Donovan McNabb Doesn't Need to Justify Anything

Kenneth WalterContributor IJanuary 21, 2009

Donovan McNabb has been harshly treated by the media his entire career.

The Philadelphia and national media has been relentless with McNabb for a very long time.  The never-satisfied media has labeled McNabb a “choke” artist.  All this is because he has never won the Super Bowl. 

But McNabb and Andy Reid have been immensely successful in Philadelphia over the last 10 years.  Five conference championship appearances, seven playoff years, 10 playoff wins, five division titles, and one Super Bowl appearances is nothing to sneeze at.  But it has never been good enough for the people of Philadelphia.

McNabb seems to remind me a lot of Patrick Ewing’s time with the Knicks.  The world was always expected out of Ewing.  The Knicks were always competitive during the Ewing era, but for one reason or another they could not get over the hump. 

A lot can be said about the NBA big man and the NFL quarterback.  They are both expected to win a championship to justify their careers.  Take note of that, Greg Oden.

The big-time baseball slugger or star running back doesn’t feel that pressure.  No one outside of New York cares if Alex Rodriguez ever wins a World Series.  LaDainian Tomlinson doesn’t have constant pressure to win the Super Bowl.

But things are different for McNabb, just like they were different for Ewing.  The expectations for these two players were high their whole careers.  Both players were drafted very high.  Both came into struggling franchises.

Ewing was picked first in ‘85 and was immediately given the reins of the franchise.  After an injury-riddled first season, Ewing led the Knicks to 15 excellent years.  The Knicks went to two Finals and were a John Starks' jumper away from a title. 

But it was always championship or bust, and Ewing never had the team to do it.  He was always surrounded by mediocre players at best.

Look at when the Knicks made the NBA Finals in 1994.  The next best player Ewing played with was Starks.  Derek Harper, Charles Smith, Anthony Mason, and Charles Oakley rounded out Ewing’s supporting cast during this time. 

Every great player had a better supporting cast than Ewing.  Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen.  Magic had Kareem.  Duncan had Manu and Tony Parker.  You get the point.

Ewing didn’t have much to work with.  He brought New York 15 great, competitive seasons, something Knick fans would crave today.

McNabb has been in a similar situation during his time in Philly.  There has not been a lot of talent in Philly with McNabb.  They had two tumultuous seasons with Terrell Owens.  That was a disaster, through no fault of McNabb’s.

He’s had Brian Westbrook, but to be fair Westbrook doesn’t often make it an entire season.  Other than that, his receivers have included players like Greg Lewis, James Thrash, Todd Pinkston, and Freddie Mitchell.

The moral of the story is that there hasn’t been a lot of talent in Philadelphia, at least not sane, healthy talent.  Same thing with Ewing. 

Both have had some big-time moments in big-time spots.  Ewing never led the Knicks to a title, and time is running out for McNabb. 

McNabb may never bring home a championship to Philadelphia, but things could be worse.  Cry now if you want, Eagles fans, but envision your next eight years like the Knicks' last eight years. 

Yeah, I thought you might miss McNabb.