Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

21 May 2012

MMQB: Shady Gets Paid

This week in MMQB, Peter King tackles the LeSean McCoy extension, Drew Brees' contract talks with the Saints, and the career of Rod Smith.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 21 May 2012

137 comments, Last at 25 May 2012, 4:53pm by Karl Mal0wned!


by Drunkmonkey :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 8:23am

I think "Tweet of the Week II" is a really good one, and a great reminder of just how important Brees is to this team, not just on the field, but off it too. A great team makes more money, and whatever you pay to keep Brees will easily be made back, whereas failing to do so will make you pay for the rest of your life.

by Podge (not verified) :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 8:37am

I've not really read this yet, I just wanted to comment that I like that his brother is called Ken King.

by Guido Merkens :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:10pm

Kenny King held the record for the longest reception in Super Bowl history until 1997 with his 80-yard TD catch for the Raiders against the Eagles in 1981.

I guess he took all the athletic genes in PK's family.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 1:18pm

Kenny King was tremebdous Super Bowl hero Super Boel 15. Not related to Peter Kig thoguh unless related ny marriage whoch am unsure about.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 9:07am

Am I the only one totally befuddled by King's discussion of how Larry Fitzgerald needs a better QB and therefore the Cards drafted Malcolm Floyd? I mean, if Fitz needs a better QB, then shouldn't they have gotten, you know, a QB?

by Drunkmonkey :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 9:11am

While I can see the point that King is trying to make there, I agree with you in that getting another WR isn't going to magically solve the QB accuracy issues. I think he's reaching a bit too much in this tidbit.

by Podge (not verified) :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 9:14am

I get the overall thrust of his argument: if you've got one of the best receivers in the game, you might as well make sure that you take full advantage of that. The argument I see is that Floyd should make it so that teams get punished to the utmost if they focus too much on stopping Fitzgerald.

But yeah, drafting Floyd doesn't make Kevin Kolb or John Skelton more accurate. It should make them more effect though.

It feels like he has the start of the argument (great receiver) and the end of the argument (maximise his benefit) but just missed the middle of the argument.

by Guido Merkens :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:13pm

His argument is particularly neutered by the comparison of Fitzgerald's Warner numbers to his Kolb/Skelton numbers. With Warner (and, more importantly for this argument, playing across from Anquan Boldin), Fitzgerald caught a slightly lower percentage of his targets than his QB's overall completion percentage, which makes sense because he rarely catches high-percentage dump-offs. Without Warner and Boldin, Fitzgerald did the same relative to the QB's overall percentage.

This suggests that having Fitzgerald play with a good complementary receiver might not change his numbers that much, and that the QB accuracy issue is what drives the numbers.

by LionInAZ :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:14am

I have little doubt that QB accuracy is the main driver for WR numbers. Calvin Johnson's up-and-down yearly performances are a case in point. You'd be surprised at how many people think a great WR will still catch 65% of the throws to him even when his QB only completes at 55% rate.

by Jerry :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 3:24am

If the Cards felt that Floyd was a better value on the first round than any of the available QBs, then the pick makes sense. Adding another mediocre-or-worse quarterback isn't the solution. [Insert obligatory disclaimer about Cardinal talent assessment.]

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 8:13am

What you say is true (and coherent). But that wasn't King's argument. King's argument was that Fitz needs a better QB, therefore it was a smart move to draft Floyd to take pressure off him.

by DavidL :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 1:55pm

He said "If you're going to employ Larry Fitzgerald, and you're going to pay him ($16 million per year) like he's the best receiver in football, you had best not put him out on an island with inaccurate passers." Drafting Floyd is a solution to "out on an island," not "inaccurate passers."

by mschuttke :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 3:17pm

Therein I question if "out on an island" can be solved if "inaccurate passes" isn't dealt with first.

by Dean :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 4:08pm

So what you're saying is that it's not poor knowledge of football, but rather poor writing? Either way, it's one of the fundamentals of his job.

by tuluse :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 4:28pm

That's his editor's fault. si.com has the worst editors.

by DavidL :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 5:25pm

I got it on the first glance, then looked in here and wondered what everyone was confused about. He even says, in black and white, "Not that Floyd is going to fix the accuracy issues. But he should deflect some of the attention from Fitzgerald so the quarterback -- whoever it is -- can have a better chance to play well." Did that passage change after people here read it, or something?

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 9:58pm

No I got that. It's just a really weak point.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 9:10am

Also, as someone who attended a graduation yesterday and did some "hooting and hollering" I would like to request that PK kindly remove the stick from his ass.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 10:44am

Worst thing about it is that King is the sort who would criticize you for it, then go completely nuts for his kid.

by tuluse :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 10:49am

He would just congratulate his kid in an article read by millions of people, and think that was less ostentatious.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 11:06am


by dbostedo :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:56pm

What I don't get is that he seems to think he's agreeing with the original tweet, when I think he's going against it.

by mansteel (not verified) :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 10:04pm

It seems to me that he thinks (as do I) that the original tweet was sarcastic, given the apparently snide reference to The Price is Right.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 1:19pm

Or, you know, don't be obnoxious at graduations.

by pavao13 :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 9:50pm

Thank you. They specifically ask people to save their cheering and clapping until the end because it drowns out the names being called. There were multiple times where a name would be called, the family of the person would cheer wildly, and I had no idea what name was called next. I'm sure that person didn't appreciate it too much. It's just ignorant. I also didn't enjoy having a 40 year old woman scream in my ear from six inches away either.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:31pm

Hell, I didn't go to my own graduation ceremonies, much to the disappointment of my parents, because I figured out by the time I was 10 that unless you are in church or a funeral parlor, any large group of people is going to mean a fair amount of insufferable behavior. As the Harry Dean Stanton character says in the 80's movie "Repo Man", "Regular f****'n people; I hate 'em!".

I can stand it when it involves watching the world's best athletes doing something hard, but just barely; you really couldn't get me to put up with the sort of crowd that attends a regular season NFL or NHL game, for instance, but I'd stomach it for the playoffs. To watch people in gowns cross a stage, have something handed to them, and shake hands, even if I am one of the people? Not a chance! Hopefully, my children will have the degree of misanthropy I do, because I'll admit that if they want me there, I'll be enough of a softie to do it.

by FrontRunningPhinsFan :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 1:27pm

I haven't read the article, but to "hoot and holler" at a graduation is both trashy and disrespectful.

Even if the person walking across the stage doesn't want to be there, which I'd imagine is a majority, the family and friends there see it as a huge accomplishment for that person and for them. It has to be a great sense of satisfaction, relief, and pride for a parent to hear their child's name as they walk across that stage.

If you're screaming for someone to where it drowns out someone else's name, you've robbed another family of that experience. If you don't think its a big deal, here's an idea: You don't go. Since you only care about the graduate you're there for and don't respect everyone else enough not to ruin their moment, then build a stage in your back yard and let your friend or family member walk across that. You can scream all you want.

Fire Jeff Ireland.

by pound4pound (not verified) :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 1:57pm

+1 to everything you said. Except "Fire Jeff Ireland".

(I'm a Jets fan.)

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 10:04pm

Gosh, I wish I had realized how easy it would have been to drown someone's name out while I was yelling. What a missed opportunity to ruin some family's day! The next graduation I go to, you can be sure I'll try harder. But alas, sadly I slacked off and only yelled during the brief period when no one was talking. Shame, really.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 12:09am

Is a little courtesy and decorum really all that much to ask?

by dbostedo :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 8:09am

Really, at the few I've been to, I don't recall people hooting and hollering at a graduation ever going on so long as to interrupt the next name called. There's usually at least a few seconds between names, even at the larger ones (>800 students) I've been to.

And I still think the original tweet wasn't sarcastic.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 8:37am

Re: the original tweet, it's unclear but I think you're right. What's a more significant accomplishment, graduating or having your name picked out of a hat so you can be a Price is Right contestant?

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 9:15am

Let the man celebrate the last significant accomplishment of his life -- graduating from high school.

Even though 90% of all children do.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 8:23pm

Hey! Lots of people get GEDs!

by Podge (not verified) :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 9:11am

This column marks the first time I've ever heard Luton referred to as "countryside". Or "town". Or in fact, anything other than "utter hole".

Also, the Abbey Road thing, there's a webcam set up at http://www.abbeyroad.com/crossing that shows the crossing. I urge you to watch it on a Saturday afternoon (so Saturday morning for you folks), and just watch the carnage as people try to take photos of their friends recreating the album cover on a busy London street in the middle of the day.

by Sophandros :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 9:28am

I have a couple friends from Luton. They are the only people who refer to it as a town.

Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

by Mr Shush :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 2:13pm

Insofar as I think of Luton at all, it's primarily as a railway station near an airport.

by Scott P. (not verified) :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 6:11pm

"Take this plane to Luton."

by James-London :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 7:16pm

Luton's a toilet. f you dropeed an atom bomb on it you'd only do $15 worth of damage...

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 8:20am

Think I'll hop on the bus to Cuba instead, if it's all the same to you.

by Eggwasp (not verified) :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 11:52am

He didnt say his brother lived in Luton, just that the train went from Luton. I live near-ish Luton in a lovely village in the N Chilterns - maybe his brother lives near me.

by Anonymouse (not verified) :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 10:17am


by Mr Shush :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 8:21am

Be quiet, Hodor!

by tuluse :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 11:05am

Less cricket more Jim Finks anecdotes.

by Jimmy :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 11:53am

Whilst always being in favour of Jim Finks anecdotes there should be room in an offseason column by PK for other things. A Lords test match is a rather special and unique part of the sporting calendar, the place is just a perfect place to watch (and presumably play) cricket.

However lets make one thing very clear. Lords is not a 'Fenway Park' of cricket grounds. Everywhere else is 'the Lords of _____'. By being there first at least along with having longer traditions than any other sporting venue not called Olympia, Greece (and Lords cricket goes way further back than the modern Olympics).

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 5:11pm

The Guild of St. Michael fencing salle in Ghent dates to 1614.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 8:19am

Which still makes it a whippersnapper next to the real tennis court at Falkland Palace in Fife, dating as it does from 1539.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 8:26am

Though in fairness, cricket is a mainstream sport in a meaningful way in which fencing and real tennis are not. I think the most legitimate answer to this quasi-question is probably the Old Course at St. Andrews - and I speak as someone who loves cricket and is pretty indifferent to golf. Although also as a Surrey fan . . .

by Jimmy :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 11:01am

All these other places are all well and good but don't really fit the same category (which I admittedly did not specify). People have been sitting around and watching cricket at Lords for a long time. It may have een the first venue constructed with the idea of having people pay to observe sporting events that is still used - which is why the Circus Maximus or the Coliseum don't count. When push comes to shove the Old Course is just a field with a stream running through it.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 1:41pm

Epsom Downs or Ascot, then. Probably some other race courses too.

by Jimmy :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 5:17pm

Does people riding horses really count as sport? This is from someone who reckons that if they want to include cross country riding in the Olympics then the person should swap with the horse half way around the course - this would have the fantastic result of all the top competitiors being really big, strong guys riding tiny shetland ponies over jumps.

by tuluse :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 5:37pm

Your comment made me think that a mixed species relay race would actually be fun to watch.

by Jimmy :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 6:15pm

It isn't really a relay, the person has to carry the horse on the second half.

by tuluse :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 7:35pm

I understood, my mind just went off on a tangent.

by tuluse :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 11:06am

For a lark I looked up the oldest sporting venue in the US. Wikipedia tells me it's the Saratoga race track which opened in 1863.

Well you know what they say, Americans think 100 years is a long time, Europeans think 100 miles is a long way.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 5:54pm

Cricket is a victorian form of baseball played by Brits and those residing in ex-colonies they didn't like.

Fencing is polite form of sword-fighting contested between most of Europe and a fair amount of Asia, and may be one of the few forms of fighting in which France, Italy, and Hungary are still relevant.

I'd argue fencing is as relevant as cricket. =)

by Jimmy :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 6:11pm

No. Baseball is cricket played without the proper equipment and laws (and all the worse for it).

And a few ex-colonies consitituted half the world's population at one time. An awful lot of people enjoy their cricket. Incidentally the first international cricket match was between the US and Canada, not a test which is why no one cares but still.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 9:11pm

Baseball is a boring version of cricket.
Cricket is an even more boring version of baseball.

by Independent George :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 1:05pm

Everything I know about cricket, I learned by watching Lagaan.

by rfh1001 :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 6:11pm

Ok, I'll bite. Baseball is not played by anywhere close to the number of people cricket is. I feel bad biting. I really feel bad. But there it is. I bit.

