Bob Ford: McNabb plays blame game best

Former Eagle Donovan McNabb says incredible things in a GQ interview. The most outrageous was his claim that the organization didn't support him.
Former Eagle Donovan McNabb says incredible things in a GQ interview. The most outrageous was his claim that the organization didn't support him.
Posted: August 25, 2010

All these years, I thought GQ stood for Gentleman's Quarterly, but when the magazine came out with its exclusive, wide-ranging interview with Donovan McNabb this week, it's obvious the initials stand for Gone Qwazy.

Because that's where McNabb has gone. Not Washington, D.C., or Landover, Md. But Qwazy, USA, Zip code 55555.

McNabb said some things in the article that were dumb. He said some things that were insulting. And he said some things that were downright bonkers. This is not a particular surprise. McNabb was good for any of the three on a given day during his time as quarterback of the Eagles.

This interview, however, is like his Greatest Hits, a compendium of his best rationalizations from more than a decade. He should get K-tel Records to put it on a CD and sell it as an infomercial. Operators are standing by for your call, and they didn't throw up in the Super Bowl, either.

Yes, McNabb said, he should have known the NFL's overtime rules after being around for 10 years, but, hey, he heard an official say there would be another five minutes of playing time after the overtime period. So, that tie game in Cincinnati, well, it wasn't really his fault.

Is he kidding? No, apparently, he is not. He is claiming that some anonymous official didn't know the rule, either. And didn't just not know the rule, but advised him of something that is so off-the-wall that it can't possibly be true. McNabb insists it is.

"Nobody talks about that," he said of the mystery ref.

Of course, it's the same reason nobody talks about the zombies who took over the league office. It. Didn't. Happen.

And, yes, yes, that two-minute drill at the end of the Super Bowl could have gone a little faster. Bill Belichick was standing on the New England sideline watching the Eagles stroll about and screamed into his headset, "Is that scoreboard right? What are they doing?" But, really, it wasn't really McNabb's fault.

"We were trying to figure out if T.O. was in or if T.O. was out, because of his leg. T.O. wanted to be in. We were trying to rotate different guys in and get the personnel together and things of that nature," McNabb said.

Oh, things of that nature. Why didn't you say so? Things like getting 11 players on the field and running a play.

"The play-calling was a little slow, maybe, but it made it look like we were just kind of standing around," McNabb said. "We were hustling, it was just blown out of proportion."

Blown out of proportion? IT WAS THE FOURTH QUARTER OF THE SUPER BOWL! It was the most important drive in McNabb's professional history. But, just to be clear, it was T.O's fault; it was the fault of the rotations being sent in by the coaching staff; it was the slow play-calling coming from the sideline. It was not his fault. Definitely not his fault. He might not even have been there.

Detect a pattern here?

And then there's the barfing. Admittedly, a lot of the legend associated with whether McNabb did or did not lose his Keeblers in the Super Bowl hinges on the recollection of Freddie Mitchell, who has a little Gone Qwazy in him, too. But a solid citizen like Hank Fraley told pretty much the same story.

Not that the actual affliction matters. McNabb either got the heaves or lost his breath or whatever. It happens. No one would think that much less of him. Fortunately, it wasn't really his fault.

"I got hit and dumped on my face a couple of times . . . we lost Todd Pinkston . . . we all were gassed, and there were a couple of times in the game where I got hit either by [Tedy] Bruschi or by [Richard] Seymour, I had grass in my helmet, and maybe I lost my wind a little bit, but nothing to the point where I would come out of the game," McNabb said.

Oh, no! They lost Todd Pinkston? It's a wonder everyone in the huddle wasn't throwing up. Count me out, man. Todd's gone.

"People can run that game back and forth and find out that I wasn't throwing up, but I guess it's a sexy topic to talk about," McNabb said.

Sure, nothing sexier than blowing chow into the facemask. And people can run that game back and forth in real time, because it was going slowly enough.

There's plenty more. Lots about Gov. Rendell and the draft-day booing and the trade to the Redskins. It's all right there on GQ.com if you'd like to read the entire interview. The real capper, though, comes when McNabb complains that the Eagles' organization didn't support him.

Forget for a moment that it supported him to the tune of $112 million, for which an NFL quarterback might expect some criticism to come with the territory. He actually believes that an organization that coddled him for 11 seasons, that bent its entire way of doing things to fit his insecurities, didn't support him.

"My feeling was, 'I'm out here getting cut up, where are you? I'm always defending and helping you guys, but where's that support?' " McNabb said.

Defending and helping them, one supposes, by blaming the Super Bowl meltdown on the coaching staff - and Todd Pinkston! - and blaming the Dallas playoff loss last season on the young players and blaming someone else for everything that went wrong.

The Eagles did support Donovan McNabb. They protected him and said nothing about his failings and their frustrations. Now it comes back to blow up in their faces. And you know what? This time it's not McNabb's fault. It is their fault.


Contact columnist Bob Ford at 215-854-5842 or bford@phillynews.com. Read his recent work at http://go.philly.com/bobford.

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