Blog Entry

Real history of Donovan Mcnabb and Eagles fans.

Posted on: April 5, 2010 11:04 pm
I think the media has rewritten history with regards to the relationship between the majority of Eagles fans and Donovan McNabb.  The media uses the fact that 30 or so people went to the draft and booed his pick as evidence that Eagles fans never liked him from the beginning.  They will then show a couple clips of people booing at an Eagles game while they talk about T.O. and his benching and Rush Limbaugh.  I have seen this exact 2 or 3 minutes of T.V. countless times by now.  This is an inaccurate portrayal.  

What follows is the history of Mcnabb's tenure with the Eagles as I remember it.  I also include some comments about what I felt were the majority of the fan's feelings at the time.  

Although a large group of Eagles fans wanted them to draft Ricky Williams in 1999, by the time the season rolled around everyone wanted to see Donovan play in his rookie year.  All the talk was about whether they should they let him play right away or should they let him learn and watch from the sidelines for a while.  That is not the thoughts of people who hate Mcnabb.  Everyone was excited and was dying to see him play.  He beat the division rival Washington Redskins in his first start.  The Redskins won the NFC East that year. 

The following year Mcnabb led the Eagles to the playoffs and a Wild Card round victory.  If you remember back that far, a playoff victory was HUGE!  We loved him for it.  They lost to the Giants in the next round, but people were still feeling really good.  We had made serious strides since the last season.

The next year when Mcnabb lead the Eagles all the way to the NFC Championship game, losing to the Rams, EVERYONE loved him.  The team had far exceeded expectations and almost beat the Rams, with Mcnabb clearly the leader.  Remember at that point, no one knew about Tom Brady and the Rams were the Goliath, "Greatest Show on Turf."  

The love for Mcnabb, Reid and the Eagles was at an all-time high when Duce Staley ran the ball into the end zone early in the 1st quarter in the Championship game against Tampa Bay the following year.  Mcnabb's interception that was returned by Ronde Barber for a touchdown, essentially ending the game, was the first real blemish on Mcnabb's reputation in Philadelphia.  The Eagles were HEAVY favorites in that game for many reasons.  We've all been over it a thousand times, no need to get into the details of that painful moment here.  NOTE:  This is at the end of Mcnabb's 4th season and the first real chink in his reputation.  Although I can say with some confidence, that most Eagles fans were still very much in his corner at this point.

Fast forward to next year's playoffs.  "4 and 26!"  Can you honestly say that the bulk of Eagles fans were against Mcnabb at that time???  The NFC Championship the following week was supposed to be our redemption, finally getting the Eagles to the promised land.  Again, playing at home, favorites over the Panthers.  Mcnabb goes 10-22 100 yards and 3 INT's.  But, if you recall, Mcnabb was hurt on a cheap shot early in the game and never really recovered.  So even after all that, he still had lots and lots of supporters, but the number of detractors were starting to grow.  If from nothing else, from the shear pain of watching the Eagles lose to an underdog and have another team celebrating on our home field.

Ahhhh, the 2004 season.  Adding "the Freak" and T.O. in the offseason, we were back in high spirits.  This time Mcnabb leads the Eagles all the way to the Super bowl.  Mcnabb throws 3 TD's, but also 3 INT's, including one on the final drive when a field goal would have sent the game to over time.  I would say that this really was the turning point.  

The following season had the T.O. drama, talk of Mcnabb throwing up in the huddle and just being too tired to run the hurry up offense.  Mcnabb had his sports hernia injury which eventually ended his season in week 10.  The Eagles ended the year 6-10, being swept by the entire NFC East.    In 2006 Mcnabb had his ACL tear.  Garcia filled in for him and led the Eagles to a NFC East Championship and a playoff win.  At this point, the durability of Mcnabb really became questioned by a large portion of fans along with his apparent inability to "win the big game."

In the 2007 draft the Eagles selected Kevin Kolb.  This was a MAJOR shock to almost every Eagles fan.  The 2007 season saw Mcnabb miss 2 more games to injury and the Eagles finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs.

2008 was the year of the infamous benching of Donovan Mcnabb for Kevin Kolb.  Kolb came into the buzz saw that was the Ravens' defense and did not play well.  After a very slow start, Mcnabb and the Eagles turned the season around culminating in a return to the NFC Championship game and another loss.  Mcnabb's statistics in this game were quite good, but after the defense surrendered the lead, the offense stalled with Mcnabb throwing 4 incomplete passes, several of them off target.

2009, Mcnabb finally had the "weapons" that fans have been clamoring for for years.  Mcnabb leads the Eagles to the playoffs, but the regular season ends with the Eagles getting mauled by the Cowboys and the Eagles suffer the same fate in the first round of the playoffs.  The 2009 season was probably the only season in Mcnabb's tenure where the defense was really suspect.  The Eagles trade Mcnabb after the season to the Redskins and announce Kevin Kolb as the starter.  The end of an era.

