Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Birds 'Baracked"

Barack Obama's election resonated within the locker room of the Eagles, about two-thirds of whom are African-American.

Birds 'Baracked"


  Donovan McNabb was envisioning winning the Super Bowl Wednesday. Specifically, he was envisioning the postgame phone call from the White House to the victorious quarterback.

   "The thing that I kind of think about now, what would be special, if we make it to the Super Bowl and win, and I get the phone call from Barack Obama. That would be excellent," said McNabb, who explained that he declined several requests to talk about Obama's candidacy before the election because he didn't want to jinx the first African-American president. McNabb's roots trace to the South Side of Chicago, where Obama worked as a community organizer in the late '80s. McNabb said when he met Obama, at a White House dinner in 2005, the Senator mentioned having followed McNabb's career since he was in high school.

    Obama's victory resonated within the locker room of the Eagles, where currently 64 players dress, including practice squad and injury list members. Forty-three of those 64 are African-American.

   Free safety Brian Dawkins said he stayed up until about 2 a.m. watching TV coverage of the election. Dawkins, who grew up in Jacksonville, said: "I thought about some of the stories my grandaddy told me before he passed, of how things were. Things my father told me about, about the way things were. Things that he kind of sheltered me from, my father, that is, the racism that is around. To live to see this day, to see an African-America as the president ... maybe 40 years ago, in the '60s, there is no way possible you would ever think something like this could happen. But here it is. Here he is."

   McNabb said he had never registered to vote before this year, so Obama will be the first president he has voted for, though he is closing in on his 32nd birthday.

   "A wonderful individual," McNabb said, "I'm excited for him, excited for the city of Chicago, and just, the world."

   McNabb said he figures he'll now find a frame and a spot on the wall for that photo he took with Obama at the 2005 dinner.

   McNabb also stayed up late Tuesday, and he said he was moved by Obama's speech.

   "It was historic," McNabb said. "Such a great speaker. Reminded me of when Martin Luther King spoke, and the message he spoke about, it was so similar. A wonderful speaker. Really reached out. As a man, if you teared up, it was acceptable. it was that deep."  

Staff Writer
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