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Keeler: Brian Dawkins dishes on Von Miller, Philly vs. Denver and where Broncos go from here. “When someone leaves, the opportunity opens up for somebody to step up.”

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Keeler: Brian Dawkins dishes on Von Miller, Philly vs. Denver and where Broncos go from here. “When someone leaves, the opportunity opens up for somebody to step up.”

When Von Miller cried, Brian Dawkins knew the taste of those tears. Rare is the NFL legend who gets to write his final chapter. Man plans. God laughs.

“Oh, they’re going to miss him,” Dawkins, the NFL Hall of Famer and former Broncos and Philadelphia safety, said of seeing the Vonster in Rams gold.

“But it’s going to be imperative for them to move on, and focus on what they need to do to have success without him. It’s going to be tough. Guys have to step up. When someone leaves, the opportunity opens up for somebody to step up into that spot.”

The Eagles are coming to Mile High on Sunday for the first time since 2013, which makes Week 10 a more personal one for Dawkins, a.k.a. “Weapon X,” the enforcer who did 13 years of damage in the city of Brotherly Love before spending his final three seasons with the Broncos.

“To me, the Broncos know more of who they are a little bit more than the Eagles do,” Dawkins said of Sunday’s matchup at Empower Field. “At this point, you honestly don’t know what you’re going to get with the Eagles every week. They are literally the epitome of a team growing up, and you literally just don’t know what you’re going to get every week.

“Are the coaches going to run the ball? Are they not going to run the ball? Are they going to blitz? Are they not going to blitz? You don’t know what you’re going to get from that team.”

And ain’t it funny how time flies? It’s been 10 years since Dawkins’ final season in the Broncos secondary, a 2011 season marked by Tebow Mania, the arrival of coach John Fox, and one of the strangest AFC West titles — a division crowned with an 8-8 record and clinched by tiebreakers — in Denver lore.

“I’m not someone that’s jovial after a loss,” said Dawkins, now 48 and whose new biography, “Blessed By The Best: My Journey to Canton And Beyond,” reflects the hard-hitting defender’s road to the NFL, his battles with depression, his faith, and his spiritual bedrock through good times and bad.

“When you’re a competitor, you hate to lose, right? So my way of handling it was to be quiet, be respectful of other guys who were maybe feeling worse than I (was). That wasn’t necessarily the atmosphere (with the Broncos), I will say it like that. It was different.”

The new tome, like his career, is more Eagles-centric. But Dawkins’ reach continues to be felt here, in Philly and in his hometown of Jacksonville, Fla., through his Impact Foundation, which is slated to receive half of the book’s net proceeds.

“I don’t want to criticize (Denver),” he laughed. “The (fans here) are just different, I guess. There’s a dark side (in Philly). I don’t know how to say it. Both fan bases are extremely intelligent when it comes to football. But it’s that dark side with (the Eagles fans), that’s what I was used to.”

Dawkins was named to the Pro Bowl in two of his three seasons in Broncos orange, including 2011. One of the other bright lights on that Denver defense was a rookie outside linebacker out of Texas A&M, a first-round pick with a high motor and an infectious personality.

“The success he’s had doesn’t surprise me from what I saw of Von’s rookie year,” Dawkins said of the Broncos icon, who was traded to the Rams last week for two 2022 draft picks. “I’m not the only one that saw that in him.”

He also feels Miller’s pain right now. Despite more than a decade of service, Dawkins felt disrespected and unwanted by Eagles management after the 2008 season, eventually agreeing to a five-year deal with the Broncos worth $17 million, $7.2 million guaranteed.

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‘Scream’ scares off ‘Spider-Man’ with $30.6M debut

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‘Scream’ scares off ‘Spider-Man’ with $30.6M debut

NEW YORK — After a month at no. 1, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” has finally been overtaken at the box office. Paramount Pictures’ “Scream” reboot debuted with $30.6 million in ticket sales over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.

“Scream,” a self-described “requel” that is both the fifth film in the franchise and a reboot introducing a new, younger cast, led all releases over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. Paramount forecasts that it will total $35 million including Monday’s grosses. “Scream,” which cost about $24 million to make, added another $18 million in 50 international markets.

That made for a solid revival for the self-aware slasher franchise.

Rights to the “Scream” films, once a reliable cash cow for Harvey and Bob Weinstein’s Miramax Films, were acquired by Spyglass Media Group, which produced the new film with Paramount. This “Scream,” helmed by Matt Bettinello-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, was the first not directed by Wes Craven, who died in 2015. It features original “Scream” cast members Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette alongside new additions Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega and Jack Quaid.

