Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Donovan McNabb Returning to Philadelphia this Sunday

This Sunday at 4:15PM former Syracuse Orangemen superstar Donovan McNabb will make his highly anticipated return to Philadelphia in a Washington Redskins uniform. Fans of McNabb can expect a warm welcome, much like the one he received on the night he was drafted second overall in 1999. On that night in New York City, McNabb was greeted with a chorus of boos from the fans who wanted Ricky Williams with the teams #2 pick in the draft.

McNabb's time in Philadelphia was spent doing what many quarterbacks who came before him couldn't do, winning and making the playoffs. However, this was lost on the fans who could never warm up to the QB from Syracuse. Between 2001 and 2008 McNabb lead the Eagles to 5 (FIVE) NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl.

Many Eagles fans who hate on McNabb will point to the fact he never brought a Super Bowl Championship to the city of brotherly love. In his lone Super Bowl appearance McNabb threw for 357 yards and 3TDs with 3 interceptions, the 3rd being on a Hail Mary late in the game. McNabb's 357 yards and 30 completions were both the 3rd best performance from a QB in Super Bowl history. The Eagles would lose on that day to Tom Brady and the Patriots 24-21.

Many Eagles fans will also point to McNabb's alleged vomiting incident late in the Super Bowl, which he and coach Reid deny. Those of us who watched him at Syracuse and saw him throw up on the field during the Virginia Tech game during the final game winning drive probably believe he did in fact puke. To those of us who love McNabb, whether or not he puked on the field on that fateful Super Bowl Sunday means very little. McNabb is a guy who leaves everything on the field, even his lunch. He puts his heart and everything he has left in the tank and leaves it out on the field week after week. That is the Donovan McNabb we root for.

Donovan McNabb went 92-49-1 during his time in an Eagles uniform, and since 2000 only Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Brett Farve have won more games than McNabb has. He took a 5-11 Eagles team and took them to the playoffs in his first full season under center. After that season McNabb lead the eagles to 4 straight NFC championship games and a Super Bowl. Some quick hits from McNabb's career in Philadelphia:
  • Donovan threw for 29,320 yards in an Eagles uniform, 6,000 more than the next closest Eagle.
  • One of only SIX quarterbacks in the history of the NFL with over 25,000 passing yards and 3,000 rushing yards (McNabb has 3,097 yards on the ground with 25 rushing TDs).
  • McNabb was the first NFL QB to ever throw for 30 touchdowns and fewer than 10 interceptions in a season (2004).
  • Second best touchdown to interception ratio ALL-TIME behind only Tom Brady.
  • Least intercepted QB per passing attempt All-Time in the NFL.
  • Most consecutive passing completions in NFL history (24 over the course of 2 games)
After all that, what did the Eagles do to reward him for 11 years of service? After years of taking abuse from the fans and the media and never once lashing out at the City that refused to embrace him? The Eagles traded him WITHIN the division to the rival Washington Redskins. And on this Sunday, McNabb will return "home" to Lincoln Financial Field with the 1-2 Redskins. Surely some fans will cheer for McNabb when he takes the field on Sunday, but there will be those who will boo. McNabb said on ESPN-980 Radio in Washington "honestly, I think I will be more cheered." I for one hope that the cheers will be louder.

I asked a lifetime Eagles fan Ashwin Chaudhary his opinion on McNabb's Homecoming:

"The Eagles trading McNabb to their longtime division nemesis Washington is like letting your cousin hook up with and then date your ex-girlfriend who you dumped for a younger girl (Kolb), who you then in turn dump for a prostitute (Vick). Still, I'm forever indebted to #5 for all he did for the Orangemen and my Philly Birds. Donovan McNabb is without a doubt the greatest QB in Eagles history, and it's going to be an emotional day Sunday in Philadelphia."

As for me, I will be (as always) rooting for Donovan McNabb.

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