Monday, October 5, 2015

We Need to Sign Miko Grimes

After seeing the Dolphins get beat by the Jaguars and humiliated by the Bills, I wasn't expecting much when the Dolphins flew to London, but they still managed to disappoint. I started writing this site during our 2007 1-15 season and so far this season has been even harder to watch.

In 2007, we had a coach too nice to be effective, a leaky offensive line that allowed too many sacks, a defense that couldn't tackle and a recently signed overpaid defensive free agent who was underperforming (Joey Porter). Sounds familiar so far, but there is one gigantic difference. While the 2007 Dolphins had a lack of talent due to injuries and poor personnel decisions, I never questioned that they were playing their hardest. Every week, Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor and the other players went out and played to best of their abilities against teams who were often more talented. While it was frustrating to watch Randy Moss stitch a clown suit on Cameron Worrell, I never felt like Worrell was phoning it in.

This season I see a team most people would agree is more talented than the '07 squad, that with a few exceptions (Jarvis Landry, Reshad Jones and a few others) is sleepwalking through games with very little passion. A lot of the fault lies with coaching and with Philbin out, there is hope that might change but I need to see more passion out of this team. I would rather have a less talented team playing their hearts out than a talented team that doesn't care.

We Need to Sign Miko Grimes

So far this season, aside from Jarvis Landry the person in a Dolphins jersey who has best embodied the kind of tenacity and grit I'm talking about was Miko Grimes. After the game, Miko bravely took on multiple police officers in a show of passion and raw athleticism rarely seen from Dolphins players this season that included headbutting an officer while she was handcuffed. While our society unfortunately has laws that frown on that kind of violence in a parking lot, on a football field those are the exact kind of psychotic impulses that get players to the Pro Bowl.

With Miko recently getting fired from her radio gig, she's available and she already has plenty of Dolphins jerseys with her last name on them so all we'd have to do is change the numbers. If she's willing to fight that hard just to get into a restricted area, imagine what a terror she could be against opposing running backs. 

Adios, Joe Philbin

Joe Philbin just got a lot more time to pick up gum wrappers. Today, Stephen Ross continued his habit of only firing people at least a year after everyone else on the planet knew they needed to go. 

Philbin is a nice guy but unfortunately the NFL awards no points for friendliness or having a tidy practice field. He was a weak leader and as a result, during his tenure anyone with a strong personality was quickly shown the door. When he first became head coach, he said he didn't believe in having team captains, but after Chad Johnson was released the players formed what they called a "leadership council" of four players to represent the voice of the locker room. The next offseason, all four of those players (Karlos Dansby, Jake Long, Reggie Bush, and Davone Bess) were let go. 

Philbin's fear of any players with leadership created a power vacuum that contributed to the 2013 Bullygate scandal. While the Ted Wells report may have exonerated Philbin as being totally unaware of any of the Bullygate events, it convicted him of being totally out of touch with what was going on in his own locker room. He seemed like the overmatched substitute teacher, helplessly asking who threw the paper while his back was turned. In a million different ways, it was clear the players never respected Philbin. Whether it was constantly leaking negative things to the media or Mike Wallace directly confronting him during a game, he clearly never had any command of that locker room. For the past two seasons in a row, the Dolphins quit on Philbin at the end of the season with the playoffs on the line.

With Philbin gone, the Dolphins are left with a team that has some talent, but hardly any leadership. Many of our top paid players like Suh, Wake and Grimes have never been vocal leaders and that's unlikely to change. There are also reports today that Ryan Tannehill recently feuded with the practice squad telling them "Enjoy your practice squad paychecks." when they were intercepting him too much which doesn't inspire much hope for him emerging as a leader in the future. Dan Campbell has his work cut out for him.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Get to Hate a Jet: Michael Vick

We all saw the Dolphins choke in the 4th quarter for the 3rd time this season. Everyone said this game would show us where we were at as a team and unfortunately it did.

