McNabb’s Pain

I wrote yesterday about a very tough decision on RB Shaun Alexander, and I have an equally-tough player to talk about today: Donovan McNabb.

I found it interesting to see him break his media silence this week and being interviewed on NFL Network courtesy of Comcast Sportsnet in Philadelphia. I work for Comcast Sportsnet in Philly and I have had discussions with people there who are close to McNabb and the feeling that I always got was that Donovan STILL doesn’t forgive the fans who booed him when he was drafted over Ricky Williams in 1999. I even heard that the one dude with the face paint that they always show in the clip on TV even tried to reach out to McNabb to apologize – and that McNabb blew him off.

On one hand, I really can’t blame McNabb for harboring ill feelings because the fans were obviously stupid to boo the pick. I felt that way back then, and I certainly do now. Philly fans are notorious for a lot of things, but one thing people might not realize outside the area is that they are extremely uninformed when it comes to the rest of the league (other than the wise Philly area people who play fantasy, of course). I do get accused from time-to-time for being a Philly homer, but the reality is that the Eagles are not “my team” and I generally dislike Eagle fans. Any “normal” Eagle fans out there that lives in general Philadelphia area (as I do) knows exactly what I mean, and probably feels the same way. I do, however, greatly respect their organization and I love a lot of their players. 

On the other hand, back to McNabb, I can see to an extent why Eagle fans have been hard on him at times and how they fell in love with Jeff Garcia of all people last year. I’ve never spent a lot of time with McNabb, but I have met him briefly, and based on that encounter and what I’ve witnessed of him on and off the field, he comes across as a little aloof. That may not be the best word choice because he is friendly; he just seems detached. I think he goes about his business in Philadelphia in a professional and very business-like manner, but I don’t think he’s ever fully embraced the city of Philadelphia, and you have to do that in Philly because if you don’t, the fans won’t embrace you. 

Of course, there’s also the fact that his Eagles have yet to win a Super Bowl despite having several chances. Let’s face it: football is the ultimate team sport, but when the Pats win the big game, it’s all about how Tom Brady did it more than anything else. Speaking of Brady’s Pats, it’s still hard to get past how McNabb seemingly ran out of gas late in that Super Bowl game, when they needed him most. 

I’m trying not to be unfair to McNabb, and I do like and respect him, but there’s something up with this guy over and above his injury issues. I think Eagle fans – very astute when it comes to their own team – have sensed it from Day One. This all said, I do read more into the drafting of Kevin Kolb then perhaps others do. I think the Eagles are tired of relying too much on McNabb as both their QB of the present and the future, and they at least want to develop another future. If that future (Kolb) comes along quickly and starting excelling in practice, it’s going to be very interesting to see how McNabb reacts because the media and fan furor over Kolb will grow quickly and largely. If the fans were calling for the 37-year old scrapheap pickup Garcia to start, and they were, then they will be all over Kolb, their top pick in the 2007 draft and still well in his 20s. 

Again, I don’t mean to be unfair, and we have never seen McNabb in anything close to a QB controversy, so we don’t know how he’ll respond. But if there is one down the road, I’d have to guess, based on what I’ve observed, that McNabb will react more like the guy who seemingly ran out of gas late in the 4th quarter of that Super Bowl than anything else. 

Category: Fantasy Football

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One Response

  1. PackFan says:

    I’m not really an Eagles fan as such, but over the years I’ve always thought Donovan McNabb was a pretty darn good quarterback – a guy who not only had a strong arm, but was enough of a bull that he was difficult to bring down in the pocket, and elusive enough that you always had to fear him beating you by pulling the ball down and running with it.

    With that said – what’s wrong with a little competition? Isn’t that supposed to be a good thing? Isn’t that what coaches strive for going into training camp – good competition at every position? Shouldn’t that bring out the best in a player? If McNabb is looking over his shoulder at a 2nd round draft pick … that to me would be a little suprising. I would think that would bring out the competitive juices – and maybe make him the fantasy suprise of the year.

    OK … so he was booed on draft day. Big deal … that seems to happen from time to time in competitive athletics doesn’t it? So what? I think we all might enjoy a few of the pay checks these guys pull in. This organization has dropped millions in his bank account, that to me seems like more than adequate compensation for being booed by a few Eagle diehards who at the time probably knew a little more about Ricky Williams than the did Donovan McNabb. Good grief – just lace ‘em up and go out and win some big games … maybe Eagle fans can be a little rude, but so what … they’re just like everybody else … they’re thirsting for a winner.

    I know Rush Limbaugh said a couple of silly things about him on the air … but one way or the other he got whacked from the show, and deservedly so. The thing that suprised me the most was that Tom Jackson and Boomer just sat there and didn’t say anything … I guess I was waiting for a Steven A. Smith kind of response from those two and it never happened.

    If Donovan wants to get a little cranky over something … maybe he should be hounding management about beefing up the receiving corp. OK – they tried short term with T.O. – but when I think Philadelphia Eagles, I don’t think receivers, just like when I think Kansas City Chiefs – I might think tight end – but I don’t think receivers. Just get the man a kick-ass wideout or two.

    With that said, to this day I really don’t understand the last 5 minutes of the 4th quarter of that Super Bowl game when the Eagles needed two scores, but seemed to take forever in the huddle between plays. I have never read an account of that anywhere … the only mention of it I can evey remember hearing is Owens saying McNabb was sick. I’d love to turn on the NFL Network someday and see a reporter (or perhaps you John!) sitting down with Andy Reid – replaying the tail end of that game on the teleprompter, and simply hashing out what the heck happened. To me, the ending of that Super Bowl remains a real mystery. Maybe someday somebody with inside knowledge will write a book.

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