Hmmmm, Rush doesn't like black quarterbacks now? Probably a bad idea for him to get into sportscasting -- way too many minorities for a white conservative rageaholic to handle
Is Rush racist? Limbaugh blasts McNabb on ESPN's Sunday pre-game show.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Donovan McNabb has been to three straight Pro Bowls, two consecutive NFC championship games and was runner-up for NFL MVP in his first full season as a starter.
Still, some critics question his credentials.
Before McNabb led the Philadelphia Eagles to a 23-13 victory against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, commentator Rush Limbaugh said on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown that the fifth-year quarterback is overrated. Limbaugh's comments sparked controversy for their racial overtones.
"I don't think he's been that good from the get-go," Limbaugh said. "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."
An ESPN spokesman said Tuesday that Limbaugh doesn't do interviews. The spokesman didn't think the comments were racially biased.
"He was comparing McNabb's performance on the field to his reputation in the media," said spokesman Dave Nagle.
Limbaugh has helped increase the ratings for Sunday NFL Countdown. Nagle said ratings are up 10 percent overall, and 26 percent among the 18-to-34 male demographic. Sunday's show drew its biggest audience in the regular season since November 1996.
"ESPN hired Limbaugh for his passion and his ability to express opinion and spark debate as a football fan," Nagle said. "In just one month, he has certainly delivered."
Limbaugh, in his first season with ESPN, is a conservative radio host best known as the host of the politically focused Rush Limbaugh Show, which is syndicated in more than 650 markets worldwide. Now Limbaugh spends his Sunday mornings talking football, a job he called "the fulfillment of a dream."
McNabb is widely considered one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. The No. 2 overall pick in the 1999 draft, McNabb has helped turn the Eagles from a laughingstock franchise into a perennial championship contender.
"I think the Philadelphia Eagles and the city of Philadelphia are very lucky to have Donovan McNabb," Eagles coach Andy Reid said, calling his quarterback "the best in the business."
McNabb got off to the worst start of his career this season with poor performances in losses to Tampa Bay and New England. He led the Eagles to only two scoring drives as the team was outscored 48-10 in those games.
McNabb came under heavy criticism for his bad start, which came after a subpar effort in Philadelphia's stunning 27-10 loss to the Buccaneers in January's NFC title game.
But his race was never an issue -- until now.
"It's sad that you've got to go to skin color. I thought we were through with that whole deal," McNabb told the Philadelphia Daily News for a story in Tuesday's editions.
McNabb is one of nine black quarterbacks to start games this season. Atlanta's Michael Vick will make it 10 when he returns from a leg injury. The list doesn't includes backups such as Jacksonville's David Garrard and New England's Rohan Davey.