Perhaps now we can finally dispose of the ‘City that booed Santa Claus’ narrative once and for all.
Just as the Kansas City Chiefs were taking the field at Lincoln Financial Field prior to kickoff of Thursday night’s Week 3 showdown which saw the return of Andy Reid against the Philadelphia Eagles squad he coached for 14 seasons, the fans showed their appreciation by giving him a warm standing ovation.
The Eagles plan to honor Reid’s first first-round draft choice Donovan McNabb at halftime of tonight’s proceedings when they retire his No. 5 jersey by lifting it into the stadium’s rafters. It is fitting that McNabb’s jersey is retired on the night that Reid makes his return.
Reid led the Eagles to five NFC-Championship game appearances and a Super Bowl berth against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX following the 2004 regular season.
In spite of finishing his tenure as the winningest coach in franchise history, Reid’s latter years in the City of Brotherly love became acrimonious as the team began to struggle and his stubbornness continued to solidify. In Reid’s final two seasons the Birds posted just a 12-20 record.
Tonight though, Reid deserved to be cheered.
This city showed its true colors by granting the greatest coach in franchise history the respect he deserved.
Nights like tonight are the rule, rather than the exception and perhaps by putting its best foot forward on a national stage, that will become this city’s reputation rather than the exception.
Matt Lombardo is also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter.