And so it begins. The dawning of a new NFL season. (Or is "damning" more appropriate?) The time of year where we dream of fast September starts, clutch December wins, and early February parade routes. A time of year when we, as Dolphin fans, sit in eager anticipation of a season that is sure to be filled with moments of overwhelming joy and....(Tires screeching)
Ahhh fuck it. You weren't really buying all that. Were you?
For the last few seasons, I have put together a post a day or two before opening day that would highlight the reasons that THIS would be the year that we (Yeah, "we". Deal with it.) shocked the world. I would lambaste the media for being unfairly critical and proclaim this the "year of the Dolphin." And each time I have done that, the team has pretty much shit the bed, then rolled over in it and went back to sleep, blissfully unaware of the mess that was made, or the far-reaching stink that accompanied it.
This year, I am trying something different. Instead of a rah-rah, go-get-em, Herb Brooks kinda locker room speech, I am going to focus on one word: Compete.
This year, the wins and loss record is meaningless, just compete. Show us that the future is not going to be laden with further disappointment and heartbreak. Show us that despite what looks to be a low-point, the losing will not be in vain. I wanna see growing pains, because that at least indicates growth, rather than the perpetual tire-spinning wave of mediocrity we have all had to live trough for a decade and a half. Play with fire, play with heart. Just compete.
Compete, Ryan Tannehill. Play with aggression. Play with the biggest set of Texas super sized balls the game has ever seen. Getting your ass kicked on Sunday? Pick yourself up off the turf, refuse to dust yourself off, and wink at the guy who just buried you. Have swagger, even if it is not yet earned. Act like you've won multiple Super Bowls and that you belong in this league. Be an Arrogant SOB. You are gonna get hit, and intercepted, and maybe even booed. Laugh it off, and come back to the huddle with more confidence than ever before. Just learn from those moments, and progress. Just compete.
Compete Joe Philbin. Over the past few years, we have bared witness to a coach who seemed content with settling. A coach who celebrated field goals. A coach who played (sorry for the cliche) not to lose, rather than to win. So revive us, coach. Show us a team that would rather lose huge playing aggressively than lose small playing scared. Fuck moral victories. If we are to go down, repeatedly, let's do it throwing haymakers, rather than crouching in a corner sucking our thumbs. Let's go all-in every week, coach. Compete.
Compete, Dolphins. I don't care if we go 1-15 again. Just let us enter the off-season with a strong sense that there is a core of players on this team that are ready to progress. Ready to control. Ready to explode. Ready to compete...
OK, on to some other random nonsense:
- There is a comparison to be made to the current political climate in this country, and the fan bases views on Jeff Ireland. Is seems as though there are only two camps. One that despised him and blames all the worlds problems on him, and another that acts as Ireland apologists, seemingly unwilling to place any accountability for this teams woes at this door. Like right and left wingers. I'm in the middle. I think much of the criticism is fair, yet some of it is equally unfair. However, to me, the biggest indictment of the embattled GM is the stunning lack of depth across the board on this team. WIth the exception of RB, we are glaringly thin at every other position on the field. Someone pointed out on Twitter that this roster would not be accepted on Madden 13 because it is incomplete, specifically at CB. How is this OK?
I had no problem with the trades involving Marshall and Davis, mainly because I assumed that we had a plan for their replacements, either through the FA, a trade, or the draft (In the case of a WR.). Yet here we are, 36 hours before the first game of the season and both voids are still ominously sitting there, like a giant terd in the corner. What was the plan? GM's should be like chess players, always thinking ten moves ahead. These moves felt more like reflex decisions, utterly lacking in any long-term focus. I understand that draft picks are long-term plans in themselves, but the Marshall trade happened six months ago, before the draft, yet the position was generally ignored until late on day three on draft weekend. Whats the plan, Jeff?
- I think it's important to remind everyone that throughout this off-season, many of us claimed to be looking for nothing more this season than some indication that Philbin and Tannehill were worth building around. None of us expected big things this year, as far as the teams record goes. So as the season drudges on, if the losses are piling up, keep in mind what we said months ago. So let's not jump off the Philbin or Tannehill ship if we open the season 0-2. Let's let the year play out before we start calling for peoples jobs. These guys are rookies. Mistakes will be made. Problems will arise. It's how they react that will tell us about them. I'm talking to myself, mind you, because I will be the first to throw a temper tantrum every Sunday. I'm the guy that needs the reminding that this season is about growth and progress, and not really wins.
Having said that, negativity and all, let me end with this: Hell with it, let's beat the goddamn Texans on Sunday and send a giant fuck you to the national sports media.