Gonzo: Pick your story line

Don't call it a family reunion when Donovan McNabb , wearing the burgundy of the Washington Redskins, visits the Linc on Sunday.
Don't call it a family reunion when Donovan McNabb , wearing the burgundy of the Washington Redskins, visits the Linc on Sunday.
Posted: September 29, 2010

Never been to a reunion. The concept always felt lame and transparent: half-hearted reminiscing that doubles as a weak attempt to disguise the real purpose - determining who's doing well at the moment and who isn't in the vain hope of somehow validating your individual situation. People want to turn them into life's little scorecards, complete with winners and losers. It seems so sad.

This week's might very well change my opinion about reunions, though. It will feature all the usual desperate one-upmanship and shameless posturing, but it figures to be a lot more entertaining than the standard, awkward affair highlighted by watery punch in your old high school auditorium.

Donovan McNabb returns to Philadelphia in a few short days. If the Eagles had executed The Kevin Kolb Plan, failed miserably and begun the season 0-3, it would still be a huge event.

The Eagles, of course, did not execute The Kevin Kolb Plan. They have not failed miserably. And they have not begun the season 0-3. They are 2-1 and leading the NFC East. If you were hoping this week would pass quickly and without much drama, you're out of luck. Pick whichever story line you like - McNabb vs. the organization, McNabb vs. the media, McNabb vs. the city, McNabb vs. Michael Vick - and brace yourself for the hype hurricane headed this way. There's no avoiding it now.

Then again, why would you want to? It's going to be a party, a festival of mixed emotions not to be missed and marked by considerable weirdness.

"It will be a little crazy," Andy Reid predicted. "It's always crazy when the NFC East teams come here, so I'm sure it will be a little crazier than ever."

Reid said McNabb's "legacy will last forever." For once Reid was right and even managed to not immediately reverse his position. (Pretty impressive on both fronts.) McNabb will be remembered for a lot of things, principally that he managed to divide the city into a Civil War not seen since Johnny came marching home again (hoorah, hoorah).

While many of us, including me, were ready for the Eagles to move on and go with a different quarterback, it's hard to deny that McNabb was one of Philly's favorite hobbies for more than a decade. Love or hate him, everyone had (or, rather, still has) a position on McNabb - including those who keep urging everyone to stop talking about him. Especially the last group - which is an obvious bit of irony they keep missing.

There are two ways to go this week: You can put up a faux front and pretend to be annoyed by the backslide to our all-McNabb-all-the-time ways, or you can embrace the WWE-style absurdity and start swinging a (metaphorical) metal chair around. The Eagles made the right move by dealing McNabb. The Eagles didn't make the right move by dealing McNabb. Kolb is a bust. Kolb will still have a good career. Vick is better than McNabb. McNabb is better than Vick. Boo him. Cheer him. None of it matters as long as you join the fray and do a little fun, old-fashioned eye gouging.

"Listen, I don't know," Reid said when asked what sort of reception McNabb will receive on Sunday. "I don't know that. He is a Redskin. . . . Normally they don't get the best acceptance at the stadium."

In the past, the boo-or-cheer McNabb-related debates became tiresome because they continued without end. That's the great part about his being in Washington now: We have to engage in them only biannually. It's like attending a party where only cake is served and you get to eat it immediately and then head right home.

"Our fans are a little crazy," Reid said. "We're probably on the A-list in the National Football League. I love that part of that. When they put all that green stuff on and dress crazy, I like that. I welcome the Redskins into that."

How very Emerson, Lake & Palmer of him: Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, we're so glad you could attend, come inside come inside . . .

Best part of the NL East clinching game the other night: Countless Phils fans traveled to D.C. and remembered to pack their rally towels. That's good planning. . . . CSN Philly will host the Shining Star Awards benefiting the March of Dimes on Jan. 21, 2011, at the Westin Philadelphia Hotel. Ryan Madson and other players from the Phillies, Sixers, Eagles and Flyers are scheduled to attend. For information about tickets, donations and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.ShiningStarAwards.com or contact Susan Elder at 610-945-6050 . . . Welcome back, Kenny Powers. Can't decide who curses more, you or Rex Ryan, but you're both entertaining. . . . Fantasy football chat on Philly.com at 1 p.m. this Thursday. As Kenny Powers once said: "If there's one thing I hate, it's losing. If there's two things I hate, it's losing and getting cancer."

Contact columnist John Gonzalez at 215-854-2813 or gonzalez@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gonzophilly.

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