I never thought I would see the day where I am discussing bullying in pro sports. But here we are. And I’m not saying that to say that it doesn’t deserve to be brought up, but this just isn’t something I ever expected to talk about in the world of sports media.
97.5 the Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli had former Eagle Shawn Andrews, who reportedly struggled to ever fit into the Eagles’ locker room, on this afternoon, hoping Andrews could shed some light on how Jonathan Martin is feeling. Andrew’s did that, and then some.
Andrew’s told Missanelli, that he believes that he endured similar circumstances while playing for the Eagles.
“I think this will be my first time on record saying that, but I did. I did. I faced a lot of that. … “But I’ll tell you what I faced. I worked with — I have to use my words carefully — but I worked with a lot of guys who didn’t have everybody’s best interests at heart. The only guy I could trust on that team was flat out Brian Dawkins. Now you imagine. I’m going to tell you this and you can maybe figure it out and try to decode it. Would you want to go to work at a place where you’re putting your heart out every single day and the guy that you’re protecting is saying things behind your back that isn’t true?”
Andrew’s admitted when asked by Missanelli, that he was referring to McNabb. Missanelli tried to run with it, but Andrew’s struggled to elaborate on what he believes that McNabb did wrong to him.
“Man, where do I start? … I always think, if I was one of the first guys to get a $100 million contract, I’ve got endorsements, I’m on commercials, is that not enough attention in and of itself?”
From someone who has interviewed a ton of pro-athletes, I feel Missanelli’s pain here. Believe me Shawn, if you want to talk about Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia, we will make time.
The one thing that Andrew’s did reveal, was after he held out of from training camp in 2008, for at the time unknown reasons, he was granted a chance to speak to his teammates upon his return by Andy Reid.
“He gave me the floor for however long I needed. It may have taken me 15-20 minutes to say what I needed to say, but one of the leaders on the team — how does it make you feel when he’s sitting there, looking you in the eye, rolling his eyes at everything you say, when you’re pouring your heart out as a man amongst men, and he (McNabb) just rolls his eyes and blows you off.”
Regardless of what the opinion inside the locker room of Andrew’s was, McNabb was the last person who should be rolling his eyes. First of all, Andrew’s had been a two-time pro-bowler protecting McNabb. Usually a guy who is blocking 275 pound guys from hitting you isn’t the type of guy that you want to piss off. Secondly, McNabb was supposed to be a leader. We all know McNabb struggled in the leadership department, but he was supposed to be one. Third, I can’t count the amount of times where Donovan McNabb gave a politically correct answer instead of speaking his mind or stepping up as a leader (especially during the whole T.O. fiasco), that led me to roll my eyes. I guess the third part is more ironic than anything.
I’m not denying that it still bothers me to this day that Shawn Andrew’s never developed into the perennial All-Pro he showed flashes of being, but McNabb should have tried to be a leader instead of pushing someone down who it turned out missed camp while battling a serious depression issue.
What I learned from this interview is one thing. I’ve always gotten the impression that Donovan McNabb is two-faced, and this makes that impression look pretty accurate to me. McNabb gave politician type interviews where he bullshitted us most of the time (which is smart sometimes), but it keeps people from feeling like they can relate to you. And when I hear things like this from Andrew’s, I don’t doubt his credibility like some people are saying they do, it just makes me think that McNabb was fake to us and not a like-able guy or good teammate, like he acted like when cameras were in front of his face.
*Waits for the national media to try to somehow spin this that Philadelphia fans are unappreciative and didn’t deserve Donovan McNabb*