Q&A: Dolphins Legend Chris Chambers

November 5th, 2014

Chris Chambers Web Weekend XI
Standing inside the same auditorium where his former coaches delivered passionate pregame speeches and reviewed game film with the team – Joe Philbin’s mantras and principles, as well as framed photos of the organization’s two Super Bowl-winning squads gracing the walls around him – former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Chris Chambers addressed dozens of fan-site moderators gathered for Web Weekend XI.

Joined by fellow team icon A.J. Duhe and Finsiders host Greg Likens, Chambers – decked in a black windbreaker jacket and matching thick-rimmed glasses – was candid and reflective, touching on everything from being caught off-guard when he was traded to San Diego midway through the 2007 season to earning a Pro Bowl selection during Nick Saban’s lone tumultuous year in South Florida.

After presenting DolfansNYC with two of our extremely humbling three Webby Awards and obliging every photo- and autograph-seeker following the ceremony, No. 84 graciously took time out to look back on his career highlights, express his appreciation for Dolphins fans on the road and much more in a one-on-one interview.

Looking back on your six-and-a-half-year Dolphins tenure, what were some of your favorite memories?

“There are so many moments. The Dallas Cowboys game (on Nov. 27, 2003), being able to score three touchdowns. Jay Fiedler and I both got the Turkey Award there, (but) I gave it to him though because he was the older guy. Now, I (tell him), ‘I want my award back!’ It was cool at the time.

“My first touchdown against Indianapolis (on Nov. 11, 2001), Jay threw a beautiful ball to me, and I caught it, 60 yards (downfield). I ended up getting my second touchdown in the same game.

“And then the Buffalo Bills game (on Dec. 4, 2005), where I set the Dolphins record for receiving yards and catches. That was a game that was very bleak at halftime, and then enter Sage Rosenfels, and it was bombs away!

“Those games have been outstanding, and I can’t wait to continue to look back and watch some of those games, and show my son and some of his peers what his dad did when he was on the field.”

That was an incredible Dolphins comeback against Buffalo. Do your franchise records still stand?

“Brian Hartline broke (the receiving yards record), actually (on Oct. 30, 2012), and I was kind of crying a little bit. [Laughs] But he’s a good receiver, and I don’t see anyone touching that for quite some time. We’ll see how (long the record stands).”

You caught passes from 10 different quarterbacks in Miami. What kind of impact did the ‘quarterback carousel,’ as you’ve called it, have on your game?

“You know, you kind of got used to it after a while. We never had that one guy who was the quarterback here – (whom) you started with here, continued to play with and grew with. That’s what made it difficult, when you’d have to have a different guy (frequently). I remember us having a left-handed guy, then we had another righty, and then a guy who was a little more mobile.

“I called it a lot of guys on (ends) of their careers, like Daunte Culpepper, who wasn’t healthy. Gus Frerotte – he had gray hairs, for God’s sake! Guys like that, they went out there and did what they did, and I had some good seasons, but once I got with a more stable quarterback (with the Chargers), that’s when I was able to take off a little bit.”

Who were some players you admired growing up and modeled your own game after?

“Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, I was a huge Ohio State fan, so, Terry Glenn and Joey Galloway (were my role models). If you see a lot of my plays, you see me diving and stuff, I got that from Terry Glenn.

“I was a die-hard Cleveland Browns fan, with Webster Slaughter, Eric Metcalf and those guys. They were really good – they had Bernie Kosar and The Dawg Pound – and that’s what really ignited me as a youngster to play football. To be able to have that (experience) and know that today, kids really look up to us, it really is something special.”

When you first entered the NFL, were there any veterans who took you in and served as role models?

“Absolutely – Sam Madison, Terrell Buckley, James McKnight, who was already a receiver here. He was one guy I really looked up to (because) he was a really good route runner, a very positive guy, a very clean guy.

“I just kind of jumped in, and once the guys saw my athletic ability on the first day of camp, guys received me even though I was kind of there to, at some point, take their jobs. They did an excellent job of supporting me and showing me the ropes.”

