It's that time of week again when I award a game ball to the Miami Dolphins, and a bunch of you say the game ball should only be given if the Dolphins win. Wait. What's that? Oh, the DOLPHINS WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's right. It's time to let my exhuberence come through for a minute. Look at all those extra exclamation points. The Miami Dolphins won a game. It's sad that in week nine, that singular sentence is such an accomplishment - but you know what? For today, and for this week, I don't care.
And, as several of you commented, I finally got my wish. I have a game ball to give out to a team that won - and a team that won in a fashion that makes it difficult to present a game ball because that means I am leaving someone out.
Should I gave the game ball to quarterback Matt Moore? On the Facebook poll for the offensive player of the game, 55 people voted for Moore, with Anthony Fasano coming in second with 6 votes. Obviously, the majority of you all felt that Moore's 17-for-23, 244 yards, 3 touchdown performance, giving him a 147.5 passer rating, were worthy of the game ball.
Or, maybe I should give the ball to Fasano. The veteran tight end only caught two passes during the game, but both were touchdowns.
Perhaps Reggie Bush should get the game ball. He carried 13 times for 92 yards and a touchdown. That's a 7.1 yards per attempt average. Plus, he caught 3 passes for 50 yards.
There's wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who caught 8 passes for 106 yards. He also actually pulled one down in the end zone - actually holding on to a touchdown pass.
There's Charles Clay. The rookie H-back made an impact, hauling in all three passes that went his direction, gaining 50 yards.
Then, there's the defense. Kevin Burnett had 12 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 tackles for a loss, and 2 hits on Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel. Next to Burnett on the defense is Karlos Dansby, who racked up 11 tackles, including two for a loss, of his own.
Yeremiah Bell seemed to be everywhere, and, despite at least one questionable unnecessary roughness penalty, made plays for the Dolphins throughout the game.
Perhaps the ball should go to cornerback Sean Smith. While it's always possible to make a big play on Smith, his ability to blanket a wide out goes unnoticed most of the time.
There's always Brandon Fields, who, besides his normal punting prowess (5 kicks, a 44.2 yards per kick, 1 touchback, and 2 inside the 20 this week - with a long of 55 yards) added in a tackle of his own on Sunday.
Maybe all of them should get a game ball. Or, perhaps the fan base should get the game ball after this win.
But, I'm going to go to Tony Sparano. All season, Sparano has been under fire - from the media, from the fans, and even from the owner - and yet he has stood up in front of everyone and taken whatever anyone wanted to throw at him, and he never blinked. Sparano will be gone at the end of the year, but it's obvious, even in a ten game losing streak, Sparano hasn't lost the team. They are playing hard for him. The team is still trying to win. The team hasn't given up.
For this week, Tony Sparano was the right coach for the Miami Dolphins. And, for that, he gets the game ball.