When quarterback Mike Vick arrived in Philly, Donovan McNabb went well out of his way to say and do all the right things in an effort to properly welcome him to town (even if McNabb privately was feeling threatened by the development).
Now that Vick’s time with the team is, for all practical purposes, winding to a non-spectacular conclusion, he’s paying McNabb by publicly hanging out with one of Donovan’s most vocal detractors.
Throughout Thursday, ESPN showed images from boxer Bernard Hopkins’ Wednesday night fight. And there was Vick in the ring with Hopkins, smiling the smile of a guy oblivious to the reality that he left most of his football skills somewhere in the nether regions of Leavenworth.
But Hopkins is a confirmed McNabb hater, bashing the Eagles quarterback for years.
Here’s what Hopkins said last November regarding McNabb, on Comcast SportsNet: “Some people are athletes, still good, but don’t have that extra ‘I’m
willing to sacrifice my life. I’m willing to sacrifice what I have to
sacrifice to win.’ . . . People never forgot when things happen, they see a
guy crumble under pressure. Whether they throw up on the highway,
whether they throw up on the court, whether they throw up on the
football field, when people see that, that sticks in the back of their
In June, Hopkins predicted that, because of McNabb, the Eagles would win seven games this year. “He don’t have the heart,” Hopkins said. “He don’t want to fail so he don’t want to try.”
There’s a chance that McNabb doesn’t care whether Vick hangs out with Hopkins or T.O. or anyone else who might not like McNabb. (Says Mama McNabb, “How could anyone not like him?”) But there’s also a chance that McNabb — who reportedly wanted (and apparently got) a “financial apology” after he was benched for one half of one game in 2008 — does care about the perception created by Vick chumming it up with a guy who has made clear his negative opinions regarding a quarterback who went out on a limb to roll out the red carpet for Vick.
And by “red carpet,” we don’t mean the blood-stained rug that was found by police in one of the buildings behind Vick’s rural property in Virginia.