Donovan McNabb will officially retire today as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. He was the quarterback that I grew up with and was the face of the team for over a decade. His relationship with the city and team was tenuous at best, and he had done more than enough to sour his image on South Broad St.
McNabb’s start with the team has gone down in Eagles lore.
The fans wanted Ricky Williams. Andy Reid needed a franchise quarterback. He went with McNabb and the jeers rained down from the cheap seats at the draft. McNabb has never forgotten that start, consistently mentioning it in interviews. He played with a chip on his shoulder.
In the good years, the Eagles always had a chance with McNabb at the helm. He could run, throw the deep ball and make plays happen. His accuracy was always a question, often putting balls in the dirt or yards over the receivers’ heads. In 2004, despite the clash with Terrell Owens, the team ended up at the Super Bowl. They lost by three and McNabb, according to other players and media, vomited in the huddle.
He will be forever known as a choke artist.
He came up small in more than one critical situation. He was traded to the Washington Redskins, and that started the downhill slide to end his career. In a famous clip caught by national media, he told the Redskins locker room that the Eagles made a mistake trading him. He could not have been more wrong.
So today, McNabb will retire as a member of the Eagles. He will expect love from the organization and the fans. He had a string of successful years, yet could not overcome his faults. He had a chance to lead this team to greatness and never realized his full potential. Reid bet his job on McNabb’s success and both lost their bets.
McNabb should bow out and vanish from Philadelphia. He will be forever known as not being good enough, and this city does not appreciate anyone who is not a fighter. He can walk away from his career, cash in his soup endorsement checks, and be an adequate member of the media somewhere else.