(And as for American football. I mean, really.)

by tuluse :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 7:38pm

I bet it's closer than you think. Baseball is popular in Central America and Japan.

Still India is just huge so that's that.

by rfh1001 :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 4:09am

1. Also: Population of (Bangladesh + Pakistan) > USA

2. And leaving aside fanaticism, I thinking the 'playing' part is slightly relevant to its relevance. Cricket is a properly mass participation sport wherever its played. My home village has three teams, including kids, doddering ancients and people who have never really been able to catch.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 9:19am

Any sport dominated by India is no sport at all.

In Olympic tables, India has the worst per-capita medal rate of any nation that actually regularly attends. Kazakhstan has more golds, in 21 fewer Olympiads, with a population of 1.4% that of India's.

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 11:54am

1. Why are the Olympics the yardstick?

2. Cricket is only dominated by India in the sense that India is its most important market. Australia have been by far the most successful team over the course of the game's history, while England are the current #1 ranked test side and T20 champions (though India are admittedly the ODI world champs). Australia and England (despite the name, England is really the Great Britain and (kind of) Ireland combined team) both generally do pretty respectably in the old medal tables. Sprint powerhouse Jamaica is also a key constituent of the West Indies team, which has been through a very lean decade but was dominant in the 70s and 80s and still strong as recently as the late 90s, and is now showing signs of new life. South Africa (perhaps the strongest nation in the world across the three disciplines overall) are also no slouches in Olympic terms.

by Tri Shanku (not verified) :: Fri, 05/25/2012 - 9:00am

So... you are saying:

(1) A sport is not a sport because it is wildly popular in a country that has very bad history of winning in Olympics?

(2) Since a country is piss-poor at winning Olympic medals, it cannot be good at any other sport?

I believe you said it half-seriously, so I will not go into the discussion why countries with poor per capita income are usually bad at sports as well, especially countries that have more serious problems than lack of good quality sports facilities. And as to whether India is dominating Cricket... I wish :))

by unverified (not verified) :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 1:05pm

I had never heard of real tennis before this comment. I appreciate your obscure sports knowledge.

by Eggwasp (not verified) :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 11:55am

Close - but Trent Bridge is actually the perfect place to watch cricket.

At least it will be on Friday/Saturday if the weather forecast is correct.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 1:37pm

Surely at Trent Bridge of all places the perfect conditions are gloomy as hell? I'd far rather see Jimmy swinging it sideways than batsmen making hay.

by Jimmy :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 5:14pm

If the river is full the ball will swing. Its been that way ever since they built the new stand.

by Eggwasp (not verified) :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 8:20am

I will not be in the new stand, but I will be in the Larwood and Voce stand, which my iPhone corrected to Karaoke and Vice - which should liven things up a bit in the afternoon if the run rate is a bit lacklustre. I know Twenty20 has altered things a little, but I don't think even the IPL lay that on.

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 8:58am

Test cricket followed by karaoke and vice sounds very close to my perfect day out.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 11:05am

Interesting bit about Mickey Loomis apparently being on his way to running both NFL and NBA franchises at the same time. Is that a good idea? Is it even realistically possible? It seems that Loomis wasn't able to pay full attention to just one team's operations. The move also suggests that to Tom Benson, bountygate either wasn't that big of a deal or he believes there was nothing Loomis could have done to have avoided the scandal. Stuff like this makes it easy to see how it happened with the Saints in the first place.

However, I think it would be fascinating to see how an NFL GM would run an NBA franchise, because those appear to be two totally different worlds. In the NBA, players retire and get named GM or vice president almost before they get their lockers cleaned out. In the NFL, businessmen run teams and even an icon like John Elway has to make millions with a car dealership and run a successful arena league team before getting a shot.

by Guido Merkens :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:18pm

Stan Kroenke currently owns the St. Louis Rams and Denver Nuggets, along with the Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Rapids.

Edit: misread this; owner vs. GM. But I believe John Weisbrod ran several NHL teams before becoming GM of the Orlando Magic.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 2:21pm

Weisrod did GM both NHL and NBA teams, but not at the same time which is what Loomis is apparently going to do.

Loomis has been a good NFL GM in terms of getting talent, but I question how anybody could do both jobs justice. The combine was the end of February this year and the NBA trade deadline was the second week of March. NFL teams are working around the clock preparing for the draft at the same time the NBA is gearing up for the playoffs. Assuming Loomis would end up deferring to somebody on many NBA matters rather than neglect his duties with the Saints, why not just hire a separate GM for the Hornets?

