Brian Dawkins: The Best Eagle Ever



Brian Dawkins 2018 NFL Hall of Fame Speech

Faith, family & football: these are the three key elements in the life of Brian Dawkins, arguably one of the best players to don a Philadelphia Eagles uniform in the modern era. Dawkins is passionate about everything, and everything starts with faith. Faith the noun and faith the verb were Dawkins’ No. 1 traits. He practiced what he preached and he lived what he learned.

Dawkins’ speech at the 2018 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony was one for the ages. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and stop reading right now and watch it. Please. It’s totally worth it. B-Dawk was the first Eagle to reach the Hall since Reggie White, the “Minister of Defense” in 2005, and it was worth the wait. I’ve watched the clip over and over and I’m moved to tears and cry like a baby every time.

Dawkins began his speech by giving praise to God. He shouted “hallelujah” before uttering any other words. It set the tone and paved the way for a stirring, rousing, emotionally moving speech that revealed that there was no shame in Brian Dawkins game. His past, private struggles are now very public, as he detailed how his pain gave birth to his gain. Dawkins faith and his family, especially his wife, were vital to helping him deal with the vicissitudes of his life,

Dawkins was a great football player and he wasn’t great by accident. He was a great player because he is a better person. He urged everyone not to settle, but to push through the pain, because there is purpose in pain. You saw how he played the game; he played with reckless abandon. And that’s how he lives. Dawkins told us that his pain increased his faith exponentially. He said that he went “through” his struggles – he did not stay in them. And he encouraged everyone with these words: “Don’t stay where you are; keep moving and keep pressing through.”  

If we didn’t learn anything else from the 2018 NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony, we learned this; it’s faith that gets us through, it’s family that carries us through, and football, for most of the inductees, as rough and tough as it can be, connected the two together. Brian Dawkins, Randy Moss and Ray Lewis are symbols of the faith we need to have in God, the strength that family gives us, and the joy of being a part of a championship caliber team that endures pain and struggle and secures victories and upsets and comebacks and turnarounds in providential ways. 

So take it from Brian Dawkins: push through. There’s s gain on the other side of your pain.


No Pain, No Gain

no pain

No pain, no gain.  No prayer, no deliverance. No fasting, no victory. No repentance, no redemption.  No cross, no crown.

Every serious athlete knows that the victory is not won randomly, haphazardly, or unsystematically. Victory is a planned, methodical exercise.  It is premeditated, pre-ordained and pre-determined.  And it comes at great cost, and at great price. Yes there are the fluke wins, the one-and-done dark horses and the “from out of no-where unheard ofs,” but these are far and few between and even these victories are won at great price. The constant champion knows that to get on top is one thing, but staying on top is something else.

According to that ever-so trustworthy source, Wikipedia, The slogan, “No pain, no gain” (or “No gain without pain”) is an exercise motto that promises greater value rewards for the price of hard and even painful work. Under this conception, competitive professionals such as athletes and artists are required to endure pain and pressure to achieve professional excellence.  It came into prominence after 1982 when actress Jane Fonda began to produce a series of aerobic workout videos. In these videos, Fonda would use “No pain, no gain” and “Feel the burn” as catchphrases for the concept of working out past the point of experiencing muscle aches.

No pain, no gain.  The premise here is that there are no free lunches. Everything costs something. And so it is with life.  While it is true that if you can believe it, you can achieve it, believing is not passive, it is active.  It involves placing trust. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

No pain, no gain.  The achievers, over-comers and champions know that they have to put the time in.  We used to sing this song in church: “Put your time in; Payday’s comin’ after while.”  And that’s all we sang. That’s it. Those 8 words comprised a song we would sing half the night.  But the truth of the song lasted longer than we could sing the song itself.

Put your time in. Love. Give. Forgive. Smile. Be kind. Overcome evil with good. It may be painful to love your enemy, and to forgive someone who wronged you but won’t apologize, but it’s time well spent. 

Put your time in; payday’s comin’ after while.