Alright, so here I am again, to discuss what has become the most talked-about topic of the Miami Dolphins 2021 offseason. But what I want to do today is to discuss it in a much more friendly, lighthearted manner than we have in the past. Since I’m the one kicking off the discussion, that means it starts with me. My intention is not to pick on, beat up on, or bully anyone, so let’s start there.
I want to recount to you a parable of generations gone by, the story of a farmer in a small town who was never satisfied. Through the good years and the bad, both feast and famine alike, he always complained. But one year, everyone in the town had a fantastic season; crops burgeoned, sales soared and bank accounts bulged. The farmer, while cashing in some of his crops at the market, ran into an acquaintance of his, a man who worked one of the neighboring fields. Upon greeting the farmer, his neighbor exclaimed, ‘A pretty good year, you’ll have to admit.’ ’Middling’, the farmer allowed, ‘but terribly hard on the soil.’ The overall gist of that story could well be applied to many Dolphin fans, too.
Some of you may be wondering why I keep coming back to this subject again and again, but the answer may surprise you. Of course, I’m disappointed that we continue to search far and wide for the negatives and things that maybe didn’t pan out for the team as well as they could have, while largely ignoring the amazing progress this franchise has made in such a relatively short period of time.
But the main reason I continue to talk about this is that I’m fascinated by it. Really. I’ve been a salesman for, essentially all my adult life, and one of the very first things you’re taught as a salesman is that only very rarely do people make decisions based on logic. Whether it’s buying a house, a car or even choosing the individual we’re going to spend the rest of our life with (or until the divorce, anyway), unless we’re fortunate enough to be very analytical and level headed, like our own Gill, for example, we will probably rely too much on our hearts and not enough on common sense when we make many of our decisions. A case in point is how wildly inconsistent we’ve been regarding three guys who have played the quarterback position for the Dolphins — and you can rest easy because this isn’t only going to be about quarterbacks today. Player ‘A’ was drafted by Miami nine years ago, and even after a couple of stellar seasons in Nashville, his career completion percentage is still, after nearly a decade in the NFL, below what player ‘B’s percentage was, as a rookie, while coming off a serious injury and playing behind three rookies on the offensive line, with no real offseason. Yet, even after seven seasons playing for our team, many of us still insisted that all player ‘A’ needed was some better linemen. I guess that’s at least better than saying he needed to his stable of receivers changed over for the fourth or fifth time because that didn’t seem to work when he was here.
But I’ll be honest with you; when I look back over the past twelve months, the one thing that jumps out at me, that I just can’t fathom, is how hard we rooted for Josh Rosen. I’ve never seen anything, in all my years of being an NFL fan, more bizarre than the Dolphin fan base’s unabashed love affair with Rosen. Since the Cardinals had already given up on him, and we got him so cheaply — despite what the Grier bashers may tell you, the 62nd pick of the draft is not an outrageous price to pay for a young QB who might have panned out — the fact that Rosen was one of the most popular players on the team in years can only lead us to the obvious conclusion — that we wanted our newly drafted QB to get beaten out and ultimately shipped out. We can say all the right things, ’We wanted to have two good quarterbacks, so we could trade one of them...’, etc, and I will tell you point-blank that don’t I believe you. You’re talking about a guy who was one of the top five worst quarterbacks of the past twenty years. So, we weren’t just not that into our young QB, we couldn’t stand him, wanted him to fail, and wanted him gone. And some of us still do. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Before we return to the discussion, I want to take this time to reach out to some of the guys whom I’ve disagreed with in the past, and say hello, because every one of you are important to me, and if any of you were to leave, it would be a loss for the site. I may have hammered some of you from time to time, but I won’t sit by and see you get threatened with being suspended, censored, or any of those things. We want to know what you’re thinking, and more importantly, why you’re thinking it. Inquiring minds want to know. How about (Peaches and) Herb? Herb Pollack. There was a Frank Pollack, who played OL for San Francisco and Denver in the 1990s, I wonder if Herb is related to him. Herb is sort of my unofficial scorekeeper, in terms of how many times I come out here and complain about the guys who aren’t, as he put it, ‘Tua groupies’. I have to admit, that was a good one; he got me. I probably make more over-the-top, outrageous comments than anybody, so if I’m going to stand here on the pitcher's mound and throw the high-hard one inside, I can’t very well be upset when someone throws a brushback pitch at me. On the contrary, if you make a good hit on me, I’ll congratulate you. We play hard here, and sometimes we hit hard; it’s part of the game. Hopefully, we don’t hold any grudges.
