How exactly do we define clutch? And is Donovan McNabb a Choke Artist, or Philly’s Favorite Whipping Boy?

“On a good day, I view the job [of president] as directing an orchestra. On the dark days, it is more like that of a clutch – engaging the engine to effect forward motion, while taking greater friction.” – Bart Giamatti

I wonder what he would say about quarterbacks…

It’s been a couple of days – let’s talk about Donovan McNabb. Hooray! Specifically, let’s get going on the topic of whether or not he is clutch.

Now, in my view, there are three times a player can be clutch:

1. When one is asked to suddenly to fill in for another player or take on an extended role. Like, let’s say that Player A is really good, and suddenly gets hurt. Now, Player B has to come in and do Player A’s job. Player B may not do it as well, but if he performs admirably, and doesn’t hurt the team, that’s clutch.

Mild, I’ll grant. But are you going to argue that Correll Buckhalter wasn’t clutch when he had a big game against the Niners this year, playing for an injured Westbrook? And who could forget Jonathon Moxon? He taught us all an important lesson after he became the starter for Paul Walker, something about winning not being everything, or something like that. And then, the movie came to a dramatic close when his team won and everyone celebrated and order was restored to the sports movie universe. Right. (Editor’s note: Why didn’t they just call him Johnny Moxie and get it over with? Damnit do I hate it when characters have names that obviously represent some concept – it kind of brings you back from this autonomous universe the artist wants you to believe in. Show, don’t tell).

You knew this was coming. Though that's no whipped cream. That's gotta be shaving cream, right?

You knew this was coming. Though that's no whipped cream. Shaving cream, right? Which makes this whole thing go from sexy to a bit...well, musky. Yum.

End of detour. Back to the topic at hand.

2. When one is involved in a big game, and gives a big performance. See Holmes, Santonio.

3. When one is put in a situation that will likely decide the game, and delivers. See Ben, Big. Or go back to Holmes again. Your pick.

Now, clutch is often designated to the players who win. That’s not always fair. For example, the other night, Ray Allen’s three that won the game for the Celtics was clutch. But so was Andre Iguodala’s jump shot that gave the Sixers the lead with only a few seconds left. What wasn’t clutch was the Sixers defense on the other end of the floor, which, along with Allen’s shot, cost them.

Which brings us back to Mr. McNabb. Other than the comments he made which seemingly threw his defense under the bus, (a debate we’ll avoid here), the other hot topic of late has been that of McNabb’s performance late in games. The diagnosis? He ain’t clutch, homeboy.

Truth? Or another round of Philadelphia’s favorite pastime, the Blame Game?

"Dude, Steve...not cool man. Pretty damn insensitive, man."

(Later, Donkey and his coworker, Steve, are seen chatting by the water cooler) Steve: "Don't mind our boss, Donkey - everyone knows he's an ass." Donkey: "Dude, Steve...not cool, man. Not cool at all. You need sensitivity training or something."

What do you think about Mr. McNabb?

The poll is all fine and dandy. But break it down for me in the comments – this argument is fun, and tends to get heated. Tomorrow, I’ll go back through some of the game logs, refresh the old memory, and try to come up with an accurate assessment of the situation.

For now, the floor is yours.

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2 Comments

Filed under Eagles, NFL

2 responses to “How exactly do we define clutch? And is Donovan McNabb a Choke Artist, or Philly’s Favorite Whipping Boy?

  1. James Fayleez

    I can ignore you saying “homeboy” for the picture of Ali Larter.

  2. Mcnabb will allways be known as a choke artist if he never wins a superbowl. I’m not just talking about games where he cant deliver, I’m talking about the entire season and playoffs where he cant seem to win a superbowl. ” Great Quarterbacks win Great games”. He’s been given the chance for a long time to win a superbowl but cant deliver. He gotta rinse out his throat or something

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