I'm headed to Philadelphia for Donovan McNabb Day this weekend, but I want to address some of your questions. Some of you are puzzled as to why I'm picking the Washington Redskins to win Sunday's game against the Eagles. Let's get to the bottom of why I'm the only ESPN employee to make this absurd prediction. And let me thank my Eagles audience for some excellent e-mails this week regarding McNabb:
Ryan Z. from Dover, N.H., would like an explanation for my "biased" pick. Why do you let your bias against the Eagles into your writing? I understand being a fan, but as a reporter it should not sway your thinking. None of the experts are picking the Skins. There were no real reasons as to why the Skins would win, just a gut feeling that could be wrong. Give me something to justify it in the future. Overall, I do like your blog and read it regularly, so good work there.
Mosley: Ryan, just because I picked against the Eagles doesn't mean I'm anti-Philly. In fact, I wrote a blog entry Thursday defending Eagles fans. And if you need a reason for my upset special, I love the way Donovan McNabb plays when he has a chip on his shoulder. Don't let the calm demeanor from McNabb fool you. The Redskins desperately need a win to avoid falling to 1-3. And McNabb would like nothing more than to show his former team that he still has plenty left in the tank. I think McNabb's going to have a huge day, and that's why the Skins are going to win this game. Never discount the desperate team theory.
Brett from Villanova wants to make a statement, and who am I to stand in the way? Just wanted to commend you on a very well-written and very well-researched article on Donovan McNabb's return to Philly. You seem to grasp what we are about and not just turn your nose up at us as a fan base. We consist of many passionate fans, but when you are dealing with millions of fans for a city, you are going to have some knuckleheads. Most national writers just use any story involving us as another chance to bring us down, and you didn't do that and I really appreciate it. The Santa Claus incident was 50 years ago, but thanks again for not taking the time to bash us and I will cheer Donovan, but he will never be loved like Brian Dawkins, Chase Utley, or AI (prototypical philly favorites because of their heart and attitudes) because he never opened up to us and always took cheap little shots at the fan base.
Mosley: Thanks for the note, Brett. I think every team has its fair share of knuckleheads in the stands. I think Eagles fans may take losses harder than most fans, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's a passionate fan base. To keep rolling that 1968 Santa Claus story out there is trite after all these years. If we're going to accuse this fan base of being over the top, let's come up with some more recent examples. And stop accusing me of doing "research."
Saul from Venice, Calif., also wants to get something off his chest regarding McNabb: I think Philly fans have even embraced Mitch Williams after all these years! (I catch him on the local sports channel when I get back to Philly). In general, the media way overplays the animosity toward McNabb. A few bozos went up to New York and booed his drafting at the urging of a radio guy and it somehow paints all of Philadelphia as being against McNabb from the start. Not so. Most fans really liked and appreciated all he did, despite the frustration of never quite getting us there. I agree with you that he will be cheered (and if he isn't, boy am I wrong!). As for Ron Jaworski, the guy could never find a secondary receiver, but I've forgiven him. Froze my tail off from Section 718 at the Vet and watched him beat Dallas to go to the Super Bowl. How can you hold a grudge against a guy after that?
Mosley: I started covering the league in 2003, so I missed out on the Vet. Would've enjoyed seeing at least one game from section 718. McNabb was a lightning rod for all those near-misses. I think most folks were appreciative, but there's not a large portion of the fan base that thought Andy Reid was wrong to trade McNabb.
Josh in Bethesda, Md., wants to know where Devin Thomas has been for the Washington Redskins: Why have they not put Devin Thomas on offense? Are they waiting for him to show himself in practice, or do they just not believe in him?
Mosley: Thomas must have been really bad early in training camp because he's had to climb out of Mike Shanahan's doghouse. From what I can tell, Shanahan and his coaching staff haven't been impressed with Thomas' work ethic, and that's about the worst thing you can say about a player. He's not going to play Thomas based on talent alone.
Scott from Charlotte, N.C., has a Giants question regarding two talented wide receivers: Mario Manningham is leading the Giants in receptions, yards and avg yardage. Hakeem Nicks had 4 TDs but has some awful drops and tips leading to interceptions in all three games so far. Does Super Mario take his starting job at some point?
Mosley: I loved how Manningham bounced back from an early drop to make big plays in the passing game Sunday. If not for that Ahmad Bradshaw chop block call, Manningham would've had another huge play. (Of course, the block may have been the whole reason Eli Manning threw a strike to Manningham.) I think Tom Coughlin's patience is wearing thin with Nicks. He has all the potential in the world, but he loses his focus too often. I think Nicks will hold onto his starting job, but Manningham's definitely nipping at his heels.