John Clayton Takes Some Things Too Literally

I am not an overwhelming NFL guy.  I like football, though I enjoy college football more (no sort of elitist reasoning, or anything to do with the players/money/etc, I just like having several hundred teams in the mix).  That said, I have grown up in Philadelphia, where people start buying tickets for training camp in February.  My passing fandom for the Iggles resembles the passion of most fans from, well, just about anywhere else.  On a whim, I signed up for Eagles season tickets about 3 years ago.  I expect to have my seats in about 50 years (I believe the wait is now up to 70 or 80 years).  Philly is crazy for its Eagles.  I’m just interested in them. 

I don’t post often about football here because, well, it’s blogged about elsewhere better than I ever could.  Also, I really don’t care about the NFL too much during the offseason.  But training camps are just about to start up, and naturally, ESPN’s John Clayton and SI’s Peter King and all the other so-called experts are out on the beat to tell us what our favorite teams are going to have to do win the Superbowl.

Regarding my Eagles, Clayton writes:

Philadelphia Eagles — After being down for one year in 2005 because of a Donovan McNabb injury and the Terrell Owens turmoil, the Eagles are back atop the NFC East. The key to camp is watching McNabb. He’s the key to their season. Supposedly, he enters camp with his knee at about 85 percent. Considering the severity of the knee injury, that’s not bad. Carson Palmer was probably about 80 percent last year and he had a good season. Andy Reid should allow the running game to develop during camp knowing McNabb won’t have all of his mobility.

Okay, now, aside from the obvious nature of Clayton’s “observation” (if the QB is healthy and good, then the Eagles will do better than if he’s not), the evidence he uses to judge Donovan’s health is ludicrous.  McNabb estimated the other day that he was at about 85%.  These athlete estimates of their health are insane anyway.  At least, as much as I love Don, I don’t know how much I trust his math.  He’s got a lot of reasons to estimate high right there. 

A year ago, Carson Palmer, coming back from knee injury, estimated he was at 80%.  Carson Palmer, whose math I would trust far less than Donovan’s, came back to have a good year for the Bengals. 

John Clayton, a total nerd is taking these two estimates at face value, taking them literally, and figuring that McNabb is in good shape, because Carson Palmer was fine.  I could be overreacting, but I am now forced to look incredulously at all the words spoken and written by Mr Clayton, who is a crazy person.


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