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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Calling all British Dolfans and others ...

I am leaving for England today will arrive tomorrow morning. So here's what we're going to do:


1. Anyone reading this blog who is in England: Tell me where you live, tell me how you got interested enough in the Dolphins that you are on a Dolphins blog. Tell me if you're coming to the game. And give me your suggestions, using British slang if you like, about how to improve the Dolphins.

2. Anyone reading this blog who is in the US but has visited England: Give me your impressions of the British people and their country. Tell me when you were there, for how long, what your best and worst experience there was.

3. Anyone reading this blog who is from the U.S. but saved up and is actually going OVER THERE to watch the Dolphins play a home game: Tell me if you wish you weren't spending the money to go. Tell me when you made your travel plans. Tell me if you wish you could spend your dollars on something else now that you know the Dolphins are struggling or will you go to England happy that you're getting a vacation out of it, regardless of Miami's record.

4. And finally, those of you staying here and watching the game from OVER THERE: Do you care one iota this game is being played outside the country? Do you wish they were playing the game at Dolphin Stadium? Do you wish the Dolphins would just stay in Berkershirewilshire until they have completed their rebuilding?

This is a fun exercise and it will give me an idea about the actual interest in this game. I may be writing about your responses later this week so leave your actual name (not nomedeplume and stuff like that) and your city of residence.

Go for it.

78 Comments:

Blogger mike said...

I like the idea of playing in England. Seems like they are fired up over there. Now we just gotta try not to look like a buncha silly wankers.

(I won't be there..but even in our current state I wish I was.)

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of all the years to lose a home game this is the year to do it. Cheerio!

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Donovan said...

Armando, I have been in England on several occasions, the most recent of which was last year (I used to work for an English company). I love England, especially the tea and the pubs. I wish we had pubs in the US. Bars aren't the same. My impression of the English people is that they are very nice and passionate about sports (well, soccer anyway). I have spent time in Brighton, Bristol, London, and Crawley in England, as well as Wales and Scotland. It's more expensive there, but really only because of the exchange rate. A value meal from Burger King is 4 pounds instead of 4 dollars, like here. Driving on the wrong side of the road is no big woop except having all the car on the wrong side of your body.

London has a ton of history, so go to the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, and Parliment. Don't worry, they are all near each other. I hope you have a good trip there. I'll be watching the game here from sunny California. Yes, I am a transplanted Dolfan.

11:44 AM  
Blogger mike said...

Look kids...Big Ben...Parliament

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the difference between a pub and a bar?

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About 3000 miles !!!

11:52 AM  
Anonymous UCFPike15 said...

Once it was determined that the Dolphins were to play over seas I was very upset to say the least. Now, I look at it like it was stroke of genius. With the way the Dolphins are playing, the stadium would have been completely full of obnoxious Giants fans. I think the Dolphins are actually LUCKY to be playing somewhere else. GO DOLPHINS!

12:10 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Was in London on business for almost a week last year. The British people are lovely, and very hospitable. Public transportation is very convenient. I highly recommend the British Museum, one of the great archives of human history in the world. The only real negative is the cost of things, 2X of what we pay in the USA.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate the idea of these overseas games. I'm a Miami fan in Buffalo, and the Bills are getting ready to play a regular season game in Toronto. Fans here are very nervous about losing the team to Toronto once owner Ralph Wilson passes away. While that's not a worry I have with the Fish, I do think it's a disservice to existing fans to take away a home game. And as someone staying here, I couldn't possibly care less where the game is being played since all I'll see on screen is the players and the field, and in this case only one team will be good. Do the preseason overseas, not the regular season.
--c

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been to London several times, and I've been a Dolphins fan since the 1970's. My advice: Enjoy London cause the Dolphins suck.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm adding 5) You are from Germany and took the chance of flying only 500 miles to see a Dolphins game instead of 5.000. I'm also adding 6) You should feel like a complete moron for shelling out major bucks to witness them getting maimed but you don't because London's a lovely place to be and got enough pubs to drown the perpetual fear that strikes you on any given sunday. Maybe there's also a hint of 7) You booked in June and had no idea that the season would be that ugly, but that's kind of made up for by 8) You've never seen a Dolphins game other than on TV and you don't give a dime about how bad the season is and are going to make lemonade out of the Lemon no matter what.

Says Joe from Germany.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget to drive north to Scotland (Highlands) and checkout the gravesite of Sir William Wallace. Maybe the entire Dolphin team should go with you to learn a little about testicular fortitude and leadership. What a group of bloody pansies. I am so glad I live in Africa now and all they watch here is Rugby. That's an idea recruit some rugged South Africans on the defensive front. I am sure they will be an upgrade from what we have now.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a Dolphin fan from Scotland and I'm going to the game with my 2 kids. I've been a Dolphin fan since the 1970's when I worked with Dolphin Running back Don Nottingham and Orange Bowl announcer Bob Kaufman at a Summer Camp in North Carolina. The last time I was at a Dolphin game was 1979 pre season (against the Eagles).

We're excited about going to the game although disappointed that we wont get the chance to see Ronnie Brown in action. Hopefully Coach Cameron will give us the chance to see John Beck in action at some point.

Dreadful drafts over the last few years have left the Dolphins with a lack of depth in all areas of the field. In particular the secondary has been very poor since the days of Madison and Surtain. This years Rookies look like they may be better than previous years so hopefully Coach Cameron will be able to build a succesful team from the next 2 or 3 drafts.

Unfortunately I can't see us getting much better for a couple of seasons so it looks like JT and Zach aree going to have to move elsewhere if they want to add some championship rings to the resumes.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Rod from Kirkcaldy said...

I'm a Dolphin fan from Scotland and I'm going to the game with my 2 kids. I've been a Dolphin fan since the 1970's when I worked with Dolphin Running back Don Nottingham and Orange Bowl announcer Bob Kaufman at a Summer Camp in North Carolina. The last time I was at a Dolphin game was 1979 pre season (against the Eagles).

We're excited about going to the game although disappointed that we wont get the chance to see Ronnie Brown in action. Hopefully Coach Cameron will give us the chance to see John Beck in action at some point.

Dreadful drafts over the last few years have left the Dolphins with a lack of depth in all areas of the field. In particular the secondary has been very poor since the days of Madison and Surtain. This years Rookies look like they may be better than previous years so hopefully Coach Cameron will be able to build a succesful team from the next 2 or 3 drafts.

Unfortunately I can't see us getting much better for a couple of seasons so it looks like JT and Zach aree going to have to move elsewhere if they want to add some championship rings to the resumes.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Patrick - St. Pete said...

I was in London several years ago and had a great time. I spent one day just walking from pub to pub and tasting the bitters from each. I ended up with about 20 bar towels, one from each (that's a lot of bitters!) and I have them mounted in my playroom...

The English make an awesome breakfast, but the dinner menu was pretty bland. I had to go to Indian restaurants to get anything with a little spice in it.

The people were great. When they heard my Ex-wife and I talking American English in the pubs they just opened right up. We talked about everything from politics to football, laughed, threw darts. I will go back again soon.

On my thoughts about the game being played over there... I have some fairly strong feelings that stem from what I believe is the root of the Dolphins problems. Wayne Huizinga does not have passion for football like many of the more successful owners, like Jerry Jones or Robert Kraft. He treats the team like a business and I can't say there's anything wrong with that if he has the right people in place to run it. Obviously this is not the case and I'm not talking about coach or GM, I'm talking about at the very top of the organization.

It seems curious to me that Miami was awarded the superbowl in a relatively short time frame from one to the other. I think concessions were given for this to occur and one of those was to give up a home game to play in London. This goes right back to the thought that Wayne is running a business.

Anyway, playing in London is kind of cool and it really doesn't matter for us this year anyway. I was at the last Giant's game in JRS and I became very angry at the obnoxious Giants fans that were at least 20,000 strong and quite vocal. I was ready to kick a couple of them off the upper deck.

