Wednesday, November 20, 2013

We Will Never Stop Arguing About Donovan McNabb

Never, Ever, Ever
So in the wake of Incognito Gate, ex-Eagles OLer Shawn Andrews has decided to come out from the shadows and throw ex-QB Donovan McNabb under the bus as the same kind of Bad Teammate. And I'm fool enough to think about it, especially during a bye week.

Now, Andrews gets to do this, of course: it's a free country, and if he's telling the truth and trying to get us all to a point where NFL locker rooms stop seeming like self-aware episodes of "Oz", well, good. Life is too short for any occupation to shelter sociopaths, let alone create more by glorifying them. And since there's no videotape involved, and that nothing was reported until both men were well and truly done, there's all kinds of Unreliable Narrator action going on here. For all we know, McNabb is a troll, Andrews is suffering from some early onset trauma that's inspiring faulty memories, or, well, both or neither. Heresay is not necessarily true or false.

But the bigger and more obvious point is this: from the moment he was drafted by the franchise to even today, you can whip up a startling amount of foofaraw in Eagle Nation by saying something good or bad about Five. And there's one part about this that is, well, making me call bullsquat. To wit...

Ron Jaworski has the same Super Bowl record as McNabb in the laundry: 0-1. He also played a lot worse than McNabb in his game, and wasn't nearly as good of a player, and if you are looking for pure That Guy Irritates Me On Camera, Jaws spent years proving that MNF can be awful in new ways. I've never heard anyone throw the guy under the bus, despite the fact that he's had local business failures and, well, Did Not Win The Big One.

Randall Cunningham never won a playoff game in the laundry, and yet, you will still have people get wistful at the name. He also was a head case late in his career, only got really good after leaving, and has the same presumably divisive African-American aspect to his game that McNabb does. But since he was part of an era that many fans regard as More Fun (in that defense that hurts people is more fun than offense that just wins more games, at least to some), you don't really hear anyone burying McNabb, either. Hell, every time a QB shrugs off a hit and completes a TD, people in town cite Cunningham v. Carl Banks, assuming, of course, that they are old enough to remember it.

But McNabb? You can still find the occasional person that thinks Terrell Owens Wuz Right, or that McNabb Ruined Andy Reid, or wants to bring up Tie Gate or Puking At The Super Bowl or Losing NFC Championship Games or Low And Incomplete and yada yada yada. The guy is, by leaps and bounds, the best to play the position for the laundry in the past 50 years (Norm Van Brocklin, after all, has a ring), and if you listen to the haters, he's basically the same as Rodney Peete.

And it does no good to point out to even the most Green McNabb Hater that what they are doing here is playing into the worst stereotypes of Negadelphia Fandom, or that this helps to perpetuate the idea that the fanbase is all rayyyyycist and terrible, and that you don't see other fan bases treating their tragic figures this way. They have to keep calling the, um, spade a spade, no matter how long it's been since any of this matters, or how the history that's being re-written here is only of local interest.

These latest allegations, of course, just add more fuel to a fire that will never, ever go out... and if my laundry somehow lucks into a SB trophy (hell, Eli Manning has two and Trent Dilfer has one; anything can happen), there will be an immediate rush to cite whoever took the snaps as Better Than McNabb. There's no helping it any more; it is what it is, and always will be.

Play me out...

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