Donovan McNabb Traded Within the Division to the Washington Redskins? The Kevin Kolb Era (Error?) Has Begun

This is what I wrote immediately after my sister called and informed me that Donovan had been traded:

I am no longer a Philadelphia Eagles fan.

Never a quitter but judging how the Eagles organization treated the man who lined their pockets for eleven years, I can not sit by and continue to have my intelligence insulted.

I can’t wait for Donovan to come into town and eat Rocky’s heart…

I waited until morning to express my true feelings because those of last night immediately after the trade was announced were just way too emotional and not objective in the least.

Does McNabb to Washington rival the Wilt, Malone, Barkley, Brad Daugherty trades?

Statement I received later on from the McNabb camp last night…while diplomatic, it’s true to Donovan’s name:  “I’m really excited about my future with the Washington Redskins. I’m eager to work with Coach Shanahan – he’s been a very successful coach with a couple of Super Bowl victories on his resume. While it has been my goal to win a Super Bowl in Philadelphia, we came up short. I enjoyed my 11 years and know that we shared a lot more good times than bad.”

Does Shanahan see Elway in McNabb? Elway was a different player after Shanahan took over. The offensive guru streamlined Elway’s talents to the tune of two consecutive Super Bowl wins after 4 Super Bowl losses became his career definition. 5 has a stable of running backs…Willie Parker, Clinton Portis and Larry Johnson and you know Shanahan will run the ball…something Donovan wasn’t afforded in Philadelphia…and stick with it.

As an aside…Jason Campbell wasn’t told of trade until he heard from this reporter (Donovan might want to consider this just in case he wants to sign a deal with Washington and where does this leave Campbell. Is he out?).

Have the Eagles front office ameliorated the team?

Not in my opinion.

Why is Kevin Kolb being mentioned in the same sentence with Donovan McNabb? His potential is that good and some of you actually see him leading the Eagles to the Super Bowl right now?

Let’s put it all out on the table. Donovan McNabb is a soul model for young Black quarterbacks who don’t have like minded coordinators to refine their talent. He is the prototype. He is arguably the best Black quarterback of all time because of what he’s done during the regular season and also in the playoffs. When are Black quarterbacks going to be defined by their success and not their “failures”? A third and 20 run for a first down may not show up in passer rating but it damn sure leads to wins. To say 5’s not a winner because he’s never won the Super Bowl is soul diminishing of his legacy. His legacy and the legacy of others should not be characterized by how many championships won because very few athletes…in any sport…can lay claim to last game shine.

This city is so fickle that an Eagles town has quickly become a Phillies town despite a Eagles current playoff run rivaled only by the Doc and Cheeks led Sixers teams of the late 70’s and early ’80’s.


That Donovan McNabb quarterbacked the Philadelphia Eagles was a perfect storm. He was my Randall Cunningham revenge. I loved the Philadelphia Eagles and love Donovan McNabb because of his steadiness. This really hurts but I will hurt no longer for Donovan McNabb is in a better place…even if it’s merely a year. I held out hope Triple 5 Soul wouldn’t be traded. I held out hope because despite all the controversy swirling, I knew Donovan could withstand everything fan, media and organization exacerbated and still rock.

Another thing…passionate fans do not equal great fans.

Inside the Linc is where Donovan got his respect. The fans there during game days were’s outside the Linc I take issue with.

Most of the fans I spoke with wanted Kevin Kolb. Really? How can that be? Why should Michael Vick have to sit behind someone lacking so much experience?

One thing McNabb did master (for his own sanity) was dealing with media. He was diplomatic when he absolutely needed to be, critical in code at times and injected child like laughter when he felt froggy as well. He played the Philly media and most couldn’t stand it so the hate prevailed in relevant op/eds and the like. Yes, there were some decent columns (definitely not enough) but Donovan never received the adulation of his comparable NFL peers despite being booed on draft day…despite the Rush Limbaugh bs…despite the lack of talent, inconsistent play calling, despite the Terrell Owens negativity (I blame Donovan as well), the front office drafting his replacement…while his arm is still prime, lack of offensive balance and despite the all the  injuries.

One must understand that if the press in any given city on any given Sunday does not write at least a few shining moments regarding an athlete’s career, fans will pick up on the perception, run with it and ultimately that perception becomes reality. It’s good to see the national media reporting what Moon and Eli Manning said but if the national beat spoke out even more about Donovan earlier on, we might not be in this space.

That DeSean Jackson is being bandied about to somehow confirm some sort of anti-McNabb locker room sentiment is disgusting. DeSean is a beast. He’s simply a monster on the football field, but fans have to understand he’s a third year player. Of course there is going to be a disconnect between a youngsta coming into the lead and a older cat with one thing on his mind…win a Super Bowl. I’ll say it again that if the climate of journalism in this town was anything moral, then there would be a different attitude and perception of Donovan McNabb.

