A Hard-Hitting, No Nonsense Interview with PFT Commenter

Peter Cavanaugh

ProFootballTalk.com is your typical sports newsfeed aggregate pimpled with strong takes and unwanted glimpses into the psyche of the often-ignored White Male. It’s a sweaty corner of the Internet that’s much like your contentious old uncle made binary. It’s a safe place for men to vent about their favorite football team or disparage their most hated with word choices that rarely dabble in subtlety. Born from this mess is one of the most influential anonymous commenter in recent memory: PFT Commenter. He lit up the comments section of Pro Football Talk (as his name would suggest) for several years with the strongest and hottest takes, parlaying this wit into regular gigs contributing for sites like SBNation and KissingSuzyKolber.

Now, he’s released his first book. Self-published but published all the same, PFT Commenter’s Goodell vs. Obama: The Battle for the Future of the NFL is a high-energy/higher-stakes tale of what happens when the government tries to dip its hand into our national pastime.

We spoke with Mr. Commenter last week over email and he was kind enough to share some thoughts on his book and the upcoming NFL season. Fair warning for the unprepared: PFT Commenter deals in bold claims and is from the school of “Telling not Spelling,” so “sorry not sorry.”

Before we get to your top-ranking e-book, how did you make that jump from commenting on articles to being one of the most well-honed takesmiths out there?

People started useing hashtags in there ProFootballTalk comments so I went to my library and ask what that meant and they told me that people were doing twitter. So I decided to set up a account and connect with the rest of NFL fans and maybe some babes looking for some No Strings Attached fun. (BTW as Obama would say- “Mission Accomplished.”)

What exactly pushed you over the edge and made you commit to writing this book.

The off season. Technically theres no off season I understand that. But with every thing that was happning to our sport and the slowdown in news I knew that the time was right to warn fokls about the impending NFL apolocplyse under Obama.

You give a clear warning in the introduction that your takes are strong and if people are “PC” they might be offended. How frustrating, as a writer, is it to give these warnings and clearly say “no offense” only to have people be offended?

Its like i know that I cant fly so you dont see me jumping out’ve planes without a parachute. Its your CHOICE weather or not you want to be offended and when I tell you “Hey your going to be offended” and then you get mad at me for offending you, thats not fair and your being a PC Police/thought police.

Parts of the book had me doubling over in laughter, but upon reflection I could see how you might be right. The NFL does seem to be on thinner and thinner ice these days. How big is your “I Told You So” sign going to be when your book comes true?  

Im not a big “I told you so” guy, Im more of a “toldja” guy. A Toldja guy sees how right he was and lets you know as hes wakling away and letting you clean up the mess you made. A “I Told You So” guy trys to stick around to help out after you tell him how right he is like a poindexter. The NFL is turning in to flag football where your more productive if you have like a qualified concussion scientist on your team then having a fullback. Thats not how the games meant to be played and its discraceful.

I leave the conspiracy stuff for Pete Carroll, but what do you think about the fact that the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, literally stepped down the week your book was released?

I think the righting was on the wall for Jay and heres the thing about Barack Obamanation- hes on thin ice with his own adminstration. Thats why even though Joe Biden cant take a crap without doing a gaffe, I gave him some leeway in my book and made him a OK guy (except for driving the Navy SEALS helicopter drunk, but it was for a good cause). Obamas the Titanic and people are looking for the lifeboats mean while Americas rearranging the deck chairs and supposedly racist NFL team names while our country cap sizes.

Obamas the Titanic and people are looking for the lifeboats mean while Americas rearranging the deck chairs and supposedly racist NFL team names while our country cap sizes.

The cover illustration is great (by Dave Rappoccio) and definitely proves the rule: you should judge a book by its cover. But I was wondering what the thought process was behind putting yourself on the cover. Your name is already on the front. Does putting your image, too, border on the “me-first” ethos you often chastise?

It was done by Dave thats right. I asked him if he would help me out sense I enjoy very deeply his “what if NFL logos were fat/british/anime/horny series. I sat down and thought ,”You know who DIDNT have there picture on the cover of there own book? Hitler.”  So I did the opposite of Hitler, are you suggesting that I should of done the same thing as Adolf Hitler?

Have any of the characters featured in the book such as Mike Florio or Peter King reached out to thank you for including them in your work?

I asked Mike if he wanted2 do the foreword but he ignored me. I think hes still upset about sitting down on the budweiser hotseat with me last year where I grilled him pretty hard. Probably never got over that IMO. Peter King wouldnt know good literary taste if it was soaked in nutmeg and stirred into a cappucino enema.

I was surprised to see Richie Incognito make an appearance. Can you describe the process of getting in his head to write his dialogue? 

Im sick of being bullied by the anti-bullying crowd so I just threw on my Andrew Dice Clay record and snorted some preWorkout formula then meditated and it just came flowing out.

Looking toward this coming football season, which rookie QBs do you think will make their presence felt this year?

Bortles Bortles Bortles. Im all in on Blake Jortles. SO glad that he went to Jacksonville I think Blane Gabbert had a little bit of bad luck sense nothern Florida is the only place in the world with a harder to understand accent/more meth labs than Missouri. Bortles has tremendous dialect-discipline so he will be able to pick up the playbook pretty fast.

Who do you envision being the biggest bust from this year’s NFL draft?

JaPaymeon Cloweney. This guys got bust all over him so much that Im going to start calling him Alexis Texas.

Who’s your dark horse for MVP? 

Alwyas tough to bet against Big Ben but hes not so much a darkhorse more of a gray horse to be honest. Never count out Mulligan  the TE from the Pats having a real comeback year. Actually not a comeback year that implys he had a good year earlier but this is a Comefront year for Mulligan. Big things IMO.

And because it’s never too early for Super Bowl predictions, which teams make it to the Super Bowl this year?

Going to be a Steelers/ Giants Superbowl and either Big Ben or Eli Manning will cement themselfs in the rock of Mt Rushmore of the best alltime QBs if they get another ring. Bens got Heath Miller running those drag routes for a millon points and yards after contact and Eli celebrate’s the return of Peyton Hillis. Bet your money now folks this is guarenteed.