Donovan may not be the only McNabb returning to Philadelphia to face off against former friends this weekend — his wife Roxie may be joining a team of Redskins players’ wives to face off against a team of Eagles players’ wives in a charity basketball game on Saturday.
It’s “may be” and not “is” partially because nothing is certain, but probably also because the Redskins wives team is coached by injured offensive lineman Mike Williams, and — while Williams hasn’t gotten a chance to actually play for head coach Mike Shanahan — he’s apparently picked up some of the same ideas about what offers a competitive advantage.
“She’s gonna do what she needs to do to get ready for the game,” Williams said, “and we’ll make that decision…one day at a time.”
Coachspeak, gamesmanship, and non-finalized plans aside, Roxi McNabb most definitely participated in a scrimmage Tuesday night in Ashburn, against the Swish of the LoCo Ladies basketball league, and she acquitted herself impressively.
Which came as no surprise to the other adult McNabb in attendance; Donovan McNabb watched his wife rack up the accolades as a starting point guard when they were both at Syracuse. “She played all four years,” he said, “she started as a freshman all the way through. So, you know, she’s all-time leading in assists and steals leader at Syracuse University.”
This is true. Roxi McNabb was also named team MVP twice and the 1997 Scholar-Athlete Of The Year. So it’s safe to say that she’s fairly valuable to the Redskins Wives squad. It doesn’t hurt that she’s also the most familiar with the ladies on the Eagles Wives team.
“I think I’m friends with all of them,” she said, “and, you know, everybody knows it’s for fun. 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, and, a good time to see some of my old friends.”
It may not seem important that McNabb performed well against the Swish, because the LoCo Ladies team — which eventually won the scrimmage — was not exactly the roll-over warm-up opponent the Redskins Wives might have initially been envisioning.
Christal Golston was the one who set the matchup, based on a chance meeting with a Swish team member at a party. “I invited them to scrimmage against us,” she explained, “NOT knowing that they were 7-time champions, NOT knowing that they had an ex-WNBA player on their team, so…it was my fault. But I’m really glad, because we hustled and we played really well.”
When head coach Williams arrived at the gym and saw the opponent, his reaction, he said, was somewhat stunned “I’m sorry,” he recalled saying, “what is she doing? You talkin’ about 7-time champion? I didn’t know where she found ‘em.”
But everyone ultimately agreed that the team was improved by the level of competition, and that the scrimmage was a good warm-up for the game against the rival team(‘s wives) on Saturday. “This was a heated competition,” Golston said, “and it was a scrimmage! So this is going to be-on Saturday, probably, more heated than any of us have ever experienced.”
It’s for a good cause, though, a benefit for lung cancer and breast cancer, and that’s part of what brought Tanya Snyder, wife of Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and NFL national spokesperson for breast cancer awareness, to the team. “The women of the Washington Redskins … they’re always there for me, anything that we need support on,” Snyder said, “and that’s why I’m here today.”
Everyone I talked to mentioned the charity element as important, but the team most definitely isn’t overlooking the competitive aspect either. “Oh, the rivalry is definitely there,’ Golston said. “Definitely.”
And, in case you were curious, Donovan McNabb was (jokingly) asked by Rich Campbell of the Free Lance-Star if it would be strange for his wife to return to Philly representing the Redskins. And McNabb was as wrongfooted by the question as I’ve ever seen him. “Man, I didn’t know she played 11 years there,” he said, laughing.
Of course, that joking question becomes even less relevant if Roxi McNabb doesn’t play. But it certainly sounds like she’s excited to go. “This is the first time we’ve ever done anything like this,” she said. “I think it’ll be a good time for charity.”
Coach Mike Williams patrols the sidelines:
Donovan McNabb helps Roxi McNabb get stretched out:
Mike Williams and assistant coach James from Lifetime Fitness in Sterling at a timeout:
Roxi McNabb still has the point guard skills:
Tanya Snyder on defense:
Daniel Snyder and Phillip Daniels watch the scrimmage:
I was late on this picture, but Ma’ake Kemoeatu was delivering energy drinks to the bench:
Mike Williams broke out some old customized basketball shoes from his days in Buffalo. Click to enlarge and see “Big Mike” down the side:
Roxi McNabb sets up a bounce pass:
The bench; note Donovan McNabb cheering his wife on:
Bethany Bidwell was a force, scoring the bulk of the Redskins Wives points:
Graham Gano in the bleachers:
Kedric Golston congratulates Manjanique Alexander after the game:
Kemoeatu takes his own picture of the team photo:
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