Steve Smith is expecting a villain’s welcome in New York

Chris Chase

There's an old Onion article headlined "Former Employee Disappointed By Return-Visit Reception," in which a marketing analyst returns to his old place of business expecting everyone to be overly excited by his presence, only to find that his high expectations were a letdown.

Steve Smith may have similar feelings when the Philadelphia Eagles go on the road to face Smith's former team, the New York Giants, on Sunday night.

"I don't know [what to expect]," he told reporters after Wednesday's practice. "I had some big years but I came to Philly, so the reception might not be that good. New York fans are pretty brutal."

With all due respect to a fine NFL wide receiver (albeit one who slides to the ground on fourth down one yard short of the marker), his return to New York isn't exactly Benedict Arnold going back to West Point. Smith left the Giants because Philly offered him more money. His departure wasn't the most gracious, but it's not like he went out of town burning the George Washington Bridge.

Smith is the Eagles third receiver and sixth-biggest offensive threat. He has 10 catches on the season and 11 touchdowns in his career. Giants fans will have bigger booing priorities than him on Sunday night. Not that it should matter to Smith. He didn't leave for personal reasons, he left for financial ones.

"It's a business," Smith said of his departure. "I would rather have more money in my pocket and be able to play football."