I can't decide whether this is more of an indictment of Tony Pike and Armanti Edwards or an endorsement of a player I'd never heard of until last week, but John Fox's decision to start Brian St. Pierre Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens strikes me as a little ridiculous. (Jimmy Clausen is out with a concussion).
All sorts of theories abound on this one. Let's run through several, and I'll assign my own highly sujective "truthiness factor" to each:
1) "We're throwing BSP to the wolves" theory -- This one goes like this... The Ravens are going to probably injure whomever is in the starting lineup, so why not make St. Pierre the sacrificial lamb? Truthiness factor: 10 percent.
2) "John Fox can't stand Tony Pike" theory -- How can a guy who has been in training camp and in all those QB meetings and at least knows the playbook -- even if he is a rookie sixth-round draft pick -- not be ahead of a guy who was changing his son's diaper when he got the call from his agent last week? Truthiness factor: 70 percent.
3) "Panthers are playing for a high draft choice" theory: The best thing for Carolina at this point is to lose, and this guarantees it. Sorry, I don't buy it. John Fox isn't going to be here for this draft choice. doesn't care where it is. Truthiness factor: 0 percent.
4) "Take that, personnel department" theory: It's a well-known fact that Fox and his personnel department haven't seen eye-to-eye for much of this season. He doesn't like rookie quarterbacks. In fact, he says here, he's so tired of starting them when they're not ready that he's going to skip Pike (and Armanti) entirely and start someone who just got here. Take that, personnel department. Truthiness factor: 60 percent.
In reality, this is a combination of a few things, but in Fox's mind it undoubtedly boils down to his catchall slogan: "It gives us the best chance to win."
And who knows? Maybe it does? Pike hasn't exactly lit it up in limited action. Maybe starting BSP gives the Panthers a 10 percent chance of winning Sunday rather than a 7 percent chance. Either way, Panthers are going to lose Sunday.
For St. Pierre isn't Vinny Testaverde, as he would freely admit. And this, to me, seems pretty crazy.