For those who have been following the freakout in the comments section over at Stampedeblue over the report that Manning had a second procedure, I have one really big question:
Why would Michael Lombardi, who works for Sports Illustrated (he wrote for them as recently as a week ago), post this story on a nothing football blog?
Does that strike anyone else as more than a little bizarre? Maybe it happened and maybe it didn't, but don't you think he'd want to break that particular story on as big a stage as possible? The more you think about it, the less sense it makes. He has sources? Who? Who would know what really happened? It seems like the Colts are the only who know for sure, and why would they leak this information? It seems weird to me. Beyond that, nothing he says changes the fact the Manning is up and doing walk-throughs. If he plays week 1, and all signs still point to that, then what does this report even mean? The timing of it is really odd. It would have had more impact two weeks ago than it does now.
There are two big opinions that I think are unsupported. One is the Colts 'bad history' of injury reporting. Does that refer to the nagging nature of the Harrison injury last year? Does it refer to them cautious about Sanders in 06? Everyone seems to take it for granted that the Colts mislead us about those injuries, but I never remember them saying anything that wasn't accurate. Can someone remind me EXACTLY what was said that was untrue. Maybe I just forgot, but it seems the public read into what was said more than they should have.
Secondly, there is an accusation that: They are also just flat out BAD at rehabbing their players and getting them ready to play. They screwed it up for Bob Sanders in 2006, Marvin Harrison in 2007, and now maybe Peyton Manning in 2008.
I'm sorry, but that is an utterly ignorant thing to say. NONE of us have any idea at all how severe those injuries were. Unless you were a physician who treated those players and know the extent of the injury, there is simply no possible way to know if the staff did a bad or good job in rehabbing those players. They screwed it up with Bob Sanders? HOW? The Colts had a playoff spot locked up early. The Zombie showed up for NE, played like a beast, and was sitting most of the rest of the year. How was that the training staff's fault? How was it their fault that Harrison's knee didn't heal? The rumors last fall were that it was blown all to hell and that he would never play again. Sure seems like they did a good job now, didn't they? We have no idea if the staff is good or bad. To say otherwise is irresponsible.
As fans we can't take these rumors seriously. EVEN when they contain some truth, they are still filtered through at least two people before they get to us. We are all interpreting the interpretation of someone who was told something by a person who may or may not have any actual first hand information. Lombardi says he has the story "100% right". He can't say that. He has his SOURCES story 100% right but unless he's getting info from Manning, Dungy, Polian or doctor, he can't be so sure. That's what effed up John Tomasse on the Spygate mess. Unless a source is first hand, a reporter can only be sure of what the source said, not of the actual truth.
Lombardi isn't a journalist. He is an ex-NFL exec. He may have some nice sources, but that doesn't mean he has the truth.
Just ask yourself, why didn't SI publish this story?
UPDATE: A closer look at the National Football Post might reveal the answer to my question. It's a brand new site. The seem to have begun operations this month and clearly are hoping to break a 'big' story to get some national attention. This might explain why this story is conspicuously absent from Profootballtalk.com. They are trying to upend Floria's hack site. This whole story smacks of an internet pissing contest. If you think about it, this story is sort of perfect. If Manning misses any time at all, it seems like it's true. If he doesn't, all the story says is that there WAS trouble with swelling. It doesn't specify what procedure was done on Manning (perhaps they just drained fluid from his knee, the piece is vague). In fact, the only real assertion made in the piece was:
All I know is that there is MUCH more here than meets the eye.
It's a nice job of appearing to say a lot, but not really saying anything. The piece says that he might have a problem with swelling if he gets hit on the knee. Well, duh. It doesn't say he'll miss more time. It's a scare piece meant to draw traffic to their new site. Note they wrote two other articles about the SAME piece, one with 'fantasy football' implications, and the other a 'gotcha' type editorial.
What a sham.
Links: Prisco talks about the Zombie.