Fans shower McNabb with love

Donovan McNabb was honored at halftime of the Eagles game when his No. 5 was retired.    YONG KIM / Staff
Donovan McNabb was honored at halftime of the Eagles game when his No. 5 was retired.    YONG KIM / Staff
Posted: September 21, 2013

Donovan McNabb had his ups and downs with the fans during his 11 seasons as the Eagles quarterback. But there was only adulation when his jersey number was retired at halftime of the Eagles game with the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field.

The speculation by local and national pundits that McNabb would hear boos never materialized. On this night, it was a true lovefest.

The crowd gave McNabb an extended standing ovation when he was introduced by former teammate Brian Dawkins. The fans were even more impassioned after McNabb gave a brief talk that came from the heart and was delivered with emotion, enthusiasm, and poise.

Dressed in a green suit with a dark green tie, McNabb seemed caught up in the emotional moment. But the quarterback in him allowed him to remain composed.

"Philadelphia, I stand here to let you know I appreciate all the love and respect and everything you have given me," McNabb told the crowd.

He closed his short speech by saying, "From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for everything. I truly love you."

After his brief comments, Dawkins then said, "We've got something for you, [No.] 5."

At that point McNabb's No. 5 was unveiled alongside the other retired numbers that hang in the Lincoln Financial Field rafters, next to the No. 92 of Reggie White.

As the number was unveiled, fireworks exploded, and the crowd cheered even louder.

Then, before Dawkins and McNabb had a final embrace, Dawkins said, "I want to tell you, bro, from the bottom of my heart, thank you."

More cheers poured out as McNabb waved to the crowd, then went over to his family before greeting a number of former teammates.

Among the ex-Eagles who were on hand were Jon Runyan, Ike Reese, Jamaal Jackson, Reno Mahe, Chad Lewis, Correll Buckhalter, Roderick Hood, and Tra Thomas.

McNabb, who is a sports commentator for Fox Sports 1, didn't conduct any postgame interviews, but while walking off the field he was heard saying: "This was fantastic. It was what it is all about."

Among the team records McNabb holds are most career touchdown passes (216), most attempts (4,746), completions (2,801), and passing yards (32,873).

He has the second-highest passer rating (86.5), behind Michael Vick.

With McNabb, the Eagles went to five NFC championship games and a Super Bowl. He played in 16 playoff games as an Eagle, and the team went 9-7. McNabb threw 24 postseason touchdowns and 17 interceptions, and had an 80.0 passer rating.

He earned six Pro Bowl selections.


Contact Marc Narducci at mnarducci@phillynews.com.

Follow on Twitter @sjnard.

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