In a stunning offseason move, the Philadelphia Eagles dealt quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins. Conventional wisdom says you don’t trade your signature superstar to a division rival. Conventional wisdom says three-year backup Kevin Kolb cannot replace McNabb. Conventional wisdom says Eagles coach Andy Reid has made a colossal mistake.
Conventional wisdom can be pretty stupid.
If I have learned nothing else during my checkered five-decade run as an itinerant American, it is that conventional wisdom – particularly the “sage” views of sports-radio talkers, sportswriters and sports bloggers – is consistently wrong. Conventional wisdom not only would’ve claimed that Moses couldn’t part the Red Sea, it would’ve told him to take the HOV lane to freedom.
Which leads me to my annual NFL Team of Destiny, but, first, a word about the noxious, ubiquitous New York Jets.
Raise your hand if you’re sick of the Jets.
Let me quote Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who, when asked if he had seen “Hard Knocks,” responded, “I hate the Jets, so I refuse to support that show.”
(After watching 15 minutes of “Hard Knocks,” I programmed my TiVo to never record HBO again. Regrettably, this overlapped with my TiVo request to never record Jim Gray again.)
At this very moment, Darrelle Revis is staring at his reflection from the rear-view mirror of his Porsche, Mark Sanchez is stylizing at a magazine photo shoot and Rex Ryan is holding a somewhat profanity-laced press conference on ham radio.
The Jets were gifted a postseason slot last year – you may recall that the then-unbeaten Colts decided to vacate the premises at halftime of their meaningless Week 16 contest against New Jersey’s finest – and they proceeded to win two playoff games, which apparently allows Ryan to walk around like General Patton at the Battle of the Bulge.
I can’t believe the entire Jets roster hasn’t sprained their chests, puffing them out as far as they do.
Anyway, NFL experts are predicting very good things for the Jets, which is yet another reason they are not my Team of Destiny.
Usually, I pick my Team of Destiny off the league’s scrapheap and help lead it out of the wilderness; this backfires from time to time – last year’s selection, the Detroit Lions, led me into a winter of public humiliation. But this year, I will back the team that conventional wisdom has tossed aside, the perennially playoff-bound Philadelphia Eagles.
Sure, the Eagles have made it to the Super Bowl just once since 1980 and haven’t won an NFL title since 1960. But Couch Slouch famously dismisses statistical evidence and depends on intellectual hunches.
(Yes, even with a limited intellect, I am capable of having an intellectual hunch.)
Anyway, dumping Donavan McNabb will not be the ruination of the Eagles.
(For the record, I have always been a big fan of McNabb. But he will not be able to overcome the karmic kickback of Daniel Snyder. The Redskins’ owner is a pretty good businessperson and a very rich man; beyond that, his qualities are largely limited to bullying people or hurting people, so – in a rare case of on-the-field-retribution-for- off-the-field injustice – we are in the midst of a 30- or 40-year period in which Washington will be denied a Super Bowl championship.)
The NFC East has three Pro Bowl quarterbacks – McNabb, the Cowboys’ Tony Romo and the Giants’ Eli Manning – and Kevin Kolb. Kolb will outplay them all. It will be an almost identical situation to 1962, when the film “Lawrence of Arabia” had a cast that included Peter O’Toole, Anthony Quinn and Alec Guinness – and I accurately surmised that unheralded Omar Sharif would out-act them all.
An unassuming Kolb said earlier this summer, “I just want to go out and throw to whoever’s open.”
Kolb is the anti-Jay Cutler – don’t get me started on that guy again; besides, my e-mail box can’t handle the load of grammatically challenged ALL CAP messages from Cutler apologists – and, unconventional as it may be, my PBR-induced wisdom has him flying high with the Eagles, your 2010 Team of Destiny on the road to the Super Bowl.
Ask The Slouch
Q. Do you fear that people only look at you as a poker commentator, with no other discernible skills? (Jan Rice; Greenwood, Ind.)
A. It is easy to get pigeonholed. That’s why I never went full-time into the adult-film industry – it’s hard to do a porn flick on Monday, then Shakespeare in the Park on Tuesday.
Q. Can someone explain what a balk is? (Gerald L. Scruggs; Silver Spring, Md.)
A. It’s what Charlie Sheen does just before he tells a woman that he loves her.
Q. Why are self-checkout lanes closed? (Russ Meyers; Lothian, Md.)
A. You, my friend, have identified an America in decay.
Q. In order to save downtime between wives, are you redshirting any future ex-Mrs. Norman Chads? (Frank Fletcher; Cleveland)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
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