I was watching a video on the 2002 Dolphins the other day and it got me thinking about all the great Dolphins that have played for us over the years. Before I get too far into this post, I want to explain a little bit of my background. I was born in '82 and lived in England as a military brat from '90-'94. There were very few football games televised on the Armed Forces Network, but one of the first I remember seeing was a game between the Dolphins and the Giants when Phil Sims was the QB for NY. The Giants won the game, but a quarterback by the name of Dan Marino almost pulled off a huge comeback and I was hooked. That was the beginning of what my wife might call a love affair with a team that has broke my heart more times than not. All that being said, for the first couple of years the Dolphins were #13 and 52 other players. I didn't really start paying attention to the whole roster until around '96 or so. My list reflects this fact, as it includes mainly players from the post-Don Shula era. I do, however, have a list for all you old geezers out there after my 10 FAVORITE Dolphins. Notice I said favorite, not best.
- Dan Marino: I imagine this is undisputed among the majority of Dolphans.
- Zach Thomas: He is actually a lot closer to #1 for me than most others may have him.
- Jason Taylor: Rounds out the top 3, who should all make the HOF.
- Ricky Williams: Maybe a controversial pick, but its my list, not yours.
- Patrick Surtain: Liked him better than Madison early on.
- Ronnie Brown: This Wildcat triggerman has been elite when healthy.
- Sam Madison: Contributed to the best CB tandem in the league for years IMO.
- Richmond Webb: A rock on the OL for how long?
- O.J. McDuffie: Was Marino's #1 target for the majority of my Marino era.
- Tim Bowens: Kept blockers away from #54 for a long time.
Honorable Mention (in no particular order): Keith Byars, Oronde Gadsden, Irving Fryar (Fryar and Gadsden have the two best catches I ever remember any Dolphin having), Chris Chambers, Brock Marion, Keith Sims, Steve DeBerg, Olindo Mare (the best at executing my favorite play, the onside kick), Keith Jackson, Randy McMichael, Troy Vincent, Lamar Smith, Jay Fiedler (never thought he got enough credit, even though he probably did shorten my life by 5 years).
Now I have a list for all you thinking this list is complete insanity for some omissions; my top 10 players (or group of players) I wish I saw:
- Larry Csonka
- Paul Warfield
- The Killer B's
- Mark Clayton
- Bob Griese
- Mark Duper
- Mercury Morris
- Don Shula before #13 was calling the shots: not a player, but still.
- WoodStrock Dwight Stephenson
- Dan Marino in '84: I would have loved to see how the media was reacting to records being obliterated.
Most Disappointing Players:
- Ricky Williams: strange to be on most disappointing and favorite, but you understand
- Daunte Culpepper: how would have things turned out with Brees
- Chris Chambers: only lived up to potential one year during Saban-era
- John Avery: this 1st-round bust ended up playing with Ricky in Canada; wierd, eh?
- Pete Stoyanavich: great kicker, but missed the potential game-winner in the most gut-wrenching game for me ever in the '94 divisional playoffs against the Chargers. That should have been us getting our butts whipped by the Niners.
Active players that have a chance of busting my favorite 10: