I’m sitting here trying to figure out how to sum up the home opening game of the Dolphins 2018 season in one article. The longest game in NFL history. Yes, the Miami Dolphins made history. Of course they did, because it’s the Dolphins. It seems a season can’t go by without something causing the Dolphins to gain national attention. At least this time, it was something out of everyone’s control because of Mother Nature.
I made the trip down for the game. I had not been back to Miami since Patriots game last December. I missed my second home. That being said, I was not expecting to spend almost 12 hours at said home (i.e. Hard Rock stadium). The good news is that I can now say that I am a part of NFL History. I’m mentally and physically exhausted, but I wouldn’t trade that experience for a second, even if I knew I would be at a seven hour game. To be honest, I woke up Monday morning looking around wondering if I was still at the stadium. Apparently, I wasn’t alone with those feelings. Ryan Tannehill tweeted out something similar stating he was wondering if we would be playing.
Wild game...part of me felt like we’d still be playing today Glad to be a part of some history and get the year started with a win #FINSUP— Ryan Tannehill (@ryantannehill1) September 10, 2018
Speaking of Ryan Tannehill, I’ll be honest and say I may have shed a tear or two when I watched our quarterback come running out of that tunnel on Sunday. Tannehill was back and it felt good Dolphins fans. Really good. All the suffering this fan base has been through the past year, just vanished away. It was a new energy I hadn’t felt in a while and it was exciting. Go ahead and admit it, who cheered out loud at their house, the bar, fan club, or even your car (if you were listening on the radio) when you saw him take the field? I hope you all did. I kinda hope Tannehill glanced over to the corner end zone, around section 135, and spotted a 6ft banner of the new Tannehill 2.0.
I held up my banner for a minute before fans yelled at me. pic.twitter.com/M6XaNnh96n— Kathleen (@kathleen_noa) September 9, 2018
Yep, that was me. I was holding it up, very briefly, right before our offense took the field for their first drive of the game. He may have seen it or not, but 2.0 will be back for more games this season. Now, let’s discuss the game a bit (from my perspective of being at the game).
The thing about attending games is you don’t get a chance to see the game, like you would if watching it on TV at home. Some plays happen so quickly, it can take a second to realize what just happened and you may find yourself asking wait, what happened? Who was that? Next thing you know you’re looking at the jumbotron waiting for replays while simultaneously cheering and high-fiving random fans. If you watch the games like I do, you get lost in the excitement and energy of the game and crowd. Can I recall when every play happened, especially with that game lasting seven hours, nope. But, hey, that’s what all of the other amazing writers like Kevin, Josh, Matt, etc. on The Phinsider are here for. I’m here to let you know about the parts of the game that stood out. Those plays that fans talked about during half-time or the never ending delay of game lightening breaks. You know, those ones that make you scream out loud, “Holy **** gooooo!” (those that made ya say goodbye to your voice too).
Now, let’s get into the game. The first touchdown of Tannehill to Stills was what we fans had been waiting for. The first touchdown pass of the season. It was a beautiful 10-yrd pass to Stills. However, it wasn’t my ultimate favorite play of the game. Let’s go ahead and fast-forward to the post-almost four hour total game delay part of the game. The quarter where all the magic happened. Hello 4th quarter.
My Favorites: Basically the 4th Quarter
Let me set the scene for those of you who weren’t in attendance. We were tired. Exhausted. I had to go back through Twitter on Monday, to look up exactly when these plays happened because it all started to blur together. If you stuck it out at the stadium, it was rough. During the last game delay all the concession stands started closing. We were down to water fountains, if you were thirsty, and sitting waiting in our wet clothes while sitting on wet seats and staring at an empty field. My phone had long been dead at that point. I was relying on borrowing phones to check Twitter randomly. Nobody was telling us anything. We didn’t get any updates until the Dolphins posted them on the jumbotron. I’m still surprised so many of us stayed that long, but nobody was going to leave now after waiting that long. Trust me when I say, fans weren’t going down without a fight.
The teams were tired too. The two 2-hour rain delays had all of us ready to see someone win this game. With that being said, there were two plays that get my favorite of the week. Let’s go ahead and just say, that 102-yd kick return for a touchdown by Jakeem Grant, was nothing but amazing. Let’s watch it again.
