Saturday, December 24, 2005

Damon and Millwood - 2 wrongs don't make....

We at Red Sox Nation weep. What would Johnny Damon do? Go for the money, of course! Damon, shorn of his Jesus-like locks, is now the $52 million Yankees' center fielder. Ugh. The only thing worse would be the Sox signing Kevin Millwood, who failed in Philadelphia, especially down the stretch.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Fly Eagles Fly (or were those just penalty flags?)

The Eagles beat the Rams Sunday, but it wasn't pretty. Over 200 yards in penalties. More false starts than TD passes. I see the Eagles with a different backup QB next year, because Mike McMahon can't get it done. And the fact that McMahon is starting instead of Koy Detmer speaks volumes about Andy Reid's (lack of) confidence in Detmer. And why does Reno Mahe continue to get second-half carries when Ryan Moats isn't winded?

And did you catch the latest Campbell's chunky soup ad where McNabb's mom has him running right, running left, running right, then throwing? Looks like he did more running in that ad than he did all year long. I'll agree with J. Whyatt Mondesire on one thing - defenses get flustered when McNabb runs.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Piling on No. 5

J. Whyatt Mondesire, President of the Philadelphia NAACP and publisher of the Philadelphia Sun, recently blasted Philadelphia QB Donovan McNabb in an editorial. Among other nuggets, Mondesire called McNabb a "mediocre talent" who cheats his fans by not running the ball as often as he could, and consciously made the decision not to run because, in McNabb's mind, this would somehow make him less of a field general.

Reaction ran the gamut. Michael Wilbon of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption and The Washington Post, called the article "hateful" and blasted Mondesire. John Smallwood of the Philadelphia Daily News had this to say:

If McNabb were Caucasian, I am positive white people would not have been motivated to call into talk radio shows and debate whether the quarterback was a true white man.

But debating Donovan McNabb as a true black man is exactly what a good number of African-Americans in Philadelphia are doing since the Owens-McNabb flap became the focal point of the Eagles' demise.

It's fascinating that this has spiraled way beyond the confines of a football debate. And don't tell me it hasn't, when terms such as sellout, token, company man, Uncle Tom and other racially charged ones have been thrown into the debate.

What this black-on-black verbal violence has caused me to wonder is: Who gets to determine who is truly African-American and what is or isn't a part of African-American culture?

Stephen A. Smith of ESPN's Quite Frankly and The Philadelphia Inquirer interviewed Mondesire for today's Inquirer:
Q: How do you feel about the ramifications, how this has affected the life of Donovan McNabb? Black and white folks are now opining on McNabb's blackness because of a column written by you.

A: I'm not sorry it happened, because I felt strongly about it. I think you've seen in the latter part of my piece that we were disappointed in the way he failed to step up in a leadership role. I raised the issue at the end of the piece about why he wouldn't share some of his dollars with either T.O. or Westbrook.

Had McNabb chosen to do that, they would have circled the wagons around him, run through hot coals barefoot for him. It would have cemented the team, kept the T.O. debacle from growing into the massive scandal that it became, and kept the team concentrated on winning football games.

Q: So you're saying Donovan McNabb should have taken a portion of his salary and given it to T.O.?

A: Or offered to do so. The same way Tom Brady did with New England.

Kind of. The difference was, McNabb was already under contract and Brady was negotiating a new contract. And I don't see Brady's teammates backstabbing their QB, either. If a teammate's throwing grenades at you, you don't throw money at him.

And this is how Smith opined about McNabb's season:
Balls were repeatedly underthrown or overthrown. At times, there was no rhyme or reason to his lack of production. His accuracy and timing were sporadic at best.
2005? Yes. But Smith could have just as easily been talking about any other season in McNabb's career, save for last season. McNabb is not mediocre. But he's not the greatest QB since Elway and Montana, either.

Monday, December 12, 2005

since I last posted...

The Eagles squeaked by Green Bay, were slaughtered by Seattle, and lost to the Giants on an overtime field goal.

While the offense remains largely inept in the absence of a healthy Donovan McNabb, you can spread the blame around. Despite Jeremiah Trotter's assertion that some offensive players "quit" against Seattle, looks like his team's 'D' could use some help.

For instance:
Sacks: The lack of sacks and hurries, as noted previously by Rich Hoffman of the Daily News. Trotter himself has one sack this year. One. That's a Mike Mamula-like number.
Red-Zone Efficiency: Opponents scored touchdowns 63.2% of the time against the Eagles once they got to the red zone (prior to the Giants game) - worst in the NFC.
Points per game. We'll give up the yards, the Eagles always said. But judge us based on points. OK. The Eagles are giving up 24.2 points per game. Even if you discount the generous gifts offered up by McNabb against Dallas and McMahon against Seattle, that's still over 22 points per game.

And as for the QBs....
McMahon is not the answer. His horrid passing accuracy is just one reason.
Detmer is not the answer. Koy is still the # 2 QB (apparently in name only, since McMahon got the call first this year), but why? Because David Akers is comfortable with Koy holding? Not acceptable any longer. And for those fans who argue "what about Koy coming to the rescue?" that was three years ago and for part of one game before he got injured.