I’m ready for the National Football League’s season to be over. Three weeks in and I’m done.
I probably should mention I’m a Miami Dolphins fan and have been since 1970. It’s been a long year already.
This spring, the owner of the Dolphins announced that the team was going to do a tear down of the roster and rebuild the franchise for continued success in the future. After firing the 10th coach since Don Shula, a purge of talent began. I use the term “talent” in the academic sense, because the Dolphins have been mired in mediocrity for decades.
Brian Flores, the new head coach, comes to the team from the New England Patriots, where he served as Defensive Coordinator. Flores was given a five-year contract and full knowledge of the plans to reset the team.
The plan for the franchise is to collect as many draft picks as possible in an effort to build a talented young team like the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens have done over the past decade.
Intellectually, I was on board with the plan. I longed for the halcyon days of the 1972 perfect season and the 1973 championship win over the Minnesota Vikings. Heck, it’s been 20 years since Dan Marino lit up the scoreboards with his passing prowess.
But after losing the first two games of the season by a combined score of 102-10, it has become increasingly difficult to bear.
The talk about the team “tanking” — losing games on purpose — has been vehemently denied by the coaching staff. They insist that they are trying to win every game. The problem is the players who remain are young and inexperienced. No matter how good the coaching is, this team cannot overcome the lack of experience and skill.
So, what’s a true fan to do? Give up? Change teams?
After moving to Wisconsin in 2012, a state that has a professional football team, it has been tempting to become a fan of the likable Green Bay Packers. We also live a little over an hour drive from the home of the Minnesota Vikings, but don’t worry, I’m not going to buy into that train wreck.
You see I was indoctrinated into the Vikings clan from birth. I was born in 1961 — the same year as the Vikings. I have very clear memories of the team’s first appearance in the Super Bowl when they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. Heartbroken, I told my father that I could no longer bear to support the team.
I had a good run becoming a Dolphins fan in 1970. In 1971, they made their first appearance in the Super Bowl, a loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The 17-0 season followed and the coup de grâce – a win over the Minnesota Vikings—the following year.
While it’s true that the Dolphins haven’t won a Super Bowl since, for much of my adult life they have been tantalizingly — and heartbreakingly — close to the playoffs.
While I know the pain of this season will (hopefully) be worth it when a new and improved team is fielded, it will still be hard to watch. I suppose it will be best to watch Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the savior du jour and projected number one draft pick.
Yes, it’s that bad that I will watch Alabama.
As always, I welcome your comments. You can reach me by email at email@example.com, telephone 715-268-8101 or write me at P.O. Box 424, Amery, WI, 54001.