Arts & Entertainment, Sports

Picking Splinters: Mailing It In…

Mike takes his monthly dive into his magical mail bag.


Kevin Everett, Chad Pennington, Eli Manning, Jon Jansen, B.J. Sams, Mike Brown and Brandon Jacobs are just a few of the names to go down with serious injuries on the first weekend of the season. Heck, there was a time when doctors thought Everett wouldn't walk again. Is it time that the NFL did something about the injury issue?


Flo Nightingale


I agree that there were a lot of significant, and in Everett's case catastrophic, injuries this past week, but what exactly should the NFL do aside from changing things up to two-hand touch?

Athletes these days are in better physical condition than ever before. Science has taught them about nutrition and exercise, and with that knowledge they have built their bodies into superior shape. They run faster and jump higher, but they also hit harder. But can anything be done about hitting too hard? There are already rules against hitting the quarterback too high or too low, is there anything you can do to regulate the violent hits? Directly, no. Indirectly however, the league can strictly enforce its drug policy, particularly pursuing HGH and other illegal substances used to push players over the line from athletes to juggernauts. Aside from that, maybe you can have all the players drink more milk.

These injuries should also highlight the lousy treatment that veterans get from the league after retirement. Some former players are virtually cripples by age 50 due to the pounding their bodies took during their playing careers. The league wants to celebrate the hard hits and the physicality of the sport of football — just looked at the ESPN fave segment “Jacked Up,” where Chris Berman and others look at the biggest hits of the week. If they're going to use this as a selling point, then they ought to also repay the players for the pain they endured and from which the league, indirectly, profits.


Michigan is just sad. Notre Dame might be worse. Is there anything we should be looking forward to about Saturday's showdown against these two paper tigers?

Resigned to my fate,

Bo S.


I don't know, Bo, maybe the commercials? No one really thought Notre Dame would be that good this year given their tough schedule and key roster losses, but Michigan has dropped from national title contender to also-ran in just one week. Now Chad Henne, who entered the season as a Heisman hopeful and could have left for last year's NFL draft, will miss the game with an undisclosed injury (a case of ineptitude perhaps?).

The only consolation for Michigan is that they'll face a Notre Dame team that is struggling as much as they are. Notre Dame is similarly 0-2 after getting smacked by Georgia Tech and Penn State. If I worked for a supermarket tabloid, I'd pitch a tent inside South Bend, because Touchdown Jesus might start crying if the Irish fall behind the woeful Wolverines Saturday.

On the other hand, ABC has the game and if Brent Musburger holds true to his title as “Captain Superlative,” then by the end of the game these two squads will be the most impressive, promising, bestest and just plain wonderful awful teams in the whole wide world.



Are you strapped in for the final weekend of the FedEx Cup? Better question: Do you know what the heck is going on with that scoring system? Also, what do you think is bigger, winning a major or taking the FedEx cup?

From the 19th hole,

Ben H.


The scoring system makes about as much sense to me as a Latin translation of Stephen Hawking's “A Brief History of Time.” I don't understand how you can completely skip one of the final four events and still have a chance to win it all. The sad thing is that I follow golf and have watched several hours of the past three tournaments and have absolutely no conception of how these points are awarded. Maybe PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem is handing out sticker books behind the 18th green.

As for the importance of the Cup, the fact that Phil Mickelson decided to stay home to put his kids on a school bus rather than play at the BMW ought to answer that question. You think Lefty would have seen of the kids on a Thursday when he could have been teeing it up at Augusta? Doubtful.