The Eagles held a small ceremony to honor Brian Dawkins prior to tonight's game. The official jersey retirement will take place at halftime.
The Eagles will officially retire Brian Dawkins #20 tonight at halftime, but they held a smaller ceremony in the headhouse plaza at the Linc prior to the game. They revealed the #20 that has been installed on the wall (next to Reggie White's #92) and presented Dawk with a painting the team commissioned. Geoff Mosher tweeted out a pic of it.
Eagles owner Jeff Lurie opened the ceremony
It's been a long time since we put a number up on this wall, but a Brian Dawkins doesn't come along every day. Fearless as a player, fearless as a leader, and priceless as a husband, a father, a co-worker, and a friend. He is one of the very best the Eagles have ever had and we are proud to prove it by retiring his number 20 and inducting him into our Hall of Fame. Those are great names up there: [Steve] Van Buren, [Chuck] Bednarik, Reggie [White], but there was never any doubt that his name belonged right up there with them.
Brian puts his heart and soul into everything he does. And it's a big heart. And it's a big soul. And it's led to some big numbers: the second most games play by any Eagle ever, as many interceptions as any Eagle ever, seven Pro Bowls and five All-Pro selections as a Philadelphia Eagle, second only to Chuck Bednarik. But you know what Brian meant to this team and this city, it doesn't have a number on it. That part isn't going on the wall because that part is going in our hearts and the memories. Every one of us who saw him play, we remember he was the strong passionate heartbeat of our team. He symbolized everything Philadelphia stands for: the passion, the hard work, and the unstoppable spirit. He showed us all how this game ought to be played. When we look up there and in the stadium or the NovaCare Complex and see that number 20, it's going to remind all of us every day to give it our all for each other and for all the fans.
Dawkins kicked off his remarks with the same "hallelujah" he yelled when the team won the 2004 NFCCG.
"First of all, hallelujah! Listen, it is an absolute honor, blessing. [Owner/Chairman] Jeff [Lurie] thank you, Christina [Lurie] thank you. Thank you for this tremendous honor. See, I didn't grow up thinking about anything like this and I've said this a number of times, and I meant that. I didn't grow up thinking I was going to get my number retired somewhere. I just wanted to go out and do my best for whomever it is I got a chance to play for. And if my best was not good enough, then I had to put on another source of energy; that's my spiritual side, so that I could put my super on my natural and give you all some supernatural stuff. But listen, thank you very much for this. This is a tremendous honor. I will always be an Eagle in my heart and I will always, always look to represent this organization and you guys to the best of my abilities. Thank you very much."