Donovan McNabb will start his fifth NFC championship game for the Eagles Sunday at Arizona. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)


I've got nothing against sports writers, commentators, radio guys, bloggers, chatters and even regular old fans trotting out tired cliches and sleepy metaphors as they try to travel the long weekly distance from Game A to Game B in the NFL, but I will have new-found respect for the writer who doesn't bring up the no-respect angle at some point of the journey.

That hasn't really been difficult here in Philadelphia. The Eagles haven't gone that route yet. There's no purpose to saying, "No one expected us to get here," when the logical response would be, "Of course they didn't. You couldn't beat the Cincinnati Bengals." The Eagles, to their credit, realize they had to re-earn their respect and, thanks to a very fortunate last day of the season and a pair of solid playoff wins, they have done so.

And anyway, heading into Sunday's game in lovely Glendale, Arizona, it's clear the Eagles can't beat the Cardinals at the we-get-no-respect game. The Cards are correct. Even after beating the Falcons and Panthers, they are still at least one interchange away from the Respect exit ramp.

Nevertheless, enough is enough. My friend Dan Bickley at the Arizona Republic had a column in Tuesday's paper that took the "no respect" deal to new levels. The Cardinals are upset because Brandon Jacobs of the Giants said the Eagles would win. They are upset because Deion Sanders didn't like the Cards. In Philly, we'd hold a parade if Deion didn't like the team.

Here, aside from noting quarterback Donovan McNabb's allusions to a lack of respect for all he has accomplished, we promise to stay away from the whole topic. At least until proven otherwise, McNabb is money this postseason, and nothing gets respect like money.

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By the way, if Jim Rice is a Hall of Fame player, I'm a ring-tailed lemur. His numbers were very good, maybe even great, but they didn't rise to the level of "special," which is what I always thought it should take to reach entry into the Hall of Fame.