Donovan McNabb's Washingtonian profile
Washingtonian's cover story this week is an absolutely massive profile of Donovan McNabb by Harry Jaffe, the same man who wrote probably the kindest Daniel Snyder story ever published. Jaffe talked with McNabb for two hours and also spoke extensively with McNabb's parents and others close to the quarterback. Washingtonian evidently follows the novel policy of not giving away their print material for free online, so I had to go to the supermarket and buy a copy. Well done, Washingtonian, squeezing $3.95 out of me like that.
In exchange for my money, I'll post four highlights from the story. You'll have to pay $3.95 to get the rest. Or, you know, stand in the checkout line for a few extra minutes and read it.
Snyder loves McNabb
Jaffe had a few words with Daniel Snyder about McNabb, evidently asking if the quarterback is part of the Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith, Albert Haynesworth progression.
"That's just a perception," Snyder said. "I'm not picking players, scouting prospects, watching film. I just write the checks."
And Snyder apparently enjoys writing the checks for No. 5.
"I've been watching Donovan pick us apart for a decade," Snyder told Jaffe. "I've always liked him. Now I love him."
I haven't spent much time reading the in-depth McNabb biography, so some of his childhood stuff was new to me. After a shooting in their Chicago neighborhood when Donovan was 7, the family moved 18 miles away to a working-class town that was having its issues with diversity. Their new house had its windows smashed, and the N-word spray-painted on its walls. Quoting Jaffe:
Donovan remembers walking down his street, cars stopping and people throwing things at him. The kids net door used the N-word freely. "If they didn't like the color of your skin or the way you did something, they might start talking trash and then push you around," he says. "I couldn't stand there and take it. There were times I had to stand up like a man. I needed to put my hands on you so you knew I was for real."
Barkley weighs in
Charles Barkley told Jaffe that it's "a legitimate question" whether Philadelphia's ambivalence toward McNabb had to do with his skin color, with Barkley saying he believes there's "a double standard and a shorter leash for black quarterbacks."
"Clearly, he was a winner," Barkley told Jaffe. "He's done tremendous things in the community. He never gets in trouble. But from game to game, season to season, they wanted to replace him. He got booed from week to week. It's the most amazing thing."
His parents are happy
Sam and Wilma McNabb plan to attend every Redskins game this season. His dad told Jaffe that Donovan is "trying to be as successful or better than he was in Philly." And Jaffe wrote that the McNabbs "will say they are relieved that their son is out of Philly."
"No mother wants to see her son suffer," Wilma McNabb told Jaffe. "He's happy to be a Redskin. We're happy."
Now go buy the magazine, or at least read it at the checkout lane.
August 25, 2010; 9:23 PM ET
Categories: Media , Redskins
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