Today I was going to do a Caption This article, just to have a little fun on the Thursday of the bye week. As I was looking through all of the pictures available, I stumbled on to this gem. It made me just decide to completely scrap the caption this idea. Yesterday, Houtz wrote an article as thank you to Ryan Fitzpatrick as he now becomes the backup quarterback to Tua Tagovailoa. As Fitzpatrick called it, this is a “forever” move. Tagovailoa is now Miami’s starter and there is no turning back. So, a thank you to Fitzpatrick makes sense.
Those 36 men are the 36 players who have started at least one game for the Miami Dolphins since 1966. Two of them are in the Hall of Fame. Some of them have earned a special place in Dolphins history (looking at you Morrall, Strock, Woodley). Some of them had good careers before joining the Dolphins only to not pan out. Some of them did not pan out with the Dolphins, but then had good career elsewhere. Some of them had decent careers with Miami, but it just was not enough to push the Dolphins to the top of the league.
Since Marino retired at the end of the 1999 season, Miami has had 21 starting quarterbacks. Ryan Tannehill has started the most out of that group, and he was probably better than fans believed, especially as we see him now winning with the Tennessee Titans. Chad Pennington had a special year when he fell into the Dolphins’ laps in 2008, helping the team move the hyphen from 2007’s 1-15 season to 2008’s 11-5 year. Jay Fiedler is another quarterback who probably was better than fans believed, mostly because he was the guy replacing Marino.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has started 19 games for Miami. He belongs in the discussion of the top quarterbacks in Miami since Marino. It is going to be a discussion between Pennington’s one year, Tannehill’s seven years (plus the year he missed due to injury), and the year-plus of Fitzmagic.
The thing that cannot be denied is, no one brought more joy to the quarterback position than Fitzpatrick. When I saw that picture it just made me smile. Fitzpatrick admitted during his press conference yesterday that he was heartbroken to lose the starting role. For a Dolphins fan, having a quarterback that (a) loves the game this much and (b) loves the team this much, is a great thing. It is sad that they cannot continue to play Fitzpatrick and have Tagovailoa get the game experience he needs this year.
I tweeted last week when Fitzpatrick was doing a press conference and teasing the reporters, “How can you not love this dude?” And that is exactly the case. Fitzpatrick loves the game and it has made Dolphins fans love him. So, instead of a caption this today, I just wanted to take a minute to look at the joy Fitzpatrick brings to the game: