Only a comma between B. Edwards and the Bears


Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why people were flooding my mailbag last week about an ESPN report that Cleveland had traded receiver Braylon Edwards to Chicago.

Kale of Iona, Mich., thanked me for "the heart attack" and said at least some Bears fans had been scrambling for further confirmation. I had no idea what he was talking about. There have been reports of Cleveland sending Edwards to the New York Giants, but nothing that even suggested the Bears could be in on the bidding.

Finally, I asked Kale to fill me in. What followed was a classic and ultimately humorous exchange about the key role of punctuation in the English language. According to Kale, the headline below started the whole thing. I'm not sure exactly where he saw it, but he -- and others, as you'll see -- say they saw it on ESPN.com.

The headline:

Enough of Jay Cutler? Nah. Here are answers to your questions on the new Bear, Braylon Edwards, more."

As Kale later realized, the sentence isn't referring to Edwards as a new Bear. It's providing a list of things you can read about if you click on the headline:

  1. Cutler, the new Bear

  2. Braylon Edwards

  3. More

The comma made all the difference. Without the comma, the sentence reads:

Enough of Jay Cutler? Nah. Here are answers to your questions on the new Bear Braylon Edwards and more.

Had the latter been the case, we would have really had something to talk about.

I'll leave the investigating to you, but let's just say more than one person initially misread the headline. Do a Google search and find out for yourself. It became quite the 15-minute Internet sensation.

OK, go on about your regularly scheduled activities.