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Donovan McNabb talks Philadelphia in Phantasy Interviews


Philly 2 Philly Phantasy Interviews

…a Satiric Look Inside What may be in the Head

of Current and Past Philly Sports Personalities


Donovan McNabb. No, he doesn’t still play quarterback for the Eagles, but only two years removed from his 11-year tenure under center and under fire, Philly and McNabb have never truly forgotten about one another. Not always a good thing.Donovan McNabb photo: John Froschauer, Associated Press

McNabb is arguably the best and most successful quarterback in Eagles history, and I remain a fan.

But, there’s always a but or two associated with him. He is now on his second new team (the Minnesota Vikings) in as many years, and one wonders if he will enjoy any of his previous success, let alone win a Super Bowl.

Donovan called me earlier today from Minnesota, and we dished on quite a variety of topics.

Matt:  Good to talk to you, Donovan. So, how are you liking things with the Vikings?

Donovan: Minnesota is a wonderful place, and the guys have been working hard to get things in shape for the season opener. I’m having a wonderful time. Please send my warmest regards to all of my dear friends in the Philly media.

Matt:    Let me jump off there. Your relationship with the media here was cordial, but strained. Like Coach Andy Reid, you seemed to endure the local media sessions like they were proctologist’s appointments, but you were much more comfortable on the national stage talking to ESPN and the NFL Network. Any thoughts?

Donovan: The Philadelphia media does a wonderful job, and I’ve always respected that. Some might say that they are lazy, racist, cheapshot artists and unprofessional, but I would never do that.

Matt:  See, Donovan, some might say that your comments are disingenuous and passive-aggressive. Now granted, half the people who accuse you of those things can barely pronounce, let alone spell, those words. But, you had or have the tendency to take these thinly veiled shots without coming right out and saying what’s on your mind.

Donovan: Can you give me any examples?Donovan McNabb will return to Lincoln Financial Field Sunday.

Matt:  Just now, you took a little shot at the media. Not that they/we don’t deserve it, but why not just come right out and say it?

Donovan: If I said everything I was thinking, fans and the media would accuse me of being too ingenuous and too aggressive-aggressive. I’d be the angry black quarterback. Can we talk about the Vikings, please?

Matt:  Okay, the Vikings. You’re now in a division with the defending Super Bowl champion Packers, who figure to be healthier and stronger than last year. The Bears were NFC runner-ups last year and the Lions may be the most improved team in the NFL. Can you win in Minnesota?

Donovan: Why not. We have Adrian Peterson, the best running back in the league, an explosive talent in Percy Harvin, and once we get Jeremy Maclin healthy and DeSean Jackson signed, we should be dominant.

Matt:  Yo, Donovan. Maclin and Jackson are on the Eagles.

Donovan: Like I didn’t know that. We’re the Dream Team, baby.

Matt:    Yo, Donovan. You don’t play in Philly anymore.

Donovan: I was just kidding you all. But it figures that they’d build this super team once I left. Who did they surround me with? Thrash, Pinkston and Freddie MIchell? Na and Reggie Brown? Darnell Autry? Come on, man.

Matt:  I forgot about Autry. But, you did have a good defense, and you, along with Westbrook —mostly—were able to put the team in contention almost every year you were here. It’s just that you weren’t able to win the Super Bowl.

Donovan: So, you don’t think that I can win the big game?

Matt:  I never said that.

Donovan: Not directly. You’re just being a little disingenuous.

Matt:  Whoa, Donovan. I’m with you here. You won a lot of big games for the Birds. I think that if people are objectively looking at your stats, your winning percentage, and even your winning record in the playoffs, that you should make it into the Hall of Fame. But—

Donovan: But. There’s always a “but” with me, huh?

Matt:  But, we didn’t win the Super Bowl and Philly mostly blamed you and Andy.Tell me how long this will last.........

Donovan: Yeah well, I tried to do my part, and we won a helluva lot of games there. I got crucified there. Dick Vermeil and that old team that got killed in the 1981 Super Bowl are still heroes. Allen Iverson, Larry Brown and the runner-up Sixers were beloved. Even the 1993 Phillies are celebrated, and they lost. What’s up with all that? But I don’t care what the fans and the media think.

Matt:  A lot to digest there. I guess the difference is that we’ve waited since 1960 for an Eagles parade, and that’s the title that means the most to us. Coming close year after year after year was just too much for us. And you became the most controversial figure in this town.

