Surrounded by his immediate family and his extended family with the Miami Dolphins, John Offerdahl became the newest member of the Dolphins Honor Roll at halftime.
Offerdahl stood at midfield with his infectious smile listening to his Hall-of-Fame Head Coach, Don Shula, induct him and praise him. Then he took the microphone, choked back the tears at the sound of the cheers raining down on him at Sun Life Stadium, and thanked everyone he could, ending with all of South Florida for embracing him.
“It was so cool. It was an emotional moment from the standpoint that I’ve never felt that way in my whole life,” said Offerdahl after the ceremony in the Edwin Pope Press Box. “I’ve played football in so many stadiums and I can’t remember the number of times I’ve looked up into the stands as I did today. When you look up and see the full oval of people just appreciating not only your career, but those behind you, it was special. It was unique and it will never be repeated in my life again and I will treasure it forever.”
As emotional as he got watching his youngest son Jameson carry the flag with his name onto the field and then seeing his name unveiled in between Mark Clayton’s and Doug Betters, the pivotal moment for Offerdahl came when he embraced Shula and then listened to his words.
“Coach Shula, he is the coach certainly in my lifetime and to have him still be able to introduce me at this time, that would be the emotional part of the whole evening,” Offerdahl said. “It’s amazing how coaches can impact my life and I brought my high school coach and my college coaches and Coach (Sean) Hill, a very influential coach as a linebacker coach, but Coach Shula’s the leader. He has defined this whole organization and has created a foundation for hopefully this organization take into the next decade.”