The Miami Dolphins recently did another good thing and helped someone (a fellow writer) who was involved in a serious automobile accident and remains hospitalized at present. On reflection, this seems like, “just another good deed” done by an NFL team and seems like it’s probably part of an overall campaign by the NFL. But not so: this was done solely because those executives responsible and the team members themselves cared enough to acknowledge the person and make them feel special. It required no order, no special program and no prompting. And that is what makes this team special – they have real class and compassion for their fans and players and even their rivals. Notice that there was not a bit of trash talking about the NY Jets or any other team from Tony Sparano and he came out and shook hands with Rex Ryan after the Jets game despite the fact that this is an extremely heated rivalry; believe me when I say heated. The Miami Dolphins remain the Class of the AFC East.
Here is one of many examples of charitable work by the Dolphins:
Sun Life Financial and Miami Dolphins Foundation to Give $220,000 in Grants and Scholarships To South Florida High School Seniors
12:08 Mon 06-07-10
Sun Life Rising Star Awards program seeks to recognize four South Florida students who have overcome the odds to stay in school and the four nonprofit organizations who have worked on their behalf.
The U.S. division of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE: SLF, TSX: SLF) and the Miami Dolphins Foundation announced they are accepting applications from South Florida nonprofit organizations that work with at-risk youth to win one of four $50,000 grants that will be distributed in the area, through the Sun Life Rising Star Awards. As part of the application process, each nonprofit will have the opportunity to nominate a student who participates in the organization for a chance to receive a $5,000 scholarship. Sun Life Financial and the Miami Dolphins initially announced the program would be brought to the region as part of the Sun Life Stadium naming rights and sponsorship announcement this past January. Both Sun Life Financial and the Dolphins reiterated their commitment to the program at Fins Weekend during the Kickoff Pairings Party and Team Awards Ceremony on June 3. The program was developed to recognize and provide resources to high school students who have overcome the odds and remained committed to furthering their education and the nonprofit organizations who work on their behalf.
South Florida is one of six areas that the program will visit this year. The awards program will give away a total of $1,000,000 in grants and scholarships in 2010. South Florida-area applications will be accepted through July 23, 2010 and can be downloaded from www.sunlifestadium.com. Applications received from the South Florida area will be reviewed by an independent judging panel consisting of “rising stars” from the Miami Dolphins, local community leaders and educators. Judges include Miami Dolphins Limited Partners Venus and Serena Williams, Jeanette Sparano, the wife of Dolphins Head Coach Tony Sparano, Dolphins wide receivers Davone Bess and Greg Camarillo, Society Scene Publisher Stacy Ostrau and local philanthropist Ada Cole. [Excerpted from Miami Dolphins . Com]
Oh yes, you say; they’ve made mistakes – the Jason Taylor situation comes to mind as well as Zach Thomas being overlooked for a time but then finally being permitted to sign for a day and retire as a Dolphin. And you would be correct: these were mistakes.
But, take a good look at the numerous and I do mean numerous charity involvements by the team and it’s players and I think you would be very surprised indeed. From Dan Marino being named a “Point of Light” this year by the Florida Governor as part of an Autism Awareness campaign to Ronnie Brown’s charity toward non-violence. And many others that include helping the Haitian refugees to providing food and even furniture and other items for the needy in the Miami area.
Miami is one of the top charitable contributors among NFL teams and one way or another, they have been for years. All you have to do is logon to miamidolphins.com and go through the news listings over the past few months to find this out.
So Dolphins Fan, you have reason to be proud of your affiliation with the team, no matter how fleeting.
And the manner in which good sportsmanship and low penalties on the field are also practiced make this team, certainly in my view, the Class of the AFC East and personally I feel they are definitely among the Class of the Entire NFL.
Well Done, Miami Dolphins!