The End of the McNabb Era

A source tells me a deal is happening. Here's why I think it's exactly the right thing to do. Plus: A bad omen for Brad Lidge?

By the time I finish this blog, Donovan McNabb may be property of the St. Louis Rams and Eagle fans, like it or not, will be fully immersed in the Kevin Kolb era.

I got an e-mail Wednesday as I was doing my show on 97.5 FM The Fanatic from an infrequent e-mailer I will call Deep Crack. Crack, who never signs his name and goes only by a goofy internet handle, has given me two previous tidbits on the Eagles via innocuous e-mails. Not knowing who the heck Crack is, I disregarded both of the tidbits as good enough for public consumption. Both of the tidbits turned out to be correct, verified later by legitimate news stories. My conclusion was that this is a man who knows someone from the inside, or himself IS the inside. So, when Crack e-mailed me Wednesday, writing that the Eagles were just about to pull the trigger on an offer from the Rams — the 33rd pick in the upcoming NFL draft (first in the second round) — I gave it its due attention and put it out on the air. [SIGNUP]

Several hours later, the Eagles beat writer from the Inquirer published a story saying that the Rams offer was real and the trade could happen in a matter of hours.

For me, this is wonderful news. I have been accused often of being a Donovan McNabb hater, which I clearly am not. Consistently — and this opinion goes back years when McNabb was still a quarterback of promise — I have called Number Five a “good, but not great quarterback.” I hope to that Donovan goes to another team, puts up at least three more seasons of good statistics, and gets into the Hall of Fame. Swear to God. I just think it’s time he goes. Somewhere. Whether it’s St. Louis, or St. Maarten.

There is something in Donovan DNA that prevents him from seizing the moments all the great quarterbacks seize. In the most important moments, I see a panic in him that makes his feet jumpy and his decision making scatterbrained. The football delivered from that panicky hand sails over receivers heads and behind them in stride. It’s no longer good enough to me that Donovan McNabb wins early round playoff games. He’s supposed to win those early round playoff games. The Eagles have been favored in all but one of the early round games in McNabb’s career. They have also been favored in three NFC title games which McNabb’s teams have lost and where the quarterback has decidedly underachieved. And it is still in my craw that two years ago McNabb had a chance to bring his team down the field to tie the 2008 NFC title game against the Arizona Cardinals, had a first down inside Cardinals’ territory, and couldn’t get his team to gain one more yard.

I don’t know if Kevin Kolb can play. I’m not even saying the Eagles will be better off with Kolb as the quarterback than McNabb. There are times when change is better for everyone.

All right, this part of the post is over. McNabb’s still here. Blast!

* * *

Just spent four lovely days in Clearwater, Florida with the Phillies and I can say equivocally that the Phils have overtaken the Eagles as the most revered and followed franchise.

Saw two games down there at Bright House Field that were sold out to standing room capacity. The Phils have sold out every home game they have played this spring, to huge standing room crowds, where a couple of thousand folks sit on uncomfortably slanted grassy knolls like 16-year old girls at a John Mayer concert at the Susquehanna Bank Center. Thousands from the Philadelphia area now make the pilgrimage to Clearwater as a happening, a place to hang out, where regular tickets now cost $33 a pop. Since no one can ever get the tickets, they pay brokers through the nose to get into the park. One couple told me they paid $75 bucks for standing room! I have never seen anything like it.

Rather than bore you with baseball analysis, here’s an inside story. Like in most baseball clubhouses (or at any office space corporation), Phils players ran an NCAA tournament pool where each guy picked a team out of the hat they could ride all the way through the tournament. Closer Brad Lidge, a huge college hoop junkie, tried to corner the market, offering compensation (for amusement purposes only) for top teams. He had just bartered with J.C. Romero for Kansas hours before the Jayhawks got upset by Northern Iowa.

I hope it won’t be another one of those seasons for Lidge.

Listen to MIKE MISSANELLI weekday afternoons on 97.5 The Fanatic.