From as long as I could remember liking football there were only two teams I ever loved, The Ohio State Buckeyes & The Miami Dolphins. End of story. Too know how much I love the Buckeyes one needs to look no further than my right calf.
Yup,...I'm down with the Buckeyes, and I'm down with Brutus.
So much so that it is not uncommon for him to accompany me a Dolphins game from time to time.
So anytime a Buckeye becomes a Dolphin I'm as happy as I could be. That is unless your name is Eric Kumerow, or....Ted Ginn Jr,....sigh,....
So after omitting certain, shall we say, let downs,...if you are in the Dolphin/Buckeye club, I'm a fan.
The "Killer B's" had one in Bob Brudzinski. Bob is on the far right.
On a side note and kind of a funny story that goes with next picture. After we got home from the game that day I was reviewing all the photos when I noticed something strange. My Wife had cut Bob out of the picture.
After a mini meltdown where I informed that the guy left out of the picture was Buckeye, Dolphin, and....a "KILLER B", she quipped " I thought he was just some guy" with her giggle that melts my heart everytime. Moving on,...
Keith Byars, I was a big fan. And still pissed that Jimmy Johnson didn't call his number ending his streak of catching at least one pass in 128 straight games. Dude was a stud during his time here in Miami.
Bobby Carpenter,....I had high hopes. Wikipedia states we waived due to a missed blocking assignment on special teams.
Austin Spitler was another Dolphin/Buckeye that I hoping he could step up and eventually be more than a special teamer. As we know, this was not to be the case. But it didn't stop me from pulling for him.
And now this brings us to Mr Hartline. I remember when we drafted I thought this was awesome. Dude is a player. He catches everything and there seems to be no quit in him. And while all my life, my favorite Dolphins players had always been defensive players, more specifically linebackers. This changed in an instant the moment he signed on the line and became a Dolphin.
During his rookie season he did a signing with none other than "The Robot" Chad Henne. Who, by the way, is 0-4 against The Buckeyes,....just like Jake Long,.....ZING ! I can remember it like yesterday. When it came my turn I just blurted out O,...H. He grinned a mile wide, looked over at Chad and replied,....I,..O. And that has got to be one of my greatest Dolphin player moments of all time. And I got a few to choose from, like meeting Coach Shula, riding along Zac Thomas and chatting for 10-15 minutes in the DCC, or even meeting Marino. But being part of Hartine throwing a jab Henne was great !
As the seasons past, I've run into him a few more times. Never having a conversation, I just grab a photo and moving on.
This photo was taken at the Fins Weekend Captains Party a few years ago, and even made it in to the program when the Dolphins had a feature called "I was there". Something that has been discontinued. Probably because I flooded them with pictures and made it in to the program 5 or 6 times,....go figure,...
So needless to say I am a big fan of Mr Hartline. However I wasn't so pleased when he had an indifferent response to the team changing its logo. After all I wasn't a fan of that move. I believe he said something to the effect that he felt no connection or bond to it. Here I scratched my head for a moment, because it is under that logo that he was drafted and set a team record for 253 receiving yards in a single game, all be it a game they lost to the Arizona Cardinals. But OK,...lots of people didn't feel that bond either and it's water over the dam.
Then I heard a story from a friend that hangs out seeking autographs as the players leave the stadium. He mentioned that Mr Hartline, on one occasion after a loss, bolted by all the waiting fans in somewhat of rude manner. I get this too, as everybody has those type of moments. Probably even more so for pro athletes. However my friend did overhear his Mom says that she hated it when he acted this way. Leading me to believe this has happened more than once. Again this is one guys perspective from a fleeting moment in time and I wasn't going to read to much into it. As I mentioned I've never really spoken to the man other than asking for a picture or an autograph and he has always been cool with me.
I have, on the other hand, had a short conversation with his Brother Mike. Who coincidentally became employed by The Miami Dolphins as an "account executive" sometime after Mr Hartline joined the team. I asked if they were Browns fans as kids as they were born & raised so close in Canton, Ohio. He said that they were not in fact Browns fans, but rather grew up rooting for the Cowboys.
Well, if anyone can understand that type of thinking its me.
This picture doesn't have anything to do with the story, with the exception I'm all Dolphins, all the time.
Neither does this one. I ended up back in Texas this summer and took this to piss off a friend back home as he's a huge Cowboys fan. I dubbed it #BestSelfieEver.
Back to my story. I dabble a little bit on Twitter, nothing too extensive and mainly Dolphins stuff. I follow the team, the players, beat writers, and other fans for the most part. With Mr Hartline being one that I followed as well. Now I know for a fact that NFL players bet with their teammates be it a rivalry game, bowl game, or championship game. What I didn't know is that i would be blocked on Twitter by Mr Hartline soon after tweeting the question wondering what the bet was between him and Brandon Fields as to the result of last years Big Ten Championship game. I no way did I intend on upsetting the young man, but it appears I did just that. So I wonder,...did I cross the line or is Mr Hartline a bit of crybaby ? I'll never know,...that is until we cross paths again. And until then I'll keep rocking the jersey of my favorite Dolphin,...with the old logo,...
And as for the Cowboys and their fans. As it turns out, they're not all bad. Go figure,...