FMIA Week 5: Bills Thump Chiefs On The Night It All Changed In The AFC – Peter King, NBC Sports

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imageSeattle offensive snaps in his career: 10,772.Snaps played by Wilson: 10,589 (98.3 percent).Snaps missed per season, on average: 18.3.Playoff snaps missed: 3.

In the next three weeks, with Geno Smith slated to start against the Steelers, Saints and Jags, Wilson is likely to miss more snaps than the 183 he’s missed in his 165-game NFL life.Factoidness

I

In the span of 29 days, Trevor Lawrence has lost more games than he did in his combined high school and college career.

Lawrence in seven years at Cartersville (Ga.) High School and Clemson University: 86-4.

Lawrence in one month as a Jacksonville Jaguar: 0-5.

II

Marvin Harrison was 33 years and 87 days old when he caught his 900th ball in the NFL in 2005.Until Sunday, Harrison held the record for fastest to get to 900 NFL receptions, doing it in 149 games.

Antonio Brown was 33 years and 92 days old Sunday when he caught his 900th ball in the NFL.He did it in his 144th NFL game, smashing Harrison’s record.

It’s so interesting to note a couple of things: Harrison finished his career with 1,102 catches, so he wasn’t finished at 33; Brown seems not to be either.

Brown, by his own petulance and sordid behavior, squandered a year-and-a-half of his age 31 and 32 seasons, and now seems to be on a productive path at 33.In the Week 4 mega-game at New England, Tom Brady targeted Mike Evens 12 times, Brown 11 times and Chris Godwin five.Brady trusts Brown.

If Brown stays on that path, even if that it veers from Brady in the next year or two, he should pass 1,000 receptions, and have a good chance at a gold jacket one day.King of the Road 40

Much of last week was a blur: Tuesday-morning-to-Thursday-night trip West (JFK to San Francisco to Seattle to JFK in 62 hours) for our granddaughter Hazel’s third birthday in Berkeley and time with both daughters’ families in the Bay Area and Seattle.I was able to put on the headphones and watch Rams 26, Seahawks 17 on the Delta seatback TV, on the afternoon nonstop from SeaTac to JFK.

Great way to pass the time.The NFL plus a little geography: Montana/North Dakota border : Opening kickoff.Fargo, N.D .: Quandre Diggs picks off old friend Matthew Stafford .

St.Cloud, Minn .: Russell Wilson to D.K.Metcalf for the only TD of the half.

Rhinelander, Wis .: Halftime.Over Lake Michigan between Wisconsin and Michigan : Second half kickoff.Alpena, Mich .: Darrell Henderson runs for LA’s first TD of the night.Over Lake Huron between Michigan and Canada: TD, Stafford to Tyler Higbee .Rams, 16-7.Over Lake Ontario into the U.S., west of Rochester : Geno Smith’s 98-yard drive keeps Seattle in it.

Circling Manhattan in final descent : Smith is intercepted.Rams run out the clock.Tarmac, JFK : Erin Andrews chats up Stafford postgame on FOX/NFLNet.

Oh, and Freddy King—heavy into crafting these days, three months shy of 5—made me a ring with my initials.

Tweets of the Week

I Joe Burrow is the embodiment of every teams dream when they draft a QB in the 1st round.Talented, composed, knows the plays he can/can’t make, and most importantly smart.

The Cincinnati Bengals found their guy.

— Rich Ohrnberger (@ohrnberger) October 10, 2021

Rich Ohrnberger, a former NFL offensive lineman, is a FOX Sports and San Diego radio host.

II

— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) October 10, 2021

The former Cowboys receiver, on Trevon Diggs, the current Cowboys star cornerback.

III There is no place in the @NFL for people who have any racist thoughts.I don’t care if the email Jon Gruden wrote was from 10 years ago, it was disgusting.

He should be dismissed immediately

— Greg Gabriel (@greggabe) October 9, 2021

Retired NFL scout Greg Gabriel, who served for nine years as director of scouting for the Bears.

IV

— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) October 9, 2021

The Seattle quarterback, after undergoing surgery on his right middle finger, which will cause him to miss his first games in a decade as an NFL player.

V England gave us The Beatles and The Stones.Today we pay them back with the Jets and the Falcons.

— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) October 10, 2021

Brian Costello covers the Jets for the New York Post.

