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12/26/10 – Meet the Dolphins

So… I guess I never know where to start off the event articles. Let’s start off by thanking my neighbors for giving my family four free tickets to the Detroit Lions vs. Miami Dolphins game. And, a special thanks to David Canter of DEC Management for setting my sister and I up with a special post-game pass after the game. [@DavidCanter]

We’re on the way to the game. We leave a little behind schedule, but we’re all excited. I can’t wait. I’m in the car. I’m hoping that I will be able to meet Ralph Lanier Jr., the Director of Fandemonium. He promoted me for the Lamarr Woodley contest, which at this time, I had no idea if Lamarr made the Pro Bowl or not. He did not, so I don’t win anything… very disappointing! However… Back on topic… In addition,  the last Dolphins game, I met up with the crazy Dolfan Bandits. I was hoping I’d be able to meet with them again, but I didn’t really talk to them much leading up to the game. So, I guess it would be a crapshoot. I know their section from last time, maybe I will just walk over there at half time… We will see what happens!

So, we get to the stadium. It’s about noon, and my family has a strong interest in walking over and seeing if the Director of Fandemonium is still tailgating. We get to their section, and he’s there. We wait a little bit, since he’s talking with some Dolfans, so… he finally turns around, and say, “Hey Ralph!” He goes…. “MAX! You made it!” I introduce him to my family and he introduces me to his family. It’s very cool to meet and talk with him. We talk online all the time, however, to meet him, what an honor! So, he’s a big fan of my website, and now that we have our picture together, I know he’s even more of one. It’s great to connect with people who love what I do. We have a conversation about what this game is going to be like. I thank him for voting, and he introduces me to some other tailgating fans such as “Phins Addicts“. It was great! We decide to go walk around the stadium.

We walk inside the stadium. We find our seats. The atmosphere is great. Both teams are playing for pride. The stadium was crowded still. Neither team had a chance of making the playoffs, but it didn’t matter to the Lions and Dolphins fans who came to watch some football!

Game over. 34-27. The Lions fought off a ten point deficit and finished the game with seventeen points in the final five minutes of the game. Chad Henne threw two costly interceptions towards the ends of the game, one of them returned for a touchdown by DeAndre Levy. That was a great game. Unfortunately, since the Dolphins lost, I doubt any of the players will want to talk or take pictures. Who knows… maybe they need to be shown some love after a tough loss like this?

My sister and I were told to meet at Gate A. There would be a line against the back wall. My sister and I are walking over to Gate A, and unfortunately we take the long way. We were one section over, but instead we took a lap around the stadium. About halfway around, I get a call from Mr. Canter asking me where I am, and we say we’re on our way. I save myself explaining this situation. My sister and I were like running against traffic… and it wasn’t the typical traffic in Miami that the Heat produce… This was angry traffic, after a crushing fourth quarterback comeback by the Detroit Lions. The Dolphins’ loss showed up on all the faces on the fans at the game.

So, we get there. And, let it be known, that agents look like agents. What does that mean? Sunglasses, ball cap, jacket, jeans. All black. I introduce myself to David Canter and he tells my sister and I to hang out, as we’re going to be going into the tent soon. I’m very excited. My sister is also. She’s armed with the camera, ready to take snapshots of the players and I.

We get taken in, and I get a purple pass. It reads, “Game 10. Postgame Player Area.” I look around, and the tent is crowded. There’s still room to walk though. I am told the Dolphins players can stay as long as they want. They can be there anywhere from five seconds to ten minutes or so. Outside, I take note of the players’ cars. I also find my good friends, the Dolfan Bandits. We meet up, and we talk a little, but I always bug them on Facebook and twitter, I figure we can just continue our chats on there, since after all, this is an experience to be with players.

One of the first players to walk out was Brandon Marshall. I didn’t say anything to him because he immediately met up with his family, and before I knew it… he was gone and out of there. So, I missed a photo opportunity, but I had a goal in mind to get a photo with five to ten different Dolphins.

I ended up with twelve unique and irreplaceable snapshots.

One of the players I see walk out is Paul Soliai. A client of DEC Management and a future interviewee. – I see him. He is HUGE. He had one of the most dominating performances in his young career that I have seen. He played great. I walk over to David Canter, and he introduces me to Paul. I shake hands with him. The grip he gave me, I was worried. I’m just kidding, but it was definitely great. Mr. Canter mentions that Paul’s interview should go up in a couple days, and he’s excited for it to go online. We shake hands, and talk briefly. But, he’s escorted out and leaves. I go back inside the tent, hoping I can get some more photos.

