John Kruk and Lenny Dykstra never brought World Series titles to Philadelphia. Yet Phillies fans still love them.
Ron Hextall and Tim Kerr never brought Stanley Cups to Philadelphia. Yet Flyers fans still love them.
Allen Iverson and Charles Barkley never brought NBA Championships to Philadelphia. Yet 76ers fans still love them.
Make no mistake, all of the aforementioned players did great things for their respective squads in the City of Brotherly Love and deserve the respect and admiration of the Philadelphia faithful.
But why is it that Donovan McNabb, whose opportunity to bring a championship to Philly has yet to pass, doesn't get anywhere near the type of love those players get?
From Day One, when he was booed relentlessly at the NFL Draft, it seemed like McNabb was doomed to have a rocky relationship with the fans. He won over most of the fan base for a period, while Ricky Williams—whom the Eagles passed on to take McNabb—smoked his way into a Toronto Argonauts uniform.
The past few years, however, the city has been taking the shortcomings of the team out on McNabb, and it doesn't appear things are ever going to get better unless he hoists the Lombardi Trophy.
McNabb has never been in trouble with the law, doesn't badmouth his teammates, the media, or fans. He takes everything in stride. There's absolutely nothing to not like about the guy, yet as soon as the Eagles are eliminated from the chance to go 16-0, the city is calling for his head.
Newsflash: It's hard to score 42 or 37 points.
McNabb has had a tremendous career—breaking Jaworski's old records left and right this season—and now has led the Birds to the NFC Championship Game in half of his seasons wearing midnight green. And the love still isn't there. The fans are off his back for now, but should Philly lose—either to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday or in the Super Bowl—the fans and media will certainly be calling for his head again.
And what for? Do people really think Kevin Kolb is the answer?
Maybe even worse, there are fans who think A.J. Feeley should be at the helm. Feeley got thrown into a great situation in 2002, when both McNabb and Koy Detmer went down with injuries, as Feeley only faced one winning team: the Giants. Coincidentally, the Giants were the one blemish in a 5-1 season as a starter for Feeley.
For some reason, the fans have given Feeley a pass because he came close. Last time McNabb checked, there was a column for ties in the standings after all, but he has never been blessed with the "almost" column that Feeley seems to get. Whenever McNabb "almost" wins, he is criticized for being a choke artist, and it seems like there's a petition to get him run out of town.
Any Eagles fan who has been wishing for McNabb's departure should keep a journal the first season he's not in green, marking down every time they utter the words, "I wish Donovan was still here," because it will happen frequently.
McNabb is, without a doubt, the greatest quarterback to ever play for the Philadelphia Eagles. He's handled himself with class throughout his career when it would have been easy to lose his cool. Hopefully he'll get that Super Bowl win and silence all his critics, at least for one offseason, because it doesn't look like he's going to be remembered the way Cunningham and Jaws are remembered if he doesn't get that ring.
But until he's fitted for that piece of hardware, where the heck's the love?