Donovan McNabb Returns To Philadelphia: Top Five Memorable Homecomings
Donovan McNabb returns to the the city of Brotherly Love this Sunday.
Arguably and statistically the best quarterback in Philadelphia Eagles history, McNabb had a love/hate relationship with the hard-nose city.
After being booed by a minority of Eagles' fans on the day he was drafted, number five never seemed to forgive Philadelphia for the harsh welcome.
The fact is that McNabb would have been beloved and most likely still an Eagle if he could have delivered a championship to the city. The Philadelphia Eagles have never won the Super Bowl.
Now a member of the Washington Redskins, McNabb will attempt to lead his new team to a victory over his old head coach, Andy Reid, and the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
In honor of this Sunday's game and McNabb's number (Oct. 3, 4:15 PM), here are the five most memorable returns of former Philadelphia sports figures over the last decade.
5. Pat Burrell and Brett Myers
Both of these members of the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies' Championship team made their first returns back to Philadelphia in August of 2010.
Pat Burrell: Giants 3, Phillies 9 (August 17, 2010)
Burrell made his first regular-season return to Philadelphia as a member of the San Francisco Giants.
He received a nice ovation when he stepped up to the plate, and then greeted the crowd with a solo home run against the newly acquired Roy Oswalt.
Burrell had some tough years in the city and never really lived up to expectations. However, his role in the 2008 World Series is what will be remembered by Philly fans.
Brett Myers: Astros 3, Phillies 2 (August 23, 2010)
Myers led the Astros to victory in his return to Citizens Bank Park.
The former Phillie, who was drafted by the team in 1999, pitched seven innings and recorded nine strikeouts. The Phillies would go on to be swept in the four-game series.
Myers was the number two pitcher behind Cole Hamels during the 2008 postseason. Myers defeated C.C. Sabathia in game two of the 2008 NLDS and scored, after walking, on Shane Victorino's legendary grand slam.
4. Larry Brown; Detroit Pistons at Philadelphia 76ers (November 26, 2003)
Pistons 86, 76ers 90 (Iverson Scores 30 points)
Larry Brown's tenure as Philadelphia 76ers' head coach was very controversial. At times he wanted Allen Iverson traded, complaining that Iverson never practiced.
Brown's relationship with Iverson definitely had their ups and downs, but today they remain good friends.
Brown coached the 2000-2001 Philadelphia 76ers during their run to the NBA Finals. They would fall short to the dominant Los Angeles Lakers, losing the series 4-1 (76ers were the only team to win a game against the Lakers in the 2001 playoffs).
That season, Brown won Coach of the Year and Allen Iverson won the MVP award.
In his return to Philadelphia, Brown was booed and called "traitor" by Philadelphia fans. However, Brown apologized for the controversy that led to his departure.
3. Brian Dawkins: Denver Broncos at Philadelphia Eagles (December 27, 2009)
Two days after Christmas, Philadelphia Eagles' fans enjoyed the gift of watching Brian Dawkins play, maybe for the last time, at Lincoln Financial Field.
One thing was terribly wrong. He was wearing a Denver Broncos' jersey.
Brian Dawkins was the face of the Philadelphia defense for more than a decade. A favorite among players and fans, nobody can doubt the effort he poured out on the field every single game.
A majority of the fan base was shocked when the Eagles did not resign Dawkins after the 2008-2009 season.
Once he signed with the Denver Broncos, December 27th was circled on every Eagles fans' schedule.
Dawkins did not have that large of an impact on the game, except for the rousing ovation he received when he ran onto the field.
The Philadelphia Eagles won the game on a David Akers' field goal with four seconds left in the game. Donovan McNabb passed for three touchdowns and 322 yards.
It is a shame that the Eagles couldn't win a Super Bowl with Brian Dawkins. He is a player that truly deserves a championship.
2. Terrell Owens: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (October 8, 2006)
The score may not show it, but this game came down to the wire. In the final minute, the Dallas Cowboys were driving down the field.
Lito Sheppard intercepted Drew Bledsoe in the end zone and proceeded to score a 102-yard touchdown to seal the win for the Eagles.
Terrell Owens was loved in Philadelphia, especially after his performance in the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots.
Then all mayhem ensued. Whether he was doing push-ups in his driveway or calling out players in the locker room, Owens was a disturbance and the Philadelphia Eagles had to release him.
Philadelphia fans may have given him another chance, but then he signed with the loathed Dallas Cowboys.
Terrell Owens talked a big game, but he only had three catches and yet another sideline blow-up.
It was the loudest game, by far, that I have ever experienced at Lincoln Financial Field. The clever crowd made a slight change to the "T-O" chant.
Owens' return to Philadelphia came a few weeks after his near overdose. Almost every fan chanted "T-O-D" throughout the game.
It was a sweet victory for Donovan McNabb and the city of Philadelphia.
1. Allen Iverson: Denver Nuggets at Philadelphia 76ers (March 19, 2008)
Allen Iverson revitalized the Philadelphia 76ers organization.
He brought people to the seats every game because he was the best show in town.
During the 2001-2001 season and playoffs, he put the team on his back and almost knocked off the Lakers.
He was the toughest, pound-for-pound, player on the court every night.
Some may call him a ball hog, but Iverson just did whatever he thought would win them the game.
There was no doubt that Iverson would receive an enormous ovation in his first game back in Philadelphia.
Most fans hoped that he would showcase another 50-point game and the 76ers would win. To be honest, Philadelphia fans didn't really care who won the game, they were just happy to see Iverson back.
It was an exciting event in front of a sellout crowd. Iverson led all scorers with 32 points, but missed a jumper in the final seconds of the game.
In every one of these games, the Philadelphia team has earned the victory.
Donovan McNabb is hoping he has better luck.