Tuesday, June 14, 2005

P in his Koffee

Monday Morning Quarterback, Peter King's weekly "football" column on SI.com, is occasionally good, frequently bad, and always -- always -- infuriating. The most dependably infuriating part, of course, is the coffee talk. Every week, King wastes a few sentences discussing his latest infatuation, peeve or observation based on his latest visit to Starbucks. He labels these musings "Coffeenerdness."

Now, the problem is not that a sports columnist or commentator shouldn't be writing about coffee. Tony Kornheiser has made a lucrative second career out of discussing everything except athletes. Jim Rome is always funniest when he's talking about something other than sports. No, the problem is that King is only pretending to write about coffee. What he's really writing about, of course, is his favorite subject: himself. More specifically, what a connoisseur he is.

By labeling these items "Coffeenerdness," King pretends to let us in on a joke: Look at what a geek I am about my coffee! I'm such a nerd that I talk about the right balance of milk flavor and coffee flavor! Laugh along with me! But read closely! Look at how much I know about coffee! Look at what a discriminating palate I have! Recognize how little you know about coffee compared with me!

Coffee talk, I'm fine with. But the phony self-deprecating BS, that's what I can't stand.