The Eagles have faced an unusual amount of criticism for stealing the thunder of Major League Baseball, NCAA basketball, the Masters, and all of Christianity by trading quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Redskins in the early evening of Easter Sunday.
Coach Andy Reid denied any effort to undermine other sporting or religious events during an appearance with WIP’s Howard Eskin and Ike Reese on Monday, and team spokesperson Pamela Browner Crawley provided the team’s official position to philly.com.
“We’d been working on this trade for quite some time,” Crawley said, pointing out that trades of this type require coordination and agreement from multiple parties. “To suggest that we have that sort of control. . . . It’s more than not fair. It’s simply incorrect.”
Though we love a good conspiracy theory (and also a bad one), we believe the Eagles. Both teams were ready to pull the trigger. If they had a chance to sleep on it, one of them could have decided after the chocolate bunny hangover subsided to walk away.
And if the goal was to bogart headlines from other sports, the parties would have agreed to leak the news Sunday night and to allow the question of whether the trade would happen command headlines until Monday morning, or maybe Monday afternoon, dominating multiple news cycles first with talk about whether it will happen and then regarding its impact. Instead, the lag between initial report and official confirmation was roughly 30 minutes, or less.
Finally, it’s odd that only the Eagles are being criticized for the timing. The Redskins were equal partners in this trade, and if baseball, basketball, golf, and/or God feel miffed by the developments, they should take it up not only with the team that dealt McNabb, but also with the team that welcomed him.