Now on to the horrible team from New Jersey. If you're new to the site, you should know I'm not fond of the Jets and because we're playing them next Monday, it's time for another entry in the exciting series:

Why hate the Jets as a group when you can hate them individually? That's why I started this series so we can give the Jets the specific, personalized hatred they deserve. Previous entries have included Tim Tebow and Antonio Cromartie. Who is the target this week?
Michael Vick

As you might of heard, the starting quarterback for the Jets next Monday (Assuming God doesn't finally answer my prayers and kill the whole team in a fire before then) will be Michael Vick. I know right now you're thinking "But what could we possibly hate about Michael Vick? He seems so nice. Is he a litterbug? Does he leech off his neighbor's WiFi?". I admit that it was a real challenge to come up with negative things to dislike about him, but as a dedicated journalist I felt it was my duty to try my best. For the sake of simplicity, I've decided to just focus on the one terrible thing he's done that we're all aware of.

He's a Player on the Jets
Michael Vick committing his most unforgivable act
Of all the things Vick has done, choosing to sign with the Jets is easily the most abhorrent. 

I don't want to hear any excuses for him, either. I've read plenty of articles about how him signing with the Jets was a "cultural thing" and all the people around him "pressured him into doing it", but as adults we are each responsible for our own actions. 

I've also heard other people saying that I should forgive him because he signed with them all the way back in March, and surely he now regrets it. He only regrets it now that he is dealing with the repercussions (A 2-9 record). I think committing an act that heinous shows something about his character. If he's morally capable of signing with the Jets, what other horrendous things is he capable of. What kind of monster does something like that with no emotion.

I would like to see Vick fully apologize and also speak out at schools and other events to explain the dangers of the terrible thing he did so the vicious cycle doesn't repeat. It would be a good step to show he understands what he did was wrong.
Michael Vick doing some community outreach.
But forgive him? I think some things are just unforgivable. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Dolphins Need to Drop the Miami Habit of Showing Up Late

Last night the Miami Dolphins took down the Buffalo Bills in a great game. While it wasn't a perfect game by any means, in Kyle Orton the Dolphins finally found a mediocre Bills QB they could stop after falling to EJ Manual this season and Thad Lewis twice last year.

Once again, we had a slow start on offense before turning it on in the second half. We are currently  25th in the NFL in first half scoring (9 points) and 1st in the NFL in second half scoring (15.9 points). This leads me to a huge way the Dolphins can improve their team.

The Dolphins Need to Drop the Miami Habit of Showing Up Late

There's a huge list of positive things that have come from South Florida culture (Pollo Tropical, Cuban Coffee and Trick Daddy to name a few) but one bad South Florida habit has taken hold of the Miami Dolphins this season and that is the habit of showing up late. For a city built on cocaine, Miami as a city is surprisingly laid-back. Starting times for events are often taken as suggestions. Watch any Miami sporting event and you'll see a lot of fans arriving a half hour into the game (or for the Florida Panthers, not at all). While you may think showing up late makes you look cool, in the NFL it makes your team look incompetent and unprepared.

I'm obviously not the first person to point this out. When your team averages more points in the 3rd quarter (11.3) than they do in the first half combined (9), that is going to draw some attention. While some try to suggest it shows that they are making smart half-time adjustments, it makes you wonder why the entire week of film study and practice they had leading up to the first half didn't lead to a better showing. If we are going to have any chance against high-scoring offenses like Denver next week, we are going to need 4 quarters of play. So Miami Dolphins, by all means keep the Publix subs, the sandals, and the Cuban sandwiches but please stop showing up late.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Put Our Best Players in Cryosleep

Brent Grimes on Ice
I've never had to watch a child of mine die right in front of me, but if I do I can at least be comforted knowing I've already seen something more painful. Twice this year the Dolphins have had the lead in the waning moments, only to watch an NFC North team plow down the field with ease and score last-second touchdowns. It feels the way the final fight in Karate Kid must have felt for the parents of the Cobra Kai. 

Obviously in both games, we made a number of good plays and both the Packers and Lions are great teams so it's tempting to try to see them as the kind of "moral victories" that mediocre teams like ours thrive on. Since our last playoff appearance in 2008, we've hovered between 6-10 and 8-8, the kind of mediocrity that keeps you both out of the the playoffs and out of position to get elite draft picks (Not that Jeff Ireland would have done much with them anyway. ::cough:: Dion Jordan,)

To add injury to insult we also found out we've lost Brandon Albert for the season. Even with him, it seemed unlikely we could take the next step to be elite and things definitely haven't gotten any easier.