So play away, Wayne gets more money, the fans get one less opportunity for disappointment and you get to go pub hopping!

Have a great time Armando!

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in London on 10/5/07 to 10/09/07 as part of a European vacation. I didn't leave the city, and now I regret it. Big city with lots of people who do not have a personal bubble. Get out and see the countryside like I wish I would have. P.S.: Don't call their football "soccer"...you might regret it. Oh yeah, and enjoy the 2-to-1 conversion rate with the pound sterling.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous ukdolfan said...

Armando, born and bred in England unlike alot of the people you will meet in London but hey thats life. Been a Dolfan since i first watched Dan Marino play back in 1986. You will I think be surprised by alot of the English fans knowledge of the game, I myself went to Giants Stadium to see Miami play the Jets 2 seasons ago and I knew more anbout the game than the 2 local Jets fans who were sat next to me, enjoyed the atmosphere immensley though and I hope the game at Wembley can be similar for the fans who have never seen a live game. I myself couldn't get a ticket but am planning a New Years Eve break in Miami after watching us hopefully beat the Bengals so to all those going to the Wembley game enjoy, you're in for a treat, who knowa we may win but I cant see it.
Not sure how to fix things but i would play Ricky Williams if he is reinstated to try and boost his trade alue for more picks on the 08 draft, I would also make this Cleo's last game as starter and play john Beck after the bye, in the 08 draft go for OT jake Long then Defense line, secondary. Like the acquisition of Lance Shchulters again for a short term fix.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous RobP said...

Hi Armando

Born and Bred down here in Somerset, England. Been a Dolphins fan since I was given a Dolphins Polo Shirt as a Child and gthen watched Dan Marino on Channel 4. Got interested and watched local games and American Bowl games at Wembley. Went to Wmbley to see the First London Monarchs games and the World Bowl and I am that interested in the game I was once a refereee!
Find your blog interesting to get information not readily available on the main dolphins site and a Uk fan site.
I ahve to say I think the Dolphins have made a mistake in letting the NFLUK site sell tickets and not done it through there own Website. The NFLUK website have done a coplete random lottery which has meant many of the UK Dolphins fans have been unable to get tickets. This means that the game will be full of neutral fans when it could have ahd more Dolphins fans to give it more of a home time feel. I would like to think the Neutrals would support the official home team but with the 0-7 record I think they will support the team more likely to win o it will have a distinct away game feel.
The least tehy could done was sell tickets on there site first and then let the NFLUK sell any left over.
After losing out on every lottery I thought i would never get a ticket but managed to get one in the 3 minuts of General Sale of the last <1000 Tickets So have to chose between more badly worn out Marino shirt or my oversized Zach Thomas (Do not let your parents but a replica jersey for you when the only picture on the web says XXL sothey think that is the size they want!
At least I have been lucky to get tickets for the NFL Tailgate party so I am looking for a great day out with hopefully there first win.
What do I think we need to do to improve.
I think the OL is doing a great job and the Running Yardage after Ronnie Brown's injury on Sunday has proved this So they need to keep the O Line improving. If Ginn / Hagan conitue to improve like they di against the Pats then letting Chris Chambers go looks like a very positive move. I have ot say I would like to see john Beck given some time as QB ando uld have like to have seen him play at Wembley especially if he is the team's QB of the future but I think he should not start until after the Bye week but I think he really does need some game experience before next year when the team needs him to be the starter.
On Special teams the team need to team them to cover and tackle. The coverage at the moment is rubbish and to score a TD and then let teams get 7 points straight away is disasterous. I think Ted Ginn is growing with each game and will run at least one kick back for a TD without a penalty before the season is over.
Now the defence. Are they too old is the question? I think the fromt 7 are stggling as if they do play well and stop the run the secondary is awful . As well as Will Allen played last year this year h looks like the player the giants let go. Losing YB has meant that the 8th man in running stopping has gone and this is why they have struggled to stop the run. It is good they are giving Jason Allen a go because it he fails in the next 9 games they can cut him and save on the salary cap! I fee; they need to pick 3-4 or 4-3 and stick with it and not interchange like they are at the moment. I do not think thisishelping the development of the young players on the D Line. We have a great saying "Keep it Simple Stupid" and really feel this is what is needed to be done to help their development.

2:55 PM  
Blogger j dizzle said...

I've never been to London and will be watching the game from home in Atlanta GA. As far as the fans in my home town losing a home game, its only fair to people like me since Miami's games are never Nationally Televised this will be the first live game I'm able to see of my beloved Dolphins this season!!!

And I have to take a cheap shot at the Cam and Randy supporters, I know I said I was done Cam bashing but this is too good to pass up!!! We now have Dolphin Hall of Fame players saying this season is due to Miami's offseason or lack there of moves!!! They say the Joey signing was a dumb move and the Wes Welker deal even DUMBER!!!! Just thought I'd put that out there!!!!

3:04 PM  
Blogger Toneboy said...

Another fan from Scotland. I'm getting up at a stupid time on Sunday morning to fly down for the game. I just hope we don't get embarrassed right now.

Top tip for the moment would be to forget a hire car and use public transport. On Sunday a tube to Wembley Park (Metropolitan or Jubilee line) will be a much easier journey than driving to the stadium.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Yitz said...

Heathrow has some pretty nice duty-free shops, and the dollar to the pound is lousy, so everything is expensive. As far as the game being there instead of here, I think it's unfair that the Dolphins lose a home game, and have to travel so far. To me, Goodell is trying to globalize in the wrong way. Globalization should never come at the expense of the product on the field, and if this continues, teams will have real competitive disadvantages. Comments by Goodell that the superbowl might be held anywhere but the US (or North America) upset me. If you want to spread through North America by expansion, then make Canada and/or Mexico a part of the league by giving them teams. But don't play regular season games in places that aren't really a part of the league.
Yitz Greenberg

3:27 PM  
Anonymous nombeplame said...

Armado, it's nomdeplAme. My name is Val and since my husband spilled the beans that I was a top secret pencil-pusher at the CIA, the notoriety has been spectacular. So, don't misspell my name again, please, or I'll sic Joe on you. If he can brutalize VPOTUS and his minions with a few lies, he can do a number on you too.

Oh, yes, I've been to London, but I can't talk about it since it's all very hush hush. Toodles.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Donovan said...

In my opinion, a pub is like a mix of a restaurant and bar. A bar tends to have tons of liquors available, and probably a lot of beers on tap. In a pub, you might have 4 or so beers to choose from. Never bothered to see if they have liquor. They have a limited menu of English food (even though all have fish and chips). Most of the pubs are in extremely old buildings with a ton of history. On of my favorites is over 400 years old and I can't stand up straight in it! Pubs are a bit more social than a bar. People often go to pubs after work for a beer and some crisps(potato chips) before heading home. Also, the beer taps aren't carbonation powered, so the barmaids have to pump the handle to get you your beer.

It's kind of hard to explain, but a pub is a lot more like a club house or something to that effect. It's something that you'll have to experience if you get a chance to cross the pond.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando, I'm a Dolphins fan in New York. One of the biggest financial mistakes I've made this year was making arrangements to go to this game back in July. I really wish I could cancel the trip, especially with the dollar contniuing to depreciate vs foreign currencies, but there are a couple of reasons why I can't. First, I invited my Giants fan friend to come (he's flying in from Florida, ironically) and he's obviously pumped. Second, I would lose $400-500 on the game tickets and $100 to cancel the flights. That's too much money to toss down the drain. So I'm gonig to go and enjoy visiting the city for the first time. And when game day comes, I'll drown my sorrows in 10 beers, just like I did last Sunday when I saw the Patriots ridicule my decision to fly to Miami for that game. The only difference across the pond is that I'll get to do it sitting in the cold with a stead rain...whoopie!

