Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: dcsportsbog and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Shanahan-McNabb debate races to the bottom

By Dan Steinberg


Two weeks was way, way too long of a break for this city following the benching of Donovan McNabb. Way too long. People ran out of stuff to say after Week 1. Week 2 has been far, far worse.

Yes, feel free to lump me in with the rest. But I'm just trying to gather some highlights for your workday enjoyment.

Race in America

Fox Philly did a segment Thursday morning on race in America, with McNabb's benching one of two primary topics.

"The coding strikes a nerve, and I think that's the problem," Bill Anderson from WURD 900 said. "That is the stereotype that people have, that the African American quarterback isn't intelligent enough to run the offense. I don't know in this particular instance if there's enough evidence pointing to the fact that that's why Donovan McNabb was benched."

"At worst, [Mike Shanahan is] saying in a very somewhat thinly veiled way, my black quarterback isn't smart enough to run the offense," Michael Bradley from 97.5 The Fanatic said.

Yes, John Feinstein's name was prominently mentioned in this debate. Yes, Feinstein is really the guy responsible for this particular discussion even happening.

Feinstein vs. Mortensen

Feinstein has now attacked ESPN's Chris Mortensen at least twice for reporting that the Shanahans had to cut their playbook in half to accommodate McNabb. Here was the latest, on ESPN 980's Sports Reporters Wednesday evening.

"Look, I've known Mort for years. And I think Mort is culpable in this, too. Because if I get that phone call from one of the Shanahans - and you know that's where it came from -- that we had to cut the playbook in half for Donovan McNabb, before I stick that out there...and put the weight of ESPN behind it, which is what the Shanahans want, don't you make a phone call to Donovan McNabb and say 'I have been told that they cut the playbook in half for you because you can't learn it' and get a response? Which they didn't do. And so that alone is cynical and underhanded and totally 100 percent wrong. Because, again, he's still trying to make McNabb the problem when he simply made a coaching mistake."

Mort fielded one McNabb question in his weekly ESPN.com chat:

I have never suggested McNabb wasn't a franchise QB. I simply passed along how the Redskins internally - specifically, the Shanahans - feel about McNabb and why. I even made the point at various times of the limitations around Donovan.

Wise Wades In

Mike Wise wrote a column on race and the Redskins and history and old wounds. Two hundred thirty-nine comments and counting!

There were some odd bits to my mind -- like Doc Walker saying that Sonny Jurgensen and John Riggins are the most beloved Redskins -- but the oddest part was Wise quoting TBD's David Aldridge, in an appearance on Tony Kornheiser's ESPN 980 radio show, which was transcribed by me. This is media writing about media writing about media interviewing media, if I've got that right.

Fox Philly Attacks The Post

From an online article:

The odd media ballet in Washington continues, as a local newspaper continues its onslaught on Donovan McNabb's coach and also takes a few shots at Philadelphia Eagles' fans....The Washington Post is continuing its onslaught of pro-McNabb coverage, with Feinstein, Jason Reid and Michael Wilbon leading the charge.

To the barricades, comrades! We're onslaughting!

Wilbon and Slander

Oh yeah. Wilbon. From his chat:

I don't know how many people are suggesting he slandered ALL black QBs. But he seems to have slandered this one, hasn't he. I know this: if Shanahan had said this about some unproven black QB the reaction wouldn't be what it is. But he said it about a guy who's led teams to five conference championship games and one Super Bowl. And you're trying to tell me that Mike Shanahan's offense is that much more complex than Andy Reid's? I don't believe that for a second. Does Shanahan believe he's a genius to that degree? Probably, yes

Feinstein vs. Steve Czaban

Czaban: You've lost your mind. You've lost your mind. You really have. You're saying he should be fired for racial coding?

Feinstein: Yes. Absolutely.

Czaban: I love you. You've lost your mind.

Feinstein: No I haven't. You know what, Steve? A lot of the people who voted the way they voted last Tuesday didn't do it because they thought Barack Obama was a terrible president. They did it because he's an African American president, and because he didn't fix George Bush's mess in 13 minutes, ok? That happens in this country. There are a lot of angry white people in this country who can't deal with the idea that we have an African American president, and there are a lot of coaches in this country to this day who, if an African American athlete isn't doing what they want done, as in winning games and making them rich and famous, they will throw them under the bus in a second.

