TRADING E-MAIL WITH ...
Cowboys QB Chad Hutchinson, the former Cardinals pitcher
SI: What is it about football that drew you back after four
Hutchinson: I was always a football player playing baseball. My
mentality and all the attributes that go with football are what I
enjoy about athletics.
SI: Roger Staubach says you remind him of himself after a
four-year layoff. How do you take that?
December 23, 2002
Hutchinson: As an absolute honor. I admire him so much not only
for his career, but also for what he has done since his playing
SI: What do you miss about baseball?
SI: Who's the best hitter you ever struck out?
Hutchinson: Mike Piazza [in 2001]. I don't remember much about
it; I think I threw him a slider. I do remember striking out Jeff
Bagwell about the third week of the season on a sunny afternoon
in St. Louis. I threw a slider to strike him out. I was totally
SI: Who's the best hitter to jack one out of the park off you?
Hutchinson: Larry Walker.
SI: Best advice you've received from Troy Aikman?
Hutchinson: Be patient.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK
Cris Carter goes home: Miami at Minnesota
Maybe this trip will jump-start Carter's comeback. He caught
1,004 passes in 12 seasons with the Vikings before he and the
organization parted ways in the off-season, but Carter has only
seven catches since ending his retirement and signing with the
Dolphins on Oct. 21. (He missed four games with a kidney
ailment.) "I'll have goose bumps," says Carter, who adds that
he'll give former protege Randy Moss a hug before the game. "I'll
tell him, 'Let's go out there and put on a show today.'"
What's most amazing about the Colts' Peyton Manning hitting the
20,000-yard passing mark on Sunday is that he reached it in his
fifth season. Alltime leader Dan Marino averaged 3,884 yards in
his first five years, but Manning is averaging 4,000-plus. Using
yardage as a barometer, here's how Manning, 26, compares with the
most prolific passers at the time they turned 27.
PLAYER, TEAM GAMES TDS INT. COMP. % QB RATING YARDS
1. Drew Bledsoe, Patriots 90 128 102 .558 75.7 21,981
2. Peyton Manning, Colts 78 134 98 .619 85.6 20,107
3. Dan Marino, Dolphins 73 169 80 .605 93.8 19,756
4. Brett Favre, Packers 71 128 69 .624 89.1 16,217
5. Fran Tarkenton, Vikings 84 113 95 .539 78.0 14,579
MY TWO CENTS
1. Rams quarterback Kurt Warner has more than an injured throwing
hand to worry about--he has to repair his relationship with coach
Mike Martz. The coach has always been a Warner loyalist, but
circumstances surrounding the injury have been damaging: Warner
did not tell the coach how badly his hand was hurt (it was, in
fact, fractured), and then Warner's wife, Brenda, called a radio
show in early December to say it was she, not Martz, who insisted
Kurt get his hand X-rayed.
2. Hats off to Vikings coach Mike Tice for going for two points
and the win against the Saints. Playing with a poor defense on
the road against a playoff contender, Tice was wise to go for
broke instead of putting himself at the mercy of an overtime
coin flip. Even if Daunte Culpepper hadn't run for the
conversion, I'd be applauding. --P.K.