The Audacity Of Nope

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys

If you haven’t watched the Miami Dolphins play football this season, it’s perfectly understandable because well . . . . nobody has. Four games into the 2019 season, they’ve already been mathematically eliminated from postseason play. Their record stands at 0-4, which is bad. They made the plenty good but certainly not great Baltimore Ravens look like Joe Montana’s ring bearing 49ers teams, which is worse. And in their four losses, they’ve been outscored 163-26. Which is history’s way of saying “Are you fucking kidding me?”.

In case you were wondering, and I’m not sure why you would be wondering, but okay . . . the Dolphins point differential through the first four games of the season is the worst in NFL history. If you’re playing along at home, the league was born during the W administration, as in Woodrow. Wilson. Which means that when teams were playing football with cinder-blocks and no helmet whilst their head coaches pointed a gun at ’em for motivation, the worst team was still coming up bigger than these Fins.

So yeah, my boys are a lost cause on the level of a pair of Isotoners gifted to Johnny Cochrane. And you know what? That is plenty fine with me, because as Jimmy Stewart is my witness, lost causes really are the only ones worth fighting for in this world. And don’t take my word for it, here’s Jimmy to provide . . .

Alls I know is, my Dolphins are relevant for the first time since Dick Cheney’s twenty eighth heart attack (That would be 2008). It would be the last time a team from the AFC East not named the New England Patriots won the division. Since then, my team has gone through ten quarterbacks, six head coaches and a handful of uniform changes.

Fast forward to present day and the Dolphins are relevant again. Problem is, it’s in the same way a Trump tweet or Ebola is relevant. Because once the shit gets loosed into our cranium or bloodstream, all manner of zombie apocalypse prevails. And the Dolphins are fifty three dead men walking . . no, marching. Loudly. Right onto the four lane highway those horsemen from the law firm Pestilence, War, Famine and Death are busy crunching their radials on whilst blue-tooth deep in negotiations with God and Lucifer.

Pro football experts are shouting mighty daggers into the Dolphins organization for tanking a season so obviously. Welp, I guess these geniuses didn’t watch the final season of Game of Thrones. Because those fuckers had WAY more talent and money going on than the Dolphins do.

And yes, the results are uglier than Gordon Ramsey in traffic. But it’s not like it ain’t been done before. Once upon a time, teams like the Cubs and Astros gutted their roster and started from the bottom. And it paid off with titles in both instances. In basketball, the 76ers took half a decade off during “The Process” in order to compile high draft picks in the hopes of fielding a winning team and now they’re one of the favorites to win it all. And the Browns transformed losing into the kind of art form that would’ve inspired Andy Warhol to buy them. And while they ain’t won jack yet, their team is interesting as hell with a punchers chance to do some real damage this season.

Optically, the dynamic blows. Because to charge major league money to the fans whilst rolling out a minor league product is certainly not good business practice. Last week’s game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami was played to a half empty stadium, which shocked the hell out of me because I was wondering what in the hell was wrong with the half that showed up.

So the Dolphins will take a hit- both in the sports columns and in their bottom line. And it’s the latter that will keep this tanking expedition from going on indefinitely, because billionaires like Stephen Ross ain’t made their money by mistake. I figure a year, maybe two of really putrid football will result in enough draft pick sustenance to build a solid foundation. And yes they have to hit on their picks, as well as be smart with the free agent acquisitions, but to my way of thinking, it’s a chance worth taking.

I’ll take breaking bad over plain old mediocre every day of the week and for sixty minutes every Sunday. Because over the last eight seasons, the Dolphins are 66-66 with exactly nothing to show for it. There is nothing worse than mediocrity, and that includes a possible 0-16 campaign.

I’m done with asshats like Jeff Ireland running things into the ground and then skipping town for greener pastures. I’m sick and tired of clowns like Jay Cutler receiving a ten million dollar retirement package to achieve absolutely nothing. And I absolutely cannot stand the country club atmosphere that has held sway over the organization since Dan Marino stopped throwing footballs in anger.

Several weeks ago, when it became clear that the Dolphins mission was to suck balls, several prominent Dolphins players got on the phone with their agents and told them they wanted out. And that’s when I realized something was very different about the current brain trust. Because instead of sweet talking these guys back with drinks at the Clevelander and a cushy bonus . . they traded them. The message was clear as day.

You’re in or you’re out. No more in the middle.

It’s uncomfortable sure, but that signals growth. Change. Difference. And I could kiss Brian Flores and Chris Grier for having the cojones to undertake a strategy that might end up costing them their jobs. I hope it doesn’t, because they’re good football men who give a damn and I want to see them hoisting some hardware for all the shit they’re gonna be put through.

