Donovan McNabb has been criticized in every way imaginable over the course of his decade long career.
His time in the league has been highlighted by plenty of controversies- most of which McNabb didn't even bring on to himself.
The Terrell Owens saga?
Entirely one sided. Not once did McNabb take a jab back at T.O.
An absolute racist. That had nothing to do with McNabb. Limbaugh made an embarrassing statement that frankly made no sense at all.
Rush, the media never overrated McNabb because they wanted "a black quarterback" to succeed. You just didn't want him to succeed because he was black.
Way to justify being a racist, Limbaugh.
That wasn't the last time McNabb had to deal with the issue of race. Whyatt Mondesire, president of the NAACP's Philadelphia chapter in the Philadelphia Sun, once wrote a column scolding McNabb for not running enough.
Here is an excert from that column:
"In essence Donny, you are mediocre at best. And trying to disguise that fact behind some concocted reasoning that African American quarterbacks who can scramble and who can run the ball are somehow lesser field generals than one who can summon up dead-on passes at a whim, is more insulting off the field than on."
Hmm, ok Whyatt. So you are saying that McNabb is a racist for trying to pass the ball to much instead of running more? That actually insults you? Maybe he just wants to be known as a better passer.
Since you know, he is a quarterback.
So what if he doesn't want to be labeled as a "scrambling" quarterback? That label and stereotype often gets unfairly thrown at African American quarterbacks . So I'll say again... maybe he just wanted to be a better passer?
No, McNabb has to be racist.
Oh wait, I guess I'm racist too. I am an eighteen-year-old white kid writing about racial issues. Clearly I am offending not just Whyatt Mondesire, but the entire African American community.
Or maybe just Whyatt Mondesire.
In summary: McNabb has been called overrated because of his skin color once by a racist white guy, and then again by a racist black guy in the NAACP(just for "not running enough")
As a result, McNabb has stated on several occasions that black quarterbacks face more scrutiny than their white counterparts.
Is that racist? No. It's the truth. Especially in McNabb's case.
Have you not been reading this article?
Yet many in the media disagreed with McNabb's viewpoint on that particular issue. Casual NFL fans also complained that McNabb was to sensitive, which is ridiculous considering all of the things he has had to overcome.
McNabb also gets criticized for his play on the field.
Despite leading the Eagles to five NFC championships, a Super Bowl appearance, and having a career touchdown/interception ratio of 194/90 (mostly without decent receivers), McNabb has been labeled by many as a choke artist and an erratic passer.
Neither of those labels are correct.
Even the day he was drafted, he was booed unmercifully.
This of course had nothing to do with McNabb's ability- he was a highly touted draft prospect.
It all happened because a radio station in Philadelphia sent a bus load of Eagles fans to the draft, and had instructed them to boo any pick that wasn't Ricky Williams.
This past season, McNabb again made headlines. After the Eagles tied the Bengals, McNabb stated in the post game press conference that he "didn't know ties were in the rule book".
Alright, so that is pretty baffling.
But after McNabb made those comments, many writers and sports analysts in the media proved to me that they:
1) Don't know anything about sports
2) Don't deserve their high paying jobs and
3) Don't know anything about anything.
McNabb knew that the game would end on the first score. He just thought there were multiple overtime periods.
While it's pretty bad that he didn't know games in the NFL could end in a tie, it's definitely forgivable. And it in no way, shape, or form represents McNabb's football I.Q.
Bob Ford actually wrote a column titled: "Testing McNabb's NFL I.Q."
I just don't get it. McNabb's knowledge of the game should go unquestioned. He dedicated himself to hard work and studying, and has made himself one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.
The week following his comments at Cincinnati, he was benched at Baltimore at the half.
He then lead the Eagles to win four of the next five games, and then won two more playoff games before losing in the NFC championship.
And that is a pretty good representation of what McNabb has done his entire career: Persevere, and with class.
From the booing on draft day to being benched at Baltimore, he has never hung his head.
He plays under a microscope in Philadelphia, and he makes headlines even when he has done nothing wrong. And he does it all with a trade mark smile on his face.
What's really saddening is how McNabb's toughness is rarely talked about. Instead he is commonly labeled as injury prone, as he has had three season ending injuries.
But there is little mention in the media about his physical and mental toughness. Most people don't even remember that he broke his ankle in a 2002 game against the Cardinals and then threw four touchdowns, all while being carried down the field.
That sure beats Michael Jordan's flu game. Or Willis Reid's heroics. And basically every other "athlete playing with a sickness/injury" story I've ever heard of.
McNabb is my favorite athlete and I hope he gets remembered more for his perseverance and play on the field rather than all of the controversy unfairly laid on his shoulders.
With that said, I would love to interview McNabb. I think he is a class act and a great football player. Here are some of the questions I would ask him:
1) What was the biggest off the field issue you've had to overcome since you've been in the NFL?
2) What are your expectations for next season?
3) Are you excited about the opportunity to play with Jeremy Maclin?
4) Do you still feel like you have something to prove to all of the skeptics that doubt you?
5) If you could pick one thing in your career so far that you wanted people to remember over everything else, what would it be?
6) How much longer are you planning on playing?
7) Do you have any regrets?
8) What was your reaction to Brian Dawkins signing with Denver?
9) How do you think people should perceive Donovan McNabb, or are you ok with how most people look at you?
10) If you win the super bowl, what is the first thing that you are going to do?
That would be a great interview, because Donovan McNabb is the class act of the entire NFL. He does not get the respect he deserves.
Someone email this article to Rush Limbaugh and Whyatt Mondesire. They both could use a lesson on class.