By JT the Brick
Updated: 1:21 a.m. ET Nov. 17, 2005
JT the Brick
Philadelphia fans have already started to panic and many of them are finished backing Donovan McNabb as the starting quarterback of the Eagles.
He has lost several big games throughout his career, including the Super Bowl and several NFC championship games, but the Monday night loss to Dallas might be the one that takes him the longest to live down. The stage was set for the Eagles to put all of the Terrell Owens talk behind them and climb back into the playoff race, but the house of cards came crashing to the ground with under five minutes to play as Philadelphia blew a 13-point lead an ended up losing to its hated rival 21-20.
McNabb has thrown 66 interceptions in the regular season during his seven-year professional career, but none was more dramatic than Monday night’s telegraphed laser beam that put the Cowboys in a tie for first place in the NFC East with the New York Giants. That is the type of mistake you make when you playing on the road in a meaningless preseason matchup, not in a must-win game in front of your home fans that could make or break the entire season.
Story continues below ↓ advertisement
That pick ranks only behind the one that McNabb threw to Ronde Barber of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Jan. 19, 2003 at Veterans Stadium that resulted in a 92-yard touchdown with 3:12 left in the NFC championship game. The Eagles lost to the Bucs 27-10 and missed a chance at winning Super Bowl XXXVII. Speaking of the Super Bowl, McNabb also blew Philadelphia's chance at winning its first football championship since 1960 by throwing three interceptions against New England last season.
Could it be that McNabb just might not be able to win the big game? That is nothing to be ashamed of. Just ask Charles Barkley, Ernie Banks or even Peyton Manning what it feels like to chase a championship ring and come up short every time. My question is, might McNabb be better off playing for a different team with a fan base that might embrace him and encourage him to push on after coming up short so many times in his already painful career?
Buccaneers' Alstott dives over top for touchdown in Tampa
• NFL week 10
See the best images from Sunday's action
I had a blast talking to football fans around the country who want Donovan to bolt Philadelphia and end up in their city. Even though McNabb signed a $115 million contract in 2002 through the year 2010, fans in other NFL markets want McNabb to reconsider his future in Philly. A Tampa Bay Buccaneer sfan tried to convince me that McNabb could run Jon Gruden's West Coast offense along with Joey Galloway, Michael Clayton and Cadillac Williams. Detroit Lions fans, who are sick and tired of losing, would love to see McNabb in the Honolulu Blue throwing passes to Mike Williams, Roy Williams and Charles Rodgers. A die-hard Detroit fan proposed a blockbuster trade to the Motor City that would only help secure the job status of general manager Matt Millen and head coach Steve Mariucci. Think of McNabb playing in Baltimore for Brian Billick as he opens up his playbook for his new quarterback who could count on Ray Lewis and the rest of that defense to deliver for him in big games.
If I were McNabb, I would do anything in my power to get out of Philadelphia and play for a fan base that appreciates me more. McNabb has played the entire 2005 schedule with a serious sports hernia injury and has had to deal with all of the media distractions that come with being associated with Owens. That should be enough to get a free pass from his hometown fans, but they continue to pile on.
Slide show: The Week in Sports Pictures
Liebherr German Open - Day 2
• Nov. 7 - 13
Getting ready for Turin, glory on the courts and on the gridiron, and more.
Philadelphia is a great sports town because they hold their professional athletes accountable for their actions on and off the field, but they are the worst group of sports fans when it comes to kicking their own while they are down. The Eagles are all but done this season and I am sure McNabb will continue to work his tail off to recover from his injuries so that he can lead his team back to the playoffs and maybe even the Super Bowl next season.
I feel sorry for McNabb because we should all be able to see the writing on the wall. The fans who booed Santa Claus and Mike Schmidt are the same ones who cheered while Michael Irvin laid motionless on the ground at Veterans Stadium back in 1999. The only way McNabb can win over the die-hard fans of Philadelphia is by winning a Super Bowl and his best chances for doing that might be in his rear view mirror.
© 2005 NBC Sports.com