I know that we're all still angry/disappointed from the tough loss on Sunday. The Dolphins showed amazing character and mental toughness to battle back from their 18 point second half deficit and force overtime. and it was heart-breaking to see the Dolphins lose a game in which they almost seemed destined to win heading into overtime. Making thins even worse was seeing Denver fall to Oakland later on in the afternoon - meaning the Dolphins would have been in the driver's seat for a wildcard spot had they pulled off the win in Tennessee.
But they didn't get it done. What was even more disgusting was seeing how some Dolphin fans were reacting - both during and after the loss. We had "fans" giving up on the game in the second quarter - saying that they were "embarrassed" by their team's performance. Well, what's embarrassing is how some of these "fans" acted.
After the game, I've had to listen to "fans" say that they hope to see the Dolphins lose both of their remaining games to improve their draft status. Really? Now that is embarrassing.
Well enough is enough. It's time to pull a "Jim Fassel" on everyone. And I'm going to use his own words to make my declaration:
"If this is a poker game, I am shoving my chips right in the middle of the table. I am raising the ante. Anybody who wants out, can get out. This team is going to the playoffs. OK? This team is going to the playoffs."
Yes - you read that right. These Miami Dolphins - the same players many "fans" gave up on before halftime on Sunday - are going to the playoffs.
Am I crazy? Maybe. Disillusioned? Possibly. But I'm just sick and tired of the bandwagon going from crowded to empty and back to crowded again. It's time to make a choice, folks.
Following Miami's win over the Patriots a couple of weeks back, Tony Sparano told his team in the locker room that "you gotta believe."
Well I believe, Tony. And I'm willing to bet that the players in that locker room still believe. The fact that some fans just don't want to believe is embarrassing.
Let's look at some of what we know has to happen for the Dolphins to pull this off. Can the Steelers defeat the Ravens at home in Pittsburgh? Certainly. Can the Patriots knock off the Jaguars at home in Foxborough? Certainly. And this is just one potential situation that could unfold.
The most important thing, of course, is for the Dolphins to take care of their own business. The Texans and the Steelers - the two teams that stand in Miami's way. Is it going to be easy? Of course not. It might not even be "likely" - depending on how you define the term. After all, the Dolphins have never beaten the Texans in four attempts. And the Dolphins haven't beaten the Steelers since 1998, having lose all three times they've met since then. It's also easy to forget that these Steelers are the defending champions.
So no - it's not going to be easy. But, as Tony Sparano said, this team still "has a pulse." And he's told his team that:
"My message to the team this week is the way I know it we're still in this race. The best chance we have is we've got to win two football games. We've won two football games a couple of times before, so we'll worry about one football game right now. We have a chance to play at home. We still have a pulse. We're still in this race, and we'll prepare that way. This team will prepare that way."
Think back to just a few weeks ago. The Dolphins lost a brutal game to the lowly Buffalo Bills, dropping the Dolphins to 5-6 on the year. Remember how quickly the bandwagon emptied after that game? But all of those "fans" were quick to jump back on after this team showed that team-defining resiliency and knocked off the Patriots in Miami and the Jaguars in Jacksonville in back-to-back weeks. If the Dolphins could do that, then why the hell can't they knock off two .500 teams at home in back-to-back games?
Like I said, now is the time. I've moved my chips "all-in." So what are you going to do? Are you in or are you out?