With the new crop of Dolphins looking to make new memories this season, we talked to a former player about his time in the NFL. The Finsiders sat down with former Dolphins tight end Troy Drayton to talk about his five most memorable games in a Dolphins uniform.
December 7, 1997: Dolphins beat Lions 33-30, Drayton scores two TDs
Despite a massive 137-yard performance by Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders, the Miami Dolphins were able to take down the Detroit Lions with the help of two touchdowns from Troy Drayton. But there’s more to those two touchdowns then meets the eye…
“After my first touchdown, I remembered that during the week a kid had requested to see me, Dan Marino, and Shawn Wooden. Now I spotted that kid after my first TD. I told myself that if I scored another, I was giving him the ball. It just so happened I caught another touchdown from Marino and I didn’t celebrate. I just jumped over the barrier, handed the kid the football, and then celebrated with my teammates. I think the thing I remember most about that was his face. When you see the expression on his face, the excitement from the crowd and how happy his family was it’s great. It wasn’t about me or the Miami Dolphins at the point, it was about someone else. It brought joy to that particular person. That was my most memorable game as a Miami Dolphin.”
November 17, 1996: Dolphins defeat Oilers 23-20, Drayton crushes Dishman
In a tight, back and forth regular season contest, the Miami Dolphins were able to sneak by the Houston Oilers after a last second field goal from Joe Nedney, winning 23-20. Nedney was set up with the help of a 51 yard pass late in the game, courtesy of Drayton.
“I had just gotten to Miami, and Cris Dishman and I were going back and forth a little bit during the game. I told Dishman that I was going to catch him at some point and time. Now I didn’t know when, but I knew I was going to get him.
During the game I caught a pass for about 51 yards that I probably could have easily scored on, but I just wanted to punish Dishman for talking so much trash. I remember just plowing him over when I was getting close to the goal line. Then we kicked the field goal to win the game.”
December 21, 1998: Dolphins beat Broncos, 31-21, on the strength of 3 Lamar Thomas touchdowns
Under the bright lights of Monday Night Football, Lamar Thomas stole the show. The Dolphins wide receiver snagged 3 touchdowns en route to leading the Fins to a 31-21 win over the Broncos, including a 56 yard bomb from Marino to take the lead for good in the 3rd quarter.
“When you have a teammate like Lamar Thomas who scores a few touchdowns during the course of that guy it’s just awesome. He had a phenomenal football game. What I remember most is the crowd and the excitement because it was a Monday night game. When you go out and score two or three touchdowns on a national stage, it’s always a memorable night.”
November 29, 1998: Dolphins defeat Saints 30-10, Dan Marino becomes first player to throw for 400 career TD passes.
This regular season game was anything but regular. History was made as Marino became the first quarterback ever to eclipse the 400 touchdown mark throwing his 400th career touchdown in a three touchdown performance in a 30-10 victory over New Orleans at Pro Player Stadium
“When you’re a part of history, you always remember those types of games, and you know playing with Dan Marino, protecting him, catching passes from him, but also being on the field to be a part of history is something you never forget.”
January 15, 2000: Dolphins lose to Jaguars in AFC Divisional Round 62-7
This game will always be remembered for all of the wrong reasons. After beating the Seahawks in the Wild Card round, the Dolphins traveled upstate to Jacksonville, and suffered the second worst postseason loss in NFL history, losing to the then 14-2 Jags 62-7.
“When you go into a game and get your butts kicked, that’s always a game that you’ll remember. I think it’s one of the worst losses in Dolphins history. It’s also the last game Jimmy Johnson coached for Miami, and it was also my final game as a member of the Miami Dolphins, because I went to Kansas City the next year.”
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.