Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

What Donovan should do

A PR strategy for Donovan McNabb.

What Donovan should do

JOHN PAUL FILO / CBS

This not-knowing-the-overtime-rules business is a sideshow for Donovan McNabb. His bigger issue is the series of terribly slow starts that have plagued him in the last month. But, still, it's out there.

How would I deal  with it? If I were him, or his people, I would get David Letterman on the phone immediately. I would offer to tape a Top 10 list, pronto -- the top 10 rules Donovan McNabb wasn't aware of. You know -- "No. 6...no white shoes after Labor Day." That kind of thing. He should make fun of himself and hope that people can then recognize this for what it is: stunning, yes, but a lot more embarrassing and symbolic than it was meaningful.

Some people say it could have affected the outcome of the Eagles' 13-13 tie against Cincinnati. I don't see it. There is an imperative with every possession in overtime -- because everyone knows, if you give up the ball, it could  be your last shot. There can be no greater incentive than that. That is everybody's motivation, in the first minute of overtime or the 14th -- don't give up the ball because you might not get it back. Not knowing when the game might end does not change that.

The only time it could potentially have an effect would be at the very end of the quarter. For instance, let's say that McNabb audibled out of the Hail Mary he threw on the last play of the game and dumped the ball off short instead, thinking there would be another quarter. That would have been bad, a clear error because he didn't know that the game would end after 15 minutes of overtime, even if tied. But that's the only situation I can imagine where his lack of knowledge would be an issue -- and, well, it didn't happen in reality. He threw the Hail Mary.

Anyway, that would be my two-pronged PR strategy -- make fun of himself (like Mike Schmidt wearing that wig-and-glasses disguise after ripping the fans in a long-ago newspaper story), and after everybody got done laughing, gently make the point that it really didn't matter during the game.

And then go out and try something different, like completing a pass or two in the first quarter at Baltimore.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
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. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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