Arts & Entertainment

Picking Splinters: Once Again Into Mike’s Magic Mailbag


Seems like the NFL’s signal callers are having a rough go of it this season.

Tom Brady’s down. Peyton Manning’s not himself. Jay Cutler’s smoking hot statistically but battling diabetes. Does this strike you as a bad year for QBs? Is Brett Favre going to regret coming back?


Johnny M.

Well, Brady’s injury is easily and logically explained. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s season preview. We all know what happens to their cover boys. You go on the cover, your destined to go down. It’s science.

Still, it does seem that there is a spate of injuries affecting QBs this season. In addition to the names you mentioned, Ben Roethlisberger missed time last game after someone stomped on his hand. In the same game, Donovan McNabb left the game with a chest contusion. Vince Young has been out – for a variety of reasons – since suffering a knee injury in Week One. Kansas City’s Brodie Croyle hasn’t seen a second game, nor has Tampa Bay’s Jeff Garcia, both of whom began the season as starters.

However, injuries haven’t been the only thing sidelining multiple quarterbacks three games into the season. The 0-3 Rams benched Mark Bulger on Tuesday, to go with Trent Green. Previously, the Vikings pulled starter Tarvaris Jackson after an 0-2 start in favor of the veteran Gus Frerotte – thereby shaking things up while simultaneously maintaining the continuity of QBs with silent, unpronounced “r’s” in their names.

I can’t remember another year with so much early upheaval. Just three weeks into the season, six teams feature different starting QBs. The Browns and Texans may also be thinking about a change if their starters, Derek Anderson and Matt Schaub respectively, don’t turn in win number one for their teams next week.

Heck, in comparison to the rest of the league, this year the Chicago Bears look like the epitome of stability … even with their recent revolving door approach to the position.

Oh, and regarding Favre? Two words: Madden. Curse.

Hey Mike,

Despite your early doubts, the Redskins are 2-1. What do you have to say about that? And who do you think will come out on top in the NFC East?

Turnin’ Left,

Joe G.

I’ll admit, I was stunned when Washington edged Arizona on Sunday. The ‘Skins looked flat out terrible with the ball in the opener against the Giants, and while they put 29 points on the board against New Orleans, I wasn’t convinced. After all, the Saints look like they would have a hard time stopping a doped-up sloth from scoring this year, allowing 27.7 points per game.

Sunday showed me something and if the Redskins can build on that, then maybe they won’t suffer the long season I thought they would. Not that it will be easy in an NFC East where the only two losses have come from within the division. The Giants and Cowboys are 3-0. The Eagles and ‘Skins are 2-1. Even with the standings as close as they are, I’m confident I can pick a winner this early in the season – the fans of these four teams.


It ain’t over ’til it’s over. But now it’s over. What did you think of the final curtain call for Yankee Stadium?


I thought it was as nice a sendoff as you could ask for. It was missing a few things – namely Joe Torre, Don Mattingly (both coaching the Dodgers) and George Steinbrenner (health reasons) – but there was a lot of nostalgia and even a pair of home runs. By the way, who had Jose Molina in the “Last home run at Yankee Stadium” pool?

I’m not entirely upset to see the stadium go. It was claustrophobic, the men’s rooms were smaller than an average sized shot glass and the wait to exit the parking garage was interminable. Still, it was The Stadium. My grandfather saw it with my father. My father saw it with me. I’m just sorry I won’t be able to do the same with my son someday.