Everybody has asked Donovan McNabb about how he feels he will be received when he steps foot onto the field in Philadelphia on Sunday, and his responses have been, for the most part, boring. He refuses to acknowledge the importance of this particular game, and allow us to have fun with the highly anticipated reunion. What a spoil sport.
But there are plenty of others that will be a part of this match up on Sunday, and Barry Svrluga and Rick Maese have reactions from some of them; starting with Vonnie Holliday.
"It has to mean a lot," said Redskins defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday, who has been in the NFL one year longer than McNabb. "You talk about a guy who did so much for an organization. He was the face of that franchise for 11 years. . . . As much criticism as he received throughout his tenure there, year in and year out, when you turn the TV on and it's playoff time, the Philadelphia Eagles, they were in the talk. Donovan McNabb and what he's done there, he's respected around this league."
Even Mike Shanahan, who I'm sure just loathes having to talk about side-stories like this during the week leading up to such an important game, weighed in.
"It's always a tough situation for anybody, but I think it's one that you kind of look forward to," Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said. "Even though there's a lot of pressure, you pretend like there's not and it doesn't matter, but I think it always does. You'd like to play your best, and it's kind of why you play the game."
But probably the second biggest player in this whole production, is Eagles coach Andy Reid, the man who drafted McNabb and spent 11 years coaching him. For so many years they were tied at the hip both in terms of performance and public perception. Here's what Reid had to say about the return of his quarterback.
"This is the business we're in," Reid said. "Fortunately, [the trade] didn't destroy our friendship. It's part of the business. He understands. I understand. I'm sure neither one of us wanted it to come to that day. But that's how it works. That's how this thing works. It was a tough decision on my part."
I suppose since this article is about Donovan McNabb, we have to include a quote from him, even if it's not as juicy as we may have hoped.
"We had a lot of success together," McNabb said in a conference call with Philadelphia reporters. "Obviously, we've been through some ups and downs together. Things happen. It's unfortunate. Was I upset at the time? Absolutely. But I've moved on. I learned to move on and focus on the job at hand."
Ugh, you just don't get it Donovan. Would it kill you to say "revenge" or "retribution" just one time this week? At least we can count on the Philly fans to bring excitement to this event. Even if he doesn't want or expect it to, the moment McNabb steps on the field on Sunday, will be a memorable one.