Is he Hall of Fame worthy?
Former Eagles QB Donovan McNabb has been generating a little bit of press in the past couple of months by officially retiring from the NFL, and making comments about Robert Griffin III’s off-season antics. It has been quite some time since McNabb’s name has even been relevant since his last games back in 2011. I posted a few questions about him on my Facebook and Twitter accounts, and it the resulting comments were not very surprising. During his tenure in Philadelphia, there was a pretty evident split of fans that supported him, and those that did not. In 2013, that split seems to have tilted ever so slightly in the direction of praise. However, the negative is still prevalent. Regardless of individual stance, I received some pretty good feedback on the views of many Philadelphia sports fans.
When a professional athlete retires, one of the first questions we, as fans, ask if whether or not said person is hall of fame worthy. Well? Is he? Don’t grill me for my answer, but yes. He is hall of fame worthy for many reasons. However, there are many other reasons why he will not be inducted (at least not anytime soon).
One could say that McNabb has had a great career. He’s had 6 pro bowl selections, an NFC player of the year award, and NFC championship title, and more division titles than we can count. However, any Eagles fan will tell you that the absence of a Super Bowl Championship has a profound effect on his legacy. After all, when you play for a team with no titles, the QB that brings them the first one will be remembered forever. He brought the Eagles closer than any QB that preceded him, but his failure in completing the task is what I believe brought about the split in McNabb favor and disdain. It’s bittersweet, but should his failure be put on him so much that he isn’t hall of fame worthy? They guy did play with the likes of Todd Pinkston, James Thrash, and Freddie Mitchell as his WRs, and still managed to become a successful quarterback. We all saw what happened when you put a talented receiver around him (albeit a headcase), so what was stopping management from going out and getting another? We may never know. Not only that, but there were other stars on the team as well, including Brian Westbrook and Brain Dawkins.
While they were great at what they did, whose to say an early fumble or a missed tackle didn’t help contribute to a critical loss? Are they any more close to becoming hall of fame worthy than McNabb is? If the answer is yes, then the bias of being QB has gotten a bit out of hand. Yes, as a QB you are supposed to lead your team to victory. However I am going to throw you a bit of a curveball (or maybe a slider…nothing like a good slider on an 0-2 count). Remember the Baltimore Ravens team that won the Super Bowl in 2001? Who was the leader of that team? Do you remember the name of the QB? What about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003? If you look back at the teams you’ll see that leaders can come from BOTH sides of the ball. Isn’t the LB more times than not the leader on defense? Well…why is Jeremiah Trotter’s name never brought up? I am in no way saying that it’s his fault. However it does give one something to ponder.
Next, let’s compare him to some of the quarterbacks that have made the cut so far. If we takes the names, Namath, Marino, Bradshaw, Elway, and then throw McNabb in (squeeze it in 2nd or 3rd), you will easy notice which one doesn’t exactly “WOW” you. It’s like one of those skit on sesame street when they sing the song ( you know…one of these things looks not like the other?). I think QB is the only position where you cannot get into the HOF based off of just stats alone, which hurts McNabb in the long run. Not only that, but the first thing I look at is the WOW factor. You know…how long is this guy going to keep his fans (and non-fans) amazed. McNabb’s career is very impressive, and even though some of his stats eclipse maybe half of the QBs that were inducted, his “WOW” factor lasted 7 or 8 seasons before he was considered… well… a regular quarterback. Most of these guys had a wow factor that lasted their entire careers. At the same time, you could line him up against present day names such as Manning, Brady, Brees, and there would still be a pretty noticeable anomaly. I mean those guys will most likely get inducted once the wait time is over because they are great in every fan’s eyes.
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Tags: donovan, Donovan McNabb, Eagles, HOF, Jeremy Bonnette, McNabb, philadelphia sports