Remember When: A look back athistory through the eyes of The Phinsider
2007. It was a year that saw an entire season become nothing more than a prayer for one single victory.
As if I need to remind any Dolphins fan, the team sat at 0-13 heading into a December 13 game at home against the Ravens. And it seemed like that elusive win would never come. After all, this team had come close a couple of times prior to that mid December afternoon. Six of the team's 13 losses prior to the game against Baltimore had been by three points.
But rather than supply us with hope that this team was close, many fans - myself included - saw this as a possible sign that a win in '07 just wasn't meant to be. It's easy now to forget that feeling of hopelessness that surrounded this team that year after all of those three point losses. It's easy to forget that there was a very good chance the Dolphins would become the NFL's first 0-16 team.
The Ravens brought a 4-9 record into the game. And if the Dolphins didn't pull off the upset on that particular Sunday, there wasn't much hope to follow with games against the unbeaten Patriots and the talented Bengals looming to close out the season. As those final two games confirmed, the Dolphins did indeed have no chance of beating either. Heading into the game against Baltimore, we all pretty much knew this. We knew that this game was really the final chance to avoid making the worst kind of NFL history.
The Dolphins did their best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory against Baltimore. They really tried to get Cam Cameron in NFL record books. Even after grabbing their first lead of the game - and what felt like their first lead of the season - this team really tried their hardest to lose. That's really the only way to make sense Jay Feely's colossal mistake of kicking the ensuing kickoff out of bounds with under two minutes to go in the game - giving Baltimore (who had no timeouts remaining) the football at the 40 yard line only needing a field goal to tie the game and force overtime.
Two plays into the drive, the Ravens were already in field goal range. The Ravens made it all the way down to Miami's one yard line - choosing to kick the field goal and force overtime rather than going for the win in regulation.
In overtime, the Ravens took the opening kickoff down to Miami's 26 yard line - powered by a Willis McGahee 19 yard run and a Musa Smith 16 yard run on back-to-back plays. But as luck would have it, Matt Stover choked, giving the Dolphins one more chance to avoid futility.
The reactions from the Phinsider community that afternoon and over the next few days were, of course, off the charts. Some fans were simply jubilant. Some were emotional. All were relieved.
Here are some of the notable reactions from that afternoon, as posted in the comments of our game thread:
"I think I'm crying..."
"Some teams earn victories. And some teams have it thrust upon them in spite of all efforts to avoid it. I'm just so relieved I don't care how they got it at this point!"
"What a game. I am still in tears!"
That night, after the win really sunk in, I closed my "day after" recap by writing, "I will always be sure to appreciate each and every victory." Many fans echoed that same sentiment. We all saw first hand just how hard it can be to win a single football game. Many fans, myself included, said they would never again take winning a football game for granted.
Not even four years later, though, it's amazing how that feeling seems to have gone by the wayside. Maybe we should enjoy each win a little more.
Of course, at the rate this lockout is going, fans might start appreciating a single minicamp practice more than ever.