Ronnie Brown and the Wildcat formation make an appearance on my top five Miami Dolphins memories.
As we continue through the offseason, let's take a look back at five great moments in Miami Dolphins history. Obviously, these five moments are my personal top 5 memories. I grew up in the Dan Marino era, so, while I am sure some of you will immediately put the 1972 Super Bowl win at the top of your list, probably followed by the 1973 Super Bowl win, I don't get that luxury. I've never seen the Dolphins win a Super Bowl. Without further ado, though, let's take a look at my top five memories.
5 - Leon Lett Thanksgiving Bowl (1993) - Like my number one memory, this one is on the list because of the situation as much as the play. My family was over at my Aunt and Uncle's house for Thanksgiving dinner in 1993 - and of course, they, and my cousins, are Cowboys fans. So, all day we heard about how the Dolphins were going to get crushed. Then, the game starts, and the Dolphins are losing. It's a long game hearing them gloat all game. Then Leon Lett. Thank you, Leon Lett.4 - Greg Camarillo Scores One Single Touchdown (2007) - It was simply a slant pass that went to distance to the endzone, but Greg Camarillo cemented his place Dolphins history with that one catch. The Dolphins entered their Week 15 contest against the Baltimore Ravens with a miserable 0-13 record. With no end in sight to the losing, the Dolphins battled all day long with the Ravens, scoring six points in the fourth quarter to tie the game and send it into overtime. Cleo Lemon would then hit Camarillo on the slant, only his fourth reception on the year, and 64-yards later put the first, and only, W on the board for the Dolphins that season. The bench exploded like it was a Super Bowl win, and the Dolphins prevented themselves from becoming the first 0-16 team in NFL history, a distinction the Detroit Lions would claim the next year.
3 - The Wildcat Destroys the Patriots (2008) - Relatively new, but the 2008 unveiling of the Wildcat offense easily makes it into my top five moments in Dolphins history. The team was coming off their worst season in franchise history, and were shifting from the Cam Cameron regime to the Bill Parcells-Jeff Ireland-Tony Sparano Trifecta. The 2008 Dolphins had two real weapons, running backs Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown, and Sparano found a way to get both of them on the field at the same time. The 2007 Dolphins had been embarrassed by the Patriots, and the 2008 team was looking for revenge. The Wildcat did exactly that. Sparano would outcoach Bill Belichick that day, using the unconventional offense to score four touchdowns on six plays. Brown and Williams would combine for 100 yards rushing out of the formation, with Brown also throwing a 19-yard touchdown pass (plus his three rushing touchdowns). With that game, and the Wildcat, the Dolphins would springboard their way to the AFC East division title, and their only playoff appearance since 2001.
2 - Dan Marino Fake Spike vs. Jets (1994) - One of the greatest moments in Miami lore, the Fake Spike play will forever be a part of the hatred between Dolphins and Jets fans. The Dolphins were down 24-21 with a half-minute remaining in the game. Marino rushed the offense to the line of scrimmage, yelling "Clock, clock, clock," as he did. Meanwhile, backup quarterback Bernie Kosar was talking to Marino in his headset, letting him know the fake was there. With one look, Mark Ingram knew what to do. Running straight to the front corner of the endzone, Ingram turned and was impaled by a Marino rocket, catching his fourth touchdown of the game. Following that play, the Jets would fall to 4-32 over the next two years.
1 - Jay Fiedler Winning Touchdown (2001) - Okay, I find it odd that my favorite memory of the Miami Dolphins is a Jay Fiedler moment, but there was nothing quite like being in the stadium watching that last drive live. Trailing the Oakland Raiders with 1:41 remaining in the game, the Dolphins were not going to lose that Week 2, the first week of football following the 9-11 attacks. The Dolphins started at their own 20-yard line, and drove down the field on 9 plays. With the clock running down and a five-point defecit staring Fiedler in the face, the quarterback who will forever be best known as the guy who replaced Dan Marino, dropped back to pass, and somehow scrambled his way into the endzone, giving the Dolphins the victory. The crowd exploded, and Fiedler found his way onto the Sports Illustrated cover.
What are you top memories of the Dolphins? Let us know below.
Oh, and an honorable mention, just because I wanted to include this video: