The Eagles will retire the number of one of the greatest and most beloved players in franchise history, Brian Dawkins. Personally, he is and will always be my #1 sports hero. I honestly have never asked for a professional athlete's autograph other than the day I met Dawkins at Eagles training camp. His was the first Eagles jersey I've ever bought and still the one I wear whenever I have tickets to a game.
His speech after the Eagles won the 2004 NFC championship game is still probably my favorite moment as a fan.
This is the one guy I can't be objective about. When he left for Denver I was literally hurt. To the point where I was actually kind of upset at the guy for leaving! Should adults be this emotionally invested in football? I don't know, but I was and the only reason was that Dawkins was always so emotionally invested himself. That's why we love the guy. He's not the greatest or most talented player in franchise history. But I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone else who tried harder.
And as fans, that's all we can ask for from players. Nothing upsets fans more when they feel like a guy isn't giving 100% and that was never the case with Dawkins. Whenever you paid for your ticket, you knew you would see the guy in #20 giving everything he had to make sure you went home happy.
I was going to go through all of my favorite Dawkins moments, but there's no point. Because I could never do as good of a job as NFL Films did in this tribute. And I think its fitting to have this video, narrated by the great and recently departed Steve Sabol, on this day when we commemorate the career of #20.