Not your typical Eagles fans

By MATTHEW NADU
Staff Writer — matthew.nadu@yahoo.com
_________

Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb square off this week. What will the reaction be to Donovan't return? We'll have to wait and see.

So ESPN football analyst Mark Schlereth thinks Philadelphia fans are “nasty.” How do you feel about that? Whether you love or hate the stereotypes of this city and whether or not they are true, Philly fans must live with being the most hated fans in sports.

Or do they? Sunday could change all of that.

With the highly anticipated return of Donovan McNabb, the greatest quarterback in Eagles history, the country is holding its breath to see how the city will react. Especially since he’ll be sporting a hated division rival Redskins jersey on his back — yet another target on the back of head coach Andy Reid’s first draft pick way back in 1999.

So now what?

How are fans going to react? Will fans resurrect the old No. 5 from the Salvation Army and thank McNabb for his five NFC Championship appearances and a Super Bowl showdown?

Will they bring their Duracells? Will they cheer if Nate Allen, the Eagles second round pick from Washington in the McNabb trade, picks McNabb off for six? If we get a freak blizzard will he get pummeled by snowballs?

The answer is none of the above.

Except the resurrection of the jersey, and an interception, and heck maybe a sack or two. The bottom line is the city lives and dies for their team.

In fact, the city is part of the team. Blue collar America has never been more tightly knitted to their team than in the City of Brotherly Love. The city was named that for a reason right? Seems like an oxymoron nowadays.

Nevertheless, fans invite them into their homes, to dinner and even to an old fashion kelly green themed wedding. Yet there is something the rest of the country just doesn’t understand.

Philadelphia loves a winner.

McNabb knows that and that’s why he told ESPN 980-AM in Washington he thinks he’ll be cheered. He will because Donovan McNabb is a winner. His career numbers prove it.

So he never won the big game and his laughing, over throws and balls in the ground gave every Philadelphian and ulcer until February. That’s all Washingtons problem now, as if the Nations Capital doesn’t have enough already.

But it was a heck of a ride and Philadelphia got used to winning, perhaps too much. During this past off season it was time to move on. For the Eagles, for McNabb and for the fans. It was also time to implement the future in Kevin Kolb into the permanent scheme.

So much for that. It’s funny how with McNabb gone, Reid is more prone to act on a whim, naming Mike Vick the new Eagles starter.

Is he the future? Who knows.

But since Vick has settled into the drivers seat the Eagles can finally move forward, at least until he overthrows a receiver. Philadelphia may never change its image. It seems this country loves to give individuals like Vick and McNabb second chances but never a city.

That would spoil good headlines.

So maybe Philly should just embrace being “nasty.” Until then enjoy the homecoming of an Eagles great. He deserves it and so do Philly fans.

Philadelphia loves a winner but with Vegas predicting an Eagles win, they love revenge just a little bit more.

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Filed under Editorial, Matthew Nadu

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