Archive for November, 2018

Away from Cameras, Dolphins Give Back to Communities

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018
Kenny Stills signs autographs for young fans. (The Palm Beach Post)

For Dolphins players, the job of a professional athlete doesn’t end when the gameday cameras stop rolling and the pads are hung up in the lockers.

During their free time, many give back to the communities that raised them, using their platforms and voices to make a difference in the lives of less-privileged families.

In addition to participating in nearly every philanthropic event the team has hosted since he arrived in South Florida four years ago, wide receiver Kenny Stills – a nominee for the 2017 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award – has spent each off day during the season working on innumerable charitable efforts.

“On any Tuesday, if you try to get a hold of him, you’re going to have to wait until five or six o’clock because he’s doing community stuff all day,” said Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase. “I’ve been impressed with how he’s made himself available, how much he tries to do.”

In the coming weeks, Stills plans to give away presents on “10 Days of Stillsmas,” an initiative he personally launched last season to spread more joy to his fans.

“This will be the second year we try and sponsor families that need help,” said Stills, who personally selects and pays for the presents. “We usually do a meal and then give gifts for 10 kids. We’re in the process of finding and selecting the families. I’m sure there are other things that will come up for Thanksgiving, too. I’ll be sure to share those things on my social media.”

Nearly a year ago, linebacker Kiko Alonso watched helplessly as Puerto Rico, his father’s birthplace, was devastated by Hurricane Maria. No. 47 immediately started a fundraising campaign to help victims in both Puerto Rico and Miami, with a goal of $150,000. Alonso pledged the first $25,000, which was subsequently matched by the Miami Dolphins Foundation; in all, the relief fund generated over $165,000.

The recovery efforts are still ongoing, and Alonso stresses the importance of lending a helping hand, whether it’s for those impacted by natural disasters or unable to find food and shelter in local townships.

“There’s just people out there who need help everywhere, and there are a lot of people out there who aren’t as fortunate as some of us,” he said. “Everybody in the NFL is very blessed, so I think it’s important for anybody in our shoes to give back. I think it’s just the least we can do.”

Hosting food drives, supporting Boys and Girls Clubs or working with police departments may not generate as many headlines as game-winning touchdowns, but players recognize that even a gesture as small as tossing a football with a group of kids can leave a lasting impression.

“You always want to pay it forward,” said safety T.J. McDonald, who has regularly partaken in team community efforts, including the Dade vs. Broward All-Star Game and the Dolphins Cancer Challenge, as well as numerous other events during his time with the Rams.

“We get a lot of fame … (for) what we do and who we are, (but) we wouldn’t be who we are without other people. So, it’s very important to be that positive influence that some of us had when we were young. Just being that face there, it lets them know that it’s possible. That was big for guys like me growing up.”

Cornerback Walt Aikens understands the importance of having that kind of support and guidance first-hand.

Beginning at age six, the Charlotte, N.C. native played youth football for the Police Athletic/Activities League, which aims to strengthen character, build bridges between police and communities, and prevent juvenile crime through recreational, mentoring and educational opportunities.

Aikens credits the organization for playing a critical role in his on- and off-field development, and for keeping him on the straight and narrow path as an adolescent.

“It helped me in so many ways,” he said. “What PAL does is help kids like me stay out of trouble.”

In May, the 27-year-old was named an official spokesperson for National PAL, and proudly serves as an inspiration for impressionable children – including his younger cousin – who faces similar kinds of hardships or roadblocks.

“I can now go and talk to kids all over the place and just share my testimony with them, because it wasn’t always easy,” he said. “I persevered and made it to where I am today, and I just want to give back to them and let them know they can do whatever they want to do. It doesn’t even have to be sports, it can be anything.”

As Stills explains, the opportunity to impact the lives of others isn’t just something that comes with the territory of being an NFL star.

Said No. 10: “It’s everything.”

Dolfans NYC Vs. Green Bay

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

When the schedule came out this year the first thing I did was book a trip to Green Bay with a bunch of other members of Dolfans NYC. As the season went on I found out more and more of our crew was going. We had at least 20 people who went but there were probably a lot more than that. When word got out that we were going people kept asking us if we were doing some sort of “Lambeau Takeover” and while we would never disrespect such a holy place as Lambeau like that we did want to throw a tailgate there, but less than a week out we still didn’t have any actual plans. That’s where Ace came in.

Andrew Abramson who you might remember as a Dolphins reporter from the Palm Beach Post reached out to us on Twitter about tailgating. He heard a guy named Ace had a great location about a block away from the stadium so I reached out to Ace to see what his plans were. He is the manager of a store called Extreme Audio in Manitowoc, WI and asked his boss if when the Dolphins played the Packers he could use the Green Bay location to throw a tailgate. Extreme Audio serves as a parking lot during Packers games so his boss said as long as he could still sell the parking spaces Ace could tailgate there.

