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Saturday, February 3, 2007

Why McNabb Gets No Love in Philly

I heard more than one commentator rush to Donovan McNabb’s defense this week with an exacerbated, “Why do fans even care?” in reference to McNabb’s comments at his Chunky’s Soup press conference. McNabb once again tried to act like he was setting the world straight on a number of issues, when in fact he was saying very little. In fact, except for constantly illustrating an inability to use the phrase “so-called” properly, he really didn’t do anything new with his answers. Instead, he reinforced his image of a guy who wants to be catered to and is simply too fragile to be the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The most newsworthy thing he said was after the press conference when he went on ESPN radio. McNabb once again denied puking in the Super Bowl two years ago, and managed to blame Terrell Owens for the lack of a hurry-up offense when the Eagles needed two scores at the end of Super Bowl XXXIX.

The reason I care about stuff like this is that he’s the quarterback, and therefore de facto leader, of my favorite football team. The reason I care is because he comes off as anything but a leader, instead mirroring the goody-two-shoes kid in the playground who takes shots at the bully then cries to the teacher when he gets a love-tap in return.

Am I the only one that remembers a grainy video of McNabb on his knees facing away from the huddle lifting his helmet to yak? Regardless, four teammates said the man barfed. Are we supposed to believe they all lied, and McNabb’s the honest one?

Why do we care? Because if he had any spine at all, he’d admit he had to barf. Hey, it happens. It likely would’ve been a dead issue soon thereafter. But no, that doesn’t fit the image McNabb seems a hell of a lot more concerned about than winning.

Why do we care? Because no matter how much we may hate T.O., he was the best player on the field in Eagle green that day, and McNabb blames him for the loss. This is simply not the act of a leader. We care because T.O. is still the best receiver this team’s had in decades, if not ever, and he’s gone because of the pettiest of feuds with McNabb. T.O.’s fault? Yep. Should McNabb have done whatever it took to keep him? Yep.

If McNabb cared more about winning than his image, maybe he would’ve used his forum to pressure the team to re-sign Donte' Stallworth, his only receiving threat. Instead, McNabb made up some story that he helped decide to cancel the previous press conference and took time to defend his mommy’s blog.

We care because we seem to care more about winning than our quarterback.

Week in Review:
· The week started with Daily News Live deciding not to discuss Andy Reid’s sons being involved in traffic incidents, and ended with it as one of the main topics on the show. The news did get worse, but it hasn’t become a sports issue. Speculation by the media that Reid may skip the season doesn’t make it sports related.
· The Boston Celtics have gone on a historic losing streak to get into the race for Greg Oden. If anyone thinks this is a coincidence, they’re nuts. Red Auerbach probably ordered it from the grave. It’s time Andre Iguodala and Andre Miller developed high ankle sprains.
· Chris Webber is suddenly a productive basketball player again as a Detroit Piston, and we get stories about how he’s happy to be an ex-Sixer. That’s a disgrace. He’s a bum who cried about wanting to be on a winner, instead of helping to create a winner.
· The Phillies continue to have what seems to be the best off-season of any Philly team in years, signing Brett Myers to a multi-year deal. Opening Day is 57 days away after today.
· Let me get this straight: Wing Bowl was created by Al Morganti and WIP to fill the constant void of interest in the Super Bowl in Philadelphia, and in this year’s Philly vs. the World format . . . we lost. In fact, the top Philly guy was fourth. Great idea.
· In ripping Philly fans this week, Frank Fitzpatrick wrote: “All it takes here is one extra-inning loss early in the season and fans start abandoning the bandwagon the way the music-drunk rats fled Bremen. Those same people complained for years about the Phillies' lack of talent, then drove one of the franchise's greats, Bobby Abreu, out of town because they didn't like his demeanor.” Umm, Frank? Not to interrupt your midday nap, but the Phillies all but admitted that removing Abreu from the clubhouse helped spark their second half run. So, if you’re giving credit for moving Abreu to fans, you might want to leave it out when criticizing us.

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