The Winner Who Can’t Win

Donovan McNabb just can’t win.

We are talking about a first-round draft pick, booed by his own fans.

He played quarterback in one of the toughest towns in sports in front of fans who booed him, and turned the boos into cheers.

He took the Philadelphia Eagles to five NFC Championships straight years. He has a played in a Super Bowl and put his team at the time in their best position to win a Super Bowl in their history. Six Pro Bowls appearances. NFC player of the year, 2004.

A winner on the field through criticism. Through being told he wasn’t the guy the fans want. Through one commentator saying that Donovan McNabb’s career and prowess was an exercise in social engineering. “I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL,” Rush Limbaugh said. “The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. They’re interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well … McNabb got a lot of the credit for the performance of the team that he really didn’t deserve.”

McNabb’s response? Class all the way.

He’s been told his not “black enough” because he doesn’t run from the pocket when the first read isn’t open. He played too “white” because the man checks his progressions, they way NFL quarterbacks have to in today’s game.

McNabb response? Mouth shut. Game on.

That’s been Donovan McNabb through it all. Mouth shut. Game on. Even through the 2004 circus that was T.O. If anybody can work your last good nerve its Terrell Owens. They got to a Super Bowl together, and probably could have won it the next season. But T.O.’s head was throughly in his nether regions, right down to saying that if the Eagles would have had Brett Favre, we would have won.

Wasn’t the NFC’s top offensive player that season Donovan McNabb? Didn’t he destroy Favre’s Green Bay Packers 47-17 that season?

The man from Syracuse wearing #5 has been an NFL fire hydrant. A lot of people, most of not all lesser people, seem to lift their leg next to him.

And now we have Bernard Hopkins calling McNabb an Uncle Tom. “”He was right, but (he doesn’t) represent that,” Hopkins said. “The only reason he spoke was because he felt betrayed: ‘I thought I was one of y’all’s guys. I thought I was the good one. Y’all told me this.’

What is it about the Ignant Award Winners among my people which makes them believe that they are the official concessionaire for the African-American Express Card? Saying that Michael Vick and Terrell Owens “understand”? B-Hop? C’MON MAN! (and yes, you are this week’s Northside Chip “YOU IGNANT” Award Winner.)

Let the record show that Terrell Owens has been coonin’ and buffoonin’ ever since he became a star in the NFL. At the start of his career, Terrell Owens was just a football player, and a darn good one. When he was in San Francisco building his rep, you saw the talent. It was all you needed to see.

But, when Terrell Owens became the feature wide receiver (a.k.a The Man), it went to his head. It started with ripping his quarterback, and then ripping the coach. It grew to that business with the Dallas Cowboys star in Texas Stadium, and the pom-poms and the Sharpie and everything else. From there it got worse. He went to Philadelphia and showed his butt. He wrecked the relationship with the best quarterback on the best team he’s played on. And from there, on to Dallas, Buffalo, Reality TV, and then Cincinnati to meet up with fellow Black Male Kardashian Chad Ochocinco.

It’s “Amos ‘N Andy” in cleats. Quite of few of us give more respect to that, than to a ballplayer like Donovan McNabb. His grace on the field and off harken back to a time when being a black professional athlete wasn’t about money, ring and bling, but even more about setting a high standard and an winning example for the generations after to follow.

Oh by the way, B-Hop. Since you mentioned Michael Vick? Who lobbied his team to give Michael Vick a second chance? Your so-called “House Negro” quarterback Donovan McNabb did that. In my mind, the way McNabb reached out to Vick is worthy of a lifetime Platinum African-American Express Card. He didn’t have to reach out to Vick. He could have said “Ex-con? Let him rot.” Instead, McNabb told his front office, “This guy paid his debt, and has something offer.” To his credit, Vick has made the most of that second chance, but lest we forget who helped get that second chance on the table.

When I see ignance like yours Mr. Hopkins, my inner Sergeant Waters from “A Soldier’s Story” comes out:

“Do you know the damage one ignorant Negro can do?
We were in France in the First War.
We’d won decorations, but the white boys had told all them French gals…
…that we had tails.
And they found this ignorant colored soldier.
Paid him to tie a tail to his ass and run around half-naked making monkey sounds.
They put him on a big round table in the Cafe Napoleon.
Put a reed in his hand, a crown on his head…
…a blanket on his shoulders and made him eat bananas…
…in front of all them Frenchies.
The white boys danced and passed out leaflets with his picture on it.
Called him “Moonshine, King of the Monkeys.”
When we slit his throat, you know that fool asked us…
…what he had done wrong.”
My daddy told me, we got to turn our backs on his kind.
Close our ranks to the chitlins, collard greens, cornbread style.
We are men, soldiers.
I don’t intend for our race…
…to be cheated out of its place of honor and respect in this war…
…because of fools..”

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