Good to see Donovan McNabb donating to Virtua's new Voorhees, N.J., facility, getting his family's name on the neonatal unit, where the fourth McNabb offspring is scheduled to be delivered in December.
(Does Virtua have one of those frequent buyer cards that you get the cashier to stamp? If so, the big donation might not have been necessary -- the McNabbs should be getting a "free kid" pretty soon.)
But seriously, folks, I think this is a big step for McNabb, in his 11th Eagles season. His real, lasting ties to the region have always been a matter for debate, despite McNabb's frequent protestations that he wants to play his whole career here. Just recently, when the Eagles inducted Randall Cunningham into their roll of honor, somebody in the press box joked that if they wanted to do that with McNabb someday, they'd have to wait for a game scheduled in Arizona. The implication was that Donovan won't be going the Ron Jaworski route and sticking around after he retires.
I've often thought McNabb could have eliminated at least some of the vitriol and venom from some corners of the fan base by forging closer ties here, being more visible. His decision to pick up the ball on Brian Dawkins' project, giving his home game tickets this season to a deserving city high school player through the Daily News, was a positive step, if belated, and flying the family flag at Virtua is another strong move. Before you know it, DMac will be hosting overnight shifts on WIP.
"You always want to leave your mark," McNabb told ESPN 950's Brian Seltzer Tuesday. McNabb spoke of a legacy for his children and their children.
McNabb and the Eagles deserve the grief they've gotten for their Sunday loss at Oakland. Personally, I see it mostly as an Andy Reid production -- poor play selection, inability to adjust, poor use of Brian Westbrook -- but as the quarterback, McNabb had chances to rally the troops and did not.
Talking to Seltzer, McNabb reiterated that he was embarrassed, as he said after the game.
"When you get embarrassed, you do what you have to do to change that," he said.
Comparisons with the postseason Phillies are unfair, though. Game 5 of an NFL season does not equate to the NLCS. I seem to remember long stretches early in the Phils' season when they looked really ordinary. I recall Charlie Manuel musing aloud that there are two types of defending champions, the kind who show the world how good they really are, and the kind who prove by their subsequent play that they just got hot at the right time. Right then, Charlie concluded, the Phils looked like a team that just got hot at the right time. That's not quite the equivalent of losing to Oakland, but that protracted late-season stretch where they couldn't quite manage to clinch the division was similar.
Bottom line, the Phils won the World Series last year and the Eagles still haven't won a Super Bowl, so of course, the organizational nod goes to the Phils. Trophy trumps everything. They are superior, for that reason. But it's a mistake to try to make the comparisons a lot more detailed than that. McNabb isn't like Jimmy Rollins because Rollins came through Monday night? Was he maybe more like Rollins in the first three months of the baseball season, when Jimmy was hitting about .200, apparently because he was just too stubborn to shorten his swing? If Monday's hero had been, say, Miguel Cairo, would McNabb be compared unfavorably to Miguel Cairo?
We'll see what the Philles do the rest of this postseason, then a few months later, we'll see if the Eagles have a postseason, and what they do with it. Then maybe we can compare again. Right now, it's apples and oranges.
Though I think if Matt Stairs gets much bigger, the Birds might want to sign him for o-line depth.