Archive for December, 2007

McNabb: A Cinderella Story

My last post (which was roughly 47 weeks ago) referenced Donovan McNabb and Cinderella in a lazy attempt to besmirch AJ Feeley’s name, while also foreshadowing how we Philadelphians will feel when McNabb is chucking 50 yard bombs to a speedy receiver like Bernard Berrian in an offense that better utilizes Donovan’s skills than the current one in which Five operates. If this scenario takes place, and Kevin Kolb is undergoing the expected growing pains of a young QB, we will all respond by kicking inanimate objects, punching holes in dry wall and whipping our remotes across the room with speeds approaching Jamie Moyer’s fastball. Yes, we will not know what we had until it is gone.

I still believe this is true. But while watching McNabb play the last two Sundays–seeing him hesitate on his reads, hang onto the ball like it was stapled to his palm and fire missiles 5 yards from his receiver–it made me realize a sad, profound truth:

Donovan McNabb is Cinderella.

The band, that is.

Yes, the internet is littered with people comparing sports stars to pop culture figures, but hear me out. Part of this realization began when I searched for the YouTube video of “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” and saw an astonishing stat: the video has 312,461 views. I find it hard to fathom that nearly a third of a million Earthlings have felt the need to watch this video since July 26 of Ought-Six. For one, the song is nearly 20 years old. Secondly, and more importantly, the song is god awful fucking terrible. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some 80s metal, but this song is Ziploc bag full of donkey shit. It’s a formulaic power ballad with a lead singer who sounds constipated, wailing about some Delaware Ave hussy who probably banged White Lion’s drummer. Any of the 6 people who read this blog and clicked on the link and suffered through that song should probably box my ears the next time they see me.

Anyway, this song represents one of the games like McNabb had last Sunday against the Giants: plodding, irritating, lacking judgment and generally painful to experience. You almost wonder how McNabb, and Cinderella, were ever successful. But then you look at the numbers.

Believe it or not, Cinderella sold 18 million records worldwide. After being plucked from obscurity by famed Arena Football League owner Jon Bon Jovi, they toured with pretty much every great 80s metal act: Ozzy, the Crue, Skid Row and Diamond David Lee Roth. Sweet lord, look at those names. Their are probably 90 platinum records and nearly as many STDs among those lineups. Sold out shows, copious amounts of Aquanet, Marshall stacks and stacked chicks–Tom Kiefer and the boys from Philadelphia had them all. Indeed, Cinderella saw a million faces, and they rocked them all (or a reasonably high rate of them were sufficiently rocked, I’m sure).

Donovan McNabb has also put up impressive numbers. Five Pro Bowls, four NFC Championship games, 191 career TDs (passing and rushing combined), the list goes on. Early in his career, he was the only offensive playmaker on teams with receivers like Charles Johnson, James Thrash, Charles Nelson Reilly, Fantasia Freddy Mitchell, Dudley “Booger” Dawson, Torrence Small, Rad Chad Lewis and Jamie Supirian.

yeah, Donny Mac threw to the whiny bitch-titted kid from Small Wonder.

Anyway, McNabb was able to seemingly single-handedly win games early in his career and made believers out of us all. We scooped up his jersey from Forman Mills; we knew he’d lead us There. Similarly, Cinderella rose through the metal ranks up from the dregs of the Philadelphia metal scene (note: I was like 8 years-old when this happened so I have no idea if the Philly metal scene sucked. I’m just assuming it did). Cinderella was discovered by JBJ and gave us Philadelphians hope that we would have our Crue. If there is a timeline, the album Night Songs was similar to McNabb’s first few trips to the playoffs: fun experiences and great hope for the future.

Both Cinderella and McNabb settled into a period of sustained success–the band with Long Cold Winter, D-Mac with the trips to the NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl appearance. But here’s where we come back to “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)”, that aforementioned shit stain of a song. DKWYG(TIG) was like McNabb’s feud with Terrell Owens: there’s a lot of whining involved, and the mere mention of it makes me want to impale myself with gardening shears.

Things went downhill fast for Cinderella after DKWYOG(TIG), with the release of the misguided Heartbreak Station and the departure of drummer Fred Coury. And just like the perpetually injured McNabb, vocalist Tom Keifer completely lost his voice because of something called paresis of the vocal cord, which sounds as fake as a sports hernia. With injuries, declining skills and a shifting audience, Cinderella’s downward spiral was complete (sound familiar?). Shortly thereafter, the band got steamrolled by moody singers from rain-soaked Pacific Northwest metropolitan areas.

While his career is far from over, if McNabb retired today, he would be the Cinderella of his quarterbacking peers. Close to great, an impressive resume, but ultimately just very good–they never had That Moment. Will he make it to the all-time great level? There’s a slight chance, but it is almost certain to not be in a Eagles uniform. And if that happens, WWKNWWH(TIWG).

As an aside, there are a ton of other QB/metal star corollaries, if you give it a little thought. Favre is probably Ozzy (had tons of fun, reckless, drug problem, late career surge), Brady is probably Poison (intense love of wearing makeup) and Eli Manning would probably be the Nelson (got by on his last name, possibly a woman). Perhaps we’ll figure them all out in another blog post.

Which you can expect sometime in June.


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See, Cinderella Gets It.

We Philadelphians tend to spit out our star athletes in bite size chunks. Iverson, Barkley, Abreu, Rolen, Lindros, Schmidt, etcetera, have all felt our wrath. They’ve all been the browning lawn opposite the green grass we see on the other side. And while watching AJ Feeley throw Aflac ducks into the chests of Seattle Seahawks all afternoon long yesterday, it made me think that perhaps in Philadelphia, we should listen to one of our region’s greatest musical acts, Cinderella, as they dispense advice through overwrought singing and clich├ęd lyrics. Yes, Donovan, perhaps we should appreciate you while we’re here.

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