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Do Eagles fans owe McNabb an apology?

One national columnist thinks Donovan McNabb had no reason to apologize to the city of Philadelphia. Instead, it should have been Eagles fans apologizing to him.

I had Sportscenter on in the backgrond this morning when I noticed Donovan McNabb's name get mentioned.

Naturally, I turned the volume up just in time to hear ESPN's Rick Reilly criticize Eagles fans for their treatment of the former Birds' quarterback.

I looked for a video clip online, but couldn't find it. If anyone's got a link, please pass it along.

Reilly's piece was on sports apologies. He gave McNabb credit for offering a sincere apology to Philadelphia for not winning a Super Bowl during a recent radio interview, but went on to explain that it should have been the city doing the apologizing:

"That's like Conan apologizing to Jay. Does the salmon apologize to the bear? Ehlo apologizing to Jordan. If anything, Philadelphia oughta apologize to him. This is the city that booed him when he came, never thought he was good enough, never gave him a go-to receiver, until they gave him one he couldn't get away from and then traded him within the division for a little-known quarterback named Kevin Kolb, who in three years has a real chance to be the little-known quarterback Kevin Kolb. This is the way you treat a guy whose been nothing but nice, classy, maybe too classy."

I mentioned previously in this space that I was in D.C. last weekend for a family gathering and fielded many questions from friends and relatives about McNabb. Here are the major points I tried to get across to Redskins fans:

* For the Eagles, the decision to trade McNabb was more about Kolb than anything else. I'm not in the You can't win a Super Bowl with McNabb camp. If the Eagles didn't have Kolb, I truly believe they would have been fine pushing forward with McNabb. I think if you hooked Andy Reid up to a lie detector and asked him if he believed he could win a Super Bowl with McNabb, he'd say yes.

But they do have Kolb, and they've been grooming him for this moment. That's why the Eagles pulled the trigger on the trade.

* And then there's the topic I'm completely bored with, which relates to Reilly's rant: Was McNabb underappreciated here? By some - of course he was. But the notion that the group of fans who booed him when he was drafted represents the attitude of the entire fan base during his 11-year career here is absurd and tired.

And the notion that the fans had anything to do with McNabb not having a go-to receiver until Terrell Owens arrived is equally absurd.

The McNabb discussion is never going to die, but I'm not sure we're going to hear many new angles on the topic until both his and Kolb's careers are over.

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