Alright, guys, I’m going to have to raise my voice a little bit today. But only a little. I promise not to shout at anyone. One of the things we’ve seen this offseason, and this has accelerated markedly since the draft, is the tendency of Miami Dolphin fans in general and of this site, in particular, to want to pour cold water on the idea that the Dolphins are going to be any good anytime soon. While everyone is, of course, entitled to their opinion, I think this is both negative and shortsighted.
Although we can, and no doubt will, trot out all the tired, shopworn cliches — “You don’t have any proof of that”, “You don’t have any evidence, no games have been played yet...”, etc, etc, I want to ask you a question: does everyone understand the significance of the draft this team just had a couple of months ago? Know this — if Miami hits on just three or four of the six players they selected after the quarterback they drafted — because most observers are already calling Tagovailoa an upper deck home run, the Dolphins’ most recent draft could very well be one of the all time great drafts in league history. Maybe somewhere close to the 1974 Steelers draft, the Patriots in 1982, the Bears in ‘83 or the Seahawks in 2012. Yeah, that good.
As human beings, we’ve been blessed with a lot gifts. We send rockets into space, cure devastating diseases and some of us make millions of dollars providing entertainment for others, in the form of sports, comedy or even profanity laced rock or rap music. Even those of us who aren’t quite that blessed can still whip out our smart phones and have an extra large pizza delivered to our door within an hour. Heady stuff. Still, we are not without flaws, chief among them our propensity for refusing to see things that are right in front of us, simply because we don’t want to. ”Nope, sorry, I don’t see it”. It’s the slowest time of the year in the NFL, which is why many beat writers who follow NFL teams (Armando Salguero comes to mind) often take a month or more off between the conclusion of the draft and the start of training camp. As you might imagine, those of us who don’t earn six figures for our work to be viewed by others are trying to come up with anything we can to keep this site going until things pick up again. It’s astounding the lengths to which we’re willing to go, to prevent giving someone else even an ounce of credit. I’ll give you an example of what I’m talking about. Last week, I wrote a modest piece, asking whether the Dolphins’ rivalry with the Buffalo Bills could become as good or as anticipated as the Pittsburgh-Baltimore rivalry. Here are a couple of the responses I got: “Nope, I don’t see it; the Bills have been around a lot longer than the Ravens”. Of course they have; any third grader who’s a student of the game knows that. That same third grader probably also knows that the Bills and Dolphins have almost never both been very good at the same time. Other than a four or five year stretch in the early 90’s — during which the Bills still beat us almost every time because we couldn’t run the ball or play defense — any time one of the two teams has been a Super Bowl contender, the other has been either horrible or mediocre. Another guy, whom I don’t think even bothered to read the article, said, “Let’s wait until they’ve won something first”. Really? That was the whole point, that teams that have good offensive lines, can run the ball and play defense can hopefully someday contend for a championship. ”Nope, I don’t see it”. Of course they didn’t see it; they didn’t want to.
We’re not going to stop predicting big things.
There’s more. Recently, someone posted a link to an article from CBS Sports, that suggested the Dolphins could be a playoff contender as early as this season. We were thrilled at this revelation, yet, when I say something positive about the Dolphins, it’s no good? If we’re going to hold Cranehead to a higher standard than the beat writer of CBS Sports, then, from where I’m standing, that can only mean that we must believe Cranehead is better at assessing the state of the Miami Dolphins than that beat writer. Guys, I appreciate your sentiment, but I don’t know if I’m that good. Thanks for the compliment, though. Keep in mind, it’s my job to tell you about these things ahead of time; anybody can talk about it after it’s already happened.
So, when I say that we’re not going to stop predicting big things, who is the ‘we’ I’m referring to? Besides virtually every major media outlet in North America (I can’t believe I’m actually saying something positive about the media... lol), how about all the newly minted or long dormant Dolphin fans who are coming out of the woodwork in droves, many of whom are signing up to join the Phinsider? Brian Flores has this team headed in the right direction, due in no small part that he brought much of the New England Patriots’ blueprint for success with him when he arrived in South Florida. Let’s go back for a moment to the very first Super Bowl the Patriots won, in early 2002. You want to know when they won that game? It wasn’t when kicker Adam Vinatieri’s field goal attempt sailed through the uprights in the final seconds, and certainly not when corner Ty Law returned an interception for a touchdown in the first half. And, no, it wasn’t when Belichick and Co. allegedly taped some of the Rams’ walk through, either. It was during the player introductions. By virtue of the fact that the Patriots had been designated as the home team, St. Louis’ players were introduced first. When it came time for New England’s players to come out of the tunnel, the announcer said, “The Patriots have chosen to be introduced as a team”, and all 53 of those red, white, blue and silver clad players came running out onto the field. Right then and there, just about everyone knew that the Patriots were going to win. Flores has brought that same kind of camaraderie to the Dolphins; it showed in just his very first season as coach, when, despite subpar talent, the team still managed, against all odds, to win five games.
Guys, I get it that you’re probably tired of all the ‘Hopium’ being smoked, and I know you’re probably really tired of hearing about Tua Tagovailoa; all I can tell you is, get used to it. The popularity of this team and this franchise is skyrocketing, even as I type these words, and you can rest assured that on the field success is not far behind. Sure, you can sit there and say, “But, no games have been played yet, you don’t have any proof of any of this”, etc. But, you know what? I can just as easily sit here and say that you don’t have any proof that, just because the team has been bad recently, that they’re going to stay bad. I think we may just be a little bit gun shy, afraid to believe in the team because we’ve been burned so many times in the past. The train is leaving the station, and the rest of us are going to keep believing in, and predicting, big things. That’s the wrap for today, have a great week, everybody.