In the audio link above, you can hear a great conversation with James in Rockland, New York. James didn’t agree with me at all on my McNabb comments, and challenged me to back up what I’d said with statistics. He also charged that I’d “brought race into the issue” so I could respond to that. This was a prime example of a word the left misuses: dialogue. Liberals use that word to mean they talk and you agree or else in politics. But this is sports! Everyone is entitled to their opinion – except, of course, if you’re a conservative.
I had a chance to point out to James that the topic of our segment was not, “How good is Donovan McNabb?” It was, “Is he better than some people think because of a reputation that he’s acquired?” This was not about being a black quarterback; it was about the media’s desire – an understandable one and one we all share – to see a black quarterback succeed. James said that fantasy league players tend to pick McNabb, which gave me a chance to point out that there are about 28 quarterbacks that are much better than McNabb so far this season.
As an African-American, James was offended at that, saying there’s a “double standard.” He asked what my motive was, and said that I didn’t make similar comments about, say, Jason Seahorn and Jeremy Shockey. I pointed out that I indeed have. I told James that I think it’s wrong to automatically say “race should not have been brought into it.” Why? What is the proscription on bringing race? I know it makes people squirm, but it was part of the media’s reason for focusing on McNabb. I said, “I think that there’s a social concern with some of the media in Philadelphia and around the league.” Notice I did not say “…in the NFL about McNabb.”
That’s a distortion, something I didn’t say or even imply. Lots of guys in sports are overrated by the media, because of a strong desire to see them win for whatever sentimental reason. I made this statement in a challenge about Vinny Testaverde. Great guy, everyone likes him, but if he still had it in him he wouldn’t have been a backup! I can back up what I said about McNabb, despite media reports, with statistics. He’s more on par with Brad Johnson of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers than with Daunte Culpepper this year or some of the top-tier quarterbacks even last year. I cover all these stats, which appear in a Slate.com story backing me up. Read it here, and listen to me break it down.