Message to D-Mac: Leave ‘Em Hangin’!
Dear Number Five,
I know the thought has crossed your mind a lot lately – I just want you to know it’s alright to think it and it may even be liberating to say it. Nevermind, I’ll say it for you; Leave Philadelphia now and don’t look back.
This is a town that still has not learned that the grass will not be greener. No city has a knack for trading away Hall of Fame talent; Wilt Chamberlain; Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, Ryne Sandberg, Peter Forsberg (twice), Mo Cheeks (who was the last guy in the Western Hemisphere to find out), Randall Cunningham, Scott Rolen and Allen Iverson, they let Reggie White walk – which hurts more than a trade because they got nothing back.
See where I’m going with this – you’re next, and the majority of fans in this town would’ve never drafted you if they had their way. Hell, the mayor of the city, now governor of the state wanted Ricky “Puff-Puff Give” Williams – a contingent of 30 “knowledgeable football fans” assembled by a sports-talk radio personality booed your selection at Radio City Music Hall that day. What enhanced their ignorance was the response that they gave when asked why they were booing, “We were booing the pick – not the player”, now I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer but I’m pretty good with word association, and if memory serves me correct YOU were the 2nd pick of the 1999 NFL Draft and upon your name being called YOU heard boos, so who were they booing? I know you said it didn’t bother you – but it bothered me. It bothers me when after four consecutive NFC Championships and one Super Bowl appearance many of the people here still don’t get it. They didn’t get it when A.J. Feeley replaced you in 2003, they didn’t get it with Jeff Garcia last season and after Feeley put the season on life support yesterday, they know why he’s holding a clipboard. At this point being a backup doesn’t hold a deep enough spot on the bench for him.
But even with four interceptions, which highlighted his inability to read a defense (one of the indictments leveled against you), I didn’t hear even a catcall from the stands – nothing.
Had you posted the same stats as Feeley during last weekend’s loss to the Patriots by a field goal, all you would’ve about was the interception on the last drive and then a Super Bowl reference. But for the moral champions in Philadelphia, Feeley was their savior and once again you were left to stew in it.
Enough is enough and too much stinks – the city that eats its own needs to step away from the table.
I can’t say that I’ve always backed you or some of your decisions: The Black on Black crime debacle with Terrell Owens, your failure to try to persuade management to work out a deal with Owens when you lobbied for Brian Westbrook – after you said you didn’t get involved in player negotiations. But for the most part you’ve hung tough and tried to put the criticism and boos behind you.
But they keep coming.
They question your heart – I don’t think Brett Favre can throw four TD’s on a broken ankle without a painkiller or two (sorry, I couldn’t resist that one), seriously – what do they want you have left it all on the field, sometimes literally. Fred Biletnikoff threw up before every big game, and he’s played in a few. I respect your gangsta Five.
You’re the scapegoat for an incompetent coach. To Andy Reid’s credit, his faith in you has never wavered. I’m beginning to see cracks in the foundation and if it comes down to you or Reid walking the plank, guess who’s getting the blindfold? Hint: A plank can’t hold Andy Reid.
You tell the White world the deck is stacked against the Black Quarterback and you’re dismissed as a malcontent – Vince Young and Jason Campbell even write it off as a problem that’s yours not theirs.
The writing is on the wall my man, don’t give this organization the opportunity to do you like they did Randall or how the 76’ers did A.I. Leave on your terms–they already asked three first-round picks for you at the trading deadline. Were they blowing smoke? Maybe. Regardless, there is an asking price out there for you – and as we inch closer to April and the NFL Draft the price will go down. Even if you made it to training camp as an Eagle next season you could be cut because it’s an option year in your contract.
The bottom line – the fans never really wanted you here, they would’ve been happy with Doug Pederson and Ricky Williams, “Why bring in another Black quarterback – no matter how great an athlete he is he’ll never win.” It’s almost like they want a reason for you not to be here. One more loss and it will be over mathematically – after which the fans will finally get what they want… their Great White Nope.
So let me be the first to say thank, and that I wish you well. Write your own ticket because you’ve earned it. You’ve definitely soared like an Eagle amongst turkeys. But before you leave, do me one last favor?
Take Brian Westbrook with you – no need in wasting his prime years here with a rebuilding franchise that doesn’t use him properly anyway.