Disclaimer: I am, admittedly, a closet Eagles fan. Growing up in Chicago, I discovered quite quickly – around 1986 to be exact – that the season could be pretty brutal. In order to root for a team after week 17, I began searching for a back-up and was immediately charmed by Philly. From the moment Donovan McNabb was booed at the 1999 draft, I adored him. Not only was he from Chicago, but he was also a new breed of QB: one who scrambled and passed, but did more than rely on a rocket arm and perfect teeth. While he’s certainly not the same player he was 8 or 9 years ago, I continue to root for him and his team. The following post absolutely reflects my appreciation for and belief in #5. After all, this is fantasy football – so come on and let me dream a little.
While I was setting my lineup for this past weekend’s match up in Evertrue, I briefly debated whether or not to start McNabb. I knew he was coming off of a bye and hoped that he’d be rested, but the guy can be so streaky that I was hesitant. With talk of a flack jacket and raised eyebrows about both Kolb and Vick, I started to get cold feet. Maybe McNabb was too old and injury prone. Maybe all of this wild cat nonsense would legitimately limit McNabb’s playing time. Maybe it was time to face facts, throw in Sanchez, and hold my breath.
But then, as I ran my mouse over the QB/BN toggle, something awesome happened. My longtime ex-boyfriend texted me out of the blue with the following message: “Happy b-day! Go Falcons, FTW!” For the record, it wasn’t my b-day and I’m not a Falcons fan (though I do have Matt Ryan, who I stupidly benched in Noobs out of pure spite. Mulgrew, you can thank me later).
Within moments of reading the aforementioned message, I was reminded of a stunt this jackhole pulled involving copious amounts of Rolling Rock, Cheetos, and bright orange vomit. It was the 11th week of the regular season and Arizona was at Philadelphia. McNabb was playing on what was only being reported as a sprained ankle, but was in fact a pretty intense break. Showing an amazing amount of grit, the starting QB played like a champ, racking up 255 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Eagles would go on to beat the Cards 38 – 14, while my less than beloved ex would lose not just a now infamous game of beer pong, but also the contents of his stomach, as well as his pride, and eventually his girl.
In retrospect what I remember most about that day wasn’t the screaming match or my stained sweater, but rather the mind-over-matter determination of a true champion. That sort of heart and steadfast focus doesn’t just disappear with a broken ankle or even a few bruised ribs. Sure, McNabb is in his 30’s but he’s still got the spirit of a rookie combined with the resolve of a vet. I had no doubt on Sunday that he was going to come off of his injury and the week 4 bye with impressive explosiveness. And I was right. Despite being sacked 3 times, McNabb threw for 264 yards and three touchdowns. He even ran for 13 yards on the team’s first play. That, my friends, is some vintage sh*t!
I know there are 12 more weeks left in the regular season. And I know that means there are plenty more opportunities for McNabb to get laid out. But I also know that #5 never was nor will be your average quarterback. Bottom line: I’m with Donovan, For The Win!