Lionel Lightbourne lives just a few blocks from the Dolphins' home field. When they win and fireworks explode over Miami Gardens, he watches from his front porch. Lightbourne has been a fan since the Fins' perfect season in 1972 — the year after he was born.
So when he heard the Fins were renaming their stadium after Jimmy Buffett's LandShark Lager in exchange for a new theme song, he got upset. See, Lightbourne wrote his own ditty a few years ago. It was good enough to win a citywide contest and earn playtime on game broadcasts. Buffett's track, well... was written by Jimmy Buffett.
"A good song should not be determined by the person's name but by how good the music is," Lightbourne says. "I felt unappreciated. So I'm calling Buffett out."
Here's the backstory: In 2002, Lightbourne met his wife, Tonya. Between them, they had six kids. Soon, Lightbourne had a flash of inspiration: The family should record a new Dolphins theme together.
The Fins already have a famous fight song — "Miami Dolphins No. 1," written in 1971 by an aspiring musician named Lee Ofman. The team still plays it after every touchdown. But Lightbourne thought it was past time for an update.
Lightbourne, a social worker, brought the family to a studio, where they recorded "Dol-fans 4 Life" in one ten-hour session. They entered a contest sponsored by Doritos for Super Bowl XLI, played the tune during four contests at Publix stores around town, and won each time. At the finals outside Dolphin Stadium, they took the prize, nabbing Super Bowl tickets and a stay at the Biltmore.
So here's Lightbourne's challenge to Buffett: Let the Fins Nation choose its poison.
Riptide called the Dolphins to propose a song-off. Spokesman Harvey Green says the team is still trying to sort out how often to play Buffett's new track and "Miami Dolphins No. 1." Throwing another song into the mix would perhaps not fit the team's plans.
Well, if the Fins won't step up, New Times will. Log on to our Riptide blog at to listen to "Dol-fans 4 Life" and Buffett's song.
It's in your hands now: Urban bounce versus country twang. Grassroots grit versus corporate sheen. Good versus evil.
"People love our song. We've proved it," Lightbourne says. "It's time for the Fins to respect that."
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