Donovan McNabb fought back tears during his retirement ceremony on Monday, which included a highlight video and speeches from Jeffrey Lurie, Brian Dawkins, and Brian Westbrook. McNabb spoke about his time in Philadelphia, his upbringing, his conduct off the field, and the relationship with his teammates and coaches.
The Eagles announced they will retire McNabb's No. 5 on Sept. 19, when the Eagles host Andy Reid and the Chiefs. Lurie called McNabb the best quarterback in franchise history, and he's the leader in every major passing category.
"For me, it wasn't anything that I was expecting, but when the decision was made, what can you say?" McNabb said. "To have your name mentioned in the likes of [Eagles great] is truly an honor."
McNabb said he doesn't regret anything in his career. His relationship was sometimes acrimonious with the fans and the organization, but Monday was a form of closure. McNabb even asked that the booing on draft day be put to rest.
"I look at the relationship just like marriage: you have some great times and you have some tough times," McNabb said. "One thing's for sure; I said it before, and I'll say it again: I told the fans I'd bring a championship here. My goal was to have a parade down Broad Street. Now the Phillies did it first, and I apologize to the fans. Because that was my goal. I felt like I let them down. The thing for me is, I don't regret anything that happened throughout my career here."
McNabb said the highlight that most resonated with him was the NFC Championship victory in 2005 (after the 2004 season). He also said he will maintain a presence in Philadelphia. Lurie said it was important to have the retirement ceremony when Reid was in town.
"It all came together as an obvious thing to do," Lurie said. "I wish Andy could have been here today to appreciate all this, because he does. It was just obvious to all of us, to Donovan. When I called him and gave him the news we wanted to, it was a perfect situation."
Look for much more, including McNabb's thoughts on playing with Terrell Owens and the trade that sent him from Philadelphia, on Birds' Eye View and in The Philadelphia Inquirer.