Tuesday, June 12, 2007

MMQB: Um, the Sopranos aren't real

Blathering about Italians for the second straight week. "MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK" FOR JUNE 11


1. Peter King is all about the series finale of The Sopranos this week. King says he liked the way the finale ended, a view shared by about 2 percent of the U.S. population, as opposed to the roughly 3 percent who hated the finale. Think I'm exaggerating? The Neilsen overnights estimated the audience at 11 million people. Even assuming that half as many additional people recorded it, that's still only 5 percent of the population. Meaning 95 percent of the country didn't watch and doesn't give a shit. And yet it was on the front page of half the newspapers in the country. Get it into your thick skulls, white people: It's premium cable. Anyway, of all the Sopranos blah-blah-blah King spews forth this week, the most aggravating appears in his "quotes of the week":
Quote of the Week I
"We have to break our dependence on foreign oil."
-- A.J. Soprano, in the final episode of The Sopranos on Sunday night.
Classic A.J. Within 15 minutes, the conscience-ravaged A.J. is driving a new BMW without a care in the world, except where the next pizza's coming from.
Sigh. I didn't think I'd ever have to explain this to someone older than about 7, but here goes: This is not a reality show. A.J. Soprano is a fictional character. King is calling out a made-up person as a hypocrite. Jesus. When King reads the comics pages and sees that Jon has put Garfield on a diet, does he scoff and shout: "Oh, you're never going to get him to lay off the lasagna!"? Peter, please, we understand that your television show is very important to you, but those people on the screen are just actors, reading lines written for them. The characters don't actually have human failings, because they aren't actually human beings.

2. After watching Randy Moss work out during his first minicamp with the New England Patriots, King says he has a gut feeling that "Moss is going to keep his nose clean, shut up, and stick everyone's negative opinions about him (including mine) where the sun don't shine." Wow. I assume that King, being a wordsmith and all, is aware that when you tell someone to stick something "where the sun don't shine," you're telling him to shove it up his own ass. I know Moss is kind of an odd duck, but I can't imagine he'll choose to demonstrate defiance by buggering himself.

3. King writes: "Trent Green's deal with the Dolphins seems very fair ... maybe a little too fair for a 36-year-old guy who ended last year on such shaky ground with the Chiefs." Fair, in this context, isn't a sliding scale. It's binary: Either something is fair or it isn't. If the contract is "too fair," then it's gone beyond the point where it's fair. By definition, then, it's unfair. Call it semantics if you wish, but it's just lazy, stupid writing. If the Dolphins overpaid, then say so.


Peter is well-connected: "I asked Rodney Harrison if he thought Moss was still Moss. 'Are you kidding me, Peter?' he said ... "; "Seven years ago ... I interviewed Michael Strahan in the same booth that Tony, Carm and A.J. (Soprano) ended an era Sunday night ... "; " 'I loved it!' said the biggest fan of the show I know, Mike Lombardi, the former Browns and Eagles and Raiders exec ... My buddy Jason Hehir of HBO texted me: 'I couldn't be more irate at that ending.' ... "; "Thanks, one and all (including you, Mike Timlin), for ... the swellest birthday party a big lug could ever have."

Peter is predictible and dense: King turned 50 this week, and while he doesn't bang that drum as loudly as he does The Sopranos, he still milks it pretty good. Hey, he's entitled. But I can't let this line pass without comment: In the weekly "coffeenerdness" item, he says, "You know it's your birthday, and you must be very hard to buy for, when you get six Starbucks cards as gifts." First of all: You know it's your birthday when ... you get gifts? You didn't know until then? It's right there on your driver's license. But even better is how he looks at the six identical gifts he received and concludes that it means he's "hard to buy for." Uh, if you were hard to buy for, then you'd get cash, or a bunch of shit you'd never use. On the contrary, King is so fucking easy to buy for that six people came up with the same idea. Meanwhile, King is thrilled that someone else anonymously delivered five cases of Heineken Light (ugh), "in cans" (ugh), to his house. "The gift of life," he calls it, sounding more like an alcoholic than he probably cares to. So that was a great gift, too? Yeah, he's so hard to buy for.

Total number of quotes of the week: 4. Total unrelated to football: 1 (Sopranos, of course.

Total number of things King thinks he thinks: 16. Total number unrelated to football before he gets to his "non-football-related thoughts": 1 (take a wild guess).

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