You know, we are in the period of the off-season that is just brutal for fans of the NFL as well as people like myself who write about the NFL. Off-season Training Activities are over and there's about a 6 week layoff until training camp starts. Some players are off training, while others spend some time fishing, golfing, or just at home with their familiy. But where does that leave us, the fans? There's nothing to talk about. We aren't going to discuss how Cam Cameron caught a big-ass bluefish, are we? Or that Channing Crowder wrestles some big-ass boars, (though that was a classic off-season story from last year). It's just that dull time of the year where we all anxiously wait for training camp to come.
But looking back on the past 6 months, I feel I owe some "thank you's" to various people as well as to the entire Dolphins organization for actually supplying me with some crap to write about. Sure, it wasn't all positive. But it was still material, nonetheless. And thanks to this material, I wasn't forced to (forgive the cliche) beat a dead horse all off-season long, like Falcons' fans have had to do with the Mike Vick dogfighting situation or like Titans' fans have had to do with the Pacman Jones crap. Or worse yet, I could be a Jets' fan and have had to analyze a million different ways the impact Thomas Jones is going to have (seriously, he's Thomas Jones...he isn't THAT good so get over it). No, no...I'm lucky enough to be a Dolphins fan, where the off-seasons seem to get more interesting each year.
So a "thank you" goes out to Nick Saban. His pathetic lying and flip-flopping made New Year's and the days that followed very interesting. In the end, he fled Miami to head back to college and to bring Alabama back to glory. He also slammed the door on any future chance he might have had at coaching in the NFL. Good riddance, Mr. Saban.
Which brings me to my next "thank you," going out to Wayne Huizenga, his airplane, and the website of FlightData.com. Thanks to the combination of those 3, all of us Dolphin fans were able to track the comings and goings of Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga. We knew where he was at all times, helping all of us make better guesses at who the next Dolphins coach would be. In the end, they hired the guy I wanted all along. I guess that calls for another "thank you" for Mr. Huizenga.
Then free agency started. The Dolphins went out and made their big splash by landing LB Joey Porter. And I'd like to give a big "thank you" to Mr. Porter, not for signing with the team, but for attacking Cincinnati Bengal Levi Jones in a Las Vegas Casino not even 3 weeks after being signed by Miami. Even better than that is the fact that a witness called the fight something out of a Rocky movie. Thank you, Mr. Porter. Hopefully you aren't suspended for a game or two thanks to your "Street Fighter" imitation.
Next came the beginning of the Trent Green saga. And for all of that, a big "thank you" goes out to both Randy Mueller and Carl Peterson. A soap opera that would make even the stars of General Hospital cringe, Peterson and Mueller both held their ground, both feeling they held the power. The saga lasted over 3 months and finally ended in early June when the Dolphins landed the QB for a conditional 5th round pick. Thanks, guys, for dragging that situation out worse than Days of Our Lives drags out a love-triangle.
In the midst of the Trent Green crap, though, there was even more drama in Dolphin land. Saturday, April 28: a day that will determine the legacy of Randy Mueller and Cam Cameron in terms of their Dolphin careers. So a big "thank you" to both Randy and Cam for having the balls to pass up on the fan favorite and media-loved Brady Quinn in order to stick to their plan and select Ted Ginn and then John Beck. Whether or not it was the right thing to do remains to be seen and is not why I'm thanking them. I'm thanking them for supplying Dolphin fans everywhere with discussion material for another few weeks.
Then not more than 2 weeks after the NFL Draft, the Dolphins made more headlines, which is why a big "thank you" goes out to Ricky Williams, for again failing a drug test and almost certainly ending his Miami Dolphins career. If nothing else, he cements his legacy as the biggest tragic hero in Miami Dolphins history.
And last but not least, a "thank you" goes out to Daunte Culpepper. Unfortunately, it isn't for his play on the field like many had hoped. Instead, I'm thanking him for being his own agent and handling his current situation so...um...gracefully. Handing out his own press releases to the media was a great idea. Soliciting the help of the NFLPA was also a great idea. Why was it a great idea? Well, it will open doors for 3rd and 4th string QBs everywhere to file grievances for not getting any reps in practice. So thank you, Mr. Culpepper.
Wow, what an off-season it was. And it's only going to get more interesting as it winds down, as June 29 is the date that Daunte's grievance will be heard. Luckily, it is almost over and soon we will actually have real football stuff to talk about. Until then, we'll all just have to anxiously wait and hope that this very, very long episode of "As the Dolphins Turn" comes to an end.