Throughout the history of the Philadelphia Eagles, it is easy to say that Donovan McNabb is the best quarterback in franchise history. Number 5 led the Eagles to the best stretch in team history, as the Birds were one of the top NFL franchises in the early 2000’s. Yet every year when I attend Eagles games with my dad, people wearing McNabb jerseys are few, and far between. The lack of McNabb’s presence on Eagles fans’ backs on Sunday afternoon’s’ is a prime example of the disconnect between the potential Hall of Fame quarterback, and the Philly faithful.
This begs the question, why is McNabb not more appreciated by Eagles fans? Why is it that quarterback’s like Randall Cunningham and Michael Vick have a stronger hold in the hearts of Eagles fans than the greatest quarterback in franchise history? The fact that Michael Vick of all people is more loved by Eagles fans (including myself) than Mcnabb is astounding. To be completely honest, the sheer thought of Donovan McNabb’s presence leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Sports pundits like Steven A Smith have made assertions that McNabb was under-appreciated by Philly Fans due to him being an African American. This conclusion by Smith (whom I love and respect) is bogus. African American Quarterbacks like Cunningham and Vick were loved and put on a pedestal by the Philly faithful. To this day, these men get more respect in the city than number 5. Race has nothing to do with the disconnect between McNabb and the city, it comes down to McNabb’s ability to never seem to say the right thing.
Accountability means a lot to Philly fans. Win or lose, if you take responsibility it will garner respect within the fanbase. Unlike Vick and Cunningham, McNabb always would throw people under the bus. He could never take sole responsibility for his mistakes, as he always had to bring other people into it.
Take the 2008 NFC championship game for example, McNabb could not help himself after the game. He takes responsibility for his errors, but then throws teammates under the bus. It seems like when you hear McNabb speak to the media, it is always someone else’s fault. When things went south, Mcnabb was always quick to point the finger. Looking at the Eagles playoff loss to Dallas in 2009, Mcnabb played horribly, and after the game he said that older players really “showed their youth today.” This was an obvious jab at the team’s younger players, who at the time were the likes of Lesean McCoy, Desean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin. This caused friction between Mcnabb and the team, as Desean Jackson trashed Mcnabb in an Espn article later than year. Oddly enough, a family member of mine saw a key Eagles player (who will remain anonymous) at the bar at the Ritz Carlton in the Grand Cayman. After hours of being drinking buddies with him, this player revealed to him that “the problem with the team was the guy throwing the football.”
If you compare a press conference of Carson Wentz or Nick Foles to one by Donovan Mcnabb it is night and day. Philly is a tough city, and the fans don’t want to hear you blame someone else or complain about why it didn’t go your way. They want to hear someone take accountability and put the team first before yourself. This is something that Mcnabb could and would not do. It was always about him. Let’s look at his Eagles hall of fame speech for example:
“Number Five will always love you.” This quote is comical. As if the Eagles faithful are concerned if Donovan Mcnabb loves them or not. Plus, that was really the best speech he could come up with? It looks to me like two minutes of incoherent rambling. If he really loved and respected the city of Philadelphia, wouldn’t you think he could have come up with something better than that? I was at this game with my Dad, and during the part where Mcnabb is rambling about how he helped bring the city six of its banners, my dad looked at me and said in disgust “we only wanted 1 banner, and this guy gave us six meaningless ones!”
Mcnabb’s massive ego has often contributed to the divide between him and the city as well. As recently as last year, he has complained about how the Eagles fans booed him on draft day. Should he have been booed? Absolutely not. But the fact that he is still festering over that to the media is comical.
Mcnabb is clearly unable to share the spotlight too. Take his feud with Terrell Owens for example. Both were at fault in this feud, but Mcnabb was the spark that lit the fire. Mcnabb would curse at Owens during games for simply informing him that he was open. Also, after Owens got hurt, Mcnabb would publicly say that the Eagles could win the Super Bowl without him. If there is one thing that Philly fans hate more than anything it’s selfishness, and situations like this show that time and time again. The sheer notion of anybody being better than McNabb eats away at him.
This could be more prevalent in his comments regarding Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz. McNabb seems to always take shots at Wentz whenever he can, even leading up to his rookie season
If Mcnabb wasn’t a selfish person, and wanted the Eagles to succeed in the future, why would he say something like this? It’s mind boggling comments like this that drive fans like myself insane. He cannot be comfortable with someone else’s success, and the people of Philly hate that more than anything.
Look, No matter how you feel about Carson Wentz, We are stuck with him at least for this season. Personally, I am beyond excited to see if Carson Wentz can regain his MVP form under a Nick Sirriani coached team. Carson needs to regain his confidence among anything else, and that’s why it infuriates me that Donovan always tries to put Carson down whenever he can. Carson needs to get his confidence back, and get back to a solid place mentally. So why the fuck is the greatest Quarterback in franchise history constantly shitting on him?
There’s no doubt that Mcnabb is the best quarterback our city has ever seen. In a perfect world, I would love to see an army of number five jerseys on Sunday afternoons at Lincoln Financial Field. But we will never see that love and affection that we show towards players like Carson Wentz and Brian Dawkins when dealing with Mcnabb. It is solely because of his own actions. Why he feels the need to criticize someone like Wentz, who now, more than ever needs the support of this city, It disgusts me. Nothing sums up Philadelphia’s feelings towards McNabb more than Lane Johnson’s tweet responding to Mcnabb’s controversial comments regarding Wentz.
Oh, and did I forget to mention he threw up in huddle in the Super Bowl? Yep that’s soft as fuck.