In Philadelphia, much of the recent Donovan McNabb-related discussion has involved his call for the team to add more weapons, and how that call has or has not been met. In Chicago, though, weapons of a different sort are a big concern among pro athletes. Last year, NBA players Eddy Curry and Antoine Walker were victims of home invasion robberies. Then, early Monday, along Lakeshore Drive, armed robbers held up former University of Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall, who last month was drafted in the first round by Pittsburgh.
McNabb, born and raised in the Chicago area, and a high school teammate of Walker, told the Chicago Tribune's Fred Mitchell: "It is devastating not to be able to go out in the city of Chicago. You want to know at least that you will be fine and have a good time and be able to go home. It's tough to hear every year that athletes are being robbed, especially with Mendenhall, a guy who [the Steelers just drafted]."
Mitchell made the point that fans want stars to be accessible, but today, security concerns might intrude. McNabb, sometimes seen as aloof and wary by Eagles fans, agreed.
"It is a dilemma," McNabb said. "People say: 'Well, he is not a guy you can have a conversation with; I feel like I am distant from him.' Some people are hurt because of that situation."
In other Donovan-related news, Eagles Web site maven Dave Spadaro crinkles his nose at Chicago Comcast SportsNet interviewer Pat Boyle (who once toiled for Comcast in this market) asking McNabb about being scrutinized so closely here.
We heartily concur. We'll never understand why more people don't ask McNabb questions like, "Gosh and golly, Donovan, isn't this just the most wonderfulest organization in football, or pro sports, even, and aren't you just darned privileged to play for it?"
And besides, it isn't like the level of scrutiny and vitriol directed at McNabb, as Eagles fans deal constantly with the frustration of never having won a Super Bowl -- it's not like that stuff has had any effect on his career or his life or anything ... oh, wait, it has. Never mind.
BTW, in the Tribune piece, you might note that Donovan's blog is hailed as a way the QB connects with his fans. Hmmm ... well, if you check out the bog, as of Thursday afternoon it hadn't been updated in, oh, 26 days, not that anyone's counting (aside from Yardbarker, that is.)