There is my take on the history of Mcnabb with the Eagles.  I'm sure you could argue about it's accuracy here and there (and please comment on that below), but you have to admit that it is MUCH closer to what really happened than the garbage story we are forced to watch over and over on ESPN and the NFL Network.  

One reason I wanted to write this is because I think that many Eagles fans have started to believe the phony history foisted on us by the media.  We are starting to believe that we really did always dislike Mcnabb and always wanted him out of Philadelphia.   I think if you read through this short history I wrote, you will remember how that is false.  The truth is far more complicated as real life always is.  If I could think of one consistent outcry from the Eagles fans EVERY off season, it was for the Eagles to get a legitimate WR for Mcnabb to throw the ball to!  Does this sound like a group of people that disliked the QB?   

I think there was a gradual building of love for Mcnabb and a piece by piece destruction of that relationship between he and the fans of Philadelphia.  And the truth is that there are still many fans that did not want to see Mcnabb traded and think that we are doomed to an era of mediocrity, now that Mcnabb is gone. 

I firmly believe, if Kevin Kolb wasn't on the team most fans would want the Eagles to have given Mcnabb a contract extension.  It was the Eagles organization that drafted Kolb, that benched Mcnabb and that ultimately traded Mcnabb.  Us Eagles fans just sit and watch...and hope.

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: August 24, 2010 1:08 am

Real history of Donovan Mcnabb and Eagles fans.

As a Redskins fan,i am already wearing my #5 Mcnabb skins jersey. What an exciting time this off season has been! The Mcnabb era in Washington is definitely going to be something to watch. A new coach, new GM, new QB, and a new era of winning has dawned in D.C.!!!
So starting with a 32 year old QB begins a new "Era?" Oxymoron, no doubt.

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: August 24, 2010 1:05 am

Real history of Donovan Mcnabb and Eagles fans.

I agree. Good take. However, while I can somewhat understand, I would lean towards the side that says you should never remove a franchise QB that is a "7" and replace him with a "6" unless cap room was a major factor (which it may have been so I can't really judge). Nevertheless, this is a win-now league.

Can't accuse the Packers of that because, quite frankly, Rodgers was proven to be just as good or arguably better than his predecessor at the time. Maybe Kolb will surprise too. However, I think that'll be a challenge.

Since: May 4, 2007
Posted on: August 14, 2010 3:20 pm

Real history of Donovan Mcnabb and Eagles fans.


Since: May 4, 2007
Posted on: August 14, 2010 3:10 pm

Real history of Donovan Mcnabb and Eagles fans.


Since: Aug 26, 2009
Posted on: August 2, 2010 2:43 pm

Real history of Donovan Mcnabb and Eagles fans.

I'll admit I wanted Willams in the draft, but I warmed up to Donovan pretty quick.  Playoff appearances piled up, 5 NFC Championship Games, 1 SB appearance, and yes, countless disappointments.  Hopefully I warm up to Kolb as quickly as i did for Donovan, but I am still on the fence.  I'm reminded of another great QB, who at Donovan's age had the reputation of being able to get his team to the big game but just not over the hump, John Elway.  Elway got the Broncos to the playoffs 8 times in 14 years, 3 SB appearances but no ring.  Some great memories mixed with bitter disappointments.  But did the Broncos trade Elway?  No. They got him a running game, took some of the presure off of him, and suddenly, 2 rings.  Donovan is a proven winner like Elway, but also like Elway before Davis, Donovan has never been provided a proper running game behide him.  He's had some talented runners back there, they just wern't utlized in the traditional running back mold.  This placed a larger amount of the pressure on Donovan, similar to Elway until he got Davis.  I'm not saying Donovan Mcnabb is John Elway, Given the choice between the two at age 33 I take Elway, tho Donovan is not far behind.  The determining factor being the durability issues for Donovan.  I really question trading a franchise QB who's done nothing but win right before he gets to play with maybe the most talented offensive cast around him ever.  Anyway, bleeding Eagle green I can only say one thing, GO KEVIN KOLB!!!!!!!

Since: Jul 16, 2010
Posted on: July 16, 2010 4:43 am

Real history of Donovan Mcnabb and Eagles fans.

