Cafe 227

Monday, October 16, 2006

Peter King and Don Banks: Dumb and Dumber

Did they fire all their copy editors over at CNNSI.com? Look, I know I'm not the best writer in the world. But there's bad writing, and then there's execrable writing. To wit --

From Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback column today:

"2. Indianapolis (5-0). 'Honey,' I imagine Mrs. Peyton saying to Mr. Peyton Manning, sitting in his favorite recliner around 1:30 on Sunday afternoon. 'You promised we'd clean out the garage this afternoon. Honey? Honey!' Said Mr. Manning: 'In a minute, honey.' In other words, I would be shocked if Peyton Manning did not have the games on and a clicker in his hand on his bye Sunday."

Comment: Peter, if you have to clarify your story by explicitly stating your intended premise after an "in other words" clause, your story was stupid, ineffective, and a profound waste of your readers' time.

"He responded by leading Pittsburgh to a 31-0 halftime lead, going 16 of 19 with two touchdowns and no interceptions. This is the Roethlisberger of the last two years -- a complimentary player with no ego who's happy to let his running game and defense be the headline acts." [Emphasis added.]

Comment: I think Peter meant to say "complementary," with an "e." I stopped making this mistake in 7th grade. (As an aside, Peter couldn't be more wrong - Ben is an amazing playmaker, and the Steelers success is contingent upon his success throwing the ball. The Steelers are only able to amass mountains of rushing yardage when he's sharp and the opposing defense can't crowd the line of scrimmage. For proof, check out footage from the Steelers' loss against the Jaguars a few weeks ago. Do you actually watch football, Peter?)

(As another aside, I've just about had it with sportswriters -- see Thomas Boswell's column today -- continually confusing causality with correlation. A common argument I hear is this: "The Nantucket Nancies are 44-3 when Speedy McRunsalot rushes at least 25 times. Therefore, for the Nancies to win, McRunsalot needs to get at least 25 touches." Could it be that in the games that McRunsalot had at least 25 rushes, the Nancies were nursing a large early-game lead - - a lead that was perhaps built through the passing game? Why is this possibility lost on sports pundits?)

"The Steelers shouldn't get all pissy when Troy Polamalu gets tackled by the hair, or by the hair and jersey, as he did by Larry Johnson. His hair is the size of Texas, for crying out loud." [Emphasis added.]

Comment: Peter actually wrote "all pissy," a phrase usually reserved for use by quarrelsome, suburban schoolgirls, in an sports column. You know, Peter, it's OK to break out the Thesaurus sometimes. Had you done so, you may have come up with a more appropriate word - - such as "irascible," or (my personal favorite) "cantankerous."

"I think I never thought I'd say Tennessee owner Bud Adams was right. But Bud Adams was right in making Jeff Fisher play Vince Young when he did three weeks ago." [Emphasis added.]

Comment: It took me the better part of this morning to unwind the convoluted logic there.

And not to be outdone by his colleague, Don Banks wrote this gem in his Snap Judgments column:

"Here's a call I believe will be made: Joey Harrington should remain the Dolphins starting quarterback until the ex-Lion loses the job based on performance. Irregardless of the progress of Daunte Culpepper's knee in his mid-season rehabilitation program. Harrington didn't distinguish himself against the Jets on the road on Sunday, but he still gives Nick Saban's flailing Fish a better chance to win right now than the immobile Culpepper." [Emphasis added.]

Comment: "Irregardless" is NOT EVEN A WORD. Dammit, it's not even lunchtime yet, and I already have a headache...

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