Rodney from New York

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in NY, are a die-hard dolphins fan and I am not at all upset that I am headed to London tomorrow and that I booked this in June. It wasnt as if I expected them to be a playoff caliber team this year so why should I now be upset. I am still looking forward to being there and I am sure it will be very exciting. The same people who are annoyed that we are playing in London are the ones who don't even go to games in South Florida or who dont even use their season tickets. Going to a Giants Dolphins game at JRS this weekend would have been depressing since just like at Jet games, half the stadium would be New Yorkers and by halftime when the phins are down 21-3, the only people left would be giant fans. I would be at a bar in NY watching this and all i would see on CBS is the Giants fans in the crowd acting like they are in the meadowlands. It will be nice to be at a dolphins "home" game when there is actually crowd noise.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Bubba Kartoffel said...

I visited London just once back in 1971. I had a little time to kill when my ship, the aircraft carrier Intrepid (she's now a floating museum in New York - that's how old I am), was in port in Plymouth. Anyway, I took a train to London and looked for a place to spend the night. Everything was booked - no vacancies. I ended up sleeping on a bench on the Embankment covered with newspapers for warmth. Took the train back to Plymouth in the morning. I thought it was noteworthy that one could sleep unmolested in a public place in such a large city. The inhabitants were friendly and helpful. I'm willing to bet things have changed so much that it would no longer be safe, but I am willing to be corrected.

I'll be watching the game in Texas. I've threatened to switch my allegiance to the Cowboys or Texans, but am unable. I've lived in TX now for 6 years and can't do it - Dolphin for life.

As for the people who insist on calling themselves fans in one breath and stabbing their owner and coaches in the back with scant provocation in the next - fie on ya!

3:58 PM  
Anonymous ukdolfan said...

Hey Bubba, as one ex navy vet to another all be it Royal Navy, dont sleep on any benches in london these days, its really not the same place any more, just some friendly advice lol. In fact most English people dont even recognise London as an English city anymore apart from the history. Anyway keep supporting the fins man.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Andy Davidson said...

Hi Armando,

I'm Andy from Manchester in the UK. Started following the Dolphins at the age of 16 in '82 when football got started on Channel 4 over here.

Picked the Fins as my team as my parents had only ever visited Fla in the US at that time. Remember watching the '83 SB when Riggins ran all over us!!

When Danny came on the scene my support grew even stronger. The only way you could follow a live game at that time over here was on the Armed Forces Network on an AM radio which was extremely crackly but VERY exciting.

You'd never know if the Fins were the commentary game at 6 or 9 pm GMT until the announcer said "and today from the Orange Bowl (or later Joe Robbie Stadium) we bring you the NY Jets at the Miami Dolphins"

I'd always wait with baited breath hoping we'd be the featured game as otherwise I'd have to rely on score flashes from the presenter during time outs or HT.

The Mon Night Game meant me listening from 2-5 am on my crackly radio. The highlight for me was probably the Bears game at home in 1985 when Danny beat the all conquering Bears to stop their quest for a perfect season. Great night for me...punching the air in the darkness as we ran riot via the Marks brothers!!!

My first live game was at the then Joe Robbie on 10 Nov 1991 in a Sun night victory v the Pats. I was travelling across the US as a backpacker with 2 friends and was determined to see us play at home. Great memories.

As it turned out we'd reach Calif approx 4 weeks later and to my delight I saw us play @ the Chargers at Jack Murphy Stadium. We lost 38-30 but I remember my suprise and delight at the no of Fins fans at the stadium.

Since then marriage and family have intervened until now I get the chance to see us live again on Sun at Wembley. I can't wait to show up in my Dolphin cap and shirt. Its just a shame we're such a poor team at present. I'm esp gutted not to be seeing Ronnie as he's developed into a real star this year. I'll still have a great time though.

I'm doubly fortunate this year actually. I was 40 earlier this month and in Dec my wife and I are travelling to Mia for 5 days(without the kids)and we'll be at Dolphin Stadium on Dec 2 to see us take on and hopefully stuff those stinkin' Jets!!!

Again I can't wait.

I've watched the Fins live on TV in every reg season game this year and got steadily more frustrated at our inability to beat mainly moderate teams. The Raiders debacle was the lowest point. For g-ds sake, I could DEFINITELY beat Daunte in a 40 yd sprint but our D obviously couldn't!!!

I think Cam is certainly improving the O considerably and I'd like to see Beck given a chance before long.

The D has been a HUGE disappointment. Dom Capers must surely take a lot of the heat though injuries haven't helped. Btw WHERE IS JOEY PORTER?? He's a legend in his own lunchtime.

Thanks for reading this Armando and to all my fellow Fin fans...KEEP THE FAITH as we WILL be GREAT again soon....I Hope !!!

Andy

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando,
any chance the fins try to get Grady Jackson? Hall seems pretty unhappy as well, wouldn't mind seeing him in a fins uniform one day...

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It always irritates me when somebody questions another fan's loyalty just because they are upset/depressed at the current state of a losing team. If anything, someone who is obviously affected by losing is clearly emotionaly invested in the successes and failures of the team. Some of you have the ability to act like nothing is wrong when your team is 0-7. I'm not one of them. So get off your high horse, lad.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Dear Armando,

I think I fall somewhere in between two of your catagories. I'm from Plantation but I've lived in Madrid for over two years now. I've been reduced to watching the Dolphins, and NFL in general, on tiny TVs in Irish pubs while the world rugby championships and any soccer game gets one of the many big screens. It's a hard life. From across the sea I watched (well, read) Chris Chambers gain over a thousand receiving yards, Ricky Williams come back and leave again, the Dolphins win 7 straight, Saban pick Culpepper over Brees, Cleo Lemon's first start and, of course, the drafting of Ted Ginn, Jr.

I was physched about combining my first visit to London with the first international NFL game. In the end I couldn't scrounge up the money for it, and I was sad. Then the Dolphins made up for it by going 0-7, and I felt better.

I guess my point is that thinking it over again, if I could afford it, it wouldn't matter. I'd definately go. They're the Dolphins, and it's fútbol americano, the game I always tell people I like better than "fútbol normal." I even taught a friend from Barcelona the Dolphins theme song after hearing him sing the Barça theme on end. He forwarded me an article abut Ronniw Brown being out this week. As if I needed it.

Ok, I know I'm rambling, but now i think this is my point: 0-7, 0-16, whatever. Having a really bad Miami Dolphins nearby is still better than no Miami Dolphins.

And way better than hearing about the US in the Basketball World Cup last year.

¡Viva!
Eric Stevenson, Madrid/Plantation

4:38 PM  
Blogger jun27 said...

Hey Armando,

Good to see you on the BBC on Monday night.

I am a Dolphins fan living in the north of Scotland. I will be flying down to London on Friday and will have to miss work on Monday (don't tell the boss). I first got into football in the 1980s and opted for Miami as my team because of Miami Vice and Dan. I coach a High School flag team and was a season ticket holder with the Scottish Claymores.

I am so excited that I will get to see the team in the flesh - as a teacher it is difficult to arrange a trip to the States during the football season - but disappointed that the season has gone so poorly. I still like a lot of what Coach Cameron is doing and hope that he will be given time. Cowher was not always successful in Pittsburgh but the Rooneys supported him and gave him time to build the team - that's what we need to do. There is no quick fix for 0-7.

Nevertheless, be assured there are tons of 'phins fans here in the UK.

Enjoy your trip. Go 'phins.

Best wishes,
John

PS Remember that England and Britain are not interchangeable terms/names. Some of us Celts get a little annoyed when people forget that Wales, Scotland and Ireland are countries in their own right and are not England.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Helicopter Catch said...

