Shutdown Corner - NFL

According to a dubious Internet site, "Donavon Mcnabb" is getting traded. The real Donovan McNabb(notes) is still very much a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.

On Wednesday, a phony ESPN.com page made its way around the Internet with the faux exclusive that the long-time Eagles quarterback was traded to the San Francisco 49ers. The hoax duped some fans, forced members of the media to look into the story and even led to an official denial from the 49ers.

It should never have come to that. A cursory glance of the page reveals that the page was nothing more than a poorly-executed, and spelled, joke:

If you're going to go to the trouble of putting up a decent-looking hoax page, at least go the extra mile and run it through the spelling and grammar check.  

Among the many errors:

• The proper nouns Donovan ("Donavon"), McNabb ("Mcnabb") and San Francisco ("San Fransisco") are spelled incorrectly in the headline.

• Datelines are normally written in all caps. This one isn't. On the bright side, at least Philadelphia is spelled correctly.

• Some sentences have no spaces after the period.

• The writing wouldn't pass muster in a third grade classroom.

• Colloquial abbreviations are used throughout (ie, "reps", "San Frans (sic)").

• It says Michael Smith of "Espn" (sic) broke the story even though Jay Glazer totally would have been on it first. (Kidding.)

• The site's URL didn't lead to ESPN.com.

• Eagles coach Andy Reid has said Donovan McNabb isn't going anywhere. Since when has an NFL coach ever been untruthful about personnel moves?

That P.T. Barnum quote about fooling some of the people all the time becomes more prophetic every day.

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