At one time or another Miami Dolphins fans will finally watch their first live game. It’s a memory that will likely not change over the course of time.
Some fans will go a lifetime without seeing their favorite teams play in person. Some will simply forget their first experience. Others, like myself simply can’t remember my first game because I was too little to have that memory.
Earlier today I was searching for a photograph of myself when I was younger wearing Dolphins gear. Alas I don’t have any. Believe it or not pictures were not something our family clinged to when I was growing up. There are some in the form of slides, some in the form of videotape, and a few taken with either a Polaroid or a standard camera. But since we didn’t have one handy all the time, images were hard to come by.
I set up looking for one image in my late teens early 20’s at a game in Cleveland, Oh. against the Browns when I stumbled upon a very old game ticket stub from September 16th, 1973. My very first Miami Dolphins game. I know I went to the game because I remember my mother talking about me going with her and my father. I was four. No memory at all.
Since then I have seen the Dolphins play at least once live over the last 11 years. I have seen them play in Miami both at the Orange Bowl and at the stadium now called Hard Rock Stadium. I have seen them play in Cleveland, Washington, and Houston. More than some but far less than many others.
The ticket stub got me thinking about the memories of those many games. The quarterbacks on the field, the coaches, the atmosphere. My two best memories were watching Bum Phillips and Don Shula shake hands and chat only feet from me at an Oilers game. That same game I got to briefly talk with former Dolphins Bob Brudzinski who went to the same school as my parents.
In Cleveland I met Dan Marino in 1987. Talked with the Mark’s brothers about Marino, met Doug Betters, and talked with Don Shula in front of the media camera’s. In Miami I got chased out of a tunnel by a Dolphins staffer when I got lost looking for my seat.
Those were good memories. I also remember getting spit on in Washington and having a coke thrown at me by an Oiler fan, nice considering I was only about 12 at the time. I got punched once in Cleveland and even had a Texans fan throw beer at me. Those are expensive beers these days.
Stadiums have an odd smell. Baseball stadiums smell like spring with fresh cut grass whereas football stadiums are something different. It’s a crisp smell that seems more inclined to mid-fall. Even sometimes in Miami. Even other times in a dome.
What was your first game? Where was it and what do you remember about it? Does it still hold that same nostalgic memory after all these years? Tell us in the comments.