Don’t prop up Jukebox to sooth your own insecurities. There are disagreements in every locker room and in every work place the world over.

Make it work!

Did the Eagles brass use Donovan to galvanize Maclin, Jackson and Celek’s skill sets, respectively? Will LeSean McCoy pick up a blitz play in and play out? Will Maclin hold on to a ball thrown when a safety speed knock is imminent? What will Jackson do if Kolb doesn’t perform in the clutch? Where’s the defense? Will Reid run the ball more because if he loses the writing is on the wall for him as well.

The Eagles have let go 12 players this off season…most in the league…and now have one position player over thirty. Average age is a mere 26.

Covering the team the last two years was a dream. I picked Donovan’s brain on occasion on and off the record and was sometimes vilified by talk radio hosts who somehow didn’t get I care about the legacy of players.

I don’t care if you are Black, White or ooze blue and silver star, if you command respect, you get it from me for life.

But, but, I live here…

I live where a fictional character has become the definition of the underdog. Why not Joe Frazier, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Benard Hopkins, Vince Papale or Brian Dawkins? This is where perception vs. reality comes in.  The Rocky statue is a fixture of this town and over the years and also because the majority of Philly’s sports stars do not look like Balboa, the proper respect simply isn’t given (Dawkins is the exception). Writers capitalized on what they thought was the pulse of the city to sell papers and threw McNabb in the trash whenever the joy rode their backs; never knighting Donovan with the key to their would be emotional pens.

Media prose was never glowing but more of tolerating 5.

Since journalistic creativity has waned in this town and the strength…or lack thereof of the almighty dollar is pushed to the fore, most didn’t know if they were coming or going. Most knew the Eagles weren’t getting rid of Andy Reid despite his Rocky shortcomings, so they focused on arguably one of the best athletes the town has ever had.

Donovan McNabb was certainly a polarizing figure for the city. Most either loved or hated him and as a result there was a prevalent fatigue associated with Donovan. When trade winds blew the city was awash with excitement and a smiling hope for the future. A trade had to be made.

The city is ready to hand over the keys…cheese steaks and all…to a young quarterback with two starts. They are ready to do so despite having Michael Vick here as well.

The ability of Kevin Kolb is unknown.

Do you really think  Kolb is a better quarterback right now than Michael Vick?


Yes,  Kolb became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 300 yards in his first two starts. Remember, one was a blowout loss to the Saints where he threw 3 picks…and it was a true blowout…and the other was a 34-14 demolition of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs game was in effect…his fire starter. He got a taste of success and his time is now.

If Kevin Kolb was truly the man to get it done then Donovan’s career should have been over that fateful day in Baltimore where Andy Reid didn’t even have the balls to tell McNabb he was benched himself and instead asked an assistant coach to do his damage.

McNabb did have 7 turnovers in 7 quarters…that should not be understated…but why the hell was his leash so short in a town yet to win a Super Bowl?

Would a Golden Boy quarterback like Favre, Brady or Manning been given a similar hook?

Kolb was miserable in the 36-7 loss and that he performed badly was probably the only reason McNabb was able to put the team on his back and lead Philadelphia to yet another NFC Championship game.

He was magnificent in that stretch.

That was almost a year and a half ago and now 5 is gone…

You have to understand I live in a town that gets rid of Hall of Fame or Hall of Fame caliber players as if they are scrubs while holding on to more human cult figures fans identify with…and that’s alright?

Wilt Chamberlain, Maurice Cheeks (player and coach), Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, Brian Dawkins, the aforementioned Randall Cunningham, Scott Rolen, Eric Lindros, Reggie White, Curt Schilling, Brian Westbrook…hell Julius Erving was a scant second away from being traded to the Clippers for Terry Cummings.

No love, no loyalty and that fans here identify with a fictional character in Rocky Balboa is telling.

I say tear the statue down. Right now. No…right now.

When Randall Cunningham took over the reigns for Ron Jaworski (funny how Jaws never defends McNabb despite his own mediocre 4-4 playoff record) and elevated the Eagles into one of the more exciting teams in sports the writer of my soul was developing. Passion, excitement, visual amazement…love.

I fell in love with sports and the makings of this piece is lined with Randall’s jheri curl juice…

Cunningham was treated like dog crap here. He was vilified for flying to Vegas to see his first born delivered Dallas playoff week despite being a back up. The fans chanted his name when he threw a pick despite being the entire offense. The media skewered him…yet the fans cheered him when he returned as a Cowboy? Huh?

