Every single year we hear the media talk about how the Philadelphia fans are dirty, rotten, no good trouble makers. Like clock work we hear about how we threw snowballs at Santa Claus and booed McNabb when he was drafted. I don’t know about you but I get sick of it. I like being considered a passionate fan but I hate being considered a dirty fan. I know some folks soak up the glory days of the 700 level and bask in the memories of having a judge in the cellars of the Vet. I’m not one of those fans. I don’t want us to give up our passion but I want us to take a step forward in making people understand that we are in fact the best fans in the NFL.
When Donovan McNabb comes out of the tunnel tomorrow we should cheer him. There is no reason for us to boo him. Without McNabb we never come close to a Super Bowl in 2004. We don’t make the playoffs 8 of his 11 years. We don’t go on to be one of the winningest teams of the decade without McNabb under center. Yeah, he had his problems. He never got us over the hump and earned us the right to have what would’ve been the greatest parade of all time. He didn’t do what we drafted him to do.
But he did a lot for this franchise and city. Admit it, when you tell your grandkids about the golden eras of Eagles football, this will be an era in which you speak of highly of. You’ll recount the tale of 4th & 26. You’ll talk about him being a warrior and passing for four touchdowns on a broken ankle. You’ll remember the night you had tears in your eyes as he led us to a victory over the Atlanta Falcons to win the NFC Championship. Writing those moments down is enough to give me chills.
Beyond the feats on the gridiron he did a lot for the city itself. He has an entire wing of a hospital named after him. He led the charge on countless charity events. He was a person that kids could actually look up to. He wasn’t a thug, he wasn’t a jerk, he was just a good guy. Yeah, you hear people talk about how he wouldn’t always sign autographs for people. Fact is, he’s just like anyone else. He wanted to be left alone at times. Can you blame him? His entire career here was filled with media driven conspiracies. I’d want to get away.
If you read my articles on this site you know that I was in favor of the trade. You also know that it saddened me to see McNabb gone. You know I wanted to see him win a Super Bowl here. He deserved it just like Troy Vincent, Bobby Taylor, Brian Dawkins, Brian Westbrook, Jeremiah Trotter, Deuce Staley, and so many others. It’s a shame that he couldn’t get it.
But, this weekend he deserves our cheers when he’s introduced. Before the first and after the final whistles he deserves our admiration for great things he’s done. In between those whistles, boo him. Give him hell. After all, once the game begins he’s sporting the enemy colors. But, let’s prove the media wrong outside of that. Prove to them that Philadelphia fans are not only not dirty, but the best fans in all of sports.