Prisco the contortionist carnival freak
Ever been to the carnival to see the rubberman freak who contorts himself into the most grotesque positions, causing people to shriek in horror at the twisted wreckage of humanity in front of them?
Well, that more or less sums up much of the work that comes from the pen of CBS Sportsline hack Pete Prisco. It's a stinking, steaming pile of illogical, contradictory excrement so disturbing we wonder how his editors ever let it see the light of day. The most recent example comes from Prisco's incomprehensible effort to tell us that Tom Brady's new contract is not a hometown discount – but then it kinda, sorta really is. Maybe.
No wonder why Prisco is afraid to debate us: He can't even win an argument with himself, let alone with the Socrates of gridiron dialectic, the Cold, Hard Football Facts.
While reading this, keep in mind that this entire twisted pretzel of a column was written by the most unabashed Peyton Manning apologist on the planet – a columnist who utterly refuses to admit that Manning is a regular-season fraud who, the Cold, Hard Football Facts have proven repeatedly, implodes in the postseason EVERY SINGLE TIME he's there, going all the way back to his college days.
It all unfolds – and unravels – for Prisco below. Note our new format. Prisco's illogical commentary appears in italics. The beacon of truth, light and knowledge that is the Cold, Hard Football Facts appear in [straight text brackets].
We hope this makes our efforts easier to follow. Pick up some cotton candy and a hot dog. It will help fill the empty hole of pity you feel for Prisco in the pit of your stomach. When done, write to Prisco and express your displeasure. Better yet, write to his boss and let him know that this fraud should be shown the door. He does nothing but make a mockery of CBS's otherwise excellent football coverage.
Let's get one thing clear about the new contract signed by Tom Brady with the New England Patriots: It's not as much of a bargain for the team as some are painting it. Did he take less than he should have? Yes.
[Right off the bat, Prisco tells us that Brady took "less than he should have." More importantly, Brady took less than he could have. In the mind of a logical person, this ends the argument right here. Brady could have demanded more. He did not. It should also have ended Prisco's attempt to write this article. But, failing to have an ounce of common sense, Prisco spends the rest of his article literally arguing against his own conclusion; or, through an awkward attempt at nuance – something Prisco is literally incapable of – he attempts to say: "yeah, Brady took less than he could have, but only kinda sorta but not really." It's a brutal example of piss-poor writing. Apparently, Prisco was in the schoolyard getting beat up the day they taught 8th-grade composition.]
But he got a hefty deal.
[Oh, sorry Pete, you must have us confused with the idiots who hired you and who continue to publish your God-awful articles. We didn't realize a $60 million contract is a hefty deal. Thanks for clearing that up for us. For his next trick, Prisco will prove that water is wet.]
Yet for some reason, there's this romanticizing of the Patriots in regards to the family-style way they run their team, that Brady took a deal far below what he deserved for the good of the team.
[We'll ignore the third-grade sentence structure and ask a question: didn't Prisco just say a moment ago that Brady took less than he should have? Doesn't this imply that he did it for the good of the team? What other conclusion is one to draw? Wethinks Prisco wasn't really sure where he was going when he put pen to paper on this one.]
Many writers and broadcasters continually insist the players don't care about themselves in New England [do they care about themselves when traveling?], only what's good for the team.
That's a bunch of bunk.
[Again, Prisco fails to comprehend an argument. What a surprise. Nobody – NOBODY – thinks New England's players don't care about themselves. Nobody's ever made this argument. What kind of idiot would? We DEFY Prisco to name one "pundit" who's ever said that New England's players don't care about themselves. He simply pulled this statement out of thin air, hoping to push an agenda. Of course New England's players care about themselves. Like any human, they care about themselves more than they do any other person or thing, with the exception of spouses, parents and children. But, Prisco – no, look over here Prisco, it's the point: They ALSO care about winning. And because they ALSO care about winning, they make decisions that will allow them to play for a team that's a proven winner. If they have to sacrifice a few dollars to be a winner, yet still make a boatload of money compared with most people on the planet, then that's really not much of a long-term sacrifice. Is it? In fact, there's a long, long list of New England players who could have made more money playing for a loser. But, as they ALSO care about winning, they chose to play for a winner. They made this decision precisely because they do care about themselves. This is pretty easy for the biped hominids to comprehend. But, as we've seen in the past, Prisco thinks winning in pro sports is not very important.]
