Why real life sports reporting is like my fantasy football team

This past week the Cleveland Browns traded Braylon Edwards to the Jets. Edwards was formerly the 3rd pick overall in the NFL draft and was a Pro Bowl selection is 2007. It seems some experts in sports reporting let that fact cloud their analysis of the trade.

Bob Hunter, a sports columnist for The Columbus Dispatch wrote in his Friday column:

Many of the Browns were concerned about how trading a potential game-breaking receiver, who was a former No. 3 overall draft pick, for a so-so receiver, a special-teams player and two draft picks, believed to be third- and fifth-rounders, makes a bad team better.

Bob Hunter commentary: Rumblings 

Those of us who follow the team on a regular basis know why he was traded and this fan is glad they did something with Edwards. In 2008, he had the league top spot in dropped passes at 16. It was excruciating watching time after time Edwards drop a pass. This season he seemed to be improving but he still lacked the supposed game-breaking potential and he then got into trouble at a nightclub at 2:30 in the morning the day after the team lost their last game.

I’m glad Edwards had time to party after the loss…. 

It reminded me of a long bus trip home when I was on our high school football team as a senior. We had just lost the game but from the laughs and high jinks by the lads on the bus that night you wouldn’t think we did. One of the coaches had enough he stood up and yelled “You just lost a game! Act like it…”

So how is the Edwards situation and Hunter’s reaction to it like my fantasy football team?

Well I have a habit of drafting big names from the previous season who then do squat this season and then I can’t bring myself to dump them because “they scored 10 TDs in 2008!” as if their lack of stats this season will turn around. I can’t waste time on dead weight. Its “what have you done lately” that most coaches operate on and Edwards had his chance through the preseason and 4 games to show he could do better. He didn’t and the team decided to get what they could for him on the market.

Such tunnel vision can effect even TV people paid to watch the games.

During one Browns game one of the CBS commentators complained when Brady Quinn was pulled from the game – “he’s 6 of 8 for 34 yards!” seeming to forget that 6 of 8 for 34 yards before half time is almost the same as being 0 for 8 for a quarterback. Those stats aren’t going to win the game and the coaches were right to pull Quinn from the game. The team still lost the game but Derrick Anderson seemed to spark the team a little bit more than before.

Sometimes, changing teams is better for the player. If Edwards returns to his game-breaking potential we saw in 2007 while on the Jets then good for him, but I still wouldn’t feel bad for the Browns because he wasn’t the same player he was in 2007 and it didn’t look like that Edwards was going to show up this season either.