Voice Of The Fan

What was the first Dolphins game you attended in person?

Bob Forman, Finatics.com Season One

Game One. I was 10 years old. We were playing the Oakland Raiders, who we would see again in the Orange Bowl a year and a half later in Super Bowl II. I remember two things vividly. First, everything was new and exciting. It didn’t matter who was on the team, we were just happy that the NFL was in Florida. My dad bought me a program with players names and photos, I thought it strange that the coach and quarterback had the same name. And then there was Wahoo McDaniel, crazy linebacker and the coolest name in football at that time. The program said he used to wrestle. Tickets were cheap, something like 4 or 5 bucks, seriously. Second, the opening kickoff when Joe Auer ran 95 yards for a touchdown. We all just looked at each other and said “What just happened?” The rest of the game was a blur, and we lost of course, but we scored first. They could never take that away from us. We scored first.

Lisa Johnson, OurTurf Football

My first game I attended was the 1985 Monday night game against the Chicago Bears with my mom. That game is where I learned what being a Dolphins fans and the history of the franchise was truly about. To this day, I have rarely missed a game.

Michelle Kramers, Dolfans NYC

My first Dolphins game was on October 2nd, 1988 at Joe Robbie Stadium – Minnesota at Miami. I was 10 years old. My Dad and I had been watching the games on TV, but he decided it was time to go in person. From the minute I set foot in the stadium, I was hooked. The crowd, the field, the excitement of the game. Being there to see Dan Marino take the field was such a cool moment! I spent the entire game on the edge of my seat. I knew there was nothing better than to be there, amongst the other fans, cheering on our team. Miami won the game 24-7. The victory made it a perfect day. It was a 4 p.m. game, so it was dark when we were leaving. I had on a blue rain jacket, but in the dark it could have been mistaken for purple. As we were walking to the car, a man behind me shouted, “Hey! Is that a Vikings jacket? Throw that away!!” I turned around and shouted right back, “No way! We’re Dolphins fans!!” He smiled and gave me a high five. It was the first of many I would receive at the stadium, cheering on the Phins with my fellow fans.

Carl Leone, Bitchin’ Dave’s

My first Dolphin game I attended was at Shea Stadium on Nov. 22, 1981 with my best friend, Chooch, setting us up for sneaking into Shea with no seats. His college roommate’s uncle worked the turnstiles at Shea and we slid him a folded lengthwise $5 bill and he let us through. The field was laid out down the 3rd baseline and we would walk along the main walkway in between the first 25 rows and the next 20 rows and follow the ball up and down the field. A couple ushers were anal but we would skip over their sections and duck into the beginnings of the ramps to the concession areas to watch the game with a perfect angle. It was a late start and we had a one-game lead on the Jets at 7-3-1 to 6-4-1. We fell behind early on two Pat Leahy field goals. Then in the second quarter, Tony Nathan ran one in, Larry Gordon tackled Jets quarterback Richard Todd for a safety and Uwe von Schamann booted a 46 yarder before the half to give us a 12-6 lead. After a scoreless third, Pat Leahy booted a 45 yarder in the fourth and then we started a long drive with about 9 minutes left. I remember that we ran the ball over and over for 4-5 yards a clip off the left side of our line down to the Jets 6-yard line but we had to settle for another FG and a six-point lead with just over 2 minutes left. The Jets drove the ball and Todd hit WR Jerome Barkum with an 11-yard TD with 28 seconds left and we fell into second place. My best friend teased me all the way home with his patented “What happened???”

Scott Martin, DolFan-UK

The first Dolphins game I attended in person was in 1999 at home to the Colts, with the two teams locked in a battle at the top of the AFC East. It was the only time I saw Marino play, but the Colts won 37-34 with a last gasp field goal.

Brian Miller, PhinPhanatic.com

The first game I ever attended was in 1973. It was the first game after the 1972 Perfect Season. I was four. The first game I remember attending was in Houston with a guy that worked in the Coast Guard with my dad. He took me to the see the Dolphins play the Oilers in 1981. It was the first-year Bob Brudzinski played for the Dolphins and he was my favorite as he had gone to the same high-school as my parents where I spent my summers in Fremont, Oh. The Dolphins won 16-10 and improved to 4-0 on the season. As I cheered on my Dolphins I had fans of the Oilers throwing beer and cokes at me along with words I had never heard before. We got the win so it was a great, great day!

Paul L Picken Jr., On The FinSide

While I grew up in Connecticut as a massive Dolphins fan, I was extremely lucky that my dad split season tickets up in the old Foxboro stadium primarily so we could go to the Dolphins game up here every year. The first game that I attended, I was five years old and it was 1984, when the Dolphins just absolutely smacked the Patriots around, 28-7. The Dolphins ended up with four interceptions, including one for a 60-yard touchdown and Marino tossed to touchdowns in the win. I was hooked.

Chris Shashaty, Phins.com

It was Nov. 19, 1972: Dolphins 28, Jets 24. My father took me to my first Dolphins game against the N.Y. Jets during the Undefeated Season. I remember that we parked our car in someone’s yard and walked a few blocks to the Orange Bowl, which seemed to me the grandest place I’d ever been to. I didn’t understand the game of football very well but I knew who Bob Griese, Larry Csonka, Don Shula and Joe Namath were. Zonk was my dad’s favorite Dolphin. I recall that he and Mercury Morris played well. Two plays I distinctly remember: the first was safety Dick Anderson intercepting Namath early on. The second was just after halftime when “old man” Morrall scrambled for a long TD, which shocked my dad and just about everyone else. Best of all, the Dolphins won.

Mike Oliva, DolphinsTalk.com

The first Dolphins game I ever attended in person was in October 1993 when the Dolphins visited the Cleveland Browns. Yes, it’s the game where Dan Marino tore his Achilles tendon and got injured. Yet Miami still found a way to come back and win with Scott Mitchell playing a great game in the second half. It was a chance to see the Dolphins play in an old iconic stadium in Cleveland and being there watching the Dolphins win was great.

Nate “Igor” Smith: DolFans NYC

My dad took me to Miami for my 16th birthday to see the Dolphins take on the Falcons in December 1995. It was an amazing trip and a great bonding moment. We happened to be sitting right in front of a drunk Falcons fan who thought it was a good idea to scream at an (almost) 16-year-old kid the whole game. In the beginning of the fourth quarter, Jeff George threw another touchdown pass and it seemed as if the game was over. But that’s when Marino woke up and took the Dolphins down the field for two unanswered touchdown drives, connecting with Irving Fryar with just seconds left to win the game. As we celebrated, I turned around to the Falcons fan who had been berating me all game only to see that he had passed out. When we left our seats, he was still laying there asleep in his chair. I only wish I could have been there to see his face when he found out his team had just been “Marino-ed.”

Michael Brothers, sheddawgs.com

The first Dolphins game I attended was in 1998 in Foxboro. We booked our tickets through Dolphins Travel from an advertisement I saw in Dolphin Digest. Although the Dolphins lost the game, it was an incredible experience as we stayed at the same hotel as the Dolphins and got to meet and talk with several of the players and media, including the one and only Jim “Mad Dog” Mandich. Seeing Dan Marino and Jimmy Johnson walking through the hotel was very cool!

Brian Catanzaro, FinNation

Panthers vs. Dolphins in 2005. Ronnie Brown broke a 65-yard run in his third NFL game and FS Lance Schulters picked off Jake Delhomme during a 24-24 tie to give the Dolphins a 27-24 win.