If things work out, the Dolphins’s fortunes should start looking up right around the time Tom Brady and the Patriots are decommissioned by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. And so I’m rooting for my lost cause of a football team . . to suck mightily. For now. Because I’m done with the middle. In an all or nothing NFL world, I’m willing to take the latter for now. Because it’s a chance, which is something we haven’t had since Bill Clinton was installing a strippers pole in the Oval Office. And if this tanking strategy doesn’t work, the Dolphins can always dial up Pat Riley, who’ll be cooling his heels in retirement down in the Keys by then. And so what if he doesn’t know a lick about football.

He’d be perfect.

81 thoughts on “The Audacity Of Nope

  1. I loved the Monika/Marc analysis. I also loved how you cracked some eggs to make an omelet, Marc. “Yeah lose away and we’ll come back with some super draft picks and kill your ass,” strategy could work. Best to ya.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. B,

    For the first time in, well, since we started our various repartees, I cannot add a damn thing after reading the exchange between you and Monika. ‘Tis a rare thing indeed to have me at a loss for words. (Maybe you should take advantage of it… πŸ˜‰ )

    That said. Back in the day when I watched football more than regularly with my beau du jour, I could riff on stats and who’s who and had an opinion on where each one was going. And yet, through it all, I loved the Dolphins – okay, okay… Dan Marino in particular πŸ˜‰

    So, I will chime in with this: Why not? Why the hell not? I love your enthusiasm. It’s contagious!

    And fabulous choice of tune, of course πŸ˜‰

    Q

    Liked by 1 person

    • Q,

      CNN just broke in with the news that Q was indeed at a loss for words. Wolf Blitzer says it happens once every seventeen years or so.

      Danny Shotgun could throw a football through a brick wall back in the day, and that was when teams were allowed to play defense. In today’s game, his kind of skills would break the records he used to break all over again and then some.

      Why the hell not? It’s better than mediocre. Mediocrity blows.

      HAD to use it! πŸ˜‰

      B

      Liked by 1 person

        • Like “Duh!” . . . am I right?

          Marino was a great passer under center, but when he played it shotgun, it was unfair. I remember when he put up thirty eight points on a Bears defense during a Monday night game in Miami. The Bears were arguably the greatest defense ever constructed and Marino didn’t flinch. Needless to say, there were MONTHS when that D didn’t give up that many points.

          And how does the modern day voice of Tom Jones come out of Richie Cunningham like that?

          Trust the process is what they say.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Course you are right!

            Wow. How you remember all this stuff… 38 points in one game… wowzer!

            I know, right? Such a baby face with such a voice… does not compute even when you’re right there in a concert!

            They know so much, don’t They?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Every now and then. πŸ˜‰

            That was back in the days of the VCR. I taped that game and watched it several times. I remember Marino was a brash, cocky kid who wanted to prove all the teams that passed him over in the draft wrong. He was chosen 27th out of Pitt because teams were afraid he was a trouble maker. Plus there was talk of him having done coke in college.

            When their coach Don Shula knew he could possibly get this guy, he nearly had a heart attack. And of course, Marino made every team pay.

            He’s got such a brilliant command of his voice too!

            SO much!

            Liked by 1 person

          • More often than that, and you know it!

            Back in the day of the VCR – oh yeah. How often are the great ones overlooked or misread?

            That he did. And kudos to him!!

            He really does. You know I loves him…

            Think we’ll ever meet “They”?

            Liked by 1 person

          • I believe ya. πŸ˜‰

            All the time. Marino WAS a cocky kid, which is something I liked. But this was a time when every GM was an old white guy who wanted their QB to behave in a certain way and say all the right things. Shula just wanted to win.

            I know you do, and with good reason.

            They will! πŸ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

          • Speaking of cocky…

            Of course you liked that about Marino. Talk about a change if you compare the GMs of today vs then… Now, hey, the guy’s a wife-beater. Woot! Let’s take him… But that’s a whole ‘nother conversation and we won’t go there, eh?

            Glad I was able to introduce one to you πŸ˜‰

            He he! πŸ˜‰

            Liked by 1 person

          • Buahahahaha!

            I couldn’t believe Miami got him. I think five QB’s went ahead of him in that draft and you could tell he was pissed about that. The great ones use that kind of thing is extra motivation.

            Oh yeah, and that’s the other thing about this Dolphins taking plan. All these football mouths are damning them for it. One even called the move immoral.

            I’m sorry but . . you have players on teams who beat kids and women. Don’t you dare fucking go there. Fuck that pisses me off.

            It was a beaut!

            πŸ˜‰

            Liked by 1 person

          • Thought you’d like that one.