VI The Red Sox started the game with a pitcher the Yankees let go (Nathan Eovaldi) and finished it with a pitcher the Yankees let go (Garrett Whitlock).

— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) October 6, 2021

Kuty, after Boston’s 6-2 Wild Card win keyed by two former Yankees.

He covers the Yankees for NJ.com.Newman! 50

Reach me at , or on Twitter @peter_king The Meyer mess.From Pat O’Malley: “The whole Urban Meyer matter is not a morality play but an example of a person out of his depth.

As a head coach, you can’t stay behind while the team flies home so you can visit friends and family.Meyer’s current and former employment contracts should give him the financial wherewithal to make personal travel arrangements.Meyer’s post-game comments about a ‘heartbreaking loss’ seem disingenuous when viewed in this context.In your opinion can Meyer recover?”

I think he can, but this already was going to be a long-haul task, with Meyer likely having to overcome 3-14 and 5-12 seasons, or something like that.To be able to overcome that and show your players the team’s headed in the right direction, the coach has to be singularly focused on turning the team around.

To earn and keep the players’ respect, he can’t be messing around in a bar with women half his age, and younger.It’s not just unseemly, it’s frighteningly dim-witted and tone-deaf.

Any more side distractions and I doubt Shad Khan will be forgiving.On Sam Darnold .From Alan Stover of North Carolina: “I have a question regarding your thought that, ‘Sam Darnold is better than I thought he’d be in Carolina.

He could make the decision of owner David Tepper and coach Matt Rhule on the 2022 quarterback a difficult one.’ Can you expand on why you feel the 2022 quarterback situation is still unresolved in Carolina? I think the quarterback decision for 2022 is settled.”

It isn’t settled yet, Alan.Playing five games at above-average level, I’m sure, has not made Tepper believe Darnold is his long-term quarterback.The owner has made it clear—mostly internally—that he wants a franchise quarterback at all costs.

It could be that Darnold is that franchise guy.But if Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson are available in February (and if Watson’s legal case has clarity by then) I would expect Carolina to be interested …unless Darnold plays consistently well for the next three months.Then they’ll have a decision to make.Fixes, or just questionable missed calls? From John Paisan, of Dallas: “ Given the blatant non-calls of offensive pass interference to let a Tom Brady team beat the Cowboys in game 1, and defensive pass interference on the last play to secure a Browns win over the star-less Vikings this past week, when do fans start to believe that fixes are not part of the NFL now given how the NFL is increasingly influenced by the gambling corporateers now funneling money into the league?”

I have covered the NFL since 1984.Every year, and I mean every single year, I hear from fans and read in the media that the officiating is awful, worst it’s ever been, etc.The fact is, there are bad calls and missed calls every week.It’s up to a society increasingly prone to believe in conspiracy theories and to believe in the worst in all of us whether we’ll get to the point that we think games are fixed.

It’s going to take a little more than the back judge missing a pass-interference call in a Week 4 game in Minneapolis for me to believe games are fixed.A lot more.Beware the influence of gambling.From Bruce Lang, of Chico, Calif.: “If the NFL thinks (as you write) that any improvement in officials’ calls “would address only a few plays a year,’ I have news for them: THERE ARE BAD CALLS EVERY WEEK—and pretty soon people will think games were fixed for gamblers by officials’ calls.

And then the NFL will have a HUGE problem on its hands.”

Perhaps.Bruce, I have heard this from many corners—that the NFL needs to pay extra attention to officiating with this new wave of legalized sports gambling.I get the sentiment.But I ask you: Do you think that officiating can be appreciably improved? I mean, significantly improved—to the point that it cuts down virtually every bad call that we see in the wake of games every weekend? I don’t think so.It’s a human game.Running backs fumble.

Refs screw up calls.Coaches mess up clock management.It’s life in the NFL.Not to say the league shouldn’t fix the fixable things in officiating, but there will always be errors.

Mike makes a valid point, one I should think about.From Mike Spry: “You asked, Why does the NFL keep giving Josh Gordon chances? Gordon has a disease, and that’s science, not subjective rhetoric.

