The Pundit vs. T.O.

So, T.O. said something and included Donovan McNabb in the words he used. Which, of course, means that the media needs to write about it, sound byte it, and giggle in private places about having something to discuss. (Editor’s note: T.O.’s quotes are sooooo dreamy). That being said, I couldn’t resist taking a look at some of his recent comments, and he didn’t disappoint. I decided to take the Fire Joe Morgan route on Mr. Owens and his quotes. To the roasting! (Editor’s note: All quotes are from The Dallas Morning News).

T.O. acknowledges that he should have done some things differently in Philadelphia, but he pinned the blame for his bitter divorce from McNabb on the QB’s fragile ego.

“We obviously could have done some great things together,” T.O. said after the TV cameras had left his locker, “but it wasn’t me letting my pride get in the way.”

Um, actually it was all about you. Were you an amazing player for the Eagles? Yeah, no doubt about that. But hadn’t the Eagles just restructured your deal and done battle with the Baltimore Ravens to get you here, which was what you wanted? Yup. So, you couldn’t have played ball for one more year, put up big numbers and then bitched if they didn’t show you the money? Nope, you had to make personal attacks against McNabb and sabotage the season to get what you wanted. I hope it was you letting your pride get in the way, because otherwise, you’re just an anarchist lunatic. (Editor’s note: Lucy, The Pundit needs Xanax, pronto! Just start dumping the bottle down his throat!)

T.O. didn’t have to be probed much to give his opinion on why his relationship with McNabb went sour. He was asked whether Tony Romo was the first quarterback to really get him.

“Well, I was really thinking that was the case in Philly before I think the fans and just the excitement of me coming there and being there, it became too overwhelming for Donovan,” T.O. replied. “Other than that, I think at one point in time I will say that we had a good relationship. I think I got too big for Philly, too big for him. But here, Tony and I have a great relationship.”

Yeah, McNabb couldn’t handle having another popular kid in class. He just can’t deal with adversity, that guy. Don’t you remember how he cried like a little bitch when he got booed on draft day? Oh, right, that didn’t happen. Forgot about that. But, he’s been super jealous of all of the success Brian Westbrook has had, that’s been super obvious, you know? Oh, wait, haven’t really noticed that happening, either. And the idea that T.O. got too big for Philly? What does that mean? Did his ego get too big for Philly, because then I would agree with him. And when did he get too big for McNabb? I’d love to go back in time and ask people who they thought the most indispensable player on that team was, because I’d venture that their response would be McNabb. Remember, the Eagles made their playoff run without T.O. in the lineup.

But he sensed the relationship changing during the 2004 season, which ended with T.O. making a miraculous return from injury to put up big numbers in a Super Bowl loss to the Patriots – and later pointing out that McNabb was vomiting during the Eagles’ final drive.

“I think everybody knows without harping on it too much,” T.O. said. “It is what it is. I can only do so much. Everywhere that I’ve gone, the cameras follow me. I’m going to get a great deal of fan support and a fan base.

“As I mentioned in the conference call [with Philadelphia media] earlier, I can remember being in that stadium and hearing them chanting my name. That couldn’t bode well for Donovan to hear that. It was an every-week thing.”

Back to the popularity contest, eh? But let’s think like T.O. for a second. Imagine you are T.O., and somebody else’s name is being “chanted in the stadium.” That would really piss you off. You wouldn’t know how to handle the attention being given to someone else. It would drive you absolutely crazy inside. Hey, hey you guys, look at me guys, I’m really special too, please pay attention to ME!  LOVE ME, DAMNIT! ME ME ME! So, isn’t it logical that everybody would think this way? This must be the response that Donovan would have, right? RIGHT? (Editor’s note: Lucy, forget about The Pundit for a second, I’ve got a wicked headache from all of this silliness. Could you grab me a bottle of Tylenol or something – yeah, I’ll just swallow the whole bottle, thanks).

“I honestly can say that Donovan made me a better receiver in Philly,” T.O. said, “but I think it would be hard for him to admit that I made him a better quarterback.”

Yes, Donovan had his best statistical season ever with T.O. around. He had career highs in completion percentage (64%), yards (3875), TD’s (31) and passer rating (104.7). But, this is actually a bit more philosophical than the numbers. T.O. certainly made Donovan’s job easier. Hell, he made the other receiver’s jobs easier, attracting double teams. But McNabb still had to make his reads, distribute the ball, and run when necessary. He didn’t make Donovan a better quarterback so much as he made it so Donovan didn’t have to be “the man” all of the time. They were a good pair, and I don’t think the Donovan would deny he played some of his best football with T.O.

Listen, all of this is just silly. I know what T.O. is doing here – he’s hyping a primetime, nationally televised game. This is standard boxing-promotion, Don King jibberish. T.O. is just stirring the pot to peak the intrigue of this game. I get that. And, quite frankly, I felt a bit silly responding his quotations; I’m just falling into his lap that way. (Editor’s note: Um…ah, never mind). But, the thing is, this game doesn’t need any hype! The ratings for this game will be huge no matter what T.O. says. And don’t you think it’s just a bit odd that T.O. would go after McNabb in the media again after DNabb had as big of a game as he just did? Like somehow his little jabs might get in Donovan’s head? It’s just so childish. Keep Donovan’s name outta your mouth, T.O. – there’s no need for this. You may be an entertainer, and some of your stunts are pretty good (Editor’s note: I thought the Usain Bolt bit last weekend was pretty funny myself), but that doesn’t give you a license to do or say anything you damn please. Here in Philly, we may be hard on Donovan, but that’s a family thing. You don’t get to talk shit about family, Mr. Owens, especially when we invited you to dinner and you were totally gracious during the feasting, until you had a few too many drinks and trashed the house. We don’t really want to hear your opinion about our house anymore. You can try to chip away at Donovan’s good guy reputation all you want, but your track record speaks for itself – if it looks like an ego-maniac, and it smells like an ego-maniac, its probably an ego-maniac.

Donovan, keep quiet, stay focused, and tear the Cowboys up. Do what you normally do – let your play speak for itself. And T.O, if you feel the need to play the villain in order to hype up the game, then so be it – I respect the fact that you apparently do not care in the least what people think of you. Reminds me of the scene in Scarface, where Pacino gives the genius speech about everyday people needing to define the “bad guys” (Editor’s note: You need people like me!). But then again, Tony Montana really was a pretty unsavory guy – are you, Mr. Owens?

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