Brian Dawkins retires from the NFL as one of it’s greatest men.
“Can you feel that? Can you feel this that dog-gone beating in your chest? Can you feel what is about to happen out here on this field man?”
That Brian Dawkins pre-game speech given in the huddle to his then Eagles team mates has been recited by my kid to his teammates before just about every game he has played since 2008.
Brian Dawkins inspired him like so many others to reach for greatness when the opportunity presented itself.
Now as Dawkins prepares to leave the NFL after 16 seasons, he will leave as one of the best.
He will leave as one of the best safeties in the history of the game. He will leave as one of its best motivators. He will leave as one of its best hitters. He will leave as one of its best playmakers. He will leave as one of its best men.
Today one his Twitter account he relayed the news of his retirement.
“The Lord has blessed me to play in the NFL for 16 years,” Dawkins said. “I would like to thank the Eagles & the Broncos 4 believing in me. I would like 2 thank all my teammates & coaches that I have been blessed 2 go to battle with. Along with u, the fans 4 helping make my career 1 that I have enjoyed tremendously. In other words. I am announcing my retirement from the NFL.”
Dawkins has struggled with a neck related injury last season that may have played into his decision to leave the game. That has not been suggested or said, it’s a just something that I am thinking out loud.
If he is not a first ballot Hall-of-Fame inductee then the system is as flawed as many suggest that it is.
Dawkins played in one Super Bowl, nine Pro Bowls and was a six-time All-Pro.
If there was a stat for plays made during crunch-time, he would own it.
That discussion can wait until 2017 when he is up for enshrinement. Until then there is only the matter of the day.
It doesn’t matter who you root for or against to recognize that greatness has left the building.