Just want to get this up quickly before the game and then I will come back and update with some more info. Just wanted everyone to know we are having a party next Saturday at Slattery’s Midtown Pub (8 East 36th St in Manhattan) from 4-7pm the night before the #MetLifeTakeover! We will have some really serious raffle prizes, tons of Dolfans NYC merch for sale and a live performance from Solo D. DJ Tropic will be DJing all evening as well and we should have some cool surprises in store.
It’s a great chance to meet fellow Dolfans before the game. Last year’s pre-party was a blast and Jay Fiedler showed up and signed some autographs. Don’t miss it!
Lastly, we are doing a toy drive so bring an unwrapped toy and we will give you two free drink tickets for the #MetLifeTakeover tailgate thanks to Pabst Blue Ribbon!
This is it! We are coming down to the wire. We have over 700 tickets sold already and another 100 that have told us they are going to pay soon so get your money in now!
On the 23rd we are going to stop ticket sales for the #MetLifeTakeover. After that date Michelle is going to be dealing with family stuff for Thanksgiving and then traveling up to NYC and won’t have time to deal with distributing tickets, so if you want to join us you only have a few more days to get your money in.
It’s also time to get your money in for the tailgate. Same deadline as the tickets. $25 includes a hot dog, a burger, pasta salad, chips, two beers care of Pabst Blue Ribbon and bottled water care of AquaHydrate. Plus Sailor Jerry is providing rum for hot cider. We did it last year and that went over pretty well given how cold and rainy it was. Hopefully the weather will be better this year. Email email@example.com to get your tailgate ticket.
There is also still an option to take a bus to the game from our bar Slattery’s Midtown Pub but we need to get final numbers in by noon on the 23rd so that is the absolute deadline to get your money in for that.
But if you already have your ticket and you just need a tailgate ticket email firstname.lastname@example.org immediately!
Lastly, remember we are going to have a party the night before the game at Slattery’s so put that on your calendar, especially if you are coming from out of town. No details yet, but we should have them soon!
The line snaked around the charcoal Hugo Boss mannequins, extended past the neatly-arranged display of striped Lacoste polo shirts and tucked between the Calvin Klein and Michael Kors autumn apparel collections.
As cardboard posters bearing Dan Marino’s likeness and career accomplishments padded a makeshift stage on the second floor of Macy’s in the Dadeland Mall, one night before Halloween, hundreds of shoppers dressed in their favorite Miami Dolphins throwbacks and dug out beloved No. 13 memorabilia in hopes of snagging a priceless memory with the greatest player in team history.
Nearly an hour before the meet-and-greet was scheduled to start, a DJ began blasting remixed versions of familiar ‘Jock Jams’ through the department store speakers – Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” was a particular crowd-pleaser – while a fellow employee in an eggplant suit jacket tried to hype anxious fans by rattling off Marino’s impressive highlights.
None of the excitement appeared to faze our 20-month-old toddler, Charlie, who – with his bedtime on the horizon – began acting like a cranky, restless 20-month-old toddler, sprinting in the opposite direction, intentionally grounding crackers and spiking cubes of cheese in protest rather than celebration.
Considering we’d already waited in one line to make a qualifying purchase, followed by another to secure a color-coded wristband that corresponded with our place in the autograph queue, it was hard to blame him. Luckily, with most Macy’s clerks focused on instructing customers and curious onlookers, an unmanned cash register served as a welcome distraction, as Charlie pushed buttons, giggled at the cacophonous beeps and error messages, and quickly discovered how to print blank paper receipts.
Although Marino arrived a half-hour late, to his credit, the Hall of Famer – decked in a slim-fitting black suit and matching tie – made sure to shake each fan’s hand and personalize autographs, listening intently to variations of similar anecdotes he’d undoubtedly heard for decades.
Charlie could barely keep his head up and eyes open by the time it was our turn to meet his our Dolphins hero, gazing silently as an event staffer handed us a trio of black, Hugo Boss embossed footballs and borrowed my iPhone to snap nearly two dozen photos.
After we shared a few kind words with the former NFL MVP – informing him of DolfansNYC’s growth and proud commitment to charitable endeavors – a smiling, nodding Marino high-fived Charlie and gently patted him on the head, penning ‘Go Deep’ above his signature with a silver sharpie.
