NFL Live praises Peter King Photo Credit: ESPN

Tributes poured in from the sports world Monday after veteran reporter Peter King announced he is stepping away from his iconic NFL column.

The cast of ESPN’s NFL Live were among those who paid tribute to the 66-year-old King, who began writing “Monday Morning Quarterback” for Sports Illustrated in 1996 (the name changed to “Football Morning In America” when NBC Sports picked it up in 2018).

Along with all the praise for King’s work, several prominent journalists have thanked him for helping their careers. Three of Monday’s NFL Live cast admitted King had assisted them, and they’d seen him advocate for others.

Dan Graziano recalled King helped him get onto the NFL beat about 15 years ago.

“I reached out to him, and I mean when I say this guy was on the phone with me for an hour and a half, going through specific ways to start covering the league, specific people to reach out to,” Graziano said. “He couldn’t have been more generous with his time and advice, checked in with me as time went on to see how I was doing.

“Throughout the years, obviously, we’ve maintained a friendship. That means an awful lot to me. … A lot of other people have similar stories about Peter.”

One of those other people is ESPN’s Bill Barnwell.

“Peter King, very early in my career, reached out to me,” Barnwell said. “I got that text saying, ‘Hey, it’s Peter King, call me.’ I almost couldn’t believe it was his number. I thought it was one of my friends pranking me.”

“He wanted to touch base with me, wanted to see what I thought about the MVP race that year. We ran through some of those numbers, and I kept thinking, ‘Does Peter know he has the right guy on the phone, or was he calling some other Bill he wanted to get in touch with?’

“But it was such a moment for me where I felt like, ‘OK if Peter King believes I have something to add to the conversation … I really feel like I’ve accomplished something. And Peter has done that not just for me but for so many young writers out there.”

NFL Live co-host Mina Kimes, whom King recognized as one of the best in the business in his final column, seemed touched by that praise.

“Peter has introduced me to a lot of young writers he has advocated for,” Kimes said. “And that is such a striking legacy to leave.”

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About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.