Miami Dolphins fanatic Robert Greene in his field of dreams on Chapin Avenue, where the kick is always good and no opponent dares show his face.
That annual contest is tomorrow, beginning at 1p.
By late afternoon, Robert Greene of Chapin Avenue will either be celebrating some combination of the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas and hit-the-lottery day, or he’ll be wishing he was dead.
Greene is a Dolphins fanatic, though the word barely begins to capture the breadth and depth of his obsession. This is a guy who takes his fanaticism into the upper decks of mind-boggling.
His house is trimmed in Dolphins teal (yeah, that’s a real color). Scattered across his corner lot are life-sized cutouts of his favorite players, painted by a friend. There are tributes to the team (referred to disparagingly as “the fish” by opposing fans) in the trees. There’s a trellis flanked by a plywood Dan Marino and a ref signaling a touchdown.
And in the driveway are two vehicles, one somewhat less roadworthy than the other, painted to proclaim Greene’s devotion.
redbankgreen dropped in on him unannounced one sweltering Saturday in August to find Greene wearing a Dolphins jersey and cap while trimming the hedges.
We asked him, while he gave us a tour of the grounds, what his wife, Winona, thinks of his obsession with marking every surface with Dolphins memorabilia.
“She says, ‘As long as you pay the mortgage, I don’t care what you do,'” Greene says.
By day an industrial trainer at East Jersey State Prison, Greene is father of three and foster father to two more children. A religious man, he loves the Lord even more than the pigskin, he says.
“We all need God in our lives,” he says. “Football’s only for a season, but when it’s over, it’s over.”
Well, not literally. For Greene, the Dolphin’s 1972 season may have ended 35 years ago, but it will never truly be over. That’s the year they went 17-0 and of course won the Super Bowl.
Such memories are too good to let go of, and help sustain hope in seasons like this one. The Dolphins, like the Jets, are 0-2.
But current records, like the glories of the past, mean nothing on the one day a year that the two teams face each other at the Meadowlands. For Greene, the outcome means his ticket gets punched for an express ride to either heaven or hell.
“I know a lot of Jets fans,” he says, and if their team wins, “they let me have it.”