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2012 Fins Weekend Kicks Off With Coach Philbin Making His Debut

Posted May 17, 2012

Fins Weekend kicked off one month earlier than usual tonight at The Fairmont at Turnberry Isle on Aventura with the official pairings party.


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Tomorrow morning bright and early the foursomes will head out onto the beautiful golf course for an 18-hole round of charity golf followed by an awards luncheon for the winners. Then the action shifts down to the Miami Beach Marina for the Captains Party and the 2011 Dolphins Awards Dinner, setting the stage for Saturday’s all-day fishing tournament on the open water of the Atlantic Ocean. The event concludes with the official weigh-in and awards dinner and live and silent auction back at the Miami Beach Marina.

New Miami Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin was indoctrinated into the annual three-day event geared towards raising money for the Miami Dolphins Foundation as the sun began to set. After mingling with some of the sponsors and donors inside at the cocktail party, Philbin strolled outside to watch some of his players participate in the putting challenge, chipping challenge and sand trap challenge among others, making sure not to laugh.

“I’ve helped the cause by staying off the golf course. You’re not going to catch me out here,” Philbin said with a laugh. “But I do plan on jumping on a boat. Right now I’m in the middle of negotiations whether I’m on a 26-footer or a 55-footer where I can get sick a little bit easier. I’m looking forward to it and it’s a great cause obviously. It’s great to be around people that are so passionate about the Miami Dolphins and about the good things that the foundation does for the community.”

Long snapper John Denney has earned the reputation of being the one player that can drive the ball the furthest and he, kicker Dan Carpenter and punter Brandon Fields play the most golf on the team. There are other players ready to challenge for the title as well, including safety Tyrone Culver, guard Richie Incognito and wide receivers Brian Hartline and Legedu Naanee.

Shortly after Hartline tried his hand hitting out of the sand, with not-so-desired results, he spoke confidently about how his position group should fare on the links tomorrow.

“I’m hitting the ball decently, nothing really to brag about, but Chris Hogan, our new receiver, he’s a quiet guy and like a silent assassin,” Hartline said. “I’ve played with him a couple of times and you don’t think his score’s too great until you tell him at the end and all of a sudden the dude’s shooting good. He’s a good player so we’ve got a good shot. Specialists don’t count because that’s all they do is play golf, but really I think Chris has got a good shot.”

As for the alumni on hand, nobody knows more about how much the Miami Dolphins Foundation can help out in all areas than former Dolphins wide receiver Mark Duper. He has participated every year both on the golf course and in the fishing tournament but will not be fishing this year because he is still bouncing back from having his kidney removed after cancer was detected.

Now cancer-free, Duper benefited from the help of the Dolphins and the Miami Dolphins Foundation when he was hospitalized at the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. He has a new respect for this event and for what the foundation does.

“You never know when it’s going hit close to home and it hit real close to my home this past year,” said Duper, who along with Mark Clayton formed one of the most prolific pass-catching duos in NFL history. “Fortunately I beat it and didn’t have to do the chemo because it was isolated in my kidney and the doctors took it out and gave me a clean bill of health. So I love taking part in this and mingling with the club seat members and the fans all for a good cause.”

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