It was Christmas Day 1971 and my Mom's side of the family was rolling into New Jersey from Pennsylvania for Christmas dinner.
Our holiday plans were the same as most football fans across the country: Watch the Kansas City Chiefs host the Dolphins in the NFL playoffs. Then eat dinner.
My Dad hailed the Redskins, my brother rooted for the Raiders and my Uncle and cousins were all Eagles fans. At 13, I watched a lot of football but hadn't picked out a team yet.
Since the Chiefs were loaded and had won the Super Bowl two seasons earlier, my family decided to root for them figuring they should easily handle these upstart Dolphins.
So just to be antagonistic, I cheered for the Dolphins. That's how it all started. The youngest boy sitting on the floor since there was no room on a couch or chair, taking on the rest of his family.
Throughout the game there were plenty of big plays and lots of ball busting and banter going back and forth between my brother, my cousins and myself.
Well the game went into overtime. My Mom is yelling from the kitchen " Dinner is ready!" We are yelling back "Hang on they are kicking a field goal. Oh no he missed."
Back and forth, wasted drives, missed field goals, plenty of bantering and yells from the kitchen.
The Dolphins finally won in double overtime. The longest game in NFL history left the entire country sitting down to some good old fashioned dried out turkey.
As everyone else struggled to chew, I had the biggest turkey eating grin on my face and the love affair began.
I was so lucky. For the first 107 weeks as a Dolfan, we went to 3 Super Bowls, won two and finished my first full season at 17-0!
It was and still is, the best Christmas gift I ever got!!!
Dolfan since 12/25/1971