Donovan McNabb: D-Mac Has Philly's Back

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Donovan McNabb: D-Mac Has Philly's Back


The Eagles Quarterback Could Be Soaring into History...

Isn't it funny how fast things can change?

Just about eight weeks ago McNabb was standing on the sidelines watching his Eagles get buried by the Ravens 36-7. The headlines were already being written, "McNabb Benched" "Is he done in Philly?" and "Is this the End?" were just a few circulating among the football masses.

After all remember this is "the City of Brotherly Love." Love doesn't run deep in shallow waters and if you are not at the top, it's because you were just knocked down. In Philadelphia, it seems loyalty doesn't run too deep, unless you are winning and getting the job done.

Back in Week 12 the writing was already on the wall, the Eagles had lost several close games against key opponents; Dallas, Chicago, Washington, and the Giants and just come off a tie with the lowly Bengals. With the loss to Baltimore, their record had fallen to 5-5-1.

Their 2008 season was slipping away and the fans of Philly were ready to part ways with the team's 10-year veteran.

With close losses, a poor record, and a poor performance against the Ravens in the first half; just 8 of 18 passing for 59-yards with two interceptions, the Eagles quarterback was sent to the showers. While it didn't make much sense to many of us prognosticators, Head Coach Andy Reid pulled McNabb in favor of backup quarterback Kevin Kolb.

Was this a move of brilliance? We may never know, but we could consider "it is what it is." McNabb was struggling, the team was stymied and maybe Reid thought an injection of change could make a difference. It didn't against Baltimore, who tee’d off on Kolb with two more picks and 26 second half unanswered points.

Then in another stunning move the very next day, which probably should not have been a surprise, Reid quickly confirmed that Donovan McNabb would be his starter Thursday night against the same Arizona Cardinals that he and D-Mac will see this Sunday.
Clearly Kolb was not ready to take over the job and there was still a lot of football left. All hope wasn't quite lost just yet.

It's never easy to explain and probably more difficult to understand the roller-coaster ride that comes with being an NFL starting quarterback. And there is probably no one that has ever had a bumpier ride in one town than the Eagles own quarterback, Mr. McNabb.

From being booed on draft day to surviving the T.O. saga, McNabb is one player that is likely to say that NOW he has seen it all. Who could argue?

But what can we make of all this? This is nothing more than just fodder for the water-cooler brethren to enjoy all week leading up to the day-time drama that is the NFL Playoffs.

Sure there will be more storylines leading up to kick-off on Sunday than there are players on the field, but could there be any more compelling than McNabb's?

There have been moments throughout his run in Philly that D-Mac has seemed like a player without a city and in many cases considering what has happened to him this season, a man without a team.
Sure he has his boys backing him on the playing field, but just a couple of months ago he wasn't just on his way out, he was already gone. Only last season were the rumors flying around trying to guess where this Eagle would land in the off season.

How fitting would this be, two men (McNabb and HC Reid) only fifty-three days ago were on their way out of Philly (according to many press and even more Eagles fans) with the team on the verge of losing its' season.
Now, just days away, the same two could be the saviors of that same city by bringing in an elusive NFL championship this franchise has not see since 1960.

The turnaround

What is that saying, "what goes up, must come down?" so how about what goes bad, must go right. Just when everything had seemed to reach a cataclysmic football end, suddenly the Eagles are ascending toward the sun riding the wings of Donovan McNabb.

Since his benching, McNabb has been the biggest soaring Eagle. With key victories over the Giants and Cowboys down the stretch, he has led his team to a 6-1 record, including two wins in the post season.

In this almost prolific run into the post season, McNabb has been a big key. He has passed for 1,663-yards in the teams’ past seven games completing 155 of 245 passes (63% completion) while throwing 11 touchdowns.
In the postseason he has passed for 517-yards, thrown two touchdowns, while running for another, and has been the team's emotional leader on offense.


Sure all of his numbers have not been pretty and certainly you can call for his head and boo him off the field, but no one can deny this guy's will to overcome. He just wins. Maybe he hasn't won the big one YET, but you can't argue his track record.

Take a look at his resume that includes; five appearances in the NFC Championship (including four straight from 2001-2004), five-time Pro Bowl selection, 2004 NFC Player of the Year, NFL MVP runner-up in 2000, and a post season record of 9-5.

Philly must have it wrong about this guy right? Certainly D-Mac's records speak for themselves. Then again, when have a love-hate relationship with your fans, if you are Donovan McNabb playing for the Eagles, this just comes with the territory.

And funny, how fast things can change.

Yesterday's garbage has suddenly become today's big-ticket meal. McNabb has certainly shown he has thick skin and ability to survive just about anything, from the harshest of criticism, to serious football injuries, to being benched and left for done by just about everyone who thinks they know anything about football.

Sure there are his supporters, but when McNabb's future seemed to be settling on thin ice, they weren't many making any noise or saying much. Now all that has changed and he's now a man on a mission to find his place in history.

With a meeting on Sunday against Arizona, McNabb and company will be looking to continue their flight from the desert sun to the Sunshine State. Whether most of realize this or not, Sunday could be about much more than a game in many ways. A win and a second trip to the Super Bowl could drastically change the way many of us will forever see the Eagle's quarterback.
When you get done looking at what he has done in the short term and stop for a moment to take a look at the big picture, McNabb really has a shot at changing his own history and legacy in a big way. I guess the only question to ask, if the Eagles should shock the world and fulfill their dream, where will that put McNabb?

With career numbers comparable and in some ways better than Jim Kelly, Sonny Jurgensen, Joe Namath, Bob Griese, and Bart Starr, is he worthy of greatness?

If Donovan McNabb should win the Super Bowl, does he deserve to be inducted into the Hall of fame?

Are we really going to talk about this, funny how fast things can change?


By David G. Ortega
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