“All of our traditional measures were indicating a solid opening, but as I kept telling people: We’re still in this thing and it’s very difficult to determine what will actually happen,” said Chris Aronson, distribution chief for Paramount. “Now we’re open, people have seen the movie and we’re off and running. Hopefully this becomes another building block toward building the business back and getting it back to some semblance of normalcy.”

Meanwhile, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” slipped to second place but continued to rise in the record books.

“No Way Home” grossed $20.8 million in its fifth weekend of release. Sony Pictures predicts that with another $5.2 million on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, “No Way Home” will reach a domestic cumulative total of $703.9 million Monday, edging “Black Panther” and moving into fourth place all-time.

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Dolphins’ first-round pick pushed further back by 49ers’ win over Cowboys

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Dolphins’ first-round pick pushed further back by 49ers’ win over Cowboys

The Miami Dolphins didn’t play a wild-card round playoff game, but they still found a way to lose over the weekend.

The Dolphins’ first-round draft pick took another blow with the San Francisco 49ers’ upset win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday evening.

Now, Miami will be selecting No. 25, at best, in the draft’s first round after the 49ers advanced to the divisional round of the postseason.

San Francisco now plays at the NFC’s top-seeded Green Bay Packers. With another upset, the pick that goes to the Dolphins falls to 29. A 49ers loss Sunday would’ve likely given Miami the 22nd pick.

The Dolphins own the 49ers’ selection while the Philadelphia Eagles have Miami’s pick due to the two trades the Dolphins pulled off with the NFC teams last offseason ahead of the 2021 NFL draft. Miami traded back to No. 12 with San Francisco, sending the No. 3 pick, which previously belonged to the Houston Texans, to the 49ers. A move up from 12 to 6, where wide receiver Jaylen Waddle was selected, followed and sent the Dolphins’ 2022 first-rounder to Philadelphia.

In the movement, the Dolphins are now selecting at least 10 spots lower than they would be had they traded the 49ers’ pick to the Eagles instead of their own. The Miami selection going to Philadelphia in the upcoming draft is No. 15. The Dolphins also got a 2023 first-round pick from the 49ers in the deal.

San Francisco offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel, who is one of the Dolphins’ seven candidates being interviewed for their head coaching vacancy, could theoretically play a role in negatively affecting his first draft pick as Miami head coach should he be the choice for the job.

The Dolphins appear more likely than they once were to keep their first-round pick after the Saturday news that the franchise plans to continue working with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

The NFL draft is ordered by first having the 18 non-playoff teams pick in reverse order of record, with lower strength of schedule serving as a tiebreaker. Picks 19-24 are then reserved for the wild-card round losers in reverse order of regular-season record. Picks 25-28 go to divisional round losers and so on until the Super Bowl champion picks 32nd.

Bears interested in Dolphins exec

The Chicago Bears are already seeking interviews with ex-Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland and ex-Dolphins coach Brian Flores for their two vacancies in the respective roles.

Now, they have requested permission to interview current Miami executive Reggie McKenzie for the general manager job, according to The MMQB.

McKenzie has been with the Dolphins as senior personnel executive since 2019 after spending the previous seven seasons (2012-18) as the Oakland Raiders’ general manager. In 2016, McKenzie was named the NFL’s Executive of the Year by Sporting News, The MMQB and the PFWA.

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State Fair reports 2021 operating loss, raises admission rates for 2022

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State Fair reports 2021 operating loss, raises admission rates for 2022

Although Minnesotans had to go without their beloved State Fair in 2020, it returned despite numerous pandemic-related obstacles in 2021 to become one of the best-attended North American events of the year, according to Fair officials.

In spite of the comeback, the Fair reported an operating loss of $1.3 million last year, general manager Jerry Hammer told the governing body of the Great Minnesota Get-Together on Sunday. When the Fair was canceled in 2020, the loss was $16.5 million, he said.

The Minnesota State Agricultural Society, which oversees the state’s end-of-summer ritual, held its the 163rd annual meeting in Bloomington over the weekend.

The 2022 State Fair will take place between Aug. 25 and Sept. 5. The new admission prices will be $17 for those 13-64 years old; people 5-12 and 65 and older will pay $15. Those under 4 are admitted for free. The increased price begins Feb. 1. Discount tickets will be on sale for $13 for all ages until Jan. 31 at mnstatefair.org/tickets.

Despite the operating loss, the 2021 Fair drew 1.3 million attendees, Hammer said, adding that pulling off the fair in 2021 amid the ongoing pandemic was “miraculous.”

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