Once upon a time, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said that, no, he couldn't possibly comment on the contract demands of one of his teammates, that it just wouldn't be proper. The teammate was Terrell Owens, and woe descended upon Jeffrey Lurie's billion-dollar baby -- you know, the Philadelphia Eagles -- soon thereafter.
This all happened in the early part of 2005, if memory serves. The situps in the driveway happened in July (or early August; too lazy to look it up). Further aftershocks followed. By October, though, another contract issue had fallen upon the Eagles' family. And in an ESPN interview, filled with remarks he repeated to reporters that evening, McNabb said that, yes indeed, he could get involved in somebody's contract negotiations if that somebody was not named T.O.-- in fact, if that somebody was running back Brian Westbrook.
McNabb said that day, "I've said he's the ultimate weapon. What I've said, I feel he should be rewarded for the things he does for this offense . . . I feel that he deserves whatever he's asking for. We demand a lot of him."
That they shared an agent, one Fletcher Smith, was understood by all (including T.O, no doubt).
And now, four years later, Westbrook has repaid the favor.
Also appearing on ESPN, Westbrook has just lobbied for a new deal for McNabb. The transcript of his remarks comes from Birds' Eye View; all hail Brooky.
The money quote (literally and figuratively):
"I think Donovan means so much to this football team," Westbrook said. "He brings a leadership, he brings a lot of value on the field as well. I also think this is a business kind of thing. Do I think he deserves a contract? Absolutely. He has brought so much to the team and this organization as well as the city. Hopefully, he's able to handle his business and the way he wants to get it done."
Rarely is the image so clear, of one hand washing the other.