Posts Tagged ‘Lousaka Polite’

Dolphins Players Praise DolfansNYC

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Across from the disassembled basketball hoops inside the upper-level Don Taft University Center practice court, Dolphins running backs Daniel Thomas and Jahwan Edwards sat at the first of five autograph stations, greeting and posing for photos with hundreds of season-ticket holders at Sunday’s Finatic event.

IMG_9246“Oh, yeah!” exclaimed Thomas when we informed him over a thousand fans will rock aqua and orange at Metlife Stadium. “Hello to all the Dolphins fans in New York!”

As we scanned the names of current Miami players and alumni listed on the metallic boards – claiming a spot in a line that stretched outside the gymnasium to meet former fullback Lousaka Polite and newly-acquired cornerback Byron Maxwell – a Dolphins staffer made an announcement that sent half the crowd rushing for the side exit.

It turned out, the player whose name and number coated the backs of nearly every other jersey at the session made an unexpected appearance. Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry was a surprise guest, and word spread quickly as more and more fans dashed through the narrow hallway and into the adjacent auditorium.

IMG_9259By the time Charlie and I grabbed a football, a glove and a DolfansNYC hat in hopes of snagging No. 14’s signature, the line had twisted around a half-dozen barricades and extended past the bathrooms in the club level area. An usher immediately informed us that Landry – like all of his teammates – was on a tight schedule from 12 to 1 p.m., and we weren’t guaranteed autographs.

Of course, we decided to wait, anxiously staring as the seconds ticked away on the clock and jubilant fans at the front of the line smiled and high-fived Miami’s top playmaker, decked in his aqua jersey and white cargo shorts.

In the meantime, Charlie treated everyone nearby to nearly an hour of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” YouTube clips on my phone, while Top-40 hits from all decades blared through the speakers as AARP Foundation volunteers packed a million meals on the lower level.

We inched our way to within 20 people of the autograph station, but once the clock struck one, Landry mouthed, “I’m sorry” as he was promptly whisked away by event coordinators.

IMG_9272 (1)Our setback didn’t last too long, however, when we found out that during our hour-long wait, Michelle acquired signatures and video shout-outs from nearly every other player in attendance, including Sam Madison, Polite and Maxwell.

Minutes later, long snapper John Denney took Landry’s former seat and posed for a photo with us, wiping away any lingering feelings of disappointment.

Check out a compilation of past and present Dolphins thanking DolfansNYC for their undying support below. We’re looking forward to hearing everyone in the stands at #MetLifeTakeover, so stay tuned for ticket sales info!

Partying with Tracy Morgan and the Dolphins

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Barely 72 hours later, it still feels surreal.

Michelle and I, along with a couple of our friends, had the opportunity to go to a Tracy Morgan charity comedy show in Miami, which was presented by Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano to benefit Veteran’s Housing. Thanks to the event organizers, Lunar Sports Group, we had invites to the pre-show VIP party, backstage passes and tickets to the after-party at the Shore Club.

We were informed beforehand that several of Fasano’s teammates could come out for the show, and sure enough, Reggie Bush, Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, Jared Odrick, Clyde Gates, Steve Slaton, and ex-Dolphin Lousaka Polite were among a dozen or so players in attendance. Michelle and I volunteered to check-in the VIP guests, meaning we had to put tiny orange bands around the massive wrists of professional football stars and the tiny wrists of their supermodel girlfriends. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it.

 

I made sure to tell Polite that he remains one of our all-time favorite players and that we miss chanting “Louuu!” whenever he’d get a first down.  He thanked me and said that he’s continuing to work out, waiting to “get the call.”

Once the pre-show party concluded, the players and VIP guests were ushered down the hall, where Morgan came out to welcome everyone to the show. Well, he didn’t so much welcome them, as much as launch into an impromptu stand-up act, explaining that he’s the sole reason why both the NFL and NBA lockouts had ended. That’s probably the one part that I can repeat with a straight face, much less reprint here.   Let’s just say the majority of his topics had a lot to do with bodily functions and bedroom acts most people would probably never want to try. Morgan walked up and down the hall, cracking everyone up with his unique sense of humor, driving home the point that absolutely nothing and no one was off limits (more on that shortly).

