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McNabb Not Souped Up

Times Staff Writer

This isn’t the first time Donovan McNabb has been to the Super Bowl. But it will be the first time the Philadelphia Eagle quarterback will play.

In the past, he’s had to settle for the soup bowl.

McNabb and his mother, Wilma, have come to the Super Bowl host city in the past to plug those soups they push on television (Yes, that really is his mother in the commercials).

But it’s no laughing matter to McNabb.

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“People would come up to me,” McNabb said, “and tell me, ‘I expected you guys [the Eagles] to be here.’ All I could say was, ‘I did too. It just didn’t work out that way.’ It was frustrating.”

This week, Wilma is on her own.

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It was as predictable as a Freddie Mitchell outburst.

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In the first media session of their first day of the first Super Bowl week for this squad of Eagles, it took about as much time as a snap count for them to be hit with the question that will dominate the next seven days: Will Terrell Owens play Sunday? Can Philadelphia’s leading receiver, out five weeks because of a fractured ankle, get back on the field for Super Bowl XXXIX?

“If he plays, you are going to talk about him,” McNabb said. “If he doesn’t play, you are going to talk about him. All you guys want to talk about is T.O.”

Eagle Coach Andy Reid made it clear that an answer may not be coming for a while as Owens tests his ability in practice to make the sharp cuts that will be necessary if he is to be effective against the New England Patriots.

“We are going to take it day to day,” Reid said. “There is no time frame.”

Which means there will be no end to the questions.

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Reid has been to two Super Bowls as an assistant coach with the Green Bay Packers, so he knows how outrageous the media bombardment can be. But even Reid seemed surprised by one question Sunday: Does Jacksonville so repulse you that it makes you think the Super Bowl shouldn’t be played here?

Reid wouldn’t bite.

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“I think it’s a great location for the Super Bowl,” he said.


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