By Dan Steinberg  | November 11, 2010; 12:46 PM ET
Categories:  Media, Redskins  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Gary Williams celebrates heartstopping win
Next: Clinton Portis's Phillies hat

Comments

Fox Philly doesn't know what it's talking about. If McNabb had been pulled for a competent quarterback who had either (a) played recently, or (b) was the "QB of the Future" there wouldn't have been one-fifth of the uproar from the fans (not just from the local media). Shanny and Son pulled McNabb for Rex Grossman, who then did what we figured he would do (He was who we thought he was?).

In fact, the only voice I've heard really defending (and not explaining the decision ala Mort) the decision is from...THE WASHINGTON POST by way of Sally Jenkins' column.

Posted by: gkronenberg | November 11, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

This is the kind of nonsense that turns a liberal into a conservative real quick.

Feinstein is coming off as the racist here.

And what about Mike Wise, who tried to get Portis into trouble by asking him how he felt about a white running back (Hillis) being so good?

At the end of the day, Shanahan benching McNabb is the best thing that ever happened to #5. The same writers who had been critical of his performance -- especially in the two minute drill! -- jumped to his defense like he was the league's MVP.

Posted by: MylesMonroe | November 11, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

John Feinstein is clearly a self-hating Jew. Rex Grossman has a Jewish sounding name and clearly Feinstein didn't want him playing because of it. It's so obvious, given the history of self-hating Jews in this country. You can sit around and talk about whether Feinstein would have still acted the way he did had McNabb's backup not had a Jewish sounding name, but the fact is he does. And there are a lot of Jews like me who are sensitive to the actions of self-hating Jews. Now if I owned the Washington Post, I would fire Feinstein for his anti-Semitic coding. He said "putting in Grossman was a mistake" i.e: Grossman is a dumb jew, he's not smart enough to handle the terminology. It's my belief, that that kind of anti-Semitic behavior, is worth firing a sportswriter for. Now the Washington Post is not going to do it, but I think the situation is out of control.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 11, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Is there ever reporting on something that we can verify was actually said by Shanahan? All I'm seeing here is Feinstein insisting that "everybody knows" Shanahan called Mortenson to plant a story that McNabb is stupid for some reason which is obvious only to Feinstein. Followed by endless discussion of all of these non-events. I feel like I'm reading the front page instead of the sports section.

Posted by: bigfoot1 | November 11, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if Shanahan is racist or not. Looked to me like Shanny got mad at McNabb for making a poor decision, then made a bad decision himself, & has spent all this time trying to justify it. Which, in turn, has made matters much worse. Washington DC knows better than any other town that its not the crime, its the cover up that can bring you down.

Posted by: will_ga | November 11, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

ATTENTION BOG READERS

It is not okay to accuse someone of "racial coding" when there is no evidence to support this disgusting claim. I am sick and tired of listening to John Feinstein and others say that the it's perfectly understandable to believe racism played a role given the history the Redskins organization. It is not understandable and it is not okay. There are a ton of institutions in this country--including government institutions--that used to discriminate decades ago. Every time a person gets disciplined by any government agency in 2010, should they assume it's because of their skin color since 50 years ago that may have been the case? That is bologna racial-victim mentality nonsense, and anyone who engages in it should be ashamed of themselves.

You are not a victim because your ancestors were discriminated again. I am not a victim because my great uncle and aunt were tortured during the Holocaust. And it is not okay to always assume any white supervisor who disciplines a black employee did so because of skin color or vice versa.

We have come so far in this country when it comes to racial issues, yet people like John Feinstein and Mike Wilbon still do their best to set us back 40-50 years.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 11, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

And by the way, "racial coding" is Feinstein's slick way of insinuating Shanahan is a racist without actually calling him a racist.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 11, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Would right now be a bad time to bring up the fact that the franchise is named after a racial slur for the Native Americans we stole this country from?

Posted by: bryc3 | November 11, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Instead of this overblown racial controversy, the much better question that we should be talking about is the other, much more relevant to football issue Feinstein brings up--the whole "Redskins cut their playbook in half to accomodate McNabb" issue. Whatever the truth of that claim is, the bigger question is why should that matter? Did the Shanahans really go out and get McNabb in April and then, instead of molding the offense around your star QB, expect him to run the offense Matt Schaub ran last year in Houston? We've heard about Haslett altering the defense to put Hayneworth in better positions to make plays--the Shanhans can't do that for McNabb? Or if they did, they're complaining about it? Are these coaches really as smart as they think they are?

