Cinco de Mayo has come and gone, but people are still whacking around
the Pinata with the number 5 on it. A few days ago, Bernard Hopkins, a
world-class boxer, took the big stick out and thumped Donavan McNabb hard.
Real hard. McNabb, the much maligned NFL Quarterback, was
"not tough enough" and even worse, "not black enough", according to Hopkins.
McNabb, it seems, has been the favorite pinata of a lot of people during
his star-crossed career with the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington
Redskins. Terrell Owens said he wasn't mentally tough enough, throwing
up on the last drive against the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Mike Shanahan,
the coach of the Redskins pulled him out of a potential game-winning drive
against the Vikings, because he was not in shape enough to do it.
And the fans in Philadelphia, who come out of the womb screaming, "You
suck!"? There's not enough space on here to fit in all the venomous things
they've said about McNabb over the years. Now we have Hopkins, who
has a history with McNabb, basically saying that he's a wuss and an
Uncle Tom, two haymakers that are sure to bring another thorough
examination of McNabb's character once again.
Before we continue, let's hit the rewind button to see where all this hate
against McNabb started. After a spectacular career at Syracuse, McNabb
was selected by the Eagles with the number two pick in the 1999 draft.
When the selection was announced, the boos and hate reigned from the
rafters at Radio City music hall in New York, as the hard-to-please Eagle
fans displayed their dissatisfaction. They wanted Ricky Williams, not
McNabb. How'd Ricky the Reefer man turn out, by the way?
McNabb only led the Eagles to five NFC title games and one Super
Bowl appearance. He holds every passing record in franchise history
and has the third-highest winning percentage of any active QB not named
Brady or Manning. He's thrown for more than 35,000 yards and 225 TD's.
He's done a lot of great things, yet, could NEVER satisfy the fans, media,
teammates, and critics.
McNabb has fueled the fired, stoke the flames,and attracted hate
and venom like a refrigerator magnet. But why? Why has McNabb been
the human punching bag and like the pinata the 5-year old kid drills
with fury and passion at the neighborhood party? Why does everybody
from Bernard Hopkins to Rush Limbaugh want to criticize McNabb?
Hopkins added that McNabb is not one of us, "he just has a sun tan,
McNabb, to his credit won't respond to the comments made by Hopkins, and
has never chosen to get in a verbal joust with T.O., Shanahan, or the fans
of Philadelphia. Perhaps, he feels that it's better to just "turn the other cheek",
and let the others look bad for saying bad things about him. McNabb, some
say, has handled everything with class. His detractors say that he should
stand up for himself. But why should he have to defend himself against such
utter non-sense? Why should he let himself get pulled into the cess pool
with the engineers who are creating the dirty waters?
McNabb, by most accounts is a good guy. He's never gotten a DUI, been
arrested for hitting his wife, failed a drug test, or tweeted a ridiculous
comment. He's generous with his time and money, giving to the less fortunate
and charitable organizations without thumbing his chest and saying, "Look
at me, look what I've done." Heck, when Michael Vick needed a job
after two years in the slammer, McNabb went to management and encouraged
them to sign a guy who would eventually take his job.
Unless McNabb is a total jerk behind the scenes and a two-faced, prima
dona capable of duping all of us, I think everybody should put down
the stick and lay-off the pinata. These comments from T.O, Shanahan,
and Hopkins seem to be agenda driven and filled with hate, jealousy,
Perhaps, McNabb wasn't what they thought he should be. Perhaps,
Hopkins doesn't feel that McNabb represented their race in the right
way. But all those people should really take a look at themselves in the mirror
before trying disgrace and discredit McNabb. No matter how hard they
whack the pinata, it has yet to break, and when it's all said and done,
McNabb will go down as damn good quarterback and a class act. The
numbers and records back it up.