Best Dolphins Player (2008)

Greg Camarillo

The few loyal Dolphins fans who continued to attend home games as the losses piled up walked through Dolphin Stadium like zombies December 16. With their team sitting at 0-13 and facing the grim possibility of the first 0-16 season in NFL history, Fins fans had no cause for optimism. When the Baltimore Ravens tied just before the end of regulation, and won the coin toss for possession to start overtime, Fins fans dropped their heads in defeat. Then it happened: Baltimore's Matt Stover missed a 41-yard field goal wide left. Miami took over, and suddenly back-up wide receiver Greg Camarillo — who had one career reception before that day — slipped behind the Ravens' typically tough defense. Cleo Lemon hit him on a short slant and Camarillo trucked 64 yards for the game-winning touchdown. It was the longest offensive play for the Dolphins all season. The stadium erupted as if the team had just won the Super Bowl. The party spilled over into the parking a lot, and for the first and only time all season, the Dolphins faithful could toast to victory.

Camarillo is the kind of ballplayer who defies jock stereotypes and is easy to root for. He stands 6-1 and weighs 190 pounds. He turned down Harvard so he could walk on at Stanford, where he never caught a touchdown and never had a reception more than 36 yards. Still he made it to the pros. Now Camarillo will go down in Dolphins lore as the guy who came from nowhere to save the team from the ultimate stigmata of a winless season. The Fins' most athletically gifted player, defensive end Jason Taylor, perhaps said it best. "It got a little dicey there at the end," Taylor told the AP after the game. "Thank God for Camarillo."


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >