Monday, October 29, 2007

Stop Pretending Like Character Matters

Notice I said pretending. As long as we are paying $20,000,000 to a guy who led a cowardly gang beating on someone in the middle of a Vegas casino, any talk of character and integrity on this team is hypocrisy. Yet aside from Porter, everyone else with any legal troubles has been dumped. We gave DT Fred Evans the boot just because he bit a Miami Police officer (Who among us hasn’t been there?). We’ve given Ricky Williams the cold shoulder just because he likes the Cartoon Network more than we would like (If you don’t like hacky sack, maybe there’s something wrong with YOU!). In addition, we traded Chris Chambers after a DUI and Randy McMichael because his wife doesn’t listen. The NFL and the world have changed. We now live in a society where you are allowed to put your dog to sleep but you’re not allowed to let that dog know what it feels like to be a champion, yet the facts remain the same.

What do O.J Simpson, Lawrence Taylor and Michael Irvin have in common? They were all first ballot Hall of Famers. The Dallas Cowboys dynasty of the mid-90s was practically a work release program. If we can have a talented team made up with players with strong morals and integrity like Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor, awesome. But if I had to choose between our team being a winless group of guys with “Great Families” or an undefeated team of moral degenerates and HGH users led by an evil coach so morally bankrupt he cheats and steals, I’d take the latter. I’m tired of this illusion that football players have to be good role models. Even if that were true, what does a nice guy like John Beck teach kids? It teaches them if you follow the rules and do the right things, you will sit the bench on a winless team while other guys who run around making illegitimate babies while playing for coaches who cheat get to bang Gisselle Bundchen while being universally adored by everyone(Purely hypothetical).

Our top area of need is defense, particularly people who can chase and tackle people. If anything, I think we should recruit directly from prisons. We only get a few draft picks and prisons are an untapped well of talent, full of guys who can chase people down and prevent big runs and kickoff returns for touchdowns. Obviously we'd have to remove those Plasmas from the lockerroom, but change is never easy. After we start winning some games, we can start weeding out the crazier players on the team (Sorry Mad Dog) but at least we'd have a winning foundation and we wouldn't have to hear more positive thinking speeches from Cam Cameron about how even though we're losing, we're learning and growing. College is a place for learning. The NFL is a place for winning.  

Saving The Dolphins for Kids
Much like Whitney Houston, I believe that children are the future. I don't claim to have all the answers for the Dolphins problems, so occasionally, I am going to post a child's letter to the Dolphins, hoping that will improve things. If you have a child (or access to crayons and too much time on your hands) email me their ideas at

Monday, October 15, 2007

Replace the Secondary with the Cheerleaders

You saw the same game I did yesterday. I saw it on TIVO because a friend of mine got tickets to see the Eagles play the Jets at the Meadowlands. It was my first trip there, and believe me, it's everything you would imagine it would be. I hate the Jets a lot, but when I say they are a New Jersey team, people like to argue. If you are ever have any doubt, go to a game there. Everything you hate about the Jets is there in full effect. Every douchebag who has cut you off and given you the finger, every jerk who has told you, "This ain't cold, I grew up in Hackensack and it would snow everyday for month.", when it's 40 degrees in Miami, every single one of those guys were at this game in Wayne Chrebet jerseys. Watching them lose was nice, but watching the scoreboard as Miami was in the process of allowing the Browns to score 41 points was not. 

I was wearing a Miami Dolphins sweatshirt and an Eagles fan asked me why I wanted to torture myself by liking them. Why not just like another team? It reminded me of that scene in Office Space where someone asked Michael Bolton why he doesn't just change his name if he's tired of people mistaking him for the awful singer. He looked at the guy and said "Because I'm not the one who sucks." I liked this team before they drafted Jason Allen, before they chose Cam Cameron as their coach, before they acquired Joey Porter. If someone needs to change it's them. Here's one way they can improve.

Replace the Secondary with the Cheerleaders

Braylon Edwards, about to run into an 87-pound brick wall
If we are going to put players out on the field who do not know where to be, who are unable to make tackles, we should just use the cheerleaders. They are already on the field anyway. They have watched the games, so they probably have a basic knowledge of the Dolphins' playbook, which should, in itself, at least move them in front of Jason Allen on the depth chart. They are athletic and flexible. They don't get paid a ton, which would help with the salary cap and they are considerably easier in the eyes than our current secondary (That opinion may vary by gender). Plus, they seem to be optimistic and which is one thing this team and organization seems to be fresh out of. In 2005, it was after the Dolphins lost to the Browns that coach Saban gave a fiery speech that asked what kind of team they wanted to be, leading the team to win the last 6 games straight. I don't see that in this locker room today. Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas don't even look angry anymore. They look sad. They look like 2 guys who have given their lives to an organization that could never get its act together. Maybe having some players with a track record of cheering people up would help turn some of those frowns upside down. I want this team to be at least as optimistic as I am. In 2004, the team was 4-12, but one of those wins was against the seemingly unstoppable New England Patriots. I want there to be one guy in that locker room that believes that is possible this year.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cam Cameron Needs to be Scarier

Left: Old Cam

The Dolphins are awful right now and it starts with the coaching. Since the day Cam Cameron came on as the head coach of the Dolphins, everyone has bent over backward to give him the benefit of the doubt. Any time a new coach takes over in the NFL, no matter how unconventional, fans try to stay optimistic, thinking maybe he knows something they don’t. If a new coach shows up to a press conference dressed as a wizard to announce he is using the #1 draft pick on a long snapper because he likes the guy’s family, fans will try to praise his unorthodox decision making, hoping it’s part of a grand, master plan they cannot possibly comprehend. During the preseason he talked about how he wanted the team to “Fail Forward Fast”. Cam wanted the team to try things and not be afraid to fail. If anything, their failure would teach them, which would help. Using this thought process during the preseason, he openly hoped his QBs would throw interceptions and the team would lose so they could learn to cope with it and overcome it. 

