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HOW TO READ THE NFL INJURY REPORT?

"Doubtful, Questionable, Probable... Hypothetical... Theoretical"

It was a lazy Sunday morning, I was lying around the house, procrastinating about painting the deck and my eleven-year-old son walks into the study with the sports section.

"Hey Ian, what's up, I asked?"

"I'm learning about the Lions, dad."

"That's great son, but don't study too hard---There isn't much to know, other than they're a really bad team."

"Well, I studied the terminology... what a free safety does, what's the red zone and I know the difference between the weak side and the strong side!"

"That's great! You'll be all set when we go to the Lions game on Thanksgiving Day."

"Dad, I was reading the injury report, but I don't understand it, can you explain it to me?

"What don't you understand, Ian?"

"What does: out, doubtful, questionable and probable mean?"

"Out means, the player is out for the game and will not play. Probable means, the player is most likely to play."

"Dad, what about doubtful and questionable, what do they mean?"

"Doubtful? Questionable? It's like theoretical and hypothetical."

"Theoretical...? Hypo what...? What do they mean?"

"Doubtful is akin to hypothetical and questionable is similar to theoretical."

"Dad, I'm still confused! What's the difference between hypothetical and theoretical?"

"Hmm, that's a tough question. How do I put it?  Ian, I need some time to think about it... Why don't you go and ask your sister if she would sleep with the next door neighbor for $50,000."

"Yeah dad, she said she would do it, but what's the difference between hypothetical and theoretical?"

"Uh, uh... I stammered. Why don't you ask your mother if she sleep with the next door neighbor for $50,000?" That will buy me some time, I thought.

"Yeah dad, mom said she would sleep with the next door neighbor for $50,000, but I still don't understand, what's the difference between doubtful / hypothetical and questionable / theoretical?"

"Ian, hypothetically we have $100,000. Theoretically we have two hookers living in the house!"

Copyright 2008 Steve Kay

 
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