Donovan: I played well, worked my ass off to come back from injuries and never got into any trouble off the field. I’m a terrific role model, do lots of charity work, but nobody appreciated me there, man. Maybe, I should have gotten in trouble like my boys, AI and Michael Vick. Served a little jail time. But, I don’t roll like that. Nobody appreciates a good role model, man.

Matt: There might be something to that. Or, if you won a Super Bowl, you wouldn’t have needed the street cred to be beloved.

Donovan: Maybe, maybe, but I tried. And even if we won the Bowl, I would’ve gotten killed for something, like working out in Arizona, or being close to my parents, or smiling too much. They just didn’t appreciate me in Philly.

Matt:  I disagree. In part. You know, a whole lot of people appreciated you, but the loudest voices—sometimes within your own locker room—resented you. Hey, the biggest loudmouths on sports talk radio resented and disliked you, too. You don’t want to hear all my theories on that, so let’s move on…If we can. I’d like to get your quick reactions on a variety of topics and people, okay?

Donovan: Okay.

Matt: Let’s talk about the draft day booing. Does it still bother you all these years later? And the so-called Dirty Thirty all said that they weren’t booing you; they were booing the Eagles for not drafting Ricky Williams.

Donovan: Happiest day of my life and I get serenaded with boos. The boos sound the same no matter why. Would those same jackasses boo the bride on her wedding day because they wanted their brother to marry someone else? They’re not booing her, just his selection. Come on, man.

Matt: Interesting. Did you throw up in the Super Bowl?

Donovan: I had the wind knocked out of me, but never threw up. I threw the ball fifty-plus times, got hit all game, sacked a few, and on that drive in question, we went 79 yards in 3:52 and scored a touchdown. Just an urban myth.

Matt: Freddie Mitchell.

Donovan: Small. Slow. Cocky. Average route-runner, average hands, delusional. But he’s a good friend of mine.

Matt:   Fourth-and-26.


Donovan: I was just trying to keep that play alive, and keep the season going. I bought a little time, but Thrash and Pinkston weren’t open, so my best option was Freddie. We just made it. And they say I never made a big play in a big game.

Matt: Andy Reid.

Donovan:  Good coach. Still a friend. Control freak. Funny off the field. Really.

Matt: Air guitar.

Donovan: I’m just trying to stay loose and keep my teammates loose before the playoff game in Dallas.  

Matt:  But, it did look a little stupid, man.

Donovan: Is that why we lost the game?

Matt:  Not at all. Both lines got manhandled. Let’s move on to B-West.

Donovan: Great back, good friend, a security blanket in the backfield. Should still be playing.

Matt: Jeff Garcia.

Donovan: We’re good friends, but he got more love in five weeks than I got in 11 years.

Matt: TO? Should you have just muzzled him when he went off on you? Challenged him mano-a-mano?

Donovan: What good would that have done? I tried the high road. I got criticized for ignoring him, for taking the high road, for not supporting him in his holdout, for not beating the crap out of him. What should I have done? I couldn’t do all of those.

Matt:  Maybe, you should’ve beaten the crap out of him..

Donovan: Even if he got injured?


Matt:  Yeah, probably.


Donovan:  Even if I got injured?

Matt:  Maybe. And then more of the fans would’ve warmed up to you.

Donovan:  I don’t know. Philly’s weird, man. And then they would just kill me for working out in Arizona, wanting to be a good role model, throwing worm-burners, allegedly throwing up, and, and…


Matt:  Maybe, we should end the interview here, but I’m glad that both of us have moved on.

Donovan: Well, I certainly have. Sh_t, I’m late for a meeting with Andy and Marty, I mean that f-ckin little Shanahan kid.

Matt: Thanks for your time, and good luck moving on.


A Disclaimer: This conversation with Donovan McNabb did not really take place—but is it really all that far-fetched?


Along with being a lifelong Philly sports fan, Matt Goldberg is a unique, award-winning writer, speaker and all-around humorist who resides with his wife and son in South Jersey.

He is a featured columnist for the Phillies for Bleacher Report, and is also the author of two new humor books—Wordapodia, Volume One, and All That Twitters is Not Goldberg. They are not sports books, per se, but definitely have a lot of sports, and Philly flavor.

For information on ordering books, requesting customized writing, media requests and special events, please contact matt@tipofthegoldberg.com  or visit www.tipofthegoldberg.com

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McNabb photo: John Froschauer, Associated Press