Editor’s Note: Please join me in welcoming Craig T. Smith to our group of writers here on The Phinsider. -Kevin
I’ve never been very good at this type of piece. Talking about a prospect’s 40-time or great moment in team history is a lot better than talking about myself.
In any event, I’ve recently had the privilege and pleasure of joining the Phinsider as a new writer. I’m very thankful for Kevin Nogle being willing to take me in and offer me a spot with the group.
Miami means a lot to me, both the city and the sports teams. I got my law degree from the University of Miami in May 2004. My time there was incredible, and being a country boy from Tennessee, Miami opened my eyes to the awesome culture and people that make the area unique and great. Life has taken me to coastal South Carolina, where I practice law as my day job, but I always love coming back to south Florida whenever I can. My dad moved to Florida in the late 60s, so the team he started following was the Dolphins, which he and I watched while I was growing up in east Texas, along with the Cowboys. My fandom is less die hard than others, probably due to my transient upbringing, but I still have great memories. I still remember where I was for the fake spike touchdown (upstairs at a youth church event watching on a tiny TV), Marino’s last fourth quarter comeback in the Kingdome to extend one last postseason of hope (at home in the living room exulting with my dad…..where we’d be one week later in the dumps by the second quarter), and when Greg Camarillo ended Miami’s potential winless infamy in December 2007 (driving around Anna Maria Island, FL listening on car radio with a very annoyed ex-wife). I don’t know why, but I remember random things like that.
My background in sports writing is....well, diverse, I suppose. I was the managing editor for SB Nation’s Bucs Nation from 2010-2011. During that time, I also joined ESPN 1040 Tampa Bay and covered the Bucs as a reporter from 2010-2013, in addition to co-hosting a radio show from 2011-2013 on Sunday mornings. I later published three books on college football (two on the Miami Hurricanes, one on the Tennessee Vols), the last of which Phillip Fulmer penned my foreword. I’ve written for State of the U for years. However, I’ve had a strong desire to get back into pro football coverage, and Kevin has graciously given me that chance.
As far as a few random football-related thoughts/philosophies, the Dolphins’ throwback uniforms are the best uniforms in all of football, at any level. They are literally perfect, and I will bang the drum for their continued use until I run out of drumsticks or tear both rotator cuffs. I believe offense and defense sell tickets and win championships. A team shouldn’t take a running back in the first round, unless it’s the last piece of a team legitimately ready to reach the Super Bowl. Zach Thomas’s Hall of Fame snub should be legitimately criminal. The Pro Bowl
popularity contest selection process is comical (see Lavonte David’s and DeVante Parker’s omission last year, along with many deserving young players) and not worth the time spent writing about it. The current playoff system is the best in all of sports, at any level, and is in no need of being tinkered with.
Raheem Morris once scoffed when I brought up a particular stat at a Bucs press conference (wasn’t the “stats are for losers” moment), but I disagree with his general disregard for them. They tell us a lot, albeit not everything, and I like to focus on them when writing more than maybe other folks. I also love sports history. I don’t consider myself stuck in the past, but a lot of us get nostalgic as we get older, and it’s fun to think back on the good times.
I’m also planning to provide something a little different (or probably very different): coverage of the Dolphins en español! I’m excited about it, as it’s something no other SB Nation site (to my knowledge) does. There are also very few communities and fan bases in the NFL with the number of Spanish speakers that Miami has, so it seemed like a natural fit. My undergraduate degree was in Spanish, I studied in Spain and Mexico, and I’ve kept a high level of proficiency over the years.
So, I look forward to bringing you (hopefully) a fresh take on the Dolphins and the NFL, along with some fun banter along the way. Let’s do this!