Howie Long Insults Philadelphia on Fox Pre-Game Show

Seems the former Villanova football player's just too good for us now

Philadelphia takes a lot of unfair shots from the national media. But yesterday a shot was fired from an unlikely source.

It was during the Fox pre-game show after a predictable taped report about how Philadelphia fans would greet Donovan McNabb as he made his first appearance at Lincoln Financial Field since being traded to the Washington Redskins. Fox gathered a group of Eagles fans and obviously coached them to boo at the mention of McNabb. There was even an appearance in the report by Mayor Nutter in a choreographed interview interrupted by a guy in an Eagles jersey who ran in front of the screen booing.

Although I wish the Mayor had passed on that appearance, that wasn’t the shot I am referring to.

It was after the report when they went back to the studio live. Terry Bradshaw defended our city by saying, “I recently spent five days in Philadelphia with my daughters, and we really enjoyed ourselves.” Left alone it would have been a nice moment for Philly and the tourism bureau. But Howie Long couldn’t leave it alone. He stared incredulously at Bradshaw and then sarcastically said, “Yeah, I’m sure it was a real treat.”[SIGNUP]

The shot from Howie Long was surprising for a couple of reasons. First, you would think a guy who looks like he gets his hair trimmed by a groundskeeper would be reluctant to throw stones. But more importantly, Long played college football for Villanova. He has Philly roots. He went Kobe Bryant on us.

Howie Long played pro football for the Oakland Raiders who became the Los Angeles Raiders.  When he retired in 1993, he remained in LA.  Although he lives in Virginia most of the year now, he has been a California guy for most of his adult life. Long has always been given credit for being smarter than your average Bear, Cowboy or Raider, but his comment was dumb. That kind of geographic arrogance breeds in California, even as the state continues to plummet into bankruptcy.

It would be a shame if Long never brought any of his three sons to Philadelphia to see firsthand how our nation and modern democracy was born. If he were to spend any time here with his family, he would understand that the city is much more than Rocky, cheesesteaks and a chorus of boos — the standard references of any national television report on Philadelphia.

Perhaps Mayor Nutter should invite the Long family to spend a week here. It would be good for Howie to get out of La-La Land for a while and experience the arts, history and restaurants that so impressed Terry Bradshaw and his daughter. It would be good for him to know what he is talking about before making a snide remark about our city again.

By the way, Donovan McNabb was met with a standing ovation when he took the field, so Long was wrong about that too. But the boos may be coming. If Howie doesn’t apologize for his comment or change his attitude about Philadelphia, he should hear them the next time he comes to the Linc.

LARRY MENDTE writes for The Philly Post every Monday and Thursday. See his previous columns here. To watch his video commentaries, go to wpix.com.