If he kept coming back from torn ACLs would you ask that question? From cancer? Addiction is not a moral failing—especially in the context of a league that is filled with moral failings, too many to list here.When you suggest that it is, you disrespect the over 20 million Americans and millions more worldwide who suffer from this terrible, chronic disease and do a disservice to the ongoing battle to destigmatize addiction.If you’re going to take a moral stance against players, perhaps advocating for an end to chances for the Tyreek Hills, Josh Browns, Greg Hardys, and Kareem Hunts of the league.”

Interesting, Mike.

Thanks.

This is a complicated topic.

I guess I would ask you this: If you had a business, and you had an employee who in the span of eight years violated company policy on using drugs six times, and twice informed you he was taking time off to go into rehab, and once got a DUI, and in the span of this eight-year period, missed half his time at work because of his personal demons, would you continue to employ him? Maybe you would.But I don’t know how you run a business not knowing what day it will be that Employee X doesn’t show up for work because he’s fallen off the wagon again—but figuring there’s a very good chance it’s going to happen.

I am empathetic to those who fight addiction.I certainly feel for them.

But Kansas City is not doing this for a marginal player.Kansas City is doing this because, when on the straight and narrow, Josh Gordon can be a very good player.As for the others you mentioned, they deserve suspensions and in some cases banishment.But for those who are guilty of one incident of abuse, would you say they should be banned from the game forever? I would not.

Having said all that, it’s a difficult issue, and one I that doesn’t have a simple solution.Thanks for challenging me on it.Now this was a bad look.From Kevin Staub, of Newtown, Pa.: “I agree with your point about Mike McCarthy’s rainbow sprinkles sweatshirt.It is one of the ugliest garments an NFL coach has worn on the sideline.But it’s not THE worst.

I remind you of former Giants coach Ray Handley, Monday Night Football, circa 1991.”

Point taken, Kevin.You win.10 Things I Think I Think

1.I think the Jon Gruden story is odd and disturbing and open-ended, all at the same time.When Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Gruden, in an email 10 years ago, said NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith “has lips the size of Michellin [sic] tires,” the first reaction of many around the league was disgust at Gruden using this racist trope.A few thoughts:

• Gruden has said to many over the weekend that he’s not racist, that he doesn’t have a racist bone in his body, and, after the Raiders game Sunday, doubled down: “I had no racial intentions with those remarks at all.” That’s hard to swallow.

Who says something offensive about the size of a man’s lips? It’s a classic racial stereotype.Gruden keeps saying it.I keep being skeptical about it.

• The fact that there are more Gruden emails the league has in its possession (as was reported by Beaton on Friday) is notable; ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Sunday that one of them has Gruden cursing out commissioner Roger Goodell.The Smith comments are much more serious.

• Over the weekend, I asked a few people what would be a sensible sanction, if any is forthcoming, from the league.After a discussion about it for a few minutes, one executive I respect told me: “I honestly have no idea.This is so out of bounds.”

Gruden, of course, wasn’t employed by the league in 2011, so you could question whether any discipline at all should be forthcoming for a man who was an NFL analyst for ESPN and did not return to the NFL as a coach till 2018.Mike Florio reported Sunday that some influential league office people think he will not be suspended.Goodell has lots of latitude to sanction league employees, however, and unlike players who have a union with some teeth, coaches don’t have a union and have to either accept the commissioner’s decision or appeal it—to the league office.

My thought is Gruden has to do something to show legitimate repentance—something like endowing a scholarship for Black students with part of his reported $100-million contract with the Raiders.

An apology is not enough, regardless of how well-meaning it may be.

2.

I think this is the oddest thing about the first month: Chicago’s over .500 (3-2), and judging by fan reaction, you’d think the Bears were 1-4.Revel in the wins Chicagoland.Don’t always look on the dark side.

3.I think no team in the NFL looks as hapless offensively as the 1-4 Jets.Five statistical notes, after New York’s loss in London:

a.They’ve played five games.In those five games, they’ve had 27 first-half possessions.

They’ve punted 16 times and scored one touchdown.

b.Zach Wilson threw for 59 yards in the first 50 minutes of the loss in London.That’s almost a 1956 number.

c.

Wilson is apace to throw 30 interceptions.The rookie record for picks in a season: Peyton Manning, 1998, 28.

d.In the last 25 games, the Jets have not scored 30 points in a game once.In its last 25 games, Green Bay has scored 30 points or more 14 times.

e.Sunday was the Jets’ 50th loss since opening day 2017.

