By FRANK WARD
When Leonard Weaver was helped off of the turf following a sick knee injury at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, the rousing standing ovation he received from the 65,000 fans wasn’t surprising. Sure, Weaver’s a fullback, but in Philadelphia a guy like him is revered.
A blue-collar town like the City of Brotherly Love admires the tenacious play of a guy like Weaver. And, we also know what a class act Weaver is. Monday, he gave us even more of a reason to believe in his sincerity when he addressed Eagles fans and their support on Twitter.
“Hey ladies and gentlemen, I first want to say that it’s a true blessing to have so much support coming from the fans and family,” he tweeted. “I ll be back, I’ll be back better than ever. For now let’s cheer on our brothers on green on the field. They need us. Those guys played their hearts out.”
How do you not love Leonard Weaver?
Don’t worry, as you can see, the love affair is a two-way street. The second year Eagle, who will spend the rest of the year on IR, told DailyPhiladelphian.com last week how much he admires the city, its fans and its food.
“I love the city,” said Weaver, who previously played in rainy Seattle. “I love the food. But, more importantly, I love the city in the sense of its culture and variety of people. You have the ability to enjoy yourself outside of your house.”
Among the places Weaver likes to go are jazz places around market street.
“I love going there late night,” said Weaver. “It’s very soothing.”
After watching his knee buckle yesterday, we’re going to send Weaver some jazz CDs to play as he recovers.
And, of course he had an answer ready for the obligatory cheesesteak question.
“Geno’s and Pat’s are both good,” said Weaver. “But, I also really like the lobster cheesesteak at Chickie’s and Pete’s.”
Aside from the city’s culture, Weaver loves the fans.
“Eagles fans are very educated, hardworking and know their stuff,” said Weaver. “They know the truth about you. You need tough love sometimes. It’s good for me and others.”
He likes Philly’s straightforward approach because it reminds him of his own personality.
“Be yourself,” he says is all Philly fans require. “Don’t be one way in front of the camera and another way off camera. Be yourself and don’t be two-faced.”
If there was ever any doubt about how real Weaver was, all you need to do is read his Twitter posts from today when he thanked the fans for their support.
It’s rare to find an athlete as in touch with Philly as Weaver is.