An Open Letter To Donovan McNabb From The City of Philadelphia

brigid duffyContributor IOctober 1, 2010

Dear Donovan,

I know I told you never to contact me again. But when I saw you on TV in that Redskins jersey, I broke down a little inside. Don’t get me wrong, I still hate you, but that doesn’t mean I don’t obsess over you.

I can’t believe that after 11 years, we’re not even talking. Sometimes I lay awake at night and wonder how the twins are doing. Or if you ever miss it here.

But mostly I just think about us, and the way we were. Whenever I hear a group of drunk tanks sing, “Fly, Eagles, Fly,” I still half-expect to hear a “McNabb sucks!” at the end. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe you’re really gone.

You seem pretty happy in Washington. I wish I could say that I’m happy for you, but you and I both know that I want you to end up with a 1-15 season. If we can’t win together, then I just can’t bear the thought of seeing you with a ring of your own. I’m seeing other people too. Multiple Quarterbacks. I guess you could say that things are getting pretty serious with one of them. Just last week he threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns. Andy is thrilled. Just sayin.

But don’t get me wrong, I still think about you a lot. So much of my identity is wrapped up in bitching about you, it almost doesn’t feel like football season anymore. I still remember the day we met. I know things didn’t exactly get off to a great start. I made a bad first impression, getting drunk on Yuengling and rambling on about how when I don’t get what I want, I chug Yuengling and talk about how I think I’m cursed. But that’s just me. I’m a city that overshares.

I’m sorry I talked about Ricky Williams so much that first year. I was convinced he was my “Mr. Right.” But you knew all along, Ricky was just “Mr. Right Now.” You stood by me even when my feelings for you were lukewarm at best. You always tried to make it work, the sap that you are.

I know we had some ups and downs, and I was pretty tough on you at times. Sure, I’m the City of Brotherly Love, but that doesn’t mean I don’t take pride in my hostility. I mean, you lost three NFC Championship games in a row. Ok, I guess it wasn’t totally your fault. We did have one of the worst starting receiver squads in the NFL, but still, I felt spurned. Sometimes I wondered if you even cared at all. It’s like, right when I open up my heart, you tear it up again. But whatever. I’m totally over it.

I guess, after 11 years, I just got tired of waiting for that ring. A city can only go so long before it starts questioning its quarterback’s motivations. I knew I should have ended it all after the Super Bowl. I just couldn’t look past that fumble on the first drive of the game. And an interception on the 24-yard line?

It was like I never even knew you. Or maybe I knew you too well. I just didn’t know what to expect from you anymore. But I’m sorry, I guess I shouldn’t have brought that day up in the first place. I know it wasn’t totally your fault. I’m sorry I got wasted, threw around some trash cans and pissed on parked cars after that game. I hope the Wawa hoagie I got you made up for it.

I know that you played with injuries that I can’t even pronounce just to make me happy. I know you managed to throw over 32,000 yards and 216 touchdowns and broke several NFL records when you were with me. I know you’re the quarterback with the lowest interception-to-pass-attempt ratio in the history of the NFL, and that you’ll probably get into the Hall of Fame.

But you know what? Despite all that, I don’t know if I could ever be happy with you anyway. Maybe I was just never meant to embrace you. But it’s not me, it’s you.

So I guess we’ll have to see each other this weekend, and things might be a little awkward for you. I guess part of me wanted you to go to the Redskins so that we would have to face each other. Maybe I wanted to see you again, just to show you how much I didn’t need you. Maybe I wanted you to see that a true Philadelphia QB isn’t meant to be a team-first family man who gives it his all every game. I don’t do well with class acts. No sir.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss you. You’re still a big part of me, even though I only ever loved you because you were so easy to blame for all of my insecurities. I know I made the last 11 years pretty excruciating for you at times, but it wasn’t all bad. We’ll always have 4th-and-26.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, even if I boo you on Sunday, just know that it’s not really me that’s doing it. I mean, it’s me, but it’s not me. You know, I got that whole ungrateful ruffian thing going for me right now, and I gotta keep that up.

Much misfortune to you this Sunday.


The City of Philadelphia