Locker-room talk implicates that the NFL Hall of Fame is biased towards defensive players because their “not game changers.” Brian Dawkins disproves that bias. Not only is he a Hall of Famer but he was a definite game changer too.
It seems inappropriate to say that any player is the heart and soul of a team. But this seems to be the case with Brian Dawkins. When you listen to the testimony of many people and you observe the passion in which he played it would be hard to deny the heartfelt impact he had on and off the field.
He didn’t play with just passion, he played with intense passion! He expressed himself with powerful, compelling emotion. He had a way of rallying the troops and inspiring them to chew nails, to run through brick walls and to make sure to give him all they’ve got!
Although intensely passionate during game time Brian Dawkins never used curse words. A conviction he lives by on and off the field due to his faith in Jesus Christ. But as he said during an interview, “Just because I don’t cuss doesn’t mean I’m cushy. It doesn’t mean I won’t came at you.” Sundays between 1:30pm-4:00pm Dawkins was a complete mad-man. The rest of the week he was a God-fearing gentlemen.
His mad-man like intensity was inspired by the X-Men Wolverine character. He was nicknamed “WeaponX” because he mimics the Wolverine’s intense aggression and because he never backed down from a battle. He routinely entered the field in his Wolverine impersonation and it excited the crowd. It was something right out of the World Wrestling Federation and I loved it!
In the 2002 season in a game versus the Houston Texans, Dawkins became the first player in NFL history to record a sack, an interception, a forced fumble, and a touchdown reception in a single game. Philly fans know it as the “Quadraupheta!”
Brian Dawkins never won a Super Bowl Championship but he came close in 2004 when the Eagles fell to the New England Patriots. He is a 9x Pro Bowler, 5x First-team All-Pro. His career stat line reads: 1,131 Tackles,| 26 Sacks | 37 Interceptions | 36 Forced Fumbles | 16 Fumble Recoveries | 3 Touchdowns
He spent the last three years of his career with the Denver Broncos but shortly after his retirement he signed a one day contract with the Philadelphia Eagles then officially retired as an Eagle. In 2016, Dawkins was hired by the Eagles as Executive of Football Operations for Player Development which he holds to this day. But here’s the really cool part. On February 3, 2018 he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame and the very next day, February 4, 2018 the Eagles win their first Super Bowl – guess against who? Those same New England Patriots! Folks, you can’t make this stuff up!
Which reminds me. Congratulations are due to the Philadelphia Eagles and to all their fans! It’s been a long time coming and you all are well deserved.
ROOKIE CARDS OF HALL OF FAMER BRIAN DAWKINS
1996 Finest, Card No. 344 (shop eBay)
In the photo Dawkins appears to be in practice gear, the background seems to have rays of light, which brings emphasis to Dawkins. The make and model “Topps & Finest” appear at the very top of card but seem disconnected, underneath that in big bold font is the word Freshman. Name appears on the bottom in big red lettering and everything sits on a brown border that can be vulnerable to chipping if you’re not careful.
Card back shows the same photo as the front but it seems to be under the burning hot rays of the sun. A close up photo is included. Dawkins name and bio appear towards the top and 1995 college stats appear in the middle. Towards the bottom there is a few sentences of commentary. It says, “Freshman Fact: An aggressive DB who loves to pound WRs on deep routes.” Yep, that’s him!
As of the date of this post raw copies sell for $10.00-$20.00; graded mint copies (9’s) sell for $30.00-$60.00 and gem mint copies (10’s) sell in the $100.00-$150.00 range.
1996 Fleer, Card No. 150 (shop eBay)
This card has me a bit confused. 1996 Fleer Football is a single series 200 card set. Cards #’d 141-180 are the rookies. Card number 150 is of our featured Hall of Famer which is 10 cards into the rookie offering within the set. The part I’m confused about is the huge number “2” featured on the card front along with his little cousin on the top left of card also indicating the “No 2.” Dawkins was drafted in the 2nd Round and was the 61st pick!? Is that what those “2’s” mean? Overall, a decent looking card with rookie wallpaper and Fleer 96′ in bright red along the top right.
So I went to the cards back to see if it would explain the “2’s” …and nothing. Instead it features a large portrait photo of Dawkins to one side and commentary to the right. Player bio is placed at bottom right in very small font.
As of the date of this post raw copies sell for $5.00-$10.00; graded mint copies (9’s) sell for $10.00-$15.00 and gem mint copies (10’s) sell in the $15.00-$30.00 range.
1996 Pacific, Card No. 335 (shop eBay)
Instead of practice gear the Pacific offering gives collectors an action photo of Dawkins in his Clemson uniform. Towards the bottom you get name and NFL helmet in a gold foil which looks a lot better in person than this photo. The Pacific Collection logo gets lost in the upper left corner but it is there.
The card back mimics what appears to me as broken glass, creative but unrelated to the cards theme. Another action photo appears to the right along with name, player bio and commentary to the left. A really well-rounded card design. I really enjoyed the Pacific brand of the mid 90’s.
As of the date of this post raw copies can purchased for $5.00-$10.00; graded mint copies (9’s) sell for $20.00-$35.00 and gem mint copies (10’s) sell in the $75.00-$155.00 range.
1996 SkyBox Impact Rookies, Card No. 50 (shop eBay)
This full action photo of Dawkins catches him doing what he does best, breaking up plays. Player name appears blurry and made me adjust my head thinking it was my bi-focal lens. I noticed there doesn’t seem to be many people in the stands but the brand logo really pops.
Card back is another photo of Dawkins and it takes up the entire real estate. Player bio followed by name in the center and commentary towards the bottom is a bit different order of things but works with overall design of card back. Typically, player name is above the player bio.
As of the date of this post raw copies sell for $2.00-$5.00; graded copies have no relevant sales that can justify a current value. But in my opinion mint copies (9’s) could sell for $10.00-$25.00 and gem mint copies could sell in the $25.00-$50.00+ range.
1996 Skybox Premium, Card No. 190 (shop eBay)
The 1996 Skybox Premium was a quality set. It had great photography, high gloss finish, thicker card stock, and 250 cards made up the complete set. The front photo is borderless and shows Dawkins with a blurred shadow showcasing his speed and forward motion. However, we have yet another photo of Dawkins in his practice gear, 3 of 6 show him in this type of garb. Nicely placed foil name at lower right and foil brand logo at upper left make this a fantastic card of WeaponX.
The card pack is a vibrant, crisp, clean design. Player portrait, large team logo are well-balanced with player name, bio and commentary. Although not his most valuable rookie card this one is my favorite just for overall card design. Front and back of this one is 5 Star status in my opinion.
As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for $3.00-$6.00; graded copies have no relevant sales that can justify a current value. But in my opinion mint copies (9’s) could sell for $10.00-$25.00 and gem mint copies could sell in the $25.00-$50.00+ range.
1996 Stadium Club, Card No. 343 (shop eBay)
1996 Stadium Club is a 360 card set. The rookie card of Brian Dawkins can be found in the Series 2 offering. Stadium Club, known for their great photography, did not fail to deliver. Upper torso photo of Dawkins shows him in uniform and not in practice gear! Three quarter make shift border reveals a rainbow type technology. Brand logo in red is placed at upper left and gives it a nice pop. And player name at bottom is hard to read even in person.
Card back was well thought out too. Everything is well placed and centered nicely. Different color fonts make things stand out. And instead of player commentary it gives us a Scouting Report that focuses on Dawkins skills.
As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for $5.00-$15.00; graded mint copies (9’s) sell for $25.00-$35.00 and gem mint copies (10’s) sell in the $60.00-$90.00 range.