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 3:56pm

It boggles the mind to think that a top GM like Loomis would entertain the thought of doing both jobs even in the best of circumstances. And the NBA in NOLA is anything but the best of circumstances. I'm going to guess if he does end up running the Hornets it will be at the highest most level where the GM checks in with him in a similar manner to how most front offices check in with the owner.

by tuluse :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 4:16pm

A lot of teams have a "president" position. I would guess this is what he does. It still seems unlikely that he could do a good job at both.

by The Hypno-Toad :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 8:51pm

If I remember correctly, Stan Kroenke had to give up his on paper ownership of most (if not all) of his Denver teams when he bought into the rams. His son Josh is the "owner" of the Denver teams now... In that his is the name on the forms.

by Eggwasp (not verified) :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 11:55am

And Arsenal FC

by unverified (not verified) :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 4:41pm

Perhaps the Hornets strategy is to lose more games next year to get a good draft choice. I can't see them making the playoffs anytime soon.

by Jerry :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 3:35am

Stan Kasten was president of several Atlanta franchises simultaneously for Ted Turner. (I'm not sure how involved he was with any individual team.)

Stuff like this makes it easy to see how it happened with the Saints in the first place.

Well said. I think you're onto something.

by are-tee :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 11:43am

"The Saints feel they should be credited for taking a medical risk with Brees in 2006."

I don't get this at all. They took the risk six years ago and obvioulsy they were the beneficiaries of taking that risk. If Brees is still healthy now, why should this affect his current contract negotiations?

by tuluse :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 11:58am

Because Tom Benson likes to not spend his money.

by Joseph :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 4:33pm

Then why did he buy the Hornets?

by BaronFoobarstein :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 6:36pm

He likes the color scheme.

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:14pm

It doesn't make any sense. They need to just get him re-signed. You'd think they'd want some positive publicity right now.

But it also doesn't make any sense to have the same guy trying to run the Saints and Hornets. I wonder if that is so Benson doesn't have to pay an extra salary?

by KL (not verified) :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:58pm

Conversely, I'm not sure why Brees should get extra money going forward because he outperformed his last contract.

And I'm not sure why there should be a $3 million/year premium for Brees over the Manning and Brady contracts ($21MM compared to $18MM). I could see some, but 17% is a lot.

It'd be interesting to see what he'd get if he were a true free agent.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 5:12pm

Because he's got less mileage than they do?

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:54pm

Suggest everyone read the link in PK's #2 Ten Things I Think I Think. George Koonce was the Packers starting MLB during their Super Bowl season and started at all three LB positions during his career. One of those undersized, try-hard guys who made it.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 1:08pm

I do love to hear stories of guys who've made a lot of money playing football, like Kitna or Randall McDaniel, who become schoolteachers after they are done playing ball. A lot of guys would benefit from such a career move, if they have the ability to do so, as opposed to that nortorious graveyard of athlete's career earnings, the restaurant industry. I didn't know that Seau had gone down that path.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 2:12pm

A few years back Sports Illustrated quoted a financial advisor who'd worked for the NFL, trying to help guys make their money last. He said nobody had much interest in blue chip stocks but everybody thought they'd make a ton with a restaurant.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 4:42pm

I have no idea why, but I think a lot of people (not just football players) think the restaurant business is easy and all you need is the cash to open one. I can't count the number of times I've heard friends say they have a great idea for a restaurant; all they need is the cash. This is despite that even good restaurants go out of business all the time because the business is so competitive. A big name will only carry you so far, and even if you're successful you can't alienate the fan base. Albert Pujols' restaurant had to change names in St Louis after he left for So Cal.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 5:51pm

It seems to me that if someone is going to be a success in operating a resaurant or two, as opposed to a chain, which really does require some top notch management skill, you need three things. 1)An onwer or partner with real skill as a chef 2) An owner or partner who is skilled at hiring, training, and managing a platoon of employees, and most importantly, 3)a great real estate purchase/lease which allows the enterprise some room to breathe, as opposed to being consumed with the monthy nut.

