Three items in the news, all non-Harbaugh related, today:
As for his relationship with the league, keep a couple of things in mind. Payton has never been one to be schmoozy with muckety-mucks, and I don't expect that to happen now. I am sure he'll always feel Goodell was way over the top in his discipline of the Saints, and him. But he knows how to be political. You can bet in his meeting with Goodell he emphasized nothing like a bounty program or a pay-for-performance system would ever happen with the Saints again. As Payton said in his statement today, "I have assured the commissioner a more diligent protocol will be followed." That's what Goodell needed to hear to drop this whole thing.
Now onto your email:
I think there should have been a flag. I agree with you. The NFL stresses to officials that they should allow coaches to rant and to express disapproval, but I did think that was over the top.
ON MANTI TE'O.
I'm reminded of the New York Giant defensive lineman cut years ago who was dropped off at Newark Airport for the trip back home. The guy asked the driver: "Where do I go?'' He hadn't flown other than with a team, or when a team had sent a ticket for him. And this was the way he was headed off to face life. NFL teams in the past few years have begun to take the job of educating players for a post-football life seriously, and it's needed.
NOTHING RACIST ABOUT THE NFL'S HIRING PRACTICES.
This email mirrors many that I got saying the same thing. Here's my view: I don't believe owners and GMs are racist. I am not accusing them of racism. I am saying that in a league with a large majority of African-American players, and a strong cadre of African-American coaches (most of them assistants) and scouts, they notice the league going 14 for 14 in white hires in this progressive day and age. And it hurts them. And some of them seethe about it. You're right: No owner would pass on a black candidate if he thought that candidate would get his team to the Super Bowl. But are all of the black candidates being properly vetted? Why are there so few black coordinators and play-callers? Why no interview for Perry Fewell? The questions are valid and the NFL needs to address them.
MORE ON THE COACHING ISSUE.
Thanks for writing.
BAD GAME PLAN BY THE PATRIOTS, HE SAYS.
I believe both coaches, as you say, played it too safe. But Manning didn't throw downfield much in the game at all; I would have liked to have seen more of those throws. Punting from the 34? Ridiculous. I agree with you. I think the Patriots, particularly, got way too conservative with a great quarterback on their side.
BRADY HAS HAD FAR BETTER DAYS.
Good points. I've seen him play too well this season, though, to think a mediocre playoff game is some sign that he's not going to play great in the future. One throw he made last season still does bug me, though -- the long throw picked off by Chase Blackburn in the Super Bowl. He had Rob Gronkowski open for a potential touchdown and underthrew him by five to seven yards. But ... I just don't think you bury Brady now. He was too good too often in 2012 to do that.
I AM A SNOBBY, PATHETIC CAB CONSUMER.
I thought my anger was quite restrained, but maybe not. Think I should change the name of the travel note to: Peter King Snobby Cab Experience Travel Note of the Week?