City of Brotherly Ungratefulness Won't Appreciate McNabb Until He's Gone

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IMarch 30, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 03:  Quarterback Donovan McNabb #5 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

For most sporting towns, most of the population builds a social bond with star athletes. 

Not in Philly, the City of Brotherly Ungratefulness. Disgruntled fans are always unsatisfied and judgmental of a star player’s underachievement, and as a result, they turn on any athlete.

Why must an unhappy fanbase belittle or boo a megastar whenever he is unsuccessful in capitalizing? Why must ignorant fans boo or deride a superstar whenever he elevates a hapless franchise to the top, but fizzles in a poor performance at a moment a needed win is at stake?

Shame on them for ridiculing any player struggling to find his swagger, mocking him, and demanding trades, but months later cheering him on finally for reaching expectations.

In Philly, the wishy-washiness and hostility burns out a typical athlete, delivering exertion and loyalty in order to pacify an enigmatic sporting town. No matter what, this is a town that will never be content or pleased with championships because of their selfishness and ungratefulness.

This peculiar cultural belief corrupts an infuriated town, inspiring all people living within an insensitive environment to boo any major franchise. It's an unsympathetic ritual the masses in the City of Brotherly Love endorse.

It’s not hard to forget that this is the town that humiliated Santa Claus when they booed him during halftime. And it’s not hard to forget that this is the town that taunted third baseman Mike Schmidt.  

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To this day, I’ve never understood why the town censures Donovan McNabb on every throw, every scramble, and every decision. Sadly, he’s the most polarizing sports figure in Philly, if not sports in general, lambasted and blamed if the Philadelphia Eagles fall short of thriving. With all the latest trade rumors swirling around, there were unpleasant callers on sports talk radio this weekend, chatting about the all familiar trade talks.

While a large population continuously blasts the franchise’s winningest quarterback, whose name has been mentioned and circled in trade rumors for the past few years, his peers have referred to him as a rare breed, a natural talent, and the best in the world.

All of a sudden, it appears the Eagles are content with changing the culture and starting with raw talent. All of a sudden, it appears half of the town is burned out with McNabb.

Ever since owner Jeffrey Lurie purchased the franchise, the Eagles have dealt with unnecessary drama, whether the focal point centered Terrell Owens’ selfishness or disruptions that ravaged humor, dividing a relentless core. Over the years, the front office has chosen to practically stay under the salary cap and avoid spending enormous prices on a star player.

For a long time, the franchise has been cautious and systematical in spending large amounts, but as a result has suffocated in recent seasons thoughts of making another substantial run or delivering a title. The point is, McNabb isn’t the cause of the recent failures, and if anything he has been a remedy that has heightened an insufficient roster.

It’s almost fair to point fingers at him, but not too many, after strongly driving a once potent franchise to a Super Bowl before falling to the New England Patriots. You may even wonder how he managed to stir the Eagles into the biggest game while withstanding the nagging T.O. mess.

It seems a bond has been broken, since McNabb stumbled in the Super Bowl in 2005. It wasn’t long ago when he choked in the biggest game of his lifetime, showing evidence that he collapses under tremendous pressure in crucial games. Embarrassed of his clumsiness, he conducted himself with class and heroism and blamed himself for the late blunders.

Yet, the egotistic fans still ripped out the heart and soul of an inspirational leader, describing him as the scapegoat among Philly sports. They’ve scolded him and rebuked any miscues he has executed.

Today, we are hearing trade rumors. Why should anyone be shocked? Why would any athlete want to play in a city where he isn’t welcomed? So today some are curious to know where and when he might land elsewhere. With apologies later, the Eagles will regret dealing McNabb if the organization decides to trade their franchise player. Maybe once he’s gone, the masses in Philly will appreciate what type of superstar ran their prolific offense.

All fans are willing to wave farewell to McNabb. Fans refuse to defend their franchise quarterback, who’s bearing adversity because of deficiencies and negligible morals. Perhaps all fans lack sense if they’re willing to allow the Eagles to trade McNabb.

This is nonsense. He doesn’t deserve foul treatment from an organization that he has given much in return.

Just to refresh memories, he has thrived as an Eagle for 11 seasons by appearing in five conference championship games and a lone Super Bowl. It’s amazing how a town all of a sudden doesn’t mind giving away a star player, someone who has engineered the Eagles and established urgency in a franchise.

This is almost similar to handing over an iPod for a Philly cheese steak, or changing the menu at McDonald’s by discontinuing the McRib sandwich for a new and unheard-of sandwich.

Obviously, it’s clear the Eagles are planning to establish a new foundation and move forward, shopping their premier player and increasing opportunities for backup quarterback Kevin Kolb.

Wait, what the hell? Kevin Kolb, the replacement when coach Andy Reid benched McNabb for surrendering two interceptions after a horrendous first half in the Eagles’ humiliating 36-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. And the week before, McNabb was mocked because he was unaware that a game could end in a tie. Throughout his scrutinized career he has been damned if he did and damned if he didn’t.

So with all the reports circulating around the NFL regarding a possible McNabb trade, maybe it’s time to part ways and end a fragile relationship with fans and executives. Either way, there are other teams probably more appreciative and admiring of a star player who suits their offense and overhauls their weaknesses.

This year, McNabb is expected to make $11 million. His contract expires next season, but why does it matter to anyone in the so-called City of Brotherly Love? Rename it the City of Brotherly Ungratefulness. If the Eagles were aiming to lock him into a long-term contract, forget about it.

With all this drama, McNabb may consider retirement or be willing to play elsewhere. There’s one team expressing interest. For now, the Oakland Raiders are front-runners and had conversations with the Eagles to presumably acquire the finesse quarterback, in which rebellious owner Al Davis is always comfortable taking a gigantic risk.   

Moving McNabb in the upcoming weeks will ultimately dictate the Eagles’ investment this offseason, particularly if they receive a high draft pick in return, or a prospect quarterback the organization can groom as a replacement for a veteran.    

However, the fans and Eagles family won’t appreciate him until he’s gone.

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