It's especially frustrating because some players on our team are playing out of their minds. That Brent Grimes pick was one of the coolest plays I've seen in a while and Cameron Wake has been a beast all season. The problem is that those players are 31 and 32 respectively. If we ever put a team on the field good enough to make a real run at a Super Bowl, what are the odds they'll be young enough to be part of it? That's when I got an idea that may or may not have been influenced by me seeing Interstellar.

Put Our Best Players in Cryosleep

Locker Room of the Future

Since our last Super Bowl win (It's been a while), we've had a lot of great players, just never enough of them at one time.  We've had Pro Bowlers at almost every position, just never enough on the field to get us to the promised land. At the same time, we often do well enough to not be in position to get elite draft picks.

My plan is to put our best players in cryosleep to preserve them until we have enough talent to be an actual threat to win the Super Bowl at which time we will thaw them out.

Of the players on our current team, I'd probably go with:
Cameron Wake
Brent Grimes
Mike Wallace
Olivier Vernon
Mike Pouncey
Ja'Wuan James
and I'm strongly considering Jarvis Landry.

I'm not entirely sure how much cryosleep costs so I may add more players if it's cost effective. Yes I know the technology doesn't technically exist yet, but how hard could it be. I'm sure Stephen Ross has the cash to make it happen.

It also has tons of advantages:

1. Preserve Talent

For too long, we've had to sit by and watch as talented players on our team aged and got hurt with no supporting cast to get them to the next level. We had one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time with no running game or defense. We had Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas in their prime with no offense to put points on the board. If we had started this plan last week, we'd have an elite left tackle with 2 healthy knees waiting for us on ice.

2. Their Contracts Won't Be So Overinflated in the Future

While some of our players are a bit overpaid in today's dollars, by the time we need them, inflation will have made their contracts much more reasonable. Mike Wallace is probably a bargain in 2043 dollars.

3. Better Draft Picks

While our most talented players are in the freezer, we'll be racking up top draft picks who we can also freeze if they turn out to be decent players. If we draft the way we have for the last few years, we should have an elite team in just 20 or 30 short years.

I'm sure the players union is probably going to bitch about how this plan somehow "infringes on player's rights" and shows that we are "depraved monsters" who only care about winning, but progress always has it's speed bumps. Besides, basic human decency is a small price to pay for a team that can finish a game in the 4th quarter.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The NFL Needs to Stop the Bullying of Ryan Tannehill

Noogie Time
Shirt Wedgie

The Miami Dolphins have a major problem with bullying. So far this season, one of their players has been forcefully thrown down to the ground 35 times and hit countless more. These attacks have left him physically hurting and bruised and who knows how that is effecting him emotionally. The Dolphins appointed 5 guys to try to protect him, but apparently they have been too busy calling each other names and playing dumb pranks to do any good. Now one of those "protectors" has been sent away for bad behavior, leaving Ryan Tannehill vulnerable to even more bullying. This needs to stop:
Come on

The NFL Needs to Stop the Bullying of Ryan Tannehill

The NFL needs to step in and do something about this. This means doing several things:

1. Get Tannehill Some Protection

Tannehill needs some muscle.

For starters, Ryan Tannehill needs 24 hour bodyguards to follow him both on and off the field to make sure people stop assaulting him. The NFL should be in charge of finding these bodyguards because Jeff Ireland has clearly shown he does not possess the skills to find people to protect Tannehill from bullying who can do the job compently without commiting hate crimes.

2. Opposing Defenses Need Sensitivity Training 

Tannehill is consoled after a beating
Opposing defenses need to be given sensitivity training to teach them how their violence makes the players on offense feel.

3. Fire Jeff Ireland

This has nothing to do with Ryan Tannehill or bullying, but it's way overdue. If Stephen Ross can't do it, the NFL should.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What's in a Logo?

If you are reading this, then you have probably already heard that the new logo has leaked out. Given how good the Dolphins are about keeping things quiet (Interest in Mike Wallace, Manning, Harbaugh... there is no point in even going on. Suffice to say they leak everything) it was not surprising to find out the new logo leaked a month early and the Dolphins officials have now confirmed it.