Posted by: TheFingerman | November 11, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Bryc3, normally I agree with you but that is a myth. The overwhelmingly vast majority of Native Americans do not take any offense to the team name "Redskins". There have been many studies on this, including one by Sports Illustrated and another by the Annenberg Public Policy Center. They have found that upwards of 90% of Native Americans are not bothered by the name. Now, the media would have you believe that is not the case, but they are clueless on this non-issue. The real culprits are the extremists in the Native American lobby who have used this issue as a direct mail fundraising tool over the year simply to profit off of it.

But the bottom line is when you have 90% of people agreeing on ANYTHING, there is no controversy.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 11, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

this is how you spin a story:

The Real Problem: The Redskins Offensive line

The Spin: McNabb isn't smart, isn't conditioned and is Hurt

The Fall Guy: Donovann McNabb

The villains: Shanny's


classic journalism

and we still dont identify of solve the problem w/ all this bs

so the next time you read a story about this or that remember how easy it is to spin a topic, blow it way out of proportion and to get people arguing about an issue which relates to nothing about the REAL STORY

Posted by: retroskins14 | November 11, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Barno,

You're awful. Please get kicked off this website.

Sincerely,
-Everyone else

Posted by: GeorgeTowner2 | November 11, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

If you look at it in terms of stereotypes, McNabb should be fast and fit and good at football and he would have been good to go in Shanahan's mind. Just saying.

Posted by: wis193 | November 11, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

This article will make Teabaggers mad and to me that is a good thing.

Posted by: eternale5150 | November 11, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

GeorgeTowner2, I haven't violated any terms of use for this site on this blog, why would they kick me off? Because you disagree with my opinion--yet can't even muster any counter-argument other than "you're awful"?

Posted by: Barno1 | November 11, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Feinstein: A lot of the people who voted the way they voted last Tuesday didn't do it because they thought Barack Obama was a terrible president. They did it because he's an African American president.
----------------------

Let's look at the flip side of this argument shall we.

In 2008, 96% of blacks voted for Obama.

What an amazing coincidence that 96% of black Americans found Obama, who just happened to be black, to be the best choice to lead this country.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 11, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

i just want to know why, IF McNabb isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, does this end up being a race issue? CAn't you have not-smart people of all color? I know some dumb black guys, and some smart ones. I know some dumb white guys, and some smart ones.

I however don't know any dumb asians.

but the point is, its actually MORE racist to pretend that McNabb's perceived intelligence level (or lack thereof) is related to his race. Maybe its just related to his brain.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 11, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

If Feinstein has a guilt complex over being a child of privilege that's his problem. The bigger problem is that this thing provided an opportunity for all the professional race baiters to do their thing and that includes Wilbon, Thompson, Walker, Blackistone. And there is a special place in hell reserved for Mike Wise who went out of his way to play the race card and quote just about all the professional race baiters in his article.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | November 11, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Mike Wise by far, is the biggest culprit here. He is the white version of Al Sharpton.

And because no one outside DC knows who he is, this is his way of gaining a name. At the expense of the Shanahans.

Mike Wise, you really should be fired. Your column is extremely irresponsible. And idiotic.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 11, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Feinstein has to know that his self-righteous act is growing thinner and thinner by the day so in order to keep himself relevant (and slam an organization he admits he loathes) he has to make more and more outrageous statements.

This IMHO puts him in a league with the Ann Coulters of the world. People who have to make more and more bombastic comments to get people to pay attention to them. But at least Chairwoman Ann is entertaining and much, much more attractive to look at than Feinstein.

But what Feinstein really is showing everybody is the perfect example of white liberal guilt. Mike Wilbon (along with Jason Whitlock) this summer not only demonstrated the group think of the black community but their own underlying racism. Like Wilbon, Feinstein injects race into a conversation where it doesn't belong because Feinstien can't get beyond his own bigotries.

And even if we assume for a second that it was racism that lead the Shannahan's to bench McNabb. How does that racism jive with their decision to bring in JaMarcus Russel in for a workout during last week's bye?