Another guy I want to give a shout-out to is Left Shark. His name might be ‘shark’, but he’s a Dolphin fan and his opinion matters here. I believe he has quite a bit of football knowledge, and we’re glad to have him. But one of my favorite guys lately is Holland182. Holland is very obviously having fun here, and that’s what it’s supposed to be about. Even though he’s on one side of the 2021 Tua wars, and I’m on the other, he kind of reminds me of me, because he apparently thinks the same way I do, in that, if you’re going to go overboard, go way, way overboard. Go so far overboard that you’re fifty feet away from the boat when you hit the water. I can’t get mad at a guy like that, especially when he’s having fun. And I’ll tell you something else — Holland is the undisputed king of gifs. Nobody does them better.
Of course, our collective pessimism regarding the Dolphins extends far beyond just the quarterback. We apparently also don’t like the general manager, last year’s draft picks, or this year’s free agents. Our stance regarding the free agents sort of reminds me of Heath Evans’ flip-flopping in his assessment of the Dolphins, to steadfastly prevent giving them an ounce of credit. When Miami traded up to draft edge rusher Dion Jordan in 2013, Evans ridiculed the Dolphins with gusto, saying that the only way to get effective pressure on then Patriots QB Tom Brady was by rushing him up the middle. So, Evans should have approved of Miami’s free-agent signing of Ndamukong Suh two years later, right? Ah, but that would have required admitting that the Dolphins may have actually done something right, which is absolutely forbidden in some circles. This same type of ‘I’m going to twist myself into a pretzel because I don’t want to give the Dolphins any credibility’ line of thinking has apparently now spread to a sizable portion of Miami’s fan base.
You see, for many years, Miami attempted to patch gaping holes in their roster by signing expensive, high profile free agents or over the hill veterans who only came to South Florida to cash in on one more payday before riding off into the sunset. But when the Dolphins adopted a more prudent, depth type of free agent crop this year, which is the way teams like Green Bay, Pittsburgh, and New England has run their franchises for decades, you guessed it — fans didn’t like that, either. You just can’t make some folks happy if they’ve decided that they aren’t going to be happy, no matter what you do. A couple of weeks ago, one of our most consistently anti-Tua and anti-Grier guys claimed that there is no such thing as an ‘anti-Tua’ crowd, then in the same breath wondered aloud why this is such a pro-Tua site, thereby confirming his status as being all-in against the kid. It’s such a pro-Tua site because this is a pro-Dolphins site, and most of us are here to root for the team, not come out here day after day to criticize them. Like it or not, the kid is the face of the franchise and the 4th most popular player out of 1700 in the entire NFL.
I look at it this way: what if a friend of yours had just purchased his first house, and you showed up at the house warming party, telling everyone that he’d been ripped off? ’Hey, man, this place is a dump. The foundation’s cracked, the furnace needs to be replaced and the yard is too small. He could have gotten a place a block away with the same layout and an extra bedroom, more square footage, and a better view, and it was twenty grand less.’ Your friend eventually hears about your unending criticism of his new home and asks you why you keep bashing his investment. You say, ‘Hey, you know I’m only saying these things ‘cause I’m your friend.’ With friends like that, you don’t need any enemies. EJPLAYA is right; when we keep making the same negative comments over and over again, that’s more than just an opinion, it’s an agenda. But the rest of us are excited as hell about this team, and you’re not going to dampen that excitement, period. What a lot of us fail to remember is that there are young kids who show up here to read about the Dolphins. What if a kid who’s been wanting to go to one of Miami’s games gets some tickets for his birthday, and after finding our site, he comes here to learn about some of the players on the team, only to read, in virtually every column, that the general manager is incompetent and the quarterback isn’t any good? Are we going to ruin that kid’s birthday because we’re so determined to ruin the excitement of the 90% of fans that approve of every single move the team has made (at the time it was made) during the past two years? I’ll make you a proposition: if you think I’m wrong in asking whether the Miami Dolphins have the most negative, pessimistic fan base anywhere in the world, then I urge you to find me another fan base of any team, in any sport, that has as much going for them as this team, yet whose fans as stubbornly and repeatedly refuse to see it. If you can do that, I’ll admit to being wrong. In this case, I wish I were. That’s the wrap for today, have a great week, everybody.