Photo: Bob Monek
Action News sports producer Mark Meany wins the day with this story about Brian Dawkins.
In 2009, after the Eagles beat the Giants to advance to the NFC Championship game, Dawkins was scheduled to do an interview with Gary Papa, who was just months away from losing a long, difficult battle with cancer.
Papa couldn’t make the long walk beneath Giants Stadium to the Eagles locker room, so Meany went to grab Dawkins. He explained to Dawkins that Papa couldn't make the walk and was on the other side of the stadium. But Dawkins, too, was hurting, limping from a hard-fought game and season. It looked like the interview wasn't going to happen.
We’ll let Meany pick up the story:
A quick discussion ensued between myself, Dawkins and Eagles media relations manager Ryan Nissan. It was quickly determined that Dawkins was too hurt to make the walk. We would have to cancel the interview. That is, until I said one simple thing to Dawkins, "Gary's in bad shape, he's having a really rough day."
Dawkins looked me in the eye and said, "Let's go."
The walk down the hallway through the bowels of Giants Stadium took forever. Dawkins was limping and silent the entire way. We finally got to Gary, who was sitting down and still gathering his strength. Dawkins walked up to Gary and helped him out of the chair.
Then the two embraced.
Both men, two of the toughest I've ever met, began to sob in each other's arms. It went on for what seemed like forever. I then noticed that through the entire embrace, Dawkins was whispering in Gary's ear. I'm not sure that whispering can be described as intense, but that's what this was.
Dawkins was giving Gary a pep talk, a pregame speech before a tough game. It was vintage Dawkins.
Yeah, that’s a lump in your throat. Go read the whole story.