Charlie may be too young to realize the significance of that moment, but one day, he’ll understand not only the meaning of the inscription, but the sentimental value of joining his parents and grandfather in a snapshot of three generations of Dolphins fans alongside their football idol.
And Dan, when that time comes, he’ll be sure to take you up on your offer.
Hey guys! It’s not too late to sign up for the #MetLifeTakeover! I just wanted to post the info again so that people would see it right when they went to our site. We have over 600 people who have paid for tickets already! Should be an amazing time when the Dolphins come up to play the Jets!
We are also going to be doing a big tailgate and tickets for that will go on sale very soon. It will be $25 for food, water and a booze thanks to PBR, Sailor Jerry and Aqua Hydrate water. But more on that soon.
We are also going to be having a party the night before at our bar Slattery’s Midtown Pub, but more on that later as well. We are behind on everything because of Michelle’s move but don’t worry, we are on top of everything. See you guys soon.
Sign up here and get your money in as soon as Michelle emails you. Thanks & Phins up!
Last weekend we headed down for Miami for a convergence of two events. First we had the annual Web Weekend which is a conference of people who run Miami Dolphins web sites that has been hosted by the Dolphins for the last 12 years. Michelle and I became friends there so the birth of Dolfans NYC came out of that event. The second event is the Dolphins Fan Club Weekend which is a gathering of fan clubs from around the country for a home game. Unfortunately since we are part of both weekends we can’t go to all the events but we had a great time anyway. Oh and the game was pretty good too…
Let’s see if I can give you guys a quick rundown of the event.
On Friday we went to the team training facility and got to listen to a bunch of people talk and we did a little Q&A with everyone. The highlight was of course Coach Campbell but we also got to talk to Matt Darr, Rishard Matthews and Mike Tannenbaum which was pretty awesome. Darr might have been the most interesting speaker actually because he talked a lot about what it’s like being an undrafted free agent with almost no hope of making the team, but it was all pretty great. Fortunately our resident journalist, Alex Kramers, wrote up the Campbell talk and he got a few moments to himself with Rishard Matthews!
Web Weekend on Saturday always starts with a community service event with the Dolphins “Special Teams”. This particular Saturday we helped Feeding South Florida pack up expired but still good food to give to families in need. And by “we” I mean everyone else because I slept 90 minutes the night before and was dead to the world. Luckily we made a $250 donation Feeding SF so I feel a bit less guilty.
Saturday afternoon was our chance to tour the practice faculties, check out the Nick Saban Memorial Bubble, and eat in the team cafeteria. After that we had the Miami Dolphins Webbie Awards that are given out by the team and voted on by other Miami Dolphins sites. For the third or fourth year in a row we won the Eddie Jones award for community service which is what we strive for. So I want to thank everyone who has helped us raise money for charity ever year. Speaking of which we donated $5000 to the Miami Dolphins Foundation which was a great thing to be able to do. Thanks again! (Oh we also won the Webbie for best use of social networking which I got to keep cause I run all that stuff! Woo!)
Between Webbies we got to talk to some more people including CEO Tom Garfinkel (who is always incredibly interesting to talk to) and Dolphins legend Tony Nathan who has a movie in theaters now about his life! I cannot wait to see Woodlawn now that I know it’s about him. Tony was wearing an Alabama hat so we had to give him a Dolphins NYC hat and he actually wore it to the Dolphins game the next day when has an honorary captain! Amazing! The webbies ended with a media roundtable where we got to ask of Dolphins journalists a bunch of questions. The roundtable featured Adam Beasley, Andrew Abramson, Andy Cohen, Alain Poupart and Dolphins great Kim Bokamper. Afterwards we gave Kim a Dolfans NYC shirt which makes up for the time that he let me take home a menu from his restaurant… speaking of…
After the webbies we went over to Bokamper’s to meet up with the Fan Club Weekend crew. We had about 25 people in Miami for the game so it was good to see Crazy Uncle Billy and the crew. We just missed Solo D’s performance but I think he is gonna play both the #MetLifeTakeover AND the Takeover preparty so I wasn’t too upset about it.
What can I even say about Sunday? It was the best first half I have ever seen in my life. There was even an insane storm during part of it but I just stayed in my seat and got wet. What a blast that was. The second half wasn’t quite as exciting but it was still a great time and honestly I thought I was going to pass out if I had to sing our fight song again!
