"And I'm pretty sure I was the choice," says Donovan.
Still, McNabb agreed to swap gifts with his new buddy, presenting Mr. Mayor with an Eagles jersey bearing Williams's number, 34, on the front. Then he flipped it over, and on the back was number 5, McNabb's number. The assembled movers and shakers chuckled and cheered. McNabb has been defusing crowds, and Ricky People have been running for cover ever since.
At a recent 76ers game, Bill Cosby sat down next to McNabb and welcomed him to town. McNabb stopped in the Sixers' locker room after the game and renewed acquaintances with Allen Iverson, a former Big East hoops rival, from Georgetown, and a guy with some experience in winning over Philly fans. Iverson was like almost everyone else McNabb had run into since being drafted by Philadelphia. He never wanted Ricky Williams. He never booed. He was a McNabb guy all the way.
"He said, 'I was pulling for you, man. I'm glad we got you. You turned me into an Eagles fan,' " says McNabb. "It's funny. Everywhere I go, it's the same thing. People come up and say, 'It wasn't us. We never wanted Ricky. We wanted you.' "
Everyone wanted him. Everyone loves him. At this rate McNabb could run for mayor of Philadelphia, although he's not nearly silly enough for the job.