Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Why I like the McNabb deal

It's been about a week since the surprise announcement that Donovan McNabb was coming to the Redskins in exchange for a second round pick this year and either a 3rd or 4th pick next year. The reaction around the DC area has been mixed, but many seem to hate the deal. This goes to show you the general attitude Redskins fans have of their team and for good reason.

The Skins have always been the champs of the off-season. Unfortunately they have not been able to follow that up with a quality product during the season itself.  The truth is, they haven't made a big splash like this since I can remember. This is not trading for a running back, defensive tackle or linebacker. This is a trade involving their division rival for the most important position in not just football, but all of sports. It's a risk worth taking in my opinion.

McNabb is not going to carry this team on his shoulders. He's not the player he once was. However, he certainly is a winner. Five Conference Championship games with a mediocre at best receiving core(besides the TO year) is very impressive during the free agency era. Not winning a Super Bowl doesn't make you a bad quarterback.  Marino and Jim Kelly never won a Super Bowl, and neither one of them played in the NFL today that is full of parody.

In addition, he's had to deal with the hostile Philadelphia sports scene. Skins fans are passionate, but at least they like their own team.  He's also battled injuries and the biggest jerk in sports in Terrel Owens and still been able to be successful. Through all this he has for the most part carried himself as a true professional.

I think the biggest problem people have with this deal is that they see it as a typical Redskins move. That is signing a high priced, well known player on the downside of their career. They expect the worst. But I think McNabb can succeed if they put the right players around him. First things first, get an offensive line. Peyton Manning would have struggled last year behind that patchwork line. Granted Campbell takes about 3 days to get his throws off, but still that line was atrocious. Second, get rid of Portis and Haynesworth. Portis is a shell of his former self and is a "me first" type of player who the Redskins don't need as they try to turn another chapter. Haynesworth is an impact player, but is injury prone and plays half the snaps.  Cut your losses and move on.

There has been a culture of losing in Redskins nation for the last 15 years or so. Dan Snyder doesn't know football and only cares about money so it's really not that unexpected.  The good news is Shanahan and Bruce Allen both have proven track records and know football. I really think Shanahan's success with Elway at the tail end of his career is a good sign in terms of what we can expect from McNabb. Donovan is no Elway, but still has some good years left in him.  Also, don't underestimate the power of revenge. McNabb can talk all he wants about having love for Philly and just being excited to start fresh. But he's a human being, and anyone would be upset after how he was treated there.

Lastly, let's not forget Jason Campbell. Campbell was set up to fail in Washington and it's best for him to try to find a team, any team, that he can start fresh with. I think we all can agree that Campbell handled himself like a true professional in his time in Washington and we wish him the best.

I think Redskins nation should embrace their new quarterback and hope for the best. This is a guy that has been there before and is a proven winner. Plus, don't underestimate the fact that he knows the defense of a team they play two times a year. I think the Redskins are better overall than they were before the deal and look forward to more moves this offseason.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Respect your Enemies

I was all set to go off on a crazy tangent about my digust that the Yankees, Lakers, and Duke all have won titles this past calendar year. Then I stopped and thought, what is the use? The fact is, my teams have had a great run the past 10 years and I should appreciate that. If my major complaint in life are that the teams I hate the most are winning championships life is pretty damn good.

Next to the Lakers there is no team I despise more than Duke. However, I will give credit where credit is due. Coach K is an outstanding coach and deserves the recognition he gets. Past Duke teams have been soft, but this years team was tough mentally and physically. They had superior size and 3 guys that could score 20 points on any given night. I wish UNC had a point guard like Nolan Smith and shooters like Singler and Schyer(sigh).

They were gift wrapped an extremely easy bracket, but then again so was every team after so many teams fell early. It doesn't matter who you play, winning a national title is a tough thing to do. Watching Butler's run to the title game is proof that you actually do have to watch some mid major basketball to do well in your brackets. I had Butler out first round based on word of mouth alone. If I had seen how good this team was I would have had them at least to the Elite 8.

One of the hardest things to do as a sports fan is give credit to the teams you hate.  If this was 5 years ago I'd be depressed and angry throwing around excuses like it was my job.  But I like to think I have matured since then, and now realize there really is no use for stressing over things like this. What can you do? The teams won and that's that. Hope for a better season for your teams next year and move on with your life. Congrats to Duke, but UNC will be back next year and ready to take you down.