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When it comes to the NFL, relying on conventional wisdom is usually unwise

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By Norman Chad
Sunday, September 5, 2010; 11:45 PM

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.

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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 yet.

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 news 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.


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