It probably shouldn’t be any surprise, but getting the fourth member of each NFL team’s “Faces of the Franchise” Mt. Rushmore is proving seriously difficult.
So after a break to focus on last week’s mandatory minicamp, CSNChicago.com can get back to helping NFL Sports cousin Mike Florio over at ProFootballTalk.com with fine-tuning his thoroughly entertaining “Rushmores” for the teams on the Bears’ 2013 schedule. Or as one devout reader dubbed it, my “Mikey series,” for obvious reasons.
One that was put together earlier this month is one very near to my football heart: the Philadelphia Eagles. I’m from Philadelphia and my Dad, who passed away a little while back, took me to my first NFL game, which was the Eagles vs. the Cleveland Browns (the Iggles lost but I did see Lou Groza boot three field goals).
What Mike did again with the Eagles was to work at looking over the full pantheon of a franchise, which gives deserved respect for both the present and the past of a franchise. If you don’t get a couple of these, look ‘em up and get to YouTube’s of their play.
[MORE: Florio, PFT declare Bears' 'Mt. Rushmore']
And Mike did pretty well:
Reggie. A gimme. Anyone who only needs a first name for everyone to know exactly who it is, that’s a franchise ID.
Andy Reid. The best thing that Reid did was have Donovan McNabb fall to the Eagles at No. 2 in the 1999 draft because the newly reconstituted Cleveland Browns didn’t believe they could restart around a black quarterback. But coaches have been handed great talent and done little or nothing with it, and Reid put the Eagles in one Super Bowl and four other NFC Championship games belongs in high places.
Chuck Bednarik. The last true two-way player in the NFL and at 6-3, 235 pounds, not just some other-era guy who couldn’t have played in today’s game. The tackle of Frank Gifford is something he’s remembered for, but his stop (and pin) of Jim Taylor was the closer for the Eagles’ win over the Packers in the 1960 NFL Championship game.
But then he comes in with Steve Van Buren.
Mikey, Mikey, Mikey…
Van Buren? Great player. Love him; I’ve still got his rookie card somewhere. But to leave Donovan McNabb off this august list is just…goofy. He won without lofty supporting talent (Brian Westbrook notwithstanding), and managed to win with Terrell Owens.
But Mikey was far more spot-on than the fan balloting, with safety Brian Dawkins and Randall Cunningham on their collective four. But Cunningham won one playoff game as an Eagle. Compared to McNabb? Puh-leeze. The fact that Dawkins garnered more votes than Bednarik says it all.
NBC Sports panelist Ross Tucker said it best: “You cannot put Randall Cunningham over Donovan McNabb if you have any logic.”