PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The game itself, as it turned out, was a less than optimal setting for Donovan McNabb’s retirement ceremony during halftime of Thursday night’s Eagles loss to the Chiefs. But the loss didn’t make the night any less special for McNabb.
McNabb’s relationship with the media and fans could be up and down at times, but McNabb wanted to make it clear that Philadelphia is where his heart is.
“I bleed green, I sweat, if I got to go to the bathroom it’s green!,” McNabb told Ike Reese on the 94WIP Eagles Pregame Show on Thursday. McNabb had his jersey number five retired during the ceremony, and gave an impassioned speech where he told the fans he’d always love them.
“I’ve always been a Philadelphia Eagle and will always be a Philadelphia Eagle. I truly appreciated you guys supporting me, being behind me. When I had things off of the field, in the community, you were there with me,” McNabb said. “I want you to understand that I truly love the fact—your passion, I love your enthusiasm, your energy, because each and every week we played here at home we felt like we had the 12th man and I want you to know I loved that.”
McNabb’s career in Philadelphia started out famously when his selection by the Eagles in the NFL Draft was booed by a group of fans sent by WIP’s Angelo Cataldi, who wanted the team to select running back Ricky Williams. From that point on, though McNabb was always a popular player, he’d have a number of detractors as well.
“All relationships aren’t fine and dandy, there are rocky roads and these guys [the fans] are opinionated just like we are as a players. We want to win, and so they want to see winners, and we want to be winners,” McNabb said. “One thing that I think we all can take from the ten years that I’ve spent here, 11 seasons or whatever it may be, that we won a lot of games. We won a lot of games. We’ve been to the playoffs, we’ve been to the Super Bowl, and not a lot of teams in the NFL can say that consistently, like we did, each and every week.”