It is hard for anyone to combine these three attributes. For a guy who has never worked in the industry, and has never had in depth experience at hiring, training, and management to suceed requires a great deal of dumb luck.

by Independent George :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 8:17pm

Don't restaurants have something along the lines of an 80% failure rate in the first six months? They have high fixed costs, perishable inventory, byzantine local regulations, and a notoriously transient labor pool.

I would add two more overlooked skills that are not crucial, but damned useful to operating a restaurant successfully: (1) skill in electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and appliance repair, and (2) experience navigating local zoning, licensing, and regulatory regimes.

I think people tend to see the front of the house and think of how much fun a restaurant is, and overlook the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 9:02pm

Yeah, if you are paying electricians, plumbers, HVAC people, and appliance repair types every month, and you didn't get a bargain on the real estate, the last payroll Friday of every month is gonna be a little exciting, in all likelihood.

Wouldn't it be fun to own a restaurant?!

by Independent George :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:25am

Wouldn't it be fun to own a restaurant?!

You've convinced me. Let's go into business together. I have no experience in the industry whatsoever, but I love eating out, so how hard can it be?

by LionInAZ :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:50am

One of the most successful restaurant operators in my city had no experience in either cooking or running a restaurant. He's a Korean immigrant who has owned several popular Chinese and Japanese restaurants, and now is opening a frozen yogurt shop in a nearby casino. The only prerequisite to running a successful restaurant is being willing and able to put endless hours into the job. I wonder how many ex-NFL stars are interested in that kind of proposition.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 10:25pm

I remember some statistic being thrown around that 90% of new restaurants fail within the first year.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 8:09am

And yet they invariably get replaced by another restaurant.

The failure rate for any business in the first year is high -- which is because the first year tends to kill the bad ideas. The failure rate declines dramatically if you can survive that first year.

by Independent George :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 9:45am

For some reason, though, restaurants seem to attract more bad ideas than other businesses. I think it's because it's a blue-collar grind that attracts white-collar investors who don't know what they're getting themselves into. Otherwise successful people jump in thinking they can attract business on account of their own impeccable tastes, without stopping to see the sheer volume of work involved in just keeping things running.

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 10:48am

Where restaurants differ from lots of other businesses is that the profit margins are really low at around 5% or even less. That doesn't allow you to really clean up even in the best of times and if anything goes wrong at all you're losing money.

by tuluse :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 11:04am

I worked in a restaurant, at no time did I think it would be fun to own.

Just about by definition, the waitstaff is going to hate their jobs and thus you. Which means, even if they're good at their jobs and conscientious, they're going to steal from you and try to get away with as much as possible.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 5:51pm

It seems to me that if someone is going to be a success in operating a resaurant or two, as opposed to a chain, which really does require some top notch management skill, you need three things. 1)An onwer or partner with real skill as a chef 2) An owner or partner who is skilled at hiring, training, and managing a platoon of employees, and most importantly, 3)a great real estate purchase/lease which allows the enterprise some room to breathe, as opposed to being consumed with the monthy nut.

It is hard for anyone to combine these three attributes. For a guy who has never worked in the industry, and has never had in depth experience at hiring, training, and management to suceed requires a great deal of dumb luck.

by Honest Abe (not verified) :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 2:02pm

Once again, as it is every week, it's rip Peter King time. Yo, Tuluse, is that pronounced To Lose or Too Loose?

by Will Allen :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 2:10pm

Why do you care if somebody rips Peter King?

by PatsFan :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 3:30pm

Is that you, Ken?

by Joseph :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 4:41pm

To all who are wondering about the Drew Brees' negotiations:
Part of the reason this is taking so long is the salary cap, which the Saints are up against. It's going to be hard to get $21M/yr into a $16M cap window (which is what his franchise tag is taking up), while still giving him some huge upfront money, and still being able to stay within the 115% rule. There was an interesting discussion of it on the NOLA.com website this past weekend, and one commenter comncnts came up with a pretty good scenario (not my screen name there). But to make the #'s work, it might need to be a 6 or 7 yr. deal with bogus yrs thrown on the end to spread out the salary cap hit of his signing bonus.
I also wonder if Loomis is waiting to see what happens with Vilma's appeal. I heard that Vilma's entire cap # would come off the books if his suspension is upheld (don't know if it's true). If it would, then that would free up about $3M more this year for Brees, and make his contract MUCH easier to negotiate.

by Lance :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 1:17pm

Totally. Not to plug a silly PC game again, but Front Office Football (Google it) includes a salary cap with good (annoying?) player AI. So it happens when you have a genuine super start who is at the end of his career (i.e. this is probably the last contract you're going to offer), and he's demanding a sum that you'd be happy to pay-- EXCEPT for the fact that you just can't take the cap hit.

