Peter King is the country’s most famous NFL writer, and with it comes incredible access, a spot on NBC’s Football Night in America and seven-figure paycheck.
None of that means he’s the best NFL writer.
In fact, he’s kind of a hack. Every week, his Monday Morning QB column is dissected at KissingSuzyKolber.com. It is must-read stuff. The author, Christmas Ape (I know, I know) calls out King for the shoddy aspects of his columns and, boy, are there a lot.
For all the access King has, rarely takes stances in fear of pissing off one of those aforementioned NFL sources. Moreover, his football column contains hundreds of words on baseball (most notably, the Red Sox), coffee and beer.
For a guy who can literally call up team owners and GMs, this is the best he can do?
King finally did over the weekend. His target: Bernie Kosar. That’s easy, it’s not like Kosar is a valuable source within league circles.
By now, you’ve surely heard what Kosar said during last Thursday’s broadcast of the Browns’ first preaseason game. In fact, Kosar said what we were all thinking.
“Bless me Father for I have sinned. I have to watch him (Kellen Clemens) the whole fourth quarter."
Kosar also called Rams' first-round pick Tavon Austin "horrible" and said their parents "would be embarrassed" if they were watching the game.
King took to Twitter to show how aghast he is by these comments. On Monday, he further flushed out his stance on his column.
“Kosar’s a good guy, and I have always liked him. But I found the comments pretty far over the top and asked rhetorically, on Twitter, whether Kosar had been drinking. Which brought on a raft of criticism from the Twitterverse, saying I’d gone over the top. I don’t think I was over the top, but many of you felt I’d gone too far given the sea of trouble Kosar has had in his personal life. (None of which, from what I can tell, involve treatment for alcohol, or any admission of alcoholism.) My point was, I think there’s a way to be critical of players and teams, and analysts should definitely do that. But Kosar went too far, in my opinion. And not just mine. Kosar called Rams coach Jeff Fisher Sunday to apologize, and Browns CEO Joe Banner said Sunday the Browns “don’t condone the personal and unprofessional approach” Kosar used.”
See, here is the problem. What Kosar said was kinda funny, but also a tad bit toward unprofessional. It lies directly in the gray. Yet, to become so upset by these comments is quite opportunistic for King.
You see, King and Jeff Fisher share the same agent. That helped King get behind-the-closed-doors access to the Rams war room on draft day last April.
Fisher comes out and tells the associated press that he's "disappointed" in Kosar's comments on Austin and Clements.
Here comes King to back up Fisher.
We know Bernie better than anyone around here. Most enjoy him on the preseason broadcasts on WKYC because he gives smart analysis and is, for the most part, funny.
These comments borderline on funny, but they should not cause guys like Fisher and King to clutch their pearls in disgust.
We want our coaches, players and broadcasters to avoid mundane clichés when speaking. The reason most stick to those boring answers or analysis is because it is safe. It doesn’t upset anyone. But when one of these groups stray from a cliché, someone gets upset and a non-story story bubbles to the surface.
Could Kosar learn to be a bit more delicate, but still funny and on-point while avoiding the clichés? Of course. But that is not the easiest thing to do.
Meanwhile, guys like Fisher and King should realize that these players get paid a hefty sum of money and some silly words from an old quarterback should roll right off their backs.
Finally, I think we can all agree on this: Kellen Clemens does suck.