By Steve Czaban Special to Published Oct 25, 2006 at 5:26 AM
Peter King is an idiot.

Why this needs to be said over and over again about the veteran football writer from Sports Illustrated continues to amaze me. But alas, his stupidity seems to know no bounds. So, I shall say it again.

The latest King-sized National Football League joke is King’s assertion that Tiki Barber, should he actually retire after this season, is a Hall of Famer.
OK, done laughing? Good.

As everybody should know by now, I remain firmly committed to the goal of destroying whatever football reputation King still has. And I am more and more convinced that it’s not much of a reputation, even amongst his peers.

Make no mistake, I am not trying to destroy the man, Peter King. By all accounts, he’s a swell fella, a good father, and a good little New Jersey liberal who wants to save the world anyway he can – unless it means giving up Starbucks.

No, this is about crushing any notion that his football opinions deserve respect.

Because, simply put, they don’t.

Someday, my fondest dream will be for him to be booted out of the Hall of Fame voting process that takes place each year at the Super Bowl. Right now, it seems like a long shot. But you never know until you get the boat rocking back and forth and see what happens.

So, let’s keep rocking the boat, and sinking his feebly formed football opinions.

On the subject of Barber, I made a simple prediction the minute it came out that Barber was considering retirement after this season. I said: “How long until Peter King starts pimping him for the Hall of Fame?”
Answer: one day.

Truthfully, I made the prediction half in jest. Foolishly, a part of me actually thought he would delve into the meaning of Tiki’s announcement itself. Was it genuine? A moment of weariness? An indication that he too was chafing under the regime of “Camp Coughlin?” Perhaps a simple salary threat? No new contract, no Tiki?


Why bother writing about that? Let’s skip ahead to Canton.

And here’s King’s latte-soaked, half-baked-scone of an argument on Barber’s behalf. According to King, you need to look at Tiki’s last four years only, and make the case that he was among the best all-round backs in football for that period of time.

What about all-time rushing rank or touchdown rank or the post-season relevance of Barber’s career? Eh, whatever. King just wants to cherry-pick the best four.

Now look, let me make this perfectly clear. Tiki Barber has been a fantastic all-purpose back these last four years. He’s also one helluva standup guy, who is smart, and great with the media. He started as a backup / role player, and turned into an elite back through hard work and dedication.

In terms the Overachiever Hall of Fame, I think Barber’s a first ballot guy.

But the real Hall of Fame?


Unless you are King, a guy who is completely incapable of an unbiased opinion on his home-state Giants.

If you were to let Barber in on the “King Plan” then guess who else is coming?

Thurman Thomas, Terrell Davis, Priest Holmes, Clinton Portis, Marshall Faulk, Curtis Martin, Eddie George, Edgerrin James, Corey Dillon, Shaun Alexander, Ladanian Tomlinson and (probably) Larry Johnson.
And, oh yeah, Ricky Williams. I kid you not.

In other words, just about every back who was a fantasy football stud for a brief period, gets a bust in Canton. The engraver better get busy.

Take a look at the chart below and see the absurdity in black and white. Obviously, some of these players will get in and deserve it. In my opinion, Thurman Thomas and Marshall Faulk absolutely belong. Curtis Martin is right there on the doorstep. LT and Alexander, when it’s all said and done? Probably. But, we’ll have to wait and see. The rest of them? No.

Best Four Consecutive Seasons

Terrell Davis
Shaun Alexander
Ladanian Tomlinson
Tiki Barber
Clinton Portis
Eddie George
Priest Holmes
Ricky Williams
Curtis Martin
Marshall Faulk
Thurman Thomas
Edgerrin James
Corey Dillon

Of course, I have not forgotten the receiving yards category. Tiki can add those to his resume, but they don’t separate him from other receiving backs like Thomas, James, or Tomlinson. Plus, receiving yards by a back are almost always the product of lightly contested throws and dumps. Therefore, teams that have a scheme which utilizes a lot of those plays will benefit a player like Barber more than others.

As if the argument needed any more reinforcement, let’s not forget Tiki’s nasty habit as a chronic fumbler until the last year or so, plus his appearance in exactly one Super Bowl (which ended in a loss).

But King’s knee-jerk, critically unsupported argument is typical for a guy who is nothing more than a glorified blogger. King wastes column inch upon column inch every week writing about things as asinine as his daughter Mary Beth’s field hockey team, coffee, airports, liberal politics, the Boston Red Sox, deer that run through his backyard, rude people, and various NFL figures we are supposed to be impressed to hear that he “just got off the phone with.”

While doing this, he is easily duped by the latest flavor of the month player, coach, or team. In fact, it’s amazing to think that a professional sportswriter, paid handsomely to cover the NFL, can get pump-faked with such regularity. King is a guy who should presumably be able to critically analyze, report on and follow this league.

So how then, does this clown….

A. Write that Danny Wuerfful would throw for 3,500 yards in a season under Steve Spurrier with the Redskins (actual yardage, 719).

B. Write that Reggie Brown was a “bust” for the Detroit Lions. Brown, of course, was famously paralyzed at age 23, after a standout rookie season. He would make an amazing recovery, and walk back into the Silverdome on his own feet, to a thunderous ovation.

C. Not think there was anything wrong about the Giants getting nine home games in the wake of Hurricane Katrina last year, or the Saints getting just seven home games. He got famously ripped to shreds by Mike and the Mad Dog on WFAN for this utterly league-compliant stance.

D. Advocate for years against Art Monk for the Hall, based loosely on his recollections of conversations with the Giants coaches back when he covered the team in the 1980’s, only to finally admit that he has recently been “talking to” some other football people outside of his normal cell phone circle about Monk’s merits. Good job, stooge. You were supposed to be doing that from the start.

And the list goes on, but if I included everything here, you would say I am piling on.

Suffice to say, any guy who has a section of his weekly blog called “Things I Think, I Think” is obviously not real sure himself about the strength of his own opinions and their merit.

I know that when I only think something, I don’t usually write about it. I’ll just let it soak into my brain until it becomes a hard opinion. Or leave it there, if it doesn’t.

But this much I know: Peter King is a complete joke.

He needs to be removed immediately from the Hall of Fame selection committee.

And the assault on his credibility shall continue, unabated on my part, at least, until that happens.

Steve Czaban Special to

Steve is a native Washingtonian and has worked in sports talk radio for the last 11 years. He worked at WTEM in 1993 anchoring Team Tickers before he took a full time job with national radio network One-on-One Sports.

A graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Steve has worked for WFNZ in Charlotte where his afternoon show was named "Best Radio Show." Steve continues to serve as a sports personality for WLZR in Milwaukee and does fill-in hosting for Fox Sports Radio.