If Donovan McNabb had just kept quiet, or stuck to reflecting on the success he enjoyed during his 11 seasons as the Eagles' starting quarterback, he probably would have gotten a standing ovation when he officially retires as an Eagle during their Sept. 19 game against Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Instead, he's likely to hear more than a smattering of boos.
"I truly wouldn't care (if the fans boo)," McNabb told the Philadelphia Daily News and Phillymag.com. "To me, (the ceremony is) an appreciation for the people who truly respected what I did. I've always lived by the motto that you can't please everyone. So for me, if I get booed, it wouldn't be anything new.
"If they cheer, that would be great. Obviously, I'll be out there with my famiy and the teammates I played with. If there are any boos, I will smile. ... The 19th is fun, man. I might bring the air guitar."
That's assuming there will be a ceremony on Sept. 19. McNabb said on his radio show that the Eagles wanted to do it that day since Reid will be in town. But the Eagles have yet to make a formal announcement about it.
Now 36, McNabb holds virtually every passing record in Eagles' history, having thrown for 2,801 of 4,746 passes for 32,873 yards with 216 touchdowns against 100 interceptions from 1999-2009. He also led the Eagles to seven of their eight playoff berths in that reign - Jeff Garcia guided them to the postseason in 2006 when McNabb suffered a knee injury - five appearances in the NFC championship game and a trip to the Super Bowl in 2004.
Yet for all of his accomplishments, his quirky personality and bizarre statements over the years prevented him from being beloved by the fans. That emotion was reserved for safety Brian Dawkins, who received a raucous ovation during his retirement ceremony last season.
McNabb did it again recently during a series of interviews while announcing his retirement.
"Flying out here, I stopped in Chicago to visit my family," McNabb told Phillymag.com. "I ran into (former Phillies slugger) Jim Thome in the airport. We were talking about playing in Philly. He asked me how I dealt with it because he said it was really hard for him. I said I just let it run right down my back. I never let it bother me. I told him I loved the game too much to let it affect what I was doing. All the time I put in preparing, I didn’t let it bother me."