Nonetheless, he led the team in rushing an incredible four straight years, had decent passing stats and if Buddy Ryan didn’t pull him against Arizona in game 16 in 1990, he most likely would have been the first qb to rush for 1,000 yards (ended with 942 and had 3,466 in the air). He won only one playoff game and that was in 1992. It’s unfortunate Randall’s playoff image is that of the infamous Fog Bowl loss to the Bears in a game he three for 412 yards.

The Eagles neglected to give Randall a line or a top level receiving corps. Fans and pundits alike questioned whether Randall was intelligent enough to read defenses. Cunningham lands in Minnesota, takes over for Brad Johnson, has one of the best quarterback seasons in history and comes within a gimme field goal of facing John Elway and the Broncos in the Super Bowl.

If Philly writers would have left even a decent legacy regarding Cunningham maybe things would be different for McNabb.

Who are Black quarterbacks compared to…themselves or their White counterparts?

Fast forward to 2010. The man who has a better playoff record than Peyton Manning is traded to a hated rival within the division on Easter Sunday.

Could the question be raised Philadelphia is tired of seeing Black quarterbacks lead the Eagles? Is it all about race, hell no, but that a racial component exists  affects how the city is viewed nationally. This is one of the most unique trades in sports because Donovan’s talent has not deteriorated.

I never quite got the criticism after the Arizona 32-25 NFC Championship loss. Especially being he threw for 375 yards, 3 touchdowns and a pick that was deflected. What else could he do? Where is the Kevin Curtis judgment for not catching a sure first down with over a minute on the clock at the Cardinals 25? Where is the criticisms of McNabb grounded? Is it all about the bottom line?

I’m not one to clamor for Kevin Kolb to fail. I wish him well but Donovan is the focus. If Kolb  sets Broad Street on fire, then I’m happy for him. I must ask is the media going to give him a pass because a change in quarterback is what most in the press wanted because stories are generated? When he’s at the podium after throwing yet another late game interception will he be able to handle himself when the fire is the hottest or will beat writers and columnists back off the pedal?

What do the fans and media want here?

What do you want?

Why is the organization trading a franchise quarterback with one of the strongest arms in the league simply because there are backups at the franchises disposal? Those of you who make excuses for kicking Donovan out of town…what does that say about you personally as a sports fan?

What the hell is up with this town thinking they deserve something their behavior and common sense does not?

Donovan McNabb’s Philadelphia record was 92-49-1. He threw for 32,873 yards, 216 touchdowns and 100 interceptions during his time in Philly…all records.

What about 4th and 26?

This piece will be seen as a Donovan McNabb apologist piece, but I could care less. Facts are the final culture and that’s my soul aim. The fact is Donovan McNabb has thrown the least amount of interceptions (percentage) in the history of the game…in a pass happy offense…yet most want to paint him as this inaccurate clown lacking passion…which is absurd.

You got what you wished for Philly now what will be the excuse if this monumental move backfires?

Will Kevin Kolb be as secure with the ball as Donovan has been during his more than stellar career?

Some will miss you here Donovan and I’m proud to say I’m one of them. I wish you well 5. Now go claim your legacy in Chocolate City.


Dealing with this craziness the last few years, here are the pieces I’ve written on Donovan:

It’s Time For Donovan McNabb’s Legacy To Be Law

When Are the Eagles Gonna Win One for Don?

The Class of Donovan McNabb Prevails

A Quarterback Controversy? Best Believe McNabb Is Done In Philly

Donovan McNabb, Randy Moss, Chad Johnson: Decisions, Decisions

Repeat After Me: Why Haven’t the Philadelphia Eagles Front Office Given Donovan McNabb Talented Receivers?

Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon questioned the move and so did Eli Manning…of all people.

Ya damn right this hurts and football will never be the same in my eyes. Washington, DC is getting a great quarterback and a better man.

55 Responses to “Donovan McNabb Traded Within the Division to the Washington Redskins? The Kevin Kolb Era (Error?) Has Begun”

  1. Zuri Berry says:

    […] please check out the Starting Five’s blog post on the McNabb legacy. They’re Philly folks, and they’re always in McNabb’s camp. Share and […]

  2. joe graham says:

    Nice job man!……Philly will never never get it.

  3. […] is not your friend Terrelle. Run from him. Call up Randall, Air, Dan, Warren, Joe, Jim, Donovan and even Mike. I’m not saying to genuflect, but do appreciate the paved road they’ve […]

  4. […] please check out the Starting Five’s blog post on the McNabb legacy. They’re Philly folks, and they’re always in McNabb’s […]

  5. […] the #2 pick and were going take Griffin if the Indianapolis Colts passed on him. McNabb was traded from Philadelphia to the Washington Redskins in 2010, and to put it mildly had a difficult time with head coach Mike Shanahan and son Kyle Shanahan, […]