BY PATRICK BERKERY About six weeks ago, I’m on tour with the Pernice Brothers. I’m in the lobby of a hotel outside Eugene, Ore., watching some AFC game on a rainy Sunday with Kevin, our merch guy. We’re discussing the rapidly approaching twilight of Donovan McNabb’s career, guesstimating that if he doesn’t bring home a ring this year or next, he’s the Jim Kelly of the ’00s — just with a higher Q rating.
Then they cut to footage of McNabb being helped off the field in Tennessee with a grimace on his face that says “See you in 8-to-12 months.” There went that twilight. The following Sunday, Kevin and I are sitting at a bar in Albuquerque watching backup QB Jeff Garcia getting some reps against the Colts, who manhandled the Birds like a $50 hooker at a Circuit City regional managers convention. Next Monday, we witness Garcia lead the team in a spirited comeback against Carolina as we feast on signature dishes from celebrity chef Tyler Florence in a North Carolina Applebee’s (Kevin — the salmon, me — the herb-crusted chicken).
While that riveting contest actually drove me to high-five another grown man in a chain restaurant and then dry-hump the flair right off our spitfire waitress in celebration, I didn’t dare view it as portent of a division title. Then I get home a few weeks later and everyone starts going ape shit. Wilma McNabb gets borderline Yoko lamenting her son’s injury…ON HIS WEB SITE!!!
Mooks like “Nick from Hatboro” are calling WIP suggesting that even if Jeff Garcia gets a big free agent deal elsewhere (very possible after this current hot streak) they should still unload McNabb because “that A.J. Feely kid can play a little.” Yeah, very little. And in the ultimate stroke of “Did That Actually Happen?” pop culture mindfucks (like when you come across a Saturday Night Live rerun and Richard Moll ? Night Court‘s Bull ? is the host) Garcia makes the cover of Sports Illustrated. You want to know what I think about all this craziness? Everyone should just take a big gulp of calm-the-fuck-down juice, chase it with a Yards, and enjoy this while it lasts. Which, given the parity in the NFC, could easily be another few weeks.
So . . .
Mama McNabb ? step away from the PC and whip your boy up some more Chunky
Beef & Vegetable.
Nick on the Car Phone ? don’t try to trade McNabb and plot what you’regoing to do with all that cap room while you’re driving on the Blue Route. Eskin doesn’t give a rat’s ass what you think, anyway.
Jeff Garcia ? take the money and run in the off season.
Donovan ? whip that knee back into shape. I have a feeling you’ve got one
more run in you just yet.
Michael Brian Westbrook ? You, uh, might want to push that trip to Swingles in
the Bahamas back until late February. Just in case.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: PBR is our regular sports column, wherein our man in the Jersey ?Burbs calls Philly sports and sports-media as he sees ?em. His name is Patrick Berkery and he plays drums for the Pernice Brothers and, get this, he actually gives a shit about sports. Weird, huh? Born & raised on a steady diet of Birds, Phils, Flyers and boiled potatoes. Phillies season ticket holder since 1978. Longs for the days of Jim Barniak & Spectrum Wrestling on Prism. Thinks all sportwriters dress funny and should stay off TV. Except Phil Sheridan. His feelings on the Philadelphia Eagles are not unlike his stance on Belle & Sebastian and the Grateful Dead: Loves the music, hates most of the fans. Frankly, we could care less. We used to be big-time jocks, but then we discovered girls and pot and rock n? roll, and suddenly the idea of strapping on forty pounds of gladiator gear in August and rolling around in the grass with other sweaty men and then giving them a smack on the ass afterwards just seemed a little, well, gay. But we realize this is a minority opinion. Hence this column.