Tuesday, November 18, 2008

15 Minutes


I know that plugging a computer with a 110v power supply into a 220v outlet will create magic smoke… I know that the Last Accessed time on a Macintosh computer’s Trash Bin is updated when a USB drive is attached… And I know that the attribute identifier for the Standard Information Attribute in a Master File Table record is 10 00 00 00. Why do I know these things? Because it’s my job… It is what I’ve done for most of every day since I turned 24 (which is about 8 years), and as a professional in my field it is expected that I know these things. Well, Eagle QB Donovan McNabb is in his 10th year as a professional in the NFL but is evidently still learning his job.

The Eagles-Bengals game on Sunday ended in a 13-13 tie, pursuant to a rule that has been in effect in the NFL since 1974; Sunday’s game marked the 17th time since the rule’s implementation that an NFL regular season game has ended in a tie (3 of which involved the Eagles – albeit before McNabb’s tenure). But, this is not newsworthy… What is newsworthy is what McNabb said in the postgame press conference: ``I never even knew that that was in the rulebook,'' he said. ``It's part of the rules, and we have to go with it. I was looking forward to the next opportunity to get out there and try to drive to win the game.''

In a league where the QB is the undisputed field general and leader of his team, and where we evaluate so much of a QB’s greatness on how he leads his team in the final period (see Favre or Elway or Montana), McNabb really dropped the proverbial ball on this one. Donovan… YOU ONLY GET 15 MINUTES! You are the QB of a team fighting for its playoff life in one of the best divisions in football with only a handful of games left to go and YOU ONLY GET 15 MINUTES! McNabb’s statement implied that he did not feel a sense of urgency when he was out on the field trying to skipper his offense to get at least within field goal range. I know you’re supposed to play every play the same way, with a sense of ferocity and determination that comes from that ultimate desire to be the best. However, I am realistic enough to know that is a utopian ideal and not reality, AND I am smart enough to know that when the game is on the line and the pressure is on, great players make plays. I think McNabb is a great player… So why he was ignorant of the fact that his playoff hopes could all but disappear if he failed to help his team score in the 15 minutes allotted for overtime and did not rise to that greatness, I do not know.

When all is said and done, despite the fact that his ignorance directly contributed to the Eagles failing to get a “W” on Sunday, his worst mistake was admitting it.

-RP

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