Jul 29, 2013, 10:38 AM EDT
It was nothing but love for Donovan McNabb in South Philadelphia on Monday morning at the NovaCare Complex as No. 5 officially retired as a member of the Eagles.
When a press conference starts out with a video montage featuring plays like the 14-second scramble against the Cowboys, the juke against the Redskins, and 4th and 26, you’re in for a pretty wonderful trip down memory lane.
“One of the greatest players in the history of the Eagles and certainly the greatest quarterback in the history of the Eagles,” was how team owner Jeffrey Lurie described McNabb to open up the press conference.
Lurie would go on to announce that Donovan’s No. 5 jersey will officially be retired by the team in a ceremony before the game with the Kansas City Chiefs in September and Donnie Mac will be inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame.
Two of McNabb’s former teammates, Brian Westbrook and Brian Dawkins, briefly spoke about McNabb like a brother.
“Jordan had Pippen, I had Donovan McNabb,” was how Westbrook summed his longtime quarterback up.
“It was a pleasure going to war with you,” B-Dawk said to McNabb, stressing the importance of Five’s leadership over the years.
An emotional McNabb took the podium and thanked everyone he encountered along his journey, from his wife and kids, to the Luries, to every player who suited up alongside him, to Andy Reid and the late Jim Johnson.
It was a well-crafted speech and hit a number of high notes to help brush any lingering ill will under the rug.
The theme was one of love and appreciation.
“To all the fans, I truly love you,” McNabb said in a rare moment of praise to the Philly faithful who weren’t always so to No. 5. “I can honestly say I gave everything I had every time I stepped out on the field.”
“When you seen Five, you knew Five was gonna give you all he got.”
When asked about whether he was under-appreciated, McNabb didn’t take the bait.
“I will say one thing, when you’re a quarterback in Philadelphia, you get measured by your wins and losses and we sure won a lot around here.”
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