No matter how many consecutive sellouts the Philadelphia Phillies have had at Citizens Bank Park (they’re up to 58, by the way), the Eagles are always a hot topic.
Especially when the topic is in any way, shape, or form connected to Donovan McNabb.
McNabb is back in the Philadelphia headlines, this time, responding to comments that former Eagle teammate DeSean Jackson made recently to the Sporting News.
"I don't think we lost anything, even with McNabb being gone," Jackson told SN, while looking forward to the upcoming season and the subsequent quarterback change. "I am very happy with the decision. Playing with Kevin Kolb last year, I know what he's capable of doing. I see his playmaking ability and his leadership."
McNabb responded as one might expect, by pretty much downplaying everything as if it were no big deal.
As much as the media would love us to believe the contrary, DeSean Jackson is not Terrell Owens, although the two primetime wideouts both have lots of skill, big mouths, and share one super-agent named Drew Rosenhaus.
Still, the media has done its best to stir up the indirect exchange of words between Jackson and McNabb, just as it did back in 2007 when a brash Philadelphia shortstop named Jimmy Rollins dared to challenge the alleged supremacy of the reigning NL East champion New York Mets for the upcoming season.
“I think we are the team to beat—finally,” Rollins told the media in January 2007.
Rollins’ words instantly created a national firestorm. The Mets players, their fans, and media members all took J-Roll’s comment as an undisputed slight against their team.
Yet, what the majority of the public probably didn’t realize was that Rollins was addressing a question posed by a reporter who directly asked Jimmy if he felt the Phils were the team to beat in the NL East in 2007.
Hardly any media outlet even clarified Rollins' words by saying he was responding to a question.
What was Rollins supposed to say?
"No, we won’t be able to compete with the Mets, especially with guys like Freddy Garcia and Adam Eaton now anchoring our starting pitching staff."
Similarly, what is DeSean Jackson supposed to say about his outlook for 2010?
"No, I think we’ll struggle this season. People who are glad to see McNabb out of town should be careful what they wish for."
Really, Jackson’s comments were appropriate and hardly surprising.
At least not nearly as stunning as the post game quotes made by Donovan McNabb himself, following the Eagles horrific 24-0 loss to the Cowboys on January 2 that cost his team the NFC East title and also the NFC’s second-overall playoff seed.
“We showed our youth,” McNabb said that day. “We showed our youth in situations where everyone began to look around to see who was going to make the play instead of stepping up and making that play.”
Ouch. That’s an undeniable zinger delivered by the quarterback who has always been portrayed as the consummate team leader by the national media and supposedly has always handled tough times with the up most level of class.
After hearing Donovan throw his offensive teammates (most in their early to mid 20’s) under the bus in the biggest game of the season, it wouldn’t be surprising if DeSean had chosen to hit the greatest quarterback in Eagles history with a reciprocating shot to the solar plexus once the season came to a brutal ending just six days later.
But DeSean Jackson hasn’t come close to doing anything like that, even five months after McNabb’s slight, despite the national media’s desire to make us believe he has.
If these are the most controversial comments DeSean Jackson makes all year, then we should consider ourselves lucky.
By the way, the Phillies hope to have Rollins back in their starting lineup by the end of May. After all, baseball season is in full swing…while football season isn’t.
In the meantime, don’t buy into all the controversial headline propaganda the media delivers.