No team has lost more games since then, though the Giants have also lost 50 since then.It’s a wonderful time to be the back-page editor of the New York Post or New York Daily News.

4.I think the NFL’s foray into Europe on Sunday for the first time in two years was notable, in part, for all the thinking about where the game wasn’t played.While the Jets and Falcons were in London, lots of focus was on Germany.The NFL wants to put a game there in 2022, but may have to push that back to 2023 because of a crowded international soccer schedule prompted by the odd logistics of the World Cup in 2022.Normally, the World Cup is played in the summer.

But because of the summer heat in Qatar, the World Cup will be played from Nov.21 to Dec.18, 2022, which will compress the scheduling of major soccer tournaments and league matches all over the world in the late summer and early fall months.The NFL will announce the three finalist cities for the first-ever German game on Tuesday—but when that city will actually host the game depends on stadium availability and whether the proper fanfare for such an event can happen in 2022.

One other note, per an NFL source: There are multiple NFL teams that badly want to play in that first German game and want to take advantage of the hunger of German fans.

It’s the fastest-growing international market.The country had a Super Bowl audience of three million, according to NFL rating figures.

Interesting: There’s a German iteration of NFL RedZone, with 200,000 German subscribers.There’s money to be made in Germany, and the NFL will work to mine it.

5.I think this occurred to me Thursday night, watching the great interception by Seattle safety Quandre Diggs of Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was trying to throw the ball away in the end zone when Diggs appeared out of nowhere to steal it.Stafford and Diggs are tight from their days in Detroit.Now they’ll play each twice a year as denizens of the NFC West.Remember my note back in camp? The day that the Stafford trade to the Rams was announced, Diggs’ phone buzzed.

FaceTime request from Stafford.Diggs answered it.

He looked at his screen.It was Stafford and Rams coach Sean McVay, together in Mexico, calling him.Stafford said to Diggs: “Man, better back up! We’re throwing deep!” That pick had to feel pretty great for Diggs.Matthew Stafford finds a wide open Quandre Diggs in the back of the end zone 🎯

— PFF (@PFF) October 8, 2021

6.

I think this about Julio Jones, who was out again with a bum hamstring Sunday:

• He’s missed nine of his teams’ last 21 games—seven in Atlanta last year, two in Tennessee this year—with injuries.

• In the 12 games he’s played, he’s had 63 receptions and three touchdowns.

• Earnings in 2020 and 2021: $37.5 million.

(Tennessee owes him $11.5 million in each of the next two seasons if it keeps him.)

• The Titans owe Atlanta a second-round pick in 2022 and a four in ’23 (Atlanta will send back a 2023 sixth-rounder), so the cost for Jones is not only the money.

• Jones will be 33 in four months.

• Teams that were interested in Jones before he was dealt to the Titans—Baltimore, Vegas, New England—are undoubtedly happy they didn’t pay the freight for Jones.

The Jones story is not over.He has plenty of time to make an impact on a team that probably is still the AFC South favorite.But once 32-year-old receivers who’ve played 138 physical NFL games start breaking down, they don’t usually become ironmen.

7.

I think the most interesting non-quarterback in football right now (well, excluding Michael Dickson) is Atlanta receiver/returner/rusher Cordarrelle Patterson .I remember getting a rundown from Arthur Smith, the rookie Atlanta coach, in the offseason about his offense, and he said near the end, “Don’t forget Cordarrelle Patterson.

We’ve got plans for him.” Lots of other teams have had plans for him too.But Smith is making them work and using Patterson to be a true multi-purpose weapon.He even threw an option pass Sunday in London agains the Jets.So far: 66 touches, 468 rushing/receiving yards, and five touchdowns in the first five weeks.

8.I think I nominate for Contract of the Year this one by new Falcons GM Terry Fontenot: Cordarrelle Patterson, one year, $3 million.

9.

I think I want to feel some outrage for those angry that Stephon Gilmore , the Defensive Player of the Year just two years ago, was jettisoned by the Patriots for just a sixth-round pick in 2023.

But I can’t.He’s 31, coming off quad surgery, plays a position that mandates quickness and speed and will want a big contract after this year.The cap is very much in flux, trending downward.Carolina was $19 million under the cap now, the Patriots were snug up against it.If Gilmore wasn’t going to take a team-friendly deal, it made no sense for New England to re-do a bunch of contracts to make Gilmore fit.

