A Open Letter to Mark Brunell
I apologize. Please forgive me.
As you may recall, I suggested that you should be removed as starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins. More than suggested, I may have used the sentence "Mark Brunell must go." In fact, that may have been the title of my blog entry. In fact, I went so far as to suggest that Heath Shuler may be preferable as a starting quarterback right now. See, the joke there is twofold: 1) Shuler was a terrible NFL quarterback whose career was ended by chronic turf toe, of all things, and 2) He is in fact running for Congress right now, and not a quarterback at all. Put simply, I was dissatisfied with your performance thus far this season.
As I type this, you have just thrown an incompletion. That is worth mentioning because it was your first incompletion of the game, coming late in the third quarter and mere seconds after you set the all-time NFL record for most consecutive completions in a single game at 22.
Please please please forgive me. All is forgotten. Welcome back to my good graces.
I have no excuse. Yes, I used to write an NFL column, so I'm a bit more knowledgeable and less knee-jerk than your average football fan. But there's really no excuse. I should have known better. Blame it, if you will, on the culture of being a Redskins fan. It often seems like the last quarterback we had who was an uncontested #1 was Sammy Baugh. We are a fickle and often-stupid breed, we Washington Redskins fans. Yes, we rode Brad Johnson out of town in favor of Jeff freaking George. Yes, we actually thought Heath Shuler versus Gus Frerotte was a meaningful competition. Yes, we liked Jay Schroeder's arm more than Doug Williams' guts. Blame it all on Sonny Jurgensen and Billy Kilmer; it all started back then.
But that's no excuse. I should have stayed faithful. I should have believed that the offensive line would get its act together. I should have remembered how much a healthy Clinton Portis means to this team. I should have remembered that last year was statistically the best of your career. And I certainly never should have said "Give me Jason Campbell or give me death."
So as I type, you're ahead 31-15 in the fourth quarter, and frankly should be ahead more; that big Andre Johnson reception in the first quarter was the result of a blatant and uncalled offensive hold, and Portis' 15-yard taunting penalty seemed to make the referees disregard the fact that Houston defenders were throwing him down three yards out of bounds.
There's 12 minutes of football left, but I'm feeling good about your work today. 22 straight completions. Nice job.
I'm with you, man. Please accept my wholehearted apology.
If I may make a few suggestions, now that we're cool again: The penalties are killing you guys. Seriously. Stop with the holding and the pass interference. And maybe you want to look at some game film from last year where you made 40-plus-yard passes to Santana Moss look so easy. And you might want to knock it off with the Jekyll-and-Hyde thing. It makes us fans irritable.
While I've got your attention, can I ask you a question? What's with all the defensive backs with the long hair?