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Donovan McNabb tells GQ how he really feels about Philadelphia, Eagles

Donovan McNabb took one last look in his rear-view mirror at Philadelphia and described what he saw to GQ:

"No one in the organization ever stepped up and said anything" about McNabb being a lightning rod for criticism since the day he joined the Eagles.

The playcalling at the end of that Super Bowl loss was slow.

He never threw up at the Super Bowl -- at least not the one in which he played.

He knows the NFL overtime rules, thank you very much.

Details after the jump ...

In a meeting in February 2009, McNabb and his agent Fletcher Smith spoke with Eagles Coach Andy Reid and Eagles president Joe Banner, an Eagles official told Jeff McLane of

"We sat down and talked, and I got everything off my chest from [1999] on," McNabb said. "It went all the way back to the [Terrell Owens] situation, it went back to us not winning big games, me being criticized for whatever, leadership. . . .
"They'll say something to you in the building, but not publicly. My feeling was, 'I'm out here getting cut up, where are you? I'm always defending and helping you guys, but where's that support?' "

When the Eagles were trailing the Patriots by 10 with 6 minutes left in Super Bowl XXIX, the playcalling seemed sluggish, particularly to Eagles fans. Philadelphia lost 24-21 and there were reports that McNabb had vomited on the field.

"We were trying to figure out if T.O. [Terrell Owens] was in or if T.O. was out, because of his leg. T.O. wanted to be in. We were trying to rotate different guys in and get the personnel together and things of that nature. The play calling was a little slow, maybe, but it made it look like we were just kind of standing around. We were hustling, it was just blown out of proportion."

And, cookies were never lost...

"No, at no point did I throw up. I got hit and dumped on my face a couple of times...we lost Todd Pinkston...we all were gassed, and there were a couple of times in the game where I got hit either by [linebacker Teddy] Bruschi or by [defensive end Richard] Seymour, I had grass in my helmet and maybe I lost my wind a little bit, but nothing to the point where I would come out of the game. People can run that game back and forth and find out that I wasn't throwing up, but I guess it's a sexy topic to talk about."

As for appearing to be unfamiliar with OT rules after a 13-13 tie with the Bengals in November 2008, McNabb said he received confusing information from an official.

"I'm like, 'Hey, we need to get this thing going, how much time is left?' " McNabb said. "I'm looking at the clock and the ref is like, 'We've got another five minutes after this quarter if no one scores.' I didn't think nothing of it, but I did hear it. It was a mistake on my part. I've got to know the rules."

McNabb, traded to the Redskins in April, admits that he and Reid were extremely close -- no surprise there.

"He stuck his neck out to draft me when he had the Mel Kipers of the world and some scouts who said, 'He's not accurate, he's going to take three, four, five years to learn a West Coast offense.' Our relationship is so strong that I can finish his sentences sometimes. We laugh about it. When I'm out on the field, if he calls a play and I can't hear it, I'd look back and mouth 'What is it?' and he'd just say, 'Just call something.' I'd go out there and probably get a first down or we score or whatever, and he'd say, 'Why don't you just call the whole game?' and I would say, 'I've been waiting on that.' "

By Cindy Boren  |  August 24, 2010; 7:29 AM ET
Categories:  Donovan McNabb , NFL , Redskins  
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Next: London Fletcher makes GQ list of NFL's smartest players


From a professional standpoint, this guy is top notch. I enjoy rooting for a good guy, not just a great athlete. I really hope this team can take him far, and that he can take the team far. The team is starved for winning, the fans are starved for winning, and it seems like McNabb is starved for winning.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | August 24, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

McNabb can't help talking about the Eagles because in his heart, he is still a Philadelpia Eagle.

Posted by: Alan4 | August 24, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Finally, the truth comes out. As a former Eagles fan, I often felt that management let McNabb take various hits without anyone defending him. What most people fail to realize is the blow up between McNabb and Owens was a management issue. Management let the drama filter into the locker room and they let McNabb take a serious blow. Owens wanted a new contract. When he could not get what he wanted, he took his frustrations into the locker room. After that incident, McNabb could not recover his leadership credibility.

Thanks McNabb for telling us the truth!!!!

Posted by: wmw9967 | August 24, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

For years, I've said that Eagles fans are idiots for not appreciating what a gem they had in McNabb, especially after suffering through the endless QB carousel here in D.C.

Now it's the Eagles turn to suffer at QB while the Skins have a top-notch guy for a couple of years at least.

Posted by: InTheMiddle | August 24, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: MPNangle | August 24, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Real unpublished interview - "They paid me lots of money. And you know money's pretty good, very very good. I'm still getting money, very good money. I can fill my swimming pool with it. I've always loved eagles green, because that's the color of my money. No matter what color my uniform is, as long as I can go home and jump in my green pool, I'm a happy guy. And besides nobody notices puke in a green pool."

Posted by: GarrisonLiberty | August 24, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Eagles fans never appreciated him, but Redskins fans have always respected him both as a player and as a man of character. I couldn't be happier to have him on our team.

Posted by: jschwartz1 | August 24, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

He's not missed in Philly. Everyone thinks the team will go farther under Kolb. McNabb wasn't criticized in Philly because it was a sunny day, he was criticized because he rarely led the team to 4th quarter comebacks, often missed receivers badly (he's killed more than his share of worms) and generally just came up small. (Not an Eagle fan, just listen to WIP on trips north.) And his feelings are more fragile than an adolescent girl -- he's the last one to crack on Favre.

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 24, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I've rooted for the green laundry for more than 50 years and did not want to see McNabb leave. But in the last week 'Skins fans have seen why so many others in Philadelphia were fed up with D-Mac: throw behind 'em, throw at their feet (it's not an abberation). Most of all, when in public play the victim. If he ever says, "I played like horsebleep," it'll be the first time. He could have called out *at the time* the folks he complains about now, but he never did. He throws a great deep ball and used to be a creative runner, I hope Shanahan gets the most out of him. But you'll be disappointed if you expect a thick skin and the courage to be held accountable.

Posted by: griot1 | August 24, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

All I want McNabb to do is beat Dallas twice.
McNabb knows how to beat Dallas.. he hates them as much as Skins fans do.

Posted by: bozhogg | August 24, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm positive that after ONE bad outing by Kolb, Eagle fans will turn on him like he's a demon from hell.

Posted by: bozhogg | August 24, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

He may be a great stand up guy and all but when it really counts, dudes fizzles out and CHOKES, he is soft at the core. I don't like him as our quarterback, racks up individual stats and all, but rings are worth a little more. Jason Campbell was nice too and younger!

Posted by: royalk | August 24, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

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