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Donovan McNabb: Legend Of The Fall

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

Opening with a quote is a little hacky, sure, but in this case, the line is too spot on. The quote, a Mark Twain specialty, speaks volumes of Donovan McNabb. The Syracuse University legend has decided to let loose with his feelings lately. Last week he took to ESPN's First Take to debate the always....Skip Baylessy....Skip Bayless. And, well, for the normally dignified McNabb, it wasn't pretty.

McNabb ripped Mike Shanahan, his former Washington coach, and Mike's son, offensive coordinator, Kyle. Essentially claiming the two care more for their egos than they care for winning. McNabb even went as far to say that that father-son tandem would ruin Baylor quarterback, and likely No. 2 pick to Washington in April's NFL draft, Robert Griffin III. While I agree that the elder Shanahan is more idiot than savant (just 1 playoff win since 1998 and his last postseason appearance coming in 2005), McNabb is coming off like a bitter ex longing for another chance.

McNabb made things worse in this exchange with Bayless; "Tim Tebow is the most unfairly, over-criticized quarterback in the history of this league," Bayless said. "Negative, I am. Nobody has been criticized as much as I have," replied McNabb.

You know what doesn't help your case? Going on national TV and practically beg for sympathy (see: Politicians, Any). Full disclosure, I'm a huge McNabb fan (duh). I watched, like all of you, the kid from Illinois that no other major program thought could play quarterback revive a stagnant SU program. Dramatic plays and dramatic wins were McNabb's calling card.

We all blame Paul Pasqualoni and Greg Robinson for the death of Syracuse football. Rightfully so, as both men certainly helped the cause. Pasqualoni falling asleep on the job and Robinson driving a stake through through Syracuse football's heart. Still, nothing took a blunt object to the head of football on the Hill like McNabb's leaving.

It's not his fault he left, having graduated and headed to make millions. Still, his days at Syracuse make watching this version so tough to watch.

A player like McNabb, the closet thing to a Jim Brown for this generation of SU fans (relax, I said closest. I'm not comparing Brown to...anyone), should have taken the NFL by storm and then rode off into the sunset in a perfectly scripted movie of a career. In a way, he was to validate his work at SU by crushing the NFL. The run in Philly was, as an Eagles fan, frustratingly amazing. Great highs and great lows all punctuated by countless deep playoff runs. The ending, however, was strange. Very much like most of his seasons under season for the Eagles. Him being dumped by Philly probably summed up what he had become.

Add in him being kicked around by both Washington and Minnesota, and it seemed McNabb didn't live up to expectations anymore because he simply didn't care to do so. He looked out of shape and the gossip was McNabb didn't work. Not the way his career on the field was supposed to end.

Now McNabb is auditioning to be another TV talking head (not that there's anything wrong with that). It's not going well. He just doesn't look comfortable on camera and his points aren't reflective of a long time player. So, it seems, McNabb, in an attempt to make himself more 'interesting' or because he has an axe to grind, has taken to bashing a team he recently played for. It's a lot like the last couple of years on the field for McNabb...lazy.

Instead of giving valuable insight on the game of football, McNabb is taking both the easy and the low road. It's not McNabb's place to rip the Shanahans. Even if he is right, again, I believe he is, a player of McNabb's level shouldn't stoop so low so quickly. The reason McNabb is out of football right now, the reason he's yapping at Bayless, is his fault. Had McNabb taken the opportunities with Washington or Minnesota seriously he would still be in the league, he would still have the chance to write the perfect ending to a great career.

That ending didn't happen. Instead McNabb's gone from the dignified to the delusional. The pristine to the paranoid. He should have allowed time to pass before deciding to take out his frustrations on TV. Actually, McNabb should shut his mouth keep everyone guessing, about, well, everything.