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NOTEBOOK: Long And Fields Getting Pro Bowl Recognition; Other Notes

Posted Nov 28, 2012

Veteran left tackle and punter leading fan vote at their positions.



Planning trips to Hawaii after the season has become old hat for Miami Dolphins left tackle Jake Long, but punter Brandon Fields could be make reservations for the first time in his career.

The 6-foot-7, 319-pound Long has been voted to the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons in the National Football League and is leading the fan voting on NFL.com in the AFC with 133,326 votes. The NFL is the only professional sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its all-star teams and it was the first professional sports league to offer online all-star voting in 1995. Each group’s vote counts one-third towards determining the 43-man rosters for each conference.

Fields, at 6-5 and 245 pounds, is finally emerging from the shadow of Oakland Raiders punter Shane Lechler and earning deserved votes. This is his sixth season in the league and his 57,397 votes are tops in the AFC. He leads the NFL with an average of 50.5 yards per punt.

“Obviously, it’s an honor right now, the fact that I have a lot of fans and a lot of people supporting me outside of this organization,” Fields said. “That’s one of my goals is to ultimately make it to Hawaii and obviously you need the fans’ vote and the fans’ help to get there. So right now I’m on track and I just need to continue doing well on the field and hopefully I’ll be taking a little vacation out West.”

OFFERDAHL’S GRIDIRON GRILL-OFF CELEBRATES 3RD YEAR

Foodies and wine connoisseurs will descend upon the Pompano Beach Amphitheater Park this Saturday from 1-5 p.m., and they will walk away full and entertained thanks to former Dolphins linebacker John Offerdahl.

Offerdahl is hosting his 3rd Annual Gridiron Grill-OFF Food, Wine & Tailgate Festival, with the proceeds benefiting Offerdahl’s Hand-Off Foundation and its mission to “Feed Kids in Crisis.” The primary charity partners of the event are 4Kids of South Florida and HOPE South Florida.

“We’re not your typical food and wine festival,” Offerdahl said. “The Gridiron Grill-OFF teams Dolphins All-Pro greats with South Florida’s All-Pro chefs for a competition unlike all others. Fans get to eat, drink, meet the players, vote on their favorite recipe, and compete with the athletes in Cornhole – the classic beanbag tailgating game.”

Among the 21 Dolphins legends teaming up with local chefs are Hall-of-Famers Larry Little and Dwight Stephenson, Zach Thomas, Mercury Morris, Pat Surtain, Sam Madison, Mark Duper, Nat Moore, Dave Shula, Bob Kuechenberg and Jim Jensen. Offerdahl and fellow linebackers Kim Bokamper and Bob Brudzinski also will be providing casual dining fare and beer from Offerdah’s Café Grill, Bokamper’s Sports Bar & Grill and Bru’s Room Sports Grill.

The Gridiron Grill-OFF Sponsorship Line-up includes Anheuser-Bush/Double Eagle Distributers, AutoNation Foundation, Broward Health, Cheney Brothers, Clear Channel, Coca Cola, Comcast Spotlight, Culinary Concepts, East Magazine, Gold Coast Magazine, Kendall Jackson, Miami Dolphins, Ocean Spray, Premier Beverage Company, Publix Supermarkets, ReachFM, Southeast Toyota/Scion, Three Olives Vodka, USA Parking, Zimmerman Advertising/Zmotion.

You can buy tickets online for $75 or visit your local Walgreens and SAVE $10! For tickets and info go to www.gridirongrilloff.com.

DOLPHINS TIDBITS

## Long’s little brother, Joe, was signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad today.

## In addition to seeing newly signed cornerback Michael Coe on the field, the highlight play of practice from inside the bubble was turned in by the secondary. Nolan Carroll read a pass from Matt Moore intended for Rishard Matthews down the seam and got high enough in the air to tip it to safety Chris Clemons.

## Without a doubt today featured the greatest variety mix of music during warm-ups and stretching, with “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms starting things off. That was followed by Zac Brown’s country hit, “Knee Deep,” and “Man In The Mirror,” by Michael Jackson finished things off.