| If you read it too quickly and didn't see the byline, you might think that a controversial column lambasting Eagles' quarterback Donovan McNabb was another blast from ultra-conservative radio-talker Rush Limbaugh.
It said that McNabb - who led the Birds to the Super Bowl last year but had a sub-par 2005 before succumbing to injuries - was a "mediocre talent" who is "hiding behind excuses dripping in make-believe racial stereotypes" for refusing to run the football more often.
"But then you played the race card and practically all of us fell for your hustle," the columnist wrote.
"You scammed us man, and there's no way any longer to refrain from 'keepin' it real.' "
In fact, it's hard to know what's more stunning: The harsh criticism of the Eagles' most successful quarterback in nearly a half-century or its source - J. Whyatt "Jerry" Mondesire, the fiery civil-rights advocate who heads the NAACP in Philadelphia, publishes the Philadelphia Sun newspaper, and may run for Congress next spring.
Mondesire's screed, published in the Sun on Sunday, is already causing a stir on Philly's talk-radio circuit, from black-oriented WHAT (1340-AM) to sports-talk WIP (610-AM), where former Eagles player and occasional host Garry Cobb called into the station to rant about the article.
The controversy carried echoes of the remark that caused Limbaugh to resign from ESPN's Sunday football coverage in 2003, when he said that McNabb was overrated because of "a little social concern in the NFL," that both the news media and the league wanted a black quarterback to do well.
But this time, there are several twists.
Mondesire, in a phone interview yesterday, said that although Limbaugh was critical of how others regarded McNabb, he is criticizing McNabb himself - for moving away from the style of rolling out and running the ball more, rather than throwing from the pocket. He said the reason was to counter stereotypes of running black quarterbacks.
Eagles officials said yesterday afternoon they were too busy getting ready for last night's game with the Seattle Seahawks to read the article or to track down the injured McNabb for a comment.
McNabb has never explicitly said that race is the reason for his running the ball less. He has made comments, however, suggesting he resents it when blacks are called "running quarterbacks."
And in fact, McNabb has run for fewer yards than the prior season each year since he became the Eagles starter in 2000. He ran for 629 yards that year, while in 2005 - hampered by a sports hernia - he gained just 55 yards in nine games.
Glen Macnow, the WIP talk-show host and author of Philadelphia sports books, said, "I think his refusal to run is kind of stupid as well," although he doesn't necessarily hang that on race. He also said McNabb seems to have more critics among black callers, perhaps because they see his running reluctance as "kind of a sellout."
Of course, no one was criticizing McNabb during last year's near-magical season, but that has changed with a losing record (4-5 before the QB went on the disabled list) and with the Terrell Owens' debacle exposing raw emotions among fans.
Mondesire wrote that some of T.O.'s shots against McNabb were on the money - especially that McNabb "choked" in Super Bowl XXXIX.
"The brash and bombastic Terrell Owens may have committed the unpardonable sin of going public with his put down, but was he fundamentally wrong?" he asked.
"The pressure, the hype, the clock - they all just converged and your nerve collapsed under their combined weight.
"Mediocre isn't horrible in and of itself. Most of us don't live up to our dreams. It's when we fake it that most of the rest of us get irritated."