And now a few words from Bernard Hopkins, former middleweight and light heavyweight world champion, Philadelphia native (Germantown), prison guest and all-around badass. Subject: Donovan McNabb. Venue: KNBR-680 (San Francisco) radio, Thursday afternoon. Mood: Huffy. Key quote: "I wish the Wizard of Oz would come back out, man, so I could put McNabb in it as the character who needs to see the wizard to get a heart."
As part of its runup coverage of tomorrow's Oscar De La Hoya-Manny Pacquiao welterweight bout in Las Vegas, KNBR's Tom Tolbert talked with Hopkins for about 20 minutes; 15 of which turning out to be on the subject of every Philly native's favorite punching bag, McNabb. Wackiness ensued.
Tolbert first asked Hopkins what he thought of McNabb in general.
"Oh man, lack of performance, lack of heart. I wish the Wizard of Oz would come back out, man, so I could put McNabb in it as the character who needs to see the wizard to get a heart. The thing is this, man: Philadelphia is hungry for — yeah we've got the Phillies — but I mean the Super Bowl year. It's all about character and heart and wanting to win the biggest trophy in football. There is just no urgency of going out on your shield to try and win the biggest prize.
"You look out there and he's throwing up; maybe he had a bad oyster. Is this guy focused and is his head in it? Or is the money already banked and he just doesn't care? The worst personnel move that Philadelphia has made was getting rid of Garcia and getting rid of T.O. I know that T.O. wasn't a church mouse, wasn't an angel, but the chemistry was there for a moment to win. If they listen to me over there in personnel, get McNabb over to Chicago, or whoever will take him, I don't know. But that won't happen as long as Andy Reid is there. They need to get rid of those two cancers for the team to move forward."
And what does Hopkins think of the infamous McNabb overtime controversy?
"Come on, that's just like me being a boxer for more than 20 years, and I get knocked out on the canvas and I say OK, I've got 15 seconds to get up, and I get up and say 'Why'd you stop the fight?' These are the idiotic things he's been doing all along."
Hopkins is a little wacky, sure. But it's refreshing to see someone who's hit it big be that impassioned about goings-on in his home town, especially when they're not even related to his own sport. Oh, and for the record, I would surely pay $10.75 to see a version of The Wizard of Oz cast by Bernard Hopkins.