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Dolphins need another miracle or two

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My experience attending the Dolphins at Vikings game

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

I’m all settled now after making the trip up to the Dolphins/Vikings game. Top takeaways from the trip: our team is a hot mess and Vikings’ fans are ridiculously nice. Can I say I was completely shocked by how our team played? Not really. I was expecting a blow out or at a close fought game. We all know how Sunday played out. The Miami Dolphins basically blew any remaining chance for playoffs. I know there is still about a 5% or less chance, but let’s not go there. With that being said, I need to share how awesome the trip was regardless of the outcome of the game.

The People of Minneapolis

It was my first time visiting Minnesota. You hear about the Minnesota friendliness of the locals, but I honestly didn’t expect everyone to be so nice. You never know how the local fans will treat you when visiting their city. You just hope for the best. Remember how I mentioned last week about how Patriots’ fans treat us Miami fans when they visit our city. I don’t even want to know how much worse it will be when I finally make the trip to their city. I’ve heard some disappointing experiences fellow fans have had visiting other teams, but nothing so far about the great city of Minneapolis (besides a person stealing my wallet).

From the Uber drivers to the hotel staff and locals at the bars, I was greeted with smiles and a, “How’s it going?” or “ubetcha” (Yes, I’m saying that with my best Minnesota impersonation). That being said, I have to say the Vikings’ fans themselves were truly the best.

Many local and away fans met up with us Saturday night before the game for a meet n greet. Here is one of the group shots we took.

We spent that evening watching football, getting to know each other (how and when you became a fan), discussing the upcoming game, and which team is worst than the other. The few times the locals initiated friendly banter about how they would win, I just replied with this, “Well I think it’s a game of which team will suck less. Let’s be honest, neither one of us will be making a Super Bowl trip this year.” That usually got me a few good laughs and a “cheers” or “good luck” response back. Overall, a great time was had by all that Saturday night. It’s always fun to meet other passionate fans who love their team as much as I do. These kind of experiences are what makes attending games enjoyable, whether your team loses or wins.

The Tailgate

If you have yet to attend a tailgate for a Vikings’ home game, I encourage you to make the trip one day. Some of the nicest fans I have yet to meet so far. The Vikings World Order fan base invited us to join their tailgate on Sunday. They meet at the corner of Washington and Portland Avenue. They truly were welcoming as ever. There were Vikings’ fans dressed up in so many various costumes, Packers’ fans in yellow/green overalls playing music and dancing (that surprised me), and of course several of us Dolphins’ fans. I stood out a bit, because I was that fan who wore shorts. There was snow on the ground and I still was determined to wear shorts. I mean, it’s an inside stadium so, yeah. I totally froze after the game, but survived the tailgate. Here’s a picture of some of my favorite Dolphins’ fans who made the trip from California and Texas.

I want to thank the many Vikings’ fans who gave me hand warmers and showed me how to use them for my gloves and shoes. I also learned the trick of standing on cardboard in the parking lot to help insulate your feet from the frozen ground. You know, advice of us Florida natives who don’t have much experience with snow.

Another cool thing about the tailgate, before I mention the game, was the Vikings Skol Line. They came to our tailgate to perform. I was only able to get a short clip of it.

So. Awesome. This is what I mean by experiencing all you can when it comes to attending a game. We may have lost the game, but the tailgating was a win for all. Now, on to the game.

Sunday

I bought my ticket from a Vikings’ season ticket member. I went solo to the game and was in section 140 row 12 isle seat. I was surrounded by so many Vikings’ fans. There was maybe a handful of Dolphins’ fans in my section. As soon as I found my seat, I was greeted by a couple season ticket members seated next to me. I told them, if we play well, I may be loud and will stand quite a bit. They said that would not be an issue in that section and everyone is typically welcoming. He was correct. The fans were mostly nice to me. You will always have that one or two random obnoxious fan, who probably drank a bit too much and doesn’t regularly attend games, but overall respectable people.

Thank goodness for that, because our Dolphins played anything but a respectable game. You saw the game. I saw most the game (when not at concession stands/bathroom breaks) and it was rough. The first touchdown I said to the people next to me, “It’s fine. We have a long game. I’m sure we will turn this around.” Well, I spoke too soon.

The Good

The good part from the game:

  • Minkah Fitzpatrick got a pick-six in the second quarter to get us on the board.
  • Kalen Ballage, finally getting play time, scored a touchdown and needs more play time
  • Jason Sanders is very reliable solid kicker

That’s about the only positives I can take away from Miami Dolphins’ performance on Sunday.

The Ugly

Pretty much everything else. The offensive line was atrocious. Tannehill was sacked nine times. What was happening there? Our play calling was eh. Our defense was ridiculous (other than the pick-six) I mean, pretty much everything seem to go bad. Why did Drake get almost zero play time after the Miracle in Miami? Oh, and let’s not forget the loss of another Dolphins player. We will miss you Frank Gore. I just hope we will see you again next season. Fingers crossed!

During the game, an older woman from a few rows above me, came down to my seats and goes, “It looks like you could use a hug.” She was right. The only positive from that game was that the Vikings’ fans were nice to me and I made some new friends. There was one fan who yelled out about how bad Kenyan Drake is as a player. All I yelled back at him was, “No, the bad part is how the coaches aren’t using him enough.” Here is a view from my seats. You can listen to how loud the stadium would get and to all the chants and horns. It’s really quite awesome (even if our team didn’t show up).

Post-Game Thoughts and Reactions

Yes, our Miami Dolphins’ embarrassed themselves Sunday. Especially considering how all week leading up was about the Miami Miracle. Who do we blame? Where does our team go from here? I went on twitter to check out reactions and oh how quickly has the mood changed. All week it was, “Tannehill and Gase are here for next year.” Now, “Who will be here next year?” on my news feed. As one fan tweeted out, I hope the Dolphins can win these last two games because we will have a long off-season to discuss what happens to the team in 2019. I’d have to agree.

Let’s look around the league. Does anyone know what to expect week to week? I wasn’t expecting the Eagles to beat the Rams. I did not think the Steelers would beat the Patriots, especially after their loss to us. The Cowboys were the upcoming team to watch and they couldn’t score a single point last Sunday. Now, the Bears are looking like a top contender and we beat them. This is by far a very unpredictable NFL season.

I wish the Dolphins’ would stop losing players each week and we all just beg them to show up to away games. I’m now 4-2 this season on games I attended. I have one more this upcoming Sunday against the Jaguars. A game we should win at home. However, I can’t say if we will win or not because of the way our team played this past Sunday. I can only say, as a fan, I just want to watch us win out. I want to watch my team win one more time. I want to say we at least swept the Jets and Bills. Give us fans something positive. We deserve it.

The Dolphins have one last home game on Sunday. We play the Jaguars and then it’s off to Buffalo for the last regular season game. We have a very small chance of making the post-season. Yes, roll those eyes and get a good laugh in. But, maybe just maybe, there can be one more miracle for Miami.

Hope you all have a great week and I will see you all back here Christmas Eve.