(bumper music) This is unbelievable. Of course, I predicted this. I knew this was going to happen, but I didn’t think it would happen in the off season! I haven’t bothered to look at the link yet, but we just got a drive-by caller — Street & Smith’s — what is it? Street & Smith’s football, Pro Football Preview. It’s a magazine. Street & Smith’s Pro Football Preview. We’ve got a drive-by caller who said you got to see this. So we went to the website, or Brett did. I didn’t have a chance to get it during the break, and apparently in the — just let me know if I’m describing this right — upper right-hand corner of the cover is a picture of McNabb dropping back to fire another interception, right?
Oh, it’s a whole cover. So the whole cover is McNabb dropping back to fire another interception, and the caption of this picture is, “What do you think of me now, Rush?” “How you like me now, Rush?” It’s the off season! I knew that this was going to — I know that when the next season kicks off that everything that happens to the Eagles and McNabb is going to be looked at through the prism of my comments that were again misunderstood, taken out of context, and all that. But I have to tell you something. I mentioned this. I was asked this question by TIME magazine in these ten-questions thing that’s in the current issue, which, by the way, again, is the most e-mailed story of the issue, according to their website. And the guy asked me about McNabb, and I said, “Let me just tell you something. There was a columnist in a Delaware newspaper, part of the Philadelphia market, and shortly after the Eagles signed Terrell Owens….” Let me give you some perspective on this. You got to go back to the NFC Championship Game, where it was against it Carolina Panthers, and the Eagles thought this was it; third time is a charm. Here comes this dud team from North Carolina. This expansion team basically coming in. [Philly thought] We’re going to kick butt and we’re finally going to the big game. And (sigh) it didn’t happen. It just didn’t happen and it was not a great day for #5. He got hurt on a questionable play, but even before getting hurt, his passes were not what they call “complete” in the NFL. And all during the game the broadcast crew really jumped on the receivers for running wrong routes, having butter-finger hands, and just basically letting #5 down.
Earlier in that day, Peyton Manning had led the Indianapolis Colts in to play the Patriots and had thrown four interceptions and everybody blamed Peyton Manning for the four interceptions, including Peyton Manning. Turned out later that what was really going on was that the defensive backs for the Patriots were violating all kinds of pass interference rules that weren’t being called in that game only. But nobody complained about it then, and they’ve actually had rules changes in this off season because of the mugging that the Colts wide receivers were getting in that championship game.
Now, the Eagles wide receivers were not getting mugged; they just weren’t catching the passes. The passes were not right on the money, wrong routes or whatever, but regardless McNabb did not get any blame because I inoculated him from any criticism, against any criticism, because nobody is going to run the risk of agreeing with me by saying anything critical of McNabb.
So those poor wide receivers who had been with the Eagles for three years and taken them to all those championship games before got tarred and feathered and run out of town! So they hired Terrell Owens. Terrell Owens maneuvered the league. He didn’t want to go to Baltimore because he didn’t want to deal with Ray Lewis in practice. So he’s up in Philadelphia and this Delaware sportswriter writes this piece, “Now McNabb has no excuses.” <a href=”/home/eibessential/e/nfl_media_still_rush_obsessed_in_off_season.member.html#0004″>(Jack McCaffery: Investment in Owens May Expose McNabb)</a> I’m sitting there saying, “Wait a second! Doesn’t that sound strangely like what I was saying all along without the racial component to it in the media?” Here’s a guy, okay, got a receiver now, can’t say it’s a receiver’s fault, got Terrell Owens, got the big guy, and still, here comes this Street & Smith’s thing. What’s the caption again on this cover? “What do you think of me now, Rush?” Or, “How you like me, now?” I have never disliked Donovan McNabb. Never have disliked — in fact, I actually think I’m the best thing that ever happened to McNabb, in a marketing sense. This guy was inoculated against criticism. He got national name ID and recognition even outside the sports world. Look at the commercials he’s going to be in this coming season. I betcha this off season he’s been doing nothing but filming commercials and if anybody was wise they’d have put me in a bunch of them with him. Ooooh, no! Can’t do that.
Yeah, fourth-and-26 against the Packers, remember that? Fourth-and-26. One of the receivers that got trashed and blamed for the horrible performance in the championship game against the Carolina Panthers was the one that caught that pass. They were great till the championship game, and then all of a sudden they’re worthless scum and have to be gotten rid of and Terrell Owens is in.
So… I mean, I expected this to be alive all throughout next season, but it’s the off season! (Sighing.) Ah, folks. It’s called, “I sell magazines.”