Before he went back to his dressing room, I made sure to shake his hand and tell him how much I enjoy his work, figuring it would be my one chance to speak to him.

The Dolphins walked to another section of the theater to pick up food and beverages before the main act, where MiamiDolphins.com beat writer Andy Kent introduced us to Bess, Michelle’s favorite player. Bess was extremely nice and personable, openly talking about Miami’s heartbreaking last-second loss on Thanksgiving, and taking the time out to pose for pictures. Michelle was star-struck and giggling in delight after Bess walked away – pretty much exactly how I’d react if I ever talked to Candace Parker.

 

As for Morgan’s actual stand-up, he began the routine by pulling no punches about Bush’s relationship with Kim Kardashian and her E! reality show, and continued to spew (heh) unfiltered raunchiness and crudeness for the next hour-and-a-half. I don’t think there’s a person on earth who can get away with anything he said or make such absurd topics so hilarious. My face actually hurt from laughing so much.
Soon afterwards, we walked several blocks to the Shore Club, where none other than Tracy Morgan and a few of his friends sat on a bench outside, with no bodyguards or bouncers in sight. When he saw us, he dove right back into his comedy act, telling us a few jokes he forgot to say during the show.

At one point, he said (I’m paraphrasing for language, clearly) that men can’t live with or without women.  Michelle laughed and told him I was learning all about that.

“Nah, he’s a good boy,” said Morgan. “He’s domestically trained, like me. He knows not to pee inside the house.” I can’t argue with this.

He then asked us if we were coming inside (as if we’d miss it for anything), at which point one of his friends told Morgan that I look like Jesus.

“He’s got the long hair, the beard – all he’s missing is the sandals,” he said.

Morgan took it a step further, declaring that I actually look like Moses’ mother. I still have no idea what to make of that, but it was fantastic. He then asked me if I’d seen the original Planet of the Apes, and for whatever reason, I told him I hadn’t. It didn’t matter – he went right into a Charlton Heston impression from some movie none of us knew; regardless, we laughed hysterically.

Inside the club, I spotted one of the comedians who opened for Morgan and had to get a picture with him, obviously because of that amazing mustache. Somewhat disappointingly, his act barely mentions the sweet ‘stache, with just one quick line about Super Mario being on stage.

We hung  around in the back for a while, where some of the guests played pool and hit on scantily-clad women, and went home around one thirty in the morning. After spending some time with him, I can safely say that Morgan basically plays himself in 30 Rock (within the confines of network television, of course) – an outrageous and unpredictable character who’s always on and lives for making others around him laugh.

Needless to say, it was an unforgettable experience with the hands-down funniest person I’d ever met.

DolfansNYC Interview: Kory Sheets

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Miami Dolphins running back Kory Sheets has an opportunity to step into the spotlight next season. The 5’11” dynamo, who was signed off the San Francisco 49ers’ practice squad in October 2009, was expected to serve as Miami’s primary kickoff returner before a torn Achilles’ tendon suffered in training camp cost him the entire 2010 campaign. With both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams no longer expected to return to South Florida, Sheets is ready to compete with the team’s second-round pick, Daniel Thomas, for the starting tailback job.

Kory was kind enough to take time out of his offseason training schedule to talk about his rehabilitation process, his goals for the 2011 season, and his gameday routines.

Dolphins RB/KR Kory Sheets1. You missed the entire 2010 season with a torn ACL. What did the rehab process entail and are you now fully recovered?

The rehab process was long and difficult. At one point, around December, I hit a wall, and I wasn’t progressing (anymore) – it wasn’t getting worse, it wasn’t getting better. With my workout that I was doing, I needed to make my calf muscles bigger and stronger, so once I was able to do that, to make that stronger, I felt more production. From there, it just kind of took off, and started healing. As of right now, I’m 100% – there’s no pain, I got my strength back, and I’m running at full speed.