'Mando,
#1 Love the idea of playing in London. Just wish it had been a preseason game. Also, not a New York team or a division team.
#2 Would like to see more games overseas: Mexico City, Sydney, Berlin, Moscow, Tokyo
#3 I wish we had a better product on the field though. The British must think this is some kind of sick joke sending this team over there.
#4 British people are great. Very rowdy. Love to drink and especially to get you drunk. You feel like a bumblebee sprayed with Raid after spending a while with them.
#5 Best memory was: I went to London in 1990, stayed at a Youth Hostel, and scored tix to see the Stones at old Wembley Stadium, and Page and Plant at something called the Knebworth Festival.
#6 I want Taylor and Thomas to retire as Dolphins.
#7 I want Jake Long from Michigan, not McFadden, Ryan, or Dorsey.
#8 I hope they bring that inflatable Jason Taylor back from England and set it up at Dolphin Stadium.

5:32 PM  
Blogger Richard B said...

Hello,
I'm Richard from Darlington, North East England.
I've been a Dolphins fan since 1986 and chose Miami (as a 12 yr old), because a) i like the city and the images it conjures up b) I like Dolphins(!) - amazing creatures and c) I suppose they were well known in the UK then.

I'm going to the game, and I can't wait. It'll be the first time i've seen the Dolphins.

The new Wembley is amazing - one of, if not the best stadium in the world.

Yes we're in a bit of a fix at the moment, but we'll pull through. We've had cruel luck with injuries - particularly Ronnie Brown, he's a big loss.

Hopefully one win will create a bit of confidence and lead to some more wins..here's hoping and let's get that win on Sunday!!

I'm hoping to toast a Fins win in Cheers bar on Regent Street after the game!!

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm another dolphins fan from Scotland. I am flying down to London on Saturday morning and heading back on the Monday. I am taking my wife and two son's, 12 and 9, to the game. My youngest can't decide whether to wear his Chambers shirt, or his new Brown shirt that I got him in Las Vegas last month! I haven't the guts to tell him yet!

Before the internet I used to listen to all the Dolphins games on Armed Forces radio. My biggest disappointment was when we lost the AFC Championship game to San Diego after being up 21 at half time, then Stoyanovich missed a FG with seconds left. Can't remember the guy for the Chargers who got the winning TD but I do remember something about him being shot when he was younger. Man I was gutted for weeks after that game.

I think we need to see what Beck can do sooner rather than later. With a top 5 draft pick coming we need to see if the guy can play. Obviously we need to strengthen on the defensive side of the ball with the line and the secondary priorities. I would like to see a deal similar to what San Diego pulled off with Manning/Rivers. It turned that franchise around. Hopefully there will be some guys in demand that make that a possibility. If we pick at number 1 then we should try to trade down. We need the picks and also I don't think we can afford the holdouts you usually get with the number 1 pick.

Unless you get a high 2nd round pick for him then I say keep JT.

Enjoy London, it is a big city with lots of history. Head for Covent Garden on Saturday afternoon and enjoy the free shows. Also, if you get homesick go to the Texas Embassy Restaurant near Trafalgar Square for some tex-mex "grub". The ice cold coronas and chips and salsa will be just like home.

William, Scotland.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I'm Lee from Worthing, West Sussex

I am looking forward to the game on sunday having been a Dolphins fan since 1984.I remember going to the preseason game v the 49ers at wembley back in the 80s.I could not get tickets for the game overhere so i wrote to the Dolphins and got a reply back from i believe it was from Dan Robbie saying which hotel they were staying in while in London and they would arrange for me to pick up a couple of tickets from the hotel.They were true to their word a i had a great day out.
As for the teams current problems i think all phins fans need to keep the faith as things can change around very quickly so with a good draft next year we could start to see the first green shoots of a recovery.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, if you want to look at this in a positive way, at least we are getting OUR overseas commitment done with now when we stink instead of worrying about it having a negative effect at some point in future seasons, hopefully, when will be competative again and possibily having a negative effect.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all the dolphins players and coaches should all jump off of big ben!

7:06 PM  
Blogger Dolphin-N-Despair said...

I could care less about this game.............I am so upset with the entire franchise right now.........I used to never miss a second of the dolphins game............Now all I do is watch punt/kickoff returns to see how Ginn is doing and watch the offense because of Ronnie..........Now all I get to watch is kickoffs.............what a joke........Remember when the dolphins actually used to be competitive.....

7:13 PM  
Blogger mike said...

I will take this season over a marginally successful one where we are competitive enough to beat some teams but not enough to go to the playoffs and then we get shitty draft picks. Most people who are upset with the Dolphins simply have way to high expectations for what we went into the season with. Sure we could have been a fluke team with first year coaching that looked good (like the Jets and Saints last year)...but look at those flukes now.

On the other hand things just may get even worse. Just read that Zach may miss London because of whiplash suffered when a Pats fan rear ended him on the highway after the game Sunday.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a Florida boy here, but a lifelong fan. I am glad that the team has the diversion of the trip to take their mind off of things. I wish I could be there to see the game, and to see that huge ol' #99 that I've seen on the tele. I think I'd like to see the real JT stand just as tall against the G'ints. Cheerio!

Make us proud Dolphins!!!
DrumFinFan

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Dolfan Ray from Massachusetts said...

Lots of great comments and ideas interspersed with the same old idiotic statements to fire Cam and Randy. That's the first sign of lack of intelligence with these folks. Second is lack of patience. How many 1st overall picks have the Fins had? None. Check out how many 1st overall picks the Pats and Cowboys had just before they began their respective dynasties. I have been to England, but not for long. Just a quick stop-over with my Air Force unit. I will watch, as always, and watch the younger players develop and become more experienced for the seasons that matter. Beck needs to play. We need to know what we have before the next draft. Again, look at Peyton Manning's 1st year and Troy Aikman's 1st years (1-15). On the job training is the best way for these guys to learn. Patience and support is what our team needs right now. Too many seasons of mediocrity and never contending. Stability in the front office will help. Firing people at the 1st sign of failure isn't a solution. It's just plain stupid. Cam and Randy WILL get it done. They will build a team around the current batch. 2-3 years from now Dolphin stadium will have plenty of fin-fans to out-cheer those damned Pats fans. Support your team. Understand that this is the bottom. It's time to tear it down and build it up right. No quick fix for this team. There are bright spots. They will eventually burn bright. Give it time!!

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Bubba Kartoffel said...

Anonymous said...
It always irritates me when somebody questions another fan's loyalty just because they are upset/depressed at the current state of a losing team. If anything, someone who is obviously affected by losing is clearly emotionaly invested in the successes and failures of the team. Some of you have the ability to act like nothing is wrong when your team is 0-7. I'm not one of them. So get off your high horse, lad.

4:36 PM

I may be wrong in assuming you are addressing me. If so, I'm sorry, well, maybe not.

It is one thing to be depressed and emotionally invested with a losing team and quite another to verbally attack the coach and GM with name-calling stupidity. Some folks call themselves fans and pretend to be geniuses who are convinced that every single move made by ownership, management and coaches is an unmitigated disaster.
I'm sorry, but until Mueller and Cameron have a chance to prove their brilliance, mediocricy or idiocy, bashing them after 7 games is NOT, IMHO, being a 'fan'.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous joseph said...

Armando,

My sister actually lives in Scotland with her husband and I hear from them that there is a lot of excitement about the game in general. I think it would be fun to go to the game but I could not make it work.

It does bother me that the Dolphins lost a home game. Historically, the Dolphins have been great at home in September and October and if this was a competing team, losing that home game could have had very bad consequences. It is another example of Dolphins management making business decisions instead of sound football decisions. We need a billionaire who does not care about money to own the team. Say what you will about Dan Snyder or Jerry Jones, but they would never sacrifice their team's potential success for a chance at additional profits.

I will continue to watch the games because as a fan I want to see how bad this team truly is and hopefully see the young guys grow.

Have fun over there, if you get the chance go to a pub while a local soccer team is playing and enjoy the atmosphere.

