By Marc Cox – Miami Dolphins Writer
Fandom, it’s a complicated beast. Derived from fanaticism, the definition of which is a belief or behaviour involving uncritical zeal or with an obsessive enthusiasm. Even the most committed of fan would struggle to point to a lifetime of uncritical zeal. Zeal, yes, uncritical, no. Oh, we criticise alright. From the owner to the front office, all the way down to the poor guys clinging on to the bottom of the roster, all are fair game.
It’s our obsessive enthusiasm that qualifies us all as fans. But enthusiasm for what? For success, for a winning season, a play-off run, a shot at the final game. To win the superbowl. And for that, we must surely want our team to win every game, to hope, sometimes against hope, that you can go into the next week with a win. One more step to success. And as such, the fan should want his team to win every game, every time they take the field. Shouldn’t they?
This brings me to the Miami Dolphins. This all started with a statement from Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. A statement that could only be made in the curious socialist structure of sport in the world’s most capitalist nation. Ross had reluctantly decided to fire Head Coach, Adam Gase. There were many reasons he could have given. The atrocious play-calling, the curious personnel decisions. The nagging feeling that the Peyton Manning endorsement was actually his side of pact that had allowed Manning to run the offence in return for a good word to any front office looking at Gase for a job.
No, the reason was that Gase wanted to win, and the natural conclusion is that Miami doesn’t… well.. At least not this year.
Ross said it himself when announcing the search for a new Head Coach. “I think Adam wants to win now. He’s going into his fourth year. He wants to win, as every coach in your fourth year really has to win.” And that’s why Gase got fired.
We trace a line from that press conference, Brian Flores gets a 5 year deal, while trading away the best players for draft picks to one place. The Dolphins are rebuilding, which is code for short-term bumps in the road for long-term success. Which is code for the word not official likes to hear but is very much a thing… Tanking.
Tanking seems like a good idea in March and April, but it’s not March or April, in fact it’s the third week of September.
Miami is 102-10 down on the season, a season which is promising to be the worst ever and if you pick a stat then Miami is going to be the worst…. Period.
We will attempt to answer questions like can Miami tank properly?, Is there such a thing as tanking too hard?, and all the other craziness that comes part and parcel of an NFL season, but this time round Miami-style. This space will chronicle a fans-eye view of what could be 0-16 into the triumphant superbowl win in February 2021…Probably.
Buckle-up and enjoy the ride Phins fans as this season has only just began yet we are all thinking of how we would like it to end already.