Monday, March 26, 2007

Chronicle of Cliche: Peter King

Peter King's "Here Comes the Hammer," his MMQ for this morning, is typical of his hackneyed, unoriginal language.

"There will be sexier stories than commissioner Roger Goodell tweaking the player-conduct policy at the annual NFL meetings here this week."

Really? There could be something sexier than a middle-aged commissioner "tweaking" a rule?

"My, how Tony Romo's star continues to rise."

"Goodell, a workout-aholic"

Yes, I consider adding "aholic" to anything cliched.

"who've given the NFL such a black eye in the past year."

Worse, what if somebody gives the NFL a black "I"? iNFL, I guess. I hope that's not already trademarked.

"out of the earshot of the dawn patrol on the elliptical trainers and treadmills and bikes."

"the line-in-the-sand kind of policy"

"Upshaw has been rattling the same saber as Goodell"

Sometimes these cliches make me angry. I sit in my chair seething. Somebody gets paid to write like this! Somebody gets paid money to rehash well-worn metaphors that take no creativity!

"in the scrum of the family area outside"

"What a difference five years makes."

"I am saying the thought has crossed Carr's mind."

"Always fun to run into Steve Sabol, the NFL Films maestro who never met a story he didn't like."

"It is unanimous: The greatest hotel in the world is the Arizona Biltmore."

Unanimous? Let's make a rule: nobody should use the words "unanimous" or "literally" unless they are sure that they are referring to something that is "unanimous" or "literally."

"on ESPN, which owns much of the free world and is currently in negotiations to buy the rest."

rim shot!

"Giving teams at least one possession in overtime doesn't have a prayer here,"

"much to my chagrin."

I googled "much to my chagrin." 160,000 hits.

"he ever-present danger of Mike Vick getting hurt in September rears its unfortunate head,"

I love-hate when two worn-out metaphors appear in the same sentence.

"And don't think it's a lock Vick and Petrino are going to be a great marriage."

King includes a passage from an article he wrote during training camp. I decided to omit those potential cliches, even though they've now been published by him twice. Moving on...

"I think you should not count Brady Quinn out of silver and black. Remember where you heard that first."

OK, I will remember where I heard it first: FROM HUNDREDS OF PUNDITS MONTHS AGO! Yep, Peter King, arrogant prick, thinks HE'S the genius telling us Brady Quinn might be the first pick of the draft.

Peter King has worked hard to gain a lot of relationships and connections. He's a good NFL reporter. But he's a TERRIBLE writer. Awful. A hack among hacks.

(By the way, anybody who dislikes Peter King should check Football Outsiders every Monday for the Extra Points discussion of MMQB).


  1. My and my friends' unanimous distaste for Peter King is literally unanimous.

  2. Haha it doesn't seem like a well written article.

  3. Anonymous4:49 PM

    I googled "Much to my chagrin" "Peter King". I got 66 hits. Which is an awful lot when you think about it.

  4. His writing actually is much, much worse. I was in on some book projects he did and all of his copy needed tremendous work done to it.

    Dr. Z is the same way.