To the Philadelphia Eagles: Be Careful What You Wish For

Michael LanichCorrespondent IApril 8, 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

"You don't realize what you have until it is gone"

The quote above is something most of us have heard at least once in our lives.  Sadly, it is also some of the words of wisdom we follow least.  We take things for granted.  We take our health, our wives, and our jobs, and so much more for granted.

It isn't until we fall on hard times that we reflect on how good we had it.  How perfect paradise was. I wonder if this is how the Eagles will feel six to eight months from now?

It's odd, really, how little affection has been thrown at Donovan McNabb over the course of his career from some of the NFL's best fans.  Especially since Donovan has always exemplified the hard working, blue collar mentality that Philadelphia fans respect and love to see.

It all started with the booing on draft day, when the Eagles picked McNabb over Ricky Williams.  Although Ricky has had a fine, albeit odd, career, McNabb has been among the top five to 10 QBs in the league every year for much of his career.  He could run, he could stand in the pocket, and was remarkably accurate.  But it has never seemed to be enough.

My biggest problem is that I just don't understand how a team that did very little for many years before McNabb could honestly criticize or fail to appreciate what his tenure in Philadelphia has brought.

From 1993 through 1999, the Eagles were over .500 only two times.  From 1997 through 1999 they won only 14 games—total.  In 1999, McNabb did not start or played very little, so the record that year cannot reflect upon him.

So what has McNabb done in the last ten years? 

He has thrown for nearly 33,000 yards, 216 touchdowns, and a mere 100 interceptions. 

Oh, and the team has won 97 games, made the playoffs eight out of 10 years, made it to four consecutive NFC Championship games, and nearly won a Super Bowl against the vaunted Patriots.

Not bad.  Not bad at all. 

In fact, if you were to ask most fans across the country they would probably say, "quit your whining".  Why?  Because there are a fair few franchises who would probably kill to have that kind of production and sustained excellence.

I think it's fair to say that McNabb is the Eagles' greatest quarterback, and sadly its most undervalued and unappreciated player. 

Yeah, McNabb is 33. 

Yes, he's dealt with a few injuries, and yet he never stops working to get better and win that elusive Super Bowl.

And now it's been decided that Kevin Kolb is the man of the future.  He may be. 

But I have a feeling that it won't be this year.  Something tells me that next year, fans may feel that the trigger was pulled too quickly to get rid of McNabb.  It'll probably be worse in 10 years, when fans look back and realize just how good they had it and what they didn't appreciate. 

They may look back eventually and realize just how good Donovan McNabb was, and how badly they treated him as a whole. 

Adios, and good luck, Mr. McNabb.


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