You recently had a chance to serve on the Dolphins coaching staff during training camp and help some of the younger players. How much did you enjoy that experience?

“I was an intern, so I didn’t know what I was going to do. I didn’t know if I was going to be stapling papers or whatever, but when I went in there, I knew a lot about this offense already, because a lot of plays that Norv (Turner) ran were similar to Bill Lazor’s. We were all on board and they really respected my knowledge. Every time I spoke in the receiving room, the guys paid attention to me.”

Do you plan to pursue a full-time coaching gig in the future?

“It’s just something that I wanted to do. I don’t know if I’m ever going to become a full-time coach, but I love the flexibility to come out here and help the guys, and see the guys go on their way. It really brought me closer to this organization again, because I didn’t know anybody but the snapper, (John Denney). He was the only guy who was here when I was here. Now that I know some of the players’ faces, had some conversations with them, it meant the world to me, and I think the Dolphins should continue to do that with some of their former players.”

Finally, DolfansNYC will have as many as 1,000 fans cheering on the team when the Dolphins visit the Jets at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 1. As a player, how did it feel when you’d walk into opposing stadiums and see aqua and orange in the stands?

“It felt so good! I think we have some of the best fans in the NFL – we always have. To come to New York – when you have your Fire Marshall on one side and have (Dolphins fans) rooting – it was just an outstanding feeling. Knowing you can come into a stadium and you see Dolphins tents and you see Dolphins tailgates, for the home team, it’s kind of intimidating, and it lets you know that the support is huge.

“I just want the Dolphins fans to continue to support us. I think we’ll have a very good team this year and (fans) will be able to get behind us.”

For more Chris Chambers check out his non-profit foundation Catch 84 and his South Florida training facility The Chamber.

2014 Web Weekend

November 4th, 2014

This past weekend was amazing. Not only did we help organize a group trip for fan clubs around the country but it was also the Dolphins annual Web Weekend a conference of Miami Dolphins web masters that I have attended 11 years in a row.  Also the Dolphins played one of their most dominant games in the history of the franchise so that was nice too.

Dolfans NYC was founded because of Web Weekend. Michelle and I both ran Dolphins fan sites and realized we both lived in NYC and started watching games together. A few years later we abandoned our former sites and started Dolfans NYC. This is the 6th time we have attended as Dolfans NYC and the weekends keep getting better.

This year we donated $5000 to the Miami Dolphins Foundation beating our $3000 donation last year after giving $1000 in both 2011 and 2012. That’s $10,000 to the Foundation thanks to you guys. To celebrate we are holding a FREE raffle this week at Slattery’s Midtown Pub for the Lions game. All you have to do is show up and you get a ticket! We should have some cool prizes including a Dolfans NYC shirt signed by AJ Duhe.

Speaking of AJ Duhe, he and Chris Chambers came and spoke to us during Web Weekend. We also had GM Dennis Hickey and CEO Tom Garfinkel in attendance as well. It was pretty great. Plus Jordan Tripp, Michael Thomas and the Finsiders joined us at a party on Friday. Coach Philbin was supposed to speak with us but unfortunately he was out of town because of the death of his father. As always Michelle stepped up and bought a condolence card that we all signed.

The last event of the weekend (aside from the game!) was the Dolphins Webby Awards which are given out to Dolphins Websites. It means a huge amount to me that we have now won the Eddie Jones Community award all three years of its existence. This club has become as much about giving back as it is about football and so that award means a ton to me. We also won the social networking award which I take a bit of pride in considering I do 90% of the social networking for Dolfans NYC. Our third award was the “Most Informative Site” award which is kinda silly considering I haven’t updated this site in a month. That being said our Twitter account and Facebook page serve as great newswires and it still means a great deal because the awards are voted on by our fellow web masters.

Anyway, check out the pictures in this Flickr gallery below. I took all the pictures with our logo watermarked on the images. The other shots are courtesy of the Miami Dolphins. See you guys Sunday!

