Arts & Entertainment, Sports

Picking Splinters: New Year

Columnist Mike Hume starts off the new year by delving into his Magical Mail Bag.



I thought I would take a break from counting our sponsorship dollars to write in. After a week of thrilling finishes, you have to admit the bowl system is good for college football. Will you now please drop your incessant push for a college playoff system?

Michael Coleman
BCS Chairman


No, I won’t stop, and here’s why — all those great finishes that you refer to, like Boise State’s win over Oklahoma, they are meaningless. They’re exhibition games. They don’t decide anything. All these close finishes have done is further prove that Division I-A football teams deserve to have the championship teams decided on the field.

To the players of Boise State, congratulations. You made a lot of money that you will never see and won a trophy that amounts to a consolation prize. That’s because the system you play in, the system that university presidents love, won’t allow you a shot at the top prize. And by sustaining a system like that, you’re depriving these classic finishes of their full potential. What if “The Miracle on Ice” had been for a bronze medal? Would anyone have heard about Bobby Thompson’s home run had he hit it in Spring Training? Would anyone admire “The Immaculate Reception” had Franco Harris caught the ball during the second week of the preseason?

And in case you’re curious, just shy of 80-percent of more than 150,000 people think the Broncos deserve a shot at Ohio State for the national title according to an poll, so don’t think the playoff controversy is going away.



Mr. Hume,

I wish to inform you that you’re previous assertions about my perceived tenuous tenure with the Detroit Lions are incorrect. As you will note in Tuesday’s news item, the Lions have elected to retain my services next year, the second in the four-year extension I signed last year. And that was after you indicated that my “chestnuts” were roasting over a certain outdoor blaze. Looks like you were wrong, though it just takes my “chestnuts” longer to roast, being as how they are made of brass.

Matt Millen
Detroit, MI


I give up. What is it that you have on owner William Clay Ford? Compromising information? Home movies a la Paris Hilton? Worse? A picture of a foreign car parked in his driveway? What?

How you can keep your job when your teams sport a record of 24-72 absolutely astounds me. You have had a top-10 pick in roughly the last 48,054 drafts and only Roy Williams is panning out. Oedipus probably had more luck guessing the letters on the chart at his last eye exam. But please, don’t let that deter you from drafting Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson with the second overall pick this year. After all, as long as you have your job, Lions fans will probably be too busy picketing for your head to notice the wreck of a team you’ll be putting on the field next year.




Just getting back to you about your information request. The answer to your question is no, Brent Musberger is not the charter member of the John David Booty Fan Club, though we too noticed his strong affinity towards our favorite quarterback during ABC’s broadcast of the Rose Bowl. We, frankly, were a little frightened by his repeated calling of Booty by his first and middle names, John David, and are currently exploring California state requirements for restraining orders.

Go S.C.!

Troy Q. Trojan
John David Booty Fan Club, President


Nuts. I thought I was onto something there. I can’t be the only one that noticed the love fest between Booty and Captain Superlative last Monday evening. I can’t recall more than a handful of times that Musberger referred to Booty as anything other than “John David.” As in, “John David drops back to pass.” “John David finds Dwayne Jarrett over the middle.” “John David is one of the best quarterbacks I have ever laid eyes on.” “John David is the kind of guy I’d like to curl up with on a snowy eve with a nice glass of Merlot.” Okay, so the last one might be made up, but I really do think that Musberger has gone over the top in every one of his broadcasts this year. A kid throws a touchdown pass on the first drive of the game and the next thing you know, Musberger has him measured up for a yellow jacket and spot in Canton, Ohio in the Football Hall of Fame.

I think ABC should issue a pre-game advisory that any superlative issued by Musberger has a 180-minute lifespan. So when we end the season with 17 “Greatest quarterbacks in the history of Earth,” no one gets confused.

On the other hand, if I were on the other side of the equation, it would certainly be a lot of fun to have Musberger commenting on you. Like this, for example:

“There’s another complete sentence and Michael David is really on a roll now. Folks, there is no doubt in my mind that Michael David will be writing in Sunday editions. And there it is, the dagger, the thesis paragraph. There can be no refutations now. This column is all but over.”