DAVIE (CBSMiami) — Special Olympics Florida recently teamed up with the Miami Dolphins for an afternoon of flag football. That is where the entire Fins rookie class and officers from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department gave some hands on lessons to some very special athletes.
CBS4’s Mike Cugno was on the field as the Dolphins rookie class transformed their practice bubble into a football paradise for Special Olympics athletes from Miami-Dade and Broward.
“My team knows what they’re doing. I’ve got them well coached. Just watch it play out. Watch it happen,” said running back Kalen Ballage.
True to his word, Ballage was rocking with a well-oiled machine. His team lit up the field with deep balls to speedy wide receivers. It was big play after big play.
There were neck-breaking cuts from tailbacks catching passes out of the backfield and of course, a touchdown dance in the end zone from a very happy player.
More than 100 Special Olympic athletes hit the gridiron impressing some of the most talented Dolphins like first round draft pick Minkah Fitzpatrick.
“It’s fun for me. Like I said, I love watching the game of football no matter who’s playing. Obviously its different concepts and levels of the game but I love just watching people play. Just because it’s a fun game, anyone can play it. Just having fun making plays doing what they do. So “I’m always going to enjoy the game,” said Fitzpatrick.
Growing up David Steinmetz actually ran his own Special Olympic events in his hometown of Grafton Massachusetts. Now the rookie tackle out of Purdue is getting to share his football knowledge in South Florida.
“It’s absolutely amazing. When I was in third grade I started doing Special Olympics as a unified partner, I did it until I was a sophomore in high school. Throughout that time I created my own fund raising for my own town to do bowling and stuff like that. But it’s just a great opportunity to be out here with these athletes tearing up these fields. It’s awesome,” said Steinmetz.
The Dolphins weren’t just drawing up plays. They were demonstrating sportsmanship and what it means to contribute to a team. But more importantly, they showed that no matter the uniform, everyone on this field is a football player.
“These guys are good enough, they don’t need any advice. They just got the touchdown the last drive. He was leading the way. They’re giving me advice actually,” said tight end Mike Gesicki.
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