Hall of Fame visit good for young Dolphins

By Jeff Dickinson  |   Tuesday, June 24, 2008  |  Comments( 3 )

Miami Dolphins
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Former Miami Dolphins wideout Nat Moore was the guide for a field trip on June 9 to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Moore escorted a Jake Long- and Chad Henne-headed group of 25 Dolphins rookies around Canton's hallowed halls.

This was not your average class field trip meant to kill time and earn a badge or patch. Rather, it was important to the Dolphins for a variety of reasons. Specifically, to instill a sense of pride in the rookies for being among an elite group of pro athletes, help them realize how fortunate they are to be in the NFL, and show them they're playing for a franchise rich in tradition and history.

These days, the NFL is a billion-dollar industry, but that hasn't always been the case. Because of that, Moore told the Miami youngsters that many of the players he knew had to work regular jobs during the offseason so they could support their families until training camp started.

The average NFL salary just 25 years ago was $90,000. Today, it's $770,000. Players who are drafted in the first round are guaranteed to become instant millionaires. If they invest their money wisely, they probably won’t have to work a regular job for the rest of their lives.

In an on-field sense, 21- and 22-year-old players like Long and Henne may not remember some of the Dolphins who are members of the Hall of Fame, but visiting Canton was an excellent reminder of Miami's glory days.

For Henne, it was a chance to see the Hall of Fame busts of former Dolphins quarterback Bob Griese and Dan Marino. Care to place a wager on whether Henne pondered a bust next to Griese and Marino with his No. 7 on it?

And although Long was seen musing over Dan Dierdorf’s bust, not those of Larry Little or Dwight Stephenson, you can bet he also fantasized about ending up in Canton in a Miami uniform.

Perhaps long after their Miami playing days are over, Long, Henne and some of the other Dolphins rookies will be making an induction speech on the steps of the Hall of Fame. And perhaps that player's speech will begin with him reminiscing his rookie Canton visit.
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About Jeff Dickinson

I have been writing and editing professionally for 18 years. I spent the first three years of my career as a sportswriter for a daily newspaper in Alabama and got to cover sports and get paid for it! It was great until I got married and then it wasn't too much fun being away from my wife every...
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