Donovan McNabb is never not a hot topic. Jon Bois' recent longform SB Nation column focuses on the former Eagle QB.
Up until April 17th, 1999, by comparison, Donovan McNabb's life doesn't seem to have been all that stupid. His family endured racially-motivated vandalism while living in an all-white Chicago neighborhood, and that is certainly very disgusting and stupid. But he was raised by parents who presumably loved him very much, he quarterbacked his high school team to a state championship, and he received a full scholarship to Syracuse, which is a perfectly fine school. While there, he studied broadcast journalism, set several all-time passing records, and even got to play some basketball under coach Jim Boeheim. It sounds like a very nice time.
But on April 17th, 1999, the Philadelphia Eagles used their second overall draft pick on McNabb instead of superstar running back Ricky Williams. The second that happened, it sounded like this.
[Link to video of McNabb being booed on draft day]
And from that precise instant forward, everything that has happened to Donovan McNabb has been the stupidest bullshit that has ever happened. Stupid ideas, stupid rumors, stupid conversations, stupid food, and stupid jerks. If you were to tell me that the booing gentlemen above are themselves stupid jerks, you might well be right, but their booing is so immediate, damning, loud, and perfect that I prefer to perceive them as a poetic abstraction.
The fans in the building that evening -- six of them in particular -- were not fans at all, but dumb evil spirits. Each represented a different type of stupid, and each promised, through their ghostly shrieking and hissing and booing, to rain dumbness upon the existence of Donovan McNabb in the years to come.
And God, did they ever. Never in my lifetime has such an inoffensive, innocent athlete inspired such colossal dumbness in his fellow humans.
Bois discusses several topics including: the vomiting myth in the 2004 Super Bowl, McNabb's toughness, unwarranted and unfair criticisms, his media career, and his history with the city of Philadelphia. As a longform piece, it's a lengthy read, but worth your time. Check it out.
McNabb officially retired as an Eagle a month ago and will be honored in the Eagles regular season game against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 19th. The Eagles will officially retire his jersey (#5) as well.