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Thomas Alter Headshot

Eagle Fans Need to Be Careful What They Wish For

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CALLING ALL PHILADEPHIA EAGLES FANS:

You've outdone yourself this time. You're considered the meanest fans in American sports but now stupidest applies as well. Technically, Andy Reid made the decision to trade Donovan McNabb Sunday. Would he have done this if an incessant Eagle fan base weren't putting a gun to his head? Not a chance in hell.

Donovan McNabb holds the Eagles record for passing yards, passing touchdowns and passing completions.

More important, since he became a starter in 2000, Philly has won games at an astounding clip. They made the playoffs seven out of nine years and reached an incredible FIVE NFC championships as well as a Super Bowl. McNabb has the 3rd highest-winning percentage among active quarterbacks, trailing only Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Donovan did all of this with what was almost consistently one of the worst receiving corps in the NFL. It's not hyperbole to suggest that many of the receivers he was working with would not have made other NFL rosters.

He's 33, no spring chicken, yet younger than John Elway when he won his first Super Bowl and much younger then Brett Favre is now. Unlike every other NFL position, quarterbacks can play into their late 30s. Last season, McNabb threw for 3,500 yards and 22 TD's, so it's not like he's fallen off significantly.

What makes Donovan's success most impressive, is that he's performed under constant scrutiny from all of Philadelphia. Case in point, a day after the Eagles lost in the Super Bowl to Brady and the Patriots, Philly fans were calling for McNabb to be replaced. Even without a championship, the guy would be a legend in most other cities for the constant success he's had in a cutthroat division.

Philadelphia fans claim they hold their teams to a higher standard and getting close doesn't cut it. This is laughable, because before the Phillies two years ago, sports fans from the City of Brotherly Love would have to be in their mid 20's to remember a championship.

For whatever reason, Eagle fans never warmed to McNabb. Some say it's because he was too flashy, others call it racial. Who knows?

Now these same fans will cling to their new hero Kevin Kolb. These so-called experts who only accept greatness, will need to get behind a quarterback whose crowning achievement is, wait for it... losing in the Liberty Bowl, while playing for the University of Houston.

What may turn this trade from a miscalculation to a full-scale disaster is where McNabb is headed. The Redskins have not been competitive in the NFC East the last couple years because of an inconsistent passing game. Their defense and running game have been statistically solid. How do you think McNabb will feel facing a team and fan base, which has consistently treated him like garbage?

Be careful for what you wish for Eagle fans. Donovan's finally gone. But don't be surprised if he's playing in the middle of January and the Eagles aren't.

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