The Miami Dolphins on Tuesday announced the team’s Class of 2018 for the Walk of Fame outside Hard Rock Stadium. The Walk of Fame, surrounding the statue of Dolphins founder Joe Robbie in the Joe Robbie Alumni Plaza, was created in 2011 as a way to recognize players who had made significant contributions to the team. The franchise inducted 24 members into the Walk through four inductions classes, one each in 2011 through 2014.
This year, the team gets back to adding players to the Walk, with players 25 through 30 being inducted. The six selected members are the team’s newest Hall of Fame member, defensive end Jason Taylor, along with safety Dick Anderson, wide receiver Mark Clayton, wide receiver Mark Duper, tackle Jon Giesler, and linebacker John Offerdahl.
The six players will be inducted prior to the team’s game on December 2 against the Buffalo Bills. Prior to that ceremony, the team will hold an Alumni Weekend golf tournament on Friday, November 30, and an Alumni Weekend Party on Saturday, December 1. Tickets to those events can be found on the team’s website.
The Dolphins also maintain a Ring of Honor inside the stadium, highlighting the greatest players to wear a Dolphins uniform. Until this year’s class, the only players to have both honors were the members of the team inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame - now including Taylor - and Nat Moore. This year, Anderson, Clayton, Duper, Offerdahl, and Taylor will all become members of both lists for the Dolphins.
It previously had felt like the franchise was purposely using the Walk of Fame as something different than the Ring of Honor. The Walk was for players who had been key contributors and important parts of the Dolphins’ history, while the Ring represented the greatest of all time for the Dolphins. Maybe having the Ring members in the Walk keeps that distinction, with all of the greats together in the Walk, but the legends in the Ring, but it just feels like something changes with the induction of this class. All of the players, including Giesler who becomes the only member of this class not in the Ring, are important parts of the Dolphins’ history and deserving of the honor, but those already in the Ring have been properly honored previously. Maybe the criteria for what constitutes the Walk of Fame changed; maybe the perception of what it is was incorrect; maybe the club that decided there should be one place for all the team’s greats, with the Ring of Honor reserved for just the legends.
Whatever the case, the Dolphins will be adding six new members to the Walk of Fame, and all of them have a great history wearing aqua and orange (coral).
The previous classes to be added to the Walk of Fame are:
Class of 2014 – Jeff Cross, Sam Madison, Tony Nathan and Ed Newman
Class of 2013 – Kim Bokamper, O.J. McDuffie, Mercury Morris and Keith Sims
Class of 2012 – Tim Bowens, A.J. Duhe, Manny Fernandez, Nat Moore, Earl Morrall and Don Strock
Class of 2011 – Nick Buoniconti, Larry Csonka, Bob Griese, Jim Langer, Larry Little, Dan Marino, Joe Robbie, Don Shula, Dwight Stephenson and Paul Warfield.