Peter King Announces Retirement After 44 Years of NFL Coverage: ‘It’s Time’

By | February 27, 2024

Legendary NFL writer Peter King is retiring after more than 40 years in the business. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Peter King, patriarch of a generation of football writers and reporters, announced his retirement Monday in his weekly “Football Morning in America” ​​column. The title? “It’s time. Who’s complaining? Not me.”

“I’m retiring*. I’m using an asterisk because I really don’t know what the future holds for me,” King wrote. “I’m probably going to work on 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 (no Monday Morning Quarterback).”

King gave his reasons, which were mainly related to his age and his declining interest in dealing with “the day-to-day minutiae of the league.” But his family was the biggest factor. Now 66 years old, King reveals that he has already outlived his three closest male relatives (his father and two brothers had all died by the age of 64). He recalled that his good friend, fellow football writer Don Banks, died in 2019 at age 57 in a hotel room in Canton, Ohio, the night after covering the Hall of Fame ceremonies. None of them have ever experienced retirement, and he doesn’t want to follow the same path.

“I don’t mean to be so deep; many of you who know me understand that I’m pretty shallow. But I asked myself, am I meant to do one thing from the time I leave college until the day they put me in the ground?” King wrote. “And who knows, maybe in three months I’ll find myself wanting to do something in the media if I’m bored. But it’s like when Atlanta writer Jeff Schultz retired in December and said, ‘Let me be bored .I want to know what that feels like.’ That resonated. I know eventually I want to do something with my time. I just don’t know what it is.”

King has been covering football in one form or another for 44 years. He started writing about football right after college and never stopped. He started as a journalist at the Cincinnati Enquirer in the 1980s and then moved to another part of the newsstand after being hired by Sports Illustrated in 1989. King started his signature column, then called “Monday Morning Quarterback,” in 1997 when his football editor at SI “asked me to clear my notebook every Monday after writing my weekly football column.”

Sports Illustrated was King’s home until 2018, when he finally pulled out of SI and went full-time at NBC, 12 years after he started appearing as an analyst on “Football Night in America.” His column, renamed “Football Morning in America,” also went with him.

King has been hugely influential among modern sportswriters – especially football writers – and many he mentored, helped, inspired or even simply collaborated with took to social media on Monday morning to pay tribute to the King.

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