Joseph (Dallas, TX)

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dolfan of 24 years living in Wales(that's a liitle country next to England!!) who unfortunately couldn't get a ticket for the game.

How to improve the Dolphins?? Having seen every game this year on satellite TV, defense, defense, defense!!!

My concern going into the season was the offense but it has been functional without being explosive, with our defense stinking the joint out!!!!

I will again be watching the game on TV, so please let's win as my mate is a Giants fan and he would be unbearable Monday at work!!!

4:03 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Hey Armando – I’m impressed if you read this far.
I live in Manchester UK, (about 200 miles from London) we are making a weekend of it. I was really excited when this was announced – not only do we get a game that actually means something – its my team as well. I only hope we can create a special atmosphere or something because a Dolphins win is probably pretty long odds.
Like many others I started watching your Football in the mid 80s and #13 stood out as absolute quality – easy choice pick your team and live with it.
I used to get news from ESPN.com but they just seemed to rerun your stories so I dumped the middleman – I think you and Jeff do a great job.
Improving this team is going to take some time but if you are going to do it the one thing you need above all else is Stability at the top. My soccer team once had 6 coaches in one season – it went something like this year’s one for the Dolphins but at least you don’t get relegated! With Stability you can decide what kind of players you want, how you want them to play, refine the system and let players learn it rather than change it every year. We are better on Offence than last year – points per game are up so something has improved. Use the free agency and Draft to rebuild the defence (although I would like to see more OL talent as well) but let Capers finish the project he started.
If you catch any Soccer over here remember that Manchester United = New England Patriots. City (and Dolphins) till I die

4:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando - I'm a Canadian kid living in London and a life long dolfan. I'm thrilled to get a chance to watch the Dolphins live. I can understand local fans being annoyed at losing one of their 8 home games but hey, if ever there was a year to lose a home game, this is the year.

I think you'll be quite surprised at the knowledge level of some of the British fans. I often field queries regarding the draft, salary cap or franchise players from fellow NFL fans who are looking for a better understanding of their teams' issues.

As for improving the Dolphins - 1) draft some defensive talent (all 3 top 50 picks in 2008 have to be defense) 2) sign a marquee free agent cornerback in the off-season if one of them isn't franchised (hopefully Asant Samuels) 3) hope like hell Ronnie Brown's ACL heals along with Yerimiah Bell's achilles tendon

4:42 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Hi Mando, I'm from Manchester in England and I got interested in the game not long after it first started on TV over here. I was seven years old when I first watched a game – Superbowl XIX. I picked a team to support before kick off and as I’d heard of Dan Marino went with the Dolphins (at the time I hadn’t heard of the niners QB, but don’t think his career ever amounted to much! :-) ). Didn’t really start following the game seriously until a few years later during the ’89 season, but ever since then have been hooked and been a Dolphins fan throughout.

Like a few other bloggers on this site, I initially relied on the American Armed Forces radio to follow the games live. This meant a Sunday evening of looking like a safe cracker as I carefully turning the dial on my radio to try and get the right frequency to pick up a faint signal that would be interrupted every 5 mins by some French radio station. But in amongst the static, I remember some great moments (especially the 92 season which was the first time I saw Miami win the AFC East, highlights were the regular season game in Buffalo – Keith Jackson’s first game and Louis Oliver's 102 yard interception return – and beating San Diego 31-0 in the playoffs), some bad moments (hearing the update on a Dolphins v Browns game and finding out Marino had ruptured his achilles) and some confusing moments (the radio commentators didn’t really know how to explain that snow game in Dallas when Leon Lett fell onto Stoyanovich’s blocked field goal – I didn’t understand what had happened and how we won that game until I saw the highlights on TV later in the week!). Luckily, we also got a regular highlights programme on Channel 4 over here so I was also able to watch some of the action.

As a teenager, there wasn’t much chance of me making my own way to Miami to watch a game, but during a couple of family holidays to Florida was able to watch a Miami v Tampa Bay pre-season game at the Citrus Bowl and during a visit to Miami in ’92, was too early for the pre-season, but went to an event at Joe Robbie Stadium (I think it was called family day or something) where the team put on a scrimmage and the fans could meet the players. I waited in line for an hour to meet Dan Marino and get his autograph, by the time I got to the front I was so nervous I think I only said 2 or 3 words to him!.

I finally got to see a regular season game a few years back in 2003 when I watched them play the Texans in Miami – disappointed to lose but it was fantastic to watch a regular season game. I will be at Wembley for only my second ever Dolphins regular season game and despite the disappointing season that has now been compounded by the fact I won’t get to see Ronnie (and it looks like Zach is also going to be out now), it’ll be great just to see them play live again.

I understand that some fans in Miami may be disappointed at losing a game and see it as just a way for the NFL and Wayne to cash in and make more money through expansion, but for fans over here it represents hope. I’ve followed the game for over 20 years and played it for 15 at every level it is possible to play at in this country, and throughout it’s taken a serious commitment to keep going. Imagine being a Dolphins fan, and passionate about football, but always wondering if it’s going to be taken away from you (Channel 4 stopped covering the game in 1996 and although Channel 5 picked it up by showing only Monday night games, for a while it looked as though terrestrial coverage may stop completely), playing in a youth league that was so short of players we had to reduce the teams to only 9 men on the field to prevent the league from folding, and throughout always being told from others that the sport is soft because we have to wear ‘crash helmets’ and that it is ‘just Rugby with pads on’. If the Wembley game can be the start of something that expands awareness of the sport in this country, educates people about the game and how different it is to Rugby or any other sport we have over here, and just gets a few more people hooked enough to generate a bigger following in this country, then finally American Football may start to get the interest and the respect outside of North America that it deserves.

I’ve rambled on a bit there about how I became a ‘fins fan so will be quick about suggested improvements – First ensure stability in the coaching set up so players are in the same system for more than a year. Also, like others on here, think we need to start Beck and the other younger players soon. Lets face facts, we are in a rebuilding process and we want to do it right rather than being a one year fluke before ending up back at the bottom (like the saints). So we have to accept it’ll take at least 3 years to be a contender and so need to look at all players under 30, start playing them and see what we have. We need to ignore free agency for the next few years, don’t spend the big bucks and instead get into a decent salary cap position. Stockpile draft picks and don’t reach for players at need positions – at the moment, every position on this team is a need position so just take the best player available. Drafting players who actually end up starting for this team has got to be an improvement. Once we have a solid base of players through the draft can then use free agency to fill the needs that are left.

Mando, tips for the UK – London can be an interesting city to visit. Try and see some of the history and do a walking tour, but London doesn’t really represent the rest of the country. If you want to experience the real Britain, you need to get to some of the other cities (I can recommend Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle), and for the best of the British countryside, get to the Lake District, North Wales, or best of all the Scottish Highlands. If you have time, try and get to a premiership soccer game – ask the Glazers if they can get you tickets to Man Utd! Oh, and if you need suggestions for interviews, you could do a lot worse that Martin Johnson – he’s going to be the honorary Dolphins captain on the day, but he is a former England rugby captain who has won the World Cup, but also played American Football in this country since he was a kid so has experienced that side of things. Finally, there is an unofficial tailgate party at the ‘Green Man’ hotel and pub just around the corner from Wembley stadium, looks like it is going to be huge and would be worth a visit if you want to experience a British pub and talk to the local fans.

Hope that helps – enjoy the game and your trip over here.

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Henry said...

