Shouldn't good McNabb beat bad Vick? Not this time

by | CBSSports.com National Columnist
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Let's get this out of the way. The Philadelphia Eagles organization is a solid one. It's run by some good people who are also excellent football men. Most of the Eagles players aren't jerks, which is an uncommon fact for a professional sports team these days.

So, there's that. Now this. I hope former Eagle Donovan McNabb comes into Philly on Sunday, throws for six touchdowns and then strikes a pose at midfield ala Terrell Owens. He'd hopefully follow that with a middle finger salute as he disappears into the tunnel, a mortified Eagles fan base sitting in stunned silence, jaws dropped, glaring at the scoreboard, which reads: Washington 70 Eagles 2.

Oh, the irony: McNabb helped convince the Eagles to sign Vick. (Getty Images)  
Oh, the irony: McNabb helped convince the Eagles to sign Vick. (Getty Images)  
Will it happen? No way. Can a man dream? Hell, yes.

McNabb's reward for being a talented, winning, career good guy was to be shuttled to D.C. and partnered with a clueless owner, a poorly run club and Albert "I'm a Slave" Haynesworth. Vick's reward for being part of a Fido-killing operation is to make a possible Super Bowl run.

Vick did his time, deserves a second chance and he's getting it. It's just that the Battle of McVick is coated in irony. Good guys might finish last; bad guys might finish first.

We could in fact have an all cad Super Bowl -- Vick versus Ben Roethlisberger. It could be called "The Assh -- in Arlington."

The only thing we'd need if that happened would be a coin toss by O.J. Simpson.

What Vick is doing on the field is remarkable and, again, good for him. He paid his dues. He was in a minimum security wing in Leavenworth and don't let the words "minimum security" fool you. Leavenworth is Leavenworth. It's a notoriously ugly place to do any amount of time, but Vick did. If we really believe in those American values we talk about so much -- our belief in redemption and second chances being some of them -- then we're certain hypocrites for not allowing Vick to have sufficient helpings of both.

That doesn't mean we have to like Vick, and now that McNabb and Vick will share the same field Sunday as opponents, the contrast of what the Eagles had in McNabb and what they currently have in Vick couldn't be more different.

McNabb was trouble free. By all accounts he was a solid family man who went home to a wife and kids. He was one of the more trusted faces of the sport for a decade. Vick was the opposite. For much of his career in Atlanta he wasn't studious or hard working. When the Falcons would end practice Vick was often the first one out of the locker room. He was sued because of highly unsavory allegations.

Yet here he is, poised to lead perhaps the best team in the division, if not the entire conference. Despite living his life and career the right way, McNabb's Redskins could be the worst in the division.

To borrow a phrase from a conservative commentator, one guy acts like a pinhead and the other a patriot and the pinhead is being rewarded for his pinhead-ism.

This is the worst part. When Philadelphia wins -- and the Eagles will -- the narrative will emerge in some media outlets that an Eagles victory justifies Philadelphia letting McNabb go. The Eagles had no idea Vick would be this unstoppable. If they did, they would've never made Kevin Kolb the starter.

How crazy is this story? Remember, it was McNabb who encouraged Andy Reid to sign Vick. Now Vick has replaced him.

McNabb is returning to Philadelphia. He took the Eagles to five conference championship games, a Super Bowl appearance and had zero felonies.

I'll take that any time. I'll take that all the time.

And you can have Vick.

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