CANTON (CBSMiami) – He is by far the most recognizable Miami Dolphins fan, and now, he’s a hall of famer.
Roger Avila, 56, or as those around the Fins know him, ‘Dolfan Maniac,’ was honored on Thursday as one of the inaugural inductees to the Ford ‘Hall of Fans’ at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
The Hall of Fans celebrates the most passionate fans in the NFL and Dolfan Maniac got his very own exhibit too.
The exhibit includes an encased Dolphins jersey with the name ‘Dol-Fan Maniac’ on the back and the number “1” and his own hall of fame plaque as well.
Avila has been a season ticket holder for the past 24 years and attends every Dolphins home game wearing his No. 40 Fins jersey, a white helmet and face paint.
His journey to induction started months ago, when Dolphins legend Dan Marino surprised him at his home in Sweetwater to let him know the Fins had nominated him as their super fan.
One winner will be announced in Atlanta this weekend. pic.twitter.com/xZu8jRtogx
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) January 29, 2019
Now, he will forever rep the Dolphins in the Hall of Fans and NFL fans all over the world, who come to visit the hall, will know who he is.
In a speech accepting the honor, Avila was emotional, but grateful about the recognition.
“I just want to thank you everybody, I mean a man like myself, was running out of hope in life, in football and everything. This just lit fire and life into me and I just want to the thank lord and savior Jesus Christ first above all, the NFL, the Miami Dolphins, my family, my children and all the NFL fans,” said Avila in a heartfelt speech. “And I was just gonna top it off with, Ford Hall of Fans, thank you so much. Because of what you’ve done and you’ve created with us fans, it just lit up a whole new life in us that now there’s a meaning behind it. Because if it wasn’t for the fans, there would be no NFL football cheering them on, amen!”
WATCH DOLFAN MANIAC’S SPEECH HERE:
Avila and two other inductees, a Chicago Bears fan and a Pittsburgh Steelers fan will also be recognized in a pregame presentation before the Hall of Fame Game between the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
On Friday, the honorees will continue celebrating Enshrinement Week and receiving Hall of Fans Blue Jackets.
Congrats Dolfan Maniac!