So yeah, amazing weekend and it was awesome to see everyone and be in Miami. Big extra thanks to Scott Stone and Sergio Xiques for throwing the Web Weekend and Fan Club Weekend for us.
Oh and see you guys tonight at Slattery’s for Thursday night football!!!
Buried on the depth chart and limited to special teams for much of his first three NFL seasons, Dolphins wide receiver Rishard Matthews acknowledges he momentarily let his emotions get the best of him during the offseason, before a pivotal conversation with a team legend reversed his outlook.
“I talk to Rishard probably once a month … he’s my favorite receiver,” says recently-named Top 50 All-Time Dolphins player O.J. McDuffie. “The things he was going through off the field this year – about the trade talks, the wanting to get released thing – I just told him, ‘Stick to the grind. Continue doing what you’re doing and working hard.’ He came in to the OTAs, mini-camp and training camp with a whole new attitude, and he can’t be denied on the football field now.”
Matthews – who entered his fourth-year campaign as one of only two incumbent wideouts on Miami’s revamped receiving corps – cemented a starting role, separating himself from his peers by utilizing his size and strength as both a pass-catcher and blocker.
“I’m a bigger receiver, so I do more when it comes to coming out of breaks and I take pride in catching the ball over the middle,” he says. “If somebody tries to lay a big hit on me, it doesn’t really affect me. I try to make them feel it more than I feel it.”
Originally a seventh-round draft pick in 2012, Matthews showed flashes of his immense potential early in his career – hauling in 11 catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns in Week 10 of the 2013 season – setting the stage for his eye-opening start to 2015.
“I think people forget that this is my fourth year,” he says smiling. “I was here two years ago when (Brandon) Gibson went down and I contributed a lot. People are acting like it’s the first time I’ve made catches or done something. It’s good to still be here … (be) a part of this great organization, great people and great staff.”
The University of Nevada product has started all six games – already matching his total from his first 38 NFL appearances – and is on pace to not only shatter his career highs in nearly every statistical category, but rack up the fifth-most single-season receiving yards (1,168) and touchdowns (11) in franchise history.
DolfansNYC caught up with No. 18 to discuss his remarkable success, adjusting to fantasy football stardom, enjoying family life and more.
What do you feel have been the biggest keys to your breakout season?
“I would just say opportunity and consistency. I was just able to capitalize on my opportunity when DeVante (Parker) went down (with a foot injury). That’s really the reason I was able to make it hard for the coaches to put me back on the bench.
“When given the opportunity, I’ve taken advantage of it and just continued to be consistent from there. I think the coaches have just gained a lot of trust in me, and I’m going to try to continue to do that.”
Have you set out to accomplish any personal goals this season and beyond?
“I want to start every game, but (if not), play as much as I can and never miss a practice. I’ll just try to keep that (mindset) going in my career.”
How often do you hear fans say you’re on their fantasy teams?
“I’ve been hearing it a lot recently. The other day, I was actually walking in the mall and somebody said the same thing – ‘Oh, I’m starting you!’ It’s new, but I just say, ‘Don’t get mad if I don’t ever get you points.’”
Who were players you admired growing up and modeled your own game after?
“I wouldn’t say (he’s a player I) built my game around, but I really like Anquan Boldin. I think he’s kind of the same receiver as I am – I try to be like him, at least. He does a great job of breaking tackles and whatnot.”
What have been the biggest differences for you and the team since Dan Campbell took over as head coach?
“(He’s) just changing the culture up a little bit – just bringing the fun back to football. Not saying that it wasn’t fun before, but he’s just changing it up. We all understood what happened and with change, you have to make sure you get the attention of the team. He’s done a great job of that during practices and in the locker room.”
I’ve read he’s a big Metallica fan. Does he play any heavy metal music in the locker room?
(Laughs) “Is he? I could see it, now that you said that. That’s crazy though. I didn’t know that.”
What kind of music do you listen to before games?
“I like hip-hop. My favorite artist is Drake.”
What are some of your favorite off-the-field hobbies?
“I just had a son, so I hang out with my son and my dogs. I’m kind of a homebody, so I don’t do too much.”
Congratulations! How old is your son?