Just to back things up… The week leading up to the game, I tried gathering some attention from Dolphins’ players on twitter, giving them a heads-up that I’ll be there, and maybe we’ll take a quick photo together. The only reply I got was from a young man, Nolan Carroll [@CarrollCity], but it was  not on twitter, it was on Facebook. I asked him if he’ll be there, and we can take a photo. And, he said, “Yeah. Definitely!” I was excited, at least I’ll get one picture. I see him walk out, and I stop him. I say, “Hold up Nolan! It’s Max Strauss, we talked on Facebook.” He replied, “Oh yeah, I remember. How you doing?” I told him that it would have been nice to see the Dolphins come away with a win, but the game’s over.

Then, I got to meet Karlos Dansby and Ronnie Brown. Karlos and I took a quick photo, and I actually did not recognize it was him though. He was inactive for this game. I don’t know why he was though. And, Ronnie was cool. However, after a loss, it’s tough to get players to smile or talk. So, they get in their cars and leave.

I see someone, who I actually have no idea who it is. It’s Marlon Moore. But, I figure it still can not hurt to ask him if he’ll a picture. He does. He gives a great smile, and it was very cool to find out who he was. It could have been awkward though.

I then meet Anthony Fasano, and he’s huge for a tight end. Wow. For a tight end, it’s amazing to see his body is just completely different then some other tight ends that I’ve met. He definitely looks ready to mow people over.

Cameron Wake was a cool, pretty relaxed guy. He is escorted out though by his agent. And, by this time, inside the tent is pretty crowded. But, I’m excited to continue meeting players, and briefly taking a photo with them.

After this photo, I glimpse and I see my childhood star. Chad Pennington! Oh my… GOSH! That was my reaction. I know he’s on IR and everything, but man, this guy… is… my hero! He was the reason I wanted to play football growing up. I have an autographed photo of him in a Jets jersey, back from 07. His name was on the back of my first ever Jets’ jersey. I admire his smarts for the game. His unwillingness to give up, and the fact that he is basically a coach out there. He’ll do anything to lead his team to victory. I hand-wrote him a letter when I was nine. He wrote me one me one back, on JETS stationery with a signed photo, saying that he hopes that the Jets will have a great 2004 season. Indeed it was great, they were one kick away from beating the Steelers in the 2004 AFC Championship game. So.. I stop him and talk to him. We chat. He takes time to listen to me. I tell him about my website, and he tells me, “We can definitely do an interview in the future.”  I’m ecstatic! Chad Pennington is one of the most respectable players in the league. Anyways, we talk some more about how I have my ultimate collection of Jets Pennington stuff at home. It’s a great experience. It’s priceless, and the interview will be out within the next month!

I meet Yeremiah Bell briefly. He was a great pickup by the Dolphins in 2003, and he was the defensive captain today. He made some great hits, so it was great to meet him.

I then meet Chad Henne. I see people trying to get him quickly escorted out of the tent. There are people still in the tent, but I try to grab a quick picture with him. I talk to him briefly about my site, while we’re taking the photo, in hopes that I’ll be able to set an interview with him up in the future.

I see Sean Smith. I’ve talked to him a couple times [@SeanSmith4] on twitter and he is another client of DEC Management. Mr. Canter introduces me to Sean, and Sean was doing great. It was nice to talk to him, and see a rising star in this league. He’s a player that was teammates at University of Utah with another interviewee, Freddie Brown [@Freddie_Brown], on wide receiver with the Vikings.

Last pro to walk into the tent Vontae Davis. Vontae was a cool guy who was very relaxed after this game. It’s disappointing to lose, but I know he uses twitter also. His twitter is @VontaeDavis21 We talked a little bit, but soon enough, we got kicked out of the post-game area because there were no more players.

So, my sister and I leave, turn in the purple pass, and go to find my parents. As we walk out, we see major fans stopping all the cars, and asking the players for autographs, it’s actually pretty awesome to see. Players are stopping. Players are signing stuff as they are about to leave the stadium. I want to thank you all for reading this, and I hope you enjoyed the event. If you have any questions, I’ll be sure to answer all the questions you have regarding the event! Just leave some comments!! Thanks!

Please stay in touch, as there will be more event articles in the future!

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kim StClair
    Jan 23 2011

    I loved this~of course I love anything Dolphins related! It was a great read though and another awesome job Max!!! I would really love to see an interview with Chad Pennington and Nolan Carroll!

  2. Jan 25 2011

    Nice job glad you got the chance to do that. keep up the good work


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