Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roxi McNabb, Redskins wives square off vs. Philly
Apparently, Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb used to play for the Philadelphia Eagles. And get this—the NFL schedule makers set things up so that the Redskins actually play the Eagles this Sunday! Now that I think about it, some people might be interested in seeing this drama.
Before McNabb takes the field against his former teammates, though, his wife actually will get the first shot.
Roxi McNabb is one of about a dozen Redskins wives/girlfriends that will play against a team of Eagles wives in a charity basketball game on Saturday afternoon.
“I think I’m friends with all of them, and everybody knows it’s for fun,” Roxi said following the team’s scrimmage on Tuesday night. “I don’t think we’ll be out there tearing each other’s hair out or anything. It’s all a good time for charity.”
Can’t you just taste the bad blood?
Actually, losing Roxi to the Redskins is a big blow to Philly’s chances in this game. She was a four-year starter at Syracuse (1995-98), where Donovan also played basketball. She ranks second on the program’s all-time list for assists and steals.
“Oh yeah, she’s a better basketball player than me,” said Donovan, rolling his eyes.
Donovan then proceeded to jack up a couple three-pointers from the left corner. The result: Two airballs.
The Redskins wives tuned up for Saturday’s game with a scrimmage on Tuesday against a local club team called the Leesburg Swish.
Roxi helped run the point while Donovan sat behind the bench, shouting advice, criticism and general commentary alongside owner Daniel Snyder, Phillip Daniels, Ma’ake Kemoeatu and Graham Gano, whose wives also are on the team.
“Too much dribbling, Five!” Donovan yelled once when Roxi drove the baseline. (The women’s jersey numbers correspond with their husband’s jersey numbers, which really, really made things easier for me.)
“That’s exactly where he sat when I was in college, behind our bench,” Roxi said. “So I’m used to him sitting behind the bench yelling at me, and he’s used to coming home and me yelling at him about the game.”
“She never looks at me when I’m trying to tell her something. Disobedient, I tell you,” Donovan cracked.
With the hype machine for Donovan’s return to Philly in overdrive, I asked him what type of reception his wife should expect from the fans up there. He’s wound a bit tight this week and didn’t get the joke.
“Man, I didn’t know she played 11 years there,” he said.
I told him I was kidding. Then he laughed.
Roxi has some handles, and she’s the floor general. She’s got a strong supporting cast, too, which is why you have to like the Redskins’ wives’ chances.
Bethany Bidwell, wife of punter Josh, has a sweet jumper. Plus, she’s tall, so she can clean up a bit inside. She scored a team-high 11 points in the first half of the scrimmage before I stopped keeping track.
Annabelle Williams, wife of receiver Roydell, is as good as—if not better than—Roxi McNabb. That might be because Roxi is out of practice, or it might be because Williams is ultra-quick with good dribbling skills, runs the break well and can attack the basket. She played at Dillard University, an NAIA school in New Orleans, before Hurricane Katrina forced her to relocate.
“We got some ballers!” Leslie Daniels said.
The team’s coach is none other than Big Mike Williams, the offensive lineman whose season ended in July because a blood clot was detected in his lung.
He’s had the women practicing at least three times a week for the last two months.
“One of the things that I firmly believe in, believe it or not, is conditioning,” Williams said. “These girls need to be ready. The team that tires first is the team that’s gonna lose.”
And losing this charity game is not an option to Williams or any of the women. Not only do they want to help Roxi beat her old crew, bragging rights are at stake.
“We’re winning it for the Redskins, not just Donovan,” Leslie Daniels said. “We’re taking it to them for us, for Redskins pride.”
If you’re heading up to Philly for the football game and you’re interested in attending the basketball game, go here for more information. Doors to the Rutgers-Camden gym open at 3 p.m., and tickets are $25. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the American Lung Association, Tackling Cancer: The Keisha and Levon Kirkland Fund and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day For The Cure.
(And see the Official Redskins Blog for more photos.)