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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Where's the love, America?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Jared Jernagan
I was on espn.com on Thursday, where they had posted a poll asking which quarterback respondents would be rooting for in Sunday's Redskins-Eagles matchup: Donovan McNabb or Michael Vick.

I thought for a second and voted for Vick, but only because he's on two of my fantasy football teams. That week one pickup could be a goldmine for me.

So, I submitted my vote and waited to see the results, which would certainly be an overwhelming victory for McNabb. (Actually, it would more accurately be an overwhelming defeat for Vick, the dog killer.)

And that's when I got the surprise: as of 11:33 a.m. Thursday, the 41,839 respondents were leaning Vick, 52 percent to 48 percent.

So, I have to ask you, America (and the 2,230 international voters), what are you basing this on? Has anybody really studied the track record of these two guys?

In this corner, we have Michael Vick, an electrifying athlete, if occasionally below average passer. He's exciting. He's unpredictable. He's a touch of what works in the college game making it work in the pros. (Sometimes.)

He's also done prison time as part of a dogfighting ring that he funded. He's responsible for more than a few mistreated and dead animals.

In the other corner, we have Donovan McNabb. While McNabb -- especially in his younger days -- could be described as a mobile QB, he's never shown the running ability that makes Vick so exciting.

In his career, he's also led the Eagles to the NFC championship game five times and the Super Bowl once. Sure, he's never won the big one and is 1-4 in the NFC titles, but he's still performed at a high level for a long time.

And what has McNabb's thanks been? He was booed on draft day by Eagles fans and periodically since. He was subject to some idiotically racist remarks from Rush Limbaugh in 2003. (Rush stirring up trouble? That's unheard of!) Coach Andy Reid toyed with benching him in favor of inferior quarterbacks several times over the years.

Finally, he was traded to a division rival this offseason so the Eagles could move into the future with signal caller Kevin Kolb. The only problem is that future ended quickly when Vick performed so well after Kolb's week one injury.

So, tell me: Who would you root for? I know America loves a comeback story, and I'm among the first to say Vick deserves a place in the league with his prison time over. But I still know what he did.

I also know the kind of player McNabb has been. He was an above average to elite quarterback for over a decade. He did it in one of the toughest cities to play in and he kept his dignity in class. And then the Eagles threw him out while he still had something in the tank.

I also like comeback stories. I want to see McNabb come back to Philly and make fools of the organization that couldn't use him anymore.

(But, please, Redskin defense, go easy on Vick. I could still use some stats for my fantasy team.)

Jared Jernagan is the assistant editor of the Banner Graphic. He can be reached at jjernagan@bannergraphic.com.