Over the years I had heard that the MTO tailgate party was epic. I have been to Miami games in the past and I have seen quite a few tailgate parties but yes, the MTO tailgate party doesn’t just live up to the hype, it surpasses it.
This year they hired a catering company to provide the all you can eat food and full bar. There was a price but you were invited to bring your own tailgating stuff if you wanted. A live DJ mixed the music and local Miami artist Solo-D made an appearance and got the crowd worked up into a frenzy. As has become the case in recent years, members of the Dolphins organization showed up to express their gratitude and support.
Miami Dolphins Senior Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs, Jason Jenkins was one of the first to arrive. He greeted the members of DolfansNYC with a huge smile and then welcomed me as well to my first MTO event. Nat Moore soon arrived as did Joe Rose who hosted his “Cup of Joe” show from the tailgate. Joining him was Miami Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel and former Dolphins all-utility player Jim Jensen.
The party was loud and it was so loud that neighboring factions of Jets fans couldn’t help but take it in. As a Jets fans wandered too close to the party from time to time, Solo-D was quick to pull them up front as the “J.E.T.S. Suck Suck Suck” chant was directed at that lonesome Jets fan. All in good-natured sportsmanship.
The tailage was semi-blocked by busses that made for a nice “L” shaped wall around the tailgate area. I’m sure it helps cut down on problems. To the left of the tailgate a Jets tailgate bar had been set up with a live DJ but as much as they tried to get louder than the MTO crowd, it simply wasn’t possible.
The MTO crowd was impressive and everything that I had heard about in previous years was indeed fact. I have never seen so many Dolphins fans at an away game. They kept pouring in and when one group would head out, another group was there to take their place.
What amazed me the most, and this is something I will reiterate in a subsequent article about this event is that there were no issues with Jets fans. I was expecting something. Anything. I had heard a few years ago that a Jets fan had thrown something at a Dolphins executive. Nothing like that happened on this Sunday. Instead it was all good-natured fun.
For almost four full hours Dolphins fans partied without stopping. At about 12:30 the fans began the migration towards the stadium where the aqua and oranges mixed with the whites and the greens of Jets fans.
The tailgate party blew my mind but as it was clearly discussed so many times, they were not hear to party, not yet. There was work to be done. They were here to cheer on their favorite team and to take over MetLife Stadium.
When I entered the upper deck of the stadium I looked up towards our section and to the right and left all I saw was a sea of aqua and orange. This was MetLife Takeover.