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September 05, 2018

Brian Dawkins surprises fans with Center City meet-and-greet ahead of season opener

Eagles Brian Dawkins
Carroll - Brian Dawkins at Verizon Wireless Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame safety, Brian Dawkins, at the Verizon store at 15th and Walnut streets, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018.

Eagles’ Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins gave fans a special surprise Wednesday when he appeared in Center City for a pop-up meet-and-greet at the Verizon Wireless store at 15th and Walnut streets.


RELATED: What they're saying about the Eagles: Brian Dawkins stole the show at Hall of Fame ceremony


As soon as word spread the former Eagles safety was going to be at the store, a line began to snake around Verizon, with “E-A-G-L-E-S!” chants echoing from the block for hours before his 12:30 p.m. arrival time. 

A Verizon spokeswoman said that Dawkins was on location to do a retail appearance and promotion for Verizon Up, the company’s rewards program, and just in time for Thursday’s kickoff game. 

Carroll - Brian Dawkins at Verizon WirelessThom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Donna Stevens Thornton of East Oak Lane gets her photo taken with Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame safety Brian Dawkins at the Verizon Wireless store at 15th and Walnut streets, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018.

Jessica Thorpe, brand communications manager for Verizon, rattled off a series of questions, to which Dawkins, bearing a T-shirt reading, "Blessed By the Best," gave rapid-fire answers.

“Favorite subject in school?”

B.D.: “P.E.”

“Best word to describe you?”

B.D.: “Passionate.”

“Your nickname?”

B.D.: “B. Dawk.”

“Something you’re afraid of?”

B.D.: “Snakes and spiders.”

“Favorite sports movie of all time?”

B.D.: “Rocky.”

“Favorite TV show of all time?”

B.D.: “X-Men.”

“Favorite fast-food restaurant?”

B.D.: “Tony Luke’s”

“Player that influenced you the most?”

B.D.: “Ronnie Lott.”

“Favorite musical artist?”

B.D.: “Bob Marley.”

“One cause you feel passionate about?”

B.D.: “Giving back.”

“Best life lesson?”

B.D.: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

“Would you trade your Hall of Fame jacket to play one more game?”

B.D.: “No.”

“Favorite family activity?”

B.D.: “Movies.”

“Best chant against you that made you laugh?”

B.D.: “That I was a bum.”

“Song that changes your mood?”

B.D.: “'Jammin'” [by Bob Marley]

Carroll - Brian Dawkins at Verizon WirelessThom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame safety Brian Dawkins at the Verizon store at 15th and Walnut streets, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018.

Don Sullivan from Princeton, N.J. said he was notified about Dawkins’ Center City appearance the night before by browsing through his Facebook feed. 

Once he learned the Eagles great was coming to town, he said there was no question he was packing up some memorabilia to get signed and crossing the bridge into Philly. Waiting in line, Sullivan carried two laminated photographs of Dawkins, both of which he hoped to get signed for his sons, and a football which he hoped to get signed for himself – “for my man cave,” he said. 

“There was no doubt in my mind I was coming out here. One hundred percent,” he said.

“Even if the line were around the block, in blistering heat, I would have waited. I’ve been a diehard Eagles fan my whole life. I bleed green,” he said.

Carroll - Brian Dawkins at Verizon WirelessThom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Philadelphia Eagles fans wait outside the Verizon store at 15th and Walnut streets to meet Eagles Hall of Fame safety Brian Dawkins.

Karen Gardner of North Philly said that she was merely walking over to Verizon to pay her cell phone bill when she saw the long line and had to ask – "What for?"

“I was so happy to see him. I got a photograph. I got videos,” she said.

“I’m going to cherish this ‘cause I’m going to send it to my husband real quick as soon as I get out of the store. I’m a big Eagles fan. [Dawkins] is so handsome!”

Carroll - Brian Dawkins at Verizon WirelessThom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Amy Vanderhei of Bryn Mawr, wearing a Dawkins throwback jersey, poses for a photo with Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame safety Brian Dawkins, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018.



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