Feb 18, 2008, 2:45 PM EDT
Daily News writer Rich Hoffman had an epiphany, one I think would benefit a lot of people in this town. There always seems to be some personal element of Donovan McNabb to complain about, most recently because he has this chip on his shoulder. During the past few weeks, he’s refused to acknowledge the benching may have helped, and now he’s catching some flak for answering a pointed question about playing in Philadelphia.
Why does any of that matter though? Everything Donovan says is over-analyzed, and we always seem to conclude it was negative. For instance, it was silly he didn’t know there are ties, but the notion this somehow affected his play seems just as ridiculous. Or this off-season when he said the team – offense, defense, and special teams – needs more playmakers, that was automatically an indictment on the wide receivers.
Even Donovan’s gestures and demeanor on the field spark outrage with
fans. When he says "my bad" and points to himself, why is that
anything more than owning his error? When he smiles and laughs in a
tough situation, why do we forget that it’s still just a game?
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of criticisms you could levy on Donovan, and if you’re honestly of the opinion he needs to go, this isn’t to persuade you otherwise. It’s simply both curious and frustrating that so much is made about his words and not always what he’s done on the field. At the end of the week, all that matters is they got that W, but how often does that get lost in some story about his imminent departure or how he chose to answer a loaded question in an interview?
We even nitpick his performance. It’s always "another wormball," or
"how could he miss a wide open receiver by that much," and never "nice
touch on that TD pass," and "what zip on that throw." The guy isn’t perfect. If we’re expecting him be Peyton
Manning, who makes some doozies himself, well he’ll never be that and
no one else will either.
Have we been unfair with Donovan? On some level, yes we have, not necessarily because you want to see him go, but because he’s still here and you won’t give him a chance. It’s convenient to ignore the strides he’s made over the years, and instead punish him for the stupid things he says and matters he can’t control, like injuries and the coach’s impossible gameplan.
If you don’t like what he has to say, why pay it any attention? It’s not about what happens behind the microphone, and as we’ve seen in Dallas so far, it’s not about who has the most likable quarterback. Maybe McNabb can’t get it done, but the truth is it hasn’t always been about what happens on the field.
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