Posts Tagged ‘Land Shark Stadium’

There are fans and THEN there is this guy Mr U Head!

There are fans and THEN there is this guy Mr U Head!

This was my third ever college football game, having seen California play Air Force in 2002 and the University of Central Florida v University of Texas El Paso.

This was however by a country mile the biggest, most historic and most important game my wife and I have ever attended.

Having moved the kickoff from 1pm to 8pm to reach a national television audience, seeing Miami v Oklahoma was going to be a classic.

What is tailgating without giant inflatable mascost?

What is tailgating without giant inflatable mascost?

 Above all taligating is about eating , drinking and having fun.

Whilst we did not perform a traditional tailgate bar-b-q as we had a hire car and no propane (Hank Hill would have been most upset with me) we did have some beers and some giant pulled pork rolls.

Not that anyone wants to see any more pictures of me on this blog but I could not resist having a snap taken with the 2009 NCAA Division 1 Football trophy.  It's all about the bling here in Miami

Not that anyone wants to see any more pictures of me on this blog but I could not resist having a snap taken with the 2009 NCAA Division 1 Football trophy. It's all about the bling here in Miami

Nothing beats being with all the fans in the Florida sunshine
Nothing beats being with all the fans in the Florida sunshine

Having the opportunity to go to Land Shark Stadium in Miami with my lovely wife to watch football games two days in a row was an unforgettable experience, firstly getting to see the University of Miami Hurricanes play the Oklahoma Sooners before seeing the Dolphins under 24 hours later.

We picked up the Dolphins tickets on the Friday before the game, and when we were there the Oklahoma Sooners truck, with what I imagine was all the players uniforms inside, was just departing the car park outside Land Shark Stadium’s main entrance.

The Sooners truck was dropping off pads and helmets in Miami

The Sooners truck was dropping off pads and helmets in Miami

The main shop at Land Shark Stadium was packed with merchandise for Dolphins and Hurricanes fans alike.
One of the more amusing gifts is below.
 
I swear I took a picture of cuddly Dolphins

I swear I took a picture of cuddly Dolphins

 
The shop was pretty impressive, not so sure about the day-glo chimps.
 
Being at the stadium when it was empty was a slighty weird experience but it was fun.
 
 
I was certainly bitten by the bug of Land Shark Stadium

I was certainly bitten by the bug of Land Shark Stadium

 
Rather oddly in the three visits my wife and I made to the stadium we did not drink a single Land Shark beer.
 
I did have one at a cool pizza place on Collins Avenue though, it was no Red Stripe though.
 
Mine's a Red Stripe please but I'm not in Jamaica

Mine's a Red Stripe please but I'm not in Jamaica

 
 

It’s official I have the best wife in the world. I’ll now explain why.

For our one week road trip to Miami, which was going to be heavily sports dominated, I thought I would look for a non-sporting event for us both to go to, so I visited the Miami American Airlines Arena website to see if there were any concerts.

It was a miracle, between a sandwich of Disney on Ice was a lone The Killers concert on the Saturday night at 8.00pm. Perfect I thought, my wife loves The Killers, all that ‘somebody told me you had a boyfriend that looked like a girlfriend that I had in February of last year’.

I did let my wife know that the Miami University v Oklahoma football game would be earlier that day at 1.00pm, but she did not mind, and despite my football excitement my wife told all her work mates she was seeing The Killers live in Miami – very cool.

It wasn’t until the night before we flew to Miami that I had an email from Ticketmaster saying that unfortunately the Miami U game had been moved from 1.00pm EST to 8.00pm EST because it was the nationally televised Saturday evening college game of the week.

Shit I thought. My wife however was that amazing that she sacrificed seeing The Killers to enable us to go and see Miami U v Oklahoma at Land Shark Stadium instead.

The worst part for my incredibly gracious wife was that the American Airlines Arena is situated right next to the carpark entrance to the Bayside area of Miami, the place you go to visit the Hardrock Cafe or catch a boat tour to see the likes of Vanilla Ice’s house or Will Smith’s luxury pad.

I think this is Will Smith's Miami pad - not bad eh!

I think this is Will Smith's Miami pad - not bad eh!

We did collect The Killers tickets as souvineers, but the look on my wife’s face as she played a Killers tune from her mobile phone standing outside the Arena was enough to make a grown man cry.

Categoric proof that my wife is in fact the best wife in the world

Categoric proof that my wife is in fact the best wife in the world

 

I have promised my wife free tickets to see The Killers when they next come to the UK, but I guess it will never quite sound as cool as saying ‘I saw The Killers in Miami’.

Dearest wife I am forever in your debt for this and I love you for the sacrifice you made.

Having not seen NFL football live since last October (New Orleans Saints v San Diego Chargers at Wembley Stadium) it was with an overwhelming feeling of enthusiasm and anticipation that I (and my lovely wife) settled into our seats in section 107 of the lower tier of Land Shark Stadium to see the Miami Dolphins play the Buffalo Bills.

With the Bills at 1-2 and the Dolphins at 0-3 AND with 2nd year QB Chad Henne making his first start ever in the NFL I did think this could be a rather ugly festival of field goals – ending something to the tune of 9-6.

Well after my wife shelled out for the tickets for my birthday I thought regardless of the score it would be an amazing experience, and after all the sun was shining and I was in Florida in October, not in the wet and cold West Midlands.

Out came the giant inflatable and the smoke - no this was not as seedy as it sounds

Out came the giant inflatable and the smoke - no this was not as seedy as it sounds

The game began with a short  pass from Bills QB Trent Edwards to Terrell ‘TO’ Owens,  one game too late, as he had his huge consecutive catch in a game streak snapped in Week 3.

That pretty much was the highlight of the first quarter, as a side from a Rian Lindell missed field goal it was a battle of field  position, as the two division rivals poked and  prodded each other but no-one managed to throw a proverbial connecting punch.

Rookie CB Vontae Davis scored the first td on an INT return

Rookie CB Vontae Davis scored the first td on an INT return

Thankfully the  second quarter saw some early fireworks, and following  an opening  field goal for the Dolphins Trent Edwards did what he does best and threw an interception.

Rookie Miami CB Vontae Davis took the pick to da house and in the blink of an eye the Dolphins were 10-0 up and the home crowd were rocking.

The Dolphins exuded confidence in the second quarter

The Dolphins exuded confidence in the second quarter

It sure was fun seeing the 2008 overall #1 pick in the draft Jake Long #77 (far left of my picture above).

I always take time to follow individual players in games as well as following the ball. Seeing some of the key matchups in the flesh is terrific fun, and watching Jake block anyone who gets near him proves that not every team’s superstar is a QB or a gobby WR.

Ronnie Brown scores his first TD of the day ........just !

Ronnie Brown scores his first TD of the day ........just !

The Bills did pull back with a fg in the second but the Dolphins running game was beginning to dominate and Ronnie Brown went in from a yard out to establish a 14 point lead.Miami again had the lions share of possession with over ten minutes of ball control in the second quarter.

Halftime – Dolphins 17-03 Bills. 

During week 4 players and coaches wore pink items to promote breast cancer awareness  the NFL supported  a campaign to  get women to have breast cancer screenings.

If you look closely at my pictures you will see the players gloves, shoes and sweat bands feature the colour pink.In this world of commercial greed this was one advertising campaign that had universal approval.

The cheerleaders also wore pink to raise awareness of the  screening programme, and the giant HD screens promoted the initiative too.The screens also had some fun videos from the likes of Fegie from the Black Eyed Peas telling the fans to ‘Fin up’ and give it some boom boom pow.

With Fred Jackson continuing to get most of the snaps at running back in the second half the Bills tried to claw back some of the deficit but Trent Edwards continued to stink as he threw three interceptions in the game and was sacked more than cheetos on a Walmart.

Not that I was lookingat them but the cheerleaders wore pink too

Not that I was looking at them but the cheerleaders wore pink too.

The stadium was not quite full but considering the two teams had combined for one win between them in three weeks it was still a very good crowd of over 65,000.

 

Ronnie Brown scored late to seal the win

Ronnie Brown scored late to seal the win

This game was fun to watch and is the highest amount of points I have seen scored in an NFL game in USA that I have had the honour of attending.

The Dolphins looked far far better than their 1-3 record.
Final score Miami Dolphins 38-10  Buffalo Bills.