Donovan McNabb Silences Critics, But Will He Silence Eagle Faithfuls?

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 29:  Donovan McNabb #5 of the Philadelphia Eagles stands with Head Coach Andy Reid from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins during their game at Lincoln Financial Field on November 29, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Over the past decade, take a moment to relive some of the most exciting moments of your sporting life.  Whether it was a Super Bowl win, World Series victory, or watching your favorite team slaughter the Chicago Cubs, through it all one factor remained the same. 

Donovan McNabb was a Philadelphia Eagle.

For over ten years, McNabb has been a part of the Philadelphia Eagles organization.  Year in and year out, McNabb showed up to practices, meetings, and games, only to be accompanied by a chorus of questions and criticism as his performance proved bleak at times.

Through it all though, McNabb held his head high. 

With the catchy phrase of "E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles!" running through his head, McNabb took the field on Sundays with an almost irrelevant outlook on life, as his previous week's poor play didn't seem to throw him off the horse at all.

Now, we arrive at present times and McNabb has finally been moved out of Philadelphia. 

The city of brotherly love, as it is so often referred to, is now a hated brother short of what it once was.  McNabb has left Philadelphia, Eagles fans are applauding Andy Reid and the Washington Redskins look toward a hopeful future of wins under Mike Shanahan—and more importantly their new-found quarterback.

However, lets put that story aside for a moment and consider this.  Rewind to the 2008 NFL offseason. 

Things were looking positive for the sport of American football, as the historic Pittsburgh Steelers had just won their sixth Super Bowl ring, and Tony Kornheiser had fortunately been booted from Monday Night Football. 

More importantly, Brett Favre was traded to the Minnesota Vikings

From a Packer, to a retiree, to a Jet, to a possible retiree, to a Minnesota Viking, Favre's off-field antics left Green Bay fans with a hole in their hearts that would need some serious persuasion to fill.

With this said, Favre's arrival in Green Bay during Week 8 of the regular season put forward one of the most anticipated and rivaled stories of the past decade in NFL football. 

A chorus of boo's, annoyed Packer fans, and hundreds of signs stating that "This is Rodgers neighbourhood" littered the once humble Lambeau Field—and for once it seemed that Favre was on the losing end of the deal.

Now that I've refreshed your memory, lets get back to McNabb.  With the recent departure and arrival in NFC East rival territory, does McNabb have the same fate waiting for him that Brett Favre had?

Well, yes and no. 

One thing that remains certain is that Eagles fans wanted McNabb out of Philadelphia.  For years we heard constant bickering between haters and supporters, which has ultimately resulted in a McNabb departure.

Also, it is important to realize that McNabb left on mutual terms. 

Owner Jeffrey Lurie agreed, McNabb agreed, and as if the Oakland Raiders' speculation wasn't enough, it became clear that McNabb felt his time had run out.

However, all of this is irrelevant come next season when the Washington Redskins travel to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Will a handshake be made between Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb? Probably. 

But will a verbal assault of boo's and abrupt comments be heard from the rowdy Eagle stands?  More than likely.

Whatever happens this season, McNabb doesn't need to fear.  If we take Favre as an example, a cool, calm and smiling attitude is the best approach to a hostile crowd. 

Although Favre is a great quarterback and McNabb is a struggling one, Donovan can throw a great pass with the best of them when he wants to.

Boo's, cheers, or just mutual respect—it's tough to say what will happen. 

Eagle fans are notorious for hating, and just asked good ole Saint Nick what it feels like to be pelted with a kilogram of batteries for trying to spread some joy. 

McNabb on the other hand, rarely spread joy, so it makes it all that much easier for Eagles fans to hate.


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