“Thank you. He’s seven weeks, so it’s a lot (of responsibility).”
It must be even tougher now to go on the road, but how much does it mean to you to have fan support across the country?
“It means a lot. I’ve seen it a lot. It shows us – and especially the new players who come (to the Dolphins) – that wherever we go, we have love everywhere. You have to be ready, embrace their presence and feed off of it.”
Six years removed from a decade-long NFL playing career, Miami Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell – his broad-shouldered, 6-foot-5 frame and intimidating biceps hard to miss as he rests his hands on his hips at the center of the team’s meeting room – still looks the part of a burly tight end, ready to lace up his cleats and lay out opposing linemen with crushing blocks.
“I have one more (game in me), but then you have to wait four weeks for me to recover, so that’s a problem,” he concedes with a chuckle. “If I could still play, I would be playing because I love the game.”
That same fiery, inspirational passion for football that has galvanized the rejuvenated Dolphins is unmistakable as he addresses a group of website administrators on a Friday afternoon, his booming voice echoing throughout the auditorium.
“Coach Campbell does a good job of getting (everything) out of the players,” says Dolphins fourth-year wide receiver Rishard Matthews. “He was a guy they brought up here a previous time to speak to the team. I think just when he talks – I don’t know how to explain it – you have to hear him speak for yourself … right when he’s done talking, you’re just ready to go.
“He played in the league – he’s more like a players’ coach. He understands when he needs to change it up a little and when he needs to get on us a little.”
It’s no wonder Campbell’s no-nonsense approach has quickly resonated and changed the collective mindset of his players, considering the 39-year-old – who’s younger than five current NFL starters – has experienced the gamut of exhilarating highs and devastating lows in the pros, which include reaching Super Bowl XXXV and later earning his first championship ring.
“I’ve been on winning teams,” says Campbell, a recipient of the 2005 Ed Block Courage Award. “I know what it looks like and what it should look like.”
The Texas native’s appreciation of a winning culture and yearning for on-field physicality trace back to his four-year Giants tenure, during which he helped lead the unified squad to the title game in 2000.
“First of all, we had a really good locker room – we had a majority of guys who bought in,” he recalls. “Guys would play for one another; guys would practice for one another. Our practices got heated. I remember (Michael) Strahan got fired up every day, it seemed like … Things would go back and forth (between offensive and defensive players), but we grew together and we competed, and when we rolled out there on Sunday, we were one.
“Once we got in a rhythm – I think we won seven in a row – the feeling was literally that we could do nothing wrong. At one point, I thought Kerry Collins would just throw it behind his back and it was going to be a completion. You really have a feeling of it doesn’t matter what happens today or what it looks like here, we’re going to win the game. That’s the flow that you have.”
Although Campbell was placed on injured reserve prior to his final NFL campaign, he spent the offseason and start of training camp with the 2009 champion Saints, learning the nuances of the game from an elite coach and future Hall of Fame quarterback.
“I know that head coach (Sean Payton) really well – I played under him for seven years. He is a genius, he’s an excellent motivator – he has all those tools,” says Campbell. “But one of the biggest factors is a guy named Drew Brees. Drew Brees is an ultimate leader. I’ve been around some really good players and some really good leaders, but nobody was like Drew Brees … and that’s one person, so imagine if you have a team full of those. That’s where you start changing things.”
Campbell’s experience in the Bayou was a far cry from a year prior, when he found himself on the opposite end of the NFL spectrum, suiting up for the lowly 0-16 Detroit Lions in 2008. Recognizing a similar disconnect in the Dolphins locker room, Campbell immediately set out to recapture the seamless magic he experienced in New York and New Orleans.
“When you’re not doing well, or you’re on a team where guys haven’t quite bought in, you feel like you can do no right,” he says. “So that’s what we’re trying to flip. We’ve kind of been that other team, (but) we’re trying to get it to where you just can’t do any wrong and things just start happening – turnovers, they become contagious. The ball is flying around, guys are on the ball. The more aggressive you play, the more those things start showing up.”
Not surprisingly, Miami has outscored its opponents 82-36, averaging 468 yards of offense while racking up 10 sacks and returning two interceptions for touchdowns en route to cruising to a 2-0 record under its new leader.
“We have a really good locker room and we have guys who want to win,” says Campbell. “They want to compete, and they’re beginning to take ownership of their team.
