What McNabb Deserves? Closure.

Just make a Decision Already.

I can’t imagine what the perception of Donovan McNabb is among football fans around the country.  If they aren’t tired of the story, they are more patient than I am, or else they are one of the handful of Raider fans that want him to come to Oakland.  I think we’ve officially run out of talking points on McNabb.  He’s not appreciated, he’s not a winner, he’s a franchise quarterback, he has no value…all of that is just noise to me at this point.  I don’t know if McNabb was appreciated the proper amount.  All I know is what I thought of him.  Do I think you could win a Super Bowl with McNabb?  Yes, I do.  But, I don’t know that McNabb will win you a Super Bowl.  That’s the distinction that so many seem to have trouble making.

If Donovan was the Steelers quarterback for the 2006 Super Bowl against Seattle do I think the Steelers would have won?  Absolutely.  Could he have drastically altered the losing team’s fortunes?  I doubt it.  And, that is McNabb for me.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I know that for a couple more years he will probably be among the better quarterbacks in the league, but barring an unforeseen circumstance here or with another team, he isn’t going to win a Super Bowl.  The Eagles aren’t good enough, and the teams he is likely to be traded to aren’t good enough either.

So, that’s what I think of McNabb for the most part.  I don’t think he should be the starter, or given an extension, or be allowed to pick and choose where he is traded to.  Those decisions are unfortunately not up to me, and McNabb is owed none of that.  Football is a business.  I think he understands this.  He’ll be fine if he’s traded, just like he was fine when he wasn’t really booed on draft day.  If the Eagles want to cut ties, they should cut ties, but for the sake of everyone and especially Donovan, can we just stop jerking the guy around?

He’s put his time in here.  Let’s stop dragging his name through the media every single day.  Let’s stop single-handedly keeping the entire ESPN football crew busy.  Stop leaking information, stop flip-flopping on McNabb’s status, and just get something done.  You may say the media’s treatment of this isn’t the Eagles fault, but surely they should have expected this is what it would turn into.  The contract situations, the decade long history, the way last season ended.  I know the Eagles are arrogant, but did they think everyone was going to sit by quietly and wait for something to happen?

As I said before, the way it looks now, the Eagles have bungled this quarterback situation.  And, the only way to start to repair that is to make a definitive move.  If for nothing else, the sake of McNabb.  Hate him, love him, either way he doesn’t deserve this.

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The Birth of the Jinx.

I played the role of Spike Lee.

I saw the Reggie Miller vs. The Knicks 30 for 30 documentary.  It was an interesting piece.  I’m a sucker for anything like this.  I’d probably sit down and watch an hour-long documentary on the 2009 Royals.  But, I think this one would probably have a little more appeal than that.  The only thing missing is these battles took place in the Eastern Conference Finals and not in the Championship Series.  As great as the games were, with all the improbable drama, neither of these teams ever won the title.  What struck me watching it was the media response to Spike’s Lee involvement.  Lee was given credit for motivating Miller, and the New York tabloids grilled him the day after Miller dropped 20+ in the 4th quarter for the win.  This is a pretty big deal.  A fan getting this kind of attention regarding the outcome of a game.  Unprecedented?  Not quite.

During my illustrious four years my high school wasn’t exactly a sports powerhouse.  In fact, my friends and I joke that we were part of the worst athletic class to ever move through the school.  We had other talents, I suppose.  On a personal level, I experienced some success with the wildly popular golf squad and routinely had my butt handed to me in a neat little brown package in baseball.  In the grander scheme of things, there was an occasional good team or good individual performance.  Before my time, though, a very good tradition in soccer had been established.  In the Philly burbs soccer was kind of a big deal, and old Great Valley was usually well represented.  State titles, high school heroes, everything you’d expect.

The boys soccer team could always count on raucous fan support, and even I on occasion attended a game.  Sometimes they are hard to catch when you are jerking around at the driving range for “golf practice.”  Of course, the night games were the most popular, a true social occasion.  This support was still in fine standing by my senior year, even if the team had lost a little luster.  They were 4 years removed from the last state title, and entering the (district?) playoffs that year, the expectations were nothing like they had been in previous years. This didn’t stop a really nice crowd from turning out for the game, though.  It was a night game, and regardless of the soccer, it was a prime spot for some good old high school social interaction.