As for the sixth-round pick, the compensation stunk because only five teams have significant cap space this year ($12 million or more) and who wants to hand a corner who will be 32 in 2022 a new contract, which Gilmore clearly will want?

10.I think these are my other thoughts of the week:

a.This must be impossible: Steve Young, 60 today?

b.It can’t be just me who thinks that is stunning.The man looks 35.

c.Many memories of Young the player and person, all of them very good.The best memory, though, is of a vomitous night in Miami.

After the greatest game of his life—the six-TD-pass Super Bowl rout of the Chargers in the Super Bowl in January 1995, I got in the back of a black car with Young and agent Leigh Steinberg for the ride back to the hotel.(I was reporting for Sports Illustrated.) What a night—finally proving he could win the biggest game, and maybe, finally, at last, he was a suitable heir to the legendary Joe Montana.Young had done an hour of interviews and chugged red Gatorade because he was feeling so dehydrated.Soon after the car left the parking lot for the ride to the Miami Airport Marriott, Young vomited red Gatorade on agent Leigh Steinberg’s shoes (just a speck splashed on mine) in the back of the black car.

Yikes.Steinberg made a joke about how he’d never wash those shoes again.Young didn’t look so good.

By the time he got to his room back at the hotel—it was a suite packed full of family and friends—he was full-on dehydrated, and the Miami-Dade Rescue EMTs showed up and gave him IV fluids in both arms.

He lay on his bed on this momentous night, woozy, his eyes slits.

d.From the back of the crowded suite, an uncle or family friend on this boisterous and victorious evening yelled out, “Joe Who?”

e.Young heard and used what strength he had at this moment to yell out, “No! Don’t do that!” For all of their competitive moments, Young trying to wrest the job from Montana, Montana trying to keep it, Young never hated Montana.He understood exactly how Montana felt when Bill Walsh traded for this kid to compete with him, and the last thing Young was thinking on this night was anything vengeful about Joe Montana.

I thought it said so much about Young the person: Even in this private, celebratory moment, he didn’t want anyone to think that part of his joy was anti-Montana joy.It wasn’t.

f.Feature Story of the Week : Camonghne Felix for The Cut on Simone Biles.What a great quote from Biles to Felix: “I should have quit way before Tokyo.”

g.This story is fantastic.

So insightful.Felix gets past the surfacy Biles and cut to the real one.What I really liked is about how Felix got Biles to explain how her crisis in Tokyo was not like a batter in a slump or a basketball player in the midst of a two-week shooting skid.Batters or basketball players are not in mid-air, and when their day is bad, they don’t wonder if they’re doing to land hard on their feet or on the back of their necks.Biles dropping out in Tokyo was about mental health and physical safety.

Both.Important to realize that.Writes Felix: Biles is naturally inclined toward humility — she likes people to know she is a glass-half-full kind of girl — but when she talks about the narratives that critics spread during Tokyo, her indignation builds.She recounts the absurdity of some of the assumptions the public made about her performance, Twitter threads accusing her of giving up because she just didn’t feel like competing.“If I still had my air awareness, and I just was having a bad day, I would have continued,” Biles says.“But it was more than that.” After training for most of her life for these Olympic Games, after a grueling season, after years of discussing her abuser publicly — how could anyone think the Games went the way they did because she just didn’t feel like showing up? How could they think that after all this time, all this effort, she would travel all the way to Tokyo to just quit? “Say up until you’re 30 years old, you have your complete eyesight,” Biles says.

“One morning, you wake up, you can’t see shit, but people tell you to go on and do your daily job as if you still have your eyesight.You’d be lost, wouldn’t you? That’s the only thing I can relate it to.I have been doing gymnastics for 18 years.I woke up — lost it.

How am I supposed to go on with my day?”

h.Story of the Week : Zhaoyin Feng of BBC News on the flood that drowned American dreams.

i.Feng wrote about three people in one family, including 82-year-old patriarch Leng Hongsheng, who perished in a basement apartment in Queens during Hurricane Ida.

