The Miami Dolphins stunned the New England Patriots Sunday on an improbable last-second play already dubbed the “Miami Miracle.”
When the Dolphins pulled off the shocking multi-lateral scoring play, there was a little part of the Central Coast on the field at Hard Rock Stadium.
“For someone who loves football, these things are flukes. They never happen and to have that happen and for us to be associated with it, that is a huge point of excitement for us,” said Lifewater President/CEO Justin Narducci.
Wearing the logo of the San Luis Obispo-based non-profit organization on his shoes during the play was Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who snapped the ball and started the mind-boggling series of events that eventually led to the game-winning touchdown.
“The logo is very clear on there and the design that went into all of these shoes is really spectacular. Some of these are amazing and I think this one is really great,” said Narducci.
Tannehill had the Lifewater logo on his shoes as he took part in the NFL’s current “My Cause, My Cleats,” campaign.
“There’s about 800 of these NFL guys between weeks 13 and 15 really have a chance to share the things that they care about with the world,” said Narducci. “For Ryan to choose Lifewater and the cause of clean water and improve health is really an honor to be on his feet and then for it to be on his feet in the game that they sort of made the impossible possible is really a cool thing for us.”
The organization helps create safe water and healthy living conditions in rural, impoverished small villages across Africa and Asia.
“We build wells,” said Lifewater Director of Marketing Gary Weyel. “We build relationships with families in villages and partner with them to help make change last, so it’s not just a one time thing. It’s change that will affect generations to come. We’ve been doing that for about 40 years and it makes a huge impact on those that we serve. It makes a difference for generations .”
Narducci said Tannehill, along with his wife Lauren, has been a friend of the non-profit for about a year.
His decision to wear the Lifewater logo on the shoes during the three-week charitable awareness campaign was the first time he publicly represented the organization.
“He’s a great representative of the organization,” said Narducci. “He’s a high character guy. He’s a faithful guy. He’s a Christian guy. He aligns well with our values and he genuinely about the work and the people we get to serve.”
According to the Lifewater website, it is a clean Christian-based water organization that has been in operation for more than 40 years.
It has called San Luis Obispo home for the past two decades.
During that time, it has helped create clean water supplies, improved health and brought gospel hope to families living in extreme poverty.
“We’re grateful for Ryan including us in the cause,” said Narducci. “There’s a lot of different causes out that anyone can care about and they all matter, but for us obviously, it’s our passion area. We love providing kids with safe water and we love to have an advocate who is a high character guy like that representing us.”
The My Cause, My Cleats campaign ends this Sunday. Narducci is hoping Tannehill will wear the Lifewater cleats one more time when the Dolphins play in Minnesota.
During the first week of the campaing, Tannehill wore cleats representing A21, an organization that helps combat Human Sex Trafficking.
During Sunday’s “Miami Miracle,” Tannehill and the Dolphins faced an near-impossible situation.
Trailing the Patriots 33-28, Miami had the ball on its own 31-yard line with only seven seconds left in the game.
According to the ESPN’s win-probability metric, New England had a 99.9 percent change of winning prior to the last snap.
However, Tannehill fired a pass to Kenny Stills, who caught the ball at the Miami 46-yard line.
Stills then toss the ball on a lateral to DeVante Parker.
Parker only ran the ball about four yards before he pitched the ball to Kenyan Drake.
Drake caught the ball at the Miami at the 48-yard line and proceeded to run 52 yards through the Patriots defense before finally out-running Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski the final few yards before crossing the goal line.
The 69-yard touchdown by Drake set off a wild celebration in the stadium.
Tannehill fell to the ground in disbelief and was caught by CBS cameras lying on the ground for several moments in stunned amazement.
“To see it transform from this desperation moment to this miraculous play was just amazing. It was great theater and a great moment for NFL football,” Weyer said. “It was great to see him on the field and lead that amazing charge for the Dolphins and to see our cleats, our logo be a small part of that was a lot of fun.”
For more information about Lifewater, visit the organization’s website at lifewater.org