passed through the same gate, without permission, as the guard called after him to come back. I picked up the ball I thought was hit by Miguel Tejada. The kid picked up the ball he thought was hit by Tejada. I'm supposed to convince this kid who snuck through the gate that he doesn't have the right ball and give him mine? I had permission to get the ball I got. The 7-year-old boy stole his. And I "cheated" him out of the ball? I can see how you'd be offended that I tried to make the kid feel good by telling him he had the real ball, because I told what I believed to be a lie, even though it was not a malicious one. Maybe that's wrong. But is it right to be somewhere you shouldn't be and, technically, to possess stolen property?" So, yeah.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 7:00pm

Thanks for posting the links. I'd never read his response column. He comes across as a bigger jerk defending himself than in the original column. And I'd have bet that was impossible.

He actually thought the kid was stealing? How can you steal a foul ball? And PK didn't have special permission to get the ball--he just had access to that area of the park by virtue of his press pass. He makes it sound like the team mailed him the ball as the gift and he caught the kid trying to break into his house to get at it.

And feel free to speculate on whether him using his press pass was really fair given he apparently wasn't working the game since he doesn't typically do baseball.

by dbostedo :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 9:48pm

Actually he never mentions a press pass... he just said he asked for permission to go back there to get the ball. It's likely that the official gave him permission just for asking and not because of any other reason. He wasn't at the game in an official capacity... it was a stop after other meetings.

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 10:02pm

He says the guard and A's official were keeping people from going down there, but they let him right through. Pretty clear to me he either had a pass or they knew he was Peter King of Sports Illustrated. Same difference. And he specifically brags about how his job was so cool, implying that was somehow part of his job, making me suspect he probably did use a press pass for the game. I can't see him ever paying for anything unless he absolutely had to.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 10:19pm

"And so I walked to the area outside the right-field stands where a guard and an A's official were making sure no fans got down to the lower fields and the players' parking lot."

They weren't letting any fans down there. Plus, ends the story with the line "And now you know why I have the best job on earth." He wasn't just a fan for the day. He was using the perks of his position.

by dryheat :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 10:08am

I had never seen the rebuttal either, because I think that was the last King column I've read.

I think what I found to be the most humerous aspect of the episode was that King's goal in telling the tale seemed to be to convince us that he was doing a great deed, since after all he told the kid "I'm sure that's the ball". What a great guy...why give the kid the home run ball, when you can convince him that another one was the correct one instead? Frankly, he's right that it's a harmless lie...but why in the f@ck would you brag about it? Furthermore, I'm sure the kid in question has had this brought to his attention by now, negating any masturbatory feeling of having done a good deed.

by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 11:16am

I think the kid is just a sideshow to the real story he wanted to tell: That it's really cool to be Peter King and show up at any sports venue you want and get to stroll around like you own the place, going into restricted areas and scoring souvenirs that normal fans can only dream about.

And the funny part is that if he'd left the story at that without going into details about the kid, I'd have read it and thought "Yeah, that is cool" and forgotten about it in no time without any ill will towards him. But thanks to him bragging about stiffing the kid, I still remember this story years later.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 2:07pm

I remember a column in which he made a point to ridicule some 25k a year airline employee for their geographical ignorance. This from a guy who thinks he should use column space to write about why so many cities have a Penn Station. He really is the worst sort of gaping orifice.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 3:15pm

These days I'm thankful when anyone in the service industry knows New Mexico is part of the US.

by zenbitz :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 6:19pm


Wait... there's a NEW Mexico?

by Theo :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 7:25pm

part of the what?

by RickD :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 2:20pm

Not a huge fan of PK or of ACA, but I didn't see the words "health care" in King's column.

I think if you take his comment about Jefferson as a generic statement in opposition to "originalists" who claim that every law must comport with what the Founding Fathers thought, it's not terribly controversial.

I think if you want to blast him for supporting ACA, you ought to at least wait until he mentions the subject specifically.

by Bill (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 4:30pm

You may be right in his making a larger, less-specific, comment, but gven his combination of liberalism (as he understands the word) and attempts at trend-setting political hipness, I strongly suspected he was making the comment I inferred. In any case, I still have no clue why he feels obliged to inject a football column with his "insights".

by commissionerleaf :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 8:26pm

Of course, no "originalist" actually thinks that. Originalists think that the laws the founding fathers wrote themselves should comport with what the founding fathers thought, not that all new laws should. No originalist, for instance, that I am aware of, denies the ability to amend the Constitution.

