Calle Ocho News was invited to be a part of  the ushering in of the Conference USA and International Soccer seasons by beIN SPORTS. beIN SPORTS has exclusive rights to select C-USA football games – including some featuring Florida International University – and all matches from LaLiga, Ligue 1, and Serie A.  We had the pleasure of being invited to their studios for an exclusive preview of the exciting seasons to come! On-air talent and analysts including former Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Donovan McNabb, former Denver Broncos linebacker and University of Miami fullback D.J. Williams, and former University of Miami and professional wide receiver Randal Hill were all present. 

Sports Journalist and photographer Roy Viera had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Donovan Mc Nabb former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League for thirteen seasons, primarily with the Philadelphia Eagles. Before his NFL career, he played football and basketball for Syracuse University.

Calle Ocho News wanted to know this…

Prior to your arrival in Philadelphia in 1999, the Eagles season was a 3 win disappointment.  What did it mean for you to help them turn their season around the year after? 

“I just wanted to help the Eagles any way I could.  Becoming a leader for the team, capitalizing on my ability to throw the football and help my team win any which way I can. “It’s about how you want to be remembered, your legacy!  Understanding what it took to win.  The talent I played with, Coach Andy Reid”

Any visions of the Hall of Fame as your first year of eligibility arrived?

“It would be rewarding no question, however, I did not play the game to be an all-Star, I played to win, whatever, it took to win.  Will I be excited if it happens and I get the call? Absolutely!  When and if I hear my name being called that would be great”

You had many accomplishments on the field.  Your work off the field is equally as impressive.  What are you most proud of after your football career was over? 

“Since 2000 I have been working with getting information out there about diabetes. My grandfather and father before me suffer from the disease. I work with different charitable organizations to get as much information out there to the public as possible about this dreaded disease. In addition to my work with Diabetes, I am involved with youth sports, in particular coaching.  I’ve worked with different leagues from Chicago, Arizona and Philadelphia.  In addition, I went back to college to get my degree in broadcasting.  I wanted to work with different networks and getting my degree was of utmost importance to me. ”

Every athlete has their favorite player. Who did you look up to growing up?

“Unconventionally it is my brother, he was my Captain America, he’s four years older, he was a stellar athlete, I immolated everything about him.  He taught me about dedication, goals, he told me to write those goals down and follow them through to fruition.  My brother was my idle!”

Being a commentator with beIN Sports what are your thoughts with FIU’s coming season with their new coach Butch Davis?

“It brings an identity to the school. Brings a pro-style offense, more importantly it brings an identity to the school.   They have a lot of Florida kids on the roster, when you have a coach like Butch Davis it brings a different type of offense to the team.  The Panthers will be looking to establish a “down field presence that was missing the last couple seasons.  Butch Davis will bring the winning mentality. Look for only positive things out of the Panthers this season.”

Roy Viera for Calle Ocho News

Sports Journalist and Photographer