I've been a Phin Fan for over 27 years. And if you do the math, you'll understand why. Yep Dan the Man.
I've often said the worst things that ever happened to this team was The Perfect Season and Dan Marino. Not because of the accomplishments, but because of the sense of entitlement it gave to its fans. I've not met many NFL fans like Dolphin fans. We're hated by the press. Mocked by rivals (moreso than most). And we've become a "yea but" organization.
It seems every coaching hire and player acquisition we've made since Shula has become a blood feud. Every coach is embraced as the coach to return us to glory. Every player is the player that's gonna take us back to the SuperBowl.
The rationale and reasoning are not just sung by the fans. It's mocked and presented by the media in the same fashion. "Is this the coach" or "Is this the player" that will restore glory to Miami.
But it wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fellow Phin fans. There is no reason in most of the arguments. It's a "because I said so" debate. The bitter hatred shown in the arguments isn't normal. You shouldn't make enemies out of people who should be your friends and comrades in sportsmanship.
Many of the fans remind me of insane dog breeders. Continuing to breed back into the same gene pool (recycling the same ideals of perfection and absolution) over and over again. Not ever learning that organizations are built over time.
You cannot put a 3 year window on every coach and player that walks through the door. It will never work.
Jimmy Johnson failed. Bill Parcells failed. Nick Saban failed.
In their own right, these coaches are legends. Yet as warmly as they were embraced, they were ran out of town in very short fashion. Yet, in every stop in their careers before Miami, in some cases after (Saban), they were champions or innovators. But in Miami they were complete and total failures.
At some point, the fans and organization have to look in the mirror. If you hate every girl you've ever dated, maybe your the problem. For a fan base that so passionately loves their team, no one shows up at the games. In fact, it's been decades since they have.
Unfortunately for me, I don't have an escape from this insanity. In the "offseason" I'm a UK basketball fan. I live less than 30 miles from Rupp Arena. And I also tailgate at UK football games.
In some sense, I see Miami as a combination of UK basketball and football. The basketball team has one of the most storied programs in college. And we have banners that show our dominance over our entire history. Even today, we've restored our legacy and are back to elite status. But the football program has had a legacy of losing. Until Rich Brooks arrived, we didn't know what winning was like in the modern age. It took the man nearly a decade to build a winner. Just like he did in Oregon.
But the real similarities to the Dolphins are the brushes with greatness that UK has missed. Paul Bear Bryant was here for 8 seasons. He built UK football into a national power that was consistently ranked in the Top 25. When he asked for a raise, the Athletic Department told him "we're a basketball school". They told him he would never be paid as much as our basketball coach. You might know him, Adolph Rupp. So, Bryant told them to stick it and went to Texas A&M. You might know this story, "The Junction City Boys". And we all know what happened when he made his final stop at Alabama. Imagine having Rupp and Bryant coaching our programs. Could any school have matched those heritages?
Here's another very little known brush with greatness. In the 1970's, the UK women's basketball team was conducting interviews for their vacant head coaching position. They interviewed a graduate assistant with no head coaching experience. They decided to offer her the job. When contacted, the candidate said she needed a $1,000 moving allowance. UK responded by saying they could not accomodate her request. Shortly thereafter, she became the Head Coach and the University of Tennessee. Pat Summitt still coaches Tennessee today.
Why do I tell these stories? Because every team I've ever supported has a special breed of fan, unlike any I've ever met. They expect greatness to the most insane degree. And when the team fails, they insult the players and coaches to an offensive level. The stress created by these atmospheres ruins the fun. And while each and every fan says "it's all part of having fun", I think they've forgotten what "fun" is about.
This year I saw something on this board that completely offended me. I saw many posters cheer for Chad Pennington's injury. At that very moment, I lost respect for this board and the people on it. I couldn't believe many angles about it. But the most shocking was the posts were by established members whom have enforced the TOS on other members over the years. But the reason it offended me so much was the player it was directed towards. Chad Pennington has more character than any player that's ever dawned a Dolphin jersey. He gave everything he had to this organization, including his health.
How soon we forget.
Did it mean anything to the fans that he gave us our first AFC East crown in many years? No. Did it mean anything that gave us that crown on the field and against the team he used to call his own not a year before? No. Did it mean anything that he walked into this team and immediately led this organization when no one else wanted to? No.
Yet, how do we thank him? We cheered his getting injured. It's more than classless. In fact, I can't even find the words.