            Yes. the great ones do use that as motivation. I can imagine thinking you should be chosen first and ending up being 5th must be beyond frustrating!

            As it should. Too bad it doesn’t piss off enough folk. And we’ll stop there otherwise we’ll both end up in a tizzy – I prefer getting tizzied by other stuff.

            It was.

            πŸ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

          • He made them pay, like Chuck Norris in cleats. And he had that ‘fro back in the day. Dude didn’t look like your typical QB, and he didn’t play like it either.

            Yeah, it gets me all riled up! LOL.

            πŸ˜‰

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I hate seeing franchises struggle … well, except the run by the Browns was a good one! But hey – Cincinnati is a city of losers … even the new MLS team joined in the fun by not only finishing last, but way behind the team directly in front of them.

    Meanwhile, true fans stick by their team through thick and thin. I applaud you commitment … but damn … I know it hurts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Here’s the thing, Frank.
      As nuts as this sounds, I’m okay with it because guess what? There is a definitive plan, for the first time in forever.
      Even at the end of the Shula regime, things were going wrong. I remember they started buying up free agents to make one more run and it didn’t end well. And then Jimmy Johnson didn’t pan out and then twenty years of New England dominance while the Dolphins go 8-8 or 7-9.

      Change has been a long time coming.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the song choice ’cause, you know, that’s one of the songs the SF Giants wore the grooves out of during their World Series runs. What an oddly perfect selection for where you and the Dolphins are these days.

    The larger question remains and your post touches on it. I’ve always wondered if it’s better to be a fan of a team that reaches the pinnacle and then loses, to be a fan of a team that completes but never really gets that close, or to be a fan of a team that never really has a chance. As a Steelers fan, I’ve been blessed with a team that is always competitive, but hasn’t been able to overcome the hated Patriots for years. Not sure that’s such a good place to be. As a Giants fan, I was blessed with those World Series runs, but now am faced with a team that has no chance and no apparent path to having a chance. And as a Warriors fan, I lived through years and decades of futility only to get their own championship runs.

    Honestly? I think it’s better to muddle along because once you get a whiff of a championship, there’s only one thing you want and the rest is disappointment. When your team has no hope, and you know it has no hope, you’re actually in a much happier place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dude, for the first time in too many years I have zero angst going into this season. None. Because I know the acompli has been feted and I’m willing to let the hope float.

      The key word is plan. There is one. It’s not the prettiest looking plan, and sure, there are plenty of teams that can show they’ve been able to remain competitive whilst rebuilding. But for some reason, the culture in Miami has sucked for a very long time and it has outlasted many regimes.

      Doing this indefinitely like the Sixers is nonsense. But a year or two of painful results that is followed by progress works for me.

      And a new management group means a new philosophy when it comes to drafting, so the hope is that they are able to figure it out, unlike their predecessors.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You just have to hope that the progress comes through. My biggest fear with these rebuilding efforts is that these sports are constantly evolving. What happens when their rebuilding effort is based on the NFL of today and by the time they have rebuilt, the NFL has morphed, even if slightly, into something else?

        Liked by 1 person

          • I think they handled the trade deadline perfectly this year. They were in the wildcard mix at that point in the season. They didn’t trade away any critical pieces, but made some trades that helped them add talent for future years. They essentially held the line for this year — just in case, their incredible July turned into a real run to the postseason — while building for the future. I don’t see any fault in their moves this year. But what they have done in recent years is hold on to other “franchise stalwarts” including giving them contracts that were just not justified. Cough, cough … Brandon Belt … cough, cough.

            Given everything he has done for the team over the last ten years, it would be nice to see them keep Bumgarner and have him be the anchor of what is to come — assuming something is coming.

            Liked by 1 person

          • The biggest thing going forward, for most teams, is going to be these monster contracts. The Yankees, predictably, traded for Stanton who is an injury prone home run hitter with a heinous price tag.

            Lots of teams can’t afford to take on that kind of contract, but now, even the big market clubs like Boston are shying away.

            There will always be a “stupid” team out there who is going to give Bryce Harper 330 million. But really, it straps you in the long run.

            The Giants played the deadline with due diligence and respect.

            Liked by 1 person

          • For the first time in decades there appears to be some rationality returning to MLB. Yes, there are still the Harper contracts and the Machado contracts, but a lot of teams are recognizing that signing a lot of young talent may be a better approach towards competitiveness. Unlike in the NBA, where the ability to score ten points a game means $20 million a year.

            Liked by 1 person

          • The Red Sox were said to be contemplating what to do with Mookie Betts because of the contract he will command after next year.

            Even big market clubs are being more prudent, because it just makes more sense to have young, controllable players and depth, rather than a couple of onerous contracts that prevent you from building out a contending club.

            Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.