The sadness of this poverty a few miles from New York City affluence is striking.Wrote Feng: Though his life in the city was not easy, Mr Leng embraced New York.“He loved the artistic and political freedom here,” his former immigration lawyer Norman Wong told the BBC.Born in Northeast China in 1939, he had a poetic name: Hongsheng, which means an ascending wild goose.He immigrated when he was in his 50s to pursue a life as a New Yorker, painting Chinese landscapes and once submitting a design for the World Trade Center memorial competition.

He also became politically active in America, penning newspaper commentary critical of the Chinese Communist Party and joining the “China Democratic Party”.Citing fear of persecution in China, Mr Leng applied for political asylum in the U.S.

in the 2000s, and his case is still cited by local immigration lawyers.The Lengs’ deaths have been widely remarked upon in China, with many wondering on social media why the patriarch chose such a seemingly impoverished life for his family.Asked one user: “He loved America, but did America love him back?” In the starkest way, the country failed him – but perhaps in another way, he was loved.In the month after their deaths, the Chinese-American community pooled the money to cover their funeral costs and to send their ashes back to their homeland – an act, as a Chinese proverb goes, of returning fallen leaves to their roots.

j.Football Story of the Week : Matthew Futterman, in the New York Times, on former Atlanta Falcon and current lawyer and author Tim Green, living with ALS, and living with immense dignity.Green was the 17th pick in the 1986 draft, by Atlanta.He was a good player in his eight NFL seasons, amassing 24 sacks—the last two came against Brett Favre and Dan Marino in consecutive 1992 games—but he always was interested in the law and in writing.

Green’s most recent book, “Final Season,” could be his most powerful.As Futterman writes, he and wife Ilyssa and their family had to decide if son Ty would continue playing football.Per Futterman: His latest, “Final Season,” about a family grappling with whether a child should keep playing football after his father, who is also his coach, is diagnosed with A.L.S.— yes, it is based on true events — debuted recently at No.1 on The New York Times’s best-seller list for children’s middle grade hardcover….As his A.L.S.worsened dramatically three years ago, the family argued over whether Ty should continue to play football on his local youth team.

Tim and some of his sons felt that because practice routines and tackling techniques have changed during the past 20 years, Ty, who was then 12, could continue to play safely.Ilyssa wanted football out of Ty’s life.He now focuses most of his athletic energy on lacrosse.Tim Green said he does not regret his own football career.He remains a fervent fan who watches games all season, especially the Falcons, missing nearly everything about his playing days.“The TV cameras, the uniforms, the colors, the pageantry, the smell of fresh air spoiled by sizzling dogs, spilled beer, fresh tape, and cut grass, the crowds, their cheers and their boos,” he said, ticking off details of a life still fresh in his mind.“The paychecks, fast cars, the bursting joy on the face of a kid, and all you did was scribble your name on his cap.

The joys are endless.”

k.So, too, are the consequences.All of it makes for a good story.

l.Radio Story of the Week : by Juana Summers of NPR’s “Morning Edition.” What a cool story.

Snapchat connects people and quasi-encourages people to run for public office.

Don’t sit back and complain about your life and what’s going on in your town.Fix it.

m.Baseball playoffs are fun.The FOX studio show is fun.

David Ortiz is fun.

n.Most meaningless cliché in all of baseball announcing: “He hit that one right on the screws.”

o.No one knows what that means.I looked it up.It dates back 120 years, to when some golf clubs were made of persimmon woods, and these woods were held together by small screws, and when you hit a golf ball square in the heart of the persimmon wood, you were “hitting it on the screws.”

p.One problem in baseball: Baseballs do not have screws, and baseball bats do not have screws.

So no baseball player ever hits a ball “on the screws.”

q.So could we stop with that nonsensical expression?

r.Ron Darling with the Baseball Factoid of the Weekend, during game two of Dodgers-Giants: “The Dodgers have 609 saves on their roster.”

s.If you ever feel a little down, this might help .

t.There are great clips of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and then there is “Don’t bother Larry.”

u.Kyrie Irving is an interesting case.

If he continues his stance against the Covid vaccine, it will cost him at least $18,735,522—which is the pro-rated portion of his 2021-22 compensation he’d forego because of municipalities that do not allow unvaccinated players to compete in indoor sports (New York City, San Francisco).Imagine being so opposed to something good for you that you’d give up $18 million.Imagine putting your team in a huge hole by not being available for 44 of 82 games (41 homes games, two more at the Knicks and one at Golden State).The people who run the Nets must think (but can’t say aloud), “The worst thing we ever did in our lives, and it’s not close, is to get into business with Kyrie Irving.”

v.

