Donovan McNabb Embraces Role as Pro Bowl Prankster
On the same day McKinnie, the Minnesota Vikings left tackle and a first-time Pro Bowler, was kicked off the NFC squad after missing two practices -- and Tweeting about his Thursday night partying at Miami's Mansion nightclub -- McNabb was enjoying every minute of the final team workout at Lockhart Stadium.
The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback also was busy plotting the pranks he would pull on some of the first-time participants in the NFL's annual All-Star game.
He's the master at reeling in younger players to become part of his evil plot.
"Once you've been there for a period of time, the way you go about it is, you work these young guys into it slowly, you throw some numbers at them a little bit, some of the things they were able to do during the season," said McNabb, 33, who embraces his status as one of the game's deans -- and uses it to his advantage. "Then at the end of the conversation I say to them, 'Hey, man, we're gonna get out a little bit after this, kind of get some fresh air."
"Then I say to them, 'Hey, what's your room number?'" McNabb said. "I get their room number, then you just charge stuff to them. Eat everything you want, then charge it to their room. Buy some clothes, put it on their room. Oh yeah -- just sign it all off on them."
Watch out, guys.
"Oh yeah, he's famous for that," said Eagles fullback Leonard Weaver, who had gotten advance warning of his quarterback's love of pranking and charging multiple plates of nachos to his teammates' rooms. "He messes with me all the time anyway."
Will Weaver check his hotel bill? "Yes! I am w-o-r-r-i-e-d," he said, drawing out the words while he signed footballs and posed for pictures with fans after Saturday's final practice. "That's why you don't tell anyone your room number. Ever!"
And McNabb is a consummate trash talker at these types of gatherings, Weaver said.
"He's always cracking on the types of shoes I wear, like these here," said Weaver, 27, a first-team AP All-Pro selection, who was sporting a gaudy pair of white cleats with metallic blue accents and stars all over them. "See, Reebok made me these Pro Bowl shoes -- nobody else has 'em. And all [McNabb] does is take them, puts them in different places, hides 'em from me.
"Hey, but you know what? I love that about him. Still, you always have to watch your back when you're dealing with a veteran."
McNabb, who was added to the NFC squad as a replacement for Saints quarterback Drew Brees, will be playing in his sixth Pro Bowl on Sunday night at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. He has not been selected since 2004.
After being told by Philadelphia coach Andy Reid that he can expect to remain the Eagles starter next season, McNabb has been relaxed and has appreciated every practice, charity appearance and moment he's had in South Florida. Unlike some, he cherishes Pro Bowl week. -- even if it is not in Hawaii this year as it has been in seasons' past.
"This is fun, just a lot of fun," McNabb said. "I really enjoy it. Every time."
Meanwhile, his NFC teammates are watching their backs.
"I go for the first- and second-year guys -- I've got a bunch of 'em on my team," McNabb said. "I would've gone after DeSean Jackson, but I haven't seen him out too much -- he's been with his family."
How about San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis? Is he a good target?
"Oh yeah, Vernon Davis," McNabb said. "Absolutely. He's on the list."
Davis, who is playing in his first Pro Bowl after catching 78 passes for 965 yards and 13 touchdowns in a breakthrough 2009 season, has been made aware that McNabb may be coming for him.
"He's always talking trash, and I'm sure he's tried to put everything on my room," Davis said. "I didn't give him my room number. But I'm sure he found it."