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Love and the Hired Gun

Oh how we love our NFL quarterbacks.

There are no one night stands, no casual bar pickups, no booty calls. When we find 'our guy’, we fall hard for the one we know will lead our boys to the Promised Land. Its love, soft as an easy chair, love fresh as the morning air. For fans of the burgundy and gold, that love has been mostly unrequited.

We love our Redskins quarterbacks be they good, average, or just plain awful. And we’ve loved a lot of them over the past decade: Campbell, Collins, Brunell, Ramsey, Hasselbeck, Hamdan, Matthews, Wuerffel, Banks, George, Graham, Johnson, and those are just the guys who actually played in a regular season game. We’ve passionately pined even for the backups, 3rd stringers, and practice squad projects. It’s how we roll.

And as desperately as we love our own, we hate our opposition’s - which brings us to our 2010 dilemma. How do I love thee, let me find the ways, Donovan McNabb?

How do we Redskins fans turn that bitter, icy stone to a warm, embracing ember in our burgundy and gold hearts? For a decade McNabb was McChoke. McNugget. McChunky, the enemy. Only Tony Romo (because he had a hot girlfriend and hating Dallas is required) was more despised.

Now that McNabb’s a Redskin quarterback, how do we make a Redskin quarterback out of McNabb? What’s to love here? At first glance, there’s plenty. McNabb is one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks in the league. He can still make all of the throws, is swift and elusive when he needs to be, a master of the West Coast offense. He’s calm, commanding, and decisive in the huddle. McNabb can flat out play.

Bereft of anything resembling the mythic 'franchise quarterback’ for ages, the Redskins now have a legitimate all-Pro quarterback behind center. Skins fans can embrace McNabb for what he can do right now, not what he might someday be capable of accomplishing. We don’t have to 'grow to love him’. In terms of physical skills, McNabb’s Scarlett Johansson not Renee Zellweger. What’s not to love?...

To read the rest of 'Love and the Hired Gun', get your free subscription to Hail! Magazine HERE
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