Friday, August 22, 2014

We Are Almost There!

You can almost taste it.

Football season.

Its right around the corner. Only two weeks away.

I love week 3 of preseason. The teams are pretty much getting their acts together.

The last dress rehearsal for the starters. Everyone hoping to create some positives and get out healthy.

This past week I was vacationing in Dallas with my cousin, who attended her business convention. Since her company pays for our room and most food, I only had to pay for my flight and some sightseeing.

 As luck would have it, her convention was held at the Gaylord Texan which is the official hotel of the Cowboys. The night before their home games, the Cowboys stay there. And during the preseason, their free agents and those without permanent housing, call it home until they officially make the team.

The first Cowboy I ran into was one of their coaches early Sunday morning. Now I am not going to mention any names here. He is an offensive coach who would wait in the lobby at 6 AM each morning to grab some players to take to practice.

At first, he just grunted when I recognized him. But more and more, through out the week, as I would wonder down to the Starbucks each morning to grab a coffee and the papers, he would open up.

By the third day, after noticing all the Dolphins T-shirts, he told me he knew quite a few of our players. Odrick, Wallace, Wake, etc.

I told him "Wake is a beast". He responded "Derek. You know his real first name is Derek."

You can assume a Pennsylvania connection.

That night I saw him at dinner with some players at the Hotel sports bar with a 50 foot HD TV screen and good food.

He pointed at one of the players he was dining with and said "He hates the Dolphins." I responded "Good. Then you'll over react and screw up by letting your emotions get the best of you."

They laughed. I wished them good luck and good health.

Throughout the week, they were in the gym working out but mostly grabbing dinner in the sports bar.

You could see the stress they were under and I had to remind them that very few people get to experience what they are going through at training camp and they should be very proud of themselves for getting this far, no matter what happens.

They all were very cordial and polite but there was this underlying uncertainty of their future
that they just couldn't hide. I told them all I would be watching for them on TV.

Come Thursday morning, I caught the coach and some players in the lobby around 6:30. I told them "You still have 24 hours to back out. Friday you fly to our neck of the woods."

Coach said "I was afraid I'd miss you this morning."

I told him "Nope, but we will both be leaving town soon."

I wished them luck and then said "Oh by the way, I won't be able to watch the game live on TV but when I see you on NFL Network's replay of the game, I hope you'll be screaming at one of your players for blowing the.game."

Then he said "Now I wished I'd missed you."

Today, I reffed 2 High School scrimmages in New Jersey. Tomorrow, another.

Yep. Football is back and soon enough, it will be for real.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971
Carldleone@aol.com
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5 comments

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Nice write up Carl. Every once in a while its nice to get that 'what it means to me' piece going on. I live in the UK but have followed the dolphins ever since John Riggins steam rollered us in the first Superbowl I watched. I love the sport and love my dolphins. Can't wait for the season proper to begin. Just wish we had some linebackers worthy of the name!

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We will play very well KNick. Tannehill is in rhythm with the offense and Dallas' D Line has some issues so we should be able to run the ball.

I expect our O to score 10-17 points in the first half.

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Thanks Mouldymuffin!

Funny you should mention our linebackers. I was working out with one of their HBacks Monday afternoon. He is from Fresno State.

I told him if he gets in there and they call a pass "You should be very happy because our linebackers can't cover s__t."

You're first experience as a fan was the strike season of 1982. Our head coach, Don Shula took us to our 4th Super Bowl with David Woodley as our QB and Don Strock as our #2 QB.

We pretty rode the coattails of our "Killer Bees" Defense.

That Super Bowl had a game changing play just before the half. Redskins QB Joe Theismann had a pass blocked from in his endzone. As the ball was coming down into one of our Linebackers' hands, Theismann hustled over and knocked the ball out if his hands, saving a TD.

But Riggins and their Hogs wore us down running their "Counter Trey" and we couldn't stop them in the 4th quarter.

It was a slow painful death. And then we had to watch that 4th and 1 run by Riggins for a TD the entire off season as it was featured in a lot of commercials.

I believe we will have a good season. We have the talent. If we catch some breaks we will be in the playoffs.

I assume you will be in London on September 28th for our game against the Raiders. You should organize a UK Dolfan club for the game. I can help you promote that here.

In any event, Cheers!!

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