When we think of media outlets doing the NFL’s dirty work, we’ve come to think of ESPN. Rightfully so. The leak to Chris Mortensen and Gerry Austin as well as their consistent false statements on the Patriots really cement that fact. ESPN has seen Disney stock drop, and with more and more people cutting the cord, their subscribers fees to cable companies, already the highest in the industry, are not going to continue. They need to cozy up to the NFL to keep their hope alive of being able to retain their partner status with the NFL.

So besides access, what is the excuse for Peter King and his little web startup, Monday Morning QB?

King was called out by Ben Volin (That guy again?) this weekend for the fact that he also parroted the “11 of 12 footballs…” leak.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen gets a lot of heat for overstating the deflation problem in his Jan. 21 story, but he wasn’t the only one getting bad information from the NFL office. Sports Illustrated’s Peter Kingwrote on Jan. 23 that he was “told reliably that . . . either 11 or 12 of New England’s footballs . . . (I hear it could have been all 12) had at least two pounds less pressure in them. All 12 Indianapolis footballs were at the prescribed level. All 24 footballs were checked by pressure gauge after the game. All 24 checked at the correct pressure.”

King responded in his column today:

I think you’re owed an explanation from me, in the wake of Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writing Sunday that it wasn’t just Chris Mortensen who got a bum steer from someone in the NFL about the deflated footballs in the AFC title game. Volin said it was me, too. I reported after Mortensen’s story that 11 of the 12 footballs were at least two pounds under the minimum limit of 12.5 pounds per square inch when tested by the league at halftime. I reported that I’d heard “reliably” that the story of the footballs being at least two pounds under the minimum limit was correct. As I said on Twitter on Sunday, I believe the person who told me this believed the story was accurate when, obviously, it clearly was not. So, were we used by someone to get a storyline out in public? Maybe … but the reason I’m skeptical about this is because with the knowledge that there would be a full investigation and clearly the air pressure in the footballs would be publicized at some point, the league would look stupid for putting out false information that would eventually come back to embarrass the league. Clearly, this story, along with the Ray Rice story from last fall, has made me question sources and sourcing in general, and in a story as inflammatory as this one, you can’t just take the story of a person whose word you trust as gospel. It’s my error. I need to be better than that. Readers, and the Patriots, deserve better than that.

Remember what he said at the time with the Ray Rice case? Remember that famously inappropriate line in that statement? No one from the league has ever knocked down my report to me,

But the rest of that statement. Does it sound at all familiar?

Who said these lines:

No one forced me to write that story, and it’s important to note I do not believe I was ever lied to. I believe my sources intended to provide accurate information, and it was incumbent on me to vet it more fully.

The Patriots deserved more time to investigate and respond.

I’m confident it will make me a better reporter.

I truly believe it’s a privilege to serve as a link between the fans and their team.

On Feb. 2, I let you all down. Today I hope to begin the long road back.

Oh, that’s none other than John Tomase when being forced to apologize to the Patriots.

Has any franchise every had more media outlets forced to apologize for things they’ve written or said about it?

King is lazy. He has twice now in the past year has been lied to by his sources because they know he won’t verify what they tell him.

It’s time for this Monday Morning Quarterback to hit the bench.

Oh, there’s one more thing. This Cris Carter bit. This is what King wrote about it today:

• You are kidding me, Cris Carter—and you are kidding me, NFL. My first reaction to the story of Carter telling NFL rookies at the 2014 Rookie Symposium that they have to find a “fall guy” in a player’s “crew” who will take the blame when the player commits a crime: My jaw dropped. My second reaction mirrored 12-year veteran Osi Umenyiora.

Precisely. Carter apologized, and though the NFL tried to distance itself from Carter’s idiotic remarks, how could the league have placed the offending video of his talk on NFL.com until yanking it Sunday? This is so offensive it boggles the mind that some person with the NFL would say, Let’s show the world this great advice about obstructing justice from a Hall of Fame hero to impressionable rookies. Also: How could NFL VP Troy Vincent, who is in charge of the symposium, have allowed Carter to spew such venom? Carter, by the way, was in his yellow Pro Football Hall of Fame blazer. In all ways, this is the biggest example of inmates running the NFL asylum that I’ve seen in years.

