The Daily Northwestern

Forman: Philly fan greedy for ring

Matt Forman

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I am that guy.

I am that guy who introduces himself during the first discussion section of the quarter as: “Hi, I’m Matt. I’m a journalism major from Philadelphia. I’ve been hoping for the last 20 years of my life that one of the four major Philadelphia sports team would win a championship.”

OK, so maybe I was that guy. The Phillies won the World Series after a 26-year championship drought. I was on top of the world.

And with the Eagles knocking on the door of their second Super Bowl appearance in five seasons, it got me thinking. I’m championship thirsty.

No major sports city supporting all four professional sports (sorry, arena football league fans) went as long as Philadelphia did without winning a title, ring, pennant or cup. Cubs fans, Chicago had M.J.

Now, I’m greedy.

Maybe Donovan McNabb is too. The Phillies defied the odds; why can’t the Eagles?

As McNabb escaped out of the pocket for an 8-yard rush with just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter, he was pushed from behind into the Giants’ bench. McNabb picked up a small black telephone on the sideline and pretended to have a quick chat, but with whom? I have a few guesses:

1) “Hi, NFL? Yes, this is Donovan McNabb. I just wanted to make sure that a playoff game can’t end in a tie.”

2) “Marriott in Tampa, I’d like to make a reservation for two in the first weekend of February.”

3) “Hey, Coach Reid. Next time you bench me, tell me to my face.”

4) “Coach Coughlin, we’re going to take a page out of your book. Thanks for showing us the blueprint – three road wins as a Wild Card and a Super Bowl ring.”

Sure, it was a childish act by a 10-year veteran in the NFL. It cost the Eagles 15 yards. It put McNabb back in the national showcase, albeit in a bad way.

If Eli Manning had picked up the phone, he would be crowned as the savior, en route to elite company of the quarterbacks who led their teams to back-to-back Super Bowls. If Brett Favre picked up the sideline phone, the phone would be on its way to Canton, Ohio for enshrinement into the Hall of Fame.

But McNabb did it. Just like he has raised his level of play, and gone about it (mostly) with a businessman-like attitude.

Now, if only McNabb can lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl win, the first in franchise history, he could pick up the phone one more time and settle some unfinished business.

1) “T.O., we may not have gotten along, but at least I win games in December.”

2) “Hey Rush, I did it, man. With or without a good defense, it got personal.”

McNabb has been the lightning rod of criticism in Philadelphia, one of those under-appreciated players who doesn’t get credit until he’s gone.

If he tops Arizona in the NFC Championship (let’s not forget that he’s been there four times and been victorious once) and helps guide the Eagles to a Super Bowl win, all of the negatives will be forgotten – the booing on draft day, the puking in the Super Bowl.

All that fans will remember is the championship.

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