Brian Dawkins is my favorite athlete of all time. It’s not even close, well… Except for Rocky Balboa who is a real athlete and champion. I love Brian Dawkins, he embodies everything that Philadelphia means to me. I’ve already written about that here. Dawk is the symbol for every bit of that. Philly is a tough fucking city, with tough fucking people who work hard all the time everyday just to get to Sunday. Brian Dawkins is every bit of that and always will be. He is an all time great who should have never been released from here and I will forever be thankful that my childhood was surrounded by watching Brian Dawkins on Sundays. As much as I love Dawk, as much as he means to me as far as athletes go, Malcolm Jenkins now deserves to be mentioned in the same air as Brian Dawkins.
This goes beyond stats in which both players have great numbers. It has to do with impact on the field and in the locker room. Of course if you dont produce on the field what you say on and off of it wont matter. But, both men have produced on the field so everything I am going to say will have little to do with comparing stats.
Brian Dawkins was a game changing weapon in the secondary. Could he return a pick like Ed Reed, no. Was he as smooth as Sean Taylor, no. He was a large bruising man with mountain tops for biceps who put fear into everyone against him. He played hard, he played fierce and he was very good at it one of the many reasons he will be enshrined in Canton this weekend. He had a command over his teammates who would go out and play harder because of him, and somehow he had a command over this city. You would see Dawk on a 3rd and short run up to tackle Brandon Jacobs who had 4 inches and 60 pounds on him just shy of a first down and it would inspire you. You would see him knock out Alge Crumpler and it would send a shiver down your spine. He played with passion and heart the way we watch with passion and heart. There was a connection there, there was feeling there. Brian Dawkins was in every single one of our hearts every time he hit the field he felt us, and we felt him. I was in the Linc during his retirement ceremony. Three of my best friends next to me and he came out on a Sunday night against the Giants and the Linc had never been louder, it was half time and the entire stadium didn’t move waiting to see him, and he did not disappoint.
He came out on his hands and feet like only he could. He let that wolverine in him take over like he would be suiting up to play. The place exploded and I couldnt help but cry. He spoke to the fans, he said he loves us and he truly does and because of how he played, because of the man he was he will always be loved, there may never be an athlete that gets close, however Malcolm Jenkins deserves to be.
Malcolm Jenkins may not have that same connection yet. He doesn’t give off that vibe that Dawk did where you really believed Dawk would die to make a tackle. But Malcolm isn’t much different. He has been the leader of not only the defense but this entire team since 2014. Sadly he doesnt have the years here that Dawk did but his impact can be felt week after week after week. just like Dawk. He makes game changing plays and hits (I.E. Superbowl 52) just like Dawk. His teamates love him, just like Dawk. He gives some of the most inspiring and motivational pre game speeches, just like Dawk. When Carson Wentz went down, Malcolm was the guy who stood up and picked his team up and told them to continue the mission.
He loves this city and plays for this city exactly like Dawk did. He was apart of a team that brought us a Superbowl and he is a major reason why. He does everything on the field, saftey, corner, linebacker he does it all. Arguably he is able to do more on defense then B-Dawk could. The off the field work he does is amazing and he truly is making a difference in the world and thats great, on the field however, it is time Malcolm Jenkins gets the same recognition that we give Brian Dawkins, and if you dont think he should be…
Let me wobble back to my corner, Joe Pa knew.