I'm sure by now you've both heard and read about the four game suspension handed down to Texans linebacker and defensive leader, Brian Cushing. It's an unfortunate development to be sure, but one that NFL fans are becoming all too accustomed to.
I spent some time perusing SB Nation's Texans site, Battle Red Blog, and the general consensus appears to be not of shock (again highlighting Matty's insightful comments about Cushing's high school years) or anger, but disappointment. Following a fantastic 2009 campaign Texan fans seem to have begun looking at Cushing as the heart and soul of their defense. This speaks to the enthusiasm and leadership the rookie brought to the table, while really driving home the massive let down this suspension has wrought on the Texan franchise. All in all, Brian Cushing is one of the most popular players on the Houston roster. Which got me to thinking—how would we as Miami fans react to a similar situation in which a prominent Dolphin was suspended for steroids?
Obviously, we've already lost Ferguson for length of time twice that of Cushing's suspension, but Jason was certainly nowhere close to being the face of the team. What if the next breaking news Tweeted by Adam Schefter is the suspension of Ronnie Brown or Ricky? What if we were to lose Jake Long or Yeremiah Bell to what would amount to an embarrassing and costly penalty for steroid abuse?
First, let me offer some insight into my own thought process. On March 31st, I was sitting my apartment watching television when I received a text message from a good friend of mine:
Note that I was completely oblivious to the fact that it was the day before April Fool's and that my friend has all of Schefter's Tweets sent to his phone, often forwarding them to me after. Needless to say, I was in total shock. I was confused and grew rather upset. While I began frantically searching the Internet for any signs of confirmation or denial, I attempted in vain to reconcile the fact that my favorite Miami Dolphin, a man I had believed to be an honest, hardworking, and down to Earth player, had been caught cheating and would now be punished accordingly. What would happen to the offense? The team? The season? I was distraught.
Of course, I found no such confirmation of this forwarded "Tweet". I came to my senses (only after accusing my friend of trying to kill me via heart attack), and quickly settled down. In fact, I then helped organize a similar prank on my brother, an Eagles fan. But, again, I pose the question to you. How would you feel?