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#MetLifeTakeover Reminder

September 29th, 2014

It’s victory Monday and we can breath a little for the next two weeks. No better way to go into a bye week than with a commanding victory and coincidentally it’s a great time to sell you guys stuff too! So I just wanted to remind everyone about our big Jets week takeover on Monday Night Football on December 1st! We have nearly 1300 people signed up but only about 600 people have paid. We want to beat our MetLife Stadium group sales record of 761 so if you have signed up get your money in ASAP!

If you haven’t signed up do it now! After signing up you will get an email (be patient sometimes it takes a week or more for us to get back to you) with info on how to pay for the tickets. If you have already signed up all the emails should be sent out by the end of today. If you haven’t received an email from us check your spam folder or email dolfansnyc@gmail.com for more info. But don’t bug Michelle she has a full time job and a baby so sometimes it takes a few days to get back to people.

You can read this FAQ to answer more questions about the #MetLifeTakeover but here’s some quick info. The tickets are $60 which is lower than face value. We get them for slightly less than that and use the money left over to help fund events and to give to charity. We don’t profit at all off any of this. It’s a labour of love.  We don’t like give out what section the tickets are in because we don’t want Jets fans to buy seats around us but they are up top. I know a lot of people don’t love to sit in the upper decks but I assure you sitting with close to 1,000 Dolphins fans is a much more fun experience than sitting front row at the 50 yard line. We also have a bus ticket package where we provide transportation from our bar Slattery’s Midtown Pub but keep in mind that it’s very difficult to park in the city on a Monday night.

Also, I wanted to announce that we are going to throw a party the day before the game at Slattery’s. No details yet but it will probably take place around the 4pm games and will be very worth attending. Since we aren’t doing an official tailgate this year, Sunday will be a great opportunity to meet fellow Phins fans from NYC and beyond, buy Dolfans NYC gear and check out some of the serious surprises we have in store. So if you are coming from out of town make sure you plan to be in the city on Sunday!

Lastly I wanted to thank everyone who came out to the bar on Sunday. We raised over $400 for Hank the bulldog’s medical bills and another $100 for the no kill animal shelter BARC. Really means a lot that we are able to do that for members of our community.

Now enjoy the next two weeks and get ready for a serious test against Aaron Rogers and the Green Bay Packers. Phins up!

SIGN UP FOR THE #METLIFETAKEOVER HERE!

#metlifetakeover

Helping Animals Vs. The Raiders

September 25th, 2014

I don’t need to start with the game last week or the way the Dolphins have been playing. Obviously it’s not making any Dolphins fan happy, but Dolfans NYC was founded with the goal of enjoying our Sunday’s and doing something positive at the same time. Win or lose we have more fun every week being with our Dolfan brothers and sisters at Slattery’s and this week we are doing something to help one of them out.

When I first moved to NYC almost exactly 8 years ago I googled “Dolphins Bars NYC” and a bar called Proof came up. When I got there there was only one other Dolphins fan. His name was John and we watched games together every week. At some point my Dolfans NYC partner Michelle came into the bar and we had our first chance meeting which led several years later to the founding of Dolfans NYC. When word go out about our club John heard about it and I saw him again for the first time in a couple years and he instantly became one of the most essential members of Dolfans NYC. He is there every week and has done a lot of great stuff for us and now he needs some help.

John’s dog Hank has been really sick and has been in and out of the vet. John approached us about raffling some of his memorabilia off to help pay for some of his dogs treatments and we of course agreed. So on Sunday John is going to be bringing in some of his memorabilia and we are going to be upping the game with some of our own stuff including an autographed game used Brian Hartline glove.

75% of all the money we raise via raffle will go to Johns dog and the other 25% will go to the no kill animal shelter BARC in Brooklyn where Michelle volunteers.

If you can’t make it to Slattery’s on Sunday and still want to help out , please contact us and we can put you directly in touch with John.