I too know the emotional pain of watching Miami lose game after game. Watching regime after regime come and go. Not watching ESPN until Thursday after a loss because I couldn't stand to hear about the game.
I used to play fantasy football. Played for over 10 years. I've won several leagues. Use to be able to recite most of the players on different teams and knew where they went to college and little tid bits about their careers. Use to watch every game on DirecTv, literally. I'd watch every game and switch channels during kickoffs, timeouts, commercials, etc. It was a poor man's Red Zone Channel.
Then I realized I wasn't enjoying watching the Dolphins. So, when Bill Parcells arrived, I stopped fantasy football all together.
I would get so engulfed with NFL, college basketball and college football that I absolutely enjoyed the first day of May. It was officially my "offseason". I became relaxed and realized I wasn't as stressed and upset all the time. Upset? Yea, each loss by my team was stressful. Tailgaiting is one of the most tiring things you can "enjoy" as a sportsfan. And I'm not talking about those guys that show up 2 hours before kick off and eat all the food. I'm talking about the guys who begin setting up a day or two before the game. Then come to the game early that morning when NO ONE is thinking about football. Unpacking everything, getting the smoker going, setting up the site, cooking the food and eventually watch people start showing up to eat said food. Then, after a devastating loss and freezing your *** off in some cold and windy stadium, having to go back in the dark and spend another hour or two packing everything up. Then wake up the next day and start watching NFL. Only to see your beloved Dolphins run their vanilla offense and watch as the defense finally breaks on the last drive of the game and give away a game they could have won 10 times during the course.
After a decade, it gets to you.
I'm not as healthy as I used to be. My doctor's told me to be more mindful of my heart. Between sports and work, I've really hammered myself in terms of heart health.
A few years ago, I realized I didn't really enjoy my teams as much as I used to. I could let myself just enjoy watching them play. Then I realized, I just take it way to seriously. I'm too fanatical.
Today's events have made me realize it's no longer worth it. I'm said to say I'm done with the Dolphins. And I'm done with football. I'm just hoping my heart can handle me still bleeding Blue. But I won't bleed as much.
Guys cling to sports for many reasons. Recapture our youth, competition, friendship, comradery and other. But at some point my obsession for sports has overtaken my enjoyment. And I've got to stop. My health and my happiness are more important.
And while I've read some of your comments about "people shouldn't take it so seriously"... those are the same hypocrits that will be yelling, ranting and denouncing fellow posters on this board in mere days, weeks or months from now. So, before you dish out your words of wisdom, stop. Realize everytime you post hate and ignorance, you effecting your own enjoyment. Because every word you type, you read. And eventually, the things you used to say jokingly, become more than a joke. And one day you'll look back and wonder when it was you stopped enjoying sports.
If you can't enjoy a loss, then you're not enjoying at all.
And I know I'm not enjoying this anymore.
I wish you all the best of luck with the Dolphins. I truly hope they return to greatness.
And as I leave, I do want to share the 2 proudest memories I've ever had as a Dolphins fan: Ricky's return and every moment Chad Pennington played for our team. Ricky Williams has proven to be a man. And Chad Pennington has proven that courage and integrity do exist. Watching these two men overcome their struggles to play a game I once loved has stuck with me more as a person than as a fan.
Good luck everyone. I've enjoyed my time here.
I predicted this would happen a few hours ago:</br>
That's not even the funny part. The funny part will be when we keep Sparano for one more season, and Sparano explaining our current events. Just sit back and watch how the show will end, this may be the most entertaining moment of the year in sports. And you all said we aren't a laughing stock? Just wait to see how this ends, some of you may convert to Bills fans after this.
To each his own. I've loved this team since it's inception, I'm not about to leave now. Frankly, the franchise has seen much darker days. I don't get why exactly Harbaugh was supposed to be the Messiah, or whether he deserved 8m per, or why Sparano is the pariah he is today. When the team has gone through Dave Wannstedt, Nick Saban and Cam Cameron, one would think a stable, fundamentally sound HC would be a godsend. But I guess it's his fault he didn't get us to the playoffs with the backup OL and won against Baltimore in '08. Again, to each his own.
As I said, good riddance. Get this thread to the depths, and I hope a meteorite wipes the crap out of your team in the playoffs. Or us next year. Whatever comes first.
Looking forward, yet again...
Take care. Fair weather fans need not apply.
Being in the KC market, I see 1st hand true fandom. This fan base has too many transplants.
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