Let’s Rent a Plane

December 24, 1972

I moved to South Florida during that summer of 1972. A fortuitous move since the Dolphins finished 14-0 during the regular season. And now comes the first playoff game. Scheduled for December 24 at the Orange Bowl versus the Cleveland Browns.

Bad News

At work on Thursday comes a message over the radio. The Orange Bowl isn’t sold out 72 hours prior to kickoff, so the game’s blacked out in Miami.


How am I going to see the game?

Good News

Four of us get together for a quick meeting of the minds and arrive at a quick solution:

Let’s rent a plane.

We chip in and rent a four-seat Cessna from Safari Aviation at North Perry Airport in Miramar, and fly to Ft. Myers. Beyond the blackout area.

We radio the tower as we’re circling for a landing and mention our intent. In response, the airport sends a baggage cart to meet us. We ride the cart to the airport and watch the game in the bar. A few beers, a cheeseburger, or two, and some fries.

The Dolphins came from behind in the fourth quarter to pull out a 20-14 playoff win. And we fly back to North Perry Airport after the game.

I lived right across the street from the airport. Don’t remember how much the Cessna cost to rent – but pretty sure it was under $200. Split four ways, that’s about fifty bucks a piece for a once-in-a-lifetime memory.

Oh, yeah, I was taking flying lessons at the time and one of my buddies already had his pilot’s license.

9 months ago
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Written by Barry Bowe
Former sportswriter - first to put Timmy Duncan's name on the sports page.

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