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Nonsense, 24/7

OK, OK. I'll admit you can take former Giants receiver Amani Toomer to task for saying Tony Romo's a better quarterback than Eli "Two Rings" Manning, even though Toomer was only pointing out that Romo does, in fact, have the better numbers.

But I'm driving into work this afternoon, and I've got ESPN on, and here were two of its yapping poodles -- Linda Cohn and John Clayton, specifically -- taking Toomer to task for something he demonstrably did not say: That quarterbacks aren't that important in the NFL.

And here again was another example of 24/7 lunacy, in which truth is weighed against the need to fill air time and comes up wanting.

What Toomer actually said, see -- and they played the clip -- was that as crucial an element as the QB is these days, he's only one of 22 players who have an impact on the outcome of every game. This was absolutely correct, and pretty much a "Well, duh" statement of fact.

That's not how Cohn and Clayton spun it, though. They played it as though Toomer was somehow diminishing the role of the QB in the modern NFL, something that anyone who even half-listened to the clip knows he demonstrably was not doing. But controversy is as controversy does, and they've got all that time to fill, so off the two of them went.

That they were twisting Toomer's actual words out of all recognizable shape seemed to matter to them not at all. It made me want to call in and ask Clayton how many tackles Eli Manning made last year. And when he answered, "None, of course," my reply would have been "Exactly."

There are two sides to the football in any game, in other words, and you can't win consistently if you don't play both of them. Which is exactly what Toomer was getting at.

Another "Well, duh" moment.

Ben Smith's blog.