Sports

EAGLES: Donovan McNabb doing a familar dance in D.C. with Redskins

Donovan McNabb will be doing more than trying to avoid Cowboys Saturday night. He might be trying to extendc his era in Philly. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)

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Donovan McNabb was pulled from his last game when his exasperated head coach concluded that he could not comfortably and reliably run a two-minute, game-winning offense.

In other words, it took half a season for Mike Shanahan to realize what Philadelphia fans knew five years ago and what took Andy Reid too long to understand.

But any dance has its required steps, and so this one did, too. First, Philadelphia fans must be blamed for being angry, impatient and inconsiderate. That’s the national press’s job, and the mission was carried out heroically by those encamped at far-away outposts of Andy’s Media Army.

So the dance played out … for a few weeks. Then Shanahan had the belly to admit what the Eagles should have years ago, and that their fans were held at fault for believing: That McNabb was a chronic, late-game underachiever.

Now, the Eagles have a better quarterback, a better team and a chance to display it all Monday before a national-TV jury.

The football game could go either way. The blame game won’t. The only question now is just how Philadelphia fans, not their former quarterback, are going to be couched as incompetent.

n Among the under-the-rug sweeps as the Eagles ran Terrell Owens out of the organization was the star receiver’s assertion that then-offensive-coordinator Brad Childress was being annoying in a particular attempt to make conversation.

Sounded ridiculous at the time. But now?

Childress is the head coach of the Vikings, many of whom have run to the papers to complain about his attitude.

Hmmmmm?

Maybe if the Eagles kept the touchdown-maker instead of the alleged stress-carrier at the time, they wouldn’t still be working on that 0-since-1960 thing.

o

If the Eagles had a real, in-stadium ring of honor, their late defensive coordinator, Jim Johnson, would deserve a slot as someone who should forever be remembered. Continued...

Donovan McNabb will be doing more than trying to avoid Cowboys Saturday night. He might be trying to extendc his era in Philly. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)

View and purchase photos

But for the Eagles to ever truly succeed, there must come a point where he is peacefully and professionally forgotten.

Last week might have been that time.

After Indianapolis methodically rallied to take a 17-16 lead at halftime, the Colts were flustered, corralled and defeated by the second-half game plan of Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.

Given that McDermott had to spend most of the previous two weeks (a bye included) deflecting whispers about his incompetence and potential job loss, his performance was clutch, professional and possibly career-defining.

“We are a young defense,” McDermott said. “There are a lot of new faces and we just keep working hard. When you come to work and you work hard, good things are going to happen.”

n The Otho Davis Scholarship Foundation, in memory of the late Eagles trainer (who would be an another ideal addition to that ring of honor), will hold a 12th anniversary banquet Nov. 30 at the Society Hill Sheraton. All members of the Birds’ 1980 NFC championship team have been invited to attend. The ODSF raises scholarship funds for sports medicine students. For tickets, call 877-500-1129.

o

n It’s not that I don’t get Colonel Sanders’ string tie or his product. Well, maybe not his string tie. I just don’t get anybody not in the active military who insists on being called colonel.

o

Assistant coaches, Part II: Proving that something positive can always happen as long as you put a ball in play (Ryan Howard, pay attention), the Phillies became a better team just by refusing Davey Lopes a gigantic raise.

Reportedly disturbed that he didn’t have his salary nearly doubled, Lopes quit as the Phils’ first base coach. But once the carousel spun, it didn’t stop until Juan Samuel was the third base coach … and Sam Perlozzo wasn’t.

So at least now with Perlozzo at first, someone might make the right decision during a playoff game as to when to wave a season-turning run home.

o Continued...

Donovan McNabb will be doing more than trying to avoid Cowboys Saturday night. He might be trying to extendc his era in Philly. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)

View and purchase photos

Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez will fight a rematch of their 2009 classic Saturday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City for the WBC middleweight title.

Williams won the first fight by majority decision. Prediction: Williams survived once, not again. Martinez, who hits harder, before the sixth.

o

George Steinbrenner is an old-timers candidate for the Hall of Fame. While he should be behind Mickey Vernon and others, he should go in. Why? Because he showed how professional baseball should be run —- by concocting revenue streams, intense promotion and the willingness to spend money to make more money through championships.

