Donovan McNabb Retires As An Eagle Along With His Number 5 Jersey

DonovanMcNabb22This morning quarterback Donovan McNabb officially retired as an Eagle.  They had the news conference at the Nova Care Complex and in a surprise move the team retired his number 5 jersey.  Team owner Jeffrey Lurie, along with former Eagles greats, safety Brian Dawkins and running back Brian Westbrook spoke along with McNabb during the news conference.

McNabb seemed quite emotional at the beginning of the session.  I wondered whether he was going to make it all the way through his remarks without tearing up, but he gained his composure as he continued and finished up strong.

I liked the fact that he showed some emotion because McNabb really loved his time here in Philadelphia.  He was elated to come back yesterday and I like the fact that the Birds reached out to him and put together the entire weekend.  This is the way his career should end here in the city.

“I think I can talk about No. 5 all day, all morning, all night,” Lurie said, following a rollicking montage of McNabb’s greatest moments. “This is a very special moment for the Eagles franchise today,” Lurie continued.  “We’re really honoring one of the greatest players in the history of the Eagles and certainly the greatest quarterback in the history of the Eagles.”

“Donovan McNabb was a franchise-changing quarterback for the Eagles and helped raise the bar of success for this franchise during his 11-year tenure with the team,” said Lurie. “On the field, the numbers that Donovan posted during his time in an Eagles uniform speak for themselves. He is the franchise leader in nearly every major passing category and is the all-time winningest quarterback in Eagles history. His unique ability to make plays through the air and with his legs made him one of the most dynamic players this city has ever seen. Donovan was the face and the focal point of so many of our great Eagles teams and he helped make this franchise a contender each and every year that he was here.”

Westbrook made a comment that I think came out the wrong way.

“So many times there’s a duo in sport, so many people play with another person – Jordan had Pippen. I had Donovan McNabb.  I just want to thank you for that opportunity and allowing me to share a football field with you.”

I don’t think he meant that to come out the way it did because it would mean he’s putting himself on a par of Michael Jordan and I don’t think Westbrook would say that.  It’s something people are going to talk about, but I don’t think he meant it that way.

Dawkins took the stage after Westbrook and he took us back to the pre-McNabb Eagles teams.

“I remember what [things were] like before Donovan got here.  And how when he got here, how quickly this thing went on the upswing.”

The great safety talked about how he felt going into games with McNabb under center.

“I knew when I stepped onto the football field that I was gonna get 110 percent from my quarterback.  Donovan was just going to go out and perform, to the best of his ability.  Not every football player has that in him,” Dawkins said of McNabb’s playing on a broken ankle. “I just wanted to tell you, brother, it was a pleasure going to war with you. “

After Dawkins finished McNabb headed to the stage and hugged his former teammate on the way.  Number five was quite emotional when he started.

“I want to thank Jeffrey Lurie, and the Eagles organization for this unbelievable honor.  To be mentioned with the likes of [all the Eagles’ retired numbers] who’ve paved the way for me and my former teammates and all the current players.”

He took the time to thank all the people in his circle, his parents and his wife and four children, then he continued.

“It’s hard to put into words how I truly feel… I appreciate everything.. everything about each and everyone of you.  This would not be possible without your efforts, sacrifices, passion and resolve.  I appreciate you putting things behind when it came time for us to put it on the line.  I had the opportunity to play with some great players in my time here.  Not only were they great athletes, but they were wonderful human beings.”

McNabb went back to addressing the fans and telling them how much he appreciated playing here in front of them.

“Again, to everyone that’s here, everybody that’s watching, to all the fans, I truly love you.  I gave everything I had when I stepped out on the field, I never complained.”

He culminated his remarks with advice to the current Eagles players, who were sitting in the back of the auditorium.

“To all the current players playing now: play with passion, play with heart, and trust the man next to you… because everything you set to accomplish, you got to do it together.  “If you want to be great, make the man next to you greater.”