The reality is the Patriots really do have something special going on. How else can we explain three Super Bowl victories in four years, two in the past two? But don't ever forget the NFL is a business, and each of the league's players is his own private corporation.
That's why it's in their best interests to get what they can at the bargaining table. It's also why Brady didn't take nearly the hometown discount that everyone is portraying -- nor should he have.
[But, Prisco, he took a hometown discount. You just said he did. It just wasn't enough of a discount for you. Why don't you tell us where you would have drawn the line? What kind of discount would have been good enough for you? At least that would show you have some stones. Instead, you demonstrate only your inability to piece together a logical argument, defying the understood truths of the cosmos in the process.]
Peyton Manning and Michael Vick were portrayed as the greedy ones when they did their new deals in the past year.
[Because neither took a hometown discount, as Brady did – even by your admission. By the way, Prisco: Manning and Vick "did their new deals"? Isn't this illegal in some states? Couldn't they have signed, inked or negotiated their new deals? Of course, second-grade linguistic skills are typical of Prisco's commentary. In any case, the point is so lost on Prisco as to defy comprehension: No player in North American sports today has greater leverage than three-time champion, two-time Super Bowl MVP Brady and he really could have stuck it to the organization. He did not. That's pretty big in today's sports world.]
Tom Brady? The talk is he put the team ahead of himself. Oh, really? A closer look at Brady's deal might make you think otherwise. [It won't.]
Brady signed a six-year deal that is worth $60 million. Manning signed a 10-year deal worth $98 million. Vick signed a 10-year deal worth over $134 million, although many of the last few years are nothing but funny money numbers he'll never see.
Vick will get $37.5 million in bonus money, while Manning received $34.5 million in bonus money and Brady will get $26.5 million. Manning's three-year average -- which is all these contracts usually last until they are torn up and done over again -- is $15.2 million. Vick's three-year average is $15 million, while Brady's is $13.11.
[In other words, one of the most successful QBs in NFL history – much more on this below – signed a deal that pays him less than Vick, an unproven player and the most inconsistent QB in football; and less than Manning, the biggest choke artist in North American sports. The deal looks better every minute.]
Taking a $9 million roster bonus Manning is due next spring out of the equation for now Manning gets $34.5 million in bonus money, plus base salaries of $535,000, $665,000 and $1 million in the first three years of his deal for a total of $36.7 million. The $9 million takes it to $45.7 million for the $15.2 average.
[Prisco conveniently takes this $9 million roster bonus "out of the equation for now." Hey Prisco, if we take Brady's two Super Bowl MVP awards out of the equation, Manning and Vick have just as many.]
Vick's deal is complicated -- he got a $22.5 million roster bonus this year -- but his average of $15 million per season for the first three years is up there with Manning. Brady gets $26.5 million in signing-bonus money, plus salaries of $1 million, $4 million and $6 million in the first three years for a total of $37.5 million.
So, you see, the deals are similar, the roster bonus next spring excluded. [In other words, the deals are not similar. Brady gets a smaller signing bonus, a smaller total package and creates a smaller cap hit than the most inconsistent QB in football and the biggest choke artist in North American sports.]
In terms of cap numbers, Vick's is $7.99 million this year, Brady's is $8.429 million and Manning's is $8.431 million. All three have cap numbers that spike next year. Vick's is scheduled to be $23.3 million, Manning's at $17.6 million and Brady's at $14.4 million. All should have lesser numbers when the cap trimmers work on their deals.
