DONOVAN MCNABB grew up in the Chicago area, in what he calls a different sporting enviornment. Traditionally, talk radio there hasn't been anything like the controversy-of-the-day approach that has propelled WIP, McNabb said, though he feels it is becoming more like that now.
McNabb was asked if sports is as important to the psyche of Chicago as it is to Philadelphia.
"I don't think so,'' he said. "Here in Philadelphia, families get together on Sunday [around the Eagles]. That's something they take pride in - I've heard that from numerous fans. That's kind of their family reunion . . . they come together, they cook a big meal, and they watch Eagles football . . . I don't think they do that as much in Chicago.''
McNabb said he remembers watching the Walter Payton era, "Super Bowl Shuffle'' Bears on TV on Sunday, "after church,'' but he doesn't remember the games being family events.
He remembers going to Bulls games here and there during the Michael Jordan era. He said he doesn't remember ever booing his heroes. He doesn't remember anybody in his family ever booing them.
"I wasn't one of those guys that boo athletes,'' McNabb said, "because I see no point in it. It's not like he's going to look up at you and say, 'Thank you . . . Thanks a lot, that helps!' . . . You understood how, some people have tough days.''
Eight-year-old Donovan wanted a Jordan autograph and eventually got one, he said, but it happened more or less by accident.
"We went to a Bulls game [at the old Chicago Stadium], and I saw [the players] come through the tunnel [from where they parked]. It was before a game. I went to the bathroom . . . I saw a lot of people standing there. [Then] I saw Charles Oakley and a lot of those guys, so I kind of walked over there to see what was going on,'' McNabb recalled. "I don't know why I [happened to have] paper and pen . . . I can't find that paper, to this day.
"I'm not going to be one of those guys that'll be standing out there waiting, if you don't get it, you're going to be upset. If you get it the day you're out there, that's great. If not, I got a chance to watch him play.'' *