Dear Armando,
I am a British guy & lifelong Dolphins fan. I'm 25 now, when I was a kid my family moved to Austin, Texas for 5 years and I got into American Football while living out there. This was the late 80s and a certain Mr Marino was throwing to the Marks brothers, so that (plus I like dolphins as creatures) led me to support them rather than the closer-to-home cowboys or oilers. No regrets about that, miami are my team and for most of the 90s were a credible playoff team [as you know!], always a game or two short of the big one.
in terms of the game being held in london now, there is already a hardcore group of american football fans in britain - the university league, for example, is growing all the time, even if it in no way compares to college football in the states - and the game will attract new supporters too. that said, american football will always be a "minority" support here, perhaps in part by the sheer limitations implied by the name: it is "american" football, and us english being quite defensive about any sport we can't claim as having founded (hence rugby, football/soccer, and cricket being our "national" sports). there's more to it than that, of course, but i do think the giants vs. fins game will, at the least, raise the sport's profile to the younger generation.

lastly, i have a question about the fins. i think at the beginning of the season you predicted the team going 10-6. in retrospect, can you explain why you felt so confident about us, and why their struggles have been so acute? For the record, i dont think we will go 0-16.
Best,

Henry Knight (Brighton, England)

6:07 AM  
Blogger Scheiben Honig said...

It seems we have more and better fans in the UK than we have here! Thanks for all the Dolphin tales. My most vivid memory of a Dolphin game was actually being at the Orange Bowl for the 1985 Bears defeat. I had gone to Miami to play golf.

The friend I went to visit was the golf pro at a course owned by Earl Morrell. He managed to get some tix and they weren't together. Problem was mine was in the section of the stands where all the Bears fans were. What a sweet night! Marino solved Buddy Ryan's
'46' defense. I have never been to a sporting event with so much 'electricity' in the air. Nor one that provided as much satisfaction.

If we win against the Giants, it will be a monumental boost to morale. Even with all the injuries and other problems, I don't think this team is as bad as its record.
Maybe you great fans over there can provide Miami with some Wembley magic and resurrect the season.

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Steve O said...

Dolphins fan from Birmingham, England since around 1985 when a mate brought me back a dolphins penant from Miami. Starting watching it then on channel 4 and been addicted ever since - I will be at wembley on Sunday and the tailgate at wembley arena (in a Channing Crowder jersey)!

Losing ronnie is the worst blow, but would like to see lorenzo booker get some time in the rotation to see if he can do it. With lemon presumably starting at qb for a while, damnit spread the offense and use the deep ball! I am sure TG Jr wasnt drafted to catch crossing routes all season!

Defense wise, phew what doesnt need fixing. Draft glenn Dorsey and use the Chambers cap saves to pick up deangelo hall. Also lets see if J allen can play, give him the season, if he sucks, cut him, if he improves then that is one less draft position to look at!

oh and fire the ST coach!

Hope too see some of you guys there!

Steve

7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dolphins fan from leeds going to the game with 5 mates and i cant wait! Only bin a fan for 3 years but still love it!! See you all there
GO PHINS

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Ali said...

Dolphin fan in London and cant wait till this Sunday!!

The slide the dolphins have been on for the past 4-5yrs have been a result of Coaches/GM thinkin about the here and now and not planning for the future.

The one thing i cant get my head around is our current GM Muller. I've been reading (on ur wonderful site) for the past couple of years about how he's never had the final say on drafting players... is that still the case with him now?

because it just strikes me that a man who'd pride himself in his work cant sell the best player he belives in to his coach. Its one of the main reasons the Dolphins have been strugling for so long. We've tried to keep the old gaurd for so long that its hit our cap each year and that the coaches were getting excited about players that seemed werent the best at the pick and were even told as much by the front office.

You look around the league and all the teams that have been consistantly at the top have GMs in place that overlook all of the picks and give the coaches the best players they feel are suited to the teams needs. So just wondering is that the case now with Muller?

When your in London you must go to Trafalgar sq... they've put up a massive animated figure, a 26 foot version of Miami defensive end Jason Taylor!!! If only we could use it against the Giants on Sunday :)
All the doom and gloom aside I'd be happy with the game if i could just see one bone crunching sack from the big guy... that'd make my night!

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Brits you will meet will vary greatly with where you go and what you are doing. My travels to the UK, mainly London and the areas west of it, where many high tech companies settled, spanned 30 years. As the country recovered from its disastrous economic policies, people demonstrated less evidence of participating in a class society, which it was. Prosperity does it.

I found the true English spirit, or at least what I wanted it to be, by staying in small, privately-owned hotels and met the kind and friendly English people by taking walks in London. You need something like London A-Z (paper map, doesn't need batteries) and try walking in areas off the main street where families have lived for ages. When you start walking down the alleys you discover small, neighborhood shops and pubs. That is where you will find England, or what is left of it.

Good luck and, if you have a chance, have a good Indian meal - go out with a group and tell them to "bring food". Don't forget to order the fire extinguishing, yogurt drink to handle the spicy side :-)

I will watch the game and hope to see some signs of progress. I also hope Miami handles the jet-lag better than the Giants. It might make a difference.

WRT the game being played there, well I once took my wife to see a pre-season game (her first FB game) between the LA Rams and the St. Lous Cardinals - that dates it - in Berlin Olympic stadium. Over there football is what we call soccer. The game is now known in Europe and I think it is good. I remember the US players in the NFL PRactice (World) League joking about fans doing "The Wave". People enjoy the same things differently. Maybe that is the bottom line.

Charles in Boca

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to say, but most football fans in London will be tuned to the Arsenal-Liverpool Premier League match on Sunday evening.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been a fins fan from Manchester since 1989 when i 1st went to Florida on holiday - been across every year since and seen a 'home' game every year - this year I get to see them twice!!

8:56 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

When they scheduled the game I was upset that we gave up a home game for it. But considering the way the team is playing, it doesn't matter-- they can suck in any stadium, it doesn't have to be Dolphin Stadium.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am actually amazed by the amount of support there is for the fins in the UK. Also I am realizing just how big of an impact Danny had on this franchise. I bet 90% of fans who are not from SoFla are fans becuase of Marino.

Amazing. Thanks Mando for this idea of a topic b/c it is nice to hear people actually excited to watch the fins (even if they are a mess). Makes me realize what a privilege it is to be able to watch the teamyou love (even if they sucks the big one and pisses you off.) Also so glad to read something more interesting than the typical. We suck, fire everybody negative garbage which is all we get here nowadays.

I say enjoy the 15 good plays we make a game (which will be reduced to 5 now without Ronnie).

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

This is all very interesting... I never really thought a blog would be so far reaching and there were so many Dolphin fans in the UK. I hope you folks have a great time at the game and chear us on to our 1st victory!

Hoist a couple pints for me!

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So when do we get the FA cup final in Miami?? :)

Lloyd Heilbrunn

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando, please, don't be the typical US selfcentric. Football is not exclusively for America and be a Dolphins fan is not exclusively for those that live in Florida or the US.
I'm from Mexico, I've been a Dolphin fan since 1984 (when I had enough concience to understand what a Super Bowl means). I played football for 12 years, since I was little boy at the age of 6. So, yes, I'm frustrated and would prefer to be a Patriots fan more than be a Dolphins fan. But I hate the Patriots since the AFC Championship game in 1985 (If they would beat NE, Dolphins should have won that Super Bowl againts the Bears, just like they did on Monday nigth that the same season). I have a lot of memories, most of them just sad.
Yes, indeed, in Mexico we see NFL football games. We follow NFL teams and understand, better than most people what is football all about, because we follow the NFL because of love, love for the game and all the things around this extraordinary sport.
We don't drink Tequila and wear funny "sombreros" all the time, we wear caps and jerseys from our favorite teams. We also play Madden (although it is not as good as those TECMO-Nintendo games), like kids and adults do in the US. We watch ESPN and review websites and blogs. We live the experience of football more than anything because we love the game.
So, please, don't be a selfcentric journalist that thinks that because you live in Miami area you have more rights than me to feel bad about this team.
I read you all the time and I think you're clever enough to respect 'dolfans' beyond US frontiers. So, please, when you write about them, about us (the fans), be respectful, because we love the Dolphins enough to feel terrible about this season. No matter we don't live in Miami or America.
I'm proud to be Mexican and I'm proud to be a Dolphins fan. I watched them play in Mexico against Denver once. I was in Dallas stadium on Thanksgiving Day a couple of year ago when they erased the Cowboys. I watch them play every Sunday, no matter where am I. I saw the game againts NE at Toronto airport, sad and angry. And I also feel sick about all the bullshit sourranding the team.
So, once again, when you write about MY Dolphins, please, remember I'll be reading you. Please, try to be more positive and constructive, the Dolphins needs from you (the media) and from us (the fans) in this terrible season. If you have played in a football team, you should understand how it feels to lose, now, try to imagine how does it feels to lose 7 in a row.
We need help them to improve their minds and their souls, not beat them as if they were down in the floor receiving any kind of kicks.
I'll stay loyal, I'll stay loyal forever, because this is MY team, I'm proud of it and I'm sure that next season or the next one, they will become a better team and maybe some day, I will have the opportunity to see a new Miami Championship. I'll keep the faith.
Forgive my grammar, I'm not a English speaker native. But I think I made my point, rigth?
Arturo
arturo.salazar@mac.com