Well , my fellow green blooded friends I am surprised to read all of the Donny praise and after all is said and done I dont see it that way at all. Dont get me wrong , I bleed green all the way back to Frankland Field and Norm Snead and Tom Woodasheck, Tim Rosovich, Tom Demsey, and my all time favorite eagle to watch in person #29 at wide reciever Harold Jackson. My father did the play by play on wip and was the sports director at wip and wcau tv for my entire youth . It was great going to games for about 13 years , but it tested your green. Those were some lean years, anyone who toughed it out staying green would understand how frustrating it was and why we pelted Santa with snow balls . Anyway the reason I mention all that is that I also got to meet and watch some of the best there ever was in person. From Sonny to Montana, Namath, Bernie Kozar, Ken Stabler, Elway and all in their prime . And as much as I rooted for and tried to become a Donny fan , the guy never got to be as good as he should have been. All the physical attributes , loved seeing him lead the team. But here is where he fell short in my opinion. He matured the way a great qb has to as far as reading deffences and understanding his system and utilizing what ever talant around him, again as all the great ones do. BUT HE NEVER WORKED HARD ENOUGH TO OVERCOME HIS INACCURATE PASSING SKILLS. He was big , strong , understands the game, BUT FOR A TEN YEAR GUY IN THE LEAGUE HIS LACK OF ACCURATE PASSING COST US, AND I KNOW HE HAD THE TALENT TO DO IT. If he had , T.O. and Donny would be sporting rings. Worst of all, and this part I could be wrong on, he seemed like it didnt bother him the way it killed me. You cant count the times he would miss an important pass and just smile , like oh well.  For christ sake , lets be honest , he ran the friggin west coast offence , wich does not require throwing deep perfect passes but it does require short accurate ones. How many times did he complete short little west coast offence type passes with no help from himself , guys were always reaching behind them , or obove them or his favorite spot of all to hit a reciever , at the ankles.  I wanted them to win so bad and I disagree , several years he had enough around him to win it all , but his bad passing is what kept them right on the edge without pushing them over the hump to win a superbowl. Nope it was nfc championship talant and thats where it ended. He is not on the list of greats, truth is he was very good at times , but never great.  LAST BUT NOT LEAST ,WHAT THE HELL DID WE SMOKE FOR BREAKFAST THE DAY WE TRADE HIM INSIDE THE DIVISION. ARE YOU KIDDING ME . CAN WE MAKE ANY WORSE DECISIONS IF WE TRY? WHY NOT JUST GIVE HIM TO DALLAS FOR A NOTHING PICK , SO WE COULD REALLY REGRETT IT.geeze. And the explination , I almost threw up, something about after ten years of service that we should honer his wishes.  Are you kidding me , we dont owe him a thing , he was paid great and Reid protected him like his own son. He should have been dealt far away to Oakland the deal was on the table and they didnt have the balls to do it . Forget about starting Kolb, again, I CANT BELIEVE MY FRIGGIN EARS WHEN I HEAR THIS GARBAGE THINKING. HIS TIME WILL COME HE IS GOOD AND YOUNG.  BUT H E L L O  A FEW YEARS AGO VICK WAS THE BEST IN THE LEAGUE. 100 MILLION DOLLAR QB , THE MOST DANGEROUS AND ENTERTAINING QB IN FOOTBALL.  CAN WE STOP WITH THE HERE AND THERE WILDCAT APPEARENCES AND START THIS GUY FOR A SEASON AND SEE IF HE STILL HAS IT . THAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO FIND OUT . START HIM AND STICK WITH HIM SO HE CAN GET BACK IN THE GROOVE AND I THINK WE WOULD BE REWARDED WITH A DEEP PLAYOFF RUN AND WHO KNOWS.    THIS IS ALL COMMON SENCE THINKING , PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE.


Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: July 3, 2010 12:04 am

Real history of Donovan Mcnabb and Eagles fans.

As a Redskins fan,i am already wearing my #5 Mcnabb skins jersey. What an exciting time this off season has been! The Mcnabb era in Washington is definitely going to be something to watch. A new coach, new GM, new QB, and a new era of winning has dawned in D.C.!!!

Since: Jun 28, 2010
Posted on: June 28, 2010 11:39 pm

Real history of Donovan Mcnabb and Eagles fans.

hallo! well,i want to ask a thru cowboy fan like you,if you really think romo will winn the big one sometime or if he is the dan marino,s second coming,i mean he is a great qb,he,s numbers are amazing,but PLAYOFFS... well,we all know what happends,i respect every fan from every team,they point of view,my team are the REDSKINS,i have some felings about mc nabb,lets see what happen in our frist game who ever winns will be by 3 points.

Since: Jun 14, 2010
Posted on: June 17, 2010 10:37 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jun 6, 2010
Posted on: June 6, 2010 8:57 am

Real history of Donovan Mcnabb and Eagles fans.

Great read. I enjoyed it. I've followed McNabb ever since he was a Senior at Syracuse. Tennessee went up to the Carrier Dome for the first game of the 1998 season. UT ended up winning 34-33 on a last second FG, but McNabb put Syracuse in a position to win. McNabb looked like he'd do a very good job in the NFL and he has. I think it would be good if he came back in a few years, signed a 1 day contract like Duce Staley and Randall Cunningham did to retire as an Eagle..

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