King: Vick shouldn’t go on Oprah

While appearing on Dan Patrick’s radio show, SI.com’s Peter King squashed Rich Eisen’s idea that Michael Vick should go on Oprah and make a public appearance (as opposed to crawling into a hole and avoiding the public eye) once he’s out of prison.

“I don’t think Oprah Winfrey helps him at all,” King said. “He needs to say something personally to both Arthur Blank and Roger Goodell.”

King said that Vick needs to earn his honor back quietly and behind the scenes. He shouldn’t go on TV and deliver a mea culpa that may or may not be sincere.

King said the circus around Vick on a new team will be intense for two weeks, but then maybe settle down.

King said a team that’s use to attention like the Cowboys and Redskins has to take him. King said he thought the Bucs would go after him, but now they have “65 quarterbacks.”

“I’d love to have this guy on my team,” King said of Vick.

King brings up a good point in that Vick should make personal apologizes to those he lied to and not try to fix everything by making one big public appearance on a show like Oprah. As King noted, there’s a chance Vick could come off looking unapologetic and insincere during the interview and that would only hurt his public image even more. (If that’s even possible, that is.)

I’m a little surprised that King would say that he would “love” to have Vick on his team, although he might be trying to convey that Vick has done his time and deserves a second chance.

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NFL and Comcast close to an agreement on cable distribution deal

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King is reporting that the NFL is close to a deal with Comcast to begin offering the NFL Network on their cable television package. League officials hope to gain momentum with this current agreement and have it carry over to their upcoming negotiations for a new labor agreement with the players association.

King also added that the NFL is on the verge of reaching a two-year contract extension with FOX and CBS to continue broadcasting their Sunday game packages. Many feel that NBC will likely follow suit and agree to a similar deal for their Sunday evening game package sometime before the start of the season.

Here is the breakdown of the potential agreement between the NFL and Comcast:

NFL Network had been carried on a pay sports tier for Comcast’s 24-million subscribers, and the NFL for years has been arguing its channel should be on the regular digital cable package with the ESPNs and CNNs of the cable TV world. Now that is close to happening. The deal would mean that instead of paying about $7 per month for the channel and other pay-TV sports channels, Comcast subscribers will get NFL Network with its regular digital package — and it will increase the number of TV homes the Network is seen in from about 35 million to close to 50 million. More importantly, it could well pave the way for the NFL to make deals with other cable companies similarly chapped at the league’s demand for huge rights fees for a sports channel with only 24 hours of NFL regular-season game programming per year.

Many in the league office feared that without a wider distribution of the NFL Network, the owners would have moved to cease operations of the channel. They were getting frustrated with the lack of movement in their five-year battle against Comcast on the network’s distribution rights.

The NFL will return to the negotiating table later this spring, as talks between the league and the NFL players association will begin on coming to a new collection bargaining agreement.

Peter King: Favre will retire this offseason

Peter King of Sports Illustrated.com said Monday on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” that he believes Brett Favre will retire this offseason.

From Rotoworld.com:

King says Favre knows he can still play, but likely “won’t play if he can’t play where he wants to play.” King also said Favre isn’t willing to have doctor-recommended surgery on the torn biceps in his throwing arm he played through last year. The Jets will probably go with Kellen Clemens as their starter if Favre retires. They could also bring in a high pick to push Brett Ratliff and Erik Ainge for the backup job. The free agent QB market isn’t enticing.

I understand that it was King who said that Favre, “won’t play if he can’t play where he wants to play,” but if Brett truly has that line of thinking than that’s ridiculous. Favre is an NFL legend – one of the best to have ever played the game. He’ll go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history and his career has been nothing short of brilliant. But he’s still under contract with the Jets and unless they don’t want him (which they might not), than he should play in New York next season if he doesn’t retire.

Comment fodder: Should great players at the end of their career get to choose where they want to finish? In other words, has Favre earned the right to play where he wants to next season just because he’s Brett – even though he’s still under contract with the Jets?