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone made a comment about their first Dolphins game, and it took me back to the only game I ever saw played in the Orange Bowl. It was the 1984 Divisional Playoff game when the Dolphins beat the Seahawks 31-10. I'll never forget how great it felt to witness the greatness of Dan Marino live.

I hope that the team gets things turned around soon.

Go Dolphins!!!
DrumFinFan

10:22 AM  
Blogger Ari said...

Armando:

Spent three years in Cambridge as a Phins fanatic, although I'm a native Texan. I made sure to get SKY Digital cable so I could get ESPN International, which used to show Monday night games. And Britain's Channel 4 shows Sunday games live. I can't tell you how many times I stayed up to 3, 4 or 5am watching the Dolphins play on MNF a decade ago, when they were still pretty good but starting the decline.
Of course, the first thing the British will do is make fun of you for referring to football as football, not as 'American football.' Nevertheless, there is a significant British underground that enjoys the NFL. There are many ex-pats also who descend upon select London sports bars that show the NFL every week and root for their teams. Some quick tips and advice on navigating through Old Blighty:
-Do not discuss US foreign policy
-Make sure to change money only at ATMs with a debit card; banks and others will rob you blind
-Make sure you look up the proper definition of 'irony' before arriving
-Familiarize yourself with the top teams in the Premiere League
-Slag off David Beckham
-Bring your own spices to help with the bland British food
-Go to the Tower of London, the Tate Modern museum and the British Museum (for the Rosetta Stone)
-Check out Speakers Corner in Hyde Park on Sunday
-And finally, do something - anything - nefarious to the Giants team bus (aka 'motorcoach') that will give the Dolphins an edge!
Cheerio, as they say,
Ari

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Ricky W., Grass Valley, CA said...

I am a Dolphin Fan from the U.S. Is mary jane legal over the pond? Hmmm, I may go..... Ricky W., Grass Valley, CA

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...Some of the Britts are a long winded bunch ;)
But good and loyal fans...Glad they are getting to attend a live game.It is an exspiriance even with it being a loss the game and goings on around the stadium are alot of fun..
I wonder what it would be like to be a a British Tail Gate Party..
Maybe some of you could tell us your plans...of give us an accout later of what took place at some of the Tail Gates.

PhinPhan
Okeechobee

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never been...

wish I was going...

I'm jacked for this game because it's in London......(can't you tell).

In all seriousness, I am more interested because it is overseas. I am hoping to see Ginn do a little bit. Maybe Porter can do something positive again. J.T. may get to Eli a time or two...It may be interesting to see how Vernon Carey does against Osi Oceanawearwolf or whatever his name is....Maybe Booker can do what he did to Crowder during preseason that we kept hearing so much about...Maybe seeing Jason Allen stop 1 out of 3 or 4 passes going to Plax downfield would be nice. It'd be nice to Brandon Jacobs not have his way with a Zachless Defense too.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Scheiben Honig said...

Ali in London ~

To answer your question, Mueller has had final say in three places - Seattle (part of the time), New Orleans and now Miami since Saban's departure. It is often confusing because the circumstances are different on different teams. It can be the GM, the coach, president or vice-president of player personnel, president of football operations and sometimes the owner who has final say. Some other titles as well.

Mueller has final say now, but says he and Cameron try to agree on most moves. He was instrumental in hiring Cameron, so we know he tried to find someone with whom he could work rather than have a battle of egos.

In New Orleans, he inherited a decimated team similar to our present 'Phins and provided the players that took them to their first playoff appearance EVER. He was awarded the Sporting News NFL Executive of the Year award in 2000.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous clive said...

Hi Armando,
this is a great blog idea.I am from Leeds in England(it is true to be careful about getting england/wales/scotland/N.Irelandd in correct parlance).
I am a slightly different fan from amny who have written.I am NOT a 'FIN fan--but will be for the day... well the AFC has to stick together.Normal service will be resumed on 11/26 ;)
I was first able to get seiously interested in the game in the 70's when we only saw about 30 minutes of the ROSE BOWL or ORANGE BOWL a year...one year they said it would be ''the superbowl''--no explanation or nothing..and have followed the same path as many other respondants since then in respect of TV/radio coverage.Also with the domestic game in the mid 80's/through start of 90's with my local team.
As with many respondants i have been there seen it got the sweatshirt with preseason games/WLAF/NFLE and also have seen NCAA div1.
I shall be at the game and the iconic reputation of dan marino/the 'marks brothers'/offerdahl/stephenson has held a strong memory which will account for i believe a strong 'FIN support.I presume you may not be in LONDON for long so also suggest you get to the official tailgate party or the unofficial one at the PUB mentioned.I am sure the nfluk people can ensure you find it and share some time with NFL fans from the UK.You will find we can talk about the game in a pretty decent way..
One thought--will they feel more relaxed without so many negative vibes about?????

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Dave,Ukdolfan said...

Armando, I am English born and bred.

Got into American Football, listening to crackily AFRTS radio back in the 70's.
Dolphins became my team as soon as our TV started coverage in 1982.

Made first trip to Miami to see Fins play in 1986 v Raiders at the Orange Bowl and have now been over to Miami 12 times with my next trip in 2 weeks time, so I will see 2 Fins home games in a row... 1 at Wembley and the Bills game in Miami!

I have been to 2 Super Bowls, in Miami in 1989 when 49'ers beat Bengals and in 2003 in San Diego when Bucs beat Raiders.

So you could say I am a BIG fan!

Just waiting and waiting for a winning team!

Dave (UKdolfan)

2:15 AM  
Anonymous Ian said...

Another British Dolphan reporting for duty!

I got in to the NFL as a teenager - I purchased the first Madden game on my then-beloved Sega Megadrive (Genesis for the Channing Crowders out there). I slowly grew to understand the sport from that (with the state of the old games it took a while to work out that Dan Marino didn't shift to middle linebacker when we were on D...) but fortunately that was the same year the Monarchs started playing in the abortive World League. I went to my first game against the Orlando Thunder, Victor Ebubedike became the first British RB to score a touchdown and I was hooked!

These days I follow the NFL from England with an obsession (much to the chagrin of my new wife). I check the web obsessively (gotta love this site and ProFootballTalk.com) to the extent that when I went to Florida for my honeymoon I felt that the local media kept me under-informed! Got to see my first home game on that trip dodging storms before we let Dante waltz through again and again (and again to really stick it to us). I am going on Sunday, so I guess that means I will have made a quarter of this years home games.

As to making this a team to fear rather than laugh at: the clues are quite clear. The skill players who have left here and gone to established systems are bettering themselves. We need to establish our system with some consistency and get the line right first. Cam has to be given time - we have spent too many consecutive years trying to bed in a new system and a new saviour. I think the offense is getting there now.

