Several years ago, pundits had picked the Philadelphia Eagles as the team to beat in the NFL (this was, I think, either the year the Buccaneers won the Big Game or the second time the Patriots stole, I mean, won it). The press fawned on Donovan McNabb, aka "Count Choke-ula," and told us how awesome it would be when the Eagles won the Super Bowl.
One in particular was Rick Cleveland, the Clarion-Ledger's sports columnist. Now, apparently Rick has a higher opinion of his work than I do-and apparently someone at some point told him that he was laugh out loud funny and he believed it-but this column was his funniest by far. It was in this column that he suggested that Mississippians should root for the Eagles because Donovan McNabb's family originated in Mississippi. Later on, he wrote a column about how mean Rush Limbaugh was for saying McNabb was overrated.
(McNabb, by the way, has only two seasons with over 60% completion percentage, and is a career 58.7% passer. By comparison, Tim Couch also has two seasons with over a 60% completion percentage, and is a career 59.8% passer. Daunte Culpepper, currently unemployed, has a career 63% completion percentage, and his worst season's completion percentage was last season's 58% in limited time with the Raiders)
Now, that's pretty absurd. I should point out that I despise the Eagles, and the Phillies, and the 76ers in the interests of full disclosure, and have since I saw Philadelphia sports fans for the first time. They're the closest thing to Neanderthals on the planet in my eyes. But still, I don't root for the Packers because of Favre, or the Colts for Manning, or the Falcons because of Jerious Norwood. Even then, I have a lot of pride in my state, and its native sons. But McNabb ain't one of them. He's from Chicago, he went to college in New York and he plays in Philadelphia. The closest he's come to Mississippi so far as I know is flying over it on his way to play the Saints.
But it's good to know that Rick Cleveland will be writing a column in the near future about how he will-and others should-be rooting for John McCain in 2008. After all, his grandfather (and namesake), John S. McCain Sr., is from Carroll County, Mississippi, and came from a long line of Mississippians. It'll be good to have at least one Clarion Ledger writer in McCain's corner, since Hampton is partaking in the Obama kool-aid it appears, and Salter is too professional (and too focused on CD-3). After all, we wouldn't want Rick to appear a hypocrite for supporting one man with tenuous connections to Mississippi while turning his back on another.