Phin Phanatic in London


For the first time since October 28th, 2007, and for the third time in franchise history, the Miami Dolphins played an NFL game at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

Lucky for me, I am currently residing in England and have been a Miami Dolphins fan since I can remember. I was even living in Miami last year where I was able to see a wonderful performance by the Dolphins, in which they put on a spectacular comeback victory against the New England Patriots.

Lucky for me again, the Dolphins once again emerged victorious while I was in attendance. This time in London, however.

Upon entering the Wembley vicinity, I stumbled onto the area where Dolphins personnel were departing from the bus. The party included family of executives, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, and best of all, Dan Marino.

Sep 27, 2014; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Miami Dolphins former quarterback Dan Marino (right) and Neil Reynolds at NFL on Regent Street in advance of the International Series game between the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I’ll tell you there are no phin fans from the 80’s era that can forget Dan the Man’s epic win over Joe Montana and the 49ers at Wembley. And if you’re too young to remember it, like myself, you should find the film or purchase a DVR in hopes of it coming up on ESPN Classics.

Enough about the almost-glory days. You probably want to hear about the aura of the experience. I’m assuming that’s why you clicked at least.

For starters, I was there for Def Leppard’s short performance. Not too shabby if I say so myself.

After the performance of England’s very own 80’s rock band, the stages were put back up and it was time for football.

The tone was set. It was the Raiders house and we were just playing in it. With the majority of the stadium set up with Raiders decorations, I had the notion that I would have to be extra loud that day. But all in all, the Miami squad had a feeling of determination upon them.

I was hanging on the rail as players entered and exited the tunnel for pre-game warmups. I was sitting first row behind the goalpost when Mike Wallace scored off a screen pass, and I was able to see Lamar dance into the endzone not once, but twice.

You could tell from the way Tannehill, Matt Moore, and Hartline exited the tunnel with confidence that it was going to be a good day for Miami. Whatever problems were going on between Philbin and the squad were far from the minds of the players on this day.

September 28th, 2014; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Ryan Tanehill (17), Brian Hartline (82), & Matt Moore (8) exit the tunnel for pre-game warmups at Wembley Stadium in their matchup against the Oakland Raiders. Photo Courtesy: Bianca Jagers

It was nothing but smiles, intensity, and then smiles again.

Although I do have to admit, I was worried after the Raiders first drive. The defense was lacking and Derek Carr looked impressive. After a shaky first drive however, Miami came out swinging on both ends.

Surrounded by a plethora of British Dolphins fans and disturbed Raiders fans, I was screaming the whole way through. Well, until 4 minutes left the third quarter that is, when Cortland Finnegan recovered a botched snap for a touchdown.

After everything was said and done the happy phin fans could be seen galloping towards concessions, while some not-so-happy Oakland fans made their way towards the exits.It’s not fun to see your team lose four weeks in a row, and it is definitely not fun to watch your future quarterback limp off the field, so there is no blame to be cast on their end.

If asked how I, a lifelong Dolphin, enjoyed seeing my team play in London, I would have nothing but the best of things to say. And if you ever have the chance to see your team abroad, I would highly recommend seizing the opportunity.