I have no doubt that on the night of Sept. 19 when Andy Reid returns to Philadelphia as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs and Donovan McNabb has a retirement ceremony, Eagles fans in Lincoln Financial Field will respond by loudly cheering the most successful coach/quarterback combination in franchise history.

It will be respectful and non-controversial.

Oh, but the fun we'll have with the conversations leading up to that. That passion and controversy of the talk is going to be off the charts, even for Philadelphia.

McNabb and Reid are two of the more polarizing figures in Philadelphia's long history of love-hate relationships with athletes and coaches.

As a duo, they accomplished everything except the one thing that Philadelphia sports fans crave more than anything else – a Super Bowl trophy.

To some fans, the fact that Reid and McNabb brought the Birds close so many times [5 NFC Championship Games, 1 Super Bowl appearance] only adds to the misery that they never kicked the door in.

Their failure to win a Super Bowl makes the debate about McNabb and Reid far more contentious than the raw numbers indicate it should be.

Instead of being viewed strictly as the winningiest coach in Eagles history, Reid is also viewed as the hard-headed coach who put his pride before winning a Super Bowl by refusing to adjust his game plan to the point where he could have taken the Eagles over the top.

Reid's 1-4 record in NFC Championship Games sticks out as much as his franchise record 130 regular-season victories.

There is an overall sense in Philadelphia that Reid's arrogance likely cost the Eagles at least two Vince Lombardi Trophies.

In 11 seasons, McNabb led the Eagles to a 92-49-1 record. With him as a starter, the Eagles won six NFC East titles, played in five NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl.

But instead of being hailed as the greatest quarterback in Eagles history, McNabb's failure to win a Super Bowl has tarnished his legacy to the point where he rarely gets that consideration.

Instead of a borderline Hall of Famer, McNabb is looked up by many as the guy who threw up during the Super Bowl – even though he did not.

To some, McNabb is viewed as an overly sensitive dude who never got over the fact that a few chuckleheads booed when he was selected No.2 overall in 1999.

He has been criticized as a quarterback who soaked up the glory when the Eagles won but passed the buck when the Eagles lost.

With a bachelor of science degree in speech communication, McNabb's conscious effort to never say anything controversial ironically made him more controversial.

McNabb's long string of by-the-book quotes allowed others to set the narrative for his tenure in Philadelphia, and that often was not a good thing.

By his success on the field, McNabb should be simultaneously having a retirement ceremony, an induction into the Eagles Hall of Fame and a retirement of his No.5.

But McNabb wasn't universally beloved the way his longtime teammate Brian Dawkins was. It probably is better for the Eagles to wait a little longer, allowing absence to make the heart grow a bit fonder for McNabb.

Reid and McNabb became a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from the moment the rookie coach made the quarterback his first ever draft pick in 1999. From that moment, the two men's careers would be stuck together.

The came in together and went through the good and bad times together. It's only appropriate that they go out together.