When I think of my beloved Miami Dolphins, so many emotions come to mind.
These last 20 years of Dolphins football could easily fill a 1:00 P.M. prime time slot on a major network as a Soap Opera for all viewers. Not just for the stay at home moms and dads, but a show with so many plot twists and day time Emmy nominations that it would draw the old, the new, the young, the restless and even the bold and beautiful.
Here are my favorite and least favorite live game experiences as a long time Dolphins fan.
As The World Turns
And even with our lives seemingly upside down and inside out with all the craziness in the world today, we have to somehow, like all other sports fans, reflect on our favorite teams and the memories they’ve helped us prosper. With the help of the mind’s eye, travel to the happy places we once knew with our beloved sports franchises.
A general hospital is literally where I thought I’d be after this heartbreaking loss to the Colts on November 2, 2003. With victory in our sights, 2:50 left in the fourth quarter, down by six and on the 20-yard line, I witnessed a beautiful interception off a Peyton Manning pass intended for the great Marvin Harrison by Miami’s Terrell Buckley at the Indy 16-yard line. Buckley, who played six seasons with the Dolphins, restored the hope for Miami fans who surely thought the game was all but over.
I can’t begin to tell you the excitement that streamed through the veins of the Dolphins faithful. The home crowd roaring, sensing another victory in an early 5-2 season. Returned for one yard to the Colts 15 yard line, Miami had plenty of time to move the ball 15 yards for a clock draining touchdown. After all, we had Ricky Williams in the backfield. Unfortunately, we also had Brian Griese at quarterback as well. To make matters worse, Indianapolis had Dwight Freeny. Two plays after a two-yard run by Williams to set up a 2nd and 8 at the Colts 13 yard line, Freeny sacked Griese and forced a fumble that was recovered by Raheem Brock at the Indy 23. Miami, who had called their third and final time out just before the Buckley interception, watched helplessly as Manning kneeled the ball 3 times and ended the game, along with my hopes and dreams.
One Life To Live
I need as many Dolphin wins as I can get. Exactly that was provided on September 16, 2012. At Sun Life Stadium against the Oakland Raiders, which is a nine-hour drive for this middle Georgia Dolphin fan. It was also my wife’s first game. Honestly, it couldn’t have played out any more perfect.
Following a 30-10 loss to the Houston Texans in Week 1 of the 2012 NFL season, in which Ryan Tannehill threw three interceptions in his first career start, needed a fast and strong opening drive to bounce back. Scoring his first NFL touchdown on a two-yard scamper, he did just that, as the Dolphins opened up the first quarter with a 7-0 lead. The First half ended with the Raiders up 10-7.
Sunset Beach is what Dolphin fans enjoyed as the second half got underway. The third and fourth quarter was all Miami. Firing on all cylinders, Miami hit the ground running… literally! Stealing the show, running back Reggie Bush and the Miami Dolphin ground game took the pressure off of their young rookie signal-caller. 172 of Miamis 263 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns came from Bush. Lamar Miller, who added 65 yards on 10 carries, had one of the Dolphins four ground scores in the 35-13 drubbing of the Raiders. Late in the game, The Italian Stallion, also known as Anthony Fasano, collected a 14-yard reception to give Tannehill his first career touchdown pass.
I can still see my wife’s face as Reggie Bush launched the ball into the stands after a bruising TD run. I was glad to have the winning feeling back.
Tua Tagovailoa is who Miami fans hope will capture more winning memories within the coming years. The strong arm quarterback, along with a promising second-year head coach in Brian Flores, and the rest of the 2020 rookie class, have hopes high again in Dolphin Country.
Who knows, 10 years from now I could be writing about all new exciting memories that could very well include those day time Soap Opera Emmy awards translating into Super Bowl trophies. I hope to celebrate them with you, my fellow Dolphins, my wife, and all my children.