[Even using Prisco's numbers, Brady's deal creates a much smaller cap hit next year than Vick's or Manning's. So, in the space of a few short paragraphs, Prisco has twice looked at a set of dissimilar numbers and twice concluded that they were similar. This is mesmerizing in its stupidity. Capology, by the way, is a confusing endeavor. Several authorities provide different numbers than Prisco. Peter King of Sports Illustrated, a far more respected authority than Prisco, offered these numbers. Like Prisco's numbers, King's numbers show that Brady's future cap hits pale compared with Manning's]
Vick's cap number definitely has to be reworked, while those of Manning and Brady will also likely get done.
So how much difference is there in the three deals? By the way the national media has jumped on this what-a-great-thing-Brady-did mentality, you'd think he had signed on for a $10 million signing bonus and a three-year average of $6 million per season.
[You'd think? We don't. In fact, no one does. We've never read this. Prisco simply pulled these numbers out of thin air. It's a piss-poor tactic and one the Cold, Hard Football Facts have absolutely no patience with.]
Could he have held out for more money? You bet. And that's his mistake.
[No, it's not his mistake, Prisco. It's only a mistake in your twisted, contradictory illogical world where it's more important to soak a team for every last dime than it is to potentially be the most successful and glorified player in the history of the NFL – which is precisely where Brady finds himself heading today. Brady has played just 71 NFL games, boasts the 7th best passer rating in NFL history, stands as the winningest QB in modern NFL history and is the only QB in the history of the league to win three championships in his first five years in football. Only Otto Graham, Cleveland's QB in the 1940s and '50s, did better – but he had his early success not in the NFL but in the former All-America Football Conference, an upstart league which existed for exactly four seasons (1946-49).
[And as you have admitted three times now in this piece, Brady could have held out for more money. But he did not, and here's why: 1) he would have forced New England to deal him to another team – a team that, in all likelihood, would not be poised for the same future success as New England; or 2) he would have hijacked New England's ability to win by forcing the team to sacrifice money it could have spent on other players.
[In either instance, it would have impeded Brady's road to becoming the most successful and glorified quarterback in NFL history. Remember, Prisco, it took the legendary Joe Montana, perhaps the greatest QB of all time, 10 years in the NFL to win as many Super Bowls and SB MVP awards as Brady's won in just five years. Don't you think that this opportunity to be the most successful QB in history means more to Brady than squeezing every last dime out of New England? Hijacking his own legacy would have been the real mistake. Your inability to comprehend this, and your insistence that it was a "mistake" that he did not hold out for more money, boggles the imagination and causes the most semi-lucid thinking person to question your intelligence.]
But since he said all along he wasn't going to be a problem at the bargaining table, Brady did a deal that was slightly below market value.
[Wow, Brady "did a deal," too. You figure a guy dating Bridget Moynihan could find better things to "do." Prisco must have also missed class the day they taught verbs. In any case, Prisco, it's only your perception that the deal was slightly below market value. The truth is that Brady is far more competent and successful by any measure than either Manning or Vick – the gauges you erroneously use to measure Brady's market value. You could have said "Brady's deal was slightly below the deals signed by Manning and Vick." This would have been true. But the value on the open market for one of the most successful QBs in NFL history is certainly higher than the open-market value of the most inconsistent QB in football and the biggest choke artist in North American sports.]
With three Super Bowl rings to none for Vick and Manning, couldn't he have done a better deal [do, did, done; hey, at least Prisco can conjugate – verbs, that is], topping Vick, not just getting close to it? A strong argument can be made that Brady deserved to be paid more than both of them.
