March 30, 2010
I don't want to be the guy who brings up old stuff to needle Philly sports fans, but I feel like it's relevant here, and important, too, because a great injustice could be about to happen. The Eagles might trade Donovan McNabb to the Oakland Raiders.
• Was drafted, then booed vociferously before he ever took a snap; before Paul Tagliabue could even finish the sentence, actually.
• Has played exclusively for a head coach who steadfastly refused to even consider establishing a running game.
• Was rarely given anything other than bargain-basement targets at receiver. The one time he was, it was Terrell Owens(notes), who promptly tried to shove McNabb's reputation into a woodchipper. Now that he has decent receivers again, they're likely to get rid of him.
• Despite producing elite numbers, McNabb was quickly blamed by many fans and sports pundits for anything that went wrong with the Eagles. The fact that the organization never won a Super Bowl seemed to always be his fault.
Now, I'll grant you, I'm focusing on the negative here, and McNabb hasn't been perfect himself. But I don't know if there's ever been another quarterback in NFL history who has produced as much as McNabb, while taking as much abuse. If you can name one quarterback as good as McNabb, who's been given as much grief, I owe you a lollipop.
The reason we're going back over all of that is that the Eagles are about to trump all of that. Even if you contend that they've never wronged him before, you can't say this wouldn't be a colossal kick to McNabb's sweetbreads: They're thinking of trading him to the Raiders.
We just can't let that happen. The man has suffered enough. They want to trade Donovan McNabb to the Raiders? While you're at it, why not bring Sully Sullenberger in to do a coin flip, and then hold his head down in a bathtub full of Hudson River water for a half hour? Maybe invite a kid from the Make-a-Wish foundation to a game, then pelt him in the face with a snowball and send him home with a dirty Todd Pinkston(notes) jersey? Perhaps you could have Will Smith(notes) in to sing a national anthem, then make him watch as you waterboard DJ Jazzy Jeff.
None of those people deserve those things, and Donovan McNabb does not deserve to be cast aside into Raiderdom. For better or worse, he's played his heart out for Philadelphia, under often-difficult circumstances, and he's been pretty damn good. He's not been dealt the greatest of hands, and the least they owe him, if they insist on kicking him to the curb, is to send him somewhere that isn't where good football players go to die.
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