Apparently this weekend was the first time that King heard about this, and that when he heard it, his jaw dropped. He describes this as so offensive it boggles the mind and the biggest example of inmates running the NFL asylum.

He never heard about this.

You, know it’s funny. King protege, the notorious Robert Klemko, whom he apparently loves like a son, attended that Rookie symposium, and wrote about it, including a very detailed bit about the session hosted by Carter and Warren Sapp.

Except he didn’t mention the part where Carter talked about having a “fall guy.”

So let’s get this right, A Hall of Fame player says something that makes a reporter’s “jaw drop.” It is described as so offensive it boggles the mind and the biggest example of inmates running the NFL asylum – but Klemko didn’t feel it worthy of being mentioned?

Sounds legit.

UPDATE – Klemko: Why I didn’t report Cris Carter’s “fall guy” comments in 2014

So, Klemko cooperates with the NFL and leaves that out of his story, but he doesn’t tell his boss? I’m not sure which is worse, the above scenario or this one.


44 thoughts on “The Monday Morning Quarterback Needs To Be Benched

    1. Sadly, it’s influential, even inside the NFL.

      But, I’d argue it’s the same influence mainstream outlets have to those outside the league. They peddle to the LCD. people who try to fit in or just don’t know better.


  1. And the plot thickens.

    “When Carter said the words, “have a fall guy” in what was a light-hearted and animated session that at times made league employees in attendance cringe, the NFL’s Kim Fields looked my way and said, “that can’t go in the story.””


    1. NFL Speak: “Have a fall guy” = lighthearted and not serious comment; “Deflate and give somebody that jacket,” and calling oneself “the Deflator” (8 months before the game in question took place) = clear, obvious evidence that the cheating Cheatriots cheated again, because….integrity, and because…..Spgyate!!!!


    2. Nah, you didn’t report it because you didn’t want to risk losing your access, which could mean not just your job but potential media jobs.

      We all gotta put food on the table, but..


  2. Where’s Tony Mazz been? Not even a mention that he might be on vacation or something. Noticed he conveniently went missing after going on the air and stating as a FACT not opinion that the team that is the broadcast partner for that station was accused by Mazz to be conspiring to running a cheating scheme for years with Belichick at the head of it. And that Robert Kraft knows about this scheme by his head coach and has also conspired with the league to have Brady be the fall guy (thanks Cris Carter) and let Belichick “skate” as has been quoted many times.
    I suspect that the Krafts couldn’t have been too happy to hear these accusations on their flagship and CBS has quietly give Mazz some time off to rethink how he wants to proceed with his career as Felgers ball boy.


    1. I think it may be a stretch to assume that Mazz was suspended by CBS, or pushed out for a little while, but I did find it very interesting that he came in with that absurd Belichick claim about skating, and then dipped out and dodged all the backlash when he was presumably heading on vacation the next day. Didn’t have to defend what he said, and is able to propose a ridiculous claim, and then hide away until the people around here forgot about what he said. Not even Felger could completely buy what he was saying, which shows just how preposterous his Belichick troll really was.


  3. “Hey rooks. Rape, murder, steal, assault, no problem just have a fall guy and don’t get any mess on the shield. You are above the laws of little people.” Hey Troy. I think you might have been generally aware of this. RG too. It has become blatantly obvious that the NFL is rotten to the core and their enabling mouthpieces should hang their heads in shame. How many total f-ups does it take to fire RG!? How many crimes have been covered up with fall guys and the blessing of the NFL? This is inching closer to criminal every day.


  4. When “Framegate” started the Jerry Thorntons and Portnoys of the world kept writing about this big conspiracy about everyone trying to “GET” the Patriots. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Today I can’t believe that they were accurate. The NFL is in a sad state of affairs when they start acting like a bunch of junior high girls. Peter King is the girl who reminds the teacher there isn’t any homework


  5. Love the verbiage.. I get “front line” but you know Peter King equates [his] journalism to being an actual enlisted soldier.

