Dear DMac 5,
I know the thought has crossed your mind a lot lately—I just want you to know that it’s ok to think it, and it may even be liberating to say it. Nevermind, I’ll say it for you, leave Philadelphia now and don’t look back.
This is a town that still has not learned that the grass will not be greener. No city has a knack for trading away Hall of Fame talent; Wilt Chamberlain; Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, Ryne Sandberg, Peter Forsberg (twice), Mo Cheeks (who was the last guy in the Western Hemisphere to find out), Randall Cunningham, Scott Rolen, and Allen Iverson. They let Reggie White walk—which hurts more than a trade because they got nothing back.
See where I’m going with this—you’re next, and the majority of fans in this town would’ve never drafted you if they had their way. Hell, the mayor of the city, now governor of the state, wanted Ricky “Puff-Puff Give” Williams—a contingent of 30 “knowledgeable football fans” assembled by a sports-talk radio personality booed your selection at Radio City Music Hall that day. What enhanced their ignorance was the response that they gave when asked why they were booing, “We were booing the pick—not the player."
Now, I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I’m pretty good with word association, and if memory serves me correct, YOU were the second pick of the 1999 NFL Draft, and upon your name being called, YOU heard boos, so who were they booing? I know you said it didn’t bother you—but it bothered me.
It bothers me when after four consecutive NFC Championships and one Super Bowl appearance, many of the people here still don’t get it. They didn’t get it when A.J. Feeley replaced you in 2003, they didn’t get it with Jeff Garcia last season. Even with Feely's performance against the Patriots last season, do you honestly believe that you would've been showered with the accolades he received after a loss? I don't think so.
Your replacement, Kevin Kolb, is now your backup—the elephant is in the room Donovan, in full view.
Enough is enough, and too much stinks—the city that eats its own needs to step away from the table.
I can’t say that I’ve always backed you or some of your decisions: The Black on Black crime, the debacle with Terrell Owens, your failure to try to persuade management to work out a deal with Owens when you lobbied for Brian Westbrook—all after you said you didn’t get involved in player negotiations. But for the most part, you’ve hung tough and tried to put the criticism and boos behind you.
But they keep coming.
They question your heart—I don’t think Brett Favre can throw four TDs on a broken ankle without a painkiller or two (sorry, I couldn’t resist that one). Seriously—what do they want? You have left it all on the field, sometimes literally. Fred Biletnikoff threw up before every big game, and he’s played in a few. I respect your gangsta five.
You’re the scapegoat for a stubborn coach. To Andy Reid’s credit, his faith in you has never wavered. I’m beginning to see cracks in the foundation, and if it comes down to you or Reid walking the plank, guess who’s getting the blindfold? Hint: A plank can’t hold Andy Reid.
You tell the world the deck is stacked against the black quarterback and you’re dismissed as a malcontent—Vince Young and Jason Campbell even write it off as a problem that’s yours, not theirs.
The writing is on the wall my man. Don’t give this organization the opportunity to do you like they did Randall, or how the '76ers did A.I. Leave on your terms—they already asked three first-round picks for you at the trading deadline. Were they blowing smoke? Maybe.
Regardless, there is an asking price out there for you—and as we inch closer to 2009, the price will go down. Even if you made it to training camp as an Eagle, next season you could be cut because it’s an option year in your contract.
The bottom line—many of the fans never really wanted you here. They would’ve been happy with Doug Pederson, Jeff Garcia, or A.J. Feely. "Why bring in another black quarterback—no matter how great an athlete he is, he’ll never win."
It’s almost like they want a reason for you not to be here. After one more season gets over—and the fans will finally get what they want.
So let me be the first to say thanks, and that I wish you well. Write your own ticket; you’ve earned it. You’ve definitely soared like an Eagle amongst turkeys. But before you leave, do me one last favor?
Take Brian Westbrook with you—no need in wasting his prime years here with a rebuilding franchise that doesn’t use him properly anyway.