I love football. Really, really love football. Not because I like to watch 300lb men jump all over each other, or because many of the tight ends live up to their name (though that’s certainly a plus). I love the game itself. The thrill when you’re team is on top, the bitter taste of defeat when your field goal kicker can’t hit the upright from 30 yards away. My children know better than to interrupt “the game”, and they look forward to Sunday dinners of, “Oh here, just eat a sandwich and have some chips. I can’t cook now. THE GAME is ON!” The only reason we have DirecTV is for Sunday Ticket, otherwise I would never get to see my team play. (In this Maryland market, Redskins, Ravens, Cowboys, Giants, and Steelers dominate the airwaves.)
Today’s M topic is Miami Dolphins because that’s my team. It has been since I started watching football as a kid. I idolized Dan Marino, who is the best quarterback to never win a Super Bowl. Over the past 14 years since his departure, I’ve seen the team spiral downward, with a succession of quarterbacks that just couldn’t quite measure up to Marino and coaches who were no Don Shula. Even the likes of Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor couldn’t get my ‘Phins over the goal line. I wept when Wes Welker was traded to New England, our hated rivals, in exchange for two draft picks. What was Miami thinking?! (As an aside, I should mention that I actually hate the Cowpies even more than the Pats. I came to that conclusion last season when it occurred to me that it was really just Brady and Beli-cheat that I hated, whereas I can’t stand the entire Cowpie team regardless of who comprises it.)
Last season, under the helm of Joe Philbin, the ‘Phins seemed poised to have a winning season. We came close with a 7-9 record, and that was with a rookie as starting quarterback. Ryan Tannehill proved his mettle and earned this fan’s respect. I’m optimistic that with Tannehill leading a team that also includes Brian Hartline and Dannell Ellerbee, we could make it past the break-even point. I don’t know that I’ll get to see a Dolphins team like the undefeated 1972 ‘Phins, but I’m confident of a Super Bowl win during my lifetime. Next season, I’ll be happy to go 9-7. Shoot, shall I dare dream for a playoff berth?