A Miami Dolphins Thanksgiving: What I’m Thankful For

miami dolphins thankful
Credit: The Phinsider

While the 2021 season has not panned out many fans had hoped, the three-game win streak has been a nice breath of fresh air but that does not mean there are not things to be thankful for as a Miami Dolphins fan.

A postseason trip seems unlikely barring an incredible season-ending run, which Miami has found themselves on the end of in previous seasons. With Week 12 upon us, the Miami Dolphins have not left much to be thankful for this season. Except, outside of a few individual performances.

As a 21st-century Dolphins fan (my age is not my fault), success and accomplishment come few and far between. However, there’s plenty to be thankful for as a fan of the orange and teal over the past 20 years. So on this Thanksgiving, let’s take a look at a few things the Miami Dolphins have made me thankful for:

As a Miami Dolphins fan I’m thankful for:

LB Zach Thomas

Let’s kick things off with one of the primary reasons I am a Dolphins fan. I was born and raised in Virginia. However, I personally disagree with the idea that Washington D.C.’s teams are assumed on Virginia citizens. So I have primarily viewed this as a fandom free-agent pass to find whatever team I want to invest emotional energy in. 

Every Sunday, I would go over to my grandfather’s house and watch that Week’s slate from 1 PM through 4 PMs, sometimes even the night game. So one Sunday early on, I had my grandfather list me all the NFL teams. As a ten-year-old does, I latched onto a team with my favorite color, orange, and prominent player sharing my first name, Zach. 

Zach Thomas interestingly comes up again as the five-time first-team All-Pro linebacker was recently named a semifinalist for the NFL Hall of Fame. There are too many discussion points that highlight how his omission from the Hall is absurd at this point. But I am thankful for Thomas’ play spurring his name into households and leading to my Fins fandom. 

WR Greg Camarillo

Let’s go in an opposite direction here: I’m thankful for WR Greg Camarillo for saving Miami from being the Detroit Lions. Before every channel on the TV was broadcast in high definition, yeah, 2007, the Dolphins had quite a rough season. Back in 2007, if you weren’t playing good football, you weren’t getting the HD treatment, but my grandfather had the NFL Sunday Ticket. The Dolphins were on TV, but that doesn’t mean the quality was great. 

I watched every week of the 2007 season, hoping, praying for a win. Then in seemingly the last moment possible, Week 15 rolled around a showdown at Dolphins Stadium against the Baltimore Ravens. Coming into the game 0-13, not many expected a surprise overtime upset. But after Matt Stover missed a 44-yard field goal, Camarillo took a mid-level pass 65-yards to the house to snap the winless streak. Miami finished 1-15 but saved the franchise from the embarrassment of the dread 0-16 season. 

You knew this was coming: The Miami Miracle.

As stated earlier, I’m a 21st-century Dolphins fan, not a lot of success to draw upon. The Adam Gase Era was filled with ups and downs, but despite missing the playoffs and Gase’s inevitable firing in 2018, things somewhat ended nicely? Picture this, Week 14, the postseason looks murkier and murkier. The Tom Brady-led Patriots are 9-3 and primed for another playoff run. What solves the situation? An absolutely bonkers last-second 69-yard touchdown to win the game by one point. 

The only player who touched the ball on that play that is still on the team is WR Devante Parker. The Miracle in Miami will forever live in Miami Dolphins history. Some might scoff at the idea that a regular-season game could mean so much, but sometimes people need something to hold onto. If that means beating your bitter rival in a meaningless game that could hurt draft position, so be it. It was fun, fabulous, and I am thankful for the Miami Dolphins giving me quite a few jaw-dropping fandom moments throughout this journey. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Zachary Knerr

Graduate of Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a minor in Sports media, marketing and analytics. Former radio DJ and music aficionado. Follow on Twitter: @ZachKnerr.

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