November 08, 2011
ESPN introduced a literal dream team on Monday night when 12 Philadelphia Eagles starters were shown in the opening-game graphic instead of the required 11.
The graphic first showed four defensive linemen and three linebackers, as usual. The final graphic, which should have introduced the two safeties and two cornerbacks, instead featured two safeties and three cornerbacks. You don't need to score high on the Wonderlic to know that 4+3+5=11.
This wasn't a mistake, per se; ESPN wanted to include the Eagles "dream" secondary of Nnamdi Asomugha(notes), Asante Samuel(notes) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie(notes) in the graphic but also had to include two safeties, even though those players, and the seven introduced before them, can't be on the field at the same time. Vanity won out over accuracy. Would anyone have noticed if Samuel or Rodgers-Cromartie was out of the graphic? To answer that, you'd have to presuppose that people pay attention to the introductions in the first place.
But why were they included? Is it like a union thing? Or has Samuel reached such rarified status that he needs -- nay, deserves -- top billing for a cameo role? Did his agent get that for him?
The Eagles could have used 12 men on defense Monday night. Maybe then, Philly's D would have been able to stop Jay Cutler(notes), Matt Forte(notes) and the rest of the Bears, who went into Philadelphia and came out with a 30-24 upset victory.
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