Two days of pure Dolphins bliss. And it was never about the "glorified scrimmage". It was about the fans, The HOF, It was about football as a whole. A celebration of a sport that binds us all together. Whether you root for Seahawks from China or the kid from the inner city just moments from the Rams home stadium,...football draws us all closer. Which if you're a stinky Jets fans is not always a good thing,... Lets get going and take it from the top. I had 6 days at home before I needed to shove off for Canton. Now you might think that's plenty of time to prepare. But when driving across the country after not being home for the last 9.5 months, I seemed a bit rushed at times. However true to form, I was packed & ready for action by Friday evening when we shoved off.
Like most things I set my mind to, I had a plan. Roll in Friday night, get up early and bike from Akron to The HOF. There I was going to ride to the parade route as to been seen in my DCC gear and meet up with old friends in PFUFA (Pro Football Ultimate Fan Association). An easy 35 mile ride through rural Ohio. I had my map and I studied the route. But a road closed due to bridge repairs changed my plans,...in a big way. My ride turned a bit of a grind ( something I'm use to from my time at Mt Diablo ). Lost and bad direction from several people and I ended up going 54 miles. So much for my plans with the parade.
Again, Mt Diablo had served me well. I eat those miles with a smile.
Group shot, then this just happened,...
All part of the plan, but the next event wasn't ! If you look closely you'll notice my hand & " SS POLE",....down another inch and it reads "ass pole". Move your hand all together and it truly reads "fiberglass pole". Kinda a funny side note.
So, I got to shake Don Shula's hand and got in a few words as he passed by after his autograph signing. Coincidence ??? Maybe, or maybe my Dolphin karma remains strong. But one thing is for certain, I would never have these pictures to share with you if it wasn't for my awesome photographer,....Tanya !
She's a keeper, and needs to be in front of the camera more often,....in skimpy Dolphins gear,...lol. I was really tired at the end of the day, but still managed to go out for a few beers with 2 other couples from my group that arrived later that day.
If the game starts at 8PM, I should definitely arrive by 9AM. Tanya was not having any of that, so I rode with Vilmos & Liuda. They are close friends that made the trip from Richmond, Virginia and we have went to 4 events together now ( 5 once Cleveland arrives ). After parking the car it was off to HOF as to beat the crowds.
Wayne didn't stay long, but it was great seeing him & his Wife as they stopped by. Wayne is "The Ultimate Packer's Fan" and another winner from The Boldest fan in the Game contest. He too has his own HOF bust and is a good sport ! Once Vilmos & Liuda returned I found them checking out my gear,....photo-op !
I had a plan all along. Set up camp, get those in attendance comfortable, then take a few laps around the HOF property. With the DCC jersey & a Shula bobblehead strapped to my bars I was sure to be noticed. My mission : spread the word as to another trip with the flag to the front of The HOF for another photo-op/DCC pass the hat session. I did that a total of 3 times that day, but it was my last trip that was most memorably. Maybe you've already seen the picture as it made the rounds via Twitter & the Dolphins website. And if you haven't,...here's the story behind said pics. I would ride up around HOF and cut over from the side street behind it.There I would slowly roll ( or walk when security yelled at me,...geez) through the crowd up towards the entrance then continuing on past the stadium. Another 100 yards and I would make a right to head back to camp. It was at this corner that a police escorts was rolling in, 6 motorcycle cops with a couple cars with them. Here I asked the cop manning this corner what gives. "The owners" he replied. Well,...you know me, a 180 and a couple hard strides and I rolled up to the fence within earshot of them as they exited the cars. I knew it was Mr Ross & Nat Moore, but wasn't sure you else was with them at first. "NAT !" I yelled once. He immediately looked my way as I held my bike over my head with the biggest shit eating grin ever. He nudged Mr Ross and pointed up in my direction with a smile almost as big. Now they were both grinning as Mr Ross informed his assistant to big me inside the fenced area where they were. A handshake and about 90 seconds of small talk,....with a billionaire. And if that wasn't enough '72 Dolphin & HOF QB Bob Griese was there too. Enjoy ! Back to earth. I still had a flag to take to front of The HOF,...again. This time I was bring my tailgaters with me.
If you want to now how I roll,...watch this.
Could the turnout have been better,...yes. Am I disappointed,....hell no ! Back to the tailgate, we got food to eat & beverages to consume. It was here Mike started twisting the screws. "Are you going to paint up, you GOT to paint up. There all kinds of Cowboy fans painted up, you GOT to paint up !". 3 or 4 times I heard that speech as I just wanted to sport my new lid. Of course I caved after about 10 minutes. Here I give you "Men playing with make-up".
Now, it was time to go ! Now once we get to our seats who do you think is seated just 2 seats over ? Why it's Super Fan Chris Barker. This guy & his Mother fly to ever Dolphin road game, always staying at the team's hotel. He link's our stuff on his FB page but not sure if he has ever posted anything. Maybe one day he will join in. So there was a game (scrimmage) too, here are a couple of pictures for your viewing pleasure.
I blew out my voice that weekend, and not because I was screaming my ass off but because I was talking none stop about the Dolphins Cycling Challenge. And I will continue to do so until the day of the ride. I've said, the ride will be easy ( and 170 miles ain't easy), asking for donations,...that's hard. I humbly ask for your continued support.
The adventure will continue as this event was my "pre-season" as well. I will be making the trip to Cleveland and my initial group of 40 has grown. For about the last 3 weeks now I get contacted about the group outing. SO,...... If you are planning on making the trip as well, tailgating will be at The Burke Lakefront Airport lot. And, the flag goes to the steps of The Rock n Roll HOF at 11AM. BE THERE ! OFF4L