Apr 062010

by Mike Radano

That was fun.

What could be better on a beautiful spring day than a Donovan McNabb press conference live from Washington D.C.?

Seriously, what else could possibly take up 30 or so minutes of one’s day better than the riveting display of emotion that emanated from Redskins Park on this fine April afternoon?

“It’s like being drafted again,” McNabb said. “I feel like I’m 22 again.”

Yeah, right.

First things first, this trade had to be done. It doesn’t matter the date, time or place. McNabb had to be traded for several reasons and the Eagles believe they got the best value in return. McNabb isn’t 22 anymore and while he certainly improves the Washington Redskins for this season – he’s taking the starting quarterback job from Jason Campbell for cryin’ out loud – it’s the long term the Eagles are thinking about and the reality of the situation is that’s a good thing.

Times change, teams get old, players come and go as organizations have to think to the future to stay relevant. That’s why Brian Dawkins is in Denver and Brian Westbrook is looking for a job. The Eagles are rebuilding, retooling, reloading, and regurgitating the same on story that countless organizations have done in the past because it’s the way business is done in professional sports. The Eagles won’t tell the truth or even can tell the truth because their fan base (customers) doesn’t want to hear it. That’s true of any team and any city, not just Philadelphia no matter the national perception. Customers – who we know from Ecocnomics 101 are always right – want immediate satisfaction for their cost of fandom. The equation is simply wins are equal too or of more values than the cost of tickets, jerseys, watered down Bud Light, hats, foam fingers, parking and tailgates expenditures.

Winning makes everything alright.

So the Eagles won’t say it but trading an aging quarterback is a simple calculation about 2012, 2013 and 2014. If the Eagles felt that McNabb could help them win three, four or five years from now, he would still be with the Eagles. If the Eagles brass felt that Donovan McNabb was worth a multi-year deal, he’d still be an Eagle.

You can ignore McNabb’s comments about not thinking about the contract yet because that’s the politically right thing to say in front of a media gathering fawning over your very existence. That’s what one says when asked about what it will be liked to be cheered by 95,000-plus at Fed Ex Field instead of being booed at Lincoln Financial Field. That’s what one says when you get asked if you’ll go into the Hall of Fame draped in burgundy, gold and white instead of midnight green, black, charcoal, silver, and white. Wait, forgot the pink jerseys. Pink is also an Eagles color. Remember, pink jerseys are about charity not moving more merchandise.

This is all so because as we know Redskins fans have never, ever booed – even as owner Daniel Snyder has season-ticket holders escorted from the premises with derogatory signs. Let’s for the moment forget that the busts in Canton don’t come with helmets. That’s Cooperstown where the caps have team emblems but then what does Washington know of baseball anyway.

And even though Washington D.C. loves itself some McNabb, that’s not what these three days have been about.

The last three days haven’t even been about the revolving ad board behind McNabb during his introductory press conference. (Well, maybe it was about the ad board a little bit for the Redskins, who have had those for years which begs the question what are the Eagles waiting for?).

The simple fact is the Eagles – Andy Reid – can’t justify to themselves and their business plan having McNabb as their quarterback for more than this year. They’ve moved on and so has McNabb, who claimed to have never listened to the fans or let the occasional booing and criticism bother him.

Well, other than when he got booed the day he was drafted when he was 22 and luckily, he got to revise that feeling over the past three days.