View Full Version : Fin fan in England

10-22-2010, 02:38 PM
Posted this in the football chat forum before I saw this one for introductions, so pasting it here.

Over the years it's been difficult to follow the NFL from over here in England. When I first started following the Dolphins back in the 80s, we had one game a week on Channel 4, one of our terrestrial channels, presented by Mick Luckhurst, and a great weekly magazine show called Red-42. Having been to Florida on my first trip abroad as a five year old back in '82, it made it simple when a few years later I started getting into football as there was only one team for me, and one quarterback I wanted to be. I used to buy up all the books I could, and used to get the weekly newspaper called First Down. Out in the street, my friends and I made up signals for plays and tried our best not to hit the parked cars. With childish enthusiasm and naivety, I posted a book that detailed the game and every position over to the Dolphins with a note asking for every player to autograph their position and post it back to me. To my absolute surprise, it was actually returned to me, and though it wasn't full to the brim with the signatures of Marino, Offerdahl, Duper and Clayton, there was one signature. Against a photo of Don Shula stood at a blackboard with a young curly-haired Dan Marino was the great Coach's signature, and this remains one of my most prized possessions, if only because of how I obtained it.

Into the 90's and always looking forward to the once a year game on tv, maybe more if we made the playoffs, my biggest memories are the playoff win against KC, a series of painful losses to Buffalo, Marino getting injured then coming back, and of course the 62-7 beating by Jacksonville. Some time around then NFL coverage was lost from terrestrial TV and moved to satellie which drastically reduced my accessibility to it for a number of years, though even that didn't prevent the shock-waves from hitting when Ricky 'retired'.

Having lived in the middle east for a few years where the time difference made watching any games practically impossible, the new dawn began upon my return to the UK with the first International Series game back in 2007 featuring my beloved Dolphins and the NY Giants. That day it was cold, it rained, and we stank, so not the brightest of new dawns, but it was great to see them, even if they did end up 1-15. Perhaps the real new dawn happened a year later when along with the arrival of Parcells and Sporano, I also got access to satellie just in time to see Pennington's return to NY in our last game of the season. Coupled with this has been the explosion of coverage on the internet, whether it's the official site and all it's video content, the superb day to day coverage from all the beat writers over there, especially now on twitter, and of course forums like this - it enables me to follow as closely as never before.

So, it's been difficult to always follow the NFL over the years, but I'm happy to return to the original motivation for my post, and the completion of the boxset of America's Game, Superbowls 1-40. It's great tv, put together brilliantly, with all the individual and team stories creating a great narrative for each and every year. Other than the obvious highest of highlights in '72 and '73, you can't help but admire the Steelers defense of the '70s, brilliantly brutal. Offensively I personally enjoyed the wonderful balance of the 49ers (Montana, Rathman, Craig, Jones, Taylor & Rice) and of Dallas (Aikman, Johnston, Smith, Novacek, Harper & Irvin). It's such a shame Shula and Johnson weren't able to build teams good enough to win the Superbowl, if ever a player deserved to be part of an America's Game, it's Dan Marino. Shame there was no Missing Ring show for '84 or '85 too.

That is all the past however, back to the here and now, and the 2010 Dolphins. I think we're on the rise, we've a young team that is only going to get better, and is full of guts and character. Big bad Pittsburgh on Sunday, everyone seems to think it an impossible task. Well I think we revel in having our backs to the wall and upsetting expectation. So let's smash them in the mouth and let them know they're in our house. Feed the wolf!

For those that have stayed with me til the end of this my first new thread, thanks! :)

10-22-2010, 02:50 PM
Thanx man good story and welcome aboard...

11-29-2010, 11:46 PM
Welcome to the zoo mate!

12-21-2010, 01:02 PM
Welcome aboard. I too am a Brit and like yourself got hooked on to football through Channel 4 on Sunday nights and my class mate at the time who was a devout Miami Dolphins fan. So I was introduced into Dan the Man thinking he will be throwing TDs forever. But what a career and such a travesty he did not have a RB and a defense.

Best wishes and a merry Christmas