McNabb to the Raiders: The Final Slap in the Face

(Originally Posted: Tuesday March 30, 2010)

Donovan’s relationship with the Philadelphia fans has always been, oh let’s say, precarious. Some outside of Philly would say that we haven’t necessarily treated him with the respect that he’s deserved. But like any relationship, it’s a lot easier to judge from the outside, then when you live with someone day in and day out. And we’re not talking not cleaning up after shaving here or leaving dishes in the sink; we’re talking about serious stuff like overthrowing four-yard routes, or burning time outs early in a half or not know the overtime rules. Don’t get me wrong, Donovan is a great quarterback and all, but it’s different after you’ve lived with a guy for ten years. (How did this become a marriage/divorce analogy? Maybe that is truly apropos.)

See, that’s the deal that the rest of the country doesn’t seem to get. We don’t hate McNabb. We don’t think he’s a bad quarterback or a bad guy. We’ve just seen everything he can do, and we’re ready to move on with our lives. He’s not going to win us a Championship next season, and he’s not going to be here in 2011. So it’s best for him, the franchise and the fans if we all go our separate ways right now. But let’s not send him to that dog crap of a franchise in Oakland. Haven’t we done enough to this poor guy already?

We all know what happened to McNabb when he was drafted so I’ll keep it short. Our city’s drunken uncle, Angelo Cataldi took a bunch of knuckleheads to Radio City and booed McNabb’s selection because they wanted a pot smoking head-case of a running back instead. So for the next ten years, like with any embarrassing drunk uncle falling into the Christmas tree video, we get to watch the booing of McNabb at the draft played back to us during a bunch of games every season. I love that 30 some douche bottles represent our fan base. I guess it’s easier for the national media to show a five second video clip then to take a minute and explain it with some context. (They do love throwing Philly fans under the bus.)

From McNabb’s inauspicious start with the team, he’s had the typical relationship with fans for a player in spotlight position in Philly. We love him when he’s good, we’ve been tough on him when he’s not, but we always appreciated his effort. There’s nothing a Philly fan loves then someone who goes out there and gives it their all, and Donovan has certainly done that for us. I’ll never forget the game at the Vet when he threw four touchdowns against the Cardinals with a broken ankle. That was probably the high point of the admiration for 5 in this town. Of course, there have been low points too. But what fan base is always happy with their quarterback? Philly fans just get crucified for being more vocal about it than other fans do.

McNabb has had a great tenure for Philly, and whether you agree or not, it is time for him to move on. Unfortunately, management has bumbled this move so badly by either waiting too long or asking too much compensation for a 34-year-old quarterback with an injury history. So now the only team in the league willing to trade with them is the worst organization, the Oakland Raiders. (Sorry Lions fans, you’ve been supplanted at the bottom.)

The Raiders are a mess of a franchise. (Note: I’m very careful to use franchise or organization. If I use the word team, I fear that I include the Raiders fans, which is unfair since they are some of the best fans in the league. Franchise or organization refers more to ownership, management and coaching, not fans.) Since going to the Super Bowl in 2002, the Raiders have gone 29-83 (0.259%) and have had five head coaches over seven seasons. I don’t even feel like going back and counting how many starting “quarterbacks” they’ve had over that time. They have not had one season where they’ve finished with less then double-digit losses. I doubt that could be repeated if you tried.

The Raiders really are a black hole. (Bad pun. I am really sorry.) It’s a franchise of despair. I would be sad to see Terrell Owens sign there, let alone McNabb. I understand that football is a business and something’s have to be done for the good of the franchise, but this Andy? As much as you may only admit it to yourself as your falling asleep on your hamburger bed at night, Donovan made your career. If you have taken Akili Smith back in the ’99 draft, you’d be an offensive line coach at BYU right now. Save Donovan some dignity. Don’t make him spend a year with that putrid franchise in Oakland. Find another one of the other 30 teams in the league and take a little less than the 42nd pick if necessary. Do it for Donovan. Do it for the fans. Do it for your soul.

About Bill

A man in search of a mission at the age of 40.
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