On D, I think we are seeing the ironic neglect of the secondary during the Saban years come home to roost. We need to put some talent back there and fast. I am afraid some of the criticism also needs to land at Dom's door. I was shocked at how JT seemed to have transformed back to a vanilla end, despite the ridiculous level of success he had last year. I cheered when we went after Porter because I thought he would be plugged into a hybrid/3-4 defence, but as best I can see we have been playing mainly a 4-3 base and wasting his talents. We can bemoan injuries, but the fact is the players who should have been second tier guys ready to come in are our starters (e.g. Renaldo Hill).

I just hope Roger Goodell doesn't get his head around our concept of relegation while he's here.

Lets hope for a stunning turnaround on Sunday, will 9-7 get us into the playoffs???

Enjoy London (and make sure you get out of the West End and see the rest of the city, if not some of the real country! Get on a train down to lovely Southend-on-Sea. It's just like Miami beach. Honest.)

3:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando, I currently live in the London area in a Village called Virginia Water. It is just south of Windsor and about 8 miles from Heathrow. I have been here for just over a year and plan to stay for about three.

I grew up in Hialeah graduated from HHS in 1982. During that time, I sold hot dogs and cokes at Fin games in the OB. I did it just to get into the games for free. I have been an avid fan since the early 70's and will, most definitely, be at the game on Sunday. I have traveled and seen them play all over the US, having moved here last year from Kansas.

I am glad that the fins are playing here as I think it is a great opportunity for fans all over the world.

Places to visit....I would take the Big Red Bus tour for £15. It is the best deal in town. It takes you to all of the sites and you can get on and off at any of the stops. Best value for the $$/££. Plus, all the museums are free and they are incredible. British, Natural History, and the Imperial War Museum are my favs.

Take out of the hotel and walk through Hyde Park and along the Mall. And for sure, don't miss stopping into Harrods. Or call me and I will come in and show you around.

Use the word cheers instead of thank you and no one will know you are from the states.

Oh yeah, and don't eat the meat! Who cares if you get the pudding!

Cheers,

Greg Arterburn

Dolphins 27
Giants 24

5:34 AM  
Anonymous Ali said...

@ Scheiben Honig

Thank you for the response, has cleared it up alot.

I think this years draft for what we had (pick wise) was a solid one. Last year our main problem was the O line and this year they've been one of our more consistant parts of the team and a big reason for that was the work we did through this years draft. We finaly got a project QB in Beck (and i'll add all this talk about him being old is just plain silly.. a good QB can play till late 30s look at Farve and the positions life cycle is alot less nowardays then before so 25 isn't bad at all) and the offense has improved and is puttin up points.

The problems on D could not have been foreseen, I mean how many of you saw this happening at the begining of the year? Also its all well and nice to have the fantasy draft mentality and say "We should have taken Thomas instead of Porter" but its a matter of if these players want to play for Miami at the moment.

If Muller can get the chance to work his magic we'll see major work in next years draft on D.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Brendan said...

Welcome to autumn (or fall if you prefer) in England, Armando. I read your blog religiously.

Answers to your questions as follows:

I currently live in the county of Essex (about 35 miles from London) but am originally from Oxford (yes, the place with the university).

Like most UK-based fans, I got seriously interested in the Fins in the early 1980s when Channel 4 started showing weekly NFL highlights. Obviously the Fins were good then with Marino hooking up with the Marks brothers and co. The team obviously received plenty of coverage due to their success, so it was natural for many to start following the team. It's the reason why Miami are easily the most popular NFL team over here.

Yes, I'm coming to the game against the Giants along with 3 friends. We're looking forward to it immensely although we fear the worst! It was bad enough WITH Ronnie Brown, Zach etc. Without them, it could get ugly!

How to improve the Fins? Well short of signing up some of the British army to man the trenches, the best long-term plan would be to keep losing! At least then we might get the No 1 pick. If we do, then I'd trade it down and get multiple picks. This team needs a complete rebuild - especially on defense (I know rebuilding is a taboo word in the US, but the Dolphins organisation has to face facts).

To finish, can I suggest that you go to a soccer match while you're here. It will give you an insight into the passion of English sports fans. I'm a season ticket holder at Chelsea Football Club (based in West London - Fulham Broadway tube station) and they play at 3pm on Saturday afternoon. The match is sold out (about 40,000 fans), but I know that you press guys can wangle entry into anything!

Enjoy your stay!

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in Europe last year for the World cup and visited London, it is a beatiful city, eventough I saw Mexico fall against Portugal, the excitment of being there with a full stadiun out of your country and listening to you national anthum makes you very proud, and brings tears to your eyes while singing it. I know our team sucks this last 6 seasons and will suck for at least 3 or 4 more, but you'll never know, maybe their pride will rise and they surprised us even with all the injuries. GO DOLPHINS!!!!! (Carlos from Juarez , Mexico)

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey mando,
finfan in austria!
i've been following football since the late 70's (yeah, i'm getting old!!). i got hooked on the fins while living in so fla in the early eighties and have been ever since! (i'll return some day for good, tackle box and fishing rod are standing by!!)
I had tix to the london game, but cant go as my baby girl was born only a few days ago (thanx for any congrats from fellow fins. mom and girl are doing fine!) a girl-friend will attend the game with some friends instead. she actually plays for a women's team here in austria, the roughnecks.
football is increasingly popular in this country. the local team draws up to 7,000 to its big games, which is really good, I think.
free tv broadcasts a few games live per season - including the super bowl - and they show nfl blast as well. all of this really helps to sell the sport over here.
I think if the nfl really wants to spread the game, it would do well to support the amateur level in europe. this is where local guys play!

(fins 31 g-men 28)
GO FINS !!

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Flochi said...

Hey everybody,

I'm a Dolphins fan from Muenster in Germany and I have these dreams I always wanted to become true since I've first seen an NFL game (Superbowl BUF-NYG)...
See an Dolphins game, travel to the US, and many more...
One of my dreams will come true on Sunday.. I'm going to see my first NFL Dolphins game - LIVE...
My plane departures tomorrow at 6 o'clock and I'm getting more and more excited...
Unfortunately the Dolphins team are restructuring the team and are 0-6... but why shouldn't be the first win this season in my first Dolphins-game... :-)

GO PHINS !!!!

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Armondo. I lived in England from 1980 - 1984 while serving in the Air Force. Loved every minute of it and have been back a few times for short stints. Love the people, weather (I know, got used to it), and the pubs. I now live in South Carolina. Have been a Dolfan since 1970. I would love to go to the game in London or any game in Miami. I am one of those fans who sticks by them through thick and thin and cannot understand the "fair weather" types. It especially is disturbing to watch games in Miami where our fans are so underrepresented. If I had the chance I would be there every game no matter. I am confident Coach Cameron will turn things around, because it appears he is building the draft picks to make a great run. I guess we'll just have to be patient .. GO DOLPHINS!!

11:17 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Armando, I am English and now living in Minnesota and a life long fan of the Dolphins as Miami was almost a 2nd home. I nearly swung a trip back to the UK to see the game but just couldn't pull it off. I don't care if they are crap its fun to see the team live regardless. Have fun, London is a brilliant city and full of things to do and see. As someone mentioned, if you are in London there is no point getting a hire car as you could walk faster than some of the traffic jams, plus its bloody confusing. Take the tube, bus etc or just walk. I used to walk all over London when I lived there.

If the fins for some reason had to play overseas next year I would go definitely and am not concerned about them losing a home game, I was a season ticket holder for the past several years and wasn't able to make all our home games and as such this would just be another.

As far as the difference between a pub and a bar, its hard to quantify. I think it is more the fact that a pub really is a local, and most of the regulars live within a few minutes of it as there are so many available. No need to drive for miles when there is one 100 metres away. I know on my street in Islington we had 3 pubs, in about the space of a US city block and we were in a residential area.

Have fun and bring us back a win.

Cheers

Paul

12:10 AM  

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