Sometimes pesky little details are forgotten as time passes.
This is not one of those times. The reason for this is this is not a little detail. This was glaring. Blatant. Huge.
And yet the media pretends it never happened to serve the ridiculous anti-Owens narrative.
You see, in that 2005 season that people use to claim that Owens “destroyed” the Eagles, McNabb suffered a bruised sternum in week 1. Then, in week 3, he suffered a sports hernia injury. That sports hernia injury would eventually force him to shut down his season and have surgery. The Eagles were 4-5 at that point (4-3 in the games Owens played in), and would go 2-5 in their last 7 games without McNabb to finish the season at 6-10.
I’m still waiting for the anti-Owens folks to explain to me how Owens caused McNabb’s injuries.
The Eagles lost the week 1 game to the Falcons 14-10, in which Owens used his cancerous, divisive, disruptive abilities to cause a Falcons player to hit McNabb in the chest and injure him. They then managed to regroup to win 3 straight and go to 3-1, but not before Owens caused McNabb to suffer a sports hernia injury by dividing the locker room.
The Eagles were 4-3 when Graham Bensinger interviewed Owens and asked him about the Eagles’ record being disappointing in comparison to their usual standard.
Bensinger: What do you make of the Eagles’ 4-3 start this season?
Owens: You know, I think a lot of the injuries have played a big part into some of our losses and, you know, I just honestly feel that if Donovan wasn’t hurt as he was, our record would probably indicate a little bit better.
This, of course, immediately led into Bensinger mentioning McNabb’s struggles and then asking his follow up question about Michael Irvin’s remark that the Eagles would have been undefeated to that point in the 2005 season with Brett Favre at quarterback. Owens decided to insult McNabb by not saying anything bad about McNabb whatsoever, like only Owens can do, instead saying it was a good assessment and going on to praise Favre. Apparently, in addition to a healthy McNabb having the Eagles in a better situation, a healthy first ballot Hall of Famer would also have the Eagles in a better situation. Owens ripped, blasted, trashed, and tore down McNabb by implying that when McNabb was playing with serious injuries, he wasn’t better than a first ballot Hall of Famer.
McNabb, who is not known to be overly sensitive or anything, realized that what Owens did was black-on-black crime, and took offense. This prompted Andy Reid to issue Owens an ultimatum: Go to McNabb and work things out, as well as stand up in front of the team to clarify what he meant in the Bensinger interview that was totally not taken out of context or anything, or he would be suspended.
Owens refused and was subsequently suspended and deactivated for the rest of the season. For some reason, Reid gave the guy who was destroying their team the chance to stay on the team, but when he refused to cooperate to soothe hurt feelings, Reid decided he didn’t want the team destroyer around anymore.
Owens made the Eagles lose a couple close games the next two weeks to the Redskins and Cowboys with the beaten and battered McNabb, then made McNabb shut down his season and have surgery, and made the Mike McMahon-led Eagles only go 2-5. Owens did this. What, do you think I’m an idiot or something?
And the damage Owens did lasted for two years, according to someone who spoke to Brian Dawkins. That’s why the Eagles returned to the playoffs the following year (2006), despite McNabb going down for the season with a knee injury. They even won their first playoff game and lost a close one to the Saints in the divisional playoffs. If only Owens hadn’t wrecked their locker room; Super Bowl win for sure. Just like in 2001-02, 2002-03, and 2003-04.
Or maybe this proves Owens was the problem in Philadelphia and they were better off without him. I can’t remember which. All I know is that if a team Owens leaves wins after he’s gone, it means he was the problem, and if that team loses, it means he destroyed the team/locker room. It was all Owens, single-handedly. But it’s a team game!
At least we know it certainly wasn’t the Eagles having a strong coaching staff and nucleus of players that had been to 3 consecutive NFC Championship games before Owens got there…one that was in no way helped by Owens in going 13-1 in the 14 regular season games Owens played in in 2004.
No matter what the truth is, Owens made teams worse. You can’t argue with that, because that would mean arguing with the sports media. When you’re disputing the claims of infallible sources such as Skip Bayless, you know you’re not where you want to be.