Alex Rodriguez … the Football Fan
October 24, 2011 – The Yankees season came to an end a few weeks ago, following the team’s ALDS Game 5 defeat to the Detroit Tigers.
It’s always disappointing to see a long season end without a World Series championship or without a berth in the Fall Classic, but, I, along with my team of editors and photographers, have quickly turned our attention to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl Game Program and the many publications we will be producing in 2012.
As always, our goal is to bring you the most unique content and the most exclusive access to the Yankees that you will find anywhere. And, while it’s too early in the offseason for me to give you the behind-the-scenes stories of any trips to our players’ homes or football games at Yankee Stadium, those blog entries will come.
But, for now, I have posted (below) what I believe to be the best part of a question and answer feature that I put together with Alex Rodriguez for The Finsiders Playbook, which is the Miami Dolphins game day magazine.
Rodriguez, who has lived in Miami since he was a young child, has long been a fan of the Miami Dolphins. With that knowledge, Scott Stone, who is my counterpart with the Dolphins, reached out to me last summer and inquired as to whether if I would ask A-Rod a few questions about his affinity for football and for the Dolphins. Stone also sent a custom-made Dolphins jersey with Rodriguez’ name and No. 13 and asked if our photographer would capture a photo of the third baseman with the jersey for the feature.
During an event in a Yankee Stadium suite — shortly after Mariano Rivera’s record-breaking save — I presented Rodriguez with the jersey and discussed his favorite football team with him.
Rodriguez’ reaction to the receiving the jersey gave me a sense of how the interview was going to go. A-Rod repeatedly — and enthusiastically — told me that he planned to display the jersey in his new house after he had worn it a few times.
As expected, the interview went well. It was especially enjoyable for me, because I not only worked in the Miami Dolphins media relations department in 2002, but because I also have been a devout Miami Dolphins fan since I was a young child.
Like Rodriguez, my favorite athlete was — and is still — Dan Marino. Most of the memorable games that A-Rod spoke to me about, I had my own memories of — some of which you’ll read below.
–Alfred Santasiere III
Alfred Santasiere III: When did you begin to root for the Miami Dolphins and what compelled you to do so?
Alex Rodriguez: I grew up in Miami, and the Dolphins are like a religion there. It’s a way of life. The Miami Dolphins were a part of Miami’s culture long before there were any other professional sports teams in Miami, and they were the most compelling team to watch during my youth. When the Dolphins drafted Dan Marino out of the University of Pittsburgh, that’s when I really started following them.
Alfred Santasiere III: You began wearing number 13 when you were traded to the Yankees, and you chose that number because of your reverence for Dan Marino. What is your favorite memory of Dan Marino?
Alex Rodriguez: There are so many to pick from. The Monday Night game in which the Dolphins beat the undefeated Chicago Bears at the Orange Bowl in 1985 is always the first game that comes to my mind. Earlier that season, Dan threw a game-winning touchdown pass to Mark Duper on a 50-yard fly-pattern with no time left to beat the New York Jets, which I will never forget. There were also a couple of great games against the Jets in 1986 that I have great memories of. The Dolphins lost the first of those contests, 45-51, but it was the most high-powered shootout I’ve ever witnessed. Later that season, the Dolphins beat the Jets, 45-3, and that was a lot of fun to watch.