Guess what? Eagles fans are lucky. Apparently, it's all sunshine and rainbows around here.

What, you didn't know? That's probably because Joe Banner never explained it to you before.

Last night, Comcast SportsNet showed an interview during which the Eagles' president clarified a few things, namely that the Eagles can win a championship with Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid, and that both will be back next season.

Then, just to make sure we all understand, he added: "We believe we're very lucky to have them. The good news is that's overwhelmingly the view of our fans. I know it doesn't always come out that way."

Glad he cleared that up. See, when Eagles fans go on the radio or craft e-mails to complain about the team losing to the Arizona Cardinals, their words just come out wrong. In the past, when they openly lamented that the Birds lost the Super Bowl - when they questioned how Reid and McNabb have performed in pressure situations - it was all a misunderstanding.

Same goes for this space, I suppose. I'm a columnist by trade but an Eagles fan by birth. When I wrote that going 1-4 in NFC championship games isn't good enough, it was a simple mistake. I must have accidentally mashed the keyboard with my hand that day.

What I actually meant to write after the Eagles lost to the Cardinals - a team that's long been an NFL punch line - was something positive. Something like, "Three cheers for Reid and McNabb! Huzzah!"

"I was telling a story to somebody the other day," Banner said on Comcast SportsNet. "John Madden coached at Oakland for 10 years, and he won fewer regular-season games [than Reid], and he went to five championship games. He did go to two Super Bowls, versus one. And he did win one. In Oakland, that got him elected to the Hall of Fame. In Philadelphia, that gets Andy - at least from the public's perspective - uncertain about his job's future."

Hmm. Great story. Except Banner was a little confused.

Madden actually won more regular-season games in 10 years than Reid. (And that was back when teams played 14-game seasons.) Madden made six championship games (seven counting the AFL). And he went to one Super Bowl, not two. But Banner did get one thing right: Madden and the Raiders won Super Bowl XI.

So Banner made a few mistakes. Who hasn't?

I'm sure he was right about the overwhelming view of the fans, though.

This will no doubt surprise you, but The Inquirer decided not to dispatch this SportsWit' scribe to cover the Super Bowl. Ah, but Page 2 is resourceful. We have eyes and ears all over the Tampa Bay area.

Our first report comes courtesy of an ESPN staffer who witnessed a scene that detailed how far the (not so) mighty have fallen: "So we're staying in the middle of nowhere, and there's only an Applebee's in the parking lot. We were hanging out there, and who did we see in the corner booth? Jim Rome and his boys. At freaking Applebee's. In the middle of nowhere. All ESPN talent, including radio, is staying at nice hotels in Tampa. Except for him. Rome is staying 30 minutes away at the Residence Inn in Oldsmar."

At least he's eating good in the neighborhood.

If history has taught us anything, it's that nothing ever goes wrong when athletes rap.

Remember when Allen Iverson called himself Jewelz and tried to drop a song called "40 Bars"? NBA commissioner David Stern immediately described it as "coarse, offensive and antisocial" because it used homophobic slurs and violent imagery.

More recently, Shaquille O'Neal was criticized when, in a freestyle rap, he asked Kobe Bryant to "tell me how my [butt] tastes." That's the kind of genius we only get when athletes cross over from sports to music.

The latest virtuoso to make the transition is Dallas Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett. He posted a little ditty on his MySpace page that's sure to win a Grammy or five. (The video has since been taken down, unfortunately.) The song featured endless cursing and at least five n-words. He also rhymed Tony Romo's last name with . . . well, you can probably guess.


But don't worry. The Cowboys swear that people are looking into it. The 'Boys don't stand for that kind of thing. Pay no mind to the team's long history of drinking, drugging and whoring. They're all about law and order down there.

Expect Bennett to be punished severely - probably by getting his own reality show.

This is getting out of hand. NBC reportedly has added Patriot Rodney Harrison to its Super Bowl broadcast team. The pregame show is now bloated with 11 analysts - or exactly the number of people who will play, per side, in the actual game. . . . Rest in peace, John Updike . . . The Wing Bowl odds are out. Damaging Doug is the favorite at 2-1. But in a gross and unexpected insult, Gluteus Waximus is listed at 50-1. Al Morganti, who set the odds for 610 WIP, said Waximus has "no shot." Making Wax such a huge underdog is absurd. It's like the old cliché: It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's how many chicken wings the dog can stuff into his distended belly without vomiting.

Contact columnist John Gonzalez at 215-854-2813 or