Peter King thinks it’ll be an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl

Peter King of SI.com made his predictions for this Sunday’s games and thinks it’ll be an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl.

Hines Ward• The longer the week goes, the more reason I find to like Arizona. The defense has been reborn in January, the players have perfected the Rodney Dangerfield no-respect rant, Larry Fitzgerald is playing like Superman, and they’ll be home, inside their weather-controlled dome. However, what this pick comes down to is my late-season belief in Donovan McNabb … 217 yards passing in the Meadowlands wind tunnel last week, 68-percent passing in Minnesota’s noise machine the week before, and a 9-to-1 touchdown-to-interception differential in the five games since Andy Reid pulled the plug on him in Baltimore. And though I trust the Arizona defense to stop the Eagle run, I trust McNabb to make the right decisions and move the Eagles consistently against Arizona.

On the other side, I don’t think Kurt Warner will have the time to throw that he’s had in his first two playoff games, which means he probably will have to throw more checkdowns than he likes. The Eagles linebackers ate up the checkdowns against the Giants last week. McNabb’s out for redemption, whether he says it or not, and he’ll get it near his winter home in the desert. Philadelphia 24, Arizona 19.

• As a reporter, or a fan, when you get to the big games, you just hope both teams come in healthy so when the ball’s kicked off, you can say, “Let the best man win.” In this game, I’m afraid it’s about the healthiest team winning. The Steelers’ running game has come alive with a healthy Willie Parker gashing the Browns and Chargers for 262 yards on 50 carries in his last two starts. And Roethlisberger has made a real alternative out of Santonio Holmes in the passing game, so he now has three guys — Holmes, Heath Miller, Hines Ward — he trusts implicitly when he throws.

I fear the Ravens will have to play the pass with Fabian Washington and Frank Walker — good, hard-trying guys but not shutdown corners — playing most of the snaps at corner with Chris McAlister long-gone and Samari Rolle likely out with a thigh injury. Two huge Ravens in this postseason, McClain and Terrell Suggs, will either be out or severely limited with injuries. I loved the Ravens two weeks ago. I still love their gumption, but I don’t think that’s enough to beat the hottest team playing and playing at home. Pittsburgh 20, Baltimore 13.

Peter obviously saw my predictions for this weekend and went the opposite. Smart man.

Comment fodder: Who wins this week?

Peter King on Tony Romo’s healthy status

In his latest edition of “Monday Morning Quarterback,” Peter King of SI.com discussed Tony Romo’s health status for Week 11.

Tony RomoI think this is Romo’s health status as of this morning: Talked to Romo on Saturday, while he was on his final two days off of a bye week, and he told me, naturally, that he would definitely play against Washington on Sunday night at FedEx Field. But it sounded like he’d be affected by his partially healed broken right pinky finger. The break is just below the top knuckle on his right little finger, and he’ll play with a splint on it.

“It won’t be all the way healed,” he said. “It’s still probably a good two or three weeks away from that. I don’t know where it’s exactly going to be, healing-wise, in Washington, but my timing will be fine.”

The key is whether Romo will be able to throw a hard 15-yard out. Any quarterback who can’t throw a liner to the sidelines is going to be a detriment. “I had to throw one of those this week,” he said. “I’m not going to lie to you. There was pain when I threw it. But I can take the pain. If I’ve done it once, I can do it again.” Romo also told me the finger “has gotten healthy enough so I could take a hit on it.”

We’ll see.

Dallas-Washington, with huge playoff implications, is a pretty big game. Dallas-Washington, with a marquee quarterback an injury risk, with the eyes of the nation on him, makes it a compelling watch.

I think expecting Romo to light up on Sunday night would be unrealistic. He’s going to struggle and I think the Cowboys will too, although they need him to play. Brad Bollinger (that’s not a mistake) is/are awful and if Dallas has any hope in turning around their season they need Romo on the field.

Just don’t expect that the Cowboys’ offense will run like it did before he was hurt. If Dallas is going to turn around its season, it will need the defense to step up big time.

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