I first became enamored to the greatness that is Donovan Jamal McNabb back in 1996. As an impressionable 13-year old whippersnapper, I remember watching this dude make plays for Syracuse that I hadn't seen since the days of the great Randall Cunningham. When they interviewed #5, he was always "Yes Sir" and "No Sir", just like my family raised me to be growing up in a military family environment. Ever since '96, from the booing at the '99 NFL Draft, to the feud that was McNabb vs. T.O., to the festering cries of hate from Eagles fans, to "The Trade", and finally to the substitution of REX FRIGGIN GROSSMAN for McNabb in the final 2 minutes of a football game against the Detroit Lions...the man has always been a stand-up guy, a man of character, and most importantly a man who is the definition of being a class-act.
Well let me tell you all something right now, for Donovan McNabb...being classy isn't always the right thing to be.
Maybe its because I just saw the great Randall Gene Moss give one of the greatest post-game press conferences in the history of the NFL. Maybe its because I have come to the defense of the man time and time again without even thinking about it. However, the egregious act that took place this past Sunday in the Redskins vs. Lions game was just baffling. Just a couple of quick points:
1) They sent in REX BLEEPING GROSSMAN in place of McNabb. This is the same man that inspired one of the most hilarious blogposts in the history of sports blogs (Bill Ross, I know you will enjoy this), and I quote...
"You see that kid in wheelchair sitting in the end zone bleachers? I’m gonna nail him right between the bleeping eyes with a Sexy Rexy fastball. Why? Because I can."
2) McNabb's stats until that point in the game: 17-30, 210 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
The man was having a decent game, wasn't playing badly at all. The one interception he threw he was hit on the arm, thus the ball was intercepted. Maybe if the offensive line blocked better... but I digress.
3) If the media does not come out and crucify Mike Shanahan for this act, then I might start a revolution. How many times has the story changed since Sunday to Wednesday? First, McNabb wasn't capable of running the 2-minute offense. (!!!) Second, McNabb was dealing with a hamstring injury. (Okay...) Third, the man was not in proper physical condition. (Haynesworth-ish) Fourth, Shanahan just isn't a fan of McNabb at quarterback. (Why did you trade for him?) Fifth...this needs its own space...
They brought in Jamarcus Russell for a workout.
Simply put, there isn't a bigger form of disrespect than bringing in Jamarcus Russell in for a workout at your position. Let me say this, you all know that I work a corporate office gig for my 9-to-5. If my company brings in Jamarcus Russell to interview for a position similar to mine, I will immediately file my 2 weeks notice. Its not happening.
Now let me say this, Donovan McNabb has been the unquestioned leader of men for the Washington Redskins. However, his play has been highly erratic and he has somewhat skated through the first 8 games of the season. He hasn't played the greatest, I get it. But do you think this team would be 4-4 with Rex Grossman, Jamarcus Russell, or even Jason Campbell in at quarterback? Hell no. Mike Shanahan is facing the same predicament that Brad Childress, Wade Phillips, and Norv Turner are dealing with...they are not a leader of men and they don't have the respect of the team.
Players like McNabb and Moss have the respect of the players on their teams, and as the spineless, no heart having, spongebrain head coaches they are these coaches decided to break bad with their star players in an attempt to show the rest of the team who's really in charge. Sadly, they have lost the locker room in the process. Shame on them.
Here's the real on McNabb. He has consistently been a stand-up guy in this league. McNabb is the only black quarterback I've seen to actually have the heart to speak up on issues (Remember when he stood up and said something about it? What did the other black QB's do? Turned their back on him! Got damn), he's the only player in the league I can remember that actually reached out to Michael Vick (which in turn now actually has his old job), and for folks that say the man is soft...have you seen what he's dealing with in Washington? The offensive line looks like the good folks at absolut-ism.com are playing on the line, the wide receivers look like The Unsportsmanlike Conduct trio of Kenny, B-Lew, and Ed, and the head coach looks like he turns on his quarterback if they don't play like the great John Elway.
The problem is, I don't know if McNabb has ever been a stand-up guy and say something along the lines of "I'm a grown ass man" and just put his foot down. Tell these folks that you will not stand for this hypocrisy anymore, because sometimes folks will attack you because you seem to be the one that's willing to stand for anything.
For once, I wish McNabb would've put the "Yes Sir's" and "No Sir's" away and just went on a rant. Put the passive-aggressive stance aside and just started calling out names and cussing people out. He should've called out Shanahan, talked about his mama, and questioned why it looks like Shanahan gets a tan. McNabb...you are my guy, so here is the definitive example of how you should've done it courtesy of the great Hal McRae. Do this and get some of your got damn respect back around this place.
This article ended up not being brief, my apologies.
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