No Punches Pulled

Ka boom.  That’s the sound of a verbal bomb going off in Washington D.C.  In a press conference Friday, coach Shanahan of the Washington Redskins called out his quarterback Donovan McNabb for lack of production, and ultimately demoted his once highly prized QB in order to “evaluate the quarterback position”.  “I told Donovan that there’s nothing he could do in the three games that would influence me over what he’s done over the last 13 games”, Shanahan said.  Heyy-OOO.  There’s nothing subliminal about that.  But the noteably stern coach wasn’t done.  “…I’m not sure what I’m going to do in the college draft, if we’re able to get the top quarterback in the draft, if there was a young Donovan McNabb or maybe a Sam Bradford, someone like that, there’s a lot of possibilities.”   Even with no prior knowledge of the situation, the blunt statements and the facial expressions that went with them are all the context clues needed to see that coach Shanahan is ‘over’ Donovan McNabb.  Shanahan spoke as if he was talking candidly at a quiet bar instead of a press conference that would air nationally.  Ever see that old guy at the super market wearing the tight sweat pants tucked into his high socks, hiking boots and a fanny pack who couldn’t give a damn what you thought of him?  Well that’s coach Shanahan.  He was so matter-of-fact in his verbal beatdown of McNabb that it would seem nearly impossible to think that the relationship between the Super Bowl championship coach and the former Super Bowl caliber QB could ever be mended.  The cherry on top/backhand came when Shanahan also added, “I told him I cannot guarantee him that he will be back next year.”  In some ways, how could you blame Shanahan?  McNabb has lead the ‘Skins to a mere 5 wins this season, while throwing more interceptions than touchdowns (Career high 15).  It seems that realistically, the 34-year-old quarterback’s best days are behind him.  Even so, I’m not sure McNabb deserved 100% of the lashing that was received from the old school coach.  At some point you would think that a guy that’s had the success McNabb’s had in this league would warrant a bit more public respect and courtesy from his coach, regardless of this season’s performance.  Redskins owner Daniel Snyder must have given coach Shanahan absolute full control of the team judging from his demeanor, and the way he disregards salary when making decisions.  The two most noteable players in D.C., and two of the highest paid, McNabb and Albert Haynsworth have been figuratively axed by Shanahan this season.  I wonder how Synder feels about paying millions upon millions of dollars to have McNabb and Haynsworth wear Redskins sweatsuits on the sidelines.  The once highly anticipated season turned into a bonafide made-for-tv drama. With characters not playing their part, switching roles, and the stories once happy ending changed, it’s no wonder why the director has torn up the script and is starting from scratch. 

I honestly feel very bad for Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets, who again received that all to familiar news that he’s done for the season due to a stress fracture in his foot.  Just this past week he was quoted as saying he was ready to play.  I can’t imagine the mental stress and pressure on Yao to go through this again.   Yao has lost so much time due to injury, it’s unfortunate that he is becoming as known for being off the court as he is on.  This is similar to the Ken Griffey Jr. effect.  Of course Griffey is one of the greatest players to ever play the game of baseball, but it seems that whatever is said in the positive is first prefaced by the negative.  You hear, ‘he could have been the best,’ before you hear how he’s 5th on the all-time Home Run list, has 10 golden gloves, is a 13 time all-star, and one of the best center fielders ever.  Similar to Griff, people quickly forget how Yao Ming is a 7-time all star and when at his best is one of the top 3 centers in the NBA.  I hope for his sake and ours that the 7 foot 6 inch pride of China can return to the hardwood so we can enjoy his effortless dunks and broken English once again.

I’m very much looking forward to Sunday football once again.  My favorite games are obvious.  I’m itching to see how the Jets respond from the last 2 weeks when they travel to Pittsburgh.  It’s crazy to think that after all these years the Jets have never won in Pittsburgh.   Also, Green Bay at New England sounds entertaining, but not if Rodgers isn’t starting at QB for the Packers.  Indy and Jacksonville has a lot riding on it, the game better be on TV.  Lastly, New Orleans and Baltimore is my most anticipated game to see.  It will be interesting to see Drew Brees and his clicking offense go up against the Ravens D who will try and shove the ball back down New Orleans’ throat.  I’ll be busy shoving sharp cheddar cheese and Triscuits down my own throat, wish us both luck.

Notes: How funny is it that the biggest story coming from the Lakers 93-81 win against the Philidelphia 76ers came when Mike Vick walked through the door.  The crowd in Philly was acting as if Jesus Christ himself was walking through the arena showing his nailed scared hands to non-believers.  People’s faces were lighting up with glee when they saw Vick’s face like the teenage girls who were on the Ed Sullivan Show when the Beatles first showed up and  dropped the beat to ‘All My Lovin’.  The crowd began chanting “MVP MVP” and nearly all the players admitted to noticing his enterance.  Honestly, who else could get the attention of a entire arena and other pro athletes during their freaking game besides a one time NFL pro-bowler, turned doggy serial killer, turned pro-bowler again?  Good question.  Here’s the list: Obama, Jordan, Justin Bieber, the real Santa Claus, and Lady Ga Ga.  No exceptions.  See you Monday.


3 Responses to No Punches Pulled

  1. JR Reid says:

    Very, very good post. Well articulated, interesting and has a nice flow. Although I’m sure people won’t find this post as contentious as many of the others, I found it to be the best one yet. A good mix of the under-the-radar stories I enjoy getting from blogs, pop culture references, and clear (but not excessive) opinions. In a word: enjoyable.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Obama is alittle bitch and should get shit thrown at him where ever he goes! But of course he can walk into phillys place and get cheered you see the votes he got from there state?

    • Evan Lane says:

      I wish Ray T would break down the phycology of people who are afraid to use their real name they way he broke down the phycology of Joe Harris. I mean Joe Harris said ridiculous outrageous lies on a regular basis and still used his own name. As far as i’m concerned there is more to be said for that then those who are afraid to let people know who they are and what they think. The person or people on this blog under the name Anonymous have added the least in any way whether in terms of sports arguments or personal arguments. It must be hard to dislike yourself so much that you don’t want people to know who you are. Glad i’m not that guy.

      Byesline, Great blog. Last time I responded to a football story i was wrong so i’ll keep it to basketball. I think it is defiantly too bad we have probably seen the end of Yao. Even if he does come back he’ll never be the same. His size is a both blessing and a curse no doubt. And you are right that he may always be remembered for what he could have been instead of what he was. Its too bad. He is the only player in the history of the NBA who was so tall with so many skills and such a high basketball IQ. He is an example for young players how to do it the right way. He has great footwork and fundamentals as supposed to someone like dwight howard who has none of those skills but simply dominates with superior athleticism. I think the game of basketball desperately needs as many players like Yao, in terms of his style of play, as possible. Especially in the paint.

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