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Donovan McNabb's GQ Interview tells us what we already knew about him and the National Media


water cooler               logoDonovan McNabb has been many things in Philadelphia. He's statistically the best quarterback in Eagles franchise history. He's also their winningest quarterback with 73 regular season wins.

He means so much to the Philadelphia Eagles that they still haven't removed his player bio from their website. His page is known as "player60." Check it out at http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/team/player60.html for all of his grand accomplishments, except the obvious one.

Once again Donovan McNabb is in the news for his comments regarding a certain team beginning with the letter "E" and ending with the letter "S."

McNabb recently gave an interview to GQ Magazine and discussed everything from being hung out to dry by the Eagles organization, to his abuse at the hands of Terrell Owens, to not puking in the Super Bowl.   

"No one in the organization ever stepped up and said anything,"  said McNabb in regards to him being a lightning rod for criticism since the day he was drafted by the Eagles.

As far as the sit-down with Joe Banner and Andy Reid in February 2009, McNabb goes on to say this:   

"They'll say something to you in the building, but not publicly. My feeling was, 'I'm out here getting cut up, where are you? I'm always defending and helping you guys, but where's that support?"

Stephen Rodrick, the writer of this GQ interview, should have shown a photo of himself wearing a McNabb Redskins jersey considering how much of a cheerleader he came off as. Let's analyze this brilliant quote by Rodrick.

"Let's go back to the beginning. Look at it from McNabb's POV. It is 1999. You are 22 and a stud quarterback out of Syracuse. The Eagles are primed to pick you #2. But Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell thinks his team should take Ricky Williams instead. He–the f*****g mayor!–organizes a protest call-in that brings down the Eagles communications system. The Eagles draft you anyway. You walk across the New York stage. Your new fans boo and curse you. "

Mayor Rendell probably went a little bit overboard with his support of Ricky Williams, but to say he "brought down the Eagles communications system" is a little bit over the top don't you think? This "protest" was actually organized by 610 WIP's Angelo Cataldi and the "Dirty 30" who went up to New York City on the day of the draft to boo the selection of McNabb.

This "so-called" writer for GQ then goes on to rip Philadelphia by stating:

"In Philadelphia, the two-eyed man is king because everyone else is bat-s**t crazy. Philly sports legends include a man who war danced over an unconscious Frank Gifford (Chuck Bednarik), a chaw-choking outfielder/accused fraudster (Lenny Dykstra), and a practice-averse point guard who urinated into a trash can at an Atlantic City casino (Allen Iverson). McNabb's major malfunction was his sanity. There were no arrests, just Campbell's Chunky Soup commercials with his mom.

It's already pretty clear that Rodrick is a tad biased against Philadelphia sports fans...just a tad. He dismisses one of the greatest players in NFL history in Chick Bednarik as merely someone "who war danced over an unconscious Frank Gifford." Let's also forget that Mike Schmidt, Dr. J, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, Wilt Chamberlain, Reggie White, Bobby Clarke, and Bernie Parent are not just Philadelphia sports legends but considered some of the greatest in their respective sports.

Furthermore, Rodrick follows with this:

"Now McNabb tries to win a Super Bowl with a new team and an equally rabid–if more Brie eating–fan base. Oh yeah, one other thing. McNabb left Philly with every major team passing record. He befriended Ed Rendell, the mayor who denounced him. (More on that later). His career numbers are comparable to Hall of Famers Troy Aikman and Terry Bradshaw. His first game against the Eagles is on October 3. McNabb claims it's another game on the schedule"

Let's just dismiss the fact that McNabb had not one, not two, not three, not four, but five chances to win a Super Bowl in Philadelphia. He was 1-4 in NFC Championship games and 0-1 in the Super Bowl. The bottom line is he didn't get it done, but the writer for GQ fails to acknowledge this.

Now, onto the "interview."

McNabb stated that he was "never pissed off" about being booed on draft day he let bygones be bygones with Rendell. I have to give McNabb credit here because he has a reputation for always bringing up the draft. However, the fact is that he's constantly asked about it. What is he going to do-not answer the question? McNabb addressed the booing by agreeing with the reporter that the perception he was "pissed off about the booing" is wrong.

"Yeah, absolutely. What people try to do is get something out of you by continuously bringing it up. "He was booed at the draft." We all know Philly fans can be a little difficult, but there's a higher percentage of fans who truly love the Eagles and appreciate the things that you present to them"

Moving along, he was "happy" that the Eagles traded him within the division.

" I was more happy that it was over. Every year for the last three or four years, it was the same drama, me and Brett Favre, going back and forth, "Is Brett going to play, is he not, are the Eagles going to trade Donovan, is this it for Donovan McNabb?" Brett does what he wants to do, he's his own man. For me, I just believe in keeping everything to myself and continuing to stay focused on the goal at hand—to win a Super Bowl no matter what team I'm with"

Of course McNabb wouldn't assume blame for the loss in the Super Bowl, particularly taking so long to march the team down the field in the fourth quarter when they were down by two scores. He pinned that one on T.O.

"We were trying to figure out if T.O. was in or if T.O. was out, because of his leg. T.O. wanted to be in. We were trying to rotate different guys in and get the personnel together and things of that nature. The play calling was a little slow, maybe, but it made it look like we were just kind of standing around. We were hustling, it was just blown out of proportion"

And, when asked if he puked during the Super Bowl, McNabb denied that as well.
"at no point did I (he) throw up. I got hit and dumped on my face a couple of times…we lost Todd Pinkston…we all were gassed, and there were a couple of times in the game where I got hit either by [linebacker Teddy] Bruschi or by [defensive end Richard] Seymour" said McNabb.

Rodrick completely screwed up his fact-checking when he referred to McNabb's interception against Ronde Barber in his "first" NFC Championship game.
"Do you relive moments like that in your own career? You gave up an interception that Ronde Barber returned for a touchdown in your first NFC championship game that pretty much sealed the team's fate."

Rodrick probably should have consulted pro-football-reference.com on that one. As we all know, that was McNabb's second straight NFC Championship appearance - not his first. Moreover, the Eagles were prohibitive favorites in that game, their last game in Veteran's Stadium. This game is known by many Eagles fans as "The Debacle", which goes down as arguably the most devastating loss in Philadelphia sports history.
All in all, we didn't learn many new things about McNabb other than that he wanted out of Philadelphia and won't feel responsible for his failure to get it done. Furthermore, we also see once again how much Philadelphia is despised by many people in the national media who are completely clueless about our fanbase.
Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com