They just tend to be in favor of doing so democratically.

by Whatev :: Wed, 05/09/2012 - 4:42pm

But amending the Constitution democratically is haaaaaaaaaard!

by FrontRunningPhinsFan :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 1:48pm

Agree wholeheartedly.

Fire Jeff Ireland.

by Steve in WI :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 12:46pm

Well said. IMHO, the issue isn't whether or not he's changed; the issue is whether or not he was guilty in the first place (of a serious crime, first of all, and also of being an abusive d-bag towards women). I don't know what happened or why he wasn't charged with rape. It's possible that he's truly innocent, and it's possible that there wasn't enough evidence to charge him.

If he's innocent, then he deserves to be treated as such. "Change" has absolutely nothing to do with it. If he's guilty of rape but just wasn't charged for whatever reason, then as far as I'm concerned what he does in the rest of his life means nothing.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 2:05pm

If the GBI report is read about the night in Georgia that led to his suspension, it is hard to think that his chance of being innocent of a sexual assault is much better than 5%, and that may be overstating it. That's not sure enough to convict him or prosecute him, especially after the accuser announces that she doesn't want to testify against him, even if she is not changing her account of the evening. However, that sure doesn't mean anyone should give a damn about Roethlisberger supposedly being "changed", especially since Roethlisberger has never given a complete and open account of his behavior on the evening in question. It is itself a moral wrong to forgive someone if the person needing forgiveness won't even clearly and explicitly state the nature of their wrongdoing.

by RickD :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 2:11pm

Weird coincidence: both Peter King and Paul Krugman complained about Amtrak's wifi in today's columns/blog posts.

(Also, both have the initials PK.)

If I were a sportscaster, I would say this is ironic.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 2:58pm

If you were Alanis Morissette, you could sing about it being ironic. (And still not know what the word meant.)

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 5:49pm

It's like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a fork.
So what is big dea l? Many tkmss used spoon for fork foods and forks for spoon sguff. Like for example have eaten crwal with fork and have eaten sonething with a poon once maybe salad. You just make do and not complain about it.

by Hurt Bones :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 6:23pm

Is that dry crwal with a fork? Because if it's with milk your my new hero.

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 11:57pm

Yes with milk. Many tiems have eateb froot loops or golden smacks or rasin bran in bowl with milk and used fork

by Marko :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 6:16pm

Eating crwal with a fork and eating salad with a poon sounds like running an offense with Tm Teboww at quarterbock.

by dbostedo :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 6:58pm

To be pedantic, since this is FO, the line from the song is "10,000 spoons, when all you need if a knife".

Or maybe you got the line correct, but just misspelled "knife" as "fork"...

by Theo :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 7:28pm

my guess is that RJ (and who didn't) also cuts things with his spoon - like apple pie - , and eats things with his knife, like steak.
So yeah, still a shitty song though that doesn't make a lick of sense.
Oh wait - you don't eat steak with a spoon.

by Theo :: Mon, 05/07/2012 - 5:32pm

A coincidence at most.

by Honest Abe (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 4:56am

Another week of slash and burn Peter King, this time for asking an innocent question about Pennsylvania Stations. It's ironic (used correctly) that some dingbat uses the Internet to mouth off that Peter King is mouthing off. As for the foul ball incident, why wasn't that kid in school?

by Jimmy :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 7:19am

All I did was answer PK's trivia question. He set the question.

by dryheat :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 8:37am

Easy there, Mary Beth.....that's not the correct use of ironic either....although that is the most common mis-use. Ironic would be some internet poster praising Mr. King's geographic awareness and moral compass.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 8:48am

It was a stupid question, on par with asking why they call it Grant's Tomb. His yammering about Roethlisberger is just the usual ignorant ass-kissing.

Hey, at least we were not subjected to a highly paid professional writer, attempting to compliment a speaker, by noting that the speaker's utterances were chock-full with "truisms".