For years, Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback column has been a must-read for all NFL fans. For Redskins fans, it was a hard column to have to read, as King was a major obstacle for Art Monk's Hall of Fame chances for so long. But that all changed when he used his column a few years back to openly endorse Art's candidacy. The results speak for themselves. Few fans can appreciate the power of Peter King's perspective better than us. So when I was given an advance copy of Peter's book to review for Hogs Haven, I relished the opportunity to get a peak into whatever it was that King felt the need to write a whole book about.
Turns out almost 2 million people click onto his weekly MMQB column. That is a pretty ridiculous number. Especially when you consider almost a quarter of the content is dedicated to his daughters' softball and field hockey exploits, coffee talk, and television reviews (to name but a few of the more personal items Peter King includes regularly in his columns.)
I have taken my "swings" at Peter King through the years, riling up the literally tens of readers at Ahern Inquirer, where Kevin and I started. It is hard enough being a Redskins fan without having to hear a guy with King's voice remind me how bad a team we are, or why Art Monk is not deserving of the Hall of Fame. Yet each week, there I am, staring at my computer, taking in every word King writes.
Because of fantasy football, the Internet, satellite television, and office pools, we have all turned into fans of the whole NFL, not just our one hometown team. Peter King--despite his occasionally obvious bias--brings us behind the scenes each week with behind the curtain-type stories that feed our insatiable appetite. The Monday Morning Quarterbackbook is the same kind of read. There are classic articles, such as the one back from March 2003 when King attended an exhibition baseball game, retrieved a foul ball hit by Miguel Tejada, and infamously assured a young kid that the "True Ball" was the one that the kid had. The margins of the book are lined with short anecdotes, coffeenerdness bits, "Factoids That Only Interest Me", "10 Things I Think I Think", and travel notes. You could flip through this whole book just reading the margins and be thoroughly entertained.
Interspersed throughout the book are a few very interesting lists: Top 100 Players of All Time, Best and Worst of the NFL (featuring stadiums, traditions, bars, and pet peeves), and Hall of Fame Snubs. The highest ranking Redskin on the 100 greatest list comes in at #7! I won't steal too much of King's thunder here, but I will say that there are a few players that we signed late in their careers who make the list in the 30's. King also lists his 100 Greatest Players of Today. Suffice to say the current Redskins team is not exactly over-represented (Haynesworth checks in at #21, while Carlos Rogers, LaRon Landry, Clinton Portis, and Chris Cooley check in at #'s 65, 69, 87 and 94, respectively.)
This book is one of those books you can read a little here and there without worrying about losing the plot or storyline. It is jam-packed with the kind of insight and perspective that we have all come to expect from anything Peter King writes. If you have a close friend/family member that is a football fan or football junkie, this book is a must-read and great gift idea for the holidays.