And it is predictable as the sunrise for somebody such as Feinstein to blame the mid-term elections on racism while conveniently forgetting that many people voted for our Wonderful, Gracious, and Peace Loving Dear Leader thinking it would put an end to the racial divisions in this country.

But when the black community and liberals such as Feinstein can't move beyond race, the divisions won't ever heal.

After all, why shouldn't people think that Dear Leader is capable of fixing everything in the blink of an eye? Didn't he himself not say about his mere nomination that "this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal"? Dear Leader built and cultivated his Messianic image. It is not racism that he failed to live up to the image that he cynically created.

Posted by: CapsNut | November 11, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

John's statement confirms he is a racist. A left wing liberal from NY.
Also this confirms "Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder'.
I encourage everyone to read this book,
http://www.amazon.com/Liberalism-Mental-Disorder-Savage-Solutions/dp/B000RWD3JG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1289508927&sr=8-1

Wilbon, Aldridge, Wise, and Kornheiser. I bet these bastards are liberals too.

Posted by: jkang1 | November 11, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

John's statement confirms he is a racist. A left wing liberal from NY.
Also this confirms "Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder'.
I encourage everyone to read this book,
http://www.amazon.com/Liberalism-Mental-Disorder-Savage-Solutions/dp/B000RWD3JG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1289508927&sr=8-1

Wilbon, Aldridge, Wise, and Kornheiser. I bet these bastards are liberals too.

Posted by: jkang1 | November 11, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I think John Feinstein has gone crazy. I heard him on the Sports Reporters and he seems totally off his nut. Thinking it was a racially-motivated move by Shannahan is one thing, Feinstein is on a whole other planet. Is he trying to make himself relevant? Stick to college basketball and golf Junior.

Posted by: bethesdaguy | November 11, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

this is how you spin a story:

The Real Problem: The Redskins Offensive line

The Spin: McNabb isn't smart, isn't conditioned and is Hurt

The Fall Guy: Donovann McNabb

The villains: Shanny's


classic journalism


and we still dont identify of solve the problem w/ all this bs

so the next time you read a story about this or that remember how easy it is to spin a topic, blow it way out of proportion and to get people arguing about an issue which relates to nothing about the REAL STORY


Posted by: retroskins14 | November 11, 2010 1:49 PM


Excellent! What I have been saying for two weeks....but people like "drama" instead of talking SENSE!

Posted by: ejharrisjr40 | November 11, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

What would eliminate any chance of this demagoguery being aimed at a white coach who benches a black QB in the future? Don't bring in a black quarterback to begin with. That is something for the professional race baiters to think about.........

Posted by: dcsportsdude | November 11, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

hey folks, lets stay focused...

"baby-eating-eagles"
http://beachcombing.wordpress.com/2010/11/05/baby-eating-eagles/

i'd say there's a 50% chance the skins win mon. nite...

Posted by: tindal0s | November 11, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

It's ironic how McNabb gets benched once in DC (and it was well-deserved showing how awful he's been this season) and *POOF* the "race-card" is pulled...but when McNabb was benched numerous in Philly, it wasn't because he was black. It was because of his performance...or lack there of.

Newsflash: Since McNabb's been with the Redskins, he's thrown more interceptions than he has TD's. And the fact that he tripped over the center TWICE and was on his back more than any QB should ever be that Sunday, benching him was a decision that was properly made. He is at his lowest QB rating of his career and Shanahan was not about to continue to enable him. This was a wake-up call for everyone and now McNabb knows that he needs to prove himself.

Get over the racism. It has nothing to do with racisim. It has to do with performance....and it's all there in BLACK & WHITE.

Posted by: Kona13 | November 12, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

It's ironic how McNabb gets benched once in DC (and it was well-deserved showing how awful he's been this season) and *POOF* the "race-card" is pulled...but when McNabb was benched numerous in Philly, it wasn't because he was black. It was because of his performance...or lack there of.

Newsflash: Since McNabb's been with the Redskins, he's thrown more interceptions than he has TD's. And the fact that he tripped over the center TWICE and was on his back more than any QB should ever be that Sunday, benching him was a decision that was properly made. He is at his lowest QB rating of his career and Shanahan was not about to continue to enable him. This was a wake-up call for everyone and now McNabb knows that he needs to prove himself.

