That headline is not really the title of a country song or a preview to a book on philosophy.
It is just an old saying of mine and others regarding the fact that there are at least two things you cannot command or direct from people, those being love and respect.
You can own a company, run a firm, have a relationship, or whatever, but it does not work if you demand love and/or respect.
When these come our way, they are given voluntarily, and all we can do is accept them and be humble about being loved.
That brings us to Denver broncos safety Brian Dawkins.
Playing for the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East perhaps made Dawkins less well-known to some Denver fans than he might have been, but anything we say or write downplays how he is regarded in Philadelphia.
In the City of Brotherly Love, Brian Dawkins is revered as no other athlete has been in Eagles history. That is not my statement to make, but I am roughly paraphrasing what has been said and written about him numerous times by Philadelphians since Dawk’s arrival here in Denver.
Just today in the Philadelphia Daily News sports columnist Rich Hofmann wrote a wonderful piece about Dawkins and Philadelphians’ emotional attachment to him, quoting at length no less a figure than Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie.
Jeffrey Lurie said, and again these are quotes from Rich Hofmann’s piece, “I miss Brian. My attitude is, he’s going to be with us probably longer than I live, the next 40, 50 years. He’s going to be one of those great Eagles you see come back. There will never be anybody more of a favorite. That’s not possible.”
Lurie went on to say that “I would have loved to have had him forever.”
There is no question that Dawk’s impact on this Denver team was immediate and absolute.
No one questions his role as the squad’s emotional leader, and his play is still of such a quality that he is frequently referred to as anywhere from a “potential” to a “likely” Hall of Famer.
He has two pass interceptions and three fumble recoveries for the Broncos this year, and that fumble recovery total is tied for the lead in the NFL this year. The combined takeaway total of five is tied for the Denver team high, and his hits are the kinds of jarring collisions that you remember no matter the outcome of the game in question.
Only three safeties in the history of the game have more Pro Bowl selections than Brian Dawkins.
It is going to be a very emotional day in Philadelphia on Sunday, certainly for Brian Dawkins — even more so given that his “normal” amp meter is off the charts — and of course for his wife Connie and family.
It’s going to be emotional as well for the passionate Eagles fans who will be rooting for a Philly win, but no doubt enjoying and appreciating the return of the city’s favorite son.
And Bronco fans should know and appreciate this as well.
This is one of those rare and special moments when the most popular player on the football field is possibly lining up for the visiting team.
You can’t force love. It only comes voluntarily.
Philadelphia fans are known for their toughness, especially directed toward the opposition. But this Sunday Bronco fans will watch the toughest fans in football spill their love onto a player in orange and blue.