[Well no shit, Dick Tracy. Brady deserves more than both of them? That's the whole friggin' point. Brady's deal is so much better for New England than Vick's and Manning's are for their teams because he's the one proven winning commodity among the three. He's proven more on the field. He's played his very best on the biggest stages in North American sports. He holds a long list of postseason records. He absolutely COULD have demanded more money than either. He did not. So even if he made as much – and he doesn't, he makes less – it still would have been a much better value for the New England organization. It took you this long to realize that Brady could have demanded more than Vick or Manning? What planet are you on? Do you watch the NFL? If you were competent, and still wanted to make the same argument you make in this piece, you would have introduced your column thusly: "Tom Brady could rightfully demand to be the highest paid player in football. He did not. But his deal is far more significant, and does more to hamstring New England's cap space, than is being portrayed in the media." That would have made much more sense.]
I tried contacting Don Yee, Brady's agent, for a few words about this talk that Brady didn't play hardball to get the deal he could have, but Yee never called back. I'm sure he can't be happy about the perception that Brady didn't get all that was coming to him.
[Yeah, must suck representing a guy who earns all those postseason victory bonuses, Super Bowl MVP bonuses and the landslide of endorsements sent his way. Poor Yee.]
He did get a good deal, one much closer to Manning's and Vick's than is being portrayed. But leaving money on the table is a bad thing for any player. [Really, you know better than Brady what's in his best interest? Well, stop the presses, folks. That's big news. Prisco's watching out for Brady!]
It wasn't like he was leaving New England to go to another team in pursuit of more money. The Patriots were never going to let him go. So any deal was with them. [Again, Brady could have raked them over the coals. He did not. That's the story, Prisco. You should read it some time.]
This talk he left money on the table to help the team, while Manning and Vick didn't, is absurd.
[Well, Prisco just jumped the shark here. He spent the entire article telling us 1) that Brady could have held out for more money; 2) that he took a hometown discount; 3) that he left money on the table; and 4) as Prisco said in his opening paragraph, Brady took "less than he should have." In fact, Prisco made this argument exactly four times. But here he makes an abrupt about-face, telling us that "talk (that Brady) left money on the table ... is absurd." This is a complete, utter and inexplicable contradiction. Not only is Prisco a rubberman carnie freak ... he's playing Twister with Gumby and Stretch Armstrong, too.]
Let's face it: All three have huge contracts that will limit their teams' cap flexibility in the coming years. Manning's and Vick's might be a little worse, but not by the amount you'd expect gauging all the talk. [Actually, considering their lack of onfield performance, especially in the postseason, their deals are considerably worse. Inexplicably worse. The Colts have tied their fortunes to a guy who simply collapses in the playoffs each and every year. They would need to field the 1985 Bears defense in order to overcome their quarterback's horrendous, historic postseason implosions.]
Brady deserved to be in the Vick-Manning neighborhood of contracts, and it can be argued he should top them all.
He is now living in their high-priced penthouse neighborhood, even if many in the media like to paint a picture that he's still living in his starter home.
[The ultimate illogicality in Prisco's argument is this: he treats all three quarterbacks as equals. They are equals only in Prisco's parallel pigskin universe. See, in this universe, a player like Vick, who's posted substandard career passing numbers and is wildly inconsistent, is just as good as a QB who's already earned a spot in the Hall of Fame after just five years in the league. In this universe, a player like Manning who lights up lousy teams in the regular season and then, year after year, reserves his very worst performances for the very biggest games is just as good as a player who plays his best ball when his team needs him most.
[Using Vick and Manning to measure Brady's value is like using a plunger to take someone's temperature. We suggest Prisco pull the plunger out of his ass. Might help him think straight and get the point:
[Sports are in an era where every player with power demands his employer break the bank. Manning made this demand. Vick made this demand. Hell, a clearly inferior player like Drew Bledsoe made this demand in 2001, when he signed a comical 10-year, $103 million deal with New England. At this very moment, Terrell Owens, who's in the first year of a 7-year, $49 million deal, is making this demand of Philadelphia, telling the team to rip up his contract and give him a new one -- despite the fact Philly made its way to the Super Bowl without him, then lost when he returned to the field. Brady has more leverage than any of these players ever had. Yet he did not make this demand. And that makes this a unique story.]
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