**Voting for first finalist of Dolphins/Patriots ticket contest**

As you know, one of the members of our great Phinsider community - JupiterFins - has generously agreed to give away two tickets to the week four Monday night meeting between the Dolphins and Patriots at Sun Life Stadium. I received over 150 e-mails from people who entered the contest and made their case as to why he or she should be the winner of these two tickets.

Let me be completely honest - narrowing down the list to just 10 was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. It really was. In the end, though, I picked out five entries and JupiterFins picked out five entries - resulting in ten semi-finalists for the tickets.

So what's next? Simple. You all vote on it. The ten semi-finalists have been broken up at random into two groups of five. The top vote getter of each of the two groups will move to the finals, where you will again vote and determine who gets the tickets.

Below are the first five semi-finalists. The identities of the semi-finalists will not be revealed until it's all over.

Important: If you are a finalist and you reveal anywhere on this blog that you are one of the finalists, then you will be automatically disqualified. These entries must remain anonymous until the final winner of the tickets is announced.

You can read the first five semi-final entries below. The voting tool is also below. Good luck to all five of these worthy semi-finalists.

Entry #1
My name is _____ and I have been a Dolphin fan since I was around 14, which coincides with the Dolphins and their perfect season run. I became very ill May of 2008 and in August of that year, given only 2 weeks to live I received a heart transplant. Time is not a friend to me. I have never been to see the Dolphins in Miami nor do I think that will ever get to happen as working and money are not options anymore. I do everything I can to keep my family intact as I have a very loving wife and a perfect little 7 year old girl. The thrill of getting to go to a Monday night game against the Patriots in, to me will always be Joe Robbie Stadium, would be one of the top things I would get to check off my bucket list. The steroids and rejection drugs are hell enough but knowing that you will never be the person you once were and never get to fulfill dreams of seeing the team you have rooted for eons on their home field really sucks, let me tell ya. I know whoever gets the tickets will be very deserving and fully enjoy them because the people on this board, even though they may disagree, they may argue, they may call each other names, but one thing you will never take from them, is they are all Dolphin Fans, and God Bless them all.

Entry #2
My name is ______, my username is _______, and here's why it would just be awesome if you selected me to receive the tickets to the Fins vs. Pats game on Oct 4th, 2010.

First of all, let me say that I am a hard core, passionate Miami Dolphins fan, have been for most of my life. I've been to a few games over the years but have never had the funds to hold season tickets. I live in Orlando, so any game I attend is a long day but win or lose, it's always worth it.

I've worked on the Space Shuttle program for 25 years. I've seen and helped launch 116 Space Shuttle missions. In 1986 I got laid off after the shuttle Challenger blew up, got recalled 11 months later, and in 2003 I volunteered to go to Texas to pick up shuttle debris after the shuttle Columbia broke up on re-entry. I was there for 22 days finding hundreds of pieces of shuttle Columbia debris. I have witnessed and been a part of space history over the past 25 years. Soon though, the Space Shuttle program will come to an end, sadly, there are only two remaining launches and after that, the Space Shuttle will never fly again. Unfortunately, my career will end before that final shuttle launch. I will be on the lay-off list for the big Oct 1st, 2010 lay-off at Kennedy Space Center and then my shuttle career will be history.

I ask that you pick me to receive the tickets because I absolutely cannot think of any better way to end my 25 years of supporting the U.S. Space Shuttle program than to go watch the Miami Dolphins beat the pants off the New England Patriots on a Monday night in Sun Life Stadium, three days after I leave Kennedy Space Center for the final time. Thanks for considering me and thanks also to JupiterFins for donating the tickets.

Entry #3
My reason for wanting to win these tickets is that I was diagnosed with brain cancer in Jan of 2010. Ive had surgery and i'm still taking chemo to try and kill this big beast i have in my head. Its called GBM muitiform and i'm in stage 4. My son has never been to a miami game. He is only 3 but i would love the pictures for his photo album,and the memoires. We moved to charlotte,nc so i have to watch all the games through direct tv direct ticket. But i have never missed a game! So when he grows up he will be able to see how much his fathers passion for the dolphins was.

I have a big miami dolphin tattoo on my neck for years and an gold emblem on a nice chain. I bleed aqua and orange, with a litle teal thrown in. My son ever since he was born will sit in my lap and watch games with me as a new born. He is a big boy and i think will be big enough and will play football. Hopefully i win out over the big beast and i can be here to see it!

Thanks for giving anyone of us this chance to win these tickets. I may have moved to North Carolina but my heart will always be in Miami! Thanks and have a blessed life.

Entry #4
I am getting married to a woman who fell in love with me despite the fact I have no money, spend all night reading The Phinsider, and talk football all day. Even though I lose my mind every football season, my girl comes with me to the sports bars to watch every game. This is a girl who before meeting me was all about shopping, frappuccinos, and manicures – but she has traded it all in for beer, wings, and Dolphins football with her man.

From the 2008 and 2009 season, she watched just how exciting the Dolphins football can be. She fell in love with me and she fell in love with our great team. Now, she spends any extra money she has on buying us Dolphin shirts and talks trash about Ted Ginn Jr. Our second date was to watch an NFL replay of the Dolphins one win over the Ravens during our 1-15 season. It was then I knew I had to propose and she said yes.

I work in the video industry and in this economy it is a struggle to earn an income. We are both scrounging every dollar we can save to prepare for our wedding and first year of marriage. But it would be amazing to take my lady to a game and show her first hand how amazing the excitement can be first hand. It would be a great way to welcome her to the Dol-fan family and she deserves a great night out. Plus she is a hottie.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

Entry #5
Winning the game tickets would allow me the opportunity to finally take my dad to a game. My dad raised me right, to be a good man and love the Dolphins. He has always been generous through our obsession with the 'Phins. Christmas and birthdays were filled with Miami clothes, memorabilia, and one awesome Christmas, a Dan Marino rookie card. He still gives me a new Miami hat every year for my birthday. Growing up we were able to go to four home games as well, getting to experience the thrill of seeing Dan Marino live and the agony of Sammie Smith fumbling twice on the goal line to lose to the Houston Oilers. He also helped me dress well for Pro Sports day during High School homecoming week (which I won twice). One day while visiting me in college he decided to come out to a pick-up football game with me. He pulled out his tiger striped zubaz (from the '80's) ready to go... so I did too. Yeah, we were mocked that day, but everyone there knew what my dad and I were about. We still call each other during the games to complain about the officiating, rejoice in great plays, and console the defeats.

I have been trying for the past 10+ years to sort out a way to get me and dad to a game again. Last year my brother and sister were going to help send him to a game; however, all three of us ended up with job changes and moving expenses. Last month my dad was laid off from his job of twenty years. He is going to lose his house and end up taking a significant pay cut. I know the expectation of once again stepping into the stadium to see our beloved 'Phins would brighten his day and give him something to look forward to in a tough time.

I'm grateful for a father who not only passed a passion for the Miami Dolphins on to me but also a faith in God, devotion and faithfulness to wife and family, and demonstrated great character in his patience, perseverence, and humility. I love my dad and hope that this might be a chance to show him in a special way.


Those are the first five semi-finalists. Good luck to all five. Voting is below. Voting will close on Monday at 10 pm eastern. And remember: If you are a finalist and you reveal anywhere on this blog that you are one of the finalists, then you will be automatically disqualified.

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