Posts Tagged ‘Miami’

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

 
 
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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.
My news pal J-Lo and majority Dolphins owner Stephen Ross

My news pal J-Lo and majority Dolphins owner Stephen Ross

There my wife and I were, enjoying an ironic Bud Light outside Landshark Stadium in Miami, chilling out before the NFL game Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills game (October 4 2009).

I spotted an orange carpet area leading into Landshark Stadium and whilst it was only populated by burly security guards and wimpy looking photographers I had a feeling that someone famous would walk down the day-glo carpet on their way to the big game.

My wife said that maybe some old players would go by, but none of the A-list people who are associated with the new ‘all-star’ Dolphins ownership.

Rather optimistically I stood near to the door, leaning on the metal barrier, for about 20 minutes. I just had a feeling I guess. I asked other fans who were loitering if they were expecting anyone, and no-one actually knew why they were there either.

Then suddenly like an orange hurricane the hand held mics began to crackle into action, the snappers started adjusting their lenses, and a swarm of people appeared around both sides of the barrier.

Being 6 ft 3 I had a great view, and there she was, yes I was standing about 2 metres away from Jenny from the Block, the Maid from Manhattan, none other than Jennifer Lopez or as the paparazzi call her J-Lo.

Wearing a flowing orange dress (maybe Dolphin orange) J-Lo strolled down the carpet with her weasel like husband Mark Anthony (who looked ill). J-Lo was joined by the Dolphins billionaire majority owner Stephen Ross to do an interview with some make-up caked airhead.

Standing so close to J-Lo is kinda weird, and whilst I had no plans to try and cause any trouble I found it remarkable how easy it would have been for a crazed person to attack J-Lo and her stoat faced hubby.

Now I have seen some pretty famous people in my time, and even interviewed some NFL players past and present, but seeing J-Lo is quite a memorable moment.

Still wont want me to buy any of her films or listen to any of her tunes.