A sluggish start to the ’07 season has Iggles fans nostalgic for Jeff Garcia, while Donovan McNabb stays in the headlines the day after Philly’s 20-12 loss to Washington with an appearance on HBO’s “Real Sports”. From the Philadelphia Daily News’ Bob “Don’t Call Me Gerry” Cooney :

At one point, interviewer James Brown asks McNabb about how people perceive him as a quarterback, alluding to the lack of African-Americans at the position because some people thought “they weren’t smart enough.”

“There’s not that many African-American quarterbacks, so we have to do a little bit extra,” McNabb says.

When pressed by Brown, McNabb continues, “Because the percentage of us playing this position, which people didn’t want us to play this position, is low, so we do a little extra.”

Brown later pushes on with the race issue after McNabb talks about people’s reactions to his play.

“I pass for 300 yards, our team wins by seven, [mimicking] ‘Ah, he couldn’ve made this throw, they would have scored if he did this,’ ” McNabb explains.

Brown then asks, “Doesn’t every quarterback go through that?” McNabb says flatly, “Not everybody.”

Brown ponders if the media is as tough on Carson Palmer or Peyton Manning, or if they are more harsh on McNabb because he’s an African-American.

“Let me start by saying I love those guys,” McNabb says with a smile. “But they don’t get criticized as much as we do. They don’t.”

The San Jose Mercury News’ John Ryan soaks it all in and concludes, “It™s such a complex issue ” for every argument, there™s a counterargument.”

Steve Young didn™t get a whole lot of slack from fans when he replaced Joe Montana. Mike Schmidt, who™s about as white and Rockwellian as they come, didn™t trade warm fuzzies with Philly fans.

But then look at Vince Young. If you can watch that Rose Bowl tape and not see œwinner, you probably shouldn™t be in scouting for a living. Yet leading up to the draft, his intelligence or lack thereof became this big enormous deal. I don™t think that debate happens with a white guy no matter what his Wonderlic score is. (I don™t think a white guy™s Wonderlic score gets leaked like that, either.) And that™ll go down as the third-most-ridiculous assessment of a black quarterback in NFL history. No. 2 is the good-old-boy network that sent Warren Moon to Canada for six years.

No. 1, always, will be Rush Limbaugh™s take that the white media conspires to build up McNabb.

The segment takes us back to the McNabbs being the first black family in their Chicago suburb, and the vandalism and bullying they endured. Reading the excerpts sent out by HBO, I have a much greater understanding of how McNabb played it so cool during the Limbaugh and T.O. absurdities. I know I couldn™t have.

But I am glad he spoke up. And I bet the reaction would be different if the Eagles were 2-0 instead of 0-2.