Well now the season has started and the Dolphins have Fully Failed Frequently. The good news is they now know how much it sucks to be 0-5, so hopefully next year they will want to avoid it. While Cam Cameron’s ideas for leadership are perfectly suited for a Co-Ed Softball team or teaching a child to ride a bike, they have no place in the NFL. If Cam wants to win in this league consistently, he needs to be scary. The fact is, in the NFL; mean coaches typically do better than nice ones. What about Tony Dungy? Tony Dungy has Peyton Manning, we have Cleo Lemon. Look at successful coaches over the last few years; Bill Belichick, Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells. You need to make your players fear you. That starts with your name. No one named Cam has ever been feared or respected in the history of time. If you want to win in the NFL, you need to a name like Bill or Mike. Look down a list of Superbowl coaches you’ll see Bills, Mikes, Joes, Toms and a long time ago, a Don, but almost no wacky names (Weeb Ewbank, 1969 Jets. God, I hate the Jets). In college football you can be a Bear or a Bo or a Woody, but this is the pros. His real name is Malcolm, that’s a start. 

New Malcolm

Ok Malcolm, how are you going to make your players fear you now that you’ve spent the whole season, coloring with them and talking about their feelings? You can’t just wake up one morning and be able to make a defensive lineman cry at practice. You need to play scary coach catch-up. You say you learned from Bobby Knight at Indiana, and that’s a good foundation to build from. But this is an emergency, so you can’t just throw a few chairs and hope to solve it. Every week you need to buy a kitten and give it to the team. Let them name it and play with it during warm ups all week long. If they win the game that week, their kitty gets a new collar and a treat, but if they lose, put the kitten into a blender in front of the whole team; then name the player whose lack of ability most contributed to the loss and make them press the button (Kind of like the opposite of giving a game ball). Given the way this team has been playing, we are probably going to need a lot of kittens. At this point you are probably thinking this is a sick idea, but I LOVE kittens. I, more than anyone, hope no kittens are ever forcibly pushed into blenders. But for that to happen, the secondary is going to have to do better in coverage, the defensive is going to have to stop the run and Joey Porter is going to have to make at least ONE sack. It’s a desperate measure, but these are desperate times. PETA is going to be furious, but if they can take that anger and focus it on encouraging Ted Ginn to properly receive a hand-off so our QB doesn’t have to play cranial pinball off a defensive lineman’s knee, then it will all be worth it.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Bring Back Marino

Yesterday the Dolphins were not just beaten but humiliated by Culpepper and the Raiders at home despite Joey Porter guaranteeing a win. The loss served notice to the rest of the terrible teams in the league that the road to the number 1 draft pick next year runs through Miami. The fact that Joey Porter's guarantee to beat one of the worst teams in the league even made headlines showed how far the Dolphins have fallen and the fact that the team could not deliver proved there is still more disappointment to come. Also, Marino's touchdown record was broken by Favre, the Bills got their first win and your dog just died. This week I have two tips for the Dolphins.

1. Replace Trent Green with Dan Marino

The Dolphins are not losing because of Trent Green, but they are not winning because of him either. The season is lost and there is no use in throwing John Beck to the wolves just yet. The present is awful and the future must be protected. With that being said, we must try to save the only thing we have left; the past. Dan Marino never won a Super Bowl and those records are all he has left. If all Trent Green is going to do is mentor Beck while throwing 2 interceptions a game, Marino can do that, plus try to get some of his records back in the process. I know what some of you are thinking. "Dan Marino can't catch up to Favre." Given Favre's recent hot streak that's probably true, but what if something bad were to happen to him? Favre has never missed a start even through Katrina destroying his house, his wife's illness and his Father's passing, so clearly we can't rely on God to stop him. We should instead count on Joey Porter. 

2. Send Joey Porter to Kill Brett Favre 
The Dolphins have guaranteed Porter $20 million dollars and unlike his guarantees, theirs are legally binding. Joey Porter is only averaging 3 tackles per game with no sacks. When you compare that to this offseason, when he and three friends cowardly attacked a Bengals lineman in Vegas, it's pretty clear where he is most effective. On the field where there are people to block him, he is useless, but off the field, where other players are trying to relax and unwind, when Porter is allowed to bring a crew of friends, he has real superstar potential. We didn't pay Porter to make empty promises, we paid him to hurt opposing quarterbacks, and since he can't do that on the field anymore, he needs to man up and take some responsibility, starting with the murder of Brett Favre.