I spent most of the day with McNabb yesterday and was thinking the entire time, if he would just be himself when they put that microphone in his face, the fans would love him.  He’s always fighting going into the politician mode, which doesn’t play well here in Philadelphia.

Deep down behind all of the that politician sounding talk, he’s a good person.  Yes, he can be silly with the jokes and sometimes he doesn’t know when to stop, but they’re never malicious.  If you get to know him, he’s a good person and down to earth.

McNabb made over $100 million dollars during his NFL career, yet he’s just as down to earth now as he was when I first met him.  Now ask yourself how many people you know, who could keep their feet on the ground after making over $100 million dollars.

He does need to do a better job of managing his news conferences.  Like a politician, you give the answers you want to give regardless of the questions.  He should refrain from talking about being booed at the draft for the rest of his life.  McNabb makes the mistake of answering questions about being booed and people would criticize him as if he brought it up.

He should make a point to talk about the good times, only.  We’ve got enough people to talk about the bad times.  It will balance things off.


17 thoughts on “Donovan McNabb Retires As An Eagle Along With His Number 5 Jersey

  1. Well deserved for number 5. True class act. Too bad he didn’t deliver a Super Bowl but provided a lot of wins and great memories.

  2. It is well deserved….we’re going to look back fondly on the McNabb years. They were certainly fun. 2001 – 2006 were such a relief from the 7 or 8 years that preceded it.

    I understand his “woe is me” bit rubbed some people the wrong way sometimes, but he more than made up for it by marrying a beautiful lady from my neighbourhood.

  3. It sucks that the team didn’t come together for him to be able to lead it to a Superbowl victory, but man he definitely made it a special ride. I loved getting ready for Dallas games and knowing the Don was going plaster the Cowgirls on a consistent and regular basis.

  4. 5 will be beloved in the long run. Time allows all bitter haters who don’t follow the team closely enough accept what the media feeds them to either go away or change their tune to Mcnabb love instead of hate because the media with be pro Mcnabb now. I believe Injuries stopped the Eagles from getting a superbowl in prime years but that’s why it is so hard to win in football. 5 trips to the NFC tittle game is no easy task and I’m sure

  5. there is a very short list of qb’s to do that.

    Vs. Rams Eagles were a overachieving team that made it on the back of their defense and Donovan making a plays with his legs that usually broke a teams back late in a contest. played hard but ultimately lost a game they should have lost vs an all time team.

    Vs Tampa a game that will go down as a real heartbreak. Looking back the Eagles were not the better team by any stretch of the imagination but the ability of Dmac to pull games out to this point and Eagles playing together always have them favorite. Add the fact that they have been beating Tampa and the whole Tampa can’t play in the cold thing and we all thought Superbowl. Looking back the Eagles offense always struggled against Tampa Mcbabb would just break their backs with a huge run at the worst times. This time Mcnabb was coming off the injured ankle and was not able to put up those huge runs constantly. Without any offensive weapons besides Duece Staley Add that Tampa is now one of the greatest defenses ever, and the Bird defense had players like Barry Gardener, Old Levon Kirkland, Old Blain Bishop. on Offense Tampa had Keyshawn, McCardell and Joe Jurevicius at WR mike Alstott vs Duce, Antonio Freeman (old) and Chad Lewis and you get exactly what happen a heart breaking loss.

    vs. Carolina Another sickening game! I truly believe that as ugly as this game was the Eagles pull it out if Mcnabb doesn’t get put out by halftime by a late hit. The Eagles moved the ball early only to have the drive fall apart by weird ints. Never the less the type of game Eagles could have hung around and won. Even still I think the favorite mark the birds carried going into the game can be questioned looking back. Panthers at the time had Muss Mohammed and Steve Smith at wr Stephen Davis and Foster at RB with a since reviled juiced up O-line. On D they had Peppers Kris Jenkins ect up front as well as Minter, Dan Morgan ect. Eagles had lost Westbrook late in the year and he had been their game breaker. Add another year with Mark Simoneau and Nate Wayne at LB. ND Kalu Brandon Whiting up front it makes you wonder how the Eagles even made it to the tittle game. 14-3 loss

    vs Pats Mcnabb 30 51 357 3 3, Peyton Manning 27 42 238 0 1,
    Big Ben 14 24 226 2 3. Mcnabb had the best game against that Patriots defense that had the tapes. That Patriot D made people look bad the Eagles held their own but couldn’t pull it out. A healthy T.O scores on two of his receptions healthy. he was forced to run out of bounds on plays he would have scored on easy if healthy. Mcnabb threw a TD on the drive he threw up on by the way.

