It's very difficult to keep your head up when things just always seem to go wrong at the most inopportune times. We can easily point out our own deficiencies and believe me I will get into those sometime later. But one thing that simply just cannot be overlooked is how calls have gone for us lately. It almost feels like there's an NFL-wide conspiracy to keep Miami down at all costs in an attempt to keep certain other teams up in the rankings.
Of course the first thing that may come to mind is last week's crushing loss to the New England Patriots...or as the majority of the media world seems to call them, the Brady Bunch. But aren't I just ranting? Just bitter over the fact that we lost to the whining crybaby that is Tom Brady? The man who we saw tap-dance like the late great Gregory Hines in the first half? Some of this is me venting yes, but I do have a theory mind. The Elite Conspiracy.
Now who qualifies to be in the "Elites"? Well that's easy, there are four right off the bat, the elite QBs. We all know them. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers. These players are the poster boys of the NFL, even more so in the case of Brady and Peyton, there's a level of expectation attached to these four, and when the expectations aren't met, I would imagine that the NFL's bottom line suffers to a certain extent.
Now there are certain teams that the NFL doesn't find even remotely relevant and probably doesn't feel any sort of obligation to. The likes of the Jaguars, the Raiders, the Browns. Those teams are usually just used as easy win fodder for the other stronger teams to put on a show.
Then there's the middle of the road teams. The Titans, the Panthers...the Dolphins. These are the teams who create suspense, these are the teams who always seem to be right on the edge of surpassing their current position but always fall short somehow. Whether it's our own fault or the NFL has something to do with it, we always seem to fall short.
The first game I noticed the NFL's apparent attitude towards us was back when we were 3-0 (boy those were the days), when ESPN's Monday Night Football made their announcement about Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints going up against Tanny and the UPSTART DOLPHINS. Upstarts? According to the Encarta Dictionary, the word "upstart" literally means "somebody who is newly wealthy, powerful, or famous, but is regarded as not deserving to be."
Our last three losses I can easily make the hypothesis that we had those victories taken from us, but only one of those was completely our fault. Going up against the Ravens the referees gave them at least seven points on totally bogus pass interference calls that totaled to 50 yards of unearned offensive production. Ravens defeated us 26-23 after Caleb Sturgis missed his first field goal of the season on a 57 yard attempt...I feel sorry for the poor kid, I really do. But that never would've happened if the refs hadn't made those bogus calls. Just one problem, the Ravens are the reigning Super Bowl Champions...wouldn't look too good if the UPSTART DOLPHINS defeated them now would it? Free seven points, victory for the reigning champs, Miami falls to 3-2.
Against Buffalo I can't really blame the referees, that was pretty much completely on us since we should've been running the football the whole time instead of dropping Tannehill back to pass and letting Mario Williams eat him alive. We had the lead, just run the clock and let the defense finish, should've been 4-2, instead we fall to .500.
Now after last week's loss there has been speculation about whether or not there's a fire in the Dolphins hearts anymore, whether or not Philbin has the capability to fire up his team. The team I saw in the first half looked like a team who wanted victory badly. We were aggressive, we were passionate, we were giving it our all, and we stormed to a 17-3 lead against Tom Brady in New England. Then Brandon Gibson went down, then a bogus PI call against Jimmy Wilson who merely bumped shoulders with Rob Gronkowski, and a missed field goal by Sturgis who seems to be psychologically messed up after his miss against Baltimore.
The conspiracy begins to show itself...on a 3rd and 5 play, as our own Kevin Nogle pointed out, Dimitri Patterson was called for holding when the receiver slipped and fell two yards past the line of scrimmage. Say what? But things got worse, the Patriots merely had a 3 point lead..."Wait what?" the NFL asked themselves, "The Patriots only have a 3 point lead against the UPSTART DOLPHINS? We can't let this happen, we'll have to find something to make sure they can't dig out of that hole!"
Lo and behold, Jimmy Wilson (poor dude, he works so hard and he keeps getting good plays taken away from him) crushed Tom Brady from behind and the ball went flying, and Olivier Vernon did what every single player on that field was trying to do at that moment, reel the ball in. Unfortunately his arms weren't long enough (he ain't a freaking orangutan) and he wound up getting his fingertips on it and the ball went over 30 yards away from where it was before...illegal batting call, touchdown soon after. Dolphins fans scream "WHAT?!" NFL smiles smugly with their arms crossed, "That's more like it, know your place UPSTARTS."
I can't blame the Dolphins for being demoralized. It seems that the NFL really is out to get us, we could very easily be 6-1 given how we lost those last three games, wait that would've put us in first place in the AFC East! But-but-but Tom Brady! The NFL's poster boy! He's supposed to be unstoppable! And it's true, he is, the refs clearly gave Brady every benefit of the doubt and every help they could offer him. They couldn't allow him to lose on his home turf to a team that wasn't even supposed to be looked at as contenders. So they took the game away and stile the Dolphins determination.
I wouldn't dare make the assumption that we haven't been largely responsible for a lot of the bad things that's happened in our losses, Tannehill's smaller-than-average for a QB hands are having trouble holding onto the football, the O-line is struggling mightily, and Mike Sherman's play-calling is at times atrocious. But it's very hard to keep your head up when the game seems to be taken away from you every time you start making steps to overcome those weaknesses.
Goodell's Zebra's are out to Squish the Fish.