You Talking to Me? McNabb one mission impossible

From: Fitzpatrick, Frank

To: Jensen, Michael, Fox, Ashley

Subject: Some secret

Good morning, Mr. and Mrs. Phelps. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to decipher why Donovan McNabb's secret meeting with the Eagles was such big news. Is he not allowed to meet with the organization that employs him? Is his determination that the Eagles need more offensive weapons some sort of earthshaking revelation? And isn't all this just a standard negotiating - or, in his case, renegotiating - ploy?  As always, should either of you be mocked or sued, Jim Cohen will disavow any knowledge of your opinions.

From: Fox, Ashley

To: Fitzpatrick, Frank, Jensen, Michael

Subject: Some secret

Forgive me, but who are Mr. and Mrs. Phelps? Should we have bongs in our hands? . . . Here's my read on what happened, knowing all the participants. I could be wrong, but . . . The sides agreed to keep this meeting in-house in an effort to preserve the negotiations, but things didn't go to the McNabb camp's liking. So either Donovan or Fletcher Smith or someone associated with them leaked the story to Michael Smith of ESPN.com to put pressure on the Eagles. The thing is, McNabb is right. They do need more weapons, particularly offensive weapons, and it isn't the first time McNabb has said so. But the Eagles' brass don't like to be pressured or cornered, and I doubt this will help McNabb's cause.

From: Jensen, Michael

To: Fox, Ashley; Fitzpatrick, Frank

Subject: Some secret

Advice to Ashley: Ignore all cultural references by Fitz. Let him have that conversation with himself. He's used to that, judging by his weekly rants. As best I can figure, only Cohen and the 1967 graduating class of Cardinal O'Hara understand them. . . . As for McNabb, to me, the noteworthy part of the report was that he met with the Eagles and "independent of the meeting" suggested he may hold off on a contract to see what the Eagles do to help the team. So he met with the team but didn't tell them this. Can we just stipulate that McNabb may be the most passive-aggressive athlete in Philadelphia sports history? He's not changing. That, in itself, is not news. But that aside, he's right on all counts, isn't he? Who doesn't want to add more talent? That's a mom-and-apple-pie issue.

From: Fitzpatrick, Frank

To: Jensen, Michael, Fox, Ashley

Subject: Some secret

Must I remind you whippersnappers weekly that the world did not begin in 1982? As Slingin' Sammy Baugh once told me after a game at Frankford Yellowjackets Stadium, "Son, you cannot hope to understand the present without a reverence for the past. Now get the hell out of my face with that dictaphone!" My take on McNabb is that, regardless of the issue at hand, he's reached that point here where he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Time to move on, young man.

From: Fox, Ashley

To: Fitzpatrick, Frank; Jensen, Michael

Subject: Some secret

Going from Gonzo to Fitz is like bouncing from a frat party to bingo night. I'm stuck somewhere in between. I have a reverence for the past, I just don't want to live in it. And I still don't know who Mrs. Phelps is.

From: Jensen, Michael

To: Fox, Ashley; Fitzpatrick, Frank

Subject: Some secret

You should know this about old Fitz: If you ever come down with a deep and nasty leg infection in a foreign country and find yourself unable to walk, hope Fitz is there with his lifetime supply of Cipro. Back to McNabb and the meeting. When was the last time any sides involved told the unvarnished truth to the other's face at the time it needed to be said? Maybe Marty Mornhinweg and Deion Sanders should just have these meetings and report back to us?

From: Fitzpatrick, Frank

To: Fox, Ashley, Jensen, Michael

Subject: Some secret

Don't tell me you never watched TV's Mission Impossible, with that great star of stage, screen and vaudeville, Peter Graves, in the lead?  Hey, I didn't invent the Cipro-at-the-Olympics plan. In fact, if I remember right, it was the annoyingly youthful Ms. Fox herself who smuggled in purse-loads of Cipro to the 2004 Games in Athens.

From: Fox, Ashley

To: Fitzpatrick, Frank, Jensen, Michael

Subject: Some secret

I was carrying in Athens per the company's safety recommendation.

From: Fitzpatrick, Frank

To: Fox, Ashley, Jensen, Michael

Subject: Some secret

That still doesn't explain the bong you were forced to surrender at Parthenon security.

From: Jensen, Michael

To: Fox, Ashley; Fitzpatrick, Frank

Subject: Some secret

Side note to Gonz: If, as always, you're short on material next week, I'm available to hang around with. I'll be at a CYO basketball game Friday night with a possible visit to the Boathouse in Media afterward and plan to attend 5:30 Mass on Sunday.

From: Fitzpatrick, Frank

To: Jensen, Michael; Fox, Ashley

Subject: Some secret

Beer, basketball and Mass. My God, man, you may be more Catholic than me.