Nearly every coach for every sport preaches to his or her players that no excuses are allowed for mental errors. Apparently, Andy Reid doesn’t require the same from Donovan McNabb, and the 10-year veteran quarterback doesn’t realize that he’s paid plenty to know the rules of football.
After the Philadelphia Eagles’ 13-13 overtime tie with the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, McNabb said that he did not realize that an NFL game could end in a tie if no winner has been decided after one overtime.
“I've never been a part of a tie. I never even knew that was in the rule book,” McNabb said.
“In college, there are multiple overtimes, and in high school and Pop Warner. I never knew in the pro ranks it would end that way. I hate to see what would happen in the Super Bowl and in the playoffs.”
Sorry Donovan. It doesn’t work that way. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, and even if you disagree with a rule, it’s still a rule.
In my best estimation, Reid didn’t make his situation in Philadelphia either by saying many players probably don’t know about the rule, which is probably something Reid should have addressed with about five minutes left in the game if he had any doubt. He didn’t stop there, however.
He claimed that not knowing whether or not there was another overtime would have no impact on how hard teams play.
“I'm sure there are plenty of rules that guys don't understand, but I don't think that has any factor whatsoever to do with the outcome of this game and how they played in the overtime," he said.
"I think that's absurd. You play to win in that time, whether you think you have another overtime period or you don't. And you play your heart out to win it in that time, and that's how we approached it and that's how the players approached it.”
If that set of mind were true, an offense would aggressively try to force a score at the end of the third quarter instead of waiting for the fourth.
I don’t buy what McNabb is saying. I don’t buy what Reid is saying.
The last tie game in the NFL came six years ago, in 2002, when the Falcons and Steelers finished 34-34. I guarantee there are some six-year-olds who have been born in that time and have played Madden long enough to know that if you don’t decide a winner in overtime, it’s a tie.
Although it isn’t common that a game ends in a tie, it has happened before, and it is a player’s responsibility to know what’s going on.
McNabb then played the sympathy card saying that everyone expects a quarterback to know everything.
Well, yeah. The quarterback is the guy with the earpiece. He’s the guy that hears the play, relays the play to his teammates, has the ability and the jurisdiction to change the play, reads the defense and makes adjustments. The quarterback is expected to be the smartest player on the field.
McNabb is expected to be paid $9.2 million to do his job. Most of us get paid much less to know how to do our jobs, and I can safely say that although not many of us have the athletic ability to do McNabb’s, the vast majority of us knew that an NFL game can end in a tie.
I don’t often agree with the patience shortage amongst most Philadelphia fans, but right now, the Eagles are a half game out of the final playoff spot. If they finish a half game out of the playoffs because of McNabb’s ignorance of the rules, I would expect to see Reid and McNabb on their way out of Philly.