Wednesday, September 19, 2007

All About Timing

We’ve had a night to digest the statements Donovan McNabb made to James Brown, and a morning to read the opinions expressed from both sides. It all comes down to one thing that seems to have been overlooked – the timing of the statements.

Those of you who have read this page for a while know where we stand on McNabb – it has nothing to do with the colour of his skin and everything to do with the colour of the jersey he wears – we hate everything about the Eagles, the Giants and Redskins.

The saying goes “Perception is reality” – so who are we to question McNabb’s perception of reality? We don’t live in Philadelphia, so we don’t hear or read about what Eagles fans are saying; and we aren’t there for McNabb’s interviews to hear the line of questioning. So if McNabb feels that African-American QBs have to deal with issues white QBs doesn’t (based on his experience) who are we to question it?

Where McNabb could, and absolutely should, be criticized is for the timing of his statement. You have to question why he would make these statements with his team off to an 0-2 start – with he being one of the primary reasons for the Eagles failures this year. McNabb, and his supporters, have reminded everyone that he is coming back from a knee injury three months ahead of schedule and that he isn’t 100%. While that may be true, it doesn’t excuse the fact that he isn’t playing well – there is a fine line between being an inspirational leader to your team, sucking it up and playing hurt to help your team win and hurting your team by insisting on playing hurt when you can’t make the plays.

McNabb deserves the criticism leveled at him – both for this year and for past years failings. In terms of this year – if you are going to step on the field at less than 100%, you can’t expect fans of the team to expect less because you are hurt. In terms of past performances, McNabb has had a history of playing poorly in the biggest games; some guys just aren’t cut out to perform when it counts…just ask Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees. It strikes us as amusing that McNabb didn’t think the Eagles and their fans were unduly harsh on him when he signed that $115 M monster contract a few years back. By signing that contracted, he accepted a leadership role on the team – with it comes expectations that you will be there when it counts; McNabb hasn’t, either due to injury or nerves, or both.

The criticism leveled at McNabb has been justified from day one – it wasn’t about the colour of his skin, but rather the wins and losses he led his team to. In McNabb’s statement, he mentioned that guys like Peyton Manning haven’t had to put up with the criticism that African-American QBs have – maybe. Funny though that McNabb didn’t point to someone who’s career somewhat mirrored his own – Jim Kelly of the Buffalo Bills, who lost four straight Super Bowls. Kelly has become an afterthought in the NFL – his failures in big games have resulted in him being forgotten everywhere outside of Buffalo. Somehow, we think McNabb is doomed to the same fate – let’s hope he doesn’t say it was because he was an African American QB.

Speaking of bad timing, or good, depending on your perspective -

Our Dallas Cowboys have signed former Bears DT Tank Johnson – desperation makes you do some weird and potentially very stupid things. We’d like to think that Tank is going to get his act together, realizing that this could be his last chance, but we aren’t holding our breath. If Jerry Jones wanted a bad ass, why didn’t he just give up a fourth round pick last spring to get Randy Moss?

Every team in baseball goes through some very good and very bad times – it is inherent in a schedule that runs for 162 game, but you have to feel bad for the Red Sox who have hit a tough run at the worst possible time of the year. We have never subscribed to the theory that late season losses are any more important that losses early in the season (unless you count momentum heading into the playoffs) – streaks are just part of baseball, you can lose the division in April or May just as easily as you can at the end of the season – ask the Yankees. Yes, we still believe Boston will win the AL East – this is just a bump in the road.

Arizona DBacks P Micah Owings pitched a complete game two hit shutout in a 5-0 win over the Giants. With Red Sox West pretty much buried now – we can acknowledge a good performance from a division rival.

Los Angeles Angels P John Lackey pitched eight + solid innings, giving up one run on five hits and two walks while striking out ten to lead the Angels to a 2-1 win over the DRays. Hey, it was Lackey or “The Enigma” and we know Red Sox Nation doesn’t want to revisit last night’s game at the Rogers Centre.

FC Porto winger Ricardo Quaresma didn’t score in yesterday’s 1-1 tie with Liverpool – but he was definitely the star of the show yesterday, shredding the Reds defense like waste paper yesterday. Watch out world – Quaresma is coming.

We had a very good night yesterday, going 4-0 and bringing the total for the week up to + $500 – our best start to a week in months. We’ll keep it going – tonight’s suggestions (emphasis on suggestions gang – this isn’t how we make a living), we’ll post the money lines later as we don’t have access to them right now:

Boston over Toronto – the Blue Jays are happy to be over .500, good for them; but it is time for them to revert to what they are – an average team that can surprise once in a while. Clay Buccholz comes up big tonight against Jesse “Rojo” Litsch and the Sox get the win – they won’t get swept in Toronto. Lay $100 on the Sox.

Chicago over Cincinnati – it is time for Tom Shearn to wake up, he suffers his first loss tonight against Ted Lilly and a Cubs team that needs to win. Lay $100 on the Cubs

San Diego over Pittsburgh – Pirates start Ian Snell has a made it a habit to come up with big games when you least expect it – Padres starter Chris Young normally comes up with big games. We’ll go with the Padres tonight (as much as we hate to). Lay $100 on San Diego.

That’s it for today gang – thanks for taking the time to check in. Have a great one peeps.

Hazel, we hope things are groovy in your world.

We’re Out!


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