Eagles Security Makes Sideline Fan Remove McNabb Redskins Jersey
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Jim Devlin said he was just trying to stir the pot by wearing a replica of Donovan McNabb's maroon Washington Redskins jersey on the sideline at Philadelphia Eagles training camp Wednesday morning.
Instead, he believes he stirred up head coach Andy Reid.
Security guards asked Devlin, a 43-year-old from King of Prussia, Pa., to remove the jersey. He told Philadelphia radio station 97.5 The Fanatic he did so without complaint, adding the guard who asked him to remove the jersey said the request came from coach Andy Reid.
A team spokesman denied that, saying that Reid was not aware of Devlin's presence and that the guards were acting to calm the commotion created when reporters crowded around the fan while practice was in session.
McNabb, a six-time Pro Bowler who spent 11 seasons with the Eagles, was traded in April to NFC East rival Washington.
While many fans were happy to see him go -- although he took the Eagles to five conference championship games, but didn't win a Super Bowl -- Devlin said he still thinks highly of McNabb.
He wore the McNabb jersey to a Phillies game Sunday, and said he got mixed reactions. On Wednesday, he got a sideline pass from a friend. Devlin said fans granted such access are given written instructions how to conduct themselves.
Devlin said cell phones and beverages are not permitted, but he was not made aware of restrictions on apparel of another team. A team spokesman confirmed that is not a set policy, just a preference.
"I just wanted to get reactions from the fan base, see who says what," Devlin said. "Maybe get in a healthy debate on whether Donovan McNabb was good or bad for this franchise."
But security intervened.
"I'm fine," he said. "Everybody was very cool, calm, professional and did not make a big deal about it. They asked me, and I figured I'm a guest at their facility, so why not make life easier for everybody?"
Devlin said the fans around him expressed surprise he was asked to strip down to the T-shirt he was wearing under the jersey.
"Nobody really thought I was really wrong," he said. "They asked me to do something, and I was more than happy to do it."
Devlin added he plans to wear the jersey when McNabb returns to Philadelphia on Oct. 3 to face his old team.