Excitement and enthusiasm was the order of the day Friday when the Miami Dolphins and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2013 Kickoff Luncheon at the Hilton of Downtown Miami.
A crowd of approximately 1,000 fans attended the noon event, which was presented by Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLC. A Dolphins player, coach or alumnus sat with fans at every table inside the Symphony Ballroom of the Hilton during the luncheon, which preceded the team’s flight to Houston for the preseason game Saturday night.
Among the alumni on hand were Dolphins Senior Vice President Nat Moore, Hall of Famers Dwight Stephenson and Larry Little, and John Offerdahl, who was announced at a press conference before the luncheon as the newest inductee onto the Dolphin Honor Roll.
Dolphins radio play-by-play voice Jimmy Cefalo emceed the event, with Joe Rose and Kim Bokamper both conducting interviews with Dolphins players. Also speaking to the audience was Head Coach Joe Philbin.
“I know I can speak on behalf of everybody in the entire organization, we’re delighted to be here,” Philbin began his remarks. “One of the things you sense as you walk into the room is the level of excitement and enthusiasm that our fans have, have had since 1966 and it continues today. On behalf of the coaching staff, the players, the entire organization, we’re excited to start the 2013 season.”
The proceedings began with the playing of the Dolphins fight song and a performance by the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders.
The members of the team then were introduced one by one, starting with the assistant coaches, followed by the players, and then Philbin. Among the players, the biggest cheers from the crowd were reserved for wide receiver
Videos were shown on two large screens at different times throughout the event and included highlights of Offerdahl’s career and the unveiling of the new logo in late April.
Both Cefalo and Philbin made it a point to mention the 1972 Perfect Team and the group’s visit to the White House coming up on Tuesday.
The fans in attendance also received a lower-level ticket for the home opener against Atlanta on Sept. 22 and there also was a silent auction.
Rose, a former Dolphins tight end who caught Dan Marino’s first career touchdown pass, interviewed two offensive players — Tannehill and Pouncey. Rose asked Tannehill about heading into his second season as starting quarterback after the slew of acquisitions in the offseason.
“It’s exciting,” Tannehill said. “It started in the offseason with all the additions. The excitement continues to grow. We have a lot of potential —not that we’re anywhere close to it right now. We’ve got to continue to work and finish out training camp and head into the year hungry to get better each week.”
Before turning to Pouncey, Rose asked Tannehill what he could say about Pouncey. The reply got a laugh from everyone: “It’s the best butt I’ve ever touched.”
Bokamper, a former Dolphins defensive end/linebacker, interviewed two defensive players — Wake and defensive tackle
When Bokamper asked Odrick which player along the defensive line brought the most attitude to the field, the reply was
Wake and Odrick then proceeded to trade GQ-type poses.
Philbin was the last member of the 2013 Dolphins to address the crowd and his message centered around the tradition of the franchise and the support of the fans.
“One of the things we always try to tell the players is what a great history and tradition we have with the Miami Dolphins, a history that dates back to 1966,” Philbin said. “With the great tradition that we have there comes a responsibility for all of us — players, coaches, employees — to carry on that great legacy.
“Everybody knows the bar is set awfully high here and there are high expectations. We, as a football team, certainly embrace those expectations. We’re very fortunate, very optimistic about not only this season but the future of the Miami Dolphins. One of the main reasons is the commitment we received from our owner, Steve Ross. Since I came to Miami, Steve has been nothing but entirely supportive of what we’re trying to accomplish both on and off the field.
“I can promise you that the group we put on the field, you’re going to be awfully proud of the men who represent the Miami Dolphins in 2013. We’re excited about it and we look forward to your continued support.”