    vs. Cardinals as the poor drafts start to take over the roster Eagles make one last run with 5 at the helm. With the defensive roster being taken over by the Quentin Demps, Victor Imabumeri, Omar Gaither’s of the world the defense was no match. what seemed like a blow out Mcnabb brought the team back with amazing throw after amazing throw took the lead which the defense gave right back and left 40 sec for Mcnabb to pull out a miracle throwing to LJ Smith and Kevin Curtis and Desean. Wasn’t meant to be.

  6. Lots of words there, nu, lots of excuses , the emperor is naked , he’s not what they say he is

    1. Just tryna explain how it all played out lol. You have to look at each year idividualy each game idividualy. Can tell me what I am not speaking the truth on?

  7. Best quarterback in Eagle history, top ten Eagle of all time period. I never thought I would say this but dam I miss #5 cause the quarterback play has sucked since he has been gone.

  8. A class act is exactly what Mcnabb was as a football player. Never did we hear anything about Mcnabb in a negative way off the field. I remember back when, certain fans couldn’t wait until Randall Cunningham was gone. Fans were frustrated and wanted a new beginning. Now we look back and glorify those years when we watched #12 play. One day fans will appreciate what Mcnabb did for this football team. But until then, he will be labeled as that guy who couldn’t win the big one..

  9. Which explains , pdiddy, why the eagles are at the bottom of the food chain since 1960, we are retiring numbers of players who are Pollyanna prize winners, if Vick or foles wins the supe we not only retire, but bronze tem in the Linc

    1. Lol, well jake we are what we are I mean we are not the Cowboys,Giants or Redskins. We have to appreciate the little we have had in our history. I mean in all honesty I love this team, but we are just the Arizona Cardinals of the East that’s it. Maybe Chip can take us in a different direction.

  10. McNabb really did have a lot of $hit thrown at him that he handle for the most part well.

    It includes:
    Being booed at draft day (when was the last time the 2nd overall pick in a draft got booed?? – Never)

    Having a coach who wanted to pass 75% of the time with no wrs (Torrance Small, Na Brown, James Thrash, Fred Ex)

    Rush Limbaugh – Stating that McNabb would be viewed as below average-average QB if he wasn’t black and that he gets preferential treatment because he is black. (history proves the opposite, some coaches still view black QBs as athletes and not real QB without the intelleigence to play the position)

    T.O. – got pissed at McNabb for two things. 1- when he demanded Eagles redo his contract after one year, he wanted McNabb to back him up and put leverage on management to which McNabb said no. 2- after every play, T.O. would tell McNabb that he was open and to throw him the ball next time instead of targeting other players. McNabb told him in the huddle once to shut the F up and play the game. For those two reasons T.O. started targeting McNabb more then management when he didn’t get what he wanted.

    In regards to the superbowl, McNabb and Teddy Bruschi had a nasty head on collision early in the game. It was the play where McNabb fumbles the ball but Eagles retain possession on review because, McNabb’s knee hit the ground before he fumbled. Both players played the rest of the game, but McNabb and Bruschi were both in bad shape. I’m pretty sure if modern rules were in place, it would of been determined that McNabb had a nasty concussion. In regards to Bruschi, immediately after the superbowl he was hospitalised for a month and diagnosed with a stroke. It may not be related to that hit, but I’m pretty sure that it was.

    Through it all, McNabb always gave the Eagles a fighting chance to win every game. I can’t say that about Vick, Kolb, Peete, Cunningham, or Jaws.

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