Sunday, April 4, 2010

So What Do I Do With My McNabb Jersey?

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Well, that happened. When the Eagles drafted Kevin Kolb out of the University of Houston in 2007, the writing was on the wall for Donovan McNabb. The only way he was going to stay in Philadelphia was to win a SuperBowl. That was three years ago - and the in those three years, the Eagles didn't get it done. Although McNabb tossed 64 tds, threw for nearly 12,000 yards and only had 28 picks over that period of time, it wasn't enough.

Determined to trade him this year and usher in the Kolb era, the Eagles dealt McNabb to the division rival Washington Redskins. If Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports is accurate, it was McNabb who forced his way into Washington by refusing to go anywhere else. Whether that's 100 percent accurate or not, it doesn't change the fact that he's gone and Michael Wilbon thinks he's a perfect fit in Washington. I do too - which sucks since the Eagles play the Redskins twice a year.

As a lifelong fan of both the Eagles and Syracuse, this hurts. It was clear the Eagles were shopping McNabb, so it's not a surprise, but its not fun either. No one knows if Kevin Kolb will be any good. He had two starts last year and put up big numbers against bad pass defenses. He played at Houston - he's never stood on the biggest stage under the brightest lights and performed. That doesn't mean he can't, it just means we don't know. Now, because the guy he's replacing is just down the road, the glare will be more intense than anyone could have imagined.

It's clear Andy Reid thinks Kolb gives them the best chance to win going forward. If he's right, the Eagles will have that elusive SuperBowl title, because that's the only thing McNabb hasn't delivered. If he's wrong, he'll be unemployed - or he should be. There's a lot riding on this for everyone.

For McNabb, he's going to play for a coach in Mike Shanahan with who has a history of taking an aging, mobile quarterback with a history of almost winning the big one and getting it done. John Elway was 34 when Shanahan showed up, a year older than McNabb, and Elway ended up retiring with two SuperBowl rings. Now before you jump down my throat comparing the two, McNabb has better career stats at this point in his career compared to Elway, and neither had won a Superbowl.

Is McNabb a perfect player? Of course not - but he's been very, very good for a long time. Never surrounded by top flight receivers and playing for a coach who steadfastly refused to establish the run and constantly mismanaged the clock, the Eagles with McNabb at the helm were never quite able to get over the hump.

For a certain segment of Philly fans, McNabb could never do enough. Those people are morons. Here's what McNabb did - he played the game hard, he played the game with integrity and class, he had fun on the field and didn't throw his teammates under the bus. Constantly criticized, he didn't take the bait and get into fights in the media and always represented his team with dignity and class. In short, he's a solid citizen who just so happens to be a Pro Bowl quarterback.

When I became an Eagle fan, Ron Jaworski was the quarterback. He was easily my favorite Eagle ever - until they drafted McNabb. I was sad when Jaws got phased out for Randall Cunningham and I'm sadder now that McNabb has been replaced by Kevin Kolb. I'll always be an Eagles fan -- as Jerry Seinfeld said we're all just rooting for laundry anyway -- but I'll certainly miss having number 5 at the controls. Farewell Donovan - I'd wish you luck but I detest the Redskins and that team just got a lot better tonight.

For those that wanted him gone - cue the Cinderella:


1 comment:

Champ said...

Great Cinderella reference.