Any other way is simply minor league.

Donovan McNabb will be doing more than trying to avoid Cowboys Saturday night. He might be trying to extendc his era in Philly. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)

View and purchase photos

Donovan McNabb will be doing more than trying to avoid Cowboys Saturday night. He might be trying to extendc his era in Philly. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)

View and purchase photos

Donovan McNabb was pulled from his last game when his exasperated head coach concluded that he could not comfortably and reliably run a two-minute, game-winning offense.

In other words, it took half a season for Mike Shanahan to realize what Philadelphia fans knew five years ago and what took Andy Reid too long to understand.

But any dance has its required steps, and so this one did, too. First, Philadelphia fans must be blamed for being angry, impatient and inconsiderate. That’s the national press’s job, and the mission was carried out heroically by those encamped at far-away outposts of Andy’s Media Army.

So the dance played out … for a few weeks. Then Shanahan had the belly to admit what the Eagles should have years ago, and that their fans were held at fault for believing: That McNabb was a chronic, late-game underachiever.

Now, the Eagles have a better quarterback, a better team and a chance to display it all Monday before a national-TV jury.

The football game could go either way. The blame game won’t. The only question now is just how Philadelphia fans, not their former quarterback, are going to be couched as incompetent.

n Among the under-the-rug sweeps as the Eagles ran Terrell Owens out of the organization was the star receiver’s assertion that then-offensive-coordinator Brad Childress was being annoying in a particular attempt to make conversation.

Sounded ridiculous at the time. But now?

Childress is the head coach of the Vikings, many of whom have run to the papers to complain about his attitude.

Hmmmmm?

Maybe if the Eagles kept the touchdown-maker instead of the alleged stress-carrier at the time, they wouldn’t still be working on that 0-since-1960 thing.

o

If the Eagles had a real, in-stadium ring of honor, their late defensive coordinator, Jim Johnson, would deserve a slot as someone who should forever be remembered.

But for the Eagles to ever truly succeed, there must come a point where he is peacefully and professionally forgotten.

Last week might have been that time.

After Indianapolis methodically rallied to take a 17-16 lead at halftime, the Colts were flustered, corralled and defeated by the second-half game plan of Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.

Given that McDermott had to spend most of the previous two weeks (a bye included) deflecting whispers about his incompetence and potential job loss, his performance was clutch, professional and possibly career-defining.

“We are a young defense,” McDermott said. “There are a lot of new faces and we just keep working hard. When you come to work and you work hard, good things are going to happen.”

n The Otho Davis Scholarship Foundation, in memory of the late Eagles trainer (who would be an another ideal addition to that ring of honor), will hold a 12th anniversary banquet Nov. 30 at the Society Hill Sheraton. All members of the Birds’ 1980 NFC championship team have been invited to attend. The ODSF raises scholarship funds for sports medicine students. For tickets, call 877-500-1129.

o

n It’s not that I don’t get Colonel Sanders’ string tie or his product. Well, maybe not his string tie. I just don’t get anybody not in the active military who insists on being called colonel.

o

Assistant coaches, Part II: Proving that something positive can always happen as long as you put a ball in play (Ryan Howard, pay attention), the Phillies became a better team just by refusing Davey Lopes a gigantic raise.

Reportedly disturbed that he didn’t have his salary nearly doubled, Lopes quit as the Phils’ first base coach. But once the carousel spun, it didn’t stop until Juan Samuel was the third base coach … and Sam Perlozzo wasn’t.

So at least now with Perlozzo at first, someone might make the right decision during a playoff game as to when to wave a season-turning run home.

o

Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez will fight a rematch of their 2009 classic Saturday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City for the WBC middleweight title.

Williams won the first fight by majority decision. Prediction: Williams survived once, not again. Martinez, who hits harder, before the sixth.

o

George Steinbrenner is an old-timers candidate for the Hall of Fame. While he should be behind Mickey Vernon and others, he should go in. Why? Because he showed how professional baseball should be run —- by concocting revenue streams, intense promotion and the willingness to spend money to make more money through championships.

Any other way is simply minor league.

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