You can extend it to a 6 year deal to spread out the cap hit, but at some point you're going to pay for it because it is unlikely that Brees is going to play for 6 more years. And even if he does, by the time you hit year 4 of that contract, the numbers are going to be so onerous that you're going to have to renegotiate and extend his deal just to make more cap room, which only prolongs the problem.

When you're stuck with this problem in the Front Office Football game, one solution is to go back and start renegotiating contracts of lots of other players-- even ones who have 2 years left on their deal-- extending years and giving big bonuses in exchange for lower numbers early on. And that's great until you get 3 years down the road and you're paying some guy way too much for what he's worth.

My guess is that if they sign Brees, it will be done in deal-with-the-devil style, and 3 or 4 years from now, their cap number is going to be so bad that they'll have to blow up the roster and sign a bunch of league minimum guys. The bad news is that they'll win ca. 3 games. The good news is that their cap will clear and they'll have a #1 draft pick. So perhaps it's not all that bad...

by Karl Mal0wned! (not verified) :: Fri, 05/25/2012 - 4:53pm

Isn't this exactly what happened with the Colts last year?

by unverified (not verified) :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 4:53pm

"But Chanderpaul had an open stance, mindful of the old Tiger, Dick MacAuliffe. He's famous for being impossible to retire." Which was unlike McAuliffe who was not impossible to retire (250 career avg.) but was a very good fielder. Good to see a mention of a memember of the great Detroit Tigers team of the '68.

by LionInAZ :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:38am

Everybody in the AL was easy to retire in 1968, when Yaz ended up being the only batter in the league to hit over .300.

Mac may not have gotten a lot of base hits, but he had a decent OBP at a time when the pitching was ferocious. He also made his mark by not grounding into a single DP in 1968.

by unverified (not verified) :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 1:27pm

I had not remembered exactly how dominant the pitching was back then. I did remember Mclains 31 wins and Gibson's ERA of just over 1. But I did not know that 5 AL pitchers had ERA's below 2 and the AL league wide batting average was .230. Also baseball reference has Mac at 7th in offensive WAR, pretty good.

by CaffeineMan :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 4:16pm

Cool Tigers team from that era. Highlight of the summer of '71 as a kid was seeing a Tigers game with my grandparents, and although I never saw McClain, I saw (from memory) Freehan, Cash, Northrup, MacAuliffe, Brinkman, Rodriguez, Kaline, Horton, Mickey Stanley, Gates Brown, and Lolich.

If the internet were around back then, after we moved, I'd still be a Tigers fan.

by InfiniteThoughts Forever (not verified) :: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 11:21pm

I am glad that Peter King liked the longer version of Cricket - the 5 day TEST MATCH. I wish he saw a ONE DAY INTERNATIONAL - takes about 6.5 hrs or a T-20 GAME that takes 3 hours and he would have been much at home at either of these formats

Fun to see my 2 favorite sports - CRICKET and FOOTBALL in a single article

On second thought, it is my favorite sport (FOOTBALL) and my second religion (CRICKET)

by rfh1001 :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 4:00am

People think cricket gives you a glimpse of the infinite. It's got nothing on Game of Thrones.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 8:16am

Really? I'd have said Game of Thrones did a remarkable job of ramming home the awful finiteness of existence . . .

by rfh1001 :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 9:49am

I am assuming that we agree, deep down: the relentless, slow retreat of any possibility of an end to GoT gives us poor mortals a glimpse of the infinite, which thereby rams home the awful finiteness of our own small existences.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 1:59pm

He'll finish it. He has to finish it. Life is not A Song of Ice and Fire, and the universe wouldn't do that to us. I have to believe that.

Actually, what terrifies me is not the prospect of him dying, it's the prospect of him getting senile and crap. How many authors produce great work in their late sixties or even seventies?

by tuluse :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 2:39pm

How many great authors live that long? It seems like most drink themselves to death before then.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 4:29pm

Terry Pratchett's the most obvious recent example of an author getting shit before they get dead. Kind of a special case, because he's got early-onset Alzheimer's, but he's the same age as Martin. It's really kind of sad reading his most recent stuff. Obviously for him and his family too, one assumes.