Get over the racism. It has nothing to do with racisim. It has to do with performance....and it's all there in BLACK & WHITE.

Posted by: Kona13 | November 12, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

One of the things Rush Limbaugh has hipped me to is that the sports media is every bit as liberal as the news media, infested with the same biases, agendas, and templates. This is no different than the news media constantly telling us that any and all criticism of Obama is by its very nature racist. All these lazy, pathetic "journalists" have done is swap a jersey for a suit, and FedEx Field for the White House, and voila--another cookie cutter, fill in the blank story. Oh, and Finestein pulled this same junk with the Duke lacrosse case. Refresh my memory--how did that turn out?

Posted by: kbarker302 | November 12, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

The sad truth to all of this is that, if this comment had been made about a white QB nobody would have even gotten "RACE" out of it. Do any of you geniuses even know how big Shanahan's playbook is ??? Why can't it possibly just be the fact that it is too complex for ANYONE to grasp in such a short period of time or that old terminology that has been embedded into you for 12 or 13 years is just simply difficult for ANYONE to suddenly forget. Remember the 700 page size of the playbook that Al Saunders presented a few years ago, that had to be cut in half because no one had time to grasp it, I don't remember anyone throwing the race card around then ???
For us to truly move forward as a people from this, we have to come down hard on racism when it truly exists ... this is NOT one of those cases !!!

Posted by: EFitz1000aolcom | November 12, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

The sad truth to all of this is that, if this comment had been made about a white QB nobody would have even gotten "RACE" out of it. Do any of you geniuses even know how big Shanahan's playbook is ??? Why can't it possibly just be the fact that it is too complex for ANYONE to grasp in such a short period of time or that old terminology that has been embedded into you for 12 or 13 years is just simply difficult for ANYONE to suddenly forget. Remember the 700 page size of the playbook that Al Saunders presented a few years ago, that had to be cut in half because no one had time to grasp it, I don't remember anyone throwing the race card around then ???
For us to truly move forward as a people from this, we have to come down hard on racism when it truly exists ... this is NOT one of those cases !!!

Posted by: EFitz1000aolcom | November 12, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

If I had McNabb as a QB I'd change 1/2 my playbook to play to his strengths. But benching McNabb for Grossman at crunch time is like expecting Ryan Leaf to take over for Stan Humphries. Obviously, the Redskins need to get their coach and general manager on the same page.

Posted by: pickymich | November 12, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

He brings up some really interesting points. People will often say racist things or do racist things without intending to. On some level, it's unconscious, on others, it's downright blatant. Anyone who thinks racism is not an issue is kidding themselves. Rex for McNabb? Come on. And no, I'm not black. And I agree with what was said. No matter how controversial it was. The observations about Obama were spot on as well. Anyone who reads the racist comments across the internet knows that there are A LOT of underground racists out there.

Posted by: equ28 | November 12, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

@EFitz1000aolcom's comment: "The sad truth to all of this is that, if this comment had been made about a white QB nobody would have even gotten "RACE" out of it."

Eh, yeah, that's the whole point. LMAO. Shanahan is white. McNabb is black. Get it? Not saying McNabb was not having problems, but the way Shanahan handled the situation was uncalled for to say the least and it brings up issues for debate.

Posted by: equ28 | November 12, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Here's a serious question to everyone who is talking about how the shanahans are all about race or are on some ego trip about their genius because of the comment about playbook cutting for McNabb. Who's to say it was because the playbook was hard and not that he couldn't memorize the whole thing because the playbook was just that damn big and he really wasn't playing good so got benched not because he is black. Who cares what McNabb has pulled of in the past, just because he did good then doesn't mean he can't have a crappy year now.

Posted by: d_traw | November 12, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

If Shanahan plays McNabb over Grossman, I think it is safe to assume that he hates white people.

And I still can't forgive those racist Bengals who decided to draft Carson Palmer rather than make Akili Smith their franchise quarterback. Racism is the only possible explanation. Same goes for the Raiders and JaMarcus Russell. After all, a black man named "Jason" is much less threatening to whitey than a guy named "JaMarcus."

Posted by: mjfaber1 | November 12, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

How does Feinstein still have a job?? This kind of editorial reporting is not irresponsible but also classless and unethical.

Posted by: atmousavi | November 16, 2010 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company