It was Week 14 of the 2010 NFL season and the Dolphins were taking on the Jets in the Meadowlands during a torrential downpour. After scoring 10 points in the first quarter, Miami didn’t put up a single point the rest of the game. Luckily for Miami, the Jets couldn’t get it together enough to pull out the win, only posting two field goals in the second and fourth quarters.
A huge contributor to victory that day was punter Brandon Fields, who had perhaps the most memorable game of his career.
Despite the weather conditions, Fields punted 10 times for 564 yards, a gross average of 56.4 and a net of 49.6 with five of his punts downed inside the 15-yard line. Those numbers are a punters dream and Fields nailed it. But that’s not always the case. The punter can also be the villain, so how does Fields take the good with the bad?
"One aspect of being a successful punter is having a short memory, for both the good and the bad punts." Fields said. "After every punt I think about one or two key things that I did well and one or two things to improve upon for the next punt, then I forget about that play because it already happened. I can’t change the outcome. Unfortunately, not every punt will be perfect, but every punt is a different situation and circumstance in the game. You are only as good as your next kick."
So as the Dolphins’ training camp is set to start this week, Fields heads into this season with memories of that game in 2010 knowing he is capable of putting up those numbers again.
Brandon’s positive attitude translates off the field as well as he and his wife Katie partnered up with Broward Health three years ago to create Broward Health Fields Fit Fest, part of the NFL’s Play 60 program. But it’s not all about sports, and kids don’t need to be star athletes in order to be healthy and fit.
"We try to show a variety of activities such as obstacles, yoga, dancing and games," Fields said. "We encourage kids to find what they enjoy doing and keep moving for at least 60 minutes a day. If they don’t enjoy being physically active, they should try something else. It can be as simple as doing chores and taking a walk."
Katie, who is a practicing Chiropractor in South Florida, also feels very strongly about the foundation and is heavily involved in all the events.
"Sports and exercise are a huge part of our daily lives," Katie said. "It is important for both our physical health as well as our mental health. With such a high obesity rate in this country, we really feel the need to pass on the message to our youth, of the importance of physical activity."
"Not all children are interested in sports, and some families just can’t afford to put their children on teams. So we want to show kids that they can be physically active outside of sports and at home on their own with friends and family. We teamed up with Broward Health three years ago to get close to the community and help children learn how easy it really can be to become more active. It makes such a difference in their lives."
Brandon and Katie are both from Toledo, Ohio, and since having adopted South Florida as their second home, it’s very important to them to continue to give back to both communities as much as they can and partnering with Broward Health has brought them closer to our South Florida community.
Despite the work Brandon and Katie are doing within their communities, they have a little one at home they tend to as well. Though their daughter isn’t even a year old yet, Brandon has learned to trade in some golf time for daughter time in the offseason and isn’t even mad about it.
"Having my daughter hasn’t affected my training and preparation at all," Brandon said. "I don’t have time to sleep in anymore, but she’s worth definitely worth it. My wife has been amazing in this regard and has taken the brunt of the nights, especially during spring OTAs, allowing me to get enough sleep to be functional."
Sounds like the job of a superhero, right? Aside from being a parent and a professional football player, Fields, who will report to Dolphins training camp Thursday with the first practice set for Friday, did share one superpower he’d like to have that would undoubtedly make his life more convenient.
"Definitely teleportation, like Nightcrawler from X-Men," he said.
Well, that would certainly save a lot of travel time between games.