You can raise a generation on dazzlingly realistic football video game graphics. You can put logos on everything with bells, whistles and bytes. Still, the best football-related Christmas presents, like most Christmas presents, remain the simplest and most personal.
If one is to judge from an unscientific poll of this year’s Dolphins, that is. The Miami Herald asked several players for their favorite football-related Christmas present.
Rookie cornerback and Alabama native Bobby McCain almost named tickets to his first NFL game to see the Atlanta Falcons, his favorite team as a kid, but then remembered:
“My parents bought me a helmet, an Alabama Crimson Tide helmet, and I used to wear it all around the house. Five or 6 years old,” he said.
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Rookie wide receiver DeVante Parker named his first football that he received at age 1 or 2: “Played with that football forever, just me in the yard, just throwing it up and catching it.”
Helmet, ball … the fundamental trifecta is completed by a jersey.
“I got a Terrell Davis jersey,” wide receiver Kenny Stills said, invoking the name of Denver’s 2,000-yard rusher of the late 1990s. “I was a big Terrell Davis fan. I loved his cleats that Nike made. When I was younger growing up, my parents were big on you never wore somebody else’s last name on your back. So this was the first jersey I had that had somebody else’s last name on it.”
Being a Stanford guy, cornerback Michael Thomas broadened the definition of “football-related.”
“I didn’t actually keep it for myself, but it was a designer bag that ended up being a great present for me because I ended up letting it be a great present for somebody else,” Thomas said. “I got it through the Dolphins gift exchange. I wasn’t going to use it.”
Safety Walt Aikens, who bought the bag for Thomas, fixed his teammate with a look of disbelief: “You re-gifted it to somebody else? You are something else.”
There’s no chance wide receiver Jarvis Landry would re-gift his favorites. The only people to whom they would mean as much gave them to him.
“Frames and pictures that capture moments like me and a coach or me and the guys,” Landry said. “From Coach [Phil] McGeoghan, my receiver coach here and my receiver coach in college, Coach [Adam] Henry. They both did a little tribute, capturing our moment, capturing our time. It was something I still have saved in the house that’s significant to me.”
Without practice Friday, the official injury report from the Dolphins game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday was an estimation.
So, according to their estimation, the team believes wide receiver Landry (knee) would have practiced but in a limited way; center Mike Pouncey (foot/ankle) would have missed his third consecutive practice; running back Lamar Miller (quad/ankle) would have practiced fully; and wide receiver Rishard Matthews (ribs) would have practiced in a limited way after full practices Wednesday and Thursday.