Factoid Of The Week That May Interest Only Me I
When five current and former NFL coaches (Tom Coughlin, Jeff Fisher, John Harbaugh, Jon Gruden, Bill Cowher) journeyed to Iraq earlier this summer to visit the troops, they spent the morning of the Fourth of July in a top-secret Battle Assessment Meeting, where looming combat plans were discussed. Before the meeting began, the coaches had to sign anti-treason forms, saying if they disclosed to anyone what was discussed in the meeting, they could be tried on federal treason charges.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me II
I learned exclusively Sunday that Eric Mangini had the stomach flu on the day he interviewed with Cleveland owner Randy Lerner for the Browns' coaching job last November. He felt queasy on the drive to Lerner's Long Island home, and had to have his driver and brother-in-law pull over a couple of blocks from the house so he could throw up, twice. During a break in the meeting, Mangini used the bathroom and threw up a third time. And during the second half of the meeting, he asked Lerner to hold that thought ... while he threw up a fourth time.
That's what I call playing hurt.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me III
Have you ever shaken hands with Adrian Peterson?
I don't recommend it.
"The first time I did,'' said quarterback Sage Rosenfels, "I felt it all the way up to my shoulder.''
Here's what Peterson does: He is the aggressor when a hand is offered, digging his palm deep into yours and squeezing hard. I'd shaken his hand four times before last Thursday, and now I was going to have a plan for it. Before he got the chance to dig his palm deep into mine, I was going to dig mine into his, because I figured if he didn't know what was coming, I'd have the edge.
He walked toward me after Vikings' practice Thursday morning and I got ready. But he was like Gary Cooper in High Noon. He drew first and shot. Even though I tried to get my hand far down into his palm, he was quicker. And when I squeezed, he destroyed me.
"OK!'' I said, wincing. "Where'd you learn that? You're a killer.''
"My uncle and my father taught me to shake a man's hand seriously when I was growing up,'' he said. "So they would give me a tough handshake, and I got used to fighting back.''
We talked for 10 or 15 minutes, and when we parted, I wanted one more shot. I tried the amiable route -- hey, have a good year, stay healthy, yada yada yada, and stuck my hand out almost as an afterthought, to try for the element of surprise. He stuck his hand out. At the last second, I plowed ahead, hard, and got my hand deep into his.
No use. Even when he didn't expect to shake, he figured out in a split-second what I was trying to do, and he death-gripped me, and I almost felt like, 'Now I know how he can change lanes so quickly and make people miss.' He gripped so hard I thought I heard a bone crack. I know when I'm beaten.
Enjoyable/Aggravating Travel Note Of The Week
River Falls, Wis., Wednesday, 2:25 p.m.:
Part of my rehab from 20-day-old left-knee meniscus surgery is to ride a stationary bike each day for about 20 minutes. I haven't been able to do it every day on this trip, which is in Day 14, but I haven't gone two days in a row without it. In River Falls, I needed to find a way to pedal, and the bike rack outside the Chiefs' cafeteria and meeting-room center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls was chock-full. One belonged to Chiefs media-relations maven Pete Moris, who generously offered to let me borrow it for a spin through the flat streets of the western Wisconsin village.
As I rode down one leafy street just off campus, a 25-ish, power-walking woman with earbuds in walked purposefully toward me. When we were 20 yards away from each other, she took out both earbuds and said, "Hi! How are you today?'' A couple of blocks later, two bikers on the other side of another leafy road both waved and the first one yelled, "Howyadointoday!''
I spent nine years in the Midwest (Ohio, which isn't the upper Midwest, but a cousin of it), and I loved it, and on this pleasant valley Wednesday in River Falls, I remembered why.
Tweet Of The Week
"Peter since I am fighting with all the media can we go at it too, don't want you to feel left out J.''
--Chad Ochocinco, OGOchoCinco on Twitter, to me on Wednesday. When I expressed my amazement that he found time to do anything else but Tweet, he wrote back the following: "My mom taught me to do multiple things at once, talk trash, run routes, eat mcdonalds,celebrate and now I can tweet.''
Tweetup Of The Week
I'll be in Indianapolis tonight, along with baseball/football maven and injury expert Will Carroll, to meet and greet fans. Meet us at 6 p.m. at Victory Field in downtown Indy (prior to the Indianapolis-Columbus International League game). For tickets, call 317-269-3545, and ask for the King seats.
Had fun at the Albany Tweetup last week. After it ended, one of the fans in the crowd came up to me and asked, seriously, "Are you Peter King, the Congressman from Long Island?''
NFL Truth & Rumors