Donovan McNabb was supposed to be Washington’s problem, and yet I get the feeling he still gets more play in Philadelphia than he does in D.C. All I ever wanted from the McNabb saga was some closure. Make a decision, move on, and give my ears a break. No such luck. I can’t tell you how much more painful sports talk radio has gotten in recent weeks. No baseball, and then number five, back and bigger than ever. It’s gotten to the point where I occasionally listen to music in the car.
Wherever McNabb eventually falls in history’s ranking of the quarterbacks, one thing is for certain. The guy is a lightning rod. I don’t even know if he realizes it, but there is something about Donovan that causes massive differences in opinion, and that leads to debate, which leads to a never ending cycle of McNabb talk on the Philly airwaves. It can be something he does on the field, off the field, people attached to him have a way of finding themselves in the news, it is really a remarkable thing. A couple days after the hometown team beat the Colts, and Michael Vick raised he free agent stock immensely, I’m listening to 24/7 McNabb coverage.
It isn’t just that the Eagles are travelling to D.C. to play the ‘Skins this Monday. That story alone would cause some chatter. Talk about McNabb’s game, and the chance to get some revenge for the loss suffered here in Philly, but instead of x’s and o’s, Philadelphia has adopted the Mike Shanahan/Donovan McNabb controversy as its own. Is this something we got in the settlement when we split with Donovan? We are now learned McNabb experts who must weigh in on every Donovan point?
The story itself has so many facets. There was McNabb getting benched in the closing minutes in favor of Rex Grossman. Then there was an explanation, and a second explanation. Neither of those were especially favorable to McNabb. From there the story became more about Shanahan. Is he losing it down there in D.C.? Has he lost the ability to handle players? Why these constant issues with Haynesworth and now McNabb? McNabb was indirectly called lazy. It was suggested he didn’t know the play book. From there, we started hearing terms like, “racial coding.”
I don’t think for a second think that Shanahan took Donovan out of that game because he thought that as a black athlete McNabb didn’t have the traits necessary to bring home the win. I think Shanahan was frustrated to the point of madness by a typical bad game from Donovan and he yanked him on impulse. When faced with the prospect of having to explain himself, he completely choked. So, maybe Shanahan and Donovan have something in common. In the process of trying to cover everything up, Shanahan unleashed a two-week long hurricane of sh*t, that blew right up the coast to Philly.
I guess it hasn’t been made official that Donovan will start Monday night against the Eagles, but I’ll be looking forward to the first play of that game. I’m sure some people would like to see Washington face another 2-minute scenario, just to see what Shanahan would do this time around, but I want to get this game in the books. I want to talk about the outcome, about the rest of the NFL season. Because, this week? It has felt like putting up with Donovan is even more difficult now that he’s out of town. That doesn’t seem right, and makes me fear Donovan’s likely trek through free agency this off-season. I hope the local radio stations don’t have anyone pulling an Ed Werder outside the McNabb camp in Arizona waiting for a tip on where Don’s going to be playing the 2011 season, but knowing McNabb and how deep he has penetrated the sports landscape of this town, I wouldn’t be surprised.