The big story going around in Philly these days are the comments Donovan McNabb, quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, made on HBO the other day. Basically, what he said was that black quarterbacks are still playing on an uneven field, as opposed to white quarterbacks, and that they are forced to have to do more to be successful. I agreed with this statement …. about 20 years ago.
Back in the 1980’s, there were hardly any black quarterbacks in pro football, and the ones in college were encouraged to switch positions when they graduated. Heck, Warren Moon, one of the most successful of these qb’s went to Canada to play for a number of years, instead of switching positions. When he got his chance back in the NFL, he made the most of it. He, along with Randall Cunningham, and Doug Williams, paved the way for other black quarterbacks –those are the ones who rightfully had a beef.
The city of Philadelphia already went through having a black quarterback for years prior to McNabb – with Randall Cunningham. For the most part, this city loved him – he was athletic, exciting, and just fun to listen to during press conferences. He was indeed “The Ultimate Weapon.” He won many a game for us that we had no business winning, and was the guy that was partially responsible for the rebirth of the Eagles. Sure, he wasn’t the greatest decision maker in the world, and that Eagles defense probably won games despite his mistakes, but I digress (actually, when I was a PR intern with the Eagles, one of the coaches said that Cunningham never studied any game tapes –they would give him about 5 minutes of game tape, and then put a porno on the rest of it, just to test this – Cunningham never knew, because he never watched).
McNabb’s comments, in my opinion, were rather stupid – and hey, I’m a McNabb guy. He totally ignored the entire Cunningham era with his statements, AND basically ignored the fact that Jaworski got booed constantly in this city, AND he was white AND he took us to our first Super Bowl. Mike Schmidt, one of the greatest third basemen in baseball history was constantly booed and considered lazy by his hometown fans in the City of Brotherly Love.
At this point, I don’t think McNabb will ever win this city over. He started off on the wrong foot the day he was drafted (no fault of his own), and has never really been able to get over this. Even if he finds a way to win the Super Bowl, I’m guessing the fans will end up loving Westbrook or Dawkins more than McNabb anyway.