2. What have you been doing during the offseason, with no contact permitted with team officials?

A bunch of us are working out over at Nova (Southeastern University) – we had been going every day until the lockout (temporarily) ended. Right now, I’m just taking a break and a week off, maybe two. I think I’ll probably get back at it around the end of the Fourth of July (weekend).

3. Has anyone on the Dolphins served as a mentor or role model for you?

I wouldn’t say a role model, but a few guys talked with me, asked me what I wanted to do, and helped me study and just become a better pro. Lousaka Polite sat down with me on multiple occasions, helped me watch film, and showed me things that I needed to work on in my own game, how to read off of him and block.

4. Last season, you were expected to be the primary kick returner. Is that something you plan on doing in 2011?

Depending on whatever happens with Ronnie and Ricky – if they don’t come back, then my main focus is going to be (being) the starting tailback.

5. If Ricky and Ronnie don’t return, as expected, is the plan for you to pair up with rookie Daniel Thomas in the backfield?

Yes, that’s the (team’s) plan, but my main focus is to going to be the main guy. If there’s something else they want me to do, I’ll gladly do it with no problem.

6. What do you feel you bring to the team when you step out on the field?

Speed – in the NFL, most guys are fast, and just watching it all last season, (there’s) a lot of warp speed out there. I think I’ll help bring a lot of speed to the offense.

7. Would you say that you’re the fastest player in the NFL?

Oh, no. (laughs)

8. Where would you rank?

I don’t even know, because there are a lot of guys out there that are fast. There (are) a lot of 4.2 (40-yard dash time) guys coming into the league.

9. Is there a current player in the NFL who you feel most closely resembles your skill-set?

I’ve been compared to Reggie Bush coming out of college. I don’t feel that I play like him – we have similar things that we can do, but I honestly don’t know who (I played like). I’d (have to) sit here and think about it.

10. Which teams and players did you follow growing up, and which players did you most admire strive to be like?

I followed the 49ers growing up. And players, I watched Barry (Sanders), I actually watched Ricky a lot. Who else … that’s pretty much it. I really didn’t watch football too much.

11. Can you take me through a typical gameday? Do you have any pre-game routines or superstitions?

I usually don’t like to eat before a game. I don’t know, growing up, I just never ate – I don’t know if that was (because) I was just nervous or I just didn’t like to eat before a game. In high school I didn’t eat; in college, I wouldn’t eat before the morning of the game. After the game, I’m usually hungry.

12. What music do you listen to before a game?

Usually, it’s whatever is on my iPod – there’s no set list or no person that I like to listen to more. Maybe an hour before the game, I’ll sit in the locker room, and listen to probably some R&B music and just kind of relax.

13. Is there anything you’d like to say to your DolfansNYC fans?

When the lockout is over, we all will be ready to play ball!

Should I Stay or Should I Go

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Now that the New York Jets have been eliminated from the Playoffs and we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief, it’s time to think about what’s next for the Miami Dolphins.   Let’s take a look back at where it all went wrong in 2010 and make some very early predictions for 2011 (presuming we’ll actually have an NFL season). In the coming weeks, I’ll break down key free agents who’d look great in aqua and orange next season.

Anyone who watched even a handful of series doesn’t need to look at advanced metrics to know Miami’s offense was dreadful. The Dolphins, expected to be a dominant run-first team after having the fourth-best rushing offense in 2009, tied for 29th in rushing TDs (8) and 21st in rushing yards (1,643), while also coming in 27th in passing TDs (17) and fourth in interceptions (21). While WRs Brandon Marshall, Davone Bess, and Brian Hartline, as well as TE Anthony Fasano (signed to an extension through 2012), form a solid and dependable aerial attack, the same can’t be said for just about every other member of the offense. So who should and likely will be back in 2011?

