In a world that was fair to Eagles fans and humanity in general, Brian Dawkins would have stayed an Eagle forever. I mean, who would you rather have out there in the secondary- a 50-year-old B-Dawk with a bad neck, or Quintin Demps and Macho Harris in their primes? Exactly.
The former Eagles safety announced this retirement from the NFL on Monday, putting an end to a 16-year career in which he went to nine Pro Bowls. Drafted in 1996 by Ray Rhodes, back in the pre-Andy Reid days when the Eagles occasionally drafted defensive players who didn't suck, Dawkins quickly emerged as one of the most beloved athletes in Philadelphia sports history.
In twelve years with the Eagles, Dawkins missed only one game. Fans loved his intensity, passion for the game and class off the field.
Which makes it all the more infuriating, even three years later, that the Eagles let him go in 2009. When the Eagles unceremoniously dumped Dawkins - in the guise of being "outbid" by the Denver Broncos- it was the moment i at last realized they didn't really want to win, and that money was more important to them than glory. And worst of all, Andy Reid didn't give a press conference, to explain the decision, that week or the week after. I'm still angry about that.
And now we hear the Eagles are going to honor Dawkins at a game this season. Where do they get the effrontery? Dawkins wasn't good enough for Jeffrey Lurie and Joe Banner to keep, but now they're willing to use his name to sell tickets and line their own pockets? Disgusting. And it's been more than a day since Dawkins retired- why haven't the Eagles retired #20 yet? The disrespect just never ends.
You can't put a dollar amount on what Brian Dawkins brings to a football team- and that's why it was so shameful for the Eagles to let him get away over money. Year after year, it's the Eagles' unwillingness to pay what players want that continuously dooms them. They should've taken what Denver was offering him and doubled it.
Was Dawkins finished? Of course not. Once he got to Denver he made one more Pro Bowl- and not only that, but he even taught Tim Tebow how to win.
For a period of nearly a decade, the Eagles were led on defense by a winner (Dawkins) and on offense by a loser (Donovan McNabb.) Dawkins did all he could, and he certainly never vomited on the field or smiled when he wasn't supposed to. Another reason to resent Donovan- he prevented Dawkins from leading the Eagles to a championship.
So godspeed and good luck in retirement, B-Dawk. That Andy Reid has outlasted Brian Dawkins in Philly by three years (and counting) is one of the great outrages and injustices of our time.
Other Philly sports takes:
- The NFL Draft is Thursday; I really hope Andy doesn't do something foolish like act like he knows what he's doing.
- Congratulations to the Flyers on an awesome first-round playoff victory over the Penguins, the refs, the league office and the media. My only regret for the series is that Sidney Crosby walked out of Game 6 upright and uninjured.
- Other than Claude Giroux, the biggest clutch performer of the series was the guy in Xfinity Live who gave the camera the finger after Game 5.
- We all know the reason the Phillies are slumping is because they're distracted by the Flyers' playoff run, which seems to happen every year. In the meantime, much as I love Jim Thome, it might be time for him to pull a Mike Schmidt and retire midyear. The same goes for Placido Polanco, Ty Wigginton, Laynce Nix, and Juan Pierre.
- Doug Collins was fined for calling a ref an asshole? Come on. I do that every day.
- These guys have the right idea! I'm never buying golf balls again.