Legendary NFL Writer Peter King Pens Farewell in Last Column

Peter King, one of the most accomplished NFL reporters in the industry's history, announced his retirement on Monday morning in a farewell column.

Mondays will soon feel much different for football junkies. Peter King, one of the greatest sports writers in the industry’s history, announced his retirement on Monday morning in a column for NBC Sports. King was a leading voice in NFL coverage for nearly three decades.

Peter King Revealed Why He’s Finally Retiring

King, who began his reporting career at the Cincinnati Enquirer, is best known for creating Sports Illustrated’s “Monday Morning Quarterback” column, which he wrote from 1997 through 2017. He moved to NBC Sports in 2018 and continued writing his famous column under a different title: “Football Morning In America.”

A version of the MMQB continues to be written for Sports Illustrated by NFL insider Albert Breer. It’s unclear whether someone at NBC Sports will carry the torch for King’s latest version.

King began his retirement column by lamenting — though not complaining — about covering 40 consecutive Super Bowls on-site. At 66 years old, the Massachusetts native yearns to relax and enjoy watching sports from home, rather than always being on the job.

“Who’s complaining? Not me,” King wrote. “I’m the luckiest man on the face of the earth. To be a long-termer in an increasingly short-term business, to write this column for 27 years and to be a sportswriter for 44, well, that’s something I’ll always be grateful for. Truly, I’ve loved it all.”

King then dove into the reasons for his retirement.

He remarked on no longer being as passionate about the subjects he was covering, leading him to believe the “time” was right to retire.

“Coaching searches, free-agency, the lead-up to the draft … It’s important, obviously,” wrote King, who added he thought about retirement a year ago. “And last year I started noticing how much of it I simply didn’t care about. I had to force myself to be interested in things other than training camps and the games, and that’s no way to do this job.”

King also went full-existential, wondering whether sportswriting was his only calling.

“I’ve found myself wondering, ‘Am I meant to do one thing from the time I walk out of college until the day they put me in the ground?'” he wrote.

King finished with a note on how the industry has changed around him — he found it difficult to follow suggestions on cutting his columns in half — and gratitude for his family.

“The sacrifices my wife, Ann, and my kids, Laura and Mary Beth, and their families have made for me to do this job at the highest level have been significant,” King wrote. “To do this job well, you’ve got to have some selfishness in you, and you’ve got to miss time at home — lots of it. I don’t feel great about lots of those times, but I don’t regret them either.”

Peter King Leaves the Door Open for More Work

There certainly is a finality to King’s farewell column. He doesn’t sound like someone looking to continue full-time reporter/columnist work.

However, King left the door open for new projects.

“I’m retiring*,” he wrote. “I use an asterisk because I truly don’t know what the future holds for me. I probably will work at something, but as I write this I have no idea what it will be. Maybe it will be something in the media world, but just not Football Morning in America (nee Monday Morning Quarterback).”

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We’ll just have to wait and see whether King reemerges with a new weekly column for fans to sink their teeth into. But if this truly is it, King is retiring as arguably the greatest football columnist of all time.

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