Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

21 May 2018

Peter King Says Farewell to SI's Monday Morning QB

After almost 30 years at Sports Illustrated and founding The MMQB, Peter King is leaving to take a writing/radio/TV role with NBC Sports starting in July.

King's last column at SI is a long, long list of thank yous to writers, editors, readers, players, coaches, agents, and others who have helped make his career so successful, mixed in with the usual stories about coffee, beer, and rude behavior in meetings and on airplanes he has shared so often.

I've been sitting here for an hour reflecting on King and his career and trying to put something together to write in this space, and all I can think is this: Man, I hope I get to do my job as long as Peter did (and will still do) his.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 21 May 2018

46 comments, Last at 17 Jun 2018, 2:32am by ssereb


by Raiderfan :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 7:20am

And I hope you keep FO a politics free zone longer than King did with MMQB.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 7:49am

Did he thank that kid whose baseball he stole?

by jtr :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 9:00am

Can't say I've ever been a fan of King's. His entire model is to credulously repeat all of the NFL's talking points, in exchange for which the league tosses him a few little morsels of insider information they consider harmless. That, and long pointless stories about getting a cup of coffee at the airport.

by The Ninjalectual :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 9:36pm

There are two types of [straight male] NFL fan: ones who looked at the Favre dick pics, and ones who didn't. I'm personally in the "didn't look" camp; I really, really don't want to know.

Now King, on the other hand, I can imagine him making the pic his work laptop's wallpaper.

by LondonMonarch :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 9:02am

Jesus, Paul Zimmerman is still alive. I hope he has some quality of life.

He should be the one getting all this hype.

by bravehoptoad :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 10:47am

Like him or not, Peter King was one of SI's last good assets. Sports Illustrated is circling the drain.

by ChrisS :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 10:59am

I have not read him in at least 5 years, but for awhile (before the repetition got boring) it was an OK read. He did mention FO every once in awhile so there's that.

by Ryan :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 11:58am

Hear, hear. Between him and the insufferable Mike Florio, I'll now be sure to keep NBC on mute

Edit: This is a response to jtr above. I'm not a very sophisticated internet user.

by GwillyGecko :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 12:40pm

did the patriots give him permission to move to nbc?

by Will Allen :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 12:44pm

One circle of hell has Peter King, Gregg Easterbrook, and Bill Simmons sitting around in easy chairs. Simmons is watching reruns of "The Wire" on his tablet, and telling you what is happening. Gregg Easterbrook is writing "Game over" in his notebook, after making sure that the game is actually over, while telling you that being "pass happy" is akin to contracting Ebola. King is telling you how great it is to live on an expense account, except for the people. who are not as fabulous as Peter King, he is forced to deal with.

by serutan :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 2:34pm

The sad thing is (at least in my world view) that there was a time when all three actually did good stuff. Then Easterbrook decided to push his political agenda with cut-and-paste football paragraphs as a hook, Simmons decided that sports was beneath him, and King just ran out of gas and started coasting/adding politics.
Was wr

by jtr :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 3:29pm

It's ultimately not surprising that longtime sportswriters often end up insufferable. Their entire job is to broadcast to the masses their opinions about sports. It's only natural that a person ends up being an obnoxious fart-sniffer, once they get used to the world caring about their opinions about something as inconsequential as sports.

by serutan :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 9:01pm

Unfortunately, that is true.
Was wr

by Sixknots :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 5:00pm

Agree. There was a time when all three actually did good stuff. But I think that ended for all three about 12 years ago. Or maybe I changed about then.

by ChrisS :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 3:51pm

And don't forget Easterbrook's "football gods" bestowing victory for some inane reason. He had the largest most annoying set of tropes of any writer I have ever read.

by Richie :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 6:27pm

"He had"

FWIW, I think he's still going on TheWeeklyStandard.com

by The Ninjalectual :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 9:27pm

I'll say this about Easterbrook: compared to everything else I was reading at the time, Double-"G" was a breath of fresh air. He was the first weekly columnist I read to put even a facsimile of scholarship into NFL analysis. Dennis Miller was only a couple seasons out of the MNF booth, and in that context Easterbrook's brand of psuedo-intellectualism seemed downright legit. He was like a great Middle Ages thinker, before the widespread analytics Renaissance we're so used to today. Just a little too much Augustine and not enough Boëthius, maybe.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 05/23/2018 - 7:52am

Easterbrook’s brothers are a professor and a federal judge. He’s the family failure.

