Watching video the other evening of Donovan McNabb being brought into Dulles airport in a Gulfstream 5 owned and operated by Dan Snyder was amazing. Not in a good way, just amazing. Then, the video showed him being driven off to Leesburg, Virginia (Lansdown Resort?) in a limo about half a block long. It was enough to make me, for one, stop and consider whether I should have any interest in professional sports at all. My mouth dropped and my brain froze.
Why? I donít mind if people make a lot of money. I do start to wonder when they make an insane amount of money and are treated as though they are gods just off Mt. Olympus. I wonder why we shower these people with so much money and then pay the guy who picks up our garbage, in the cold, the rain and the snow, barely enough to live on and probably donít provide any health insurance for him or his family. It has to do with fairness: how do we decide how the wealth of our society is to be divided? Are we merely a ďgrabocracyĒ, where anything you can legally grab is fair and to be applauded?
Whatís more, Donovan McNabb is a good guy and yet another bad hire for the Washington Redskins. Look, I donít consider myself any sort of expert or near expert on sports, but there are thousands of people commenting, and many getting big salaries to do it, who donít really know all that much either. So, hereís my view.
The guy is 33 years old in a job where that is considered an elder. He, and all other professional football players, take an unbelievable amount of physical abuse, day in day out, during the season. Letís assume that the ĎSkins get two good seasons out of him, without major injuries. Then what?
They arenít going to the SuperBowl based on McNabb alone. For the last who knows how many years, the team has looked beyond pathetic. They found a way to lose almost every time when it counted. The 2009 season was essentially over as soon as it began, though they showed some signs of minimal life toward the end. Small signs. A whole new generation of kids have grown into adulthood not knowing a real winning Redskins team. Even when the team has done fairly well, they didnít look that good. Meanwhile, the top teams in the league have gotten better and better, year by year.
So, they make another big hire from another team, even while they are writing off 20,000,000 plus to Haynesworth, yet another big hire that didnít pan out. With McNabb, they have contradictory goals: win, right now, and look good and find a way to develop another quarterback who can take his place when his days are done. How do you develop a new quarterback when all your focus is on McNabb? The answer is that you probably donít. You go for broke now and, two or three years later, the team is broken all over again. If McNabb were 30, maybe it would work out, but then the Eagles wouldnít have let him go.
So, thanks, Redskins. Youíve saved me a lot of wasted couch time come the fall. I will be outdoors doing things myself and not making 15 million a year for doing them, but I will have some fun, free. I think I will wait till mid-season to even bother tuning in. If you have a team by then, maybe it will be worth watching but I will be aware, very aware, that thereís a new disaster waiting up ahead: what does the team do for its next quarterback when McNabb is done? I say, send in Dan Snyder. He knows how to win.
Doug Terry, 4.7.10