I’ve been accused of being biased in favor of Donovan McNabb but the main reason I have made it a point of supporting the former Eagles quarterback is because of the way he had to play great or face criticism while the sacred cows are protected whether they play well or not.
My thinking is, if you’re not going to fairly criticize everybody, then I don’t want one guy to be picked out and have to face all of the criticism.
If the Eagles offense doesn’t play well then McNabb was a choker or gutless, but if Brian Dawkins and the defense didn’t play well, then everybody would look the other way and not talk about it.¬† The Eagles defense forced a total of one interception and one forced fumble in four NFC Championship game losses and one Super Bowl loss.
That’s five games but only two turnovers.¬† That’s choking because that defense was one of the main reasons the Eagles made it to the championship games, but didn’t play well in those games.
That’s worthy of criticism but it never was the case here in Philadelphia.¬† Dawkins and the defense would get a free pass while McNabb and the offense carried all the blame for the losses.
You tell me one time during those big games when Dawkins took over the game.¬† I hear about how he’s such a sure Hall of Famer but McNabb isn’t one because he didn’t come through in games.¬† That’s a double-standard.¬† Why shouldn’t both guys be judged by the same ruler?¬† You can’t call out McNabb without also calling out Dawkins.
I respect Dawkins and what he achieved here in the city.¬† I think he’s a Hall of Famer, but I think the same thing about McNabb.¬† These guys both had great careers here but came up short when it came to winning a Super Bowl.
I hear people accuse McNabb of not being any good and also being a choker.¬† If you’re not any good and you don’t play well in a championship game, that’s not being a choker, it’s not being any good.¬† Some people hate McNabb so much they want to say that he’s not any good and he’s also a choker.
Dawkins was and is truly a great player, so it’s right to expect great players to play great in big games.¬† He’s a surefire Hall of Famer, but if you were to ask him, he would tell you that he was disappointed that he couldn’t make a big play to turn around those big-game losses.
Now we see the same thing with the baseball team.¬† I hear and see Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth, Brad Lidge and Raul Ibanez getting ripped constantly, if they’re not playing well, but Chase Utley can be awful but you won’t hear any criticism coming his way.
He’s always hurt if he’s not hitting the ball well.¬† If he’s throwing the ball into the stands like that bad stretch he had a few years ago, then everybody reasons that something must be wrong.
I hear people say that Utley is the best player in baseball despite the fact that his batting average was .332 in 2007, .292 in 2008, and .282 in 2009.¬† This guy’s batting average dropped 50 points in three years, but you would never hear any criticism of him.
He’s a Superstar player and should be held accountable like every other player on the team.
I hear people predicting he’s going to be the league MVP even though his batting average has been going down steadily year-after-year.¬† Have you heard anybody focus on the fact that his batting average has been dropping so sharply.
Right now he’s hitting .256, but the same people who rip other players will defend Utley by saying he’s hurt.¬† Lidge was hurt a year ago, but did he get a free pass. Lidge didn’t cry about his injuries even though he was hurt all year long.
After the season, he had surgery on his elbow and his knee.¬† Nobody gave him a pass then and nobody is giving him a pass now.
You can’t say that Utley should get a free pass because of the World Series championshp a couple of years ago because Lidge was perfect that season but is still called on the carpet.¬† Hamels, Howard, Rollins and Werth also made major contributions to that championship team, but they’re criticized when they don’t play well.
Double-standards like the ones I have pointed at, damage the image of the city’s sports media and fans.¬† Dawkins and Utley know when they don’t play well.¬†¬† They see their teammates get savaged for not performing but see themselves get through scott-free.
If you’re going to be tough on everybody, then people respect you, but if you’re going to call out some people and not call others, then people see it and it erodes your reputation.¬† Tough and fair is good but tough and biased is bad.
McNabb didn’t bring a championship here, but Dawkins didn’t either.¬† Howard, Hamels, Rollins, Werth, Lidge and Ibanez aren’t get the job done right now, but Utley isn’t getting it done either.