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Posted: Monday August 18, 2008 12:25AM; Updated: Monday August 18, 2008 1:33PM
Peter King Peter King >
MONDAY MORNING QB

MMQB (cont.)

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The Jets announced a paid attendance of 76,132 fans for Brett Favre's debut, but at least half the seats were empty at kickoff.
The Jets announced a paid attendance of 76,132 fans for Brett Favre's debut, but at least half the seats were empty at kickoff.
AP
Peter King's Mailbag
Peter King will answer your questions each week in Monday Morning Quarterback: Tuesday Edition.
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4. I think I don't want to hear what great fans the Jets have. Not for a long time. That crowd Saturday night was a disgrace. At least half the stadium was empty for Favre's debut in a Jets' uniform. I expressed my amazement to a few fellow scribes Saturday night -- emphasizing that N.Y. traded for an all-time-great quarterback, not a broken-down one -- and they gave varying reasons for the poor turnout. Like it's the middle of vacation month for New Yorkers, and it's a preseason game. Horsefeathers. If you really love your team, and you have season tickets, you should have been at that game unless you were in Tibet. Ridiculous.

5. I think Rex Grossman's shaky outing in Seattle on Saturday night -- he was blitzed heavily in producing no points and a tipped interception in 23 offensive plays -- should make the Bear coaching staff's decision easy. As did something Grossman said after the game. "This will be my fifth year with this coaching staff,'' he said. "They've seen me for four years. I think they should know [about me].'' They do, which is why Kyle Orton should start the opener at Indianapolis.

6. I think NBC probably didn't have a Jim Sorgi-Orton battle in mind when Dick Ebersol gave the league his choice for the opening Sunday-nighter.

7. I think this would be a good category for MMQB: Like Father, Like Estranged Son Dept. And this would be my first entry: On Wednesday, Belichick told his players he would cancel night meetings and waive curfew if nose tackle Vince Wilfork caught a punt while holding a football in either arm. Wilfork caught the punt, and the players, smelling freedom, went wild. On Thursday, New York Jets coach Eric Mangini told his players he would cancel night meetings and waive curfew if kicker Mike Nugent made a 53-yard field goal. Nugent made the field goal, and the players, smelling freedom, went wild.

8. I think I wonder where Mangini learned that one.

9. I think we shouldn't get all hot and bothered about it yet, but Reggie Bush, who seemed patently certain when I spoke with him three weeks ago that his career 3.7-yards-per-carry average is not the real Reggie, has carried 14 times in the preseason, for 46 yards. That's 3.3 yards a clip. Uh-oh.

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

a. If that one Chinese gymnast -- the one on the left of the photos of the gold medal Chinese gymnastics girls holding their medals -- is more than 12, my name is Mao Tse-Tung.

b. I like how the IOC is vigilant about every petty little thing that comes across its desk, which it probably has to be. And then, when the world can see the Chinese have clearly and blatantly violated the rule that Olympic gymnasts must be at least 16, the IOC plays dumb.

c. Journalist of the Week: Simple choice. Steve Politi, columnist for the Newark Star-Ledger. On Saturday, Politi wrote three full-length columns, all with a smart, deft touch. One was on the Canadian Olympic team, 326 members strong, being medal-less after a week. One was on the phenomenal Michael Phelps' win by a fingertip in his Friday night race. And the third was on the class of the women's gymnastics team. All good reads. When do you sleep, Steve?

d. I wonder how fast Usain Bolt could have run, and how much time he could have shaved off the world record, if he'd run all the way through the finish line in his 100-meter romp instead of starting to showboat with 10 meters left.

e. I could watch the Olympics for three hours in a row, and have many nights. I love 'em. As I travel to camps, I find players are watching too. The Giants told me they were all watching Michael Phelps and the gymnastics girls.

f. Is Michael Phelps Michael Jordan? So hard to put him in context. He had his performance for the ages over an eight-day period. How do you measure the best performance in any Olympic games ever against athletes who do something over many seven- or eight-month seasons? I don't know how you'd do it. So much of what Phelps has done is train, train, train. So much of what great players in other sports do is play games, play games, play games.

g. I hope Alicia Sacramone does not carry her fall off the balance beam the same way Bill Buckner was forced to carry the Mookie Wilson grounder between his legs in 1986. It's not fair. I asked a few Giants about her Thursday and Friday. David Diehl, the left tackle, said it best. "She goes to Brown, right?'' Diehl said. "She's smart. She's obviously done a lot of great things in her life to be at this point. She can do anything she wants in life. In athletics, things aren't always going to go your way. When you get knocked down like she has, you've got to get up, and with her background, I know she will.'' I hope so.

h. Did you notice in one game last week -- Boston 19, Texas 17 -- that the Red Sox 2-3-4 hitters combined for 11 runs, 10 hits and 13 RBIs?

i. In that same game, in the first inning, David Ortiz hit two home runs and Kevin Youkilis struck out two times.

j. There is one word to describe watching Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch a baseball game: excruciating. Or maybe two: excruciatingly rewarding. He's 14-2. He's also averaging 5.4 walks per nine innings. And he must lead the majors in three-ball counts. He started the first inning the other night with a walk and a 3-0 count. Then he shut out Texas for seven innings. Weird, weird pitcher.

k. It's silly that there's interleague play in the big leagues now, but when a player gets traded to the other league, his stats don't carry over.

l. Thank you, Pete Abitante, for your kindness to Mike McGuire. You're a good man.

m. Coffeenerdness: Have I extolled the virtues of Pike Place Roast at Starbucks? Not enough. That's some great everyday coffee for the home machine. Try it half-decaf if you're buzzing around the house too much. Half is plenty.

n. So I see Gary Myers of the New York Daily News in the press box at the Meadowlands on Saturday night. He tells me the doctor about to give him a colonoscopy last year says to him, "Do you know Peter King?'' Myers says yes, and the doc proceeds to tell him what a kook I am for beginning the prep work for my bowel cleanout just before a two-hour-and-40-minute plane trip. You think that's the first time I've heard that one, doc?

o. Chris Russo and Mike Francesa, you deserve many kudos for 19 fun years of sports radio at WFAN in New York. Great work. It ended the other day with Russo agreeing to a new deal with Sirius. It's not easy to break out of one's comfort zone and try something new and totally different, but for the Mad Dog, it's time.

p. There will come a day -- I don't know when; five years, seven maybe -- when you will have the same number of satellite radios in your possession as cars. It's coming. It can't be stopped.

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