I can't say I have an all-time "favorite Eagle," but one of my first favorite football players was Andre Waters. I was born in 1982 and growing up I fell in love with the Eagles defensive players such as Reggie White, Clyde Simmons, Jerome Brown, Wes Hopkins, Seth Joyner, Eric Allen and Andre Waters. Sadly, three of these players have now passed away.
I remember the end of the Buddy Ryan era, and it wasn't just the end of an era in Philadelphia--it was the end of the era in the NFL. In the time just before free-agency, players played as if their livelihood was on the line--because it was. If any player exemplified this give-it-all attitude, it was Andre Waters. He earned the nickname "Dirty Waters" but that is because he did whatever it took to help the Eagles win. When I was younger I loved watching him on the football field. He never took a play off and was involved in every play. He never had the talent of a Brian Dawkins, but, as heretical as it sounds, he had even more heart. If someone from another planet asked me to describe Eagles football, I would say two word: "Andre Waters." If you remember those times, you know you could not help but fall in love with his style of play.
I was young when Jerome Brown died; it hit me, but I didn't understand the ramifications. When Reggie died, I was devastated but I knew the legacy he had left. Waters' death is the most devastating to me. I have no idea what led him to apparently take his own life, but heart goes out to his family and to anyone who was touched by his life on and off the football field. The Eagles have lost an outstanding alumnus and the city of Philadelphia has lost an icon.