Brian Dawkins was man enough to walk in his wife’s shoes – Sports – The Repository

Hall of Fame Class of 2018: A difficult pregnancy in 2007 forced Brian Dawkins to add his wife Connie’s duties to his

For safety’s sake, Brian Dawkins did everything on the football field.

As a husband and father, he learned to play a much bigger role in 2007.

Dawkins became a mother, cook, caregiver, babysitter and more during his wife Connie’s precarious pregnancy with twins in April 2007.

“All of these things (the athletes) take for granted, I saw the impact this can have on you,” Dawkins said during a visit to Canton in March. “And I also had to practice to prepare for the season. It was a total wake-up call for me from something I took for granted. I apologized to my wife. unworthy (and I’m doing my best not to), so I apologize. ‘

“What she does… she is the backbone of our family. Without her, I have no way of being where I am.”

The Dawkins also had young children Brian Jr. (10) and daughter Brionni (7) at home before Connie finally gave birth to twins Chionni and Cioni two months earlier.

“It was brutal,” Dawkins said. “For her obviously, but for me too. If you don’t know anything about me, I’m a man of faith. A man of God. I believe in Jesus Christ. That’s the foundation of who I am. going through tough times, I ask, “Why are we going through this?” And I listen. Going through this time, the Lord just let me know.

“I was lucky enough to put on my wife’s shoes.”

Playing mom and housewife, cook, housekeeper, and cab driver isn’t what NFL stars sign up for. But Dawkins had signed up to be a life partner for Connie when they were in college at Clemson, and that meant sustaining life as well as creating lives.

Doctors were concerned about a possible Down syndrome. Connie also had excessive bleeding during the pregnancy, which kept her bedridden. After the premature delivery, the two girls were kept in the hospital for a few weeks. And after they could finally be brought home, the couple had to use an electronic respiratory monitor on Cionni to keep her heart beating normally.

This meant Brian wore Connie’s running shoes while she was in the hospital and after.

“I had to go see her, pick up the kids, go to school, exercise, then pick up the kids from school, get them something to eat, then go see her again,” Dawkins told About her pre-birth. routine for Brian Jr. and Brionni. “Then start again. It was while she was pregnant. Once the twins were born, now it’s completely different. Now I have to add this to the equation.

“I would take the night shift (for feedings) and just get up with the twins and let her sleep. Then I would try to go for a workout. It was brutal. Needless to say I hurt myself. that year and missed a lot of time. But I realized what wrestling was really like. “

Philadelphia fans were unaware of these struggles. They just knew he had missed six games and was not the same player he had been for a decade when the team was 8-8.

With Connie, Chionni and Cionni all healthy in 2008, he helped the Eagles get a 9-6-1, advance to the playoffs and advance to the NFC Championship game in his final year at Philly.

“I told her after (the whole experience) how much I enjoy what she does,” Dawkins said.

Contact Jim at 330-580-8336 or

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On Twitter: @jthomasREP


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