Check out Hank below and check out our Instagram now until Sunday for daily updates featuring Dolfan animals!

Hank

 

 

Apparently Football Continues

September 19th, 2014

Despite the loss to the Bills last week that smashed all hope of a successful season right out of my brain, they keep playing football games. Losing the game was bad but losing Moreno for an extended period of time was worse and the way the oline played was icing on the cake of the terrible day. After beating the Pats with our o-line playing great and Moreno destroying things I had dreams that this team was better than average. Well the Bills put an end to that.

Now of course it’s only one game and this team is certainly capable of winning a bunch more this season, but it took me until Thursday to move past Sunday and if we beat the Chiefs on Sunday everything will be wonderful again. That’s just how sports work.

So, this post is pretty much just a post for posts sake. It’s a reminder that the game is at 4:25pm on Sunday and we will be rocking Slattery’s Midtown Pub as always. It’s a reminder to get your money in for the #MetLifeTakeover. It’s a reminder that you should buy stuff from our web store and it’s a reminder that this club has done a great job raising money for charity and our next big fundraiser is a week from Sunday when the Phins play the Raiders in London. Save your money because it’s gonna be a great event.

Oh, and if you are in Miami this weekend remember to wear aqua for the “Aqua Out” and make some damn noise!

 

Back To Buffalo

September 10th, 2014

Power rankings don’t matter. What ESPN thinks of the Dolphins doesn’t matter. How much space Peter King gives to Phins coverage doesn’t matter. None of this media stuff matters… but it sure is fun. It’s only Wednesday and I have probably spent four or five hours just reading about the Dolphins and it’s been great. I thought this team was mediocre and at the end of the year maybe they will be but this win gives such hope for a really fun season and beating the Bills is a BIG step towards that.

Last year I was at BOTH Bills games. I was down in Miami sitting in the CEO’s skybox sitting next to Luther Campbell as the Dolphins played just poorly enough to lose the game to a back up QB. It was devastating. A couple months later the Dolphins just need to beat the Bills to get in to two the playoffs so I drive about 10 hours in a freezing rain storm to Buffalo in December. The entire miserable game is spent in a downpour of freezing rain and the Dolphins get destroyed and I spend another 7 hours driving straight back to NYC.

So this is a big moment. Yes it’s only the second game but winning this game against the Bills (and their starting QB) would show how far we have come from last year and it would put us in sole possession of the #1 spot in the AFC East by virtue of us playing two division games even if the Jets beat Green Bay (which I don’t see happening). Winning these division games is going to be so big this year with New England looking beatable an a win at Buffalo will do huge things for our media attention.

When the year started I was hoping for a 2-2 record before the bye. I figured if we did that we would have a week off and we could get Pouncey, Jones and Jordan back. Well right now I am looking at the Dolphins schedule and if we beat Buffalo I see no reason why we shouldn’t be undefeated heading into the bye week. The Raiders look like absolute trash and the Chiefs are decimated with injuries. Obviously I am way ahead of myself but that’s the whole point… when you win a game like we won on Sunday you get to enjoy stuff like this. You get to enjoy reading the article and you get to enjoy looking ahead. We all know the Dolphins love to disappoint us, just look at last year, but for the moment let’s take the time to enjoy the victory and if we beat Buffalo it’s going to get a lot better.

Now, the important stuff! With our cut of the bar last week we ended up raising $1500. That’s going to go a long way towards our charitable donations AND a pretty cool surprise leading up to the #MetLifeTakeover. Putting in an order tomorrow for some merch that I think you guys are going to really like and that we are going to be able to sell very cheaply.

In the mean time, you can get Dolfans NYC merch from our new e-shop and when you visit Slattery’s Midtown Pub. This Sunday Michelle is out of town (although there’s a chance she might be back) so I am not sure if we are going to be selling anything this week but normally we will. I might just sell one color shirt or something to make it easy on myself.

