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I didn't get invited to McNabb's BBQ

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credit PhiladelphiaEagles.com
This weekend McNabb hosted any member of the media that wanted to be there, which was almost all, at a BBQ to introduce a charity golf tourney he's founded.

The general gist of it seemed to be another attempt by McNabb's new PR guy to paint McNabb as more than just the stoic QB who always says the right things.

Les Bowen put into words the problem facing McNabb pretty well.

In a lot of cities, the public persona McNabb has exhibited since arriving here in 1999 - thoughtful, dignified, supportive of the organization he plays for - would suit nearly everyone just fine, but Philadelphia is not one of those cities. Certainly, many fans appreciate McNabb's sober, buttoned-down approach to being a role model and the bulwark of a franchise. But quite a few seem to find him stuffy and overly corporate; in news conferences, where he has done almost all of his talking, McNabb can sound like a midlevel bureaucrat, shoveling canned quotes that show little heart or emotion

To be honest, it's not fair. McNabb acts like any sports owner or league would want any of it's players to act, but that's not quite enough for the fans in this city. However, it's not like we're asking for him to be TO. What I've always said about McNabb is I feel he lets everyone speak for him when he "says the right things" or keeps quiet. I certainly see why he'd refrain from commenting in certain situations, but when you do that the media and other people will start to put words in your mouth. It's not fair, but it's reality.

It's a reality that McNabb's PR man Rich Burg realizes.

"I think it's important in this town that people feel they can reach out and touch him, that they feel he is a regular guy," Burg said. Burg noted that Jeff Garcia, the quarterback who became a fan favorite in leading the team to the playoffs after McNabb was injured, was very good at connecting in this way.

He's absolutely right. Eagles fans loved Garcia because he's an easy guy to connect with. People never felt he was giving canned quotes and by wearing his emotions on his sleeve just like all us Eagles fans do people related to him.

As great as he has been on the field and as admirable the classy way he's handled himself off the field has been... can anyone say they could really relate to McNabb? I think now, more than ever more people can say they can. Reading what he said in Bowen's article you really do get a better sense of what he's about. You almost get the feeling he's on the verge of saying "I'm not saying all this because I think it's what you want to hear, I really think it all!" I can relate to that, I think alot of people can. The guy that just wants to do what's right, and for it he gets crap from people and he has bad luck. Who can't relate to such a frustration?

I can't say it enough, I'm really encouraged by the "new" public face of Donovan McNabb. For some reason, certain media types are painting this as McNabb in a power struggle with the organization... but if you listen to him and read the entirety of what he says it's just not there. This is a guy that's taken charge of his own image and persona, and it's something he should have done a long time ago.

Let me say this... This transformation by McNabb coincided with the pick of Kevin Kolb and the subsequent media storm that followed. That much is obvious. If even a small part of Reid's reasoning for taking a QB was to shake his current franchise QB up a bit and push him... I think Andy Reid is a smarter and more cunning man that we all think.