Eagles offensive lineman Brandon Brooks announced his retirement Thursday, and today The Inquirer published a full-page letter to Eagles fans.
The ad reads:
How do you say goodbye to something you’ve known your whole life? Something that taught you triumph, pain, success, failure, perseverance, love, empathy, and altruism. I don’t know, but I’ll try my best.
YES, after ten years in this game, it’s true. I am retiring.
I would like to thank my family for all their love and support. To my parents, all the early mornings and late nights. All the road trips to different camps, and all the games you would come to support me, I appreciate it. Thank you, and I love you.
I’d like to thank Jeffrey Lurie and the Lurie family, Howie Roseman, and Doug Pederson. You were there for my brightest days and darkest ones. You were always in my corner, and we’ll be family forever. Thank you for allowing me the honor of being an Eagle.
These past six years, I wouldn’t trade for the world. I attacked my rehab with the intensity and passion I always do, but making it back just wasn’t in the cards. It didn’t end the way I would have liked it, but to me it’s never about the ending. It’s about the journey.
I was fortunate enough to go on this journey with a group of brothers, not teammates but family. It was an honor to play with Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Darren Sproles, Jordan Matthews, Malcolm Jenkins, Fletcher Cox, Rodney McLeod, Chris Long, Vinny Curry, Michael Bennett, Carson Wentz, Isaac Seumalo, Stefen Wisniewski, Brent Celek, Torrey Smith, Darius Slay, Zach Ertz, Vinny Curry, Nick Foles, Connor Barwin, Bennie Logan, Marcus Smith, Kenjon Barner, Ryan Mathews, Derek Barnett, T.J. Edwards, Nate Herbig, Javon Hargrave, Jalen Hurts, Jalen Reagor, and Josh Sweat. There are a lot of other teammates, too, but didn’t want this to take all day. Thanks, it was an honor.
I would like to thank coaches Frank Reich, Duce Staley, Eugene Chung, Greg Lewis, Joe D’Orazio, John DeFilippo, Jim Schwartz, Chris Wilson, Big Phil Daniels, Cory Undlin, Mike Groh, Justin Peelle, Joe Pannunzio and Dave Fipp. Thank you for everything.
I’d also like to thank the current staff as well because you have been excellent. Nick Sirianni you are a hell of a coach, a hell of a person, and I wish you nothing but continued success. You have built great roots.
Thank you to Shane Steichen, Jonathan Gannon, Michael Clay, Jemal Singleton, Kevin Patullo, Brian Johnson, Jason Michael, Nick Rallis, Tracy Rocker, Jeremiah Washburn, and Dennard Wilson. Tremendous coaches, teachers, and people, thank you.
Last, but certainly not least, Jeffrey Stoutland. Where do I start? I feel it’s rare to have a coach that is impactful on the field as off. You took me from being a good player to being the best at my position. Even while I was there, you pushed me continuously to strive for more because hungry dogs run faster and always will. Just as you helped me on the field, you helped me off through all my struggles and little moments. I could always count on a phone call from you, the topic never being about football, but just life and how you can help. You’re more than a coach and have been for a while. You are family and always will be. Anything, anytime, anywhere never hesitate to reach out. I got you.
I’d also like to thank some people behind the scenes. Thanks, Big Dom for everything. You already know “anything, anytime, anywhere,” applies to you too, brother. Sincerely, thank you. Thank you to Jon Ferrari, as well. Thank you to Troy for all you do. Thank you Pee Wee, Keisha, Tim, and all the cafeteria staff for all you do. Thank you, Greg Delimitros, Craig, Nick, Mario, Ed, Pete and a ton of equipment staff. Thank you, Pat Dolan, Pat McDowell, Mike Minnis, Ben, Keith, and Josh of the weight room staff. Thank you, Steve, Jerome, Monty, Joe, Shireen, Chris Peduzzi, Shanice, Mark, Micah, Tommy, and Tre of the training staff. I wouldn’t have made it back in record time through all these injuries without y’all.
Lastly, to the city and the fans, I was extremely fortunate to help bring a championship to the city and have multiple Pro Bowl appearances, but none greater than having the honor of being an Eagle and putting the midnight green on and playing in front of the greatest fans in the world.
The city of brotherly love is just that, love. Since day one, you have had my back and supported me through my ups and downs by sending love and support through my personal struggles. Y’all will always be family to me. I couldn’t imagine finishing my career anywhere else. I hope that in return I did my best to represent the city through my play and how I played.
Although I may no longer play, I’ll be an Eagle forever and will always bleed green. And if I can leave you with anything it would be this: “Defeat is never fatal. Victory is never final. It’s the courage that counts.” — Winston Churchill