I have a confession to make. It is something that has weighed heavily on me for a few years now, and I can no longer bear the burden of responsibility in silence. As devout fans of this seemingly doomed franchise, I feel I owe you the common courtesy of the real truth. It is a sordid tale of hypocrisy, hope, and short-sightedness that culminates in a whirlwind of emotion that will leave you breathless and horrified (Not really). You see, the state of constant malaise the Dolphins are mired in is completely my doing and can easily be explained.
October 12th, 2009 Approximately 11:15 PM Hawthorne, NJ
The Dolphins had spent the better part of the last three hours on Monday Night Football going back and forth with the hated New York Jets. And I don't mean "hated" in the half-hearted sports team rivalry sense, like "Tom Brady is so damn good, god I HATE that guy." I mean hated in the Hitler/Bin Laden/Katy Perry sense. As in everyone on the planet with a pulse and an IQ above 40 HATES them. I hate the Jets more than I hate Cancer. If someone gave me the choice between eliminating child hunger or the Jets franchise, I would have to ask for more time to think about it.
Anyways, Miami had just given up a long touchdown pass and were down by three with just over two minutes left, and the ball in their own territory, the game in the hands of their "future" QB, who was starting just his second game ever, and playing well. It was at that very moment, seconds before that fateful drive began, that I doomed this franchise to perennial failure. You see, I am surrounded by Jets fans. Friends, family members, coworkers. They are like dog-shit, they are everywhere. So I am constantly exposed to the nonsense, the arrogance, and the stupidity that only Gang Green Nation can provide. So it was at that moment that I, a devout Agnostic, struck a deal with god. And it went a little something like this:
Me: "God, are you there? It's me, the guy who has spent every Sunday sitting in front of a big-screen TV, instead of an alter. The guy who thinks "Praise his name" refers to Dan Marino. Yeah that guy."
God: "Yeah , I know you. What the hell do you want?"
Me: "Well God, I have never asked you for anything. Never wasted your time begging for the health of my children, or an end to war, but today, I need something."
God: "(sigh) What?"
Me: "Please, please just let us win this game. I don't care what happens every day after this one. Just let us win this game."
God: "Fine. But I'm not doing it for you. I just really like to see that fat pig head coach of theirs go ape shit after losses."
Me: "Good enough bro. Thanks ."
God: "Oh and by the way, When people only see one set of footprints in the sand, I'm not carrying them, I'm off body boarding."
And so it was. Henne drove Miami down the field, converting multiple fourth downs, and Ronnie Brown ended the drive with a three yard touchdown run. And my life was complete. Little did I know.....
Since that night....
12-19 record. 3-9 home record. The slow and steady demise of a once promising head coach. Numerous front office debacles. And the biggest kick in the pants that night? That game, which was the first prime-time start of Chad Henne's career, would ultimately turn out to be the best performance of his career, only to see the promise of that night wither away beneath a sea of mediocre and non-inspiring performances.
So you see, you can all stop wondering where it went wrong. The answer lies in a Faustian tale of an idiot, and his hatred for the football fans his geography burdens him with. I'm the Al Bundy of the Dolphins fanbase. Leading a sub-standard football life, forced to constantly relive the glory of a football game played (relatively) long ago....
In other news...
I just can't bring myself to watch a Dolphins game and root against them. It would be like watching "Saving Private Ryan" and rooting for the Germans. I am a realist, however. So I can accept the fact that even if this team has a major turnaround, the season is over. Look at it this way: If we come out of the bye and finish the season 8-4, which is not going to happen, it still leaves us at 8-8, which is essentially nowhere. All that 6-10 or 7-9 does for us is drop our draft status low enough for this team to, once again, talk itself out of a first round QB. So I fully acknowledge that any wins this team strings together are to our detriment at this point. But as I stated above, I am incapable of actively rooting for this team to fail each week. So what I will do is root like hell for the Vikings, the Broncos, the Colts, and the Chiefs to win as many games as possible. Cause somehow, that doesn't seem the same to me as rooting for Miami to lose.
So I will stumble through the rest of this season, in a fog, paying some attention to the current season and euphorically dreaming of a future complete with the ability to watch my football team play meaningful football games....in October. Hey, gotta walk before you can run.