SWEETWATER, FLA. (WSVN) - A long-time Miami Dolphins fan has become one of three finalists in the first-ever Ford Hall of Fans competition.
Roger Avila, who calls himself the “Dolfan Maniac,” was surprised at his Sweetwater home Thursday morning by former Miami Dolphins Quarterback Dan Marino.
“I feel like I’m living in a dream,” Avila said. “I gotta constantly pinch myself to see if this is really happening, and it’s awesome.”
It was Marino who nominated Avila, a Dolphins season-ticket holder for 24 years, on behalf of the franchise to go to this year’s Superbowl on Sunday but not as a typical fan.
As a result of a world-wide voting poll on social media, Avila is one of three finalists to be in the running to forever to be recognized in the NFL’s Fan Hall of Fame.
“I’m proud you’re a fan of the Miami Dolphins,” Marino told Avila.
Avila will find out Friday morning if he’s the first fan voted into the NFL’s Fan Hall of Fame, the same Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio where the greatest whoever played and coached the game are remembered forever.
“The fact that being a superfan, and the appreciation I got from the NFL, the Miami Dolphins and all that, I won a spot already,” Avila said.
However, Marino’s visit was not the only surprise the Maniac received Thursday.
Sweetwater Mayor Orlando Lopez presented Avila with the key to the city, and Sweetwater Police escorted the superfan on his way to the airport.
“Wow! Here we go to the Superbowl! Ahhhhhh! I can’t believe this! I’m Maniac happy, man. Maniac happy,” Avila said.
Although, the Dolphins haven’t been to the Superbowl since January 1985 — when Ronald Reagan was president — the team will be well-represented at the game thanks to Avila.
“This is the inaugural season. I would be the very first inductee to get into the Hall of Fans, so let’s pray and hope, man. This is awesome,” Avila said.
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