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Donovan McNabb to Have His No. 5 Retired by Eagles, Gives Emotional Speech

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.”

  1. joe432 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Ugh. Even worse we will have this news shoved down our throats over the next week. Please.

    • willh888 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:57 AM

      The Angelo is strong with this one

      • joe432 - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        I’m not sure what that is supposed to mean. I’m not even an Eagles fan, but I live in the area and thus follow the Eagles more than my team by default. I sense the whitewashing of “5′s” record has begun. Just like a certain ex-President. Don’t forget how much you hated him. Also you’ll never win with DeSean Jackson and Vick. Why Eagles fans like those guys is beyond me. That’s for another time.

      • willh888 - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:05 AM

        You seem to be really interested in news you’re not very interested about.

      • joe432 - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:15 AM

        Like I said, I live in the area. I’m a big Philly fan minus the Eagles. Even love the U. I listen to WIP and the Fanatic at work and this is all they are talking about. Driving me nuts.

      • willh888 - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        Well the Flyers and Sixers aren’t playing, and the Phillies are terrible. Guy retired today you know, so that’s today’s news. Obviously you dislike Donovan beyond today’s recent announcement. There’s a hand full of you, and you’re severely outnumbered.

      • Mike - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        It’s a damn shame your company forces you to listen to the Fanatic and WIP at work. How do they hold the earphones on to your head? Or is it speakers? Yea, speakers would probably be easier for the company to implement.

        And then during your breaks they force you to read articles and then make comments. Tough company dude. I was upset when we lost Casual Fridays. But it sounds like you have it really rough.

      • Lol - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:06 PM

        Please tell us your NFL team.

    • mykhuis - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      Yes, the whitewashing of his “horrible record” has begun!!!111

      Unless by that you mean “The celebration of one of the best quarterbacks the Eagles have ever had has begun.” Because that’s what Donovan is.

  2. Baxter - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    I like how B West compared himself to Jordan.

  3. willh888 - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    “When you seen Five, you knew Five was gonna give you all he got.”

    His effort was never a problem. Four touchdowns on a broken leg should be legendary. I can’t think of anything that compares to playing almost a full NFL game on a tapped up broken limb.

  4. erzug - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Maybe his leg should have stayed broken?

  5. erzug - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Seriously, with all those air-to-ground missiles, earthworms and ground hogs were fearing for their lives on game day. Not to mention, failure after failure to get touchdowns in the red zone (although that was an issue for AR’s teams regardless of QB). Consistently throwing the ball behind receivers on crossing patterns – gotta hit those guys in stride so they can gain additional yards instead of being caught from behind. If Randall Cunningham had had Doug Pederson or one of the other guys who have been QB coaches under Reid, who know how good he might have been. Unfortunately, Buddy Ryan was clueless about offense and pretty much let Randall do his own thing.

    • willh888 - Jul 29, 2013 at 5:12 PM

      small glimpse of his red zone stats in the middle his career

      2007: 12 TD, 1 INT, 88.6 rating
      2006: 6 TD, 1 INT, 82.6 rating
      2005: 12 TD, 2 INT, 88.0 rating
      2004: 26 TD, 1 INT, 108 rating
      2003: 15 TD, 1 INT, 106 rating

      I don’t deny he wasn’t the most accurate QB. He had his problems mostly because he just threw the ball so hard.. very very little touch. Though I’d point to the year he actually had a real NFL caliber receiver. What i’m saying is.. 2010 Washington Redskin McNabb isn’t the guy we should remember.

      I agree about Randall though. Old lug like Ryan didn’t know what to do with such a special player

      • erzug - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:37 PM

        I forgot about those screen passes…what an adventure. Either making the back jump high for the ball and risk getting his ass kicked, or throw it at the backs of the knees or at the feet. Loved it.

        AR, of course, was mostly responsible for calling all those timeouts to save five yards – even when they were punting the ball. Why he thought a timeout was worth calling rather than take a 5 yard delay of game penalty confounds me to this day.

        So, why, over a 10 year career here, couldn’t he learn to throw a softer ball? Was it his overriding fear of throwing INT’s?

        I am a Tom Brady fan, but have never been a Peyton Manning fan.

        Regarding this season, despite the lack of a QB, I am still looking forward to it with a new coaching regime.

        At this rate, I just hope they can stay healthy enough to even field 47 on game day.

      • willh888 - Jul 30, 2013 at 11:21 PM

        Donovan couldn’t touch up that screen the same reason Shaq couldn’t lob a free throw. It just wasn’t in their blood.

        I need to know though.. what makes you a Brady fan and not all that keen on Peyton?

      • erzug - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        To willh888: I guess I was sick of being inundated with Peyton’s mug in all the commercials he does. Every other commercial during a game seems to have him hawking one product or another.

        I don’t know what Brady does locally in the Boston area as far as being an advertising spokesperson, but at least I don’t have to see him AD nauseam on TV.

    • Scott - Jul 29, 2013 at 5:17 PM


      Well it didn’t happen and you were stuck with 5. Terrible years I know. He never won the Super Bowl, threw air-to ground missiles, couldn’t hit a WR in the end zone, puked on the field, let his mom speak for him. Played with broken ribs, a broken leg. wha, wha, wha.

      Seriously. go root for teams that have Peyton or Tom because you’re not going to get anything you wish for from Michael or Nick. Not this year or ever. Could have been worse than Donovan is what I’m saying.

      Now go back to all your if’s. What if Lindros didn’t get hurt, or if TO didnt go off the rail. What if the Lee didn’t blow that 4-0 lead against St.Louis. Philly loves to drown in their own depression.

      Celebrate Donovan for what he was. The best QB in team history.

    • flyers2cup - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:01 PM

      Don’t forget about wasting timeouts early in the first and third quarter just about every game. Drove me crazy. The guy just isn’t that bright.

      • joeb - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:45 PM

        i put those wasted timeouts on andy and not getting the plays in fast enough. saw it happen enough times with vick and foles to know mcnabb wasn’t the issue there

      • erzug - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:39 PM

        I saw DM get to the line and call a timeout and look to the sideline with Andy giving him a WTF look. So it wasn’t all Andy either.

  6. fgfd - Jul 30, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    He’ll get into the HOF for playing a mean air guitar.

  7. BenE. - Jul 30, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    Best QB in Eagles history. I’m glad his number is going to be retired. He more than deserves that honor!


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