Everything is worth something.
I don't mean financially -- be it the price of iPads based on what it costs to make them or Warren Buffett's net worth or the hourly price for surfing the web in an airport hot spot.
I'm referring to value that is determined by intangibles, prices that are driven by softer, more wishy-washy concepts such as perception and opinion. These are elements that have no intrinsic numerical value but, when taken together, create a measurement for something which previously had no value. Like tulips or widgets. Or, in my very limited scope of thought, Carson Palmer.
You may have noticed that the line for the Raiders-Chiefs game has shot up from Oakland minus-3.5 to Oakland minus-6 since Palmer's trade to Oakland early this week and the subsequent speculation he may start. There's no grounded statistical reason for which Palmer should move a number two and a half points. He has not played yet this season. He has a balky elbow, and a history of making bad decisions.
If you ever wondered why, over the years, he's insisted on trying to squeeze the ball into spaces the size of DVD drives then let this standoff with the Bengals be a lesson into his psyche: The man is apparently as stubborn as he is confident. Where others see no opportunity -- Chad Ochocinco triple-covered in the back of the end zone or doing business with Mike Brown -- Palmer sees the tiniest rays of light and is compelled to act. That streak of will is, of course, how you win Heisman Trophies and nearly turn around a moribund franchise and, as Palmer once told my pal David Fleming, how he's been able to ask his receivers which nipple they'd like the ball thrown to.