Earlier today, I was doing some thinking, as I often try to do at least once a week, and I came to this conclusion: I really want this game on Sunday against the Patriots. I want it really, really bad. I want it more than any other game that the Dolphins have played in so far this year. In fact, I think I want this one more than I've wanted any other game over the past 5 or so years.
Why? Well the obvious reason would be that, since the Dallas game, everyone is already starting to talk about New England going undefeated. But that's only part of the reason, and the smallest part at that. The main reason I really want this one is because of how classless of an organization the Patriots are and I want my team to be the one to kill their spirits and crush their undefeated season. Sure, they might go on to win the Super Bowl, but I want the Miami Dolphins to be the team that beat them and ruined their potentially perfect season.
So now you might be wondering why I'm calling the Patriots, the media's favorite team, classless. Sure, I could say it stems back to the "snow plow" game in the 80s. That was clearly cheating. I could also point to the fact that the Patriots grounds crew intentionally left the sprinklers on overnight at Foxboro the night before an AFC playoff game against the Colts (I believe it was the AFC title game, but am not 100% sure) in order to slow down Indy's great offense. That's also clearly cheating. I could also point to the fact that the NFL basically changed the rules about how to cover receivers, in large part, because of how the New England coaching staff was telling their players to grab and hold Indy's receivers all game long in another playoff game. I could even talk about how classless it was last year when some Patriot players were mocking the Shawne Merriman "lights out" dance on the field in San Diego following their lucky playoff win over the Chargers. And, of course, I could also point to the video taping crap that was exposed earlier this year.
Sure, all that shows that this organization has been classless for quite some time now. But none of that compares to how the Patriots are acting now. What am I talking about? I'm talking about a season long trend that really came to a fever pitch this past week at the end of the Cowboys game. I'm talking about how, with under a minute left, the Patriots just had to score another touchdown. They had to have Kyle Eckel run in a 1 yard touchdown with just 19 seconds left. They couldn't take a knee, could they? Nope. Instead, this team is intentionally running up the score. They are showing a lack of respect to their opponent and to the entire NFL by scoring pointless touchdowns late in the 4th quarter. It's these kinds of actions that really make it tough to watch professional sports at times. Is it against the rules? Of course not. But it's certainly one of those unwritten ethical rules that most coaches abide by. You don't show up your opponent. It's a pretty basic idea that you learn when you're a kid. I guess this team and this entire organization didn't get that memo.
So then, as I thought more about this upcoming game on Sunday, I asked myself this question: would I be willing to sacrifice every other game on the 2007 schedule in exchange for a win against the Patriots on Sunday? I wasn't sure, as that's a pretty big trade. But then I read this garbage by Bill Simmons and, at that point, I knew my answer. Yes, I would make that deal in a heartbeat. Why? Read the article and tell me you wouldn't make the same trade. Incase you don't want to read the entire article, this paragraph basically sums it up:
And it's this kind of crap that needs to end. When a national sports writer, who also happens to be a Patriot fan, writes this kind of trash that is basically encouraging this unsportsmanlike and classless behavior, how can you not want to sacrifice every game this season for the chance to wipe that smug smile off of every player on that team and every fan of that team? And you know, not to get on Simmons too much, but he made one pretty bad comparison in his article. He compared the Pats to the Yankees, saying how the Patriots are turning into the most hated team in the sport. Well, yes, they are. But it's not because of what they are accomplishing. Instead, it's about how they are going about handling themselves while accomplishing it. The Yankees, to their credit, have been just about the most professional champions I've ever seen. They're all class. In my opinion, the Yankees should never, ever be grouped together with the likes of the Patriots. That's an insult to Joe Torre and every Yankee that has worn the pinstrip uniform during Torre's reign as manager.
If you're a Dolphins fan and you just read all that and you still don't want this game as badly as I do, I offer you this last excerpt from Bill Simmons:
Now would you make that deal? Wouldn't it be worth going 1-15 just to see the looks on the New England fans' faces? Wouldn't you want to e-mail Bill Simmons just to say, "No, no. Eff you!" Wouldn't you want to be able to sit back on Sunday night and just imagine how pissed off Bill Belichick would be? I know I do. And I want to be able to watch all the highlight shows on Sunday and Monday and hear what all of the Tom Brady ass-kissing media personalities have to say about our beloved but struggling Dolphins pulling off the upset of all upsets!
To me, winning this game on Sunday is the closest that Dolphin fans might get to feeling the satisfaction of a World Championship for a long time. And damn it, I want that feeling. I want this one badly...