The other thing I need to mention is that we have over 1000 people signed up for the #MetLifeTakeover and over 500 who have paid. We only have about 800 seats reserved so get your money in ASAP. We should be able to buy another section but we can’t promise anything so make sure you send in your money now! If you haven’t signed up it’s not too late… just make sure you pay for your tickets as soon as you get the email telling you how. So sign up now!

And lastly, if anyone is going to Buffalo there is a Bills Vs Dolphins tailgate that was a ton of fun last year. You hang out with a bunch of Phins fans in the middle of a giant Bills tailgate. As much as I hate the Bills, their fans are pretty amazing and they appreciate die hard fans. Now, you get a few beers in them and they start throwing batteries at you, but before the game it was pretty civil and a lot of fun. Check out the Facebook invite for details.

Now, with all of that out of the way, please take the time to enjoy victory week starting with this video… Love to see those morons Bayless and Smith lose their minds.

Patriots Game Day Photos!

September 8th, 2014

Yesterday was amazing. Not only did the Dolphins TROUNCE the Patriots but we had an amazing first day at Slattery’s Midtown Pub. About 400 Dolphins fans showed up to our first meet up of 2014 and it was a blast. We had some technical issues to start the day with DJ Tropic’s DJ set up not quite working as planned and the upstairs TV’s looking like the Dolphins were wearing the Detroit Lions jerseys in the first half but DJ Tropic managed to kill it despite his limitations and the TV’s got fixed before the second half. Things are only going to get better from here!

We have a lot more planned this year and hopefully the Dolphins will keep winning so that you guys will keep coming back in crazy numbers like yesterday. It was so much fun and we raised over $1000 for charity through the massive raffle and t-shirt sales and that doesn’t include our cut of the bar tab. We aren’t going to have a raffle every week but between our weekly events and the #MetLifeTakeover our plan is to donate over $10,000 to charity this year.

Now about the game! Can you believe the Dolphins beat the Patriots by double digits despite giving the ball up three times, settling for four field goals, playing without three starting linebackers, Mike Pouncy, Reshad Jones and Dion Jordan, and getting mediocre QB play? Obviously we are going to have more injuries this year and we already lost Ellerbe for the season, but this team is just going to keep getting better. Even Tannehill haters know he can pretty constantly play better than yesterday. With this suddenly powerful run first offense Tannehill can be a game manager and still succeed. The Patriots look worse than ever, the Jets looked pretty bad despite the win and I still don’t think the Bills can be competitive with EJ Manuel.  This season could be a lot of fun if yesterday wasn’t a fluke.

Time for some photos! I took a bunch of photos before and after the game. I was way too panicked to do anything during the game despite an appearance from Michelle’s son Charlie! Also, despite being a professional photographer I took EXTREMELY mediocre photos. Oh well, such is life. You guys will probably dig them anyway.

So check out the photos below! Phins up!

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Introducing The Dolfans NYC Web Store!

September 6th, 2014

The first game of the year is tomorrow and I know everyone could not be more excited. I will probably get about two hours of sleep tonight. It’s like Christmas morning for adults! Slattery’s is going to be rocking tomorrow so make sure you get there early! The bar will be open at 11! It’s going to be amazing and in celebration of opening day we are launching the Dolfans NYC E-Shop!

As long as there has been a Dolfans NYC logo people have wanted t-shirts with that logo on it so of course we made t-shirts. Of course when that happened people who didn’t live in NYC wanted the shirts. For years we have said that the shirts were only available at Dolfans NYC events because we wanted people to have a reason to come to our watch parties. That was partly true, but the real reason is that I hate going to the post office and didn’t want to deal with any of the shipping. Michelle has a full time job and a baby and I run my own business. We just simply don’t have time to ship stuff.

Fortunately we found a solution! A friend of mine for nearly 20 years runs a small record label and record distribution company called Handstand Records and I pitched him the idea of selling some Dolfans NYC stuff for us. He is sending out shipments every day already and was open to the idea of selling our gear. Not only that but he built the web store for us!

