Peter King and his traveling party had just left SUNY Cortland on Wednesday afternoon, the time was 2 p.m., and Sports Illustrated's senior NFL writer decided it was time to take a vote.
The question he posed to the four others in his traveling party was simple enough and it went something like this:
''Do we stop in Jamestown for a minor league baseball game or do we head to suburban Cleveland in anticipation of a visit to the Cleveland Browns' training camp on Thursday morning.''
After his RV got stuck in a field adjacent to Diethrick Park, Sports Illustrated senior NFL writer Peter King couldn’t help but point to a slogan on the back bumper prior to watching a few innings of the Jamestown Jammers game. Below, King chats with Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photos by Scott Kindberg
As it turned out, the vote was unanimous - 5-0 - to check out the Jamestown Jammers-Staten Island Yankees game at Diethrick Park.
Here's guessing King and company won't ever forget their 2 hours on Falconer Street.
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A writer at SI since 1989, King launched The MMQB (themmqb.com) last week, a website that expands upon his popular Monday Morning Quarterback column for SI. The site is about the NFL all the time and King appears to be the right man to do it. An author of five books, the 2010 National Sportswriter of the Year and a part of ''Football Night in America,'' NBC's Sunday night NFL studio show, King is arguably the utmost authority on the NFL.
But, if you didn't know any better, the 56-year-old Springfield, Mass., native was just another baseball fan last night, enjoying a balmy summer evening at the ballpark. For the record, he loved Southern Tier Brewery's Hop Sun, and chowed down on popcorn, a burger and some fries. He also happily signed a few autographs and chatted with anybody who happened his way, including Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi. The topics ranged from his thoughts on the Buffalo Bills (he had many, which you can read on his site), his love for the Boston Red Sox and the history of baseball in this city.
In the sixth inning, however, King reluctantly left his seat in the grandstand behind home plate, knowing that he still had a two-hour, ride to suburban Cleveland.
There was one problem, though.
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It wasn't hard to notice the RV.
Parked in the grass adjacent to the softball field, which is a figurative popup from the stadium, it had advertising for "Training Camp Tour with Peter King'' painted on it for all to see. A half-hour before the first pitch, King greeted and chatted up fans as they walked by.
The fact that the RV was stuck on uneven ground didn't seem to faze him in the least.
So King and his friends and SI co-workers headed for the stadium. How they were going to extricate their RV would have to wait, although he did tweet the predicament to his more than one million followers about 9 p.m.
''There has been an incident with The MMQB RV in Jamestown, NY,'' he tweeted.
Efforts by a half-dozen men, including Jammers groundskeeper Josh Waid and his father, Jim, to push the vehicle out of the ditch didn't work, so a tractor, which is housed in the stadium, was dispatched, a trailer hitch was found and a plan was undertaken.
With a gentle nudge of the tractor bucket against the hitch that was attached to the RV's rear bumper, the RV was freed from its predicament, which prompted King to tweet again.
''The grounds crew of the Jamestown Jammers, led by Josh Waid, gets our RV out of the muck. Tnx, Jamestown!"
And, finally, after the RV was on its way, presumably west on the Southern Tier Expressway, King tweeted again.
''Felt part of an Amish barn-raising tonight in Jamestown, NY. Scores of great folks. All they wanted was to help get our RV out of a ditch.''
King's visit to Jamestown was part of a week that included stops, via RV, to the training camps of the Patriots (Foxborough, Mass.); the Bills (Pittsford); the Jets (Cortland), the Browns (Berea, Ohio) and the Steelers (Latrobe, Pa.). Ten more visits are planned at other training camps this month, along with trips to four preseason games.
Judging from the reception King received at Diethrick Park, it wouldn't be a surprise if he finds his way back to Jamestown next year.