    The responses from two of our favorite parody accounts are great, though:


  6. Looks like someone needs to learn how to send a direct message:


  7. Whelp….I thought it couldn’t get any worse than a week of Tanguay filling in for Dino. I was wrong. Minihane is going on vacation and tomorrow will be Tanguay and Volin. I’d rather listen to a marble roll around in a coffee can. I mean, my GOD, WEEI…..really?


    1. Well, at least he will be able to finally meet another objective media member of the Boston market. For some reason, he proclaimed he was the only one on the Deflategate stuff.


    2. Listening this morning It’s more of the rubbernecking with a trainwreck now.

      GearBear’s new thing is that Hasselback’s “knowledge of JJ” now is the bloody glove that fits.

      Gotta love it.. An ESPN guy who did some radio, normally saying nothing and providing bland, generic, ESPN-style interviews is now the smoking gun.


    1. Probably guys like Rapaport, Breer, etc. If Klemko didn’t acquiesce then they would have granted the piece to someone who would.


    2. I think he means that NFL.com and the NFL Network have their own reporters on staff, so that if you don’t “play ball” with the NFL’s wishes, the stories will go to them instead of you. To fight for the scraps, you have to play along.


    1. I checked in with his Twitter feed, figuring he said something else dumb. He’s still fighting with (Patriots) fans who Tweet him and blocking after a bit. Just funny.

      I’m not for employers “monitoring” social media, but isn’t part of being a media member maintaining your credibility and public perception? ESPN cares (really until they say something the PC mafia hates) for a reason.

      Predicted on this board months ago: http://i.imgur.com/Okxj76u.png


      1. Someone retweeted a comment from him that McNally changed his story 4 times, hence he (and Brady) is guilty. Of course, since McNally’s testimony has not been published, saying his story changed 4 times is total speculation.

        Is it any wonder why so many people are wrongly incarcerated?


        1. I wouldn’t go as far as to say a jury member is willfully making things up for clicks while deliberating someone’s guilt.


  8. GearBear/Trollin’s latest theory on the payoff: they’re gonna be waiting until April 2016 when JJ’s 1040 is publicly available.

    Love it.


      1. He was going on some tangent where basically JJ’s payoff via Brady/Kraft is going to be reported to the IRS, so they won’t be able to verify he got paid off until tax time in 2016.



        1. They do realize that tax returns are viewable by the public only when you’re a 501(c)(3) charity or a declared candidate for certain statewide public offices, right?


  9. Whats a guy suppose to listen to this morning??? I keep switching from station to station hoping to hear something that doesn’t make my ears bleed…T&R have gone off the deep end by not investing in Deflategate talk, and instead think segments about this Adolfo guy are actually entertaining, and D&C has been invaded by the trolls for the time being, and are just talking circles around each other making vague inferences with little fact behind it. Its funny how both shows talk about “good radio” but today they are far from it


  10. The Klemko story reminds me a lot of the BBWA’s comments/actions after the steroid scandal blew up. For years those guys were in the locker rooms…they never said anything because they wanted access. Klemko has this absolutely hot story of the NFL officially telling players to make sure they have a fall guy (like Ray Lewis had, like Aaron Hernandez thought he had and like Rae Carruth wished he had) so that they will not get in legal trouble when they do something stupid at 2:00 am.

    What does not surprise is that Klemko squashed the story at the behest of the NFL. What does surprise me is that people are defending him for doing it, and that Klemko did not subtly tell someone else to start investigating NFL off field incidents looking for patterns.


  11. Kicking the wrong guy off ..

    NESN (Werner?) continues to prove they’re clueless.


    1. They both need to go…Remy because he is an enabler, Don O for not quitting when he was told they were not firing Remy.


      1. Not that I care sans cable but if you had to “remove” one… JC is mentioning that he’s somewhat of a fall guy for the “ratings” or blamed for “the bad product”


        1. I thought Remy was awful prior to his son’s issues but after his time off I thought he was much better but if you are going to freshen things up he is the one I change.


  12. My sources tell me that Don Orsillo will be replaced for 2016 by a videotape of “Sox Appeal” wearing a wig.


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