It seemed like a perfect solution so we offered to buy 7 parking spaces that we could tailgate in as well as some money to pay for food. I reached out to Sailor Jerry and got them to send us some rum to make spiked hot apple cider. I posted on our social about the parking spaces and sold all of them in advance of the game in 24 hours and got the word out to hundreds of Dolphins fans who had made the trip. Ace did all the hard work and got all the food and booze and we went from a small tailgate into a massive event in just five days!

The game itself was a disaster but the Lambeau experience was so amazing. I honestly enjoyed the misery of sitting on cold ass metal bleachers in freezing weather and cheering on my team even though only half of them were there because of all the injuries. The fans in Green Bay are great and they understand we are there to appreciate Lambeau and the amazing history of that holiest of football locations. We got to do a tour of Lambeau the night before and it was really amazing. Every bit of the trip was great except for the actual game.

Oh, I totally forgot. We went by the team hotel after the Lambeau tour and we talked to a couple of players (Stills and Asiata) but we also ran into Tom Garfinkel who for some reason wanted a photo with us (Ace and I) and we ended up hanging out with Nat Moore at the bar and he told us some great stories and argued with us about what players belonged in the Ring of Honor. He also kept telling us about how great the #MetLifeTakeover was which is pretty much the greatest compliment we could get. He was saying how much it means to the players when all you can hear is LET’S GO DOLPHINS in the 4th quarter. Such a fun night.

So yeah, our trip was a great success, I just wish I could say the same for the Dolphins. We also ended up raising $800 for the Green Bay Toys 4 Tots at the tailgate! Thanks to everyone who chipped in, brought some booze, or just hung out. I heard it was the biggest contingent of away fans ever at Lambeau. That’s probably not true, but I am willing to pretend!

Now check out all the photos from the tailgate (and a few from the Lambeau tour) below!

Dolfans NYC @ Green Bay

DolfansNYC Tailgate in Green Bay

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

Every football fan should go to Lambeau once in their lifetime and every 8 years Dolphins fans get the chance to see their team play in the football world’s Mecca.  As soon as the schedule came out a group of Dolfans NYC members set our plans in motion. Since then our group has grown and I found out that a bunch of our other members were going as well. When I mentioned we were going on Twitter Dolphins fans all over the country reached out to me about what we were doing for a tailgate. Well, we have finally figured that out!

Former Palm Beach Post Dolphins writer Andrew Abramson reached out to me about a friend of his living in Wisconsin who had a perfect spot for a tailgate. Andrew was a #MetLifeTakeover regular when he was covering the team and knew we were going and wanted to connect. He put me in touch with his friend Ace who got us access to a store called Extreme Audio (757 Mike McCarthy Way) that is only one block from the stadium!  The store acts as a parking lot for Lambeau on Game Day, but the owner is willing to sell us the parking spaces in advance.

Between Andrew, Ace and Dolfans NYC we have purchased 6 spaces that we are going to leave empty for the tailgate as well as a couple of spaces that we are going to be parking in. If you want to park in the lot as well (way cheaper than actual Lambeau parking) email ace@extremeaudio.com and let him know ASAP. There are only about a dozen spots left so first come first serve!

As far as the actual tailgate goes, we will be kicking off at noon, with the game starting at 3:25pm we should have plenty of time to pregame. We have 50 burgers, 50 brats and some vegetarian options. We are gonna have some beer and water, but please BYOB because we aren’t going to have enough for everyone. The tailgate is technically free but we ask everyone to make some sort of donation. After we recoup the funds we spent on food/parking all left over money will be donated to Toys 4 Tots. You can also bring an unwrapped toy as payment as well. Extreme Audio does a Toys 4 Tots fundraiser every year so we figured this was a perfect way to thank them for hosting us and to do some good for the Green Bay community. If you want to donate directly please PayPal us at dolfansnyc@gmail.com. I think a $10 per person donation would be perfect.

So to sum it all up, every Dolphins fan is invited to party with us before the Green Bay game. If you want to eat our food bring $10 or a toy for the charity drive. If you want to park near us make sure you email Ace ASAP. And if you want to drink, please BYOB. Obviously anyone who wants to bring other snacks and stuff we would love it. This should be an amazing experience no matter what happens on the field. Stay warm out there!

Lambeau

 

 

 

Copyright 2010-2019 Driven By Boredom Productions. All Rights Reserved.