So much has changed since the 9/11 radical Islamic terror attacks on the United States. My reaction to the Miami Dolphins disaster has altered significantly over the past decade-and-a-half.
Yesterday’s remembrance caused me to reflect what’s changed both personally and politically. And how I’ve strengthened myself against consistent onslaught of Dolphins-led spiritual attacks.
9/11 Losing Respect
A decade and a half later, the American people have grown weary of 9/11. Never-ending war, turmoil and domestic attacks have people focused on other issues. Having witnessed this event up close, I supported the war efforts, but as we learn more about Saudi involvement and the potential government cover up, this event feels more and more like a conspiracy theory resolving to truth. I’m angry that 15 years on the world is more dangerous and teeters on total global conflict.
From a global perspective, elected officials have failed us on a colossal scale. The level and consistency of ineptitude among a variety of leaders can only lead to the conclusion all of this was intentional.
Dolphins Begin Their Collapse
The Dolphins finished 11-5 in 2001, won a playoff round and got blitzed by the Raiders, 27-0 in the second round.
The Dolphins have since traveled no further into the NFL playoffs and finished over .500 just five times during this period. In fact, the Dolphins haven’t exceeded the .500 mark since 2008.
AFC East: Patriots vs. the Three Stooges
The AFC East transformed into the New England Patriots and Everyone Else. The Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets serve as the Washington Generals to the Harlem Globetrotters. The rest of the division are a bunch of cads, buffoons, Keystone Cops, rubes, set-up men, sidekicks, tackling dummies…whatever you want to call them. They exist to provide the Patriots with a light schedule on their way to another division crown.
Let’s take yesterday as a microcosm of what has taken place over the years:
New York Jets: The Jets, celebrating their home opener, led 16-13 at halftime and lost 23-22 on a last-second field goal.
Buffalo Bills: Despite a solid defensive performance, Team Ryan Bros. wouldn’t manage more than a TD on the road against Baltimore.
Dolphins: The defense played out of its head until the final moments when it finally collapsed and allowed the Seahawks to scratch out a ill-deserved 12-10 victory. The Dolphins offense struggled all game, but came through at the end. Image of the day: Kenny Stills, wide open, drops a certain TD pass.
New England: The Pats go to Arizona, a team heavily favored to win the NFC crown, without Tom Brady and win. So, the worst they can finish under Brady’s four-game suspension is now 1-3.
No More Appointment Viewing
The luxury of settling down to watch and focus on a game no longer exists. I watched it on DVR at 10 pm.
Breakable Objects Are Now Safe
Fifteen years ago, this type of game would’ve caused me to fly into a Hulk-like destructive tizzy.
Instead, I’ve learned to enjoy my often-correct predictions of failure. When Kenny Stills drops a sure TD pass, I laugh my ass off. Why? Because if you haven’t discovered a sense of humor as a 21st Century Dolphins fan, you’re going to be very, very unhappy.
No More Cases of “The Mondays”
I no longer allow losses to leave me pissed and depressed from Monday to Wednesday. My secret hope is that the Dolphins will suck to the point where other Dolfans will eventually wake up, stop buying tickets and force Stephen Ross to sell (I’m in a geographical position to be a season ticket, but I won’t support this ownership).
Of course, we now know the team will go to one of his company’s underlings so we may be forever trapped in this nightmare loop. I guess my best hope is that they restore the logo and uniforms to their traditional places so they at least can LOOK good while sucking.
No More Waiting…
I used to believe the Dolphins just suffered from a down cycle they’d eventually roll out of. But we now know that’s not a guarantee.
Teams can get trapped in persistent loops of losing. There’s no “It’s their turn to win” scenario. The NFL is littered with inept franchises. Consider Detroit and Cleveland as two of the NFL’s most venerable — and once-successful franchises. Both have yet to appear in a Super Bowl. That’s 50 YEARS. That’s HALF A CENTURY of ineptitude (well, less for the Browns given their departure to Baltimore and subsequent re-arrival as an expansion team).
When Bill Belichik finally retires, even the Patriots might collapse. The Dolphins, under Don Shula, were the Patriots of the 1970’s.
While we compared Ryan Tannehill’s four-year stats to those of Drew Brees last week, Tannehill’s clock now has 15 games remaining.
Viewed through the lens of corporate politics, Adam Gase is doing and saying all the right things to help Tannehill reach new heights. If all that fails and Tannehill remains flat or regresses, Gase needs to push the Dolphins for an immediate upgrade. With a five-year contract, Gase cannot stake his personal career on a QB who doesn’t evolve. Nor can he afford to wait until 2017 or later to acquire and coach a newcomer.