The room fell uncomfortably silent the second Donovan McNabb stepped inside the doorway.
It was late last season and I was with a crew from The Magazine inside the Philadelphia Eagles practice facility shooting Michael Vick for a cover story. It was late in the day, dark and drizzly outside, so we thought the facility was empty -- until McNabb, dressed in a baggy gray Syracuse sweat suit, caught us all by surprise.
Not sure how McNabb would react to the scene, no one said a word at first. Think about it: Over the last decade in Philly no athlete had won more, under tougher circumstances and for a less-grateful fan base than Donovan McNabb. And here he was, prepping late night for yet another playoff appearance and what does he discover? The third-string QB, the guy he personally vouched for to the front office, is posing for a magazine cover instead of him? If ever there was a time for McNabb to drop his cool exterior and go all QB diva on us, this was it.
Now, I know you've been thoroughly inundated this week with updates and information regarding McNabb's return to Philly. But the truth is, all you really need to know about the guy is how he reacted to the above scene.
He laughed. He jumped right into the room and said hello to everyone. He could not have been more gracious, more comfortable or confident. Heck, he even gave Vick a few pointers about posing for the camera. Then he made one or two more wise cracks about the struggling Syracuse hoops team (he sits on the school's board of trustees) and disappeared quietly down the hall. And just like that, McNabb was gone, with little fanfare, before we even had a chance to miss him.
I suspect that's exactly how they're feeling in Philly this week. Although we all know they won't admit to it. So here is my list of the 12 best things about McNabb most people don't know.