Former Eagle quarterback Donovan McNabb officially retired from the NFL during a press conference at the NovaCare Complex Monday. With words of praise and adulation coming from the likes of owner Jeffrey Laurie and former safety Brian Dawkins and former running back Brian Westbrook prior to his speech, Mcnabb took to the podium humbled fashion.
What follows are some comments from McNabb that occurred during and after the announcement, which was preceded by a series of highlights from his career in Philadelphia – a career that saw him set most of the franchise’s QB records.
“I even shed a tear or two, how about that? The one thing I told Dawk when he did his speech was ‘no crying,’ and then I get up there and you know …”
“Eleven great years. We’ll forever be linked together, but one of the things I can honestly say, ‘We made history, big fella (Andy Reid).’”
“I don’t regret anything that happened throughout my years here in Philadelphia or in my career in general because I believe it makes you stronger mentally as a human being. You learn not to take anything for granted. You learn that not everything is given to you, nor is it easy, but one thing I can say is that I played with some great players … household names that you’ll remember here in the Philadelphia area, and we were able to achieve great things.”
“My goal was to have that parade down Broad Street. I apologized to the fans because that was my goal. I felt like I let them down.”
“When I played this game, I didn’t play to make the Hall of Fame – I didn’t play for individual accolades … I played to win, as a team – everyone kind of talks about numbers and my numbers are close to what is required to get in there – if that’s the decision, then that’s the decision – if I had a vote, I would vote [for me].”
“Philly – it’s a wonderful place – it didn’t matter what was going on, you felt this way about somebody or you didn’t like what was going on upstairs or the money situation when you stepped out onto the field and laced up the shoes, it was time to play ball – and we made some great things happen.”
“It hasn’t settled in yet – that’s outstanding, the thing for me is, it’s not so much for me, it’s my four little kids, when my kids grow up and for all of us who have kids, daddy always wants to be remembered as something. By the time they’re like 15, 17, 18, ipads will be like an Atari game – iphones will look like the old flip phones – this is something that when they become teenagers, or adults and when they have kids, they can come back here or they can watch a game and see my name or my face or whatever and see my number retired in the rafters, forever … and they’ll see that dad, or granddad, did something special – we all want to be superheroes when it comes to our kids or our grandkids, and now the kids will look at it like dad was a superhero and that’s something special.”