Nationally, Angelo Cataldi of 610 WIP in Philadelphia might be best known for leading “The Dirty 30,” a group of “passionate” Philadelphia Eagles fans, up to the 1999 NFL Draft to show their support for Texas RB Ricky Williams. But, locally, those who know him and his radio show know that he’s a rabble rouser who isn’t an authority on football.
It’s not that they booed Donovan McNabb when he got drafted. The truth is, they weren’t really booing Donovan as much as they were booing who he wasn’t. And that was Ricky Williams.
But why were this group of “intelligent” and “passionate” Eagles fans even clamoring for Williams in the first place? The Eagles were 3-13 in 1998 and even worse than their record showed. Who was the best player on that 1998 offense? Who should have been the most offended that this group wanted Williams?
He was the one really good skill player the team had. So, to improve the team, Cataldi and this brilliant lot wanted two good running backs to go with horrific quarterback play and no wide receivers? That’s brilliant. That’ll get the team turned around.
But, forget all that. Let’s fast forward to now. Donovan McNabb (who was clearly the correct choice in that draft), is now returning to Philadelphia on Sunday for the first time to face the Eagles as a member of the Washington Redskins. We’re all well aware of that.
It’s Cataldi’s recent comments about McNabb that are really irritating me. Not because I’m a loyal #5 supporter, which I am. But, while I get that he has a certain schtick that is the key to him having a sweet morning drive-time position on the top sports talk radio station in Philadelphia, it has to stop at some point. If you want us to take you seriously, Angelo, you can’t be spewing this kind of nonsense.
“I don’t like Donovan McNabb, because I always felt he was a phony,” Cataldi said. “He’s always been passive-aggressive, which doesn’t resonate well with the fans of this city. That’s my problem with him. We never connected to the fans in this town. They only wanted one thing from McNabb, a championship. Look at those great Flyers teams of the 1970s. They won championships and never had to buy another dinner in this town again. With all that talent, McNabb never delivered.”
I have several problems with this moronic and naive quote. First of all, Donovan McNabb is a phony? You may not like the guy. You may think he was a lousy QB. But…a phony? Could you provide some examples? Or would you just rather make irresponsible blanket statements and not back them up? That’s much easier, isn’t it? How is he a phony? Because he didn’t answer every media question exactly as you wanted him to? Is he a phony because he didn’t win a Super Bowl? Please explain.
Secondly, I don’t know that he’s passive-aggressive. Did he take small jabs here and there? Yeah, maybe. But it was nothing major and hardly anything at all when you consider 11 years of how many interviews?
This is my favorite part: the only thing the fans ever wanted from him was a championship. Oh, Jesus Christ, that’s it? Wow, and he couldn’t come through when that was all they ever asked for. Boy, if he’d only known. Did he know that was all they wanted? Maybe he’d have just gone out and won one had he been informed that that was all that was being asked of him.
Because winning a championship is all on one person’s shoulders. Not only did Donovan not work hard enough, but he was just miserable at signing wide receivers early in his career. And how about that year he went into the season with no punt returner? And why didn’t he run more? Why were his defenses getting torched in championship games and unable to create turnovers? Maybe if he just knew that all the fans wanted was a championship, he would have fixed the myriad of things that sunk the Eagles every year.
And what do the Flyers of the 1970′s have to do with the price hemorrhoid cream in Afghanistan? This is one of the stupidest comments I’ve ever heard, and Angelo should know better. His sports opinions may not be grounded in fact, but he’s not an idiot. Yeah, the Flyers were champions…..and? And so Donovan should have just looked at some of their press clippings and magically turned the Eagles into a Super Bowl winner? Explain this imbecilic remark.
And let’s look a little closer to see how Angelo proves our point. He said look at those Flyers teams. Flyers. Plural. As in multiple players on a team. He didn’t say Bobby Clarke. He said “Flyers.” Donovan is singular. That’s one guy. Why not just say, “hey, look how great the Celtics were in the 1960′s! Why can’t Donovan win a Super Bowl here?!”
It sounds just as dumb.
Like I said, Angelo has a job to do. But, he needs to remember that because he’s on the radio, people look to him as though his words have some kind of truth or meaning. Cataldi is a very intelligent guy, but he lets these kinds of remarks fly a little too often for my liking. And then the average Joe hears it runs with it like it’s fact. Pretty soon, you have a large portion of a major city hating a guy that rung up wins and shattered the Eagles record books, all because the team failed to accomplish the ultimate goal.
He never got in trouble. He was never arrested. He didn’t get caught with guns. He was never linked to strip club brawls.
Donovan McNabb was a phenomenal quarterback and a class act. For whatever reason (and he is culpable as well), the team couldn’t get it done. But they got close…a lot. And until his team wins a Super Bowl, McNabb will be in the same category as Dan Marino, Jim Kelly and Warren Moon. Not bad company.
“Now as I wind down my radio career,” Cataldi said. “I’m going to be remembered as the guy who got 30 big fat puking drunks together to boo McNabb—not as an articulate journalist who contributed something.”
And you have no one to blame but yourself.