He also doesn’t know the difference between mean and median.

by IlluminatusUIUC :: Fri, 06/15/2018 - 5:59pm

I read someone (possibly even here) describe Easterbrook as being like a great freshman level college professor. You come upon him as a wild-eyed youngster and he seems very profound, like he is looking at the world from a perspective you've never seen. Then you come back to him years later, and you see his perceptions are quite shallow and you've grown out of it.

by ssereb :: Sun, 06/17/2018 - 2:32am

Strangely, this also describes how I feel about his brother Frank Easterbrook's jurisprudence.

by MJK :: Wed, 05/23/2018 - 12:47pm

How can it be a complete circle of hell without involving Skip Bayless as well?

by Will Allen :: Wed, 05/23/2018 - 5:34pm

Beelze...er...I mean Skip, is the landlord of all the circles....

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 1:06pm

only occasionally rrad Pete kong articles. will make print tghuis one at work an d read duyring next toilety occurrence.

do recall when Apeter Kijng articles were linke to wweeekly at this site and how moist readers didi not like them and would mostly pound on Ling.

by TimK :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 2:31pm

What have those poor fish done to deserve such pounding?

Is Pete Kong a giant ape/journalist that climbs an immense effigy of Tom Brady only to tragically (?) plummet to his doom?

Peter King seems to be someone who is good enough at the mostly inoffensive parts of journalism to have a long and successful career. And he did mention FO and other places offering different takes on things a fair amount. But that doesn’t make for something I want to read regularly, possibly the best columns I’ve noticed (or been shown) at MMQB have been the times when he has given the coloumn over to guest (often player) writers, I’ll give him credit for at least doing that and having the connections with both league and media to make them happen. These days of course more players seem to be writing for themselves, but King did seem to help push that at the time.

by MC2 :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 5:45pm

I'm normally pretty good at deciphering RJ-isms, but I'll be damned if "tghuis" doesn't have me stumped!

by dbostedo :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 10:13pm

I think "tghuis" is just "this". Or "of this".

by The Ninjalectual :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 10:25pm

Tghuis, Mississippi. You know, near Mhoon Landong.

You might be surprised which part of this comment isn't made up.

by dbostedo :: Tue, 05/29/2018 - 9:07pm

I was hoping it was Landong, and was more disappointed that it was Mhoon...

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 4:37pm

What's with all the hate? Yes, PK wasn't the greatest analyst, had his favorites, and his obsessions got annoying. He's at his best during those low interest times when he interviews the players, coaches, etc and has given us a perspective within the game and its people that we rarely see. My own favorite column was when Favre went into rehab in 1996 and PK exposed the humanity of a great player brought down by addiction.

PK is probably the best human interest football writer currently. I know that's not what this site is about, but his writing is a lot more relatable to the average fan than FO's advanced football analytics. This brings more new fans to the game than this site ever will, though I personally value this site far more.

So please let's appreciate him for what he is, not what we think he should be. He's (sadly) more well known than Dr Z and many of the others we think deserve better. That doesn't make him terrible. It's being a great professional in what he was paid to do.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 5:56pm

We just aren't going to agree about this. Beyond the football analysis, he was a terrible stylist, frequently using the wrong word (and I mean really, really, wrong) and hardly ever turning a memorable phrase. On top of that he frequently portrayed himself, in his vignettes of his life, as essentially insufferable. Like the infamous foul ball story, or when he would heap ridicule on a low paid airline or hotel employee, doing a thankless job.