So now you can get Dolfans NYC T-shirts anywhere in the world! (Looking at you Belgium!) Plus we have some new stuff this year like tote bags! Ooh! When it gets a little colder we plan on making some sweat shirts and reprinting the very popular Dolfans NYC beanies, plus we have some surprises in store! So keep checking back!

And remember all the money we make (after Handstand’s cut) goes back to the Dolfans NYC war chest which is used to buy more merchandise, throw bigger and better events and most importantly donate money to charity! We have donated nearly $10,000 to the Miami Dolphins Foundation alone! So spend some money, get some cool stuff and do some good!

So click here already and visit the Dolfans NYC Web Store!!

Dolfans NYC Shop

 

NYC Are You Ready For Week One?

September 2nd, 2014

Dolfans NYCHey Dolphins fans! The season starts in two days. I can’t even believe it! This is probably the best team of the Philbin era so I am hoping we have a great year. At the very least I know Dolfans NYC are going to have a lot of fun at Slattery’s Midtown Pub and Sunday will be no exception.

On the football side, I am a bit nervous about going up against the Patriots week one, but last time we played them we beat them so I am hoping week 1 will be no different. We got the heat on our side and our defensive line should put a hurting on Tom Brady… but they are still the Patriots and until we prove otherwise they are still the favorites to win this game.

But this week at Slattery’s is going to be a party no matter what! Make sure you get there early! The bar opens at 11am and it is sure to be packed! The bar has more TVs this year, updated menu and specials on food and drinks. Plus we will be giving out discount cards f0r 10% off any time you come back to the bar not during a Dolphins game!

We are going to have DJ Tropic DJing EVERY game this year. If you made it out to one of our prime time games last year you know how much fun it’s going to be with him DJing. And don’t worry, he only DJ’s during the commercials and half time. We will still have the sound on the game.

Make sure to bring your wallets! We are having our biggest raffle ever this Sunday! The prizes are a surprise but there will be three prizes drawn every quarter and a 13th prize will be drawn at the end of the game and we can give that one away… it’s a signed Dan Marino ball! Plus everyone who wins will be given a Dolphins autographed commemorative ticket in addition to their prize! We have some pretty serious prizes picked out!

We also have all new merch this year! We ended up buying a bunch of shirts from a t-shirt company that went out of business so we have some very nice shirts, including some blue ones. We also have black shirts for the first time ever and we have tote bags! Oooh! In addition we have more merch planned for later in the season when it gets cold so be on the look out for that every Sunday at Slattery’s.

And remember, all the money we raise gets split between charitable causes and more great Dolfans NYC merch and events! We have raised more than $20,000 for charity in the last few years!

I will be taking photos for the website this week and we have some other surprises in store for you guys both this week and for later in the season. It should be pretty epic this year and the Dolphins are working with us more than ever to insure that Dolfans NYC will be better and better. Can’t wait to see you guys on Sunday! Phins up!

Dolfans NYC Ice Water Challenge

August 25th, 2014

The Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) has blown up on the internet and has a great job putting eyes on the terrible neurological disease. Unfortunately at some point people stopped even talking about the disease in their videos or encouraging people to donate money to help find a cure. It’s become shameless self promoting for celebrities and people who want to be celebrities.

Both Michelle and I have been challenged by friends so we wanted to do something for ALS but we didn’t want to just do another video. Dolfans NYC has always been about raising money for good causes so instead of getting soaked in cold water we will be donating $200 to ALS Association and we are asking you guys to take some time to read about ALS and maybe make your own donation.

In the spirit of the Ice Bucket Challenge I quickly made an “Ice Water Challenge” video and am calling out our friends at Phin Phanatic, The DC/NOVA Dolfans and the NorCal Dolfans. We are asking them to try and match our donation and maybe do their own video to help spread awareness. And yes, you guys can dump ice on your head if you really want!

UPDATE: Apparently Phin Phanatic was WAY ahead of us… Instead we are calling out the Phins Addicts!

 


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