Frank Herbert definitely lost the plot well before cancer got him, and he died in his sixties.

Bram Stoker was driven mad by syphilis, which is probably not an issue here, and Dracula may just have been a fluke anyway.

Hardy lived to 88, but barely wrote a thing after he was 60.

Peter Shaffer (not a novelist, I know) is still going at 86, but the last time he wrote anything good he was 53.

Look at it the other way: can you think of anyone who was still doing good work at 70? I can't. Hopefully he some sort of Alex Ferguson of writers, and it'll be fine. Hopefully, the more recent books were weaker due to the contortions of the writing process, not waning powers. But I worry.

by tuluse :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 4:40pm

Kurt Vonnegut was still putting out good work, if not his best, in the 90s.

by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 5:14pm

Cecil Woodham-Smith, still producing goot stuff at 76, and Barbara Tuchman, well into her 70s. Neither a novelist, though...maybe there's something about female historians.

Isak Dinesen, still going at 75. Isaac Assimov never quit, nor did John Updike.

I guess you can root around and find a few.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 5:59pm

As a victim of the Wheel of Time, I laugh in the face of your hope.

The universe absolutely would do that to you, and you'll probably have to deal with the author's lack-of-editor, vainglorious expository crap along the way until he mercifully dies, two books from the end.

(Which he also said 7 books ago)

by Independent George :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 9:39am

That's just because the damned matches take goddamn forever.

by Dean :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 11:13am

Almost as long as trying to endure one of Martin's books.

by Eggwasp (not verified) :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:01pm

but with a maximum of 2 pieces of heraldry per game.

Of course you can quite easily combine the two - its perfectly acceptable to read during the cricket. Or indeed knit - according to my mum, who is a paid up member of Notts.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:14pm

Howza'bout Martin having the Starks and Lannisters take up the game of cricket? How many chapters could ol' Georgie wring out that premise?

by Eggwasp (not verified) :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:21pm

There is of course scope in the rules for Bran to use Hodor as a runner.

Tyrion would find it tough - pretty much every ball would be a bouncer, and it still might bowl him if it goes over his head.
On the other hand, he'd be very good fielding at Short Leg. (Bran of course would field at Slip).

I am now not going to be able to do any more work today, because I will be trying to work out where everyone else will field.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 1:34pm

Tyrion might do a good job at short leg, but I want to put Sansa there. Without the helmet.

by Jimmy :: Tue, 05/22/2012 - 5:21pm

Depending on the pitch Tyrion might be a very difficult bowler to get away. The ball would practically roll off a length. If he could get it straight any deviation could easily result in lbws.

Just think of the bounce Gregor Clegane could extract from a length too.

Greatjon Umber / Strong Belwas as a Jesse Ryder / Inzimam Ul-Haq type batsman?

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 5:22am

Definitely no shortage of tall fast bowling options to choose from.

I think Greatjon's missing fingers might be an impediment to batting, though.

Every team needs a village smith to come in and slog at 7 - Gendry's a no-brainer.

And I bet Selmy played a beautiful cover drive in his younger days. I can see (pre-injury) Jaime Lannister as a destructive right handed opener in the Virender Sehwag mould.

by Eggwasp (not verified) :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 8:25am

Brienne is the Sachin of the women's game of course.

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 8:54am

Apart from the notable height disparity . . .

Anyway, Brienne's more of a biffer. Kieron Pollard?

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 8:56am

Varys + Littlefinger = Warne + Murali?

Both definitely capable of mystery spin.

Edit: Although I can't see Varys taking much interest in Liz Hurley . . .

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 7:05pm

Baelish could very easily be Warne, very easily, which would make Varys Murali. And you know you cannot trust a eunuch's bowling action.

What this has to say about Said Ajmal is up to you.

(I am wondering if it might be time to call an end to the cricket and GoT references, after all, winter is coming.)

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 05/24/2012 - 5:11am

So go on tour to the Summer Islands.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 8:12pm

I assume bodyline is permitted in Westeros. Tyrion is done.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 05/24/2012 - 5:09am

Good point, although I suspect the Lannisters would be the primary exponents of the tactic.

Clearly Tywin = Jardine, Gregor = Larwood