Donovan McNabb at the Center of a Nasty Food-Fight About Race in America
Donovan McNabb must have been a serial killer in a past life.
If you’re him, you’d probably think the ins and outs and ups and downs of plying one of the hardest positions on all of professional sports would be challenge enough. Every time you take a snap several members of the opposing defense are looking to rip your spleen out. Some of the smartest minds in the game are sitting in the press box scheming ways of lying to you – looks like your basic Cover 2, and all of a sudden you’ve audibled into precisely the worst play possible and by the way, you don’t see that corner coming off the blind side at all, do you? To make it worse, last year you had to deal with all of this while trying to learn a new offensive system and adjusting to life in the Daniel Snyder/Mike Shanahan DramaWorld theme park.
You’d think this would be enough, but you’d be wrong. Because in addition to everything else, McNabb is that most intolerable of creatures, the Negro Quarterback.
For years, whether anyone would say it out loud or not, blacks weren’t deemed smart enough to play such a complicated position, and doubts remained even after Doug Williams won the feckin’ Super Bowl. Then, in 2003, Rush Limbaugh, America’s alpha racist, scored a gig on ESPN’s pre-game show and decided to make McNabb the centerpiece of a Kloset Klan team-building exercise.
Well, that the US has fat drug-abusing racist blowhards is not news. No worries – at least your local NAACP has your back, right? Errr…
You may have heard by now that Philly NAACP president J. Whyatt Mondesire played the Rush card on Eagles QB Donovan McNabb in a November 27 “editorial” in the Philadelphia Sun. Here’s some of what Mondesire said:
- In fact this whole dismal season so far has really been a testament of fallen dreams and lost opportunities most of which belongs at your feet (or should I say hands) and that of your coach, Andy Reid who has allowed you to perpetuate a fraud on the field while hiding behind excuses dripping in make-believe racial stereotypes.
- In essence Donny, you are mediocre at best. And trying to disguise that fact behind some concocted reasoning that African American quarterbacks who can scramble and who can run the ball are somehow lesser field generals than one who can summon up dead-on passes at a whim is more insulting off the field than on.
- But then you played the race card and practically all of us fell for your hustle. You scammed us man and there’s no way any longer to refrain from “keepin’ it real.”
- So, for you to continue to deny we fans (as well as yourself) one of the strongest elements of your game by claiming that “everybody expects black quarterbacks to scramble” not only amounts to a breach of faith but also belittles the real struggles of black athletes who’ve had to overcome real racial stereotypcasting in addition to downright segregation.
So, in a nutshell, McNabb sold out his race by becoming a pocket passer instead of a “scrambler.”Check.
But that bit of barking gongbattery was nothing compared to the bombshell that boxer Bernard Hopkins dropped on D-Mac the other day. The headline of the story actually puts it mildly: Boxer Bernard Hopkins questions Donovan McNabb’s blackness.
“Why do you think McNabb felt he was betrayed? Because McNabb is the guy in the house, while everybody else is on the field. He’s the one who got the extra coat. The extra servings. ‘You’re our boy,”‘ Hopkins said, patting a reporter on the back in illustration. “He thought he was one of them.”
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Bernard Hopkins just called one of the NFL’s most successful quarterbacks, a likely Hall of Famer, a house n***er. Not that he means it in a bad way, of course. He goes on to say that he thinks McNabb is a “nice guy. I’d trust him around my kids.” Well, duh. Massa didn’t invite the cannibals up to the house, right?
If you’ll pardon my French, what the fuck did Donovan McNabb ever do to deserve all this gratuitous abuse? The man, who has never been anything but a professional on the field and a stand-up community guy off it, gets less respect than the convicted dog-killer who replaced him in the Eagles starting line-up.
Why? Well, there are probably three answers here.
- He’s black.
- He’s white.
- He’s a loser.
That large swaths of the American population, most of them big fans of the EIB Radio Network, are racist morons is too obvious a point to need discussing.
That some blacks are uneasy with “oreos” gets clearer every time a Bernard Hopkins or a Whyatt Mondesire or a Jalen Rose opens his mouth. Which is baffling, frankly. I mean, wasn’t this at the core of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream – African Americans sharing the fruits of color-blind opportunity? (Not that we have achieved perfect equality yet, but it’s better than it was during Dr. King’s lifetime.)
I don’t know – maybe these kinds of attacks simply prove that all Americans are alike regardless of race. I grew up in the working class South, and way too many of the people I knew along the way had an image of equality that mainly hinged on dragging them what thought they was better than everybody else down to their level. Some people simply can’t abide the idea that others are getting ahead while they stay put.
I can’t quantify the “loser” meme, but I know it exists. If you follow football at all, you know that a lot of Philadelphia fans were delirious when McNabb was finally chased out of town. I guess you can chalk some of this up to the, umm, unique character of the Philadelphia sports fan.
I mean, you’d think that McNabb’s objective record of success would count for something. You know, a career 62% winning percentage. Six Pro Bowls. Five NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl. And he did all that in an offense where Andy Reid asked him to throw the ball 150 times a game because he didn’t believe in running the ball, and also he didn’t believe in drafting top-flight receivers, which you’d think would be a priority in a scheme that was pass-happy even by West Coast standards.
I mean, come on: Charles Johnson, Torrance Small, James Thrash, Todd Pinkston, Na Brown and Freddie Mitchell? Really – FredEx? 90 catches. 1263 yards. Five TDs. And those are his career numbers. When Reid finally did go out and get McNabb an A-level receiver, it turned out to be legendary QB-killer Terrell “Me. O.” Owens, who proceeded to, you know, kill his quarterback.
Of course, DM only won one of those NFC title games and then they lost in the Super Bowl, which I guess makes him a terminal loser, right? Just for fun, let’s look at two quarterbacks side by side.
|QB A||QB B|
QB A is Hall of Famer Jim Kelly. QB B is McNabb. Hmmm.
Of course, a lot of people think Kelly is a loser, too, because in America, when you lose four straight Super Bowls, that makes you the epic king-hell loser of all losers. Oddly, it even seems to make you a bigger loser than all of those teams who were sitting at home watching you on TV.
As for D-Mac, well, let’s simply note that there were 14 starting quarterbacks who didn’t make it to the conference championship each of those years. Just saying.
If your definition of loser is anybody who didn’t win the Super Bowl, then yeah, McNabb is a loser. But then, nearly everyone is, and by the way, if I use that standard and take a good hard look at your life, how do you stack up? How many years are you the very best in the world at what you do?
I’ve never been an Eagles fan, and I hate Washington with a burning passion, so this isn’t about me protecting my guy. But at some point, if you have any integrity at all, you have to look at the racism that McNabb endures and say enough is enough. When Limbaugh accuses him of being a social engineering project, it’s racism. When Hopkins goes plantation politics on him, it’s certainly a horribly unfair form of racism, isn’t it? In both cases, McNabb is being targeted for being uppity.
Hating on his on-field performance? Well, the only meaningful difference between him and Jim Kelly is race, and the Kelly Book of Controversies would fit on Post-It with room left for your monthly grocery shopping list.
I’m not telling you to worship at the altar of Donovan McNabb, but I am suggesting that there are a lot of people out there who could do with a nice, tall glass of Shut the Fuck Up Juice.