What’s with all those Miami Dolphins fans taking over NFL stadiums?

Dolphins fan SoLo D (DeLonte Copeland), with microphone, performs a rap song ripping the Jets during the ‘MetLife Takeover’ tailgate party last weekend. (Hal Habib / The Palm Beach Post)

When Dolphins fan Rory Fagan says he travels with his team, he could be referring to the flight he took from his home in Australia to Los Angeles.

Or New York.

Or London.

Or his everyday travels around Sydney, where he gets around on a custom Vespa GTS 300 motorcycle painted in a throwback Dolphins motif.

So yes, Fagan is devoted to the team. But unique? Not so fast.

For last week’s game against the Jets, nearly 1,100 Dolphins fans bought tickets costing up to $75 for a “MetLife Takeover” tailgate party, coming from Jersey and Florida and  Ireland.

David Gonzleez came just for the game from Germany, where he’s part of a Dolphins fan club that launched this year.

Membership: 800.

“There are lots of Dolphins fans in Germany,” he said.

These days, there appear to be Dolphins fans in a lot of places. When the Chargers missed a last-second field-goal attempt that gave the Dolphins a 19-17 victory two weeks ago, the roar inside the StubHub Center was such that if you closed your eyes, you would have sworn the officials had decided the kick was good and the Chargers had won 20-19.

“Obviously the loudest roar came at the end after the missed field goal, to where you really got to see how many Dolphins fans there were,” Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said. “I heard the roar before I saw the officials’ signal.”

Rivers isn’t alone. More and more, opposing players have wondered what’s up with these Dolphins fans in our house. With no true way to quantify the situation, it’s left to circumstantial evidence. Take the sea of tailgating humanity in the L-4 parking lot at MetLife, complete with a deejay, “SoLo D,” egging on the crowd with an extremely uncomplimentary and unprintable rap song about the Jets written just for the occasion.

Don’t try to tell organizer Michelle Stark Kramers there isn’t a trend brewing. The MetLife Takeover’s roots go back nine years, when Kramer attended a game in the Meadowlands with three friends … who told some friends … who told more friends … and so on.


‘I’ve never been tailgating in my life, but I swear to God, I would actually come back every year just to come to this tailgate. Brilliant, like. Yeah.’ — Donal McGeown of Ireland


“It went to 30, then 60-something, then 80, then hit 299 and we thought, ‘This is crazy,’ ” said Kramers, 39, a former New Yorker living in Delray Beach.

Crazy is what Kramers did one year prior.

She traveled to every Dolphins road game in 2007.

She didn’t see a single road victory.

The Dolphins were 1-15.

So the racket Dolfans are making isn’t strictly a one-year phenomenon coinciding with Adam Gase changing the team’s culture. In 2007, Kramers was in the air, all right, but the Dolphins were very much grounded, No. 1 only in the draft.

“That was a tough year for the Dolphins but we never had a problem finding a group of fans to cheer together with,” said Kramers, who’s in real estate and marketing.

One of those fans was photographer Nate Igor Smith, who wasn’t fond of being engulfed in a sea of green jerseys, either. Together they formed the fan club Dolfans NYC, a nonprofit. Thanks in part to social media, other such groups are popping up, assuring an ample number of fans visiting Miami for home games but also South Floridians traveling elsewhere to follow the team.

“Instead of people buying here and there, you say, ‘We’re all going to sit in this section, we’re all going to buy together, we’re all going to meet in this place,’ ” said Smith, 37. “It’s a lot easier to make a lot of noise when you’re all together.”

Donal McGeown quickly figured that out. He’s a 33-year-old bartender from Belfast who realized the Dolphins would play in New Jersey on Sept. 24 and changed his flights so he could attend his first Dolphins game. They don’t tailgate like this in Ireland, he said.

“(Bleeping) class,” he said of the party. “Sorry for the language, but (bleeping) class. I’ve never been tailgating in my life, but I swear to God, I would actually come back every year just to come to this tailgate. Brilliant, like. Yeah.”

Robbie Peirce traveled from Reading, England, for the game before heading back to the UK to take in the Dolphins-Saints game at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Fan David Gonzleez of Germany is part of a Dolphins fan club with 800 members in its first year of existence. (Hal Habib / The Palm Beach Post)

“This is one of those things I’ve wanted to do for a number of years,” he said. “It’s one of those bucket-list-type things, you know.”

Next to the deejay stand under a tent, “SoLo D” (DeLonte Copeland) worked up the crowd. Capitalism being what it is, he has a brand, DWA, ”Dolfans With Attitude.” Fork over $23 and it’ll score you a DWA shirt saying, “LOYALTY, 17-0 or 1-15, Dolfan for Life!”

They come for the party, they come for the football. Gonzleez estimated he has traveled to 25 Dolphins games and can tell you all about why Jay Cutler may not be the answer. As fans chanted something unflattering about the J-E-T-S, Peirce detailed concerns about the offensive and defensive lines and hoped Cutler would get enough protection to feed “the best wide receiver set” in the NFL.

It’s getting easier to watch the Dolphins on TV all over the world, even in the middle of the night.

Fagan, the Aussie, travels to see the team annually. The Saints game will mark the fourth consecutive Dolphins game he will have attended, logging more than 20,000 miles. He became hooked (“bitten, then smitten”) growing up in London watching Dan Marino.

Australian Rory Fagan (right) shows off his ‘Finmobile’ scooter painted by Cuban artist Alejandro Rodriguez. (Photo courtesy of Rory Fagan)

He attended the Dolphins’ most recent game in London with his closest friend, a Raiders fan who had to fork over a crisp $1 bill when it was over. Characters with a dry sense of humor, this group was, because three of them wore jerseys of players who had issues with drugs: Ricky Williams, Dion Jordan and the Raiders’ John Matuszak.

Fagan met Cuban artist Alejandro Rodriguez during a visit to Australia and asked him to paint his scooter with a Cuban motif and a throwback Dolphins logo.

“A unique Finmobile that gets me around Sydney,” Fagan said.

Just as opposing players have noticed Dolfans invading their territory, so too have Dolphins players. Kenny Stills figured the crowd was “50-50” for the Chargers game.

Whatever the actual numbers, fellow receiver Jarvis Landry is liking what he sees. And hears.

“It’s always good to take over somebody else’s stadium,” Landry said.

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