Two hours before kickoff between the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium, a little history was recognized at the Joe Robbie Alumni Plaza in front of Gate C.
Former Dolphins defensive end/linebacker Kim Bokamper, wide receiver O.J. McDuffie, running back Eugene “Mercury” Morris and guard Keith Sims were officially inducted into the Walk of Fame. These four iconic players make up the third Walk of Fame Class and their names were unveiled in a special ceremony around the Joe Robbie statue, permanently engraved next to the other members.
Hall-of-Fame Head Coach Don Shula was on hand for the ceremony along with Hall-of-Fame quarterback Bob Griese, Hall-of-Fame guard Larry Little and former Dolphins wide receiver Nat Moore to represent the two previous classes. This class is representing multiple generations, with Morris coming from the 1970s, Bokamper from the 1980s, Sims the 1990s and McDuffie the 2000s, and each new member truly felt honored upon seeing their name.
“Being drafted by the Dolphins was a dream and I never thought that this would be part of my life and career with the Dolphins,” said Bokamper, who played from 1977-85 as a defensive end and linebacker and went to two Super Bowls and one Pro Bowl (1979). “Having something like this knowing that I can bring my grandkids here and they can always take a look at it and see my name is something special. Very few guys get that opportunity and I’m just a very, very lucky guy.”
McDuffie finished his nine-year career as one of Miami’s most accomplished wide receivers, becoming the first Dolphin to lead the NFL in receptions with 90 back in 1998. He was the winner of the 1997 Ed Block Courage Award and ranks fifth all-time in franchise history in receiving yards with 5,074.
“It’s so nice and it’s an honor,” McDuffie said. “To be here with all the players, the unsung heroes and today with Mercury, Bo and Keith, it’s awesome. You never know whether what you’ve done is recognized or how they feel about it but it’s definitely an honor.”
For Morris, this is just another stamp on the legacy that was the 1972 Perfect Season and the dynasty that was created in the early 1970s. He played seven seasons in Miami as a running back and kick returner and rushed for 4,133 yards and 31 touchdowns on 804 carries in his career, with his 5.1 career rushing average still the best in team history.
Morris was part of the first backfield tandem in league history with Hall-of-Famer Larry Csonka back in 1972 to each rush for 1,000 yards, played in three Super Bowls, was a three-time Pro Bowler from 1971-73 and was named to the Dolphins Silver Anniversary team in 1990.
“It’s a great honor and I do this for everybody on my football team that played back in the heyday,” Morris said. “But this is not just for Mercury Morris, it’s for Mercury Morris and the 39 other guys that are still with us because I couldn’t have done it without them.”
During the prime of Hall-of-Fame quarterback Dan Marino’s career, Sims and left tackle Richmond Webb took care of his blind side and he started 108 of the 113 games he played in over eight seasons from 1990-97. Sims was selected to three Pro Bowls (1993-95) and was part of five playoff teams (1990, 1992, 1994, 1995 and 1997).
“It’s still a little surreal,” said Sims, who along with McDuffie remains connected to the team as members of The Finsiders. “It’s so nice to be out here with all of these great players and have my family here. It’s just a tremendous honor and I’m proud to be here.”
All four players also will serve as honorary captains for today’s coin toss.