Proud of you, Emily Kaplan.Go shine on ESPN’s hockey coverage.I know you will.Monday, Monday 40

Baltimore 26, Indianapolis 20.Seems odd, at least to this scribe of a certain age, that it’s been 37 years since the death by moving van of the Baltimore Colts.But it’s true.Though the rivalry hasn’t retained the sort of we-hate-Indy level that I thought it would when owner Bob Irsay moved the team in Mayflower vans in a snowstorm after the ’83 season, I always wonder what the football diehards who were alive then feel about seeing the horseshoe and blue-and-white uniforms in downtown Baltimore—on a foreign team.

Tonight is an important game for both teams.The Colts fall to 1-4 with a loss.

The Ravens have both L.A.

teams, Green Bay and four games against the Bengals and Browns on the remaining schedule.This game also marks an anniversary of sorts: Forty years ago this fall, Baltimorean Barry Levinson was directing a film he’d written called “Diner” in the city.

The Baltimore Colts, of course, were the subject of one of the coolest sports moments in any movie, ever.In “Diner,” a group of Baltimore bros reunite to celebrate the wedding of one of them.Eddie, as all the guys are, is a big fan of the Baltimore Colts, and he’s about to get married, but before he will marry Elyse, she must pass a 160-question Baltimore Colts quiz.He reasons that if they’re going to be together forever, she needs to share his passion for the Colts.(She studies and studies and studies, fails by two questions, but Eddie, impressed with how hard she tried, marries her anyway.)

The movie-makers phoned then-Colts assistant GM and longtime club employee Ernie Accorsi, explained the concept of the movie, and asked him to look over the quiz they planned to use in the movie.Too easy, Accorsi told them; real Colts fans would scoff at such a quiz.

So he helped make it a bit tougher.“I was more of an editor,” Accorsi said.

“Diner” Quiz: The Colts had a team, lost the franchise, then got one from Dallas.What were the colors of the original Colts team? (Answer below, at the bottom of Week 6 section.)

“When I went to watch the movie, of course I liked it,” said Accorsi, who has a very soft spot for Baltimore from his years there.“But I stayed to the end to see the credits—and I didn’t get one!” Week 6 Lookahead

Week 6, already? We were just having Labor Day cookouts 20 minutes ago!

Arizona at Cleveland, Sunday, 4:05 p.m.

ET, FOX.Amazing, isn’t it? The game of the week (at least in my book) is a regional-only game in the late-TV window, with no way to switch it because FOX has the biggest ratings draw of the weekend at 4:25.

L.A.Chargers at Baltimore, 1 p.m.ET, CBS.

I hope this is the first of 65 head-to-head games between Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson.

Kansas City at Washington, 1 p.m.ET, CBS.You know why I included this game? I may be the only weirdo in the United States of America to look at the Week 6 schedule and notice this: The NFL has two AFC West playoff contenders playing on the road, at the same time, in the state of Maryland, 34 miles apart.I don’t know if that makes me sick, or keenly observant, or both.

Dallas at New England, Sunday, 4:25 p.m.ET, CBS.

Fortunate cross-flex ratings bonanza for CBS.PointsBet should have action on this question: Which owner will be shown on TV more in this game—Jerry Jones or Robert Kraft? I’d make Kraft the slight fave—He’s in CBS’ AFC, after all.

L.A.Rams at N.Y.

Giants, Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX.Two questions: Can Daniel Jones make this a game against the rested Rams, coming off their long-weekend mini-bye? And can the Giants survive the Dallas-Rams-Carolina-Kansas City-Las Vegas-Tampa Bay pre-Thanksgiving gauntlet?

***

“Diner” quiz answer: The Colts’ uniforms in the 1950 NFL seasons were green and gray.

The Colts went 1-11 and the franchise was dissolved by the NFL in January 1951.The Colts transitioned to blue and white in 1953.Those were the Dallas’ franchise’s colors, and the re-established Colts did not change them.The Baltimore Colts, green and gray.

Who knew? You did, if you saw “Diner” 39 years ago.The Adieu Haiku .

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