Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest.
Why, it seems like just yesterday that people were calling him a company man. My, how our Donovan has grown!
Gone are the days when Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb asks for offensive weapons on Monday and then claims he was really asking for weapons in every phase of the game on Tuesday. Forgotten, it seems, are the times when every assertion was accompanied by three modifiers and two qualifications. The post-graduate degree he was so, so ready to put on display, his MPA (Masters of Passive Aggressiveness), has been stuffed into a drawer.
Because now, it seems, McNabb wants weapons or he may want out.
That is the gist of a report on ESPN, quoting sources (wink, wink). The story asserts that Eagles coach Andy Reid and president Joe Banner indeed had a long meeting with McNabb and agent Fletcher Smith last week, a meeting that Reid and Banner refuse to acknowledge took place.
Then, the key sequence: “…if the Eagles aren't successful in significantly upgrading… not only may McNabb drop his request for a new contract he may consider going as far as to ask the Eagles to trade him.”
And so it continues, the transformation of a quarterback. Things have been different since McNabb came back from being benched after a horrible mid-season stretch. There was the time he pointed to the name written on the back of his shoulders during that one game. And there was the time he picked up the sideline telephone for a goof. And there was the indignant assertion that the benching had nothing to do with the improvement in his play. And there was the repeated insistence that there would be this meeting after the season, and that he would be doing the talking.
There was a hesitancy to make too much of it, but the personality – after 10 years – was seemingly transforming before our eyes.
I’ve been saying and writing for a couple of months now that McNabb really has a lot of power here, if he is willing to wield it. Because there is no way the Eagles can go through a season with McNabb as their quarterback if he goes public with a trade request. Dealing with an unhappy Lito Sheppard is a pimple on the Eagles’ pigskin compared to this. On WIP, Anthony Gargano calls him McMope all the time. Can you imagine what it would be like for six months if he’s really moping?
If this is really how it went down – if McNabb really did the “or else” thing – it would be stunning.
It kind of makes you wonder what Terrell Owens thinks.