Toss in that most hideous habit of a person who has about a third of the intelligence that he thinks he has, the tendency to sum up a complex societal/political problem with a glib one or two lines, and I have found him mostly unreadable for the better part of a decade.

by PatsFan :: Fri, 05/25/2018 - 11:38pm


by Bright Blue Shorts :: Tue, 05/22/2018 - 4:52am

I'll go with justanothersteve - King is a good, harmless read. There's lots of fluff in there but there are some nice little nuggets that give you a rounder picture of who people are.

Can't say I've read him in a few years so obviously I don't appreciate him that much but just reading the linked article it was a nice read. Brought back a lot of memories of 90s football.

by Tom Gower :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 4:55pm
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Tue, 05/22/2018 - 5:14am

I know it's a fun column but I was intrigued by what might prompt ...

... b. Don't worry, John Kasay, this won't happen again.

This was written before his SB kickoff faux pas. A little bit of detective suggests it was a reference to him missing 32,38,49-yd FGs and a XP in a 25-16 loss to the Eagles.

by MC2 :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 5:56pm

Whenever Peter King's name is mentioned, the first thing I think of is an old FO thread, in which Harris posted a hilarious "account" of King's inconsolable heartbreak, brought on by the retirement of his "one true love" Brett Favre. It was only the prospect of a "new love" with Tony Romo that saved King from death by his own hand. It was one of the funniest, and most twisted, comments in FO history.

by ssereb :: Mon, 05/21/2018 - 11:41pm

My lasting memory of Peter King will always be his very solemn tweet about telling a waiter about Robin Williams' death.


by Guest789 :: Tue, 05/22/2018 - 1:28pm

Wow, that is... something.

by JohnxMorgan :: Sat, 05/26/2018 - 12:28am

Thank you.

I am in tears laughing.

by dbostedo :: Tue, 05/29/2018 - 9:11pm

And several years later, RaiderJoe replies to king with a joke tweet... amazing.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 05/22/2018 - 7:27am

I just to like King’s stuff back in the days when people used to read SI in print (he still coudn’t Hold a candle to Dr. Z), but I agree with everyone above who thinks he just became insufferable during the internet era. My favorite part of King the past decade was reading KissingSuzyKolber.com’s scathing posts ridiculing his weekly columns.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 05/22/2018 - 8:29am

It always amazed me, back in the day when SI was a cash cow, that one of the most successful media companies in the world, covering by far the most popular sport in the United States, could not find anyone better than Peter King as their chief writer. Somebody who actually has well above average command of the language, along with real knowledge of the sport. Maybe somebody who didn't frequently come off as an ass of the first order. Yes, pre-internet, King's contacts and his willingness to trade in access could once in a while provide information otherwise hard to get, but by about the late 90s or 2000, he really didn't have much of value to offer. Once you get to a priveleged perch, however, you can hang around forever, and even climb higher, despite not having anything unique to offer.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 05/22/2018 - 3:48pm

He was, and still is, massively popular with readers. That's all there is to it.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 05/22/2018 - 8:20pm

Yep. Same reason so many singers have record contracts, despite not being able to carry a tune in a bucket. If the shit sells well, keep stocking the shelves with shit.

by Theo :: Wed, 05/23/2018 - 5:23am

Remember: the average person is only average.

by nat :: Fri, 05/25/2018 - 9:14am

Half of them are worse than that.

by dryheat :: Tue, 05/29/2018 - 8:55am

And Michael Silver's somehow worse. The problem, or at least a large part of it, is the rise of the pre-game show, post-game show, internet coverage, and the 12 ESPNs, 4 Fox Sports, and 3 NBC Sports networks with time to fill. It isn't enough to be a journalist anymore, everyone wants to be a celebrity.

That plus with the internet, nobody really needs your recap, nor your opinion, so much of the prestige of being a sportswriter has disappeared.

I find serenity, however, by repeating the same mantra I do when my wife is watching Good Morning America -- I am not the intended audience of this garbage...I am not the intended audience of this garbage...I am not....