As the seconds ticked away and put an end to the Green Bay Packers' upset victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the wild card round of the NFL playoffs Sunday, Philadelphia sports fans blamed a familiar figure for the Eagles' failure: quarterback Donovan McNabb. Although fans disagreed in how directly McNabb was responsible for the defeat the directness of McNabb's responsibility for the defeat,they were uniformly in agreement that he was to blame.
Some fans, apparently confused by the on-field presence of a quarterback other than Kevin Kolb, accused McNabb of quarterbacking the Eagles to the defeat. "McNabb played horribly yesterday," said Frank Lawton, 39, a pipe-fitter from Bala Cynwyd, PA. "That interception at the end was classic McNabb. I think we all knew what was coming. He may have changed his number on the field, but he hasn't changed his losing attitude."
Some fans, while acknowledging that McNabb was nominally not a member of the Eagles, still found a way to blame McNabb for the defeat.
"Listen, when they traded McNabb, they got back a 2nd round pick. If McNabb had been any good, we could have gotten a real player in return, not just Nate Allen. Just imagine -- if McNabb had been any good, we could have drafted Eric Berry or even Tim Tebow," said Gary Logan, an HVAC salesman from West Chester, PA. "With a guy like that, we'd be in the Super Bowl."
Still others blamed McNabb's effect on the locker room as the reason for another disappointing season.
"McNabb's attitude was brought down the team. They got used to his attitude of losing and that's what keeps them failing in the playoffs year after year. No matter who's actually playing quarterback, every time they lose, you can see that McNabb look in their eyes," said Richard Graham, a talk show host on local sports radio station WPH.
Not even Michael Vick, the Eagles' quarterback who actually threw the game-sealing interception with 33 seconds left in the game, was immune to the contempt for the six-time Pro Bowler.
"Listen, I've always loved Donovan, he's a great guy and has been a good friend. But, man, I hate Donovan McNabb. That guy has let this team down so many times. And worst of all, I can't believe he killed all those dogs," Vick added.
While many Eagles fans blame McNabb, he is not without his supporters.
"McNabb? Who's that?" said Joseph Harris, a retiree from Pennsauken, New Jersey. "All I have to say is that Randall Cunningham was awful yesterday. They should get rid of that no-good bum."