My friends, that was the kind of play that gets everyone, no matter where you are watching the game, up and out of your seat, jumping and screaming as loud as possible. From my seats, he was running straight towards us and I basically had a front row view of it. Here is a brief clip from my friend, DolFan Bandit who sits in the same section as me.
If you look to the right of the video you see an aqua/orange flag jumping up and down and a woman screaming. Yes, that would be me. We needed that to get that crowd going. I swear I don’t think we remained quiet the rest of the game. My throat still hurts today from that one play alone. Here is Grant after the game telling media he knew the team needed a spark. It worked. It worked for our team and all of us fans there who stuck it out.
My second favorite play was the Kenny Stills 75-yd touchdown. This was his second longest career touchdown pass. Beautiful! All I know is that from our view, which was in the end zone Stills ran to, it looked like a perfect pass by Tannehill. You know, our quarterback who some fans/media claim has no deep ball accuracy. This pass right here, would not have happened if that was the case.
I can’t wait to see more of those kind of touchdowns this season. Kenny Stills, we love you dude. You make many of us fans go, “Landry who?”. Just read the tweet below by Evan Silva.
Kenny Stills is so damn good. Bill Parcells had a term for guys who blocked guys like Kenny Stills from hitting their ceiling. He called them "Progress Stoppers."— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 9, 2018
Jarvis Landry was Kenny Stills' Progress Stopper.
Thank you for being such a great player and for being a class act Stills. He, along with many other players, thanked all the fans for the support after the game. We thank all of you for the win.
Of course, there were so many other players/plays to mention. I could write pages about my reaction to the game and to each play. It’s always hard to narrow it down to just a few. I do need to mention Reshad Jones and Minkah Fitzpatrick. If it wasn’t for those two, we probably would be discussing a different outcome.
The 4th down stop on the Titans drive by Fitzpatrick was unbelievable. I swear, all these key plays happened right in front of me. Here is quick replay of that stop.
Minkah Fitzpatrick is gonna be a STAR pic.twitter.com/G1K2HaW0ch— James (@ScriptsByJames) September 9, 2018
Have I mentioned I really like my seats. Anyways, I think he may very well be the best player we acquired from the 2018 draft. He is just a rookie. This kid is going to be a beast. I. Can. Not. Wait.
***As much as I despise Alabama and Coach Saban, I think we can all say thank you for coaching Minkah so well. ***
Reshad Jones could be called the player of the game. It’s hard to narrow it to one, but with his two interceptions (first ever multi-interception game) and combined 7 tackles, he may have very well earned it. But, this isn’t a surprise. He has always played like a beast. I agree with Houtz here. He may not be human. Here was his early 3rd quarter interception.
I have no doubt that we’re going to see so much more like this throughout the season from Jones.
We won fans. The Dolphins are a part of NFL History. I am now a part of it too. I want to finish with this. The energy throughout that game, and then especially after the final lightning game break, was incredible. All us fans were jumping around and hugging complete strangers when the Dolphins scored. It did not matter your race, gender, or political stance. This is what I love about football. We all just want to watch our team win. We all bonded that night. I think our Miami Dolphins grew closer as a team from that game.
Let me briefly mention the only ugly part from Sunday’s game. If you attend a home game, I hope you cheer loudly and proudly for your Dolphins team. Our players want the fans to make that stadium as loud as possible when we are on defense against the opposing team. If you aren’t the standing type, it’s cool. In fact, the person I brought with me preferred to sit more often than stand. Not a problem. That being said, if other Dolphins fans are cheering (respectively of course), let those fans cheer. I have personally witnessed Dolphins fans asking fellow fans, like myself, to sit (while on defense). I hope those fans take a minute to remember what home field advantage means. Our players want us to defend our home. Allow fans to do that. Please.
Here was my final picture I had taken from the end of Sunday’s game. I can’t wait to be back to Hard Rock in October for the Bears game.
First time spending 11.5hrs at a stadium for game. Ever. However, I can now say I'm a part of NFL history. @MiamiDolphins thank you for the win! Awesome hanging out @bleedaquaorange #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/VLnomM0oNx— Kathleen (@kathleen_noa) September 10, 2018
We have a big game this Sunday. It’s Jets week fans. It’s going to be a tough game, but we can win it. If you are attending the MetLife Takeover please have a blast! If you have yet to attend, I encourage you to go one year. I went and it’s a big party with several hundred other DolFans. Cheer loudly and proudly as always MetLife peeps.
I hope to see you all here next week with a 2-0 record! Fins Up!