Peter King Is Retiring

The news from yesterday was that Peter King is retiring at age of 66 after writing a Monday column about “all-things NFL” for the last 27 years.  His column in Spots Illustrated was called “Monday Morning Quarterback”; when he left SI for NBC Sports, the only real change was in the title, “Football Morning in America”.  He wrote an excellent “sayonara column” yesterday that you can find hereIt is lengthy, but it is worth reading.

In that column, he writes about things he will miss from his 44 years as a sportswriter, and he writes about things he will not miss.  One of the things he will not miss is a pet peeve of mine and I will cite Peter King as an authority who agrees with my pet peeve:

“I think I won’t miss:

“a. Mock drafts. Busywork. Waste of time. Blight on the football planet. One mock draft, the week of the draft or close to it, after listening to sources and people you trust in the game—fine, and even good. Mock drafts in February – laughable; you don’t know anything. Mock drafts in October – worse, because you don’t have any idea who’s picking where. What a total waste of time.”

Bonne chance, Peter King in your retirement.  You have more than earned it.  Nevertheless, I will not be surprised to see you writing again without a regular beat or a recurring schedule and if that comes to pass, I will once again be one of your readers.

Sticking with NFL-related stuff for now, the Combine is underway in Indy.  The Combine is an “invitation only” event; this year, the NFL invited 321 prospects to the Combine; if the NFL Draft were constrained only to Combine participants, that would still leave more than a few prospects undrafted.  The early days of the Combine are devoted to what I call administrivia; prospects are measured, weighed and examined to record their exact physical dimensions which often differ significantly from the PR flack put out by their collegiate athletic departments.  When you hear some commentary on “hand size” for a QB, the data comes from these Combine measurement occurrences.

In addition to the on-field workouts and the athletic measurements such as vertical leap and number of reps in a 225 lb. bench press, teams can schedule and conduct up to 60 interviews of 15 minutes duration with any prospects in attendance.  This is the setting where prospects might take the Wonderlic Test or some variation on that and this is where coaches and coordinators quiz the prospect to find out if he is “dedicated to football”.  The Combine began yesterday and will disband on Monday March 4th.

One other tidbit of NFL-related news came out over the weekend when FOX Sports announced formally their #1 TV announcing team for the 2024 season.  To no surprise, that team will be Kevin Burkhardt and Tom Brady.  Rather than leave the question hanging as to the fate of Burkhardt’s partner from the last two years, Greg Olsen, FOX also said that their #2 TV announcing team would be Joe Davis and Greg Olsen.

I am not a “Tom Brady hater” by any definition.  However, I am on record as being skeptical about his announcing career coming close to resembling his playing career.  I do not want that to be the case; I do not know that will be the case; I just want to wait and see how he does in the booth.  Peter King thinks Brady will be great on TV as he said in his column yesterday:

“Tom Brady’s going to be very good in the Fox booth. Well, he should be for $37 million a year, or whatever it is. Quietly, Brady’s been working over the last five months, getting used to doing games in the booth, and learning from people he admires in TV. Remember one thing about Tom Brady: He was handed nothing in the NFL. Everything he got he earned. And he knew when he signed this ridiculous contract, he’d have every eye in football on him when the job began in September 2024. Do you think he hasn’t knocked himself out to be sure he knows the rhythm and the cadence and the information patterns of doing color? Now that doesn’t guarantee he’ll be good. I just think he’s smart, and he knows what it’ll take to be good, and when he has to call out a friend in the game, he’ll find a way to do it.”

Let me keep the focus of this rant on the NFL.  The league has embraced “emerging technology” in many areas, and it seems to have been a positive relationship.

  • Players can wear tech devices that monitor their health signs, sleep patterns and physical performance in the workout room providing data that can be used to tailor their diets and their schedules and their workout content.
  • Expanded use of “analytics” has altered somewhat the way the game is coached from a strategic and a tactical standpoint.
  • Skycams and field microphones have enhanced the visual production of the game for fans at home.

I will not be surprised to learn that a team or two has figured out how to use virtual reality as a part of their training and their game preparation in the near future.  And because of all that constructive relationship with “tech”, I am surprised that the league has not at least experimented with ways to determine where the ball should be placed other than an official running toward the tackle and planting his foot in the turf.  And don’t get me started on the “low tech” nature of measuring for a first down with a chain and a pair of sticks – – unless you also include surveyors gear to assure that the chain is extended exactly perpendicular to the yardlines.  Here is where I will cue up Ruby and the Romantics singing:

“Our day will come.

And we’ll have everything …”

Finally, I will close today with one more passage from Peter King’s column from yesterday:

 “… the innovative newness of TV products like Red Zone and the Manningcast make the game so much more interesting and informative. Scott Hanson’s a treasure. Peyton and Eli, same. They make football more fun. Rich Eisen suggested a Coachcast, with Bill Belichick and Nick Saban, somewhere in 2024. Agreed. How fun and informative could that be?”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



One thought on “Peter King Is Retiring”

  1. It is amazing to me how visual the game of pro football is. Sky-and-pylon cams have increased fan interest in unimaginable ways.

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