Chad Henne, QB

2010 Prediction: 4,161 passing yards, 25 TDs, 13 INT
2010 Statistics: 3,301 passing yards, 15 TDs, 19 INT

It turns out I – as well as everyone who threw away money on a Henne jersey – was wrong about the supposed QB of the future. After showing promise at the end of the 2009 season and having a Pro Bowl WR at his disposal, Henne was expected to take a step forward and improve his decision-making. After throwing three picks in a crushing loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9, Henne was benched in favor of Chad Pennington, and was then once again pulled for Tyler Thigpen in an embarrassing season-ending loss to the Patriots. Over the last 12 games, Henne threw 12 TDs and 18 INTs, and posted a QB Rating under 60.0 in four of his final eight appearances.

While most Dolphins fans never want to see him on the field again, it’s almost a given that Miami will keep the still 25-year-old QB for another year. It’s even possible that he’ll get a chance to compete for a backup spot with a veteran QB – Kyle Orton? Donovan McNabb? Er, Brady Quinn? – in training camp if the team doesn’t draft a QB in the first round of the Draft. Either way, it’s become clear that Henne is not the long-term solution as the Dolphins starter.

2011 Prediction: 1,127 passing yards, 5 TDs, 6 INT

Tyler Thigpen, QB: Thigpen was horrendous in his lone start against the Bears, a 16-0 shutout at home (albeit he was missing half of his offense), and finished the year with 435 passing yards (53.2% completion percentage), two TDs, and two picks. While he has mobility and can make plays out of the pocket, he’s unlikely to receive anything more than a training camp invite from Miami.

2011 Prediction – signs with Tennessee Titans: 1,630 passing yards, 9 TDs, 7 INT

Chad Pennington, QB: I wish Pennington all the best with his return from a fourth shoulder surgery, but considering that he played two snaps in 2010 before getting hurt again, the odds aren’t in his favor. In an ideal world, he’d become the Dolphins’ QB coach, but I have a feeling he’ll go back to where it all started and take Mark Brunell’s clipboard job in New York.

2011 Prediction – signs with New York Jets: 110 passing yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT


Ronnie Brown, RB

2010 Prediction: 893 rushing yards, 135 receiving yards, 7 TDs
2010 Statistics: 734 rushing yards, 242 receiving yards, 5 TDs

On the surface, my prediction looks fairly accurate, since Brown gained only 58 fewer yards from scrimmage and managed to play all 16 games for only the second time in his career. The problem is that Brown averaged a career-low 3.7 yards per attempt, didn’t have a single 100-yard rushing game, and his 45.9 yards per game were the lowest of any player with at least 200 carries. The soon-to-be-30-year-old is an unrestricted free agent who hasn’t been offered a contract by the Dolphins and has probably already cleaned out his locker

2011 Prediction – signs with Cincinnati Bengals: 697 rushing yards, 213 receiving yards, 4 TDs

Ricky Williams, RB

2010 Prediction: 906 rushing yards, 211 receiving yards, 9 TDs
2010 Statistics: 673 rushing yards, 141 receiving yards, 3 TDs

No one expected Ricky to even come close to matching his gaudy 2009 numbers (1,121 rushing yards, 13 TDs), but 2010 was certainly a disappointing season for the 33-year-old running back. Still, Williams averaged 4.2 yards per carry and busted off a 45-yard scamper, showing he has plenty left in those legs. After he recently bashed Coach Sparano and the organization, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be back in Miami next season either, and I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t sign with the Jets or Patriots just to stick it to the Dolphins.

2011 Prediction – signs with New England Patriots: 479 rushing yards, 96 receiving yards, 3 TD

Patrick Cobbs / Lex Hilliard / Lousaka Polite, RB:  Forget what I projected — guess who was the Fins’ third-leading rusher last season? Yep, Thigpen with a whopping 73 yards. Short-yardage specialist Polite managed to get 62 rushing yards and his first career TD, while Cobbs and Hilliard played mainly on special teams and combined for exactly zero rushing yards on four carries. The coaching staff reportedly loves Cobbs, and Polite converts on third-and-one situations as well as anyone in the league, so their roles are unlikely to change in 2011.
Hilliard, however, could opt for more playing time, especially with the impending return of the speedy Kory Sheets.

2011 Prediction – signs with New Orleans Saints: 132 rushing yards, 160 receiving yards, 2 TDs

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