“I really believe in those guys. Everything has been about, ‘It’s a new season.’ It started last week. This (was) Week Two … of 12 weeks.”
So for the first time in 2015 the Dolphins played a game that everyone can be happy about which means we can finally try and sell you some stuff. We made a ton of new Dolfans NYC merch this year but it’s pretty hard to be excited about new shirts and hats when the Dolphins look like one of the worst teams in the NFL. No longer! Dan Campbell has righted this ship and now it’s time to give us your money so that we can give it to charity!
Dolfans NYC raised a ton of money last year between the #MetLifeTakeover, our raffles at Slattery’s and of course our merch sales. All of this money goes into the Dolfans NYC war chest which is used to buy new merch, throw events and most importantly donate to charities. Dolfans NYC is nearly a second full time job but none of the money goes into our pockets so when you buy stuff from us you can feel good in knowing you are supporting our events and some really good causes.
This year we got a brand new text logo that we have stamped on new shirts, hats and for the first time hoodies and shot glasses! We actually designed the text logo specifically for shot glasses and the front of hoodies because it’s only two colors and cheaper to print. Doing a four color shot glass is unreasonably expensive but two color is cheap enough that we can sell them for just $5. Plus it enabled us to do a zip up hoodie with the full Dolfans NYC logo on the back and have our new text logo on the pocket.
I am pretty happy with how all the new stuff turned out and we still have the old shirts and bags available as well, plus hats, buttons, stickers and for sale for the first time Dofans NYC rally towels. We made a bunch of them for the #MetLifeTakeover last year that we gave away for free, but people kept wanting to buy them so we finally got some of those for sale, just without the #MetLifeTakeover hashtag and sponsor. Oh and the sticker/button/wristband grab bag also comes with a temporary tattoo now because they were really fun to make
So the Dolphins play at 9:30am on Sunday and we are gonna have a party. Slattery’s Midtown Pub will be open at 8am and will have some breakfast food options, a lot of coffee and of course some appropriate drinks. Fortunately for us before Slattery’s was our bar it was a soccer bar and they are used to opening at weird times for games. Despite the unfortunate few weeks the team has had this is Jets week and I wanna see everyone out at the bar.
On top of just a big game and the weird timing, this is going to be Michelle’s last game as a New Yorker. As per her last post, she is moving to Miami and taking her husband and Dolfans NYC blogger Alex with her. Everything we do would be impossible without Michelle and we are all fortunate that she is still going to be working on the #MetLifeTakeover and helping out as much as possible from Miami, plus I know she’s gonna be coming up a few times a year to party with us.
So come out early and let’s get some anger out on these Jets and give Michelle a hug because you won’t see her in NYC again until the #MetLifeTakover. Let’s pack the bar and have some fun at a totally unreasonable hour.
As many of you already know, I am moving to South Florida in a few weeks. It was a bittersweet decision because while we are thrilled to be moving closer to my family (and the Dolphins!) we are also sad to leave the city, our relatives here and of course, DolfansNYC.
We are working on a new About Us section for our website, so I won’t go into the whole history of the club, even though I really want to. It’s honestly one of the things I am most proud of in my life. What this club has turned into is so incredibly awesome and I still look around on game days in disbelief at what it’s become.
The fact that we have donated over $20,000 to charity in 7 years is nothing short of amazing.
The fact that the Miami Dolphins organization has taken notice and are actively in support of what we do is incredible.
The fact that Jets fans can’t walk within a 5 mile radius of Slattery’s without hearing us singing the Dolphins fight song warms my heart.
The fact that we have turned MetLifeTakeover into a huge annual event that gives our team home field advantage in another city makes me so happy.
All of this is thanks to you guys.
For showing up.
For bringing your friends.
For buying raffle tickets.
For tailgating with us.
For sitting with us in the cold in the 300 level section.
For posting, tweeting, sharing, tagging and blogging about DolfansNYC.
And much, much more.
You guys have made this club what it is today and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of such a remarkable group of fans. The rest of the league should be jealous.
I will miss everyone so much and will forever look back on all of my wonderful memories of spending game days with my DolfansNYC family.
PS…This isn’t officially goodbye. I will continue working on MetLifeTakeover and will contribute in any way I can to the club. I’m also planning lots of visits!