Here in Miami, there is no lack of fanaticism when it comes to football. People have always questioned the Florida Marlins fans and ignored Miami Heat fans, but it's tough to hide away from the teal and orange when you stroll into South Florida.
One particular group of fans have stuck out of the crowd and brought the level of fanaticism to a new level. These three guys, who call themselves the DolFan Bandits, are leading the way in hyping up the Miami Dolphins and bringing excitement to DolFans all around.
The DolFan Bandits have been loyal to the Dolphins, like many others, and have been season ticket holders since 2004. Ever since Bill Parcells (A.K.A. The Big Tuna) came into town, the Dolphins have resurrected their team and changed the direction of the franchise. As a tribute to the team, the DolFan Bandits went in all out body paint and costume apparel to the Dolphins' post season game against the Ravens. The Fins may have lost that day, but the DolFan Bandits vowed to continue their campaign to create a hardcore fan presence in the NFL, similar to that of the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers.
Their goal: to raise money to enough money to attend every away game that the Dolphins play. Their reason: to let the NFL community know that Miami has a loyal fan base as prominent as any other team in the league.
"Our goal is to be one of the best 'Super Hardcore Fans' in the Dolphins and NFL communities. We wanted to thank the Dolphins by giving the team and the DolFans a New Look! For the New Era! A New Beginning! So we came up with the "DolFan Bandits," declared the trio in full coats of teal and orange paint. "DolFans all over the world love it. We get emails everyday, fans write and thank us, on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc. But we should be the ones thanking them for their support, as it motivates us to keep pushing to get the NFL community to acknowledge us DolFans."
It can't go without saying that these guys have already left their mark on the DolFan community although they have only been around for such a short period of time. Whether it's being featured on the Miami Dolphins' latest promotional video or getting up close and personal with some of the team's key personnel (i.e. Tony Sparano), the DolFan Bandits have made their presence known and have no intentions of going away any time soon.
When asked about what their favorite part of being a DolFan Bandit is they stated, "it's seeing the reaction of other DolFans and there appreciation - taking pictures with them - fans love it, we love it."
Let's not forget, these guys go out in a thick layer of body paint to Dolphin events, not to mention football games in Miami, and have to walk around with virtually a new coat of skin on them for hours. So how do they do it? "Trust us, its not easy. It takes us about two hours to get painted, then another 30 minutes to take some of the paint off and about another two to three days to get it off completely...the heat and humidity in Miami forces us to use tougher, more resilient paint."
With these guys taking the DolFan community by storm, there is a high likelihood that South Floridians will see them more often on TV, in the newspapers and around town. DolFans need to invigorate the in-game experience and show more excitement than ever, now that Miami faces one of the most difficult schedules in the NFL. It will take more than just some chants and shouts from the DolFan Bandits to make Land Shark Stadium rock every game day.
The Dolphins have their home opener against a tough Indianapolis Colts team on a Monday Night Football spectacular. The Bandits will be painted down, hyped up and ready to go. Will you be ready?