Eric Haley requires no seeing-eye dog to get around. Which you may find surprising after learning that the guy married to a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader, pictured right over there, calls her “The Dude.” Really, dude?
But talk to Andrea Ocampo-Haley for a little while and you might agree, she would be a good dude to have a beer with.
First, the Delray Beach resident is a major sports fan who was a Dolphins cheerleader during the 2001-2003 seasons, so she can give you some scoop on the Wannstedt years, when the ‘Fins would actually keep playing after the regular season. Remember the playoffs?
And, like a lot of guys who have waved good-bye to their playing days, Ocampo-Haley can exchange empathetic banter over the relief that comes with not having to work so hard to squeeze into the old uniform.
“Staying in shape now is a lot easier for me. I’m not having to fit into anything tiny, where my boobs will be spilling out. That ship has sailed!” Ocampo-Haley says, perhaps echoing something you have said to your buddies.
She can also talk hockey, having just started a gig as an in-arena host for the Florida Panthers, a role that sees her moving around the BB&T Center interacting with fans. Her first game was also the night the Panthers hung their division-championship banner. “It was so exciting, to get that rush and adrenaline. The energy in the building was out of control,” she says.
A native of Colombia (the small city of Armenia, near Medellin) who attended Western High in Davie (“Go Wildcats!”) and the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale (studying broadcasting), she’s not sure how she came to love hockey, but likes it rough.
“I love the fights. The bodies slamming against the glass. Who doesn’t?!” she says with a laugh.
You like cars? She likes cars. When Ocampo-Haley is not working for the Panthers (you can catch her this week at home games Thursday and Saturday), she is a spokesperson for Florida Fine Cars, dealerships in Hollywood and Miami specializing in pre-owned luxury rides. So she gets to run her hands over the BMWs and Mercedes you drool over.
“I always enjoyed cars, but here [at Florida Fine Cars] I am having to really know cars. Like anything, you learn it,” she says. Ocampo-Haley favors SUVs such as the Lexus IS F and Audi Q7, which is “really refined, a car that speaks to me.”
When she’s not doing all that, Ocampo-Haley pursues an acting career by going on auditions. Our conversation took place while she was driving from Delray Beach to Miami to try out for two commercials. One of them for Home Depot. In case you want to talk to her about belt sanders and reciprocating saw blades.
Photo: Adam Kaplan, courtesy Andrea Ocampo-Haley