BOO! Why Donovan McNabb Will Cause Philadelphia Embarrassment
He was booed the moment he was drafted by Eagles fans, who wanted running back Ricky Williams. Williams also happened to be a minor league outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies at the time, playing four years of Class A ball.
As the second overall pick of the 1999 draft, he trails only Champ Bailey and Torry Holt in Pro Bowl appearances from that draft. Five quarterbacks were selected in the first 12 picks, and he is the only one still in the league.
The least intercepted quarterback ever, per pass attempt ratio, he is one of only six quarterbacks to have 25,000 passing yards and 3,000 rushing yards in a career. He currently has the second best touchdown to interception ratio ever, and owns the third best winning percentage of active quarterbacks.
Besides holding the NFL record for consecutive completions in a game, he holds the Eagles franchise records in wins, passing yards, passing attempts, completions, and touchdowns, along with team single-season records in passing yards and completions.
Not only did he lead Philadelphia to a franchise best five NFC Championship games, he threw for 357 yards on 30 completions for three scores during the Eagles 24 - 21 loss in Super Bowl XXXIX despite being ill. Though McNabb denies the illness, eschewing people seeking excuses for him, it is the third most passing yards and completions in Super Bowl history.
It seemed he put the team on his shoulders every year, leading them beyond expectations. He never had a power running game, so he often had to throw the ball in short yardage situations. Despite all of his successes, he was booed quite often.
Philadelphia is a tough town to play in. Ask Mike Schmidt, perhaps the greatest third baseman in National League history. He spent many games with the Phillies being booed. Julius Erving played in front of sparse crowds while building a legend to where he is known as "Dr. J". McNabb being booed is more on par than aberration.
Now he is a member of the Washington Redskins, something he did not ask to be. He was traded a few months ago , not long after stating he wished to retire as an Eagle. He leads his new team onto his old stomping grounds this Sunday, and the question is what to expect.
The Redskins have been a rival of the Eagles since 1934. Though the Redskins lead the series 77 - 68 - 6, and well as having two more championship wins and having defeated Philadelphia in their only playoff game, the two franchises actually mirror themselves in a few ways.
Both saw success in the 1940's, then swooned for years. Though the Eagles won the 1960 championship, and the Redskins won three Super Bowls between 1982 to 1992, both teams have spent most years on the outside looking in when the leagues championships were decided.
To make things more intense, the Eagles and Redskins have played in the same division since 1933 along with the New York Giants. Gallons of blood has been spilled over the decades between players and fans of each franchise when they faced off.
While Eagles fans possibly may not lustily boo McNabb Sunday, they will hiss at the uniform he is wearing. While the media poses the question as to much of the booing will be directed at McNabb himself, there may be a few signs ignoring the rivalry and thanking the quarterback for being a legend for their team.
The thought that McNabb wants to prove Reid wrong for trading him is certainly feasible, but the Redskins defense will have to face a reinvigorated Michael Vick. Vick leads the NFL in yards per rushing attempt and is completing a career best 60.7 percent of his passes. Philadelphia has also rallied around him in his return to NFL relevancy.
Win or lose, Eagles fans will still go home with the memories McNabb made wearing their jersey. How they choose to honor and cherish those memories will certainly be shown Sunday in front of the rest of the world.