As I said I didn’t make it out to a ton of games, but I managed to be in attendance for this one.  We were certainly the underdogs, but undeterred none the less.  Now, I don’t really know anything about soccer, so I can’t give you a smooth breakdown of the action.  All I know is that we took a 1-0 lead, and time just kept ticking away.  Throughout the game the crowd was mostly contained, we were on the road, and we may have been a little nervous about the outcome, upset brewing and all.  Well, as the time ticked down to five minutes remaining there was a lull in the action.  Some restart, or I don’t remember what.  The crowd was pretty quiet, and being the creative linguist that I was, I took the opportunity to drop a bomb on the other team.

“How’s it feel to be playing the last five minutes of your season?”  I screamed at the top of my lungs.  ZING!

I’m fairly sure nearly everyone at the game heard me.  It was considered an above-average and clean insult, laughter was abundant.  And then, the wheels came off.  The opposing team suddenly looked like the 1985 Oilers on a power play.  Shots were ringing out, goalposts were being hit, and then it was bang, bang.  Two quick goals, before you could even blink.  They didn’t even do us the courtesy of taking the game into overtime.  It was a kill-shot, right to the head.  Painless.  Jubilation from the opposing fans, and disbelief from us.  I was thinking if I just laid the biggest hexola of all-time.  I shook it off, and blamed the players for not being able to close out the last five minutes.

I didn’t hit Spike territory though until the next day.  In one of the distinguished local papers a player from the winning team was quoted as saying, “We heard someone say it was the last five minutes of our season, and that really fired us up.”  Should I be a motivational speaker?  Maybe.  Does Spike Lee have anything on me?  Absolutely not.  And, there it is.

Hangover 2: Gonna Happen.

How About A Prequel?

So, they’re going to make a sequel to The Hangover.  I didn’t know anything about this, but apparently it has been in negotiations for quite some time.  The hold-up being money of course.  The first movie made a ton, and the actors didn’t see much of it, so they held out for the big prize this time.  It seems they’ll be compensated quite well.  I have mixed feelings on sequels.  They usually don’t compete with the original, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be entertaining movies.  I’m a little worried about this one, though.  Tarnishing the franchise, so to speak.  I’ve actually only seen The Hangover one time.  I’m not completely sold on its re-watch-ability.   That in itself is cause for concern for The Hangover 2.  Or whatever it will be called.  If they go with a stupid pun or something….bad news.

Comedies I think, even more than other genres, don’t really lend themselves to sequels.  Off the top of my head, the best “sequel” in the comedy genre is Christmas Vacation.  The Vacation sequels really run the full gamut in my opinion.  You have Christmas which is amazing, European which is mostly terrible, and Vegas which is sneaky underrated.  Meaning, mildly entertaining if you’re not comparing it to the first movie.  Also, some of the best comedies have some of the worst sequels.  Caddyshack 2, Major League 2 & 3, the last Austin Powers movie, Look Who’s Talking, Dumb and Dumberer (which shouldn’t even count), but the list goes on and on.

When I think about good sequels, I tend to think of unfinished stories like Rocky II.  Or nerds might think of the Lord of the Rings.  Sometimes in action movies, or sci-fi movies, the simple advancement of technology and special effects can make a sequel better than the original, or at least in the same ballpark.  Comedies don’t benefit from any of that.  Meet the Fockers was just a bad idea.  It couldn’t be dressed up with any computer generated nonsense.

Comedies can’t really play to the formula theory, either.  Look at the Die Hard series.  It’s not batting 1.000, but you know Die Hard 2, Die Hard with a Vengeance, solid flicks.  They have a good formula and with the right casting, couple other things go right, and you have a decent movie.  I think action movies set the bar lower too.  It’s not vying for an Academy Award or anything.  You simply need to be entertained, and I think it’s easier to produce that through action than comedy.  In comedies the formula can actually work against you (American Pie sequels).  Not all jokes and gimmicks have indefinite shelf life.

So, I’m going to keep my hopes for The Hangover sequel in check.   I kind of have a feeling it’s going to be a little like Ocean’s 12.  The same characters, doing their same routine that we liked the first time, just not remotely as good.  I would love to be proven wrong, though.  Just not sure what the premise will be, how much more ridiculous they can get, etc.  A lot of pressure on the writers.  If you want to read more about the sequel, here’s a wrap-up of the deal, money breakdown and whatnot….