Before I go into how I feel about the logo, let's take a stroll down memory lane.

I've always lumped the first three logos together, because they are all pretty much the same. This was the logo I grew up with since I moved to South Florida in 1992 (3rd Grade).This logo with a dolphin wearing a logo is kind of silly, but having a dolphin as a mascot in general is also kind of silly. The whole logo and color scheme was all a little silly, but to me it always represented the weirdness of South Florida. South Florida is an incredibly weird place and if you grew up there like I did, you don't really fully appreciate how weird until you leave. If you haven't noticed from reading this blog, I am also very weird and I love South Florida in all it's weirdness. To me, that logo was a perfect representation of the city it represented.

Sadly, all of this goodness came to an end in 1997. I'm not going to lie and say I know anything about the history of what led to the decision to change the logo, but I do remember what 1997 was like. 1997 was a year when everything was getting obnoxiously more "extreme". Surge soda was on the shelves, X-Games was on the TV, The Prodigy was on the radio and every company in America was asking "How can we make our oatmeal seem more extreme?". 

In 1997, someone in Davie got the bright idea to change the logo from what it had been since 1966 to the strangely pissed off cartoon dolphin it's been ever since. This was a dolphin and he still had a sunburst around him, but now he had an an extreme attitude. He was still wearing a helmet, but probably just because they required it at the skatepark when he stopped by to lay down some 900s. 

When you choose a dolphin as your mascot and you choose team colors of aqua and orange, you are accepting that any intimidation your team has will have to be established on the field through their play. Much like Jaws ruined the reputations of all non-dangerous sharks, so too did Flipper ruin the street cred of all the tough badass dolphins. Dolphins can be scary animals. I even have a joke about how they can commit the act of rape (It's the last joke in the video), but try as you might, people will never accept dolphins as scary animals. That was always my biggest problem with that logo was that by changing the logo to this "scarier" dolphin, it seemed like the Dolphins were trying to be something they weren't. Whether it's your fat friend buying skinny jeans or your dad deciding to become a biker and get his first tattoo in his late 40's, there is something painfully unappealing about someone trying to be something they're not.

This terrible logo is one of the reasons I have given hundreds of dollars to Mitchell & Ness so I can wear Dolphins apparel with the old logo instead of the 1997 one. Obviously I have a ton of stuff including jerseys with the newer logo (I just got a Tannehill jersey a couple months ago. Damn you Dolphins for changing the logo now!), but I never really liked it as much as I preferred the original. In fact, the whole reason I made my logo for this site the way I did was to parody that logo.

So given that backdrop, obviously I'm not all torn up that the Dolphins have decided to change the logo. There are a few things I like about the new logo. I like that the design is cleaner and that they did away with the dumb angry facial expression which is good. But where is the helmet? Is a dolphin without a helmet really that much less silly that one with a helmet? That is what bugs me the most about the new logo is that it is completely devoid of any character. While the last logo had character in a very bad way, the new logo has none at all. Even the pose of the dolphin seems to be meaningless. He's just swimming around, as if he didn't know they were going to take his photo or something. The last two logos were a dolphin swimming through a hoop, which dolphins do, except for this bland boring dolphin, he's just hanging out.

To me, this new logo also represents the Dolphins again trying to be something they're not. It seems like they are trying to divorce themselves from this silliness inherent to having a football team with a dolphin mascot by sterilizing out all of the character. Having these colors and this mascot with a helmet is a little quirky and to some people it will always be a punchline. To me that quirkiness is something I've always loved about this team. When you walk around New York or any city for that matter, when you see people wearing Dolphins gear, it's because they actually love the team (Except for the rare hipster who may be wearing it to be ironic. God I hate those people...). It's not like the Yankees or Cowboys where you wear the hat because it happens to go with your outfit. The only thing aqua and orange matches with is more aqua and orange!!! And white... And grey. And maybe navy.. but not much else!!!! Obviously, those colors are staying the same, but I'm not crazy about them making the logo so sterile. I like my Dolphins logo the way I